Drive into Flow

Drive into Flow

We have long lived under the ego-self and its claims of doership. Thoughts and emotions arise naturally from various stimuli and ego calls them mine. “I feel sad,” we say. Or “I’ve been thinking.” In fact, these are simply happening and we’re noticing.

Some people like artists culture a deeper sense of being to connect to creativity and intuition. They may speak of the muse or inspiration moving through them.

Similarly, spiritual seekers try to culture a deeper sense of being. As their perception refines, they notice that thoughts and emotions simply arise, mostly without their input.

As we step more deeply into being, we slowly disentangle from doership. With Self Realization the core falls away, but it still takes time to unwind the shrapnel.

During this process, (and it can start before awakening) there is a major shift in what drives us to action – depending on how identified with doership we’ve been. With the ego, our actions are driven by trained shoulds and musts, unmet needs, reactivity, and desires. Much of that arises subconsciously but as the mind likes to explain everything, it makes up a story about it. We end up with a story about everything. Some of it is laughably ridiculous when it becomes conscious as it developed when we were young children.

After awakening and the shift in sense of doership, there is a progressive winding down of many of our old drivers. The depth of this will depend on how much has already been unloaded. But it will wind down over a number of years, often through direct life experiences. We see a response coming up, realize it’s not appropriate, and resolve it so it doesn’t come up again. Life becomes conscious rather than mind driven.

As the old drivers fall away, we open the door for the deeper flow to move through us. However, this is deeper than the signals we’re used to. It’s also nothing the personal can lay claim to if there is still an impulse to control.

As a result, there can be a fallow period where we seem to lose motivation. Natural things like eating and sleeping still take place, along with responsibilities. But our old life may lose its charm. Some goals and long-held dreams may fall away.

This is just a transition period. The form it takes will depend on what we have to unload. For example, I had a lot of baggage around being “the provider.” My old work fell away, but I continued to try to revive it in some form. In retrospect I can see I also had conceptual barriers to what I was being called to do. It happened anyway while I was fussing over the old form. (laughs)

It’s also useful to know that awakening is a major priority for nature. While we may not recognize it, the process is deeply supported and celebrated. For example, in spite of my career falling away, I lived comfortably. Having been used to (falsely) seeing myself in control, there was some struggle with that. But it was always fine, even if income didn’t come from usual sources. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said, the money will come from wherever it is.

Also, the flow doesn’t mean personal desires and preferences end. Not in the slightest. But extraneous things fall away and what remains gets much clearer and cleaner. They join withย the deeper flow of life as we work for wholeness rather than avoidance.

…united are their minds while full of desires. For you I make use of the integrated expression of knowledge. By virtue of unitedness and by means of that which remains to be united, I perform action to generate wholeness of life.
ย  — Rig Veda, excerpt from the closing

Then life flows, what we need simply arises, and the quality of life gets better and better.

Last Updated on November 11, 2017 by Davidya

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  1. Jane McCarroll

    Thank you for this, first thing I read today.. perfect. Last night at satsang someone asked how I am doing and I said “well I’m doing mostly being”. I know I am on the path to awakening, there are so many shifts and yet the ego mind is resisting.
    Blessings on your day,

    1. Hi Jane
      We can look at the process as a kind of dance. It is the nature if the ego to sustain the status quo, so we just notice this. And then one day the intensity of presence will be great enough that it will overshadow the ego’s resistance.

      I can recall going through a phase where I was trying to figure out how to get past the ego. It was such a trickster! But I didn’t have to worry because ego doesn’t actually have any of the control it thinks it does. And it isn’t what wakes up anyway – we wake up From it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. “Itโ€™s also useful to know that awakening is a major priority for nature. While we may not recognize it, the process is deeply supported and celebrated. For example, in spite of my career falling away, I lived comfortably. Having been used to (falsely) seeing myself in control, there was some struggle with that. But it was always fine, even if income didnโ€™t come from usual sources. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said, the money will come from wherever it is.”

    This is uncannily, personally familiar Davidya.

    Excellent timing for me. Very welcome. Thank you. K.

  3. Jim

    “…we work for wholeness rather than avoidance.”

    Yes, perfectly expressed. It is quite a weird thing in practice as we do not feel any differently, and yet the transition is easily seen in the way we operate and our effortlessly inclusive actions in the world.

    1. Right, Jim.
      I can recall a time some years ago after the early shifting where the circumstances of my life didn’t make a lot of sense on the surface.

      Some called me a miracle worker. Others rolled their eyes. But the process was a good retraining for me. In other words the shift from drive to flow had a few speed bumps.

      I get the impression your transition was more straightforward. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Jim

        Well I have always had so much going on in “the relative” – lol, that I simply kept reinvesting any spiritual progress into action, and also kept to myself while going through some big changes. That is another form of reinvestment, to simply keep sweating it out, vs. finding any social consensus or consulting a teacher.

