If We Take a Fresh Look at This Thing Called Aging, We May Find Some Serious Positives Such as Learning To Go With The Flow…
One of the advantages of living is that we gain experience from moment to moment. Even a 10 year old views life from a different lens than when they were 6. Things that wore them out at 6 may not raise an eyebrow at 10. Even in that short time span, they may have learned to not let some of those old things get to them. As the years go by, we have an even greater opportunity to learn to let things slide off our backs as opposed to gripping on firmly. Learning to go with the flow is a very valuable lesson in navigating Life.
Some years ago when I was in Colombia, I was gifted a trip by a very dear friend to a magical place known as Guatavita, In that small town there is an amazing park and at the top of the mountain is an incredulous lake which spawned the legend of El Dorado, Along the path from the entrance is a series of blue signs with some very insightful quotes based on sayings of the Muisca, an indigenous people of the area. In just that short walk I could feel the magic and energy of the place, so while it was a bit surprising to see quotes posted on the sides of the path, I realized it was only fitting to have them placed exactly where they are. The mountain and lake are to be approached with reverence, in contemplation and with Presence. One of the quotes that jumped out and has stayed with me was…
‘Do you let things flow? Or do you attempt to make everything stay in one place?’
WOW. DEEP. What a question! I was blown over to see a message like that in what is basically a public park. There were other amazing quotes as well along the pathway which lucky for me had been translated to English along with the Spanish, even though my buddy would’ve translated if asked, but I really loved being able to read it and absorb it for myself.
‘Do you let things flow…or do you attempt to make everything stay in one place?’
Makes you think eh?
Learning to Go With The Flow, getting better at doing so, or recognizing there is a need for it in your Life is definitely one of the jewels that “aging” can bring forth—I put the word “aging’ in quotation marks because getting older is not so much about aging to me—depending on how you look at it, I think it can emphasize the idea that it’s really about living a fuller Life in the best way we can. We certainly have preconceived notions about what this “aging” journey is due to what we see around us and what some of us are dealing with in taking care of a parent or parents and/or witnessing our elder family members and friends battle with a multitude of health issues that are attributed to growing older.
But That Doesn’t Mean that You Will Necessarily Have Those Challenges, So Why Invite Them in By Assuming it Will Happen to You as You Physically Mature?
And if you are indeed dealing with physical challenges in this moment, perhaps consider how going with The Flow could contribute to your Well Being, and I know that may sound weird but when we battle against things that are not within our control, that’s Energy expended that could be used to our betterment and it adds age because it adds wear and tear on our Mind/Body/Soul Experience.
Sure, things change as our bodies mature through time but that goes without saying—otherwise we would all remain infants as the day we arrived. There was a time that we celebrated getting older remember? Oh man, the milestone birthdays like 13, 16, 18, 21, so why do we freak out as the numbers get higher on each birthday after 21? Heck if you stop to think about it, every MOMENT adds to our maturing bodies, why not Go With The Flow in not making it a mental non-health trip? I have known folks to damn near have agita (heartburn) as their birthdays approach, so freaked out they were about the inevitable. Why not Go With The Flow? You’ve completed another year of Life. YAY! I was a witness to the early AIDS epidemic when soooo many of my friends and fellow dance partners did not make it to 25. LIVE PEOPLE, LIVE!
As long as you’re on the planet, you’re gonna add time to your body. Why not just chill, enjoy and be Grateful? Life is a Gift!
(And if it’s not feeling quite like a Gift right now, what can you do to change it? What do you need to leave, let go of or Accept? In other words, what can you do to get your ‘Go With The Flow on?’)
Now. Some people freak out when they see a gray hair. Why not Go With The Flow? OR as many do, there’s hair colorrrrrr! We have choices, but whether you want the grays to show or not, if you can see that each gray hair is a testament to a Life unfolding, a Life maturing, a Life expanding. And changing, that can be a good thing.
And when Change appears, way-yall..it changes things. Going With The Flow More Helps You Grow More
Oooooooo, I like that! You can make a rap with it! Going With The Flow More Helps YOU Grow More Going With The Flow More Helps YOU Grow More! Learning to Go With The Flow helps one navigate those changes with more Grace, more Serenity, more Peace, less stress and anxiety. Remember that the body doesn’t react to things because of what the mind sees, it reacts because of the fight or flight syndrome which is an automatic physical reaction to what the body perceives as something of harm. So if you’re freaking out because you have more gray hair, your body goes into pumping more adrenaline. It doesn’t reason that you’re just flipping out because you have more gray hair, the emotions that are triggered by your observation is a switch, and that’s what your body reacts to, not the object of the reason you’re flipping out on. It doesn’t say to the adrenal glands, “oh, false alarm! Chill folks, stand down, she’s just buggin’ cause she found another gray hair signaling to her that she’s ‘aging.’ Don’t pump the adrenaline, it’s all good!”
Your body doesn’t have that kind of conversation, every time we flip, it’s the ol’ fight or flight button that gets triggered!
