Go with the Flow

My picture for the website is a piece of art by Linda Sinuti called “Flow”.  I found her by googling artwork of the soul and chose this piece from her website because it spoke to my mine.  It turns out that the artist is also into nutrition and has made choices in her life to go to more of a plant- based diet for health reasons.  She was thrilled that I wanted to use her work, and we have now found a connection in the world.  I had a vision of what I wanted on my logo and asked a friend to think about making a piece, but basically, I let it go and this fell into my lap with more ease and grace than I expected.

The reason I tell you this is because it speaks to flow of life, letting go and trusting that everything in life is for you.  Even things we perceive as bad result in growth and lessons.  I have spent much of my life “fighting” for things or forcing things even when it was clear that it was not meant to be.  This tenacity in life is often prized by society’s values of hard work and sacrifice, but is it really the most productive use of our time?  Do we end up manifesting things that are really not in our higher good because we forced things to happen versus letting the natural flow of things provide?

I do believe that things you work for are more valuable than things that are given, but do we really have to work hard for everything we get?  However, I think expectations and thinking that we know better than the universe often results in outcomes and situations that we really don’t want, except for the lesson we clearly needed.  Therefore, nothing is actually good or bad, but when we want to thrive and not survive, we really need to go with the flow instead of making everything a struggle or fight.

One way to stay in the flow is by not getting overly attached to outcomes, like losing 20 pounds.  A more supportive choice would be increasing your health by being more active or eating less processed foods.  While setting goals are great when you are reaching those goals, they are also a marker that can result in failure and send you down a rabbit hole of self-judgement that usually sabotages the weight loss.  Having a more open-ended goal, like being healthier, is achievable and sustainable over time and can withstand the disappointment of a setback. A specific goal only allows success or failure, which sets you up for the inner critic when you fail and often results in you ending up even worse off than when you started.

Many of you know I was a hospital dietitian for 18 years of my career.  When I started, I loved my job and even went on to teach the advanced clinical dietetics class at San Jose State University.  I was good at my job and achieved recognition and success early on.  However, the money never seemed to flow for me and the corporate mentality and politics of health care started to kill my spirit.  I found functional medicine, through a good friend and colleague, and then my value system and understanding of Western medicine vs. integrative functional medicine made it impossible to stay.  It took me 3 years of going part-time and then contracting before I was able to cut the cord.  While the first year I struggled financially, and I found that one on one counseling, even in the integrative world, was not for me.  I eventually found my way to full-time teaching that has led to an amazingly flexible schedule and work that feeds my soul.  Every semester I get to teach students about what speaks to my heart and let them experience both the Western and integrative worlds of nutrition and health, to make more informed decisions for themselves.  This career path happened though a series of disappointments and successes, but when I look back, there was a flow. The times I seemed to struggle happened because I was having a hard time of letting go of things that were not serving me.

I stayed at my hospital job far too long out of fear because I thought I could not make “that kind of money” if I quit, even though I was being drastically underpaid.  In the end, I make far more money than I would have if I stayed.  I have more vacation, more free time, and I do not punch a clock, ever.  I have held on to relationships, for fear of being alone, when all the signs of the universe were saying let go and even in the relationship, I felt alone.  Is there something that you are not letting go of right now that may be holding you back financially, emotionally, or physically?  Listen to your gut, what is it telling you?  True flow is about having faith that the universe has your back, being able to look at “problems” as challenges, and moving forward to keep the flow going to where you need to go.