is for flow
Paying attention to the state of flow in my life is important to me. From an energetic standpoint we’re always seeking unimpeded flow.
I’m fond of this quote by Rainer Maria Rilke:
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
For me a key component of self-care is balance, and it helps me to think about flow in terms of the lemniscate image – the infinity symbol or sideways 8. I want to be in the center point, with a balance between what I’m flowing out and what’s flowing back to me. I’ve come to think of this as a balanced state of reciprocity, and I’ve written more about that here.
I’ve also been thinking of this flow – this reciprocity – this balance in terms of the tarot archetype of Temperance. I think we commonly think of temperance as moderation and self-restraint, but I think that’s a fairly limited view. I like the idea that balance is blending of the outflow and the inflow (imagine inbreath and outbreath) and in that point of stillness between, that’s the point of alchemy.
The traditional tarot Temperance image shows an angel one foot on rocks and the other in water, pouring something from one flask to another. It is traditionally seen as a blending of fire and water. And that very alchemical sense of flowing movement feels like it makes Temperance a perfect place to study flow.
One of the places where flow feels tricky to a lot of people is with money. That’s a very clear situation where there is income and outgo. I’m not suggesting you want a balance point where everything you bring in flows out and you’re left facing a panic every moment of will you have enough in the next moment. You get to decide what feels delicious and good and supportive and right-fit for you. But I encourage you to consider how alchemical it can be to give freely some of your income to things you believe in, want to encourage, choose to support, without thought of return. To be deliberate and conscious about this act and have it come from a place a joy and celebration that you have enough to give. A true example of heart flow.
This is actually one of my favorite practices. I tithe a portion of all monies I receive through my businesses Temenos of the Blessing Light and Feel Good Energy Shift. I switch up who I’m sending funds to periodically but always list the recipient on my pages so people can share in the joy.
I also tithe all other monies that come in, and I really delight in this process. At the beginning of the year I decide on twelve causes or issues I’d like to support during the year. I pick really broad issues like domestic violence protection, peace initiatives, clean water, animal rescue, hunger, things like that. Twelve really broad issues that I then assign one to each month. And then during the month I research what particular organization within that category I want to support with my funds. It helps me feel in flow. In flow of awareness of the areas of our world that need attention, need support, need recognition. In flow of remembering to honor what’s important to me. I’m not able to contribute to everything, and who knows if I’ll ever be a serious philanthropic force to content with (wouldn’t that be wonderful!), but I trust my attention and what I have to give do make a difference. Flow is a reminder that I am part of a bigger whole, but I am no less significant than any other part.
For me that’s balance, that’s temperance, that’s reciprocity. That’s flow.
Of course flow is certainly not limited to our financial transactions, and I think there are a lot of everyday practices that can be mindful helps to unstick energy so it flows. Intentional breathing practices; decluttering, physical movement. I’m laughable bad at it (I’m a woman of substance and athletic grace isn’t something I’ve been gifted with) but there’s one practice I’ve begun that speaks to me so clearly about flow that I suspect I’ll be working with it for the rest of my life, and maybe even one day master. Swimming dragon qigong form. Here’s a video of a sample of the practice.
And today being Tuesday means the Artsyville Glue-It Tuesday salon doors will be unlocked and the party guests gathering. Do go see what folks have posted – anything glued is fair game. For me it’s this journal page collage.
I pulled Temperance cards from four of my decks because I wanted to ponder the different expressions. And then I snapped a photo of the spread, and added additional elements to remind me of flow. The cards here are from (clockwise starting at the top) the Stella’s Tarot deck, the Rosetta Tarot, the Triple Goddess Tarot, and the Kitchen Tarot. Each one of these interpretations speaks to me about flow in a different way, and all are very helpful. I’ve added four images of hands dipped in flowing water to acknowledge the gathering and releasing. And now I’ll pop this on my altar and think some more about it.
What about you? Where are you experiencing great flow in your life? Are you feeling some stuck places? Is there an image or archetype that represents flow for you? What self-care practices do you engage in to create and nourish balance? Do tell – you know I love to hear.