Everything is in flow here in Northern Michigan. Buckets of water have flowed off the snow-covered roof. That water, along with the melting snow banks is finding its way down the hills to my driveway. I no longer walk to the mailbox, I wade. The maple sap is flowing too. Drive by a good stand of sugar maples and you'll see them all connected with plastic tubing, ultimately leading to the sugar house where the steam is rising. And the creek in my backyard is bursting over its banks.
In the 14 years I've live on the creek, it has taught me many lessons. One of the most important is the nature of flow.
Flow is not always the shortest path. When the creek encounters resistance, like a rock, a downed tree or the dam the beavers are building just down stream from me, it does not go through that block. The creek is not concerned with keeping the path short. It goes around, over or underneath the resistance as a way to stay in flow. Yes, over time, it wears down the resistance, but that's not its primary concern. So like the creek, when we take the path of least resistance, we too flow.
The creek is always moving toward lower elevations, downhill, rather than fighting the uphill battle. Now going downhill does not have a particularly positive ring to it. But image how wonderful it could be to reach your every destination without effort.
We've all experienced flow in our lives. Athletes call it being in “the zone.” Those that meditate talk about being in the gap, the space, between thoughts. As my friend, Dave Patrick of Healthy Enterprise says, “We all know when we are in flow. Everything is effortless. We're on purpose and we have total alignment between our vision and values. And we're taking right action to move forward, focused on the now. I think we're in agreement that if feels pretty darn good!”
Whether we are standing in a creek or we are experiencing flow internally, it does feel pretty darn good. And we are better able to take direction based on “hints.” The more we are not flowing, ticked off, disappointed or frustrated, the more we tend to grab for reason and logic. Reason and logic might save us in an emergency, but they never move us. These “hints” I call intuition. And when I'm in flow, I hear the hints.
Is your vision something you mentally design and, if done right, leads to flow? Perhaps. But it might take more than a few tries to get it right. I like to believe that vision is something that comes to you when you are in flow? My suggestion—go stand in a creek!
"Everything flows; nothing remains." ~Heraclitus
What's not flowing in your life? Money? A relationship? A major transition? If you've not taken me up on my complimentary coaching session offer, maybe now is the time. That's a “hint,” my friends. Take it!