Flow is an attitude, a mind-set that allows you to feel as if you can fly your kite everyday, even when there is no wind.
I clearly remember when I attained the big milestone of 5 years of sobriety – I was irritated and unhappy – not because I had chosen sobriety – I actually loved having reached 5 years with no alcohol consumption – my unhappiness and irritation was because I realized that I still had much more work to do to shift the mind-sets that created feelings of being stuck and afraid of life’s challenges. The proverbial pink clouds were gone. I was definitely not in a state of flow.
Flow is the state of mind in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. If life is the activity we’re talking about, then I wasn’t enjoying it or feeling energized. I had to take a hard look at the “whys” for this and discovered that I was was still being held hostage by some of the elements of codependency. I was struggling with the reality that I needed to create my own joy and couldn’t rely on others, like my adult children, to do that for me. This struggle and frustration created an impediment to my ability to be in a state of flow and emotional sobriety is the state of flow for those of us in recovery.
Being emotionally sober simply means that you are comfortable being present with all of your feelings without any one of them defining or controlling you to the point where relapse is possible. I had to accept the fact that I was afraid and disappointed but I also had to let go of my unrealistic expectations. I don’t know when I let go exactly but I know that I did because I could feel the release and it was the result of my willingness to pay attention, once again, wake up, ask for help and find enough courage to dive further into the work.
Flow is an attitude and when my life feels rocky, I have to look at myself first and do an inventory of my thoughts. A bit of house cleaning every now and then seems to work well and allows me to feel grounded and at peace. One important part of this process is that I don’t do it alone. I work with others who can see my blindspots and will tell me what they see. They listen, without judgment, and challenge me, lovingly, and wait for me to reach my own conclusions.
It’s been almost 9 years since my 5th year of sobriety and the good news is that I’m in that state of flow more often than not. As with anything worth doing, being in a state of emotional sobriety is a practice that allows me to be in gratitude, daily, and I wish this for you. If you’d like to learn more about me, I invite you to watch two short videos that I made where I tell my story of recovery and transformation. If you would like to talk, give me a call or send an email and I’ll look forward to the opportunity.
“Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you.”
~ Danielle LaPorte