Flow Rider

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Riding the FlowSeptember 7, 2007


In the documentary film, The Secret, it is said that when you are aligned with the universe, you're swept into a flow where magical things happen. Nice. But how do you know if you're aligned? When you are struggling to achieve something, when you have to hurdle walls upon walls, then you're not aligned - it's supposed to be smooth sailing to get to where you want to be...almost effortless. Perhaps you're just doing it alone without the benefit of the unseen hand (I'm not talking about the bearded one). Simply put, there's no flow. You put in 100% work and you only get 5% payback - not exactly the ideal bottom line.

The Struggle
Take for instance the music student who has been struggling for years to keep a note. Sure, he'll learn at some point, but given all the effort and time he's put into it, he'll probably go much further had he put all that effort on something he already knows he's good at. I'm reminded of a movie where a guy was bragging to his friends how tough he is being in-and-out of jail for stealing. If you look at it, he's not really tough. He's just not a good thief...get another job.

A Surfer out to Catch a Wave
Well, flow is such an ethereal concept. My analogy to it is the surfer, out in the open coast, seated on his board, just waiting for the next wave. He sees a wave, but if he's a newbie, he fails to catch it...but at least, he develops an eye for it. A seasoned surfer however, catches the wave and braces himself for the zen-like ride of being swept away by stronger forces looking out for him. Liken it to a magic carpet ride where all you do is steer...all the forward thrust is provided for...its virtually effortless. In the Tao Te Ching, it's called the art of doing nothing.

Jim Rogers
When super trader Jim Rogers was asked what his secret was to trading, he said he does absolutely nothing until he sees something worth pursuing. When gold was trading beyond it's economic value and the market was in a frenzied buying spree, he was just there doing nothing, but ever mindful of the events. When it was time, he shorted gold and consequently cornered the market. We're talking a few hundred million dollars here.

A Drifter
I'd been subscribing to the flow headspace for quite a bit now and I think I'm getting better at catching the wave. It's been a part of nearly everything I do - even bar hopping. I might go to Mag:net Café (a music bar) and chill out a bit, mindful of any flow. If the music or the crowd is not doing it for me (despite attempts to sink it in), I leave and go to Conspiracy Garden Café. If that doesn't do it for me, I leave and go to Freedom Bar. Other times, I find myself defaulting to the Backdoor Blues Café where owner Elwyn's good vibe is always there for the taking. Sometimes, I just go home, not pressing my luck any harder - there's always another time for a good thing to be going. Again, I'm like a surfer, hopping from beach to beach, in search of the wave.

Into It
When I'm right smack into a flow, the music thunders under my feet, the connection with people takes on new dimensions, the vibe stream becomes a torrent, and the everything becomes electrified and pulsing. It's a drugless high like no other. It doesn't end there. The flow opens new doors, new opportunities, and unclogs blocked passages. I'm taken to unfamiliar scenes as people-connection randomly happens. Excitement just fills the air.

Creating the Flow
Unlike catching a wave, you don't necessarily have to be a passive bystander waiting for something to happen. Flow can be created. Being open to change, keeping an open mind, keeping positive and replacing negative thinking with positive ones, staying real, meditating on something you badly want to happen, keeping fit, acknowledging the divinity within you - they all add up to create the flow to carry you through.

When you see it coming, you just hang on tight for that sweet ride.

--- TheLoneRider

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Mag:net Cafe

BackDoor Blues Bar

70s Bistro

Conspiracy Garden and Cafe