Flow: The Gentle Art of Listening [4 key mindset shifts]

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a very-long-time. A dynamic integration of ideas that have hung on the tip of my metaphorical pen :)

At the heart of what I’ve been thinking is this;

The more our lives and eating habits are in balance, the more often we are in the right place in the right time, accelerating and capturing positive, meaningful coincidences.

Recently I spent an epic day churning through my to-do list, not realising the sun had set or how long I had been squinting at my laptop in the dark.

My day had disappeared under the intense engagement of emails, session notes and project planning. I thought I was in complete flow.

What didn’t seem to make my to-do list was calling a really good friend to check how her fiance’s surgery went.

Although I felt productive, I felt emptiness as I closed up shop. I was pushing and shoving my way through my self-inflicted deadlines, and ending the day feeling pretty stressed out, not to mention feeling like an insensitive friend.

As I took stock of my past few days, I smiled as I translated what I think was a message about what I need to pay more attention to; friendships, family and people in my life. A reminder, to become MORE present.

What I do know, is that to be healthy in a sustainable way, my diet and lifestyle has to harmonize with my desired manner of being in the world.

zucchini bake

I am more naturally in flow when I am internally aware and balanced. I’m not stressed, I eat nourishing meals that satisfy me, I get enough sleep, sunlight, move my body, and feel a connection to the people in my life.

Life feels easy and natural when we are living in balance like the universe is orbiting around us.

The cosmos deals in the currency of emotion. When we feel good, goodness flows. That means, if kicking back a bit (or a lot) helps you feel happier and more fulfilled, the Universe will help you pull it off.
— Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map

And, when we are not in sync, we feel out of balance, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A healthy whack over the head is usually an undefined boundary helping us to navigate the future that we want to create for ourselves. 

It seems nature pulls towards harmony and wholeness. Changes made to one element in isolation, often get pulled back to the center of gravity.

What I’m learning, is that humans have this instinct to circle back to their center. At the heart of what we desire is often more meaning, connection, purpose, health, happiness.

Rules and restrictions about what we can and can’t eat don’t always support us eating in tune with needs of our body and soul. We need to work with our bodies not against it, building trust in our innate ability to balance and respond to feeling good.   

Diets tend to stick for a period of time through willpower. Tension builds in the form of cravings, emotions and physical disharmony. The body gets louder to get what it needs, actualising it's demands physically and psychologically.

Willpower can be a finite resource, and wasting it, where it isn’t necessarily needed, can mean missing out on things that are truly important.

Zucchini bake

I think life and our bodies change like the seasons. Balancing and matching our diet to our nature, can be a tricky balance to strike.

When we are out of balance, who we are in the world generates a kind of tension, which resolves either when our eating habits move back in line with our life’s season, or when our entire life shifts to come into harmony with our way of eating.

To be able to follow your own internal navigation systems takes time, practice, consistency, and support. It takes a curious perspective.

With greater self-awareness, we naturally start to support ourselves physically and emotionally, because we are noticing the signs and signals of the world around us, but more deeply, within us.

We don't need to lose weight, snag the guy, get the promotion or “wait until I have more time” to rebalance. Start by simply becoming more consciously aware, and you have already started to strengthen your resolve. It is all about perspective, and you can help yourself by strengthening your positivity muscles with these mindset shifts:

Zucchini Bake

Four key mindset shifts to help you become more consciously aware:

1. Trust that the universe has your back

The universe is leading you to be in the right place at the right time. I think the real game changing mindset switch is knowing that everything is happening for you, not to you.

2. Challenges are your greatest gifts

Challenges shape who you are, what you know, and what you are passionate about; they can be a gift. You just have to allow them to be. Our struggles determine our greatest successes.

3. There is no such thing as success or failure, only lessons

Life is a journey of self-discovery. Instead of viewing life as random occurrences, learn from them.

Feedback allows us to adjust our behaviour to how we want to feel. When we ask; “what is the message, or what is the lesson in this experience?” we can start to look at life more objectively. We’re able to own our thoughts, feelings, and actions to make choices.

4.  We can attract what we want through Upward Spiralling (and the law of attraction)

Upward Spiral

Upward spiralling is a metaphor for growing happiness based on evidence that wellbeing is optimised by gradually building positive emotions one-by-one on top of one another.

I’ve talked about structuring positive upward spiralling through a morning gratitude practice.

The law of attraction is a common mental illusion that I like to call “the black car phenomenon”.

About 3 years ago Nick and I were shopping around for a black VW Golf. Suddenly, we were 10x more receptive to how many black-VW-Golf’s were on the road (a lot apparently, as I jumped into the wrong one last weekend thinking it was ours. The driver was not pleased with the interruption to her instagramming).

The law of attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. I think we condition our limited attention to focus on what we think is most important at any given time. If you are not listening to the signals that your body is giving you, they will pass you by like that generic red car that you never considered.

I think the trick to starting this process is getting out of your head and into your heart.

Perhaps it is learning about patience, humility and letting go of our usual distractions so we can go within. Sometimes what we need to let go of is obvious, and sometimes the complexity is revealed over time.

The journey is set in your search for truth, the hard part is getting out of your own way, and practicing self-awareness (life is about the journey, not the destination; you never actually arrive).

When we identify and focus on the essential needs that are unique to us, we are more deeply in touch with our life. Pulling together these concepts of trust, feedback, challenges as gifts, synchronicity, and upward spiralling, you can support a flow.

When we are so deeply involved in our lives, it’s difficult to uncover how each area of our lives affects one another.

I know how hard this food, diet, body stuff is to navigate.

Which is why I have created a 1:1 coaching program that opens a space to feel supported. To feel less like you are facing a secret struggle. To not feel “unmotivated”, or “have no willpower”. You have not lost your way to be able to follow your intuition.

    I coach women in strengthening their relationship with their body through intuitive eating and body kindness.


     - BOOk a free CLARITY call To help you get unstuck