There is a life force energy that naturally flows through each one of us. Some call it quantum energy, others call it divinity or highest consciousness, and others call it God. Whatever you choose to label it, each one of us is inherently part of that energy, one with that energy and at the very same time we are channels for that energy to express itself into the world.
The energy moves. By it’s very nature energy does not stand still. It flows. Every aspect of life as you know it is part of that flow, including yourself. Imagine it is like a river. You’re in that river and you can either swim with the current or against it. Swimming with the flow is allowing your life to unfold naturally and magically. Swimming against the flow, heading back upstream, is blocking your life and pushing against the natural unfolding.
If this is the case, then it goes without saying that we’d all want to know how it is that we allow our life to naturally unfold (how do we go with the flow?), and we’d also want to be aware of the ways in which we consciously or unconsciously block our life, hence going against the flow.
“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding” – John O’Donohue.
The Mysterious Unfolding
There is one significant, overarching way in which we block the natural unfolding of our life. That block can be summarised as unwillingness. It is our unwillingness to allow the mysterious and magical unfolding of life. That unwillingness shows up as a need to control life, to control our outcomes, to dictate what happens, how and when it happens, and to grip on with fear. The unwillingness could also be called attachments—we get attached to our negative ways of being, and attached to controlling everything to fit our expected outcomes, and we rally against anything that does not meet those expectations.
Why is this natural unfolding of life so mysterious? Because our highest path in life, the most free flowing path for ourselves, may not be at all what we anticipate with our minds. Our thinking mind cannot conceive of all the possibilities. For most people, they operate from the mind like the mind is who they are. They may be completely unaware that soul is who they are and the mind is one tool they have to navigate through life.
The mind likes to interrupt the natural unfolding by hatching plans that it thinks are best. An untamed mind uses the past to define the present and it uses fear to determine the future. The mind carries us away from and out of the natural flow. The mind is a powerful tool and one of our greatest gifts as human beings. But it can be powerfully positive or powerfully destructive. Without conscious awareness and direction, the mind will run riot. Use your mind, don’t let your mind use you.
The Creation of a Dam
When we are unwilling to flow with life, we create blocks in the river, and a dam is formed. The energy cannot flow fluidly through us because of how we are being. Every time we create an expectation and become attached to outcomes, we build the dam a little higher. Our expectations become so ingrained that we don’t even realise we have them, and we begin willing life to happen in foreseeable concrete ways and means, according to what our mind believes is best. We place these demands upon life, we judge what is, we judge others and we judge ourselves. We create negative stories about what has happened to us and what is happening now if it does not align to our expectations of how life should be. The more we do this, the more ingrained these expectations become, until they actually form into deeply held belief systems. These belief systems are like the programming code that runs a computer. Your beliefs run you. Negative beliefs build up like layers of bedrock over a lifetime.
This is a snapshot of how we build a dam in the river of life. This is how we block the life force energy from flowing naturally. This is how we cause our own chaos where there would otherwise be a magical and mysterious unfolding in ways of highest benefit to us.
When we block our life, things start to go ‘wrong’. We label those things as bad and then we rally against them. Life will always send us wake up calls, events and signals to help us evolve. Many of the challenges, crises and breakdowns we face in life are actually incredibly powerful gifts for breakthrough, insights and our personal evolution – in some ways these are sent to help us break down the dam and allow the natural flow to return. Unfortunately, many of us mistake those events (life’s natural intervention mechanisms) as further evidence that things are ‘wrong’ and ‘unfair’ and ‘bad’. We therefore become more attached to our expectations and limiting beliefs, and the dam is built higher and stronger, causing greater blocks to the natural flow of life.
Freedom and inner peace begins with accepting that you yourself, at some level, created the dam in the river and blocked the flow, even if unconsciously. By acknowledging that life interventions (challenging and crappy times) are actually gifts in disguise, to allow the breaking down of that dam and the free flow of the river, then you can truly allow the unfolding of your life to begin/return.
