To force or to flow?

To force or to flow?

When do you struggle in life? How does your struggle look like? Is it when you have to make decisions? Is it to finally let go of that friend that doesn’t serve any purpose in your life anymore? Is it at work when you have to push yourself in the car and get to the office? Or maybe in trying to find your own path in life? Struggle is something everybody recognises and on my travels it is something that I deal with on a regular basis.

Travelling for a long time without a plan results in a fast flow of living, creating many moments to make decisions. Think about what place to go next, which hostel to take, which time to take the bus, what to eat for lunch, and this list can continue for a long time. It is a good opportunity to see how I make these choices and an excellent time to alter this process, or at least experiment with it.

For me two distinct ways are slowly becoming apparent: To force or to flow. Forcing yourself through life is a strict goal oriented process of rational nature. In my head I picture a man (or woman) crossing a fierce flowing river. His mind is goal oriented and wants to exactly cross at this point and reach to other side at that precise location. With a lot of energy, fighting against the forces of the river, he reaches the other side. You could imagine that another way to reach the other side is possible: to flow. He trusts the river that where ever it will take him, he will end up at the other side of the river. Instead of working against the water, he accepts it and let the water help him. This to me sounds much more elegant ;).

Of course I’m not here to advocate that one should never use force in your life. But I think in our western society we are prone of using it too much. Very often out of fear of the unknown, fear of losing control on the situation. Wouldn’t it be great to respect the unknown and let life carry you to whatever situation it wants to present to you? Living life instead of forcing life.

This concept starts with following your intuition and your feeling. Really being aware of the strong influence the rational mind has. Accepting that sometimes you don’t know and that is oke. You don’t have to plan your entire life because life in general is very uncertain. I didn’t know two weeks ago that a small town called Pushkar existed and now I’m here. I let my plan of travel be free and open to input from other travellers. I ask them what is worthwhile to visit, what is their favourite place, etc. This saves me a lot of time searching online on what to do. I following my feeling in this. I accept that I cannot see everything and that is oke. What I discover more and more is that it doesn’t really matter where you are. A place can be the most amazing place you have ever visited or the worst place on the trip, it all depends on your state of mind. How conscious are you of your surroundings? How do you interact with people? Do you feeling connection, joy and compassion with people around you? If so, it will make the place a hell of a lot better :).

It is mostly an internal process. Can you accept yourself exactly the way you are? Do you like yourself? Can you open up although