When going with the flow can get you stuck in a rut

“Well I don’t know why I came here tonight. I got the feeling that something ain’t right. I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair, and I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” -Stuck in the Middle with You (Stealers Wheel) 

Last week I went to the “wrong” yoga class. (I recently moved from Alberta to Nova Scotia, and my stuff just arrived last week, so I’ve been unpacking and lugging boxes around my new place. I’ve made a lot of trips up and down the stairs, and my legs were fairly sore, so I figured a gentle yoga class where I could stretch my muscles would be a huge help.) Not long after the class began, the instructor said “Chair pose – oh yes, we are going there already; can anyone say Epsom salts?”, and I knew I was not in the therapeutic yoga class I had signed up for! But I went with the flow. Figuratively and literally.

After the class, I got thinking about what message The Universe was trying to send me. I don’t believe there are any coincidences in life, so I was meant to be in the “wrong” class for a reason. And what was the reason? All that kept coming to my mind was “go with the flow”. I am generally pretty good at going with the flow; it is actually one of my strengths.  I know that life is unpredictable and that change is inevitable, and the thought of it (or the unknown) doesn’t really bother me. Even in the midst of chaos, I just go with the flow and keep taking the next step which feels right for me. The ability to go with the flow stops us from fighting reality and helps us move forward with an attitude of grace and resilience when faced with things we cannot change (like being stuck in a line or traffic or even the wrong yoga class).

“Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish, but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.” ~Epicteus~

There are times, however, when going with the flow does not serve us. Some examples are: when we don’t speak up for ourselves (to our spouses, bosses, friends, coworkers, etc.), when we don’t listen to our intuition and follow the crowd instead, when we get complacent and fail to check in with our relationships and start taking the people we love for granted, when we believe we are stuck in our current life (job, relationship or lack thereof), and when we stop taking action toward our dreams because we’re already “comfortable” and (mostly) happy (but not completely fulfilled) where we are.

Image courtesy of www.dontgiveupworld.com

Image courtesy of www.dontgiveupworld.com

The last one is feeling so true for me lately. I have been talking about implementing a few things in my business (for over a year now!) and yet I haven’t taken any action to make them happen (because I’ve been content in the flow of my life). My good friend (and fellow coach) Jessica reminded me that I do have to share my gifts though, because hiding doesn’t serve me or the people in the world who I am meant to help. So, what exactly does this mean for me? It means: I don’t have to have it all figured out right now; I just have to take the next step – i.e. to share my ideas and allow myself to be seen. It feels a little scary, but I know I’ll gain more clarity (and confidence) by doing than by thinking and more joy by leaping than by coasting. #Geronimo!

“Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.” ~Bruce Lee~

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