Report on Flow Project #1

I felt kind of embarassed uneasy after posting my last blog. I found myself second guessing my word choice desireless when maybe detachment or simply no mention of any goals would have been a bit less grandiose better. Checking in with the Angels right after I posted the blog, they said they liked the word choice go figure and to just leave it be. I guess that was my first moment of arguing with the flow and then rather ungracefully surrendering to it.

One thing is for sure. Having such a silly impossible goal keeps me laughing. Without even taking into account real challenges, just flowing with the little mishaps of life is keeping me feeling flustered by my hubris on my toes.

Take for example this blog. You may have noticed that recent blogs have been short on photos. This is because though there are eight computers at Green Hope Farm, none of them currently allow me to take a fresh photo or any photo for that matter and put it up on this blog. We’ve all been there with inexplicable technology snafus in which one day everything is working and then the next day nothing works. We’ve all been there with wondering if the upgrade made things better or worse. I imagine we all those of who grew up without computers have moments when we wondered if all this technology is in any way making life simpler or better or aligned with our skill set. Then of course, I may be misinformed about those of us who grew up without computers. Maybe its just me that likes pens vaguely remembers how to write in cursive would prefer less technology.

Just an aside about my first interaction with a computer in 1979 an incident which sets the stage for much of what was to come. I was a first year English teacher at Kimball Union, and it was the end of fall term. Like every other teacher in the place, I had to type my grades into a computer terminal in the science building. The one and only school computer filled many rooms in the building. The machine creeped me out. I thought I had entered all my grades correctly and fled left the building confident I had done what I was supposed to do and relieved to put the first term of overwhelm in the classroom behind me.

And so the data was run and shared with the entire school community as to class rank, grade point averages and all the other details on which the organization hung. Then it was discovered I had entered the data incorrectly and EVERYONE yes, every last teacher had to re-enter their data including me who was heavily supervised during my work in order to have correct data for the school community. You can imagine how popular I was at the holiday party.

But back to the here and now in which eight Green Hope Farm computers take up virtually no room except in my head where I wildly scramble try problem solving approachs to my photo problem including airdropping photos to all eight computers, downloading photos to said eight computers, moving photos from one desktop to another, fixing the problem with “preview not responding” on my favorite of the eight computers, buying more icloud space in case this is a factor etc etc etc. Are you asleep yet?

How ironic that I am the mother of two sons who write code for a living. There really is no explaining their gifts in terms of my genetics. My skills remain rudimentary. Meanwhile Will’s podcast on his crypto currency analysis company Parsec Finance includes zero words which I understand and I do worse comprehending the full sentences. I follow his posts on Twitter. I ask questions although usually my brain melts when the words block chain come up. I listen to Will’s podcast as much as humanly possible. I liken it to listening to ancient Greek, restful once I accept that I will comprehend nothing.

But I digress once again on this report on the Flow Project. So how am I doing? Let’s just say its a good thing I am not expected to grade myself right now or put the data into any computer.

A Flow Project

This week, a young friend gave me a shining example of going with the flow.

Her baby was born with mouth challenges including a very high palate that made nursing impossible. Medical and alternative intervention was sought and still the verdict was that the baby had to be bottle fed. For this mother, it was a deep disappointment, one I remembered from when my own child was born with a cleft palate forty years ago and she too was unable to nurse.

However this young mother turned on a dime to figure out a way forward that involved both pumping breast milk night and day while also bottle feeding her newborn. When I saw her yesterday she was wearing portable pumps that gave her a Dolly Parton profile. She spoke about her new life with such humor and grace that it would have been hard for anyone to guess that this wasn’t exactly what she had hoped for. I had been thinking a lot about the topic of FLOW even before our visit, but afterwards, I felt impelled to put more thoughts about flow into a blog.

I know I have written about flow and Flow Free, our Flower Essence to support flow, in so many blogs. Today I feel even more strongly than ever that learning to flow with life is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. If I have any resolutions for the new year, it is to work more on flowing with what is and to also take on the related project of letting go of desires.

I’ve mentioned this goal of desirelessness to a couple of people who have all looked horrified. This is not a declaration that I am going to enjoy life less. It is more a declaration I am going to try and fight with life less. I actually think that cultivating fewer and fewer desires, expectations and demands of life will mean more happiness not less.

Desiring things to go a certain way ties up so much energy and impedes flow. Life can never be contained or constrained by our desires, yet we spend so much time trying to squash the immensity of life into the forms we desire. Flowing with what is means letting life be what it is and not wasting any more time trying to shape life to my desires. I want to pursue full faith in life just as it flows and embrace this flow instead of fight it.

I wonder what would happen if we all had more faith in life and let it flow without wasting energy trying to make it conform to our expectations. When I look back at my life, it is so often moments when I went with the flow, even a flow that my personality did not like or desire, that left me the most present, the most at peace and the most happy.

Yes, it’s human to want life to go a certain way both in its little moments and in the big. I was heartbroken when my child’s birth defects left her temporarily. unable to hear or eat. I was mad at life. However this was not life punishing me. Life was just being life. And when I let go of my expectations to accept the reality of what was happening, I learned so much. I do not think Green Hope Farm would have happened if I had not gone through these challenges with my daughter. As I’ve heard so many others say, I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, but it was so meaningful even essential to my life.

So here I go- embracing the flow more fully in 2024.

Just one more thing. I picked up my knitting journal where I write notes about projects I have knit and various other random stuff. It’s a scrawling book where I note what needles, yarn, patterns and sizes I used to make hats, shawls, mittens and sweaters for myself and the little people in my life. The journal gives me information to correct my mistakes for the next project or repeat a project that has gone well. As I went through the book to plan the next project to cast on, I found I had written this quote from the movie Dune, a quote that seemed to encourage me to go with the flow of my flow project.

“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to experience, a process that cannot be understood by stopping it. We must move with the flow of the process. We must join it. We must flow with it.”