Hello My Beautiful Friends! I greet you from Faenza, Italy!
I have been given many opportunities as of late to become intimately familiar with the idea of "going with the flow." For me, one of the hardest aspects of life is to trust enough (myself, life, the universe, the Divine), to relax and simply allow things to unfold. I have spent most of my life doing a lot of planning, goal setting, and organizing. It doesn't come naturally for me to feel at ease with the idea that all I can do is to put one foot in front of the other and be present with each moment; while life does its thing and unfolds around me. I want to actively unfold it, decide when and where it should unfold, and know well in advance what the outcome of that unfolding entails. Sound like anyone you know? Philosophically I understand that this is not how the Universe works, but my human mind really likes to have at least the illusion that I've got all the details figured out in advance.
As my travels in Europe unfold, I am quickly reminded that life is a journey: with many different twist and turns, some anticipated and others that contain the joyous element of surprise. Being the contemplative sort that I am, my recent experiences have brought my mind to rest on the often underrepresented and under-admired virtue of being able to FLOW through life. When I started this trip I had a basic framework in place; which for me was necessary. It allowed me to feel that I had a known trajectory. A stepping off point, that created a strong enough sense of security for me to brave getting on the plane that flew me over the Atlantic Ocean, to start my four and a half month sojourn into the unknown. Within the first two week of being here that framework had to be completely restructured. Between unforeseen visa issues and simply having a better sense of what I am looking for from this trip once I got here, the original framework was no longer functional. I'm still in the process of restructuring it, but this time there is a built in sense that everything I plan for today may very well have a different plan for me by tomorrow.
It doesn't surprise me that I chose to start my adventures in Europe in a small town in the Italian Alps. Mother Earth, and more specifically her majestic mountains, have always held a special place for me. It is where I can most feel the Great Mother's presence. When I am near her in this way, she takes me into her arms, tenderly sheltering me. Letting me fill myself with her warmth, and hear the beat of her heart, as she gives me the strength and courage to live as boldly as she does each day. To love as broadly and freely. She is an example to me, of cosmic proportions, of how to live unfettered, abundant and joyous. It was the prefect place in which to start my journey. I had intended to stay for three months in that heavenly nest...
Once I was safely ensconced on Italian soil, the Universe reminded me that we are co-creators. I have dreamed my dream and put my plan into action, and now it's time for me to allow the Divine to build a web of synchronicity far greater than what my human mind is able to imagine. I have let my desires be known to the Great Creator and now I must sit back, relax, and allow the Universe to work its magic. When the life pushes me in a new direction it is my responsibility to feel that push and allow it to initiate movement. So, to the best of my ability, I am relaxing into the FLOW and allowing it to guide my journey.
I am a known "resister." I often have to wear myself out swimming upstream for a time before I remember to turn on my back, point my feet down stream, and let it take me. As I learn and evolve the resistance is becoming less and less of an automatic reaction. There was no delay in my actions this time. I immediately responded to the Universe's nudges and allowed myself to be moved by them. However, I did have to do a small amount of mental unraveling to see my way clear of the doubts that wanted to invade my being when it become obvious that I was going to have to do some authentic flowing on this trip.
Blessedly, once I had rested upon the Great Mother's breast, and dipped my toes into the deep and unfamiliar waters of the Italian language and culture with her encouragement and support, I feel brave enough to move into larger populations. I know she will always be with me as I journey to yet unfamiliar places. I will feel her presence when the wind moves through my hair. I will feel her presence in the hearts of the people I encounter. And I will feel her presence as I sit in meditation, inviting her in and asking that she continue to share her wisdom with me, telling me when it is time to stay and when it is time to go.
The Great Mother reminds me of the importance and necessity of flow, of movement. She shelters me when I need shelter and she tells me when it is time to leave the nest. To lovingly release the maternal bosom, so that I might venture farther and wider in my quest. To leave the comfort of that small town nestled in a deep mountain valley, so that I might happen upon more of the fellow travelers that are on this journey with me. The kindred spirits I so long to know. She reminds me that I can stand strong and walk forward on my own two feet, and that she will always be there to guide me.
As the Universe was nudging me to soften my plans and consider a change of scenery, I came across this quote by my friend John Tzavelas. "Just because something feels like it's meant to be when it happens, that doesn't mean you're not meant to move on once maximum growth has been extracted." It was a great reminder that even when we are acting on intuition and heart guidance, life is still fluid and impermanent. So, even though my decision to go to that particular place in Italy had been right in the moment, and had effectively gotten me to Italy in the first place, it didn't mean that the decision to leave that place wasn't just as intuitive and heart driven.
So this is what it means to me right now to flow. To let the journey lift you, move you, and sometimes place you in situations and locations you never expected or planned for. May we all continue to learn to be more fluid, and to let life gently wash away some of our more rigid nature.
Tawa Ranes has a very curious mind and has always been interested in the nature of consciousness and the workings of the Universe. Since healing has been a big part of her own personal journey, much of her curiosity focuses on understanding how and why healing occurs or fails to take place.