Mastering the Flow Cycle by Cherishing the Struggle

over the falls.jpg

This last week I've been getting dragged down STRUGGLE STREET.  

Ive been on the bumpy ride of doubt and indecision and all the struggle that comes with blurriness of vision. 

It's been a sobering reminder that everything in life spirals or cycles, including flow. 

Fortunately, I've been through so many of these "flow cycles" that the trough/ dip/ pain is something I've come to savour.

The simple fact is that you LEARN MORE about yourself in the struggle phases than you do in the "life is so flowy and eaaaaaazy that I could do this with my eyes closed" phase. 

Here are 3 codes I discovered to drawing the most powerful lessons from this so-called "struggle phase": 

  1. CREATE THE TIME & SPACE TO BE PUMMELLED, PUNISHED & HUMBLED.
     
  2. HONOUR THE PAIN THROUGH SURRENDERING TO IT
     
  3. KNOW THAT THE PAIN IS THE GROWTH FOR YOUR NEXT SURGE

Let me explain this with a little story about something that happens to all surfers.

Its called "going over the falls". It happened to me this morning. :) 

OVER THE FALLS

I paddled for a wave and at the last moment before standing up, I pulled out, because I was hesitant about successfully negotiating the vertical drop and the wave was just shutting down. (never hesitate). 

However, the wave was breaking with such speed that I despite pulling back, I was "sucked over the falls".

As all surfers know, there is moment of unknown... you hope you've made it.... and then its "AH FCK... SHE'S GOT ME.". 

The ocean shows you who's boss...

 There is a strange and perverse satisfaction watching your friends in this exact situation. Call me a bastard, but few things fill me with as much joy. Maybe I cherish their struggle also.

There is a strange and perverse satisfaction watching your friends in this exact situation. Call me a bastard, but few things fill me with as much joy. Maybe I cherish their struggle also.

GETTING SUCKED OVER
 

Caught in the lip of the wave is kinda like being sucked into a waterfall.

Time slows down as you begin a journey on which you have zero control. Experienced surfers know exactly what is happening, but they still have zero control. 

The journey with begins with weightless free-fall... that sometimes feels like ultra s - l - o - w  motion.

In big and powerful surf, you will then get DRILLED deep under the surface.

I've had a couple of experiences of being literally pinned against the reef or sand bottom as the full power of the wave drills me down.

Its ultra humbling. Highly invigorating. Better than any massage.

Of course this is all happening in seconds. But the intensity of the experience warps time, and it sure as hell clears you of any sense of self.

Your powerlessness in the face of raw ocean energy creates that classic crossroad all explorers of consciousness know so well: 

Hello my friend, so do you choose to STRUGGLE or SURRENDER? 

Now, when I was learning to surf, I chose STRUGGLE every time, because...  I was afraid of letting go, and I felt kicking and writhing around might help. 

It didn't. It never does. It simply exhausts you. It accelerates you toward panic state. When the wave eventually lets you go, you frantically scratch for the surface... and emerge half-drowned and exhausted.

These days, I'm an experienced receiver of oceanic beat-downs. I've mastered the art of salty SURRENDER. 

Today when I felt myself getting sucked over the falls I started laughing. 

I've learned to love this experience. My head poking out the wave, body dragged into the curtain, I felt so powerless. It can feel awesome to feel powerless, contrary to my ego's opinion.

Deep breath, big smile.. release tension.  Go floppy,  become water. Allow the energy to rush through every cell.... SURRENDER TO THE BEAT DOWN.

Ahhhhh. It turned out to be a mild one. 

Some of them can feel like an enema of your mind, soul and body. You can get sand under your eyelids and in your bum-hole.  Only a surfer knows the feeling. 

ANYWAY... what's point of my ramblings?

Surfing is like life... you get pummelled, pinned down and humbled... you get sand in your orifices... Life is washing out the cobwebs and challenging you to JUST LET GO.

...and then if you have ALLOWED THE PROCESS.... you pop up, paddle back out, drop into a new wave, and glide into a COSMIC TUBE that defies reality and lights every fibre of your being with LIFE FORCE ENERGY.

 Alex Gray enjoying the Yin half of the equation.

Alex Gray enjoying the Yin half of the equation.

FROM STRUGGLE TO FLOW

So if you're in the struggle phase.. SUCK IT UP, EMBRACE IT, ACCEPT IT, HONOUR IT, LOVE IT, APPRECIATE IT.... Go floppy.. release tension. Have a nap. Go get a massage. Lay on the beach watching clouds go by. 

CHILL OUT AND ALLOW THE BEAT DOWN TO FLUSH THROUGH EVERY CELL OF YOUR BODY.

...because it is ONLY by surrendering to it can you LEARN FROM IT. 

The longer you resist it, kicking and screaming, moaning and wishing life were more pleasant right now, the longer you put off rising to the surface of the ocean, ready to catch that next wave. 


Are you in struggle or flow? Make sure you join our free FlowTribe Facebook group and join the next Flow Pod, a journey to deeper self-awareness and tranquility of mind.

Jiro Taylor