Tag Archives: flow

Remaining in the Flow

“We give ourselves the luxury and the freedom to feel and think whatever we feel or think.  We allow whatever comes; and release whatever goes.”  COL bk.2, 19:II

Here we are hearing another way of saying that we remain “in the flow.”  We don’t hang on to our thoughts and feelings; we let them drift in and out of our mind and heart.  This is the best way to live, because it gives us immediacy, the ability to live in the present.

Letting thoughts and feelings go and come is a luxury.  If we can discover how to do it, we will live far better, constantly.

All too often we dam up our thoughts and feelings; we obsess; and we make ourselves miserable.  This misery does not have to be.  Instead, we can be aware of God’s presence, living through us.  We can know that He is able to handle anything that comes up, anything that arises in our daily round. 

With this assurance, we walk a green earth.

Still, Small Voice

“Rest with me, and acknowledge that our minds are joined. As you rest, again, you might notice that thoughts seem to arise and pass away. But do you not sense them, now as though they were coming from a place where you are not, as though you had sunk more deeply to a place of quiet beneath the surface upon which thoughts flow back and forth without ceasing?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 11, Page 135)

Being quiet, staying in our quiet corner, is a most powerful way to connect with the God within. If we let the hubbub of the world get into our mind and heart, we will find it very difficult to listen to the still, small Voice. And listening to the still, small Voice is exactly what we need to do.

What will that Voice tell us? Some of what we hear will be unique to each of us, for we are unique creations of God, with nobody else the exact duplicate of ourselves. But some of what we hear will be shareable with others, for they too will need the same message. Shareable when they are open to hear, for we do not want to force ourselves on anybody who is not ready to hear God’s message.

If we “rest” with Jesus, we will be well on our way to a new day in living. He would not have us anxious and tied in knots over anything. His Father is not reached that way. We make our own hell on earth when we let nervousness take over. So contemplate silently, or meditate. Still the mind and heart.

When the mind and heart are stilled, then flow happens. And flow is as close to following the Holy Spirit’s every nudge as we can come. We don’t get stubborn and seek to have everything “our” way. We listen to our inner guidance, and then we act. This best way to live is open to all of us, though not all of us are equally listening. For those who are, the message is clear and unmistakable.

Be still and listen for God’s prompting in our very soul.

We WILL hear, and we will not be disappointed in what we hear.

How This Day Might I Extend the Good, the Holy, the Beautiful?

“A creator, abiding in enlightenment, knows that all events are neutral, so neutral that they have no effect, except for those who choose to be caught up in illusions. The creator, awakened, merely creates out of devotion to the mystery of That which has created him or her. The mind of an enlightened creator does not arise in the morning and say, ‘How can I survive yet another day in this world?’ In the morning, when an enlightened creator arises, the question is:

“How this day might I extend the treasure of the good, the holy, and beautiful?

“How can I, right where I am, experience these treasures even within the space and volume of this body?

“How can I look lovingly upon what my physical eyes show me, so that I discern or extract the good, the holy, and the beautiful, and therefore, give them to myself?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 126)

A hallmark of The Way of Mastery is the phrase, “the good, the holy, and the beautiful.” These are indeed beautiful words, something we would all wish to emulate.

Often, though, we may wake up on a given day in a funk, deploring our lives, thinking of our crises for the day, fearful of what that day will bring. We know that this is no way to live, but we do it anyway. We really don’t know how to avoid thinking such negativity. Is there a way out?

There is. It is the oft-spoken maxim in Eastern circles, “Be willing to have it so.” This is what Jesus calls in WOM “allowance.”

“Acceptance” is a close synonym. If we don’t resist negativity, it loses its punching power. What we resist grows stronger; the force field increases. But when we surrender to God in allowing whatever might transpire, to transpire, we are paradoxically freed.

Of course, we don’t lie down in the dust and accept the bad as the “way things are.” We accept only while in the flow that God gives us. And the “flow” keeps us safe. It is another way of stating “mindfulness.”

Focus on the good, the holy, and the beautiful. Seek to expand those things, and all will be well with our day. Even if the days has things that go awry, we will know that we are in the flow with God.

And that makes all the difference.

Would We See Ourselves Whole & Complete?

“In the end of all seeking, you must look into the mirror and decide to be the one who heals yourself. You are the one who decides, from infinite freedom, how to use the power of your mind in each moment. Therefore, the only question that a seeker of truth really truly need ask him or her self is this:

“Would I know conflict or peace?

“Would I be right or happy?

“Would I see the complete neutrality of all events in this world as wisps of a dream being birthed and passing away?

