In our most recent episode, 147, of our Uniquely Brilliant podcast, Diana and I tackled the challenge of figuring out how to get to the next place when we don’t know what the next place is. As you can imagine, this topic stemmed from a conversation about making decisions and plans in the constantly changing environment caused by the pandemic.
I love talking through ideas with Diana. We’ve been doing the podcast since 2015 and have learned to go with the flow of our lives as we create episodes. For the first 3 years of the podcast, we lived in adjacent towns and recorded in the same room. Then Diana moved back home to Ohio. We ended up taking some time off, then picked back up just before the pandemic, recording remotely. It wasn’t the same, but it worked. The podcast has flowed with our lives.
How do we get there?
In this episode, we focused on going with the flow as a means to getting to the next place, event, horizon, whichever term fits, with our sanity and energy somewhat intact. This pandemic has taxed us in so many ways as we navigate what’s safe, what’s important, and how to move from uncertainty to uncertainty without losing our minds.
Early in the episode, Diana talks about focusing on the short term to move out of crisis mode so we can plan for the immediate future. She frames up coming off a crisis as an opportunity to shift our thinking and take a different approach. When we recognize an event as an opportunity or an adventure instead of an obstacle, it opens us to a world of possible ways forward and outcomes.
As we shift and allow things to unfold, avoiding imposing expectations around outcomes, we allow for the possibility of unexpected gifts and insights to pop into our heads.
One way to stay open-minded is to embrace and seek out opportunities to lighten up. We can do something fun like take a walk, dance to a favorite song, or jump up and down (this really works!) as a means to opening up to creative solutions that can get us unstuck.
Diana points out that fighting obstacles takes a lot of energy. And, when we run out of energy we are forced to flow with the situation or stay right where we are – stuck. Pretty sure I groaned when she said this because I’m not always willing to go with the flow. I want things to progress at my speed (aka I have expectations).
She also shares an excellent analogy: When we’re in a canoe, boat, or kayak on the water, we aren’t in charge of the flow of the water. We have to accept it and work with it instead of against it. When we fight that flow, we wear ourselves out.
You were built for this.
Here’s the thing. When we allow ourselves to go with the flow, we bring all of our experience and intuition to bear as we navigate our way through the situation in front of us (or on top of us!).
When we throw out our outdated approaches and acknowledge that we have access to all the tools we need to move forward, we exercise agency and move from reacting to trusting ourselves and our experience.
When we surrender our old, rigid approaches and shift to being open to other approaches, we’re gifted with the opportunity to call on seldom used skills and talents to navigate our way forward.
We become reacquainted with the best of ourselves.
We are able to go with the flow.
Listen to the episode here.