        It does pay off, as I challenged myself and accomplished amazing things, and continue to, that I didn’t know I couldn’t, or that were considered impossible. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, “Speak softly and carry a big mantra” ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. (laughs) Yes, a lot of the process was private for me too. Then aspects of the life started falling away, spirituality shifted back into the foreground, and then the teacher showed up and a sequence of shifts unfolded quite quickly.

          In some ways, the life was organized to facilitate this. Most people don’t have as much of that.

          Also in this case, I live in a community of the awake now. Another just moved here. Thats fairly rare.

          I was amused to discover you have produced a bunch of modestly successful albums even though you’re not technically a musician. We live in interesting times. ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Jim

            I am not so very surprised that your community has grown in that direction, given the apparent spiritual attraction of the place, and as you say, made to order once we are fully ‘immersed’. What could be better, right?

            Life becomes not a sort of approximation, but the literal manifestation of our highest aspirations, with beautiful and nourishing surroundings, whatever those may be for each of us, included.

            Yes, I was very happy to see tech make it far easier to express myself artistically – digital photography and sampled music – yes, please!

            I was looking at electronic bagpipes recently, though they still require actual musical talent to play the chanter – looking more for a “bagpipe-hero” version. Probably too niche a market though. ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Thinking about it, those tendencies have long been there. Like founding a housing coop, going on large spiritual courses, etc. But it is quite delightful to be able to hang out and compare notes with others awake and see their progress week by week.

            So yes, our life becomes a fuller expression of those natural laws.

            (laughs) Have not seen electronic bagpipes. I once got a small synthesizer that had a breath controller. You could make some wild sounds with that one but I don’t think it had the capacity for bagpipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, it can be a curious phase when the life we thought we were supposed to be living, or the person we were supposed to be, or what used to fascinate us becomes kind of irrelevant.

      Happily, what comes out the other end of the process is much richer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. DeA

    Such an interesting time as I’m looking for work but have seemingly lost the passion in my area of expertise. I see now that I had a lot of identity wrapped up in my professional skills, and as it diminishes, I dont have the personal drive to continue this work– even though I’m technically very good at it– Wonder where I will end up.

    Thanks David!

    1. Hi DeA
      Yes, I went through a similar thing. It was coupled with some experiences of getting work and having things go uncharacteristically strange. Like having efforts go badly.

      For some, it is simply a process and we come out the other side and continue. For others, it becomes clear a new phase of life has begun and we’re called in new directions. And for others, there isn’t the entanglements of identity, so none of this happens. At least not in this arena of life.

      It varies widely.

      You may find exploring what does interest you a useful exercise. Things like career testing, What Color is your Parachute, or a good jyotish reading.

      The point is to see if there are clues to where to give your attention. But it may not be time. A fallow period of inner direction and cleaning house may also be in order. Moving into the flow…

  5. K

    Okay – this may sound mundane but I have to share. I think my inner stuff is being cleared through – I like to think that it is because my practice, but after reading these posts it is likely because Nature intends it so . What is funny is that very recently, I decided to throw one thing from my house away every day (I have a decent amount of clutter though I try to live minimalistically :-)). SO everyday, I throw one thing away, could be very trivial (like left overs in the fridge) – but everyday I am impelled to do this. I find it very amusing though I am looking forward to living in a very decluttered house.

    1. Right, K, but practices arise because nature intends it. ๐Ÿ™‚
      The difference is not in what arises but how we see it.

      For me, decluttering happened through moving several times some years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It’s also worth noting that people can store their baggage in physical things. They can even protect their stuff from being seen literally. So decluttering can reflect inner work or can trigger it – both ways.

  6. Christine

    “Itโ€™s also useful to know that awakening is a major priority for nature. While we may not recognize it, the process is deeply supported and celebrated.”

    I really like this.

  7. Christine

    Thank you. I have noticed that life has become easier and things that could be traumatic seem to be less difficult. Feelings sort of zoom through me and out without leaving a long trace. It can be a bit like early-onset Alzheimer’s though, as when people ask me how I am and they ask because they know life has thrown some difficult things my way, I tend to be a bit puzzled and have to search back in my mind to know how I felt, because how I feel now seems to be how things are. I generally feel good.

    1. Hi Christine
      On feelings – perfect.
      Friends were joking about the memory thing a few days ago. Our relationship with memory changes quite a bit when life experiences don’t have the same charge. They move through like the feelings, here and gone.

      Also, as we change who we experience ourselves to be, some standard social things can be very curious. How are you? What do you do? An honest response may not be a sensible one. (laughs)

  8. Christine

    I’m glad to know other people experience that too. Memory is still important but most of what happens doesn’t need to be retained.
    Old ways of judging the world are falling away too. I’ve been watching cars zooming along, and marvelling at how tiny points of consciousness are all moving in and out and around one another in the physical world. An amazing swarm with no awareness really of the underlying central connectedness. It’s fascinating.

    1. Right. And what needs to be recalled will be. Mind and memory isn’t really local so as that notion fades, our relationship with it shifts.

      Actually, that’s true of just about everything. A continual adventure of discovery of different ways of experiencing the world and all it’s layers.

      Yes- very fascinating.

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