Acceptance isn’t giving up. It is allowing yourself to flow through challenges, not against them. You can be at peace with your present challenging circumstances, accepting and allowing, and yet still apply your free will and creative ability to design your life in better ways and take purposeful action to change things. It’s all about how you ‘show up' in life that ultimately makes the difference to your experience of life.
When you allow, accept and unblock, the natural flow and unfolding continues, then magical moments occur—“pinch me” moments. Life presents incredible synchronicities, little (or big) miracles, and you go along for the ride.
Present & Allowing versus Gripped by the Mind
There is a subtle, almost unnoticeable difference on the exterior of the person who shows up flowing with the vision of their life, intentional and passionate, allowing their own unfolding, versus that of the person who shows up demanding their vision, forcing their action and feeling aggrieved at not having what they want.
Imagine yourself walking down the street and you feel the heat of the sun on your skin. You feel the breeze and are grateful as it cools you off. In fact, you are grateful for life itself. Your body feels energised and you are acutely aware of what blessings you have. Your head is up and your gaze is up. You are present. You are consciously aware. This is flow. From flow comes unfolding. From flow, signals and synchronicities are recognisable and universal energy corresponds beautifully with you.
Now, imagine yourself walking down the street talking to yourself, playing out what happened yesterday and wondering how everything is going to work out based on the challenges of your current situation. Your head is down, there is tension in your jaw and you gaze at the ground as you walk. You don’t notice the ache in your back, other than the generic feeling of irritation that pervades you. You are lost in the grip of your mind. This is not flow, this is blocking.
Characteristics of Allowing & Blocking
It is from my own experiences as chronicled in the book series Pinch Me and Going Out on a Limb, that I documented twenty-two characteristics of allowing and blocking your life. I used my own unfolding (with many moments of darkness, and many moments of light) to construct what I sense is a model that many of us can relate to when we observe ourselves objectively and observe others.
These characteristics come in pairs, each pair is designed to illustrate the polar ends of a spectrum denoting allowing your life or blocking your life, allowing the energy to flow or blocking the energy, allowing your unfolding or blocking your unfolding.
When “allowing your life” characteristics tip the balance over “blocking your life” characteristics, you are flowing more freely and the experience you have of life is considerably different to when “blocking your life” characteristics dominate. We have a choice to dwell more frequently and consistently at the “allowing your life” end of the scale, in doing so we feed oxygen to the light within us, thus we nourish our inner peace and joy.
Picture each pair of characteristics outlined in the forthcoming table as a scale from 10—0, where fully allowing your life sits at 10 on the scale and completely blocking your life sits at 0 on the scale.
Allowing Your Life Blocking Your Life
Do you want to aim to be ten on the scale for each allowing your life characteristic? Do you want a perfect score so that allowing your life characteristics whitewash over blocking your life characteristics?
No, you don’t, not in all the pairs we are about to cover. In many of them yes, but overall the point is not perfection, the point is balance in most respects. It’s about balancing the aspects in favor of allowing your life. Heart leading over head, not heart only without a head! “Being” as the platform for doing, not being without any doing!
We can willingly and consciously choose of our own accord to shift ourselves along the scale. Alternatively, blocking your life at times will give rise to interventions that look like life crises, bumping you into learning life lessons that are designed to awaken you and shift you on the scale, sometimes in small steps and sometimes in quantum leaps. There is no disdain for the blocking your life characteristics; they serve a purpose at one point or another. It is not right or wrong, it just is. Once you see it for what it is, you can choose to tip the balance.
