Learning to go with the flow may be one of the most powerful, life-altering lessons you can learn. Yet, it is often one of the most difficult teachings to swallow. There’s something so terrifying about going with the flow, but it can be extremely liberating.
The whole idea of “letting go” or going with the flow might be more foreign if you’re someone who enjoys a good 5-year plan or you love planning your day down to the minute. It could also mean you have misconceptions about what going with the flow is really about, at least from a yogic perspective.
First off, what is going with the flow?
The best example I can give is when s#%t hits the fan, you can see the larger lesson in that moment. It’s an understanding that control is an illusion, so why not adapt? Ultimately the only real control you have is your reaction. Often the initial gut reaction to that notion is “but you DO have control over your life!” In some ways, decisions eventually define you.
Your relationships, career, and all of the aspects of your life essentially come down to choice. With that said, there are a ton of circumstances you definitely can’t control. Like when a pipe decides to burst in your house, or when the power goes out, or a tree falls on your parked car. Those are just a few random examples but you can probably think of many uncontrollable events that have shaken things up over the years. These are the situations that make “going with the flow” an essential art to master.
Despite it being an incredible skill there are a couple of misunderstandings about letting go that should be cleared up, first.
Myth #1: Going with the flow makes you lazy, disorganized, or apathetic
There seems to be this stigma that “going with the flow” isn’t something for regular folks. You know, people with jobs, taxes, kids, responsibilities. This is completely false. In fact, some of the most successful people are those who understand the balance of working hard to achieve your dreams and going with the flow.
Myth #2: Going with the flow means you’ve given up
In yogic philosophy there’s a concept known as ishvara pranidhana which is essentially “surrendering” -- or the belief in something greater than ourselves. It's the idea that everything happens for a reason, so you’re always led in the right direction. Unnecessary struggle makes no sense when matters are out of your control. Focus on the task at hand and surrender when it makes sense. Learning this kind of balance is key when understanding how to go with the flow.
How have you learned to go with the flow?