By Kay Newton
What does ‘flow’ mean to you? I attempt flow in my daily Tai Chi practice. When I have all the elements in place, my breathing and movement without conscious thought, it becomes a magical place to be. The problem in today’s modern world is that so many people are out of flow, suffering from illness and terribly out of balance.
To completely relax mentally and physically in Tai Chi, releasing any tension in the mind and body takes many hours of practice. This state of being, known as ‘Sung’, is when each part of the body moves in complete harmony, beginning and finishing at exactly the same time.
You are at one with the world around you, and it is also at one with you. The flow of energy moving through you gives power to the martial art, as well as healing you and the world around you.
How do we all get back in flow? This was the question I posed to two dynamic women this month.
Lavinia Sanders came from a corporate background yet was also always interested in holistic practices and studied to be a Reiki Master. Despite knowing the theory, four years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer.
“The Big C really rocked my world and made me look deeply at the way I reacted to my life. I felt as if the rug had been pulled from underneath my feet and I had lost control of my life,” she says.
Even though everyone saw Lavinia as a calm and relaxed person on the outside, internally she was the opposite. “When I looked deep at my insecurities, I saw that I wanted to please others, to be liked by everyone, seen as successful, and for everything I did to look like a simple breeze. For change to occur, I had to come to terms with why I reacted this way. I realised that if I took responsibility for my own actions, (for they are the only ones one can change), life would also change.”
We all create our own reality through our thoughts, imaginations and feelings and our actions.
The developments in neuroscience recently show that we can change our neuroplasticity simply by thinking a new thought, no matter what our age.
Says Lavinia, “A lot of people find that hard to digest, they cannot see how they have created the mess that they are in and yet they have. When you step back and really look at how you react to different situations you can see the pattern.”
Lavinia has developed a theory she calls TEA – “In Ireland, a good cup of tea sorts anything!” – which stands for Thoughts, Emotions and Actions. She conducts workshops on balance and flow.
“Being in a relaxed state and moving forward daily is the key to life. Having anxiety or stress means you are swimming upstream all the time, and it’s hard. Always ask yourself ‘What do I want?’ If you are not seeing what you want to see in the world, then look internally. The world is a reflection of you, a mirror of your thoughts,” she explains.
She shares three steps:
- Become aware, decide what you want, set your intentions every day. When you wake, mentally play over the day and imagine it going the best it can.
- Choose an affirmation to support your intentions. For example, if you have a busy day, chant to yourself: “I am productive with fun”.
- Always start and end your day in gratitude. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed instead of saying “I have so much to do!” turn it around and say “I am grateful I have all this abundance in my life.”
Linda Anne Ledwidge
Linda Anne Ledwidge has developed a program called FreeFloLiving from working with unbalanced people. It is Linda’s belief that we have to address the “whole” self, the energy body as well as the physical body, in order to heal.
“If your body is unable to process what you put into it – whether it is food, drink or thoughts – you are not living. All that matters is how we feel and in today’s world people disconnect from feelings all too easily. Feeling enables flow,” she says.
When you feel tension, you block flow. To release tension and enable flow, all you have to do think of something that makes you feel good, says Linda. “Put a smile on your face and you can feel the immediate positive change. When you put a frown on your face or look down at the floor you can actually feel the flow shutting down.’
Linda also talks about the choice of language, the way we use words today and how they can hide the way we feel.
“Quite often we hurry to say something without connecting words and feelings first. Everything we say or think creates a sensation, a lightness or heaviness within us. People have stopped examining this process, we often use the phrase ‘speak without thinking’, yet ‘speak without feeling’ would be much more realistic.”
There is also flow of the collective consciousness. Says Linda, “We are bombarded with so much information from all our senses; we have to filter what the world presents to us. When you filter you can also take on feelings linked to the collective consciousness. Yet it is still your choice how you react.”
You can always find something to feel good about if you look closely, says Linda. Focusing on goodness brings more of that awareness into your life and to the collective consciousness.
Linda offers her own three steps to get into flow:
- Oxygenation: Breathe well and oxygenate your body.
- Hydration: 50 percent of the problem can be resolved by drinking more water.
- Relaxation: When you feel bad, change it. Shift the focus and feel even just a little better, then a bit more…
When you are in flow, you are an example for others. As Rumi once said, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Choose the way you feel, it is the way you will change the world.
What will you do differently today?
Kay Newton is an award-winning speaker, writer and midlife strategist. Follow her on KayNewton.com.
First published in eShe’s July 2019 issue. Lead image: Pixabay.