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.”