I have begun my Six Times Book by Geshe Michael Roach. You are the one writing the book by checking in with yourself each day six times a day. If you would like to read more on this practice, please go to this site:
One of the pieces of the day is meditating. Typically when I meditate I do not pick a topic, but with the Six Times Book they recommend picking one so the topic of Flow came up for me today. If you would like to learn more about Flow, I highly recommend the book:
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
I chose today to meditate for 10 minutes on the topic and allow whatever chose to come up come up and let it go as I do anytime I meditate.
Within 30 seconds of starting, Abby (my 16 year old dachshund mix) began chewing in on her feet. I found this a bit comical since I was meditating on flow. I did have to raise my voice to her to grab her attention away from her chewing as she will do it to the point of hurting herself if it is not stopped sometimes. As soon as I did this, Charlie (our landlord’s 3 year old golden retriever that I am watching) decided to start looking through the bag I had brought down with food and vitamins in it so I had to leap up to move the bag so he did not steal anything – especially the vitamins as they could potentially hurt him.
I quickly sat back down again and kept going with my meditation while Abby licked her paws for a bit. Since I knew it was not going to hurt her, I just sat there in approval of her licking, allowed it to be part of my background noise for the meditation, and she stopped fairly quickly.
At one point in time not that many years ago, I would have started my meditation over thinking that I had to have it be perfect rather than whatever needs to come up during a meditation comes up. This is being in flow – making adjustments as necessary while continuing on your path.
In coaching, many times, I refer to life as being on a sail boat. First, we have to build our boat and learn how to sail it which is our formative years with our family. In our teens and early 20’s we are expanding, learning, and are making adjustments or corrections on the boat as we begin to find our way out into the world. This includes in the cabin of our boat where we have our various needs and desires.
At some point, we pick a destination to sail to and along the way we make stops to pick up supplies, have some meals, make some friends, have others join us on our boat, have to adjust the sails, run into storms, and have days with zero wind. In fact, sometimes we stay in ports longer than is healthy for us or pick people to sail with us that are not wanting to go to the same destination that we are desiring or want an entirely different cabin than we have built. We also sometimes choose different destinations along the way. In fact, sometimes we find out that we are on the entirely wrong boat and start all over again. More than once. All of these things are totally okay and part of growing into who we are meant to be.
For me right now, we are going through a significant phase transition. In 15 days we are leaving to move to another country. This will be our fourth non-English speaking country in less than three years. It will also be our permanent country of residence for the foreseeable future.
I very much live by the phrase, how you do one thing is how you do everything. Looking at this 10 minute meditation, I can see that I am in a great space to go through this move as I easily flowed with each quirk that appeared through the 10 minutes without really being phased while still holding the container of the meditation itself.
Life loves to throw curveballs at us. It isn’t curveballs being thrown that is the important piece, the important piece is how we handle each as they come at us. I could have easily stopped the meditation, sat with Abby to get her to stop chewing and then licking, and freaked when Charlie popped into the bag. Instead, I took each of these as simply part of the experience with lots of love and approval as well as a sense of humor. What better way to meditate on Flow than while it is occurring in real time?!