Are You in the flow? Or not trusting you can get things done?

Recently I’ve been working with more task than I can possibly do, as I prepare to lead a workshop this Friday entitled Inner Leadership: 5 Keys to Unblock Your Brilliance at the University of Oregon student union building. My marketing coach and I brainstormed a list of over 25 outreach ideas. Some were simple to complete in under an hour or less. Some would seem to be simple but actually have ended up taking 2 hours or more. I’m on a learning curve for the social media stuff, plus submitting this event to local newspapers.

Here’s a metaphor that came to me while on retreat this weekend. It’s like I’m running a race, asking myself how much can I get done given a limited amount of time. I’m riding two horses, testing and experimenting to see which one will in fact win. The one horse is galloping along with this natural universal flow of energy, each stride is fresh, with a present moment quality , spontaneous, and somehow emerging organically from her life force.

The other one is pushing, moving against the anxiety of losing, or missing out, or falling short, and pushing like a machine beyond her own natural rhythms of movement at an impossible pace.

It is not wise to change horses in the middle of a ride, but that is what I’ve been doing. I start out with an easygoing pace turning towards the task that feels just right for the moment, being present to the task itself. But when I get afraid this way of getting things done wont’ actually work, I switch to the anxiety ridden approach and just push myself to get it all done from a perfectionistic stance.

In the end, which horse wins? Which way works best? Here’s what I know for sure
• When I am centered and present to my in the moment experience, I am much more in touch with all the wisdom within me
• When I allow unfolding clarity about doing the next right task, I feel more at choice and more joyful
• When I treat myself like a machine, I almost always end up rebelling or feeling like a victim
• When I hold the intention to be with and care for myself as I move through the day, I am happier and more peaceful

What about you? Do you find yourself sometimes completely moving through your life and “to do list’” in a natural, even flow, saying yes in the moment to your next task almost like a dance with life’s energy? When this is happening, how does it feel? What resources and creativity are available to you when you are dancing with universal flow of energy and aliveness? How do you feel? At the end of a day like this, how are you feeling physically? Emotionally?

And what about those days when you are pushing yourself as if running a grueling race in which you feel more like a machine, a victim of the endless tasks before you? How do you feel at the end of a day filled with a relentless pusher/driver mentality?

Have you wondered how they differ, both in terms of how you are feeling but also the results and your overall productivity?

Suggested Practice

Pause at least 5 times during the day to ask yourself, “What is happening in my body? “

Take 2 minutes to scan from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet for sensations (energy pulsing, temperature, tightness or contraction, numbness, ease, etc.)

Breathe deeply.