Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Working with the flow, instead of against it.

So I talk a lot about the flow. It is a key piece to doing business the feminine way. I also think it is a key to work/life balance and a happy, fulfilling life. It seems to me the world has been tipped the way of the masculine for far too long, and the feminine spirit has been ignored and devalued, especially in business. If you look at natural cycles, whether in the universe or within our own bodies, you see that there is an ebb and a flow. Even our menstrual cycle is based on this ebb and flow. For far too many of us, we are in a battle with these natural cycles and rhythms, desperate to control everything around us. It makes sense with the lives we have created. When you are juggling 100 balls in the air, if one piece is out of sync, then everything falls apart around us. When we fight the natural movement in ourselves or the universe, things just don’t work. No matter how hard we fight or push or prod, things don’t move easily or abundantly.

I think it is really important to cultivate more awareness of the flow in your life and your business. Sometimes there is a time to rest, to be and sometimes there is a time to do, but unless we know which time is which we wind up in a battle with our own natural rhythms. How do you discern what time it is? You just listen. Take the time to tap into your own rhythm and trust it. I often feel a need to be more inward, to slow, to rest, but being a single mom running two companies, I often feel the need to keep going, keep pushing myself and ignore my natural rhythm. It doesn’t help that the masculine messages I grew up with were “work harder”, “Keep your nose to the grindstone” and “Keep plugging away”. I often fight my own feminine spirit dying to have some time to connect, to rest and to be at peace. Just recently, I recognized this pattern occurring in my life. Here I am pushing myself to the limits, and yet it isn’t producing anything except stress, frustration and a complete lack of flow. I realized that the reason it felt like there was no flow, is because I was moving against the flow, instead of listening and tapping into my own intuitive guidance.

In the business world most of us grew up in, you can’t just stop pushing to rest, it seems from a reasoning mind that this would not produce results, but failure. The pressure to succeed financially, physically and mentally has caused us to ignore our bodies signals to slow down and feel the flow. What I have discovered in my own life, is that as soon as I realize that I am fighting the flow, and I stop and rest or follow my spirit’s needs and desires, the flow increases and the magic in my life becomes apparent once again. This is a big piece to manifesting or creating your dreams. You have to be willing to tap into the flow of your energy and listen to where it takes you. We are still the directors of our energy, but being aware of the natural flow of the river only helps our life or business move more easily. Trying to constantly fight the current is one of the main reasons we get exhausted, overwhelmed or depressed.

Today, as you walk through your day, take notice of your energy, your flow, does it feel like you are fighting against the current, or flowing down the stream?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding Balance in the Storm

We may work really hard to create a life that is more balanced, a job we love, and a community of nurturing and caring people, but eventually the storms with come. It is inevitable. The storms and chaos that shows up out of nowhere is a natural part of life, and although those times can be reduced, we need effective tools to stabilize ourselves in the midst of the storm.

So I thought I might talk a little bit today about controlling your attention. If you look at your own life, the times when you have been thrown off course, knocked off center and thrown for a loop, what is the common denominator, what did you do with your attention? Often, we get distracted, something hits us and we get so wrapped up in the fall out, that we forget our course and the goals we are working towards. We forget for a moment that we have a choice in what’s happening. Sometimes the choice may be just to direct our attention back to the goal we are moving towards, instead of on the storm that is fluctuating around us.

This is a lesson that has been present in many religions and spiritual practices for ages. It is no different than meditation or yoga, the core idea being to bring your attention back to the moment. It can be a challenge for many of us, when we are so trained to put all of our attention and energy on the drama or chaos right in front of us.

So how do we learn to control our attention? Practice. The first step is really recognizing that you have a choice. When something turns everything upside down, stop in the moment and realize you have the power to choose how you handle it. There are lots of practices that will help you strengthen your control of attention, yoga and meditation are one example. I also often use a candle exercise where you set a time clock for 10 minutes, sit in front of a lit candle and put all your attention on the flame. When your attention wanders bring it back.

The key is to strengthen your attention muscle. The more you bring your attention back, the stronger your control will get and the more attention and energy you will have for you goals. Don’t expect to find perfection, our mind loves to get distracted. Yet if you learn to control your attention, you will find calm in any storm. This is one of the keys to stability and it leads to more balance physically, emotionally and spiritually. Attention is also one of the main components to manifestation, but we can talk about that another time. For more information on ways you can utilize and manage your attention, check out my workshop coming up in October.