Sometimes when we make sense of one sentence or phrase, it has the ability to impact our lives in surprising ways. In a couple of His discourses and numerous blog posts, Swami ji explained the term ‘going with the flow of Nature’. As I tried to make sense of it intellectually, it took a while before I managed to grasp the essence of this beautiful phrase. As is with His grace and patience, all things do make sense deep within eventually and He explained ever so beautifully in the Special 2018 Swaminar what it meant. And since, I rightfully tried to follow His deep teachings about simply going with the flow. What did this term really mean in my life or anyone’s life for that matter?
On introspection, contemplation and with divine guidance, we realise that we (including me, me and me) are so set in our own ways. We want things to be a certain way and if life offers us anything which doesn’t fit into our box of ‘likes and ‘wants’, our mood subtly changes and we eventually find ourselves trapped in the roller coaster of emotions. Being in harmony with Nature or life, and going with the flow, simply means that we gratefully and happily take what life has to offer us, without comparing it to what we wish we had. It’s about taking life as it comes. And sometimes we automatically feel that we are exactly where we ought to be, doing what we have to do. And as we flow in this state of mind, we create a sense of harmony with Nature and our life itself. There is no daily battle because we let go of how our life ‘should be’ and instead focus on how our life ‘is’. Just is.
We could take the a look at the situation caused by the pandemic which has left many of us very frustrated this year. But in this situation, going with the flow of Nature/life, would mean allowing things to be the way they are, knowing that it will pass without constantly complaining about the circumstances. Feeling sad or anxious ruins our peace of mind over something which is out of our control. Nature wants things to be this way and we can only do our best as citizens of the world.
The acceptance of things as they are, doesn’t mean resignation, but it simply means that: We will do our best. We will handle whatever is in our control to the best of our ability and we will leave the rest to nature. And we then allow space effortlessness. I am not saying any of this, it’s all my understanding of our Om Swami’s wisdom which I have and still try to apply daily. And with practice it gets better. When we find ourselves with a task, no matter how boring it may seem, going with the flow would be to simply do it. Without wishing that we never had such a task to begin with. If we ever find ourselves complaining or wishing for things to be different, let’s realise that we are going against the flow. At least that’s what I noticed. Most of our daily roller coaster of emotions are due to our disparity with nature. Trying to control things, behaviours and circumstances as per our limited understanding of the grand picture, mostly causes us grief.
From applying our Swami ji’s exceptional wisdom and through His grace, it becomes clear that when we let go of our expectations from ourselves, others, things and circumstances, there’s not much left to be upset or sad about. If we cook a very nice meal for someone and they do not appreciate it or don’t compliment us, it’s just the way it is. We performed our duty with utmost love, and the outcome is simply left to nature. Now, however, if we expected praise and compliments for our efforts, it would signify that we are attempting to control the other person or the outcome.
Similarly, if we wish we could have a different appearance compared to what we were born with, that would be going against nature and as we all know, it is a futile and endless pursuit. Maybe that’s why I never learnt how to swim, it just never seemed to go with the flow…
Jokes aside, letting go of control about the outcome is key. Being detached, taking life and circumstances as they come, result in an effortless harmony with life. Throwing tantrums (avoid the visual!:)) or having fits of anger for our preconceived unfulfilled expectations only cause emotional turmoils, putting an end to our peace. Fits of laughter, on the other hand, only cause bliss and a few tears of joy, let’s try that!