“Would I see myself whole and complete?

“For as I look upon the world, I have judged myself.

“And as I look upon myself, I judge the world.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 124)

If we listen to these wise words, we see that “flow” in daily life is required. We open up our minds and hearts to the influence of God, moment by moment, and the sometimes frantic outcome of our day transforms. We are happy when we let go and let God, and this is ultimately what flow is all about.

“Would I be right or happy?” This well-known quotation from A Course in Miracles says it all, and here Jesus is saying the very same in The Way of Mastery. (Jesus asked Jayem not to read A Course in Miracles before channeling this new work, and so there is no chance that Jayem was merely quoting ACIM.) The obviously correct Answer is just to fall into happiness. Why do we think we need to raise up conflict with our brothers and sisters so that we are more “right” than they are?

It is hard to imagine that all events in this difficult world are neutral, but they are. We write on these neutral events our own projections. And projection makes perception (another ACIM tenet). The world is doing nothing to us. We are projecting our lives into this world, often invoking the law of attraction to bring about what we experience.

We need to see ourselves a good people, innocent people, people who have only made forgivable mistakes. And these forgiven mistakes will not hold us back.

Choose peace today.

Be in the flow.

In Peace with the Divine

“Imagine then, being able to experience whatever arises without losing the sense of spaciousness, innocence and ease that you now experience in fleeting moments. For instance, know you the experience when things are going well, you are singing a happy tune, and life seems to be moving ahead? Imagine that same quality of trust, faith, and certainty of purpose, even when the buildings are crumbling around you and the bank account has gone dry. Imagine being able to look at those events with the same sense of innocence and wonder with which you would look into the eyes of your beloved.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 17)

Surely this time of no time, when we are just flowing along, has been glimpsed by all of us in moments of enlightenment. The problem is that these moments, for most of us, do not last. Yet they promise a future that will be unlike the past, they promise one long stretch of time spent awakened. The glimpses that we have all seen just prepare us for a taste of the time divine.

We need to empty ourselves of our preoccupations to invite a glimpse of something better. This creates the spaciousness that Jesus refers to; this creates the joy and the happy tune that we would sing always. When we open ourselves, in emptiness, we are inviting the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Mind, to fill us up to overflowing.

We will have our wish, sooner or later. When we meet the conditions set by God, He will act. He will reach down (metaphorically) for us, raising us up to a high level that we have not been able to appreciate earlier. We didn’t think we deserved this high level. But as beloved children of God, this is our birthright. This is what has been waiting for us since the “separation” took hold, the illusory separation in which all of us have found a home.

Look for our real home today. Invite Jesus to bend low to us, and lift us up. God will do the rest.

We have nothing to fear.

Flow with What Comes, in Grace

“The injunction that you resign as your own teacher originated in A Course in Miracles and was furthered here. Along with this resignation is the concept of receiving rather than planning. Your feeling that a specific role is required of you, or that you have a specific thing to do of which you need to be aware, are functions of the pattern of the planning process that once so ruled your mind. To be willing to receive instead of plan is to break the pattern of planning.” (ACOL, T3:22.5)

All of us still try to plan our days, and these days stretch into weeks and months, with planning for our lives being a prominent feature. But Jesus says that planning is misguided. Indeed, in A Course in Miracles, planning that was not prompted by the Holy Spirit was said to be one way that we would fall off the pathway, one way that we would fail to reach Awakening. (The other two ways were attack and making judgments.) Now Jesus continues the line of thought from ACIM. He extends his words of advice to a directive to “receive” instead of plan. And with this receiving, we are ensuring that we are falling in line with God’s will, a will that is actually our own true will.

Receive today rather than plan. Don’t try to be predictive about the future; Jesus doesn’t. Just take what comes with the grace in which it is given.

Prayer

I want to show grace today in all my dealings. I have such high hopes, and I sometimes don’t measure up. Help me to accept Your grace that all is well. Help me to know that You are smoothing the way, always.

Be with me as this day unfolds. Help me to apologize if I need to, and the to drop it. Mistakes happen, but I make a mistake, again, when I cling to a mistake.

Thank You for guiding me aright. Thank You for A Course of Love.

Amen.

Flow through the Day, Moving with the Currents

“Now that we have established the consistency of our former purpose, that of establishing your identity, and our new purpose, that of the miracle that will allow you to exist as who you are in human form, we may proceed unencumbered by any doubt you might have had concerning whether or not you would desire the new goal toward which we work.” (ACOL, T3:13.1)

We have accomplished the first goal of A Course of Love: establishing a new identity. If we doubt that, we need only realize how changed we have become, how much more mellow, how much more caring. We don’t think, in an egoic sense, of “me first” any longer. This is great progress.

