Are You Forcing or Flowing?

I lay on my mat in the post-yoga, blissed-out state of savasana. The instructor was saying something in a sing-song voice, and her words washed over me like summer rain. I felt grounded and peaceful. But her next words smacked me like a snowball: “Avoid aggressive people,” she said.

Wait. What?

The bliss dissipated, and suddenly I was lying on a hard floor wondering what had just happened.

My whole life I’ve been told to “Go for the ball,” “Be aggressive,” “Ask for what you want,” and “Get in the game.” I didn’t want to be someone who let life pass her by. I didn’t want to settle. I wanted to create the greatest life I could. I wanted to reach my highest potential. What was wrong with being aggressive in pursuit of greatness?

At the time, I dismissed her words and avoided the next class when I saw she was teaching. But now, almost 10 years after that yoga class, I think I’ve figured out what she was trying to say and it has a lot to do with focus.

The way I see it, there are two ways of achieving focus: through force and through flow.

When we force focus, we are aggressive. We push. We feel tension in our bodies as we hunch our shoulders or clench our jaws. This type of focus makes us feel like we’re working really hard.

We see only one thing, trying to push all other distractions away. We try to force our desires into being. We try to will our way forward.

This type of focus is unsustainable and exhausting. The longer we try to hold it, the more tired, spent and worn out we feel afterwards.

When we allow focus to flow, however, we allow ease. Our bodies feel relaxed. Our hearts are open. Our minds are quiet. We see everything and nothing. We are one with the experience as both the participant and the observer.

Flow is sustainable and energizing. The longer we are in flow, the more energy we have and the better we feel.

When we allow flow, we allow our desires to come to us.

How do we do this? We allow flow by getting rid of the stories, the assumptions and our inner critic’s chatter. We allow flow by being right here, right now.

Living in flow requires faith—faith that the universe has our backs and faith that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be. Flow asks us to trust ourselves, to trust our skills and our knowledge, to trust the process, and to trust the timing. To allow flow, we must admit that we cannot control everything. We must surrender. We must lean into uncertainty with awareness, curiosity and faith.

If you’re thinking, “Yeah, yeah, but how do I get there?” let’s talk.

If you’re exhausted from constantly trying to force your focus, let’s explore ease together.

If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and going nowhere, I can help you find your flow.

If you’re afraid to let go, I’ll help you learn to surrender, safely.

If you feel like you’re muscling through, I will help you feel expansive.

If you’re performing really well in your life, your sport or your business, but you know you can do even better, I’ll help you get there.

Email me to find out how to apply to work with me.

Let’s find your flow together.