|ALLOWING Your Life (10)||BLOCKING Your Life (0)|
|Conscious living||Unconscious living|
|Sense of oneness||Illusion of separation|
|Heart led||Head led|
|Passion driven||Necessity driven|
|Enthusiasm to create||Creating from must-ness|
|Open to all paths||Fixed on one path|
|Sees life as a journey||Solely focused on destination|
|Moving forward||Running away from|
|Facing causes||Burying causes|
|Experiencing feelings||Muting feelings|
|Inward sensing||Outward sensing|
|Creating and manifesting||Demanding|
|Free will and personal accountability||Blame|
|Awe and wonder||Blinkers on|
|Internal journey||External journey|
|Accepting what is||Resisting what is|
|Dwelling in the present||Dwelling in past and future|
|Benefiting all||Benefiting no one|
|Signals co-creating||Signals intervening|
|Life affirming choices||Destructive choices|
We will go through each of these pairs. But first, you might have noticed that many models similar to this give you the current state of being on the left and the desired state of being on the right, indicating a left to right movement away from what we don’t want and towards what we desire. This aligns to that inherent sense that we have to move towards what we desire, to create it. It engenders a feeling that on the left is where we are and on the right is the future, where we want to be. Books are read from left to right, graphs are read from left to right, we naturally look from left to right to denote here and over there. This further embeds a sense of not being where we want to be right now. Now is all there is. So, I shun that structure and I have instead listed our desired state of being, allowing your life, on the left-hand side of the model so that you will subconsciously pick up that where you want to be is actually where you are right now. You have everything, and I mean everything, that you need right now to be allowing your life, to embody the allowing your life characteristics. Right now. Not in the future, but right now. This is who you were born to be, this is your greatness. You simply need to claim it, by choosing it moment by moment.
Can you swing back and forth on the scale? Yes, you can. It all comes down to your level of awareness. That is, your level of consciousness has everything to do with where you sit on the scale in every pair of characteristics. Get out of your mind and get present in your life.
The blocking your life characteristics on the right-hand side embody all the things that can dominate, that we can accidentally fall into, as we grow up and forget who we are deep down. Blocking your life doesn’t come naturally; it grows instead from the illusion that society has conditioned us to believe to be true. This illusion comes to an end when you go beyond the visible, into the invisible, understanding that life has a natural flow and that everything (absolutely everything) is energy.
There is a reason that I use zero to denote the far end of the scale for blocking your life characteristics. Zero degrees Celsius is the temperature at which water freezes. Freezing is a pretty inhospitable place to be. In fact, it’s polarising to the warmth and love of your greatness, to your soul-level self. Therefore, zero is the perfect point on the scale to denote the ultimate embodiment of blocking your life.
The Way It Looks
What does it look like when someone dwells at either end of the spectrum? All of these characteristics played out in my journey, described in Pinch Me and Going Out on a Limb, as I swung back and forth on the continuum.
Take time to reflect upon each pair of characteristics if you wish, to sense where you stand and whether you choose to, in this very moment, reposition yourself. The repositioning does not take time and it does not take much effort. It simply takes choice, to let go and let be. In the choice, the shift is immediate. Note that we do not make the choice once, we make the choice every moment of our life. That is what conscious living is all about.
1. Conscious living or unconscious living
The extent to which you are self-aware and present in each moment to consciously create and enjoy your life versus living by default, blind to how you influence your life and outcomes.
2. Connected or disconnected
The extent to which you choose to embrace your inherent connection with the universal energy, purposefully drawing upon divine guidance and living out life-affirming practises (living in the light) versus ignoring any signs of connection, living in the illusion of disconnectedness and experiencing a strange pervading sense of “alone” (living in the dark).
3. Sense of oneness or illusion of separation
The extent to which you can sense for yourself the oneness that exists between all things, versus living in the illusion that all things are completely separate, physically and energetically, including yourself.
4. Heart led or head led
The extent to which you move through life led by and acting upon the guidance of your intuition and singing heart, which is soul-level self, versus moving through life led by and acting upon the instructions of your thinking mind alone, telling you what you should feel and should do.
5. Passion driven or necessity driven
The extent to which you bring passion into what you do (whatever you want to or have to do right now), which generates the necessities for your life, versus driving forward out of necessity hoping to generate passion in what you do as a result. It’s a mindset.
