It’s tempting to want to control every aspect of your life sometimes. And while planning and being thoughtful of the steps you take are certainly tips for success, it also sometimes closes you off to your potential. It’s about taking one focused step forward everyday but at the same time, being aware of what’s going on around you. Not sure how to go with the flow?
Two years ago my best friend from childhood was taking a break from work to finish writing her book. She was headed to Indonesia for inspiration and she invited me to come along. But I had just moved to a new city–money was tight and I wasn’t exactly sure what my schedule would look like. But at the same time, the trip sounded like a great opportunity to travel a long distance with a friend that I knew well. In the end, I decided to hit the road and I’m so glad that I did. I had to let go of controlling timing and go when the opportunity opened up. While I know I would have never regretted going, if I had passed on the trip I would have looked back sadly.
Learning to go with the flow isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Stop comparing.
Don’t worry so much about what in life makes other people happy, rather be focused on what steps in your life will expand your happiness. It’s easy to tighten around societal expectations. Try and maintain your authentic self and be true to your needs.
2. Step outside of your controlled environment.
At those times when you feel stuck in life and have trouble letting go, it can be helpful to step outside of your controlled environment. That’s why every time you get back from longterm travel or a retreat of some kind your perspective has expanded. If you feel like fear and control are keeping you from reaching your full potential, consider completely stepping outside of what you know. You’ll be glad that you did.
3. Become friends with your intuition.
Yoga, meditation, and general mindfulness are all tools that help you to establish a stronger relationship with yourself. It’s this open awareness that allows you to better hear your intuition. It’s the voice deep within you that tells you all you need to know, often right when you need to know it.
It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you react to it. Learn to soften and take life one long, deep breath at a time. My yoga teacher once called it “surfing the waves of life”. If you try and resist change you’ll constantly be trying to hold back the rapids of a river. Instead, relax, breathe, and let it flow.
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