Music Monday: Floating Your Cork

Last week we got a great response to my Stretch about the ripple effect of what we do. In it, I referenced an analogy about The Flow (the river) and the muddy banks on the sides. Many people asked if I would re-run the story to help them fill in the blanks so… Here it is:

The Lioness Principle, which guides my company, my work, and my life, is basically the acknowledgement that we all have an inner wisdom and knowing that is infallible in its guidance and truth. But, lately I’ve realized a great distinction. I’ve come to understand that this guidance system speaks in a feeling place, not an intellectual place. In other words, to hear it and therefore leverage it in your work and life, you must feel it rather than hear it. You must allow it rather than try so hard to figure it all out. It requires getting yourself into what I call “The Flow.”

For me, The Flow looks a lot like the “It’s a Small World After All” ride at Disneyland – a magical float along an energetic river of endless and delightful possibilities, passageways, and people who can connect you to all the things, experiences, and relationships you want in life. I imagine that The Universe is happily and constantly yielding to me all the many and multiple avenues by which I can create all that I want and realize all the satisfaction from it that I desire. When I’m in The Flow, I imagine myself as a little wine cork who floats effortlessly toward all that I want. Even if I’m only on the edges of The Flow, I am likely to be easily swept up in it.

But alas, as I’m peacefully and blissfully floating along… suddenly life happens. I look at my checkbook balance, my calendar, my to-do list, an email or voicemail message, and I’m disturbed in some way by worry, fear, doubt, jealousy, insecurity, loneliness, a sudden change of plans, or an event out of my control… and out the cork pops right into the muddy banks on the sides! Or at a minimum, down it goes, under the flow, tethered by my heavy energy, limiting beliefs, and negative emotions. My work, then, is not to keep the cork from going under or popping out (which is next to impossible if you live in a modern world) but rather to quickly recognize that it has gone under and use a few tools to free it so that it may float along this river of possibilities again.

Understanding The Flow is not just important in creating a fabulous life, but it has great potential to improve your professional life as well. When I need to make an important business decision or have a challenging or crucial conversation with an employee or client, I make sure, first, that I am emotionally in The Flow and not standing outside in fear, lack, insecurity, or anger. How do I know if I’m in or out of The Flow? By the way I feel. If I feel negative emotions, I’m out, stuck in the mud, and this is never a strong platform on which to make decisions or communicate effectively as a leader.

So, when you’re out, how do you “get back in?” I think it’s different for everyone. I have found a specific set of guided meditations that help me, as does a “flow” playlist on my iPod, a “mantra” list on my computer to which I’m constantly adding quotes and thoughts, or a brisk walk on my favorite path up a hill where the view and the vibe inspire me. In every case, it requires taking a moment to regain my sense of gratitude for not only what I already have but also for the opportunity before me for growth… even though it is framed as a challenge. It also requires tapping into my faith and courage and my huge capacity for approaching the world through a lens of love, calm, forgiveness, and abundance.

This week, consider how a physical reminder such as a cork, stone, coin, or other small item sitting on your desk, dashboard, or tucked into your pocket can serve as a touchstone and reminder to tap into the place where you can access unlimited peace, well-being, absolute knowing, and perfect answers.

For Music Monday (always the first Monday of every month) here’s a little sweet jam from a big fav of mine, Jason Mraz, 3 Things, which always reminds me, when I’m stuck in the mud, to just jump right back in The Flow.

Jason Mraz- Angel by the Wings

“There are three things I do when my life falls apart
Number one I cry my eyes out and I dry up my heart
Not until I do this will my new life start
So that’s the first thing that I do when my life falls apart

Oh the second thing I would do is I close both of my eyes
And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life
I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside
Gathering new strength from sorrow,
I’m glad to be alive

And things are looking up
I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking up
Love is still the answer I’m relying, oh right
Three little things
Things are looking up

Oh, the third thing that I do now when my world caves in,
Is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end
I design my future bright not by where my life has been
And I try, try, try, try, try again
Yes I try, try, try, try, try again

Things are looking up
I know beyond the dark the sun is rising
Things are looking up
And I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking up
Love is still the answer I’m relying, oh right
Three little things
Three little things”

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