I just experienced a perfect day. It wasn’t that anything remarkable happened. What made the day feel perfect was that I wasn’t struggling against it; I was part of it. This is the key to happiness. “Go with the flow” doesn’t mean to lack agency or to be unmoored in the drift. Rather, it is to feel on a very deep level that you are an expression of this beautiful sentient universe and that everything you do is part of a flow of life energy, of Qi.
In order to have my most perfect day, I first had to free myself from some of the binds that tied me to negative emotions. These are things that I did not realize were blockages of energy, of my flow in life. It’s different for everybody, but for me, it meant deleting an addictive social media account that was sucking out my time and energy and severing ties with an employer who was insane. I did those things the night before, and in the morning, I could finally experience the flow of life in a way I never had before.
The two biggest obstacles in my life to staying in the flow are the Buddhist concepts of Grasping and Aversion. All of my self destructive behavior come down to grasping and aversion. My addictive online behavior is the result of me grasping for love and attention, even from strangers who don’t know or care about me. It also serves as aversion to things that I want to get done, like writing, but that take effort. On a deeper level, it may be an aversion to the self reflection that goes into memoir writing, which I am engaged in, on and off.
The same can be said for my unhealthy job that I quit. I wanted to please the owner, an old friend – that’s grasping. I also thought I needed the money, though I have another job and can get by. I may have even be playing an aversion game by using my time in service of this unhealthy job instead of finding more fulfilling employment or spending more time writing.
Think about what holds you back. At first, you may blame other people or external situations, but what about addictive behavior? What about wasting time binge watching mediocre TV shows?
Let’s get back to that perfect day. Literally – I want to have more of them. Free of those two binding forces (job & social media account), I woke from a crucial good night’s sleep and began my morning routine. This includes qigong and meditation. That morning, I wasn’t just going through the motions, I allowed myself to feel the flow of energy around and through me. I slowed my movements and breathing to what felt like the rhythm of flowing energy that makes up all of reality – the Qi. You can experience this yourself, starting with some short qigong routines. I recommend looking online for the 7-minute routine of qigong master Lee Holden and reading Roger Jahnke’s book, The Healer Within, which contains healthy qigong derived moves that you can incorporate into your daily morning routine. For meditation, I have recently gone back to a 20 minute Transcendental Mediation, followed by a very short Buddhist Metta, or Loving Kindness meditation. But any mediation will be supremely beneficial to your day of flow.
Walking to work that morning, I was more aware of the beauty of my surroundings than usual, I focused on gratitude for everything in my life and, feeling part of the flow of life, I expected only good things. In this state of flow, all doors seem to open to you. Traffic lights are perfectly timed for you. Parking spaces appear in the perfect locations. I know this sounds magical, but it happens. When you feel the flow of energy and allow yourself to be in harmony with it, you only focus on the perfection of the universe. You notice all the small kindnesses of the people around you and are sympathetic to angry people who are not in the flow. Nothing went wrong that day, but if something had, I would have said to myself, “Thank you for the magnificent outcome of this situation.” Instead of listening to people freaking out on the news in my daily podcasts, I listened to music created with binaural beats that was based on biologically beneficial frequencies, like 528Hz.
So, that was my day. The next day, I slid back. I didn’t unquit my job, but I did create a new account that sucked away my time for half the night, resulting in not enough sleep. So there’s some back and forth, spurts and stops. Today, I stayed away from that account and I am allowing myself to come back to the awareness of the flow of qi through my body.
Throughout your day, some things may seem in sync with the flow, others not. For me, the key to happiness and equanimity is to live in the awareness of flow.