AND YES. There are some things that have changed physically, but that has happened all throughout Life from inception, birth, childhood, teen years, adulting, more adulting, etc. Learning to Go With The Flow helps us to change the things we can change, stop fighting with the things we cannot change, to recognize the difference and to allow Surrender in.
When You Get a Handle on Going With The Flow, Boy Does it Help in So Many Situations
I remember showing up one time to vend my jewelry. The venue was to provide tables and chairs. It was an all day market and vendors have to arrive pretty early to create their temporary shop and get a good spot. I don’t drive and had lugged my heavy suitcase on two trains up and down stairs from Jersey City to downtown Brooklyn and was pretty sweaty when I got there ‘cause though morning, it was already hot as Hades. And even though I had gotten there early, a truck load of folk got there before me and the venue was pretty full. Matter of fact, there were no spots inside at all.
SUCKO. That meant myself and about 6 other vendors who arrived at the same time had to vend out on the street in the back of the venue well away from the action. And it was not a heavily trafficked street either. Sigh. To top it off, the organizers had nary a chair nor table for any of us within sight.
SUCKOOOOOO DOUBLE TIME. Y’all those other vendors were PISSED. I mean you could see smoke rising from their heads, eyes, ears and mouths.
I was none too happy about it either. We had paid a pretty penny to participate just like everybody else. I had paid well in advance of the deadline. But still, there was no spot for me.
The workers told us they would get us tables and chairs so we had to wait. While the other vendors fumed, I found a spot on a ledge out of the sun and sat down. Might as well be as comfortable as possible.
We waited a long time, like an hour! The market was going to be opening soon and we all were still table and chair-less. The vendors fumed hotter and more, one of them almost attacking the workers, she was so out-done. “WHEN AM I GOING TO GET A TABLE?!” she yelled.
And at one point, this same vendor ended up mad at me, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE JUST SITTING THERE SO CALM!!!!” I don’t remember what I said but knowing me, I probably just shrugged. It didn’t make sense to go on and on about it, that would’a just made my blood boil and I STILL wouldn’t have had a table, chair or a spot to set up in. So I sat there calmly, Going With The Flow.
Now the market had opened for business, and all we could do was look inside the venue—nooooooo tables or chairs for us. More sitting, more fuming vendors because our numbers had grown by then adding to the already disgruntled folk. And then there was me, sitting seemingly without a care in the world over in the shade on my ledge. Which made girlfriend vendor even more pissed.
Then out of what seemed like out of nowhere, a man is standing next me talking. He is opening up the table, gave me my chairs before any one else out there because I had sat so still and quiet. And I was nice. Even though I was ne’er too happy with the sit-chee-ashun, it wasn’t their fault things were the way they were—the organizers had overbooked. Ahhhh…that greed thing…that’s another post altogether!
My Life Experiences Have Shown Me that Going With The Flow and Not Trying to Bend Everything to My Will Has Played a HUGE Part in My Peace of Mind and Quality of Life
My “age” has taught me thus. I might not have been so calm in my twenties, thirties or even forties—well, maybe by that time I think I had it way more together. By the late thirties, yeah, my outlook on things had changed a great deal. We cannot change what is outside of us, only ourselves and the way we process things. But in doing so, it does affect what goes on the outside as well. Who knows, if I had behaved as the furiously pissed vendor had, we might have really caused a ruckus!
The more we can cultivate Going with The Flow, the more beneficial it is to our Well Being. And that is what this thing called aging can show us if we let it, how to Flow Easier with Life, how to improve the Quality of Our Lives.
Ask yourself, generally speaking—do you let things flow? Or do you attempt to make everything stay in one place?
Maybe letting up on things can add Ease to Your Life in more ways than you can imagine…
And honestly, as time has gone on, I am quite happy, Grateful and content to be a well seasoned Human. OMG, to be a teen, a twenty-something, a thirty-something (what a mess was I) is not something I’d wish for. I earned the gift of being comfortable in my own skin and to honor where I am.
The things that were the absolute end of the world at 16 may not register at all at 26. What made you batty at 26, you may not give a single thought to at 46, and so on and so forth. What other people think of you doesn’t even begin to ruffle your feathers at 50, you could care less (hopefully) and at 63 and change, spuff! Oh please!
And man, THAT’S FREEDOM!!
In living more Life and learning to Go With The Flow, you can learn that phases are an integral part of it, that we have great ones, good ones, not so good ones, sucky ones, absolutely horrible ones and back around again. Phases are unavoidable no matter how expert a planner you are, but how long you remain in the bad phases, how long you dwell in the Hotel of Discontent is within Your Power—learning to Go With The Flow can teach you to not fight against the tide but to relax and calm yourself, that things can and do work out however they will. That’s not to say to be passive, but to recognize that sometimes sitting still and being ‘passive’ in a situation may be the best way To Flow for a time.
Going With The Flow informs us of what choices and actions are the best because in that space, we can better hear Divine Guidance.