The Flow

There is an aspect of life that we can either fight or submit to. That is the flow of life. Some people advocate going against the flow and others say we should go with the flow. I’m of the mind that the flow is more nuanced than going against or with it.

It’s helpful to picture the flow of wind in the troposphere and how airplane pilots can use it. They travel against the flow of the air in order to more efficiently take off from the runway. Then, if possible, they fly their aircraft with the flow to attain higher speed and fuel economy. This aspect of flying is all about balance.

Thinking abstractly this way about flying makes it easier to think about the nuances involved in the “flow of life”. We can effectively analyze when to go against the flow and when it is wise to go with the flow. I like
to keep aware of my emotions in this regard. If my actions of going against the flow trigger anger, greed, and envy, it’s time to consider whether or not I’m doing and thinking optimally.

Interestingly, if I feel the tug of anxiety about my actions and thoughts, I often reluctantly decide to go against the flow. In those cases, I utilize going against the flow to provide the extra lift needed to take flight with my idea. Once I’m aloft, then I can refine my actions in order to calmly fly with the flow of creativity.

At the risk of overusing the flying analogy, going against or with the flow regarding social right and wrong is something I frequently think about. When the time comes for me to speak up and take action regarding social injustice, I realize that often I’ll need to go against the winds of social norms.

“I’m sure the feeling of fear, as long as you can take advantage of it and not be rendered useless by it, can make you extend yourself beyond what you would regard as your capacity. If you’re afraid, the blood seems to flow freely through the veins, and you really do feel a sense of stimulation.”– explorer and philanthropist, Edmund Hillary

To stretch the flying analogy even further, I decide, in advance, upon a flight plan as to just how I want to get to where I want to go. Then when I can no longer be complacent and just cope with the buffeting of the social winds. That’s when it’s time to push against the flow and take flight directly into the wind. Once aloft into the stormy skies, I can better refine ways to fly against and with the winds of change.

Anyone who has taken flight with an idea has experienced this feeling of at first going against the wind, then catching the air currents of practice and experience to fulfill their creative nature. Just as an experienced airplane pilot has flown many times yet still loves flying, anyone can still mentally fly with their own ideas and concepts and feel the magic of going against and with the flow.

Basically, it’s trial and error, action and reaction, along with ebb and flow that form our lives. Out of optimally going against the flow sometimes and going with the flow at other times we can live more fulfilling, more joyful lives.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 19th century women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, philosophy, projects and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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