Row: Finding Your Flow

‘Flow’ – such a gentle word. It seems to roll off my tongue effortlessly, soft and smooth. ‘Go with the flow’ is a phrase that I’ve heard often and seen in print in books written by those who are trying to help folks learn to live more productive lives.

‘Easier said than done’ is a response many use and I must admit I was one of them. When one is working an eight-hour day, or night, caring for four children, and living at what Uncle Sam admits is the poverty level, how does one cinch belts, forego travel plans at vacation time and “go with the flow”? What ‘flow’, I wanted to know. Of course the water flows in the rivers, and from the faucets in my home but I doubted that was what the gurus had in mind.

It is truly a shame that so many people struggle through life and when it’s too late (the children are grown and gone) to make changes they begin to understand what the ‘flow’ really is.

Words! They are so easily misunderstood and misinterpreted. Have you ever lived or worked with a person with dyslexia? There are, or can be some difficult situations with communication and even more so if you are right-handed/brained and the dyslexic person left-handed/brained. In my household the dyslexia did not show up enough for diagnosis until in the adult years. Scholastically speaking my youngest was an excellent student and as an adult very successful in her work, often earning awards of achievement. She is a published author and an artist and a very spiritual person. We lived miles apart for many years and I was unaware of her challenges. Now that we live together we have learned much about each other, but best of all each day we share thoughts and ideas about the ‘flow’ in our lives and in the community around us.

Can you imagine being able to ‘go with the flow’ with a dyslexic and brain injured person in the same household? Part of the result of my stroke involved several problems of communication. For quite some time I could not speak clearly. About three months post stroke I began to evaluate my own problems and tried to devise ways in which I could improve. I spoke more slowly and tried to use care to enunciate clearly. A short conversation with a person or by telephone was exhausting. My biggest problem, four years later, is the frequent loss of a word. I know what I want to say but the correct word refuses to leave my mouth. Sometimes I can’t even think of the word that I should know and will talk around it, define it or in some way give enough clues that the listener is able to respond appropriately. That is true of many of us and it’s not because of a stroke, nor is it because of old age. Most people have times when they can’t think of a word at a much earlier age. The older we get and the more words we crowd into our memory banks the more likely we are to ‘forget’ some when we want to use them ‘on demand’. This ‘flow’ has to do with the flow of a conversation. When giving directions to a left-handed person by one who is right-handed, or vice versa, the situation can become confusing. You might think my examples would be more meaningful under the heading of ‘communication’ but I have found that ‘communication’ is a vital part of my perception of ‘going with the flow’.

Perhaps the gurus were referring to the flow of energies. In our present day those ‘energies’ are sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Social trials and tribulations as well as political unrest contribute to making ‘energies’ impossible to understand. The flow of the energies may seem to be at odds with everything you believe. There is such a tearing and twisting and butting against one another and you awaken one morning only to feel at odds with everyone. You are grumpy and don’t know why. You slept well, had no disturbing dreams and the night before you were actually looking forward to a day of productivity. Early one morning my daughter and I became aware of just such a condition. We frequently have delightfully interesting conversations at the breakfast table so we carefully began to discuss all the things we thought might be responsible for our unrest. We went about our usual chores for the day and in the late afternoon we listened to a thirty-minute TV news broadcast that answered our questions. (We don’t often watch TV.)

The people in our country are split in their political loyalties and in some beliefs that are not, or should not be political. There are so many ups and downs, so many ‘yeas’ and ‘nays’, that the masses cannot keep up with what is going on even in their own communities. The ‘flow’ has been broken in so many areas in our country that the unrest is palpable. ‘Go with the flow’, the gurus admonish us. How can I ‘tune into’ it if I can’t find it or feel it?

Because many people, not all of who are gurus, actually feel a semblance of Peace within themselves, the hue and cry of, “Go with the flow” is beginning to have meaning. One must find Peace within self, before he/she can go with the flow. Without inner peace we cannot possibly add positive energies to the flow in, or of, our environment. Scientists have recently learned that our human emotions can and do physically alter reality. Scientific tests have proven that emotions can register and be measured as much as 50 miles distant from the one expressing that emotion. Do you recall some years ago when a number of monks gathered together in Washington, D.C. and prayed for Peace and Love? During that time the crime rate in the nation dropped considerably. Knowing of the event, many people in different areas across the nation joined the ‘flow’ and a marvelous feeling of Love and Peace was felt and acted upon.

The tremendous flow of negative energies now stretching around the world is having the opposite effect. An increase of crimes, homes destroyed by differences of opinions and suicides are all too prevalent. People are destroying each other at an alarming rate and pathetically they don’t know why. They have chosen the destructive energy ‘flow’ and do not have Peace within themselves. I recently spent some time reading posts on Face book. Before I joined that social media my belief was that Facebook would be a means of getting in touch with relatives and friends who preferred that social media to email. I was invited by many to “get on Face book”. I was encouraged to ‘go with the flow’ of social media. After months of such prodding I accepted. Before I learned much about how to manipulate my participation I was surprised to find wonderful pictures of relatives I had never met. Interesting comments, questions and answers were captivating. Eventually my work, that I felt had priority, took up much of my time and days blended into weeks without viewing other people’s comments. Not only have I been surprised, but saddened by the number of posts involving the reactions of people to current political events. Of course there are interesting things here and there, but sometimes I must wade through too much negativity before finding anything on the brighter side of life.

In 1995 Dr. David R. Hawkins wrote a book, “POWER VS FORCE   The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior” that was promoted in a public presentation by Wayne Dyer. After decades of research that took Dr. Hawkins all over the world, he showed that science confirms what mystics and saints have said for centuries about man’s relation to the universe. Numerous pages are devoted to explaining the nature of ‘energy’, how it’s created, manipulated and how it flows in our daily lives. Dr. Hawkins also explained how, through our consciousness we can counterbalance the collective negativity of mankind. When we ‘go with the flow’ we can bring up in our minds a picture of anything that represents Peace and Tranquility to us and feel it’s emotion in our hearts. As we do, those emotions will travel far and wide for others to join and in that way our peaceful ‘flow’ will be more than a feeling of Peace just for ourselves.

‘Flow’ or ‘go with the flow’ for me is appealing, satisfying and productive. I can stop in the middle of a sentence whether reading or writing and ‘flow’ into my feeling of Peace, Love or Tranquility. A few deep breaths helps get rid of tensions and there are times when inspiration surfaces. In no way am I trying to tell anyone what he or she should or could do. We are individuals and we each have a right to choose our own path, think and believe what makes sense to us. These are some of my thoughts. They are currently my beliefs. Perhaps tomorrow or the next day I might have different ideas. For now this is my interpretation of ‘flow’. We can only ‘go with the flow’ if and when we feel it within.

-Rowena Nichols, Columnist ‘Row’

Rowena Nichols, RN, Dr. MMT, PTA. Registered Nurse with  BS in Nursing, Dr. of Medical Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy Assistant(Certification). Beyond the use of her mass credentials, she has had a “full and rewarding life,” including living and teaching in Chile and returning to nursing at age 80.  Currently, she is  writing articles for several Newsletters and magazines, including problem solving for tutors of English at a Literacy organization in New Mexico. She recently celebrated a book release, Wired for Changes:  My Recovery from a Stroke. Send your request and a bank check or money order for $10.95 to; Rowena Nichols,  P.O. Box 65552, Albuquerque, NM 87193. Shipping is included.

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