6. Enthusiasm to create or creating from must-ness
The extent to which you feel possibility and purposefully create your life from a base of genuine enthusiasm versus a strong sense of “must,” driven solely by intention to get out of whatever situation you are in.
7. Open to all paths or fixed on one path
The extent to which you are open to the many paths that can take you to any one outcome, versus being fixated on the only way you can see as possible or the only way you want to get there.
8. Journey or destination
The extent to which you do whatever you do with passion and for the joy of the journey, with the outcome/destination being secondary, versus being totally attached to the outcome/destination as the only reason, making you completely reliant on reaching that outcome/destination in order to experience any joy.
9. Moving forward or running away from
The extent to which you perceive yourself as moving ahead on your journey, exploring and adventuring in life to create versus spending your life trying to get away from the past, out of a need (conscious or subconscious) to be as far as possible away from what has hurt you and/or defined you in the past (emotionally or physically).
10. Facing the cause or burying the cause
The extent to which you face the cause of any unrest or dis-ease as being something within yourself that you can powerfully unblock, versus burying the cause and/or assuming the cause to have been only the external circumstance that triggered you.
11. Experiencing feelings or muting feelings
The extent to which you allow yourself to feel your emotions fully, be those positive or negative, in order to understand the message your feeling guidance system is giving you, versus muting those feelings with stimulus to avoid them.
12. Inward sensing or outward sensing
The extent to which you perceive and make sense of the world around you by utilising your innate inner sense of intuition to process what you experience, versus processing the world only by your outward senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell as filtered by your thinking mind.
13. Creating and manifesting or demanding
The extent to which you design your life from the truth that you create and manifest based on belief, thought, feeling and action versus demanding that life show up to meet your expectations, and frustration with it when it does not play your game.
14. Free will and personal accountability or blame
The extent to which you take ownership for your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, actions and outcomes created through free will, versus blaming (others, life, the world, the universe, circumstances, timing) for the outcomes of your life.
15. Awe and wonder or blinkers on
The extent to which you see and enjoy the magic of the universe and life, experiencing awe and wonder at the beauty that is in front of you every day in the simplest of things versus having blinkers on (being stuck in your head) where you can no longer see the magnificence that lies all around you.
16. Being or doing
The extent to which you recognise and practise that your state of being is the primary influencer of outcomes, versus believing that it is only what you do and how much you do that defines your outcomes.
17. Internal journey or external journey
The extent to which you understand and live from the paradigm that your internal journey leads and reflects into the creation of your external journey versus the illusion that there is only an external journey which seems to create positive or negative internal experiences as a result.
18. Accepting “what is” or resisting “what is”
The extent to which you can accept what is in your life at present, knowing you do not control everything in life but rather you control your own energy and your experience of life, which has immense influence as you rally forward versus resisting what is and rallying against it in the hope you will give rise to change as a result of that opposition.
19. Dwelling in the present or dwelling in the past/future
The extent to which you are living your life in the only place you can be, namely the present moment, versus letting your mind drift to replay past moments over and over or living the moment as a means to an end to get you to a future point, which inevitably ends up being the present moment anyway, which perpetuates the cycle of never getting to the future because it doesn’t exist, leaving you endlessly dissatisfied.
20. Benefiting all or benefiting no one
The extent to which your choices automatically benefit all in a win-win scenario be it emotionally, physically, psychologically, materially or karmically, versus your choices benefiting no one.
21. Signals co-creating or signals intervening
The extent to which you are receiving guiding, confirming and supporting divine signals helping you to co-create versus divine signals predominantly coming to intervene and encourage you out of the dark towards the light of truth.
22. Life affirming choices or destructive choices
The extent to which your choices are life affirming versus destructive; choices that then play out in your health, your well-being, your relationships, your career/vocation, your finances, your outcomes and your joy (or your unhappiness as the case may be).
The content of this blog includes excerpts from: Going Out on a Limb – available in paperback or Kindle ebook.