Mental health through achieving flow

Life will bring us people and things we experience as blocks. It is up to us whether we get angry. Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Our minds are like water.  They can sometimes flow freely; but sometimes they will be blocked by something.  Think of a river running downstream, following the force of gravity.  It arrives at a dam, and what happens.  The water stops flowing, and pressure builds up against the dam’s wall.

What kinds of things can feel like blocks in our lives?  When we are children, we can experience restrictions on our freedom.  Our young life might be full of doors we cannot go through, and gates we cannot open.  When we are adults, the same thing happens.  Some of us, by then, have learned to adapt to restrictions.  Some of us, though, get very upset and mentally ill when restricted.

These blocks can be experienced in many ways.  We may experience a friend who does not do what we want them to do.  We may experience a lack of money, meaning that we have to restrict our activities.  Our own bodies may become unhealthy, and act as a block to us walking or breathing properly.  We can lose our job.  Or maybe something happens to block a dearly wished-for journey, project or activity.

When we experience blocks, we get frustrated.  We push against the universe, thinking for a moment that our pushing will result in the universe changing its path.  Maybe it will, and maybe it won’t.  But often our pushing is not wisely handled – it is done to spread out our angry energy, and not to achieve happiness.  This is the difference between the person who is angrily blocked, and the person who can achieve happy flow.

When we are blocked, we can get angry and irritated.  Our bodies can buzz with hormones that are all about suffering and violence.  We can become unlucky, trip over more; conversations go wrong; the whole world seems against us.

However, when we are achieving flow, we take changes in our stride.  If, like a river, we reach a dam, then we wait patiently and take stock of where we are.  When friends act contrarily, we pause, and think what may be going on for them.  When money, health or job take a fall, we observe, and then adapt.

We can achieve flow more easily when we accept loss.  It is like meditating on the clouds in the sky – we watch them change their shape, appear and disappear.  People and events are like that: they seem to appear and disappear with the weather.  We will be far less disturbed if we expect the changes in the weather.

Just for today, I will notice, and wait patiently, when blocks or clouds, appear.  When traffic stops, I will allow my body to pause with it.  When friends act contrarily, I will be patient and smile anyway.  I will flow wisely from event to event, person to person, welcoming everything that comes.