*My friend gave me permission to share this story...
A few months back I had plans to meet up with a girlfriend for coffee. We have this ritual where we like to drive to new cities and visit new coffee shops. We’ll drive up to an hour away, it’s really about experiencing something new and having an adventure together while doing something as simple as getting coffee.
Now, this friend of mine is pure sunshine. She is always incredibly positive and smiley and happy. She is really great energy to be around.
On this particular day, she came to my house to pick me up and when I got into her car, I noticed there was some heavy energy hanging in there. At the time, I couldn't tell if it was me or her. She went out the night before, so I assumed she may be a little hungover, which is totally fine, and that was the energy I was experiencing. So, away we went on our 35-minute drive to a quaint little coffee shop she had seen on Instagram.
The drive was fine enough as we chatted away and caught up on each other's lives. But, then things changed. My sweet friend had the directions going on her phone and it took us to the wrong location. Ok, no biggy. We're adults, we can handle this. Checking the address, she re-entered it into her phone and off we went again, only to have it take us to another wrong location. This went on for a bit. At one point, the phone was navigating us in complete circles in a neighborhood far from where we thought the coffee shop was. All the maps app showed was the blue navigating line forming a complete square around the block of this random neighborhood with the correct address punched in. If there ever was a sign from the Universe this was it.
As we approached an hour of driving with no luck with our destination, I resentfully plugged the address into my phone, cursing technology, and we were taken back onto the correct course. We finally made it the coffee shop, 45 minutes late, only now there was no parking. It was a Sunday and the coffee shop was near a farmer's market. Y'all know how hectic a farmer's market can get on Sunday, those health conscious can be ruthless.
Frustrations arose as we spent another 20 minutes driving in more circles looking for a parking spot. I finally caved in, and said out loud there clearly isn’t flow here, mustering a slight chuckle under my grievance. So, we left. After spending over an hour looking for this place, we just turned around and headed home. On the drive back, I kept thinking about what had just happened. There was zero flow for such a simple task like getting coffee in a new city. My intuition told me to check in on my friend.
What poured out of her was dissatisfactions surrounding her job she didn’t feel appreciated at and a past failed relationship she wishes had succeeded. This entire trip made perfect sense now to me. My sweet friend was stuck in a rut and couldn't see a way out, and her phone was taking us in physical and metaphorical circles, a reflection of the energy she had within.
I saw it as the most perfect sign from the Universe that something needed to change. We talked through her troubles together, and to this day, I still can’t get over how that morning was a perfect example of flow or lack thereof.
Most people may refer to flow as a state of mind where you’re completely in the groove and time seems to slip away because you’re so happily focused on whatever it is you’re doing. This is true. I’ve had days where I was in the flow and got everything I needed done and felt amazing. But, I also like to refer to flow as a guiding compass from the Universe. When I’m in a situation or trying to achieve something and I feel resistance or force, I ask myself is there flow?
Usually just having to ask means no, then I take the opportunity at that moment to reflect why there isn't flow and what is really going on. An easy example is when you’re in a rush and you stub your toe, then you break a glass then you lose your cars keys. There isn’t flow because the Universe, Source, your Inner Being is telling you to slow down and usually for a good reason.
Had I been in my friend shoes and my maps was taking me in physical and metaphorical circles, going nowhere fast, I would have stopped and asked is there flow? What can I take away from this situation? What is this experience trying to show me? Because really, your external world is a reflection of your internal world and in the case of my sweet friend, her internal world was a maze with no escape, or at least emotionally that's how it felt for her.
That’s how I like use flow, as navigating guide for day-to-day life. And it doesn’t have to focus on what's not working, it's a helpful indicator, but it’s also great to use when things are feeling really good. When I met my partner last year, I was amazed by how much flow I felt with him. Everything was so effortless, there was this knowingness about our relationship right away that couldn't be ignored. I also felt immense flow starting my own business and knew I was on the right track but how much ease and joy I felt. I can feel flow with certain people and places, like moving to Australia. Once I decided to do that, I knew I was aligned with my Inner Being because the flow was endless.
Give it a try, moment to moment, ask yourself, is there flow? If there is, keep moving forward. if not, then see what needs to be changed. Remember, flow is like a compass from the Universe, it’s there to help you, support you and guide you.
**Update: My friend got a new job that she loves and is currently dating a nice boy