Flow

By Lynette Vaive

“Be still and know. . .”

I just finished a meeting with some folks that had a totally unexpected outcome—one that left me once again in awe of what happens when I suspend judgment and just let things happen. . .Or if I am honest with myself, I must admit that I did not suspend judgment and had some preconceived notions in my head about what might happen. So, maybe it isn’t even necessary to suspend judgment, but rather to just sit back and allow things to happen. It’s this flow, or allowing things to happen, that I’d like us to focus on for a few moments.

In a conversation last week, I heard someone mention the term “push energy” and how there are times when what we desire cannot be motivated with “push energy.” It made me think back to earlier in my life when I would set my sights on achieving this or that and then devote my energy to making it happen. Eventually, of course, that no longer worked to accomplish my goals. And exactly how were those goals set in the first place? Push energy, of course—the need to achieve something that I could hold up to others to demonstrate my intelligence, my effectiveness, my worth—although I didn’t realize that was what I was doing.

Life proceeded to happen to me, regardless of all my “push energy” as I tried to direct it.  At the end of each day, I often found myself refusing to recognize that I was in trouble emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Too often, I mechanically recited scriptures that I pretended were more effective than I found them in those moments. I had isolated myself in many ways from people because I had an image to present—that of being perfect, and I used lots of “push energy” to keep up the façade. I had no idea at that point in my life how to go from there, only that my life was broken in some undefined way that I was unready to admit, even to myself.

For me, there were a myriad of physical symptoms that eventually caught my attention and opened my thinking to the first inkling that something different was possible. Once I admitted to myself that all the “push energy” in the world was not going to help, I began to stop pushing so hard. For the first time in my busy, high-achieving life, I began a journey of learning how to be still. That door opened a little at a time, until eventually it was open large enough for new and even previously rejected ideas to come in. The pushing backed off and was present less and less often. The stillness that began to move in its place was a welcome balm as I learned how to pay attention to things that I had let slip into the “unimportant” zone. Noticing my own breathing, my tense abdominal muscles, and the tightness in my neck and shoulders were signs that I began to pair with certain thoughts and situations for the first time.

It has taken now several years of practice in being still to recognize more readily when I slip back into “push energy.” Even now, it is often after the fact that I see in hindsight that I was trying to control a situation, a conversation, or an outcome. Just like this morning’s meeting, when I jumped to the conclusion that it would bear little fruit and am now very pleasantly surprised at the possibilities that may result.

As the past two weeks have gone by, I can see several examples of things happening without my intervention. This has resulted in the achievement of exciting results that I could not possibly have arranged or driven with “push energy.”

I believe that reflection and meditation are under-rated. They are the opposite of “push energy.”Reflection and meditation have grown to be my most important and familiar friends as I learn, re-learn, and keep learning how to stay in “flow.” Flow requires no “push energy.” It requires no orchestration of people and events on my part. It is about being still and knowing that I don’t need to control anyone or anything. It is about being still and allowing creativity and emotion to be present and to counterbalance the never-ending stream of thought and activity. It is about being still and knowing that God is God. I want to go to this place by the water and restore my soul, my mind, and my body and simply be still. And when I cannot go there physically, I can go there any time I close my eyes and quiet my mind…

 

lynetteLynette Vaive is an ICF Associate Certified Coach and Advanced EQ Practitioner, Coach, and Consultant, certified by Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network. She is also Co-owner of Spirit of EQ where she practices Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence coaching, training, and consulting with her husband Jim and their colleagues. Lynette and Jim provide the Self-Awareness training for Rela’s NxGen program.

Lynette has a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology, a Master of Business Administration degree, and a certification in Lean Six Sigma Healthcare, but she considers her training with Six Seconds in Coaching and Emotional Intelligence and her training as a Spiritual Intelligence Coach with Deep Change, Inc. to be the best part of her educational journey.

 

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