And when I say real flow, I mean that flow that moves you forward. I think sometimes we get movement mixed with flow. We can be moving and getting busy, but still experience feelings of stagnation and the frustration of being stuck. Movement can bring about flow, but understanding what type of movement generates flow helps a ton.
I went through a whole year of doing plenty of moving and being busy, but when I looked around at my results, they just weren’t happening. I wasn’t making the type of progress that allowed me to feel unstuck and like I was flowing.
That type of “stuck” led to festering negative thoughts and resulting behaviors. I do believe this stagnation brought me deeper into addiction, depression, and a compulsive eating disorder.
Below, I get into what I learned about being stuck and how it felt so you can identify if you’re also just being busy instead of taking action. I also detail action steps I learned about and took to get things moving again.
With these action steps, I manifested the type of job I wanted, I was able to get off of assistance, and I started seeing real results.
What does not flowing look like?
It’s like any body of water. If there is no flow, splashing around the water every once in a while, or even daily, won’t keep the water clean and bring in the new. It kicks up stuff, but those things just settle again. Think swamps and pools that sit with no filters running.
The water gets murky and some organisms might die out due to the increasing algae. There’s usually only enough ecological space for a few organisms that can take it and maybe mosquitos might come by to eat. Organisms live there until the murky water dries up if too much time passes between rains.
I’m finding our lives are the same. If we’re masking procrastination and lack of self-validation with the busy work of planning and researching without action, we’re simply splashing around water in a self-made swamp. When we notice we’re not getting where we want to go, we kick up stuff like negative self-talk and negative reinforcement.
It’ll only settle to the bottom to be kicked up again. Things aren’t flowing so our visions get murky. We can’t see the steps we need for progress because we’ve stopped our flow by not taking meaningful action. Only meaningful action brings us to our next steps.
Since we can’t see them, we begin to lose hope or take steps that don’t truly serve us. We’ll fill our time with meaningless relationships and activities that don’t serve us, including addiction. Our lives get murkier and we either just deal until dried up or we try to “splash around” the water again. A rain will come around, but it only fills us with more stuff to let sit around.
Luckily, there are actions steps!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a swamp. I realized this after listening to a few self-help and development gurus speak on the importance of meaningful action and doing things that generate flow.
And these things don’t have to necessarily be about your specific vision, goal, or ideas. They can be activities that signify release, sharing, love, self-validation, and self-permission.
So I’ve rounded up a few things I’ve given, and will give, a try to get things better flowing in my own life. Some of these things I’ve picked up here in there and some I’ve tried to get things moving. Discovering this was dope. I’ve generated enough flow to actually keep my promise to myself to build this blog faithfully. Yay!
Cleaned out my closet: Donate or Sell, but there is a different flow of energy between the two
Clearing out clutter makes room for more. Letting go of those cute, but old purses you haven’t used in hella long, clearing out clothes you haven’t worn in a while, tossing out old piles of magazines and newspapers sitting around, and even cleaning out your junk drawers help.
I’ve found that doing this gives me a sense of space and helped me feel like my mind can be de-cluttered as well. And this did in fact happen in some round about way. It’s not like I cleared out my closet and then wham, I had this idea to practice organizing my thoughts. No. It just put the idea out there that’s what I wanted and eventually I was back to meditating, praying, reading and journaling again. I’m feeling clearer on things now.
And there is a difference between selling your things and giving away your things to make space. When you donate things, you let them go without them lingering behind in some way. You release them without worrying about their value or making a profit.
Although the extra cash might be nice, donating is a different kind of flow than selling. Going back to the bodies of water that flow example. They flow because that’s what nature intended for them to do. They don’t flow because they need to survive or want more. They just flow. This flowing then keeps them functioning as they should. The way nature intended.
Not to say that selling things won’t generate flow. They definitely can. You’re still making space and clearing clutter. However, the clutter has to linger around until you find someone to sell it to. You’re then left with the responsibility of finding out where to sell it, how to sell it, then you have to sit around and conduct your sell.
If you sell your things online, you’ll have to post, share, and if it sells, ship it. You can take it to a second hand store where they buy your clothes, but sometimes that even means more waiting. When you sell, you’re waiting and depending upon someone else to de-clutter and make space.
Selling can also generate a mindset of finally asking for the money you know you deserve. Perhaps you’ve been too afraid to sell your services or market your own products. If you sell your stuff and you’re successful at it, you can strengthen your confidence in being able to sell.
I’ve found for myself, when I try to sell things, they sit around longer and are objects I still have to come back to. Matter of fact, I think I just decided to donate those purses I wanted to sell. They’ve been waiting for me to post them online for a few weeks now.
Create just to create and then share
If you’re feeling as if ideas aren’t coming to you as easily anymore or as if good ideas don’t even come around like they used to, start creating just to do create. Stop worrying about creating to attract people that’ll pay, sounding “right” (whatever that means), and being correct. Just create.
