by Vanessa Michelle
“To flow or not to flow” is a legit question. Are you flowing? Do you feel like an eagle soaring through your to-do list? Or are you more of a sloth, just dragging your way through the day?
I can’t deny that I’m one or the other depending on the day. But I’ve been making a conscious effort to flow, not for recreation but purely out of necessity. Why? Well, I’m an Aquarius, and naturally I put a lot of pressure on myself to be great. Not average great — I mean like Beyoncé-empire great! This pressure causes me to have anxiety about a lot of things, from meetings to project deadlines to birthday parties.
Yeah, it’s not something I’m proud of, but I also don’t shy away from talking about it. Over the years I have become better at handling my anxiety. The main thing that helps me lower any anxious feeling is just “being” in any given moment. Just flowing.
I define ‘flowing’ as the steady motion of going along life’s current, not resisting its natural motion. Epic definition, right?! (Insert mic drop here!) Yes! That’s flowing for me. I see it as being in the moment both physically and emotionally, accepting whatever comes. (Is that something you can relate to? Twitter me @vmichellectalk and we’ll talk about it.)
How often do you find yourself resisting the natural progression of your day? Do you ever catch yourself abandoning a task? Or worse, overthinking, overfeeling and making the task more complicated than it needs to be? Creating too much resistance can result in unproductive behaviors like procrastination, indecisiveness, and self-deprication. I want to prevent you from going that far.
If you find yourself fighting negative thoughts, try to fall back into your flow, because creating less resistance is empowering. Self-empowerment is so important and as a matter-of-fact, choosing to flow and creating less resistance is empowering. It’s powerful and worth implementing.
When I just let my day flow, I feel as though I made a conscious choice to emerge myself in self-care, self-value, and self-love. I see more, I hear more, I appreciate more. I wonder what you will see, hear, or appreciate as you ‘flow’.
I’m hoping by now you are ready to make the choice to flow. If so, I have a few tips on how to develop this practice. The tips are practical, but often overlooked and underestimated.
One: Only plan up to three to four important tasks per day. No need to get everything done right away. Be a smarter planner, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, thus losing out on the natural flow of your day.
Two: Invite daily interruption, don’t fight it. We have so much going on in a day, and more than likely, your day is going to be interrupted by something or someone. Just take it for what it is. You will be happier that you did. And you never know — maybe the interruption is actually a good thing. I believe that everything happens for a reason, so if you’re being interrupted, it’s because the universe has selected you to care for something else that needs your unique and loving attention.
Three: Everywhere you go, find something that makes you happy or that you can appreciate. Once you find it pause, breathe, and give it a compliment (preferably out loud and with a smile). For instance, the next time you’re headed to a meeting and you see a beautiful bed of flowers, stop, smile at them, gently touch them and give them a compliment. Trust me, it’s going to feel so good! Emerging all your senses in a joyful experience sets you up to be positive and tranquil throughout the day.
Four: Create less uncertainty by making better decisions for yourself and taking more control. Right now I’m reading a book by Deepak Chopra called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and it breaks down the importance of choice. Every choice should be carefully determined. Chopra encourages readers to ask themselves if the choice they are making is it either comfortable or uncomfortable. If any discomfort is present, then say no. If it doesn’t serve you, don’t do it. Too often we get into situations that make it hard to flow because it’s a situation we don’t even want to be in.
Five: When it’s time to be responsible, be that. I noticed that whenever I failed to complete my daily tasks, I had little room to flow. And eventually my task list started piling up. I hate the feeling of having to accomplish things with urgency. I feel stifled creatively. So I’ve learned that just being responsible for my tasks within the day creates less resistance and I get to flow.
Six: Take some time to be silent, to reflect on your day and your feelings, or just simply to sit.
I hope these tips are helpful in your pursuit of flow. Cheers!
Vanessa Michelle is a full-time Youtuber who has created a platform for creatives everywhere! Her journey to journalism started at the University of Akron, where she was an on-air personality and TV-Host for WZIP-FM and ZTV Akron. Vanessa has been featured in local publications as ‘The Oprah of Youtube’ and one of Akron’s most unique entrepreneurs.