The next goal is to move toward miracles, specifically a miracle that will allow us to exist as who we are in physical form. This is not the old egoic self, but a new self, borne of the honing of the Christ-Self from deep within. This Christ-Self has also learned in the course of reading ACOL. And this Christ-Self is ready to move us forward into a new tomorrow.

Wouldn’t we like to live peaceably, unencumbered by the regrets of the past? We can, we are promised. We can.

Our physical self will be elevated in this new world. We will know an assurance that all is well, that we are not oscillating between highs and lows, that we are smoothly running our ship. The way is not hard, but it does take some getting used to. We don’t navigate in water the way that we do on land. We flow more smoothly, going with the currents.

And that is what Jesus is asking us to do today.

Prayer

I seek to be in flow virtually all the time. Even when I am not actively thinking about flow, I do know that it is in the back of my mind. My real Mind. Thank You for leading me to a place of serenity and peace, a place where flow resides.

Be with me today to keep me alert and active, even as I reside in serenity. There is a difference between calm serenity and drowsiness, and I seek to be just in calm serenity. Thank You for guiding me in my prayer life. Thank You for being You.

Amen.

Living in Flow & Ease

“A first step then in learning to recognize when you are acting upon notions of who you think you are rather than on who you truly are, is the appearance of struggle or resistance. As a swimmer quickly learns, the only way to return to ease of movement is to cease to struggle or resist. The ability to let go of struggle is a learned ability for the swimmer and is a learned ability for you now as you journey back to your real Self.” (ACOL, T2:4.6)

So: It is awfully good news to hear that when we are struggling, we are not moving in the right way. Like a swimmer, we must go with the water currents. We need to ease up and let the water of God’s reality take us over.

So often we have thought that struggle was good. We lived this way, from crisis to crisis, problem to problem—struggling with what was before us to face. And it was all so wrong and so very, very unnecessary! Now we are likely still to think that struggle is needed, as problems do not just magically go away. But there is a better way, a way of flow and ease. We strive for changes, but striving is very different from struggle. And we are attempting to be who we are in truth, not just who we “think” we are! And there is a big difference.

How do we be who we are? What can this possibly mean in our world of today?

It means that we relax in God’s care, knowing that He has all things in good order. We don’t give up, though, but we just accept ourselves as we are—warts and all. We know that Jesus has called us The Accomplished, and he would not have said something like that to appeal to our ego. He said that to reassure us, a reassurance in the extreme. We have already walked this pathway, and now we are traveling back; that is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We just be ourselves when we are swimming in the currents of God’s love. We don’t “try” to be something that we are not. We know that what we are is actually perfectly alright.

Believing that we are perfectly alright is hard for us. We always think that we ought to do something more to merit God’s love, to be better than we are. This “better” will manifest as we move forward, but not by struggle to change ourselves. We don’t need a self-help book, and A Course of Love is definitely not that. We need to recognize that all is really alright in our little world. As always, we are still our own worst enemy, and when we long to be something other than who we are, we long amiss.

Jesus will help us to accept ourselves. Ask his help today. He walks with us, hand in hand. And if this is hard to believe, know that many sincere believers have believed this mystical truth for many long years.

The way is clear to just dropping downward and inward, to just being who we are, accepting ourselves as we are.

There is no other way to progress spiritually. Acceptance IS the way.

Prayer

I, along with so many others, would gladly give up struggle if we think that we can live without it. I haves struggled sometimes, as have all of us. And it is so unnecessary! Surely I can strive for goals without getting beaten down by life itself. Jesus offers us a way of ease and flow, and would I not be very foolish not to take it?

Guide me today to take the life of flow, choosing to move in the directions that guidance so accurately points out. The Christ-Self will show me rightly what to say and do, if I will only listen.

I would listen today.

Amen.

How to Find Flow in Life

“But again, as was stated often throughout A Course of Love, an alterna¬tive exists. It did not exist when you knew not of it and so your attempts at learning have been valiant and are no cause for anxiety. But now this alter¬native is being revealed to you, and it does call for a change of thought so extensive that all thought as you once knew it does need to cease.

