Everyone loved Jili Hamilton’s interview ‘What is a life well lived?’ in September so she’s very kindly offered you lucky readers an exclusive glimpse into her book – A Seeker’s Guide to a Life Worth Living. So grab a cuppa, sit back and flow…
Being in the flow
The room was small with 20 or 30 people managing to find a place to sit. The lady leading the evening workshop told each of us to think of the most important attribute for a happy and successful life and, after giving us a few minutes, went round the group to ask us individually what we had come up with.
Some of us had similar desires such as total trust, more patience, being kinder, etc. Some had different wishes, such as more time, a loving partner, a good job. She listened to everybody and then told us that what we all wanted amounted to the same thing. What could that be?
“You’re all saying that what you really want is to be in the flow,” she told us. “That’s when all these things can come into your lives naturally without strain or stress.”
This was a few years ago but the message has stayed with me. Yes, she‘s right and I have proved it to myself again and again. When I am more trusting, more patient, a nicer, more smiley person, things automatically seem to go well. Oh, it’s easy when we’re in a good space, I know.
Maintaining the flow
As a self-employed Jill of many types of work, why is it that when I land something interesting and well-paid, another job invariably falls straight into my lap?
Sometimes so many people need work done—and it’s always urgent—that I start to panic about the lack of time to do it all. Why, when I finish a contract, can I sometimes wonder when the next job will appear? Feast or famine = not being in the flow.
There’s something else happening here too. Although I can feel totally positive about life and know that work will come in its own time; although I know I shall never be in want and am always looked after, there seems to be something stuck deep down in some corner that is still logged on to the old pattern and it is only when I get a job that the switch clicks over and says that I’m open for business. If I were able to stay in the flow all the time my life would be so much simpler and I’d have fewer grey hairs although I have been working on it for a good few years now and have taken fairly large strides in the right direction. Like most paths it’s only when we look back on how far we have come that we notice the difference from how we used to be.
Somebody once likened the times we’re out of the flow to putting our hands in the ocean and making fists to try and keep hold of the water. Of course, we’re left with nothing when we open them. The only thing to do is let our hands stay open and receptive and feel the water flowing through them. Giving and receiving, not minding what happens, knowing that we’re guided and protected on the higher planes. Easier said than done sometimes but it is vitally important to our personal development that we take it on board.
Things come and go in life and we need to understand that and to know we are never alone. There is a quote from Krishnamurti which seems to sum it up: “This is my secret. I don’t mind what happens”. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying here that we should take a fatalistic attitude and sit back letting whatever happens happen; we need to do the groundwork first.
The practical stuff matters too
Concert pianists don’t just sit and hope; they practice, practice and then practice again. What Krishnamurti really means is that when we have done all the groundwork—and that includes spiritual, mental and physical groundwork—and covered for every eventuality, we can relax and leave the rest up to the universal mind or whatever belief system we subscribe to which tells us there is a greater power out there. Tough stuff to put into practice but when we can get to that place we are in the flow, open and receptive to everything life has to offer. Trust, patience, kindness, more time, a loving partner, a good job? Yes, being in the flow means having all this and so much more.
Grab a copy of ‘A seeker’s guide to a life worth living’ on Amazon