When I hear the phrase “Go with the flow”, I feel three parts of me chime in at once: rebellion, effervescence, and fear. It’s fun being me and having so many mental archetypes.

Firstly, rebellion comes on the scene because I’ve just reminded myself: “Oh yeah, I am the one putting limits on myself. Enough of that. I AM UNSTOPPABLE! POUR THE COFFEE, MAKE THE LISTS, TAKE ACTION, BOOK THE TICKETS, AND LET’S SHAKE THINGS UP ALREADY! WHAT HAVE I BEEN WAITING FOR?”

Second, effervescence because I’ve just remembered: “There is SO MUCH possibility out in the world, so many things to be done, so many places to go, where will I even start? I’m going to say YES to everything that feels right!”

Last, fear arrives because the wisdom of trusting myself scares the bejeezus out of me as much as it thrills me. I think to myself: “I want to live my life to the fullest, but I also don’t want to lose friends, family, or see negative numbers in my bank account.”

Triangulating Archetypes to Move Forward

This is all an act of trying to serve the different parts of ourselves. For me, those parts include the desire for security, discipline, joy, short and long-term satisfaction, connection with love. It’s about trying to find a balance between expansive and contractive energy. It often manifests in making plans to travel, but also making a plan to come back home. It often manifests in my relationships: balancing the desire to love fully and unconditionally with the need to set boundaries and have brave conversations about what we need with the ones we love the most.

Ultimately, diligence, discipline, and making future plans is important and healthy and fun. But it’s also essential to let go and “go with the flow” because that’s where the juiciness of life happens, in the moments that aren’t planned, predicted, and scheduled.

So how can you make plans and go with the flow and maintain your sanity? Here are a few things that help me.

Three Ways to Go With the Flow

1. Get clear on your core desired feelings

Remember these? Core desired feelings are about how you want to FEEL, not what you want to DO. What you need or want to do can be another list entirely, so don’t throw it out yet. By getting clarity on how you want to feel, you can tap into the inner wisdom of the body. For me this source usually needs something completely different than my task-oriented self does.

Some of your core desired feelings might be in opposition to each other and that’s a-okay. You’re a complex human with diverse needs, so don’t panic if you need “stability” and “unpredictability” (most people need both). Some of my core desired feelings for 2018 are polar opposites of each other, but they’re still equally valid:

  • Joy
  • Flow
  • Grounded
  • Centered
  • Firm
  • Flexible

Gaining clarity on core desired feelings can help us at the beginning of the year or at any time of the year when people need a reminder of what’s important to them. The idea is to stay solidly in alignment with how we want to feel in order to live a life that is in alignment with our biggest desires and dreams.

2. Ground yourself

What do I mean by ‘ground yourself’? This is the act of putting loving and firm limitations on yourself and asking for what you need from others. In real life, this could look like deciding on financial or productivity goals for yourself, setting a budget for a trip, or having a big conversation with someone you love about what you need in your relationship. Be very honest with yourself so that you can be real with yourself and your loved ones. Decide what is non-negotiable for you, state it, and hold that boundary firmly and lovingly. The more clearly you state and hold these boundaries, the happier you will be. You’ll build trust with yourself and the people you love. When you know what you will not or cannot do, you can then so much more easily go with the flow and let life have its way with you, ideally in a way that’s fun and expansive, yet doable and not regrettable.

3. Keep your heart open

This is a somatic reminder to check in with the inner truth of the body. For me, that feeling is in the center of my sternum and the tissues around my heart. Here’s a trip for checking for heart-openness put your hand over your heart. Take a few breaths here to feel your heartbeat. Ask yourself: “Is the energy around this decision expansive or contractive?”

If the heart energy is expansive, ask yourself: “Does this expansion also align with my boundaries? Does it also align with my core desired feelings? If it’s a yes for both, the decision is easy. Listen to your heart and say yes! WOOHOO! You are now going with the flow. How does it feel?

If the heart energy is contractive, ask yourself: “Does this contraction go against my boundaries? Is it out of alignment with my core desired feelings?” If yes, then it’s time to have a chat with yourself and reassess. There might be something about this that doesn’t resonate with you. Maybe you can identify it and move through it. Or maybe it’s still a tight and contracted: NO for you. That’s okay. A solid NO is great intel to have. Saying NO to this will help you say YES and go with the flow with something or someone else who makes your heart beat.

If the energy feels expansive, it’s easy to go with the flow. If the energy feels contractive, it’s hard to go with the flow.

I hope these three ways of going with the flow will help you make some of the biggest and inner-truth-aligned decisions: core desired feelings, grounding, and keeping your heart open. Do any of these strategies resonate with you?

Breathe and believe, beauties.



Rachel Drummond is a student and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga, handstand enthusiast, and writer. She enjoys practicing and teaching yoga all over the world and writing about how to bring yoga to life off the mat through contemplative physical practices.

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