“You have already succeeded in learning in this new way once or you would not be here. This is your proof that you can do so again and again until the new way totally replaces the old and the art of thought leaves behind forever the need for what the ego-mind once but seemed to offer you.” (ACOL, T1:2.8 – 2.9)

The alternative mentioned here refers to a change from the focus of the ego-mind to learn things that will get us ahead in the world. We have used our mind to win kudos in this world. We have benefited greatly from this use of the egoic way of thinking—but it is not the best way, as we are about to learn. Our former way of thinking has a replacement now. And it is miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. We are ready for the miracles that this new form of thought will bring to us. And this new form of thought relies often on prayer.

Jesus’s words about learning in this new way “once” are unclear. He may be referring in an abstract way to how our mind has functioned in the past—at least “once” with miracle-minded, art-of-thought thinking that has piqued our curiosity, and so we are still reading what he has to say in A Course of Love.

The new way of thinking presupposes a way of living in flow with prayer as our guiding force. Jesus says in this treatise that the miracle and the prayer are the same, that ACIM began with a summary of what the miracle means, and ACOL began with a call to prayer. Both are, as Jesus says, the same. We are living with guidance, rather than egoic function, as our way of living in flow. The miracle/prayer make life much easier, must less of a strain, and not a struggle at all. The new way of living is easeful, relaxed, and harmonious. We live joyfully, and we pursue our dreams in happiness. We don’t press our nose to the grindstone and keep working, stressfully.

I can speak from personal experience in witnessing to the easy flow of life when I live it by listening to guidance. These nudges of guidance come in various ways, but the most common is an interior word that gives me an indication of my next move. This is not an audible word, but an impression of my thinking that is perhaps coming from the Self whom I am letting out to play, finally. I have to be ready to turn on a dime, and sometimes I can get very stubborn at that point. But if I, as quickly as possible, drop the stubbornness, I can often see how the next step indicated by guidance is an intuitive thought that will smooth out my day. The easeful way is nearly always indicated. Jesus would not have us twist ourselves into knots, trying to follow the inner Christ Self.

Flow develops more easily when I never let stubbornness get a toehold.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow Your way and the way that my inner Self point out. I would just rest easy as I go about my day. I know that You are always here for me, showing me Your Presence in ways that give me great comfort. Thank You.

Be with me through the remainder of this day. The sunny day is joyful, the peace palpable. Thank You for granting me the understanding of how to live in flow, and give me the willingness to follow, always.

Amen.

Observation

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“You may wonder rightly then, how those who have not learned by the Holy Spirit will learn. They will now learn through observation. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.1)”

Affirmation: “I would learn through observation today.”

Reflections:

1 – Observation and Mindfulness

This passage indicates that many of us have not learned all that the Holy Spirit would teach, and for those of us who are moving into the new age of Christ-consciousness, we will learn in a new way—observation. What does this mean? I think that “observation” is a synonym for mindfulness.

2 – Meditation

Mindfulness is a concept closely related to meditation, and meditation as such is not taught in A Course in Miracles, though the final days of the Workbook of ACIM seem to be akin to meditation. The quietness of these final lessons, and the paucity of words in the lessons, suggest that we turn inward in mindfulness and meditation.

3 – A Definition of Observation

What is mindfulness (or observation)? We pay attention to what we say and especially what we do, as we are doing it. We just let the world be, not trying to change anything. The concept is especially elaborated in books on Zen Buddhism, but here we are getting into perennial wisdom that spans the most mystical aspects of most religions in our world.

4 – Flow

Observation works. It is also part of that peace that passeth understanding, something that we all want and need. We slow down naturally, and we pace ourselves. We are in “flow,” which means that we intuit what to do next, relaxing into life and not worrying about what happens. We are serene.

5 – When Emotionally Overwrought

Observation won’t work if we are emotionally overwrought. That is also when guidance is most elusive, guidance both from the Holy Spirit and the Self within. We need to recognize as well how to calm ourselves. Taking a timeout, spending some time without speaking, and turning to prayer, will lead to a still mind. Then we will be observing mindfully again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this good day. I am grateful for the peace that a new day brings, the hope that is riding on a new flow to my day. If I listen to You, this is the day that will be given me—a day of flow and peace. May I truly listen, even when my own initiative threatens to interfere.

Thank You for the thought that seemed to merge “observation” with mindfulness. I pray that this linking in my mind is in line with truth. It is my own interpretation, and it is meaningful to me. Thank You for the ease with which You inform me, or at least that I think You inform me. Be with me as I seek to observe today through the mindful movement of thought and deed.

Amen.