You can keep these worries-free creations to yourself or you can share them. If you’re building a creative business and don’t want to share something too out there on your business profiles, create other accounts to share on freely. Create another Instagram account or Pinterest. I like Medium.com for my writings and I have a second Instagram for my creative ideas. I’m not that good at sharing there yet, but I’m getting on it.
Creating just to create generates flow because it allows you to create without the restrictions of creating for someone else and you can indulge in creativity freely. It allows you to practice coming up with ideas without the pressure of making sure they’re good ideas. And it can help you become more trusting of your own ideas and abilities.
Plus it’s a good self-love practice to exercise your talents for just yourself. I like writing just to laugh at my own jokes and admire how good I am. I grew up hearing I’m a good writer, but it’s nice when I can look at my own stuff and say, “damn I’m a good writer.”
If people like my stuff, then good, but if not, I’m fine with that too. And that reminds me of a good point I’ve heard about creating for shares and likes. I believe it was on a podcast of Black Girls in Om. Creatives can get sucked into creating for likes, shares, and popularity instead of creating from a more inner, authentic place.
The pressure is real, but can make creativity not so much fun. Plus, if you’re creating to fit into what other people will like and share, when do you evolve your own self and attract those that need your authentic self and message? Keeping this in mind has helped me break free from creating posts to fit in. Flowing like crazy.
Volunteer Your Time or Join/Start a Meetup.com Group or Two
Push away from that desk, get out of that coffee shop, close that laptop or power down that desktop and meet with other humans. I had to remind myself of this because boy oh boy can I become one hell of a hermit.
I’ve gotten so caught up in building my creative business that I’ve spent weeks, you hear me, weeks wearing nothing but leggings, t-shirts, and oversized socks while I worked away like crazy in my rented room. There’s only so much creative inspiration one can find from a room, the backyard, and the Internet.
Getting out among other people, participating in a cause you like or want to learn more about, meeting with others, and getting involved generates flow because it helps disconnect for a bit. Disconnecting can help you get a whole new view and find ideas you wouldn’t have even thought of from places and people you couldn’t have imagined could help.
And it can help you create a network of new sources of information and resources. You never know whom you might meet or what opportunities can be waiting for you when you volunteer to help out somewhere or meet up with a group of people that share your interests. There are all types of untapped resources out there in the world. Generate real flow in your life by getting out there and finding them.
Don’t volunteer and meet up just looking for these opportunities though. You can, but sometimes it’s much more rewarding and easier to find when you let these things stumble on to you because you’re getting out more. Be receptive, but don’t force it. I’m learning force isn’t where the magic happens.
Get Still and Visualize
If you’re into self-development and spirituality like me, you’ve probably also heard about the power of stillness and visualization a lot. It is reiterated so often because it is really real. It helps. Like seriously, it helps.
When I think about getting still and visualizing, I’m reminded of Ms. Badu’s Window Seat song when she says she doesn’t want to time travel no more. She wants to be here. Me too auntie Badu. Me too.
For me, getting still and visualizing is how I stop time traveling and stay here. Now you could say, “but Latrice, if you’re visualizing, aren’t you traveling.” In a way, but it isn’t the type of time traveling that often times holds us back, gets us caught up in fears, or rehashing old situations that upset or hurt us in the past.
This type of time travel in getting still and visualizing is about getting back to respecting our imaginations and our dreams. We get old and get too damn realistic and rational about everything. We worry about the how before we let our dreams and imaginations just do their thing. Without worrying about how something was going to happen, when did you just dream and imagine getting all that your today self wants? Do you even know all of what your today self wants?
Getting still and visualizing generates flow when you’re able to imagine without worrying about how it’s going to happen and what has happened in your past or what you think might happened in the future. Just imagine. What do you really want to happen? How will your perfect day go? How will making all the money you want to make look like? What will you buy? What will you do? What are all the things you want to do?
Or you can get silly and just imagine whatever. Travel to space, be a pre-colonial, West African queen. Bask in royalty. Some cool ideas come out of this type of imagination too. Get connected with how you might feel.
You can get still and visualize in silence or you can turn on some music. I personally like music especially when I’m visualizing wealth, prosperity, and abundance. I turn on the type of jazz I hear in boutiques, eating at Santana Row, in spas, in model homes, at professional offices, or when my mom took me to a country club. I listen to music I’ve heard in settings where the people have money, are eloquent (for the most part), and are more likely to be cultured. I even listen to music I’ve heard at really nice restaurants. I happen to really like jazz as well so that’s a plus.
Another good type of music I like to visualize to for wealth, health, travel and abundance is bossa nova and other types of music with earthy sounds from around the world. I am a true fan of music and have a pretty open ear so I’m always picking up something cool to listen too from other cultures that aren’t of America.
There are several other ways to generate flow also, but doing things that show yourself love, get rid of the old, and exercise your creativity are great places to get started. If you’re feeling stuck, the best practice is to step back and do something else. Do something that’ll help you stop thinking all about that thing you’re working on. That way you can come up with ideas outside of that space.
Hope this helps. If you have any flow generating techniques you’ve used, I’d love to hear about them. I’m into trying different things. Please share. Drop a comment below.
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