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? If you are held back by OCD, it could stem from grasping or aversion — trying to force good outcomes or attempting to magically stave off disaster. This is the opposite of the allowing that you need to do in order to live in the flow of life.