I had a wonderful start to the day today indulging myself with a swim, sauna and hot tub. Whilst there, I was contemplating what to write about emptiness and the nature of flow this week. The pool was really quiet, with a few lanes marked out on the right side for a swimming club, which left half the pool for the two ladies already swimming and myself. Not wishing to disturb them, I followed swimming etiquette, made myself visible, nodded politely and kept my stroke as tidy as possible. Within a few lengths It seemed I was accepted and we had all settled into our own rhythms. Phew!
It struck me that each individual finding their own rhythm and flow positively affects the rhythms and flows of everyone else. For thirty blissful lengths, I could feel my body relax completely and I was left to explore the grace of moving as effortlessly as possible buoyed by the support of the water.
Suddenly though through the peace and synergy a red faced gentleman fresh from the sauna jumped in and proceeded to swim the fastest length of front crawl he could muster. As he splashed and kicked his way, arms flailing, I watched as everyone’s stroke went from relaxed grace to desperate avoidance! Frowns etched on foreheads, whites of eyes magnified by tight fitting goggles, they stood shaking their heads and tutting at his ungainly progress towards the end of the pool. Fortunately there wasn’t a second length, his exertions for the day ending on lap one blissfully unaware of the chaos he had just left in his wake.
As the turbulence from his efforts subsided and the waters calmed, I was left pondering what had just occurred. It reminded me how on a motorway, one persons impatience or inconsideration inevitably leads to the rest of us having to be more patient as we wait in a tailback whilst the police clear up the mess. It’s as if one individual’s desperate desire to go faster than the flow of traffic allows leads to a karmic debt having to be paid by all.
With personal awareness and development comes the ability to respond to situations like these with maybe a little humour or in the case of someone driving too close behind us, just getting out of the way and letting them go. But ultimately it shows us that one individual’s behaviour has the potential to not only be felt by everyone else but also affect us.
With all the potential dramas occurring around us on a daily basis, it’s no wonder we lose touch with ourselves. So what can we do to take personal responsibility for our interactions with the external world and prevent ourselves losing our own inner sense of rhythm? Being pulled into a drama is generally a result of being caught off guard and allowing our mind and thoughts to become invested in it. How often do we arrive home and recount the story of the idiot we encountered on our way home from work? As soon as the mind is not home we lose touch with reality and our own sense of inner rhythm.
So firstly we have to notice that we are getting hijacked by a drama. This means we have to be awake and mindful enough to notice it. Secondly we have to let go of the desire to be pulled into it, which is usually pretty strong and instead focus our mind somewhere else. But where?
I suggest the Hara is a great place to focus the mind because we cannot be conscious of the Hara without dropping back into the now. That is why fulfillment is said to arise out of sinking the mind into the Hara. The Hara is our belly region and placing our hands upon it whilst breathing deeply into it and allowing our mind to settle back into ourself is guaranteed to help us feel centred and in contact with our inner flow once again.
I would also suggest repeating this very simple affirmation;
“No person place or thing can disturb my sense of peace and calmness within.”
Thanks Reiki Rich
If you like this blog and would like to read more about Flow you can find my new book The Heart Of Reiki Here.