Recognize the Christ-Mind by How Gentle Its Thoughts Are

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“The first step in being able to forget such thoughts [of the ego] is in recognizing them as separate and distinct from the thoughts of your right mind or Christ-mind. This will be easy because the thoughts of the ego-mind were always harsh with you or with others. The Christ-mind and the thoughts that come from the voice of the Christ-mind will be gentle. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.9)”

Affirmation: “I would experience the gentle thoughts of the Christ-mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Gentle Thoughts Give Happiness

Most of us may now recognize that gentleness is much preferred over the raucous shrieks of the ego-mind. And the Christ-mind gives us the gentle thoughts that give us so much happiness. Is it any wonder that happiness is a worthy goal to be sought?

2 – Avoid Harshness

We do not really want to be harsh with ourselves or with others. I have recently prayed that I would get along better with myself. This seems to be an inspired prayer, not unlike a prayer to get along better with other people. We want to be gentle. It is a mandate if we wish to live well.

3 – Flow

What other characteristics accompany gentleness? Peace of mind, tranquility, serenity, calm. And we are more loving as well. When we treat others as well as ourselves gently, we flow with the day. We don’t have to talk ourselves into a good mood; it is part of the blessing of the prayer to be gentle.

4 – Commune with God

The ego ought to be falling away now. And we will know this when we commune more with God. Communion sometimes means verbal prayers, silently or aloud, but it also is a state of mind and heart. We feel better when we communicate with our Maker. Try it and see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember You today. I know from my reading that You are lonely, in an anthropomorphic way, when Your children don’t communicate with You. You recognize that we sleep and need to be awakened. I would awaken at Your command. But help me to be patient.

Help this day to flow well in gentleness. May I avoid harshness in my words and in my demeanor, and may I do You justice as I walk through my day. Others need me, and certainly I need, in an almost selfish way, to treat myself well in order to be able to serve others. There is no better way to live than to talk with You on my daily rounds. I pray that I will not forget You today.

Amen.

Living in the Flow

“What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself.  (T80)”

Affirmation:  “perceive in others. . .strengthen in myself”

Reflections:

1 – Without Reflects Within

This passage shows us a way to know what is really going on internally with ourselves.  Whatever we perceive in others, we have, usually unconsciously, looked within and found (a Course concept).

2 – The Prathers

Hugh Prather and his wife Gayle once wrote that they were aware that when everyone that they encountered seemed to need “fixing” in some way, it was their own perception guiding them to take a look internally.  (Note:  This is a paraphrase of their writing.)  Certainly we can easily see the truth of this assertion.  If we are living “in the flow,” and all seems right in our little world, then it is likely that we are at peace and that we are not trying to change anybody.  A Course in Miracles does not emphasize changing our brothers and sisters.  Repeatedly we are encouraged to take a look at a brother or sister, and to try to determine what, if anything, they are ready to accept by way of salvation.  We are not meant to be aggressive (an interpretation of ACIM, not stated directly therein).

3 – How Do We Live in the Flow?

How do we easily live in the flow?  We do not hold such strong, stubborn attitudes in our daily lives.  We are flexible, and we guide our lives by the guidance that the Holy Spirit so often gives to us when we are receptive.  If we are having a good day, it is very likely that we are, consciously or unconsciously, giving up our self-will and living in the flow of the Holy Spirit.  What would it take for us to do this, to follow His guidance, all the time?  It takes the flexibility that I alluded to, just above.  We need to stop being so certain that we are right in the plans that seem necessary for our day.  We may have first decided that something is so, when actually the truth is far from us.  We need to ask that the truth about what we need to do with our day be shown to us, as the day unfolds.  The day is not often shown far in advance.  (This is personal interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

4 – Changing What Is Within

This truth of perceiving in others what we really hold within is a powerful teacher.  The “sins” that we perceive in others are, first of all, within ourselves.  Seeing this, we can see what needs to be changed.  And it is not our brother.  It is something within ourselves.

5 – Projection Makes Perception

Our brother will seem much more loving as our own thoughts become loving.  “Projection makes perception” is a Course concept.  May we learn from our brother, even as we sometimes note lamentable emotions in him or her.  These emotions (and often actions) have first been within ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I learn from others:  What I see in them is actually something that is within myself.  May I use this knowledge to improve my disposition, my mind and spirit, and my behavior.

When I am in a critical mood, I am not happy.  In fact, I would say that a critical mood is the primary factor if I run into a rough patch in which I seem to experience unhappiness.  Take this habit from me, dear God.  I would be tolerant of my brothers and sisters, and I would reap the benefit of a more benign attitude toward all of them.

As my thoughts become more loving, my brothers and sisters will be perceived as more loving.  This is a great boon for us.  May we realize the truth that projection makes perception, as we learned in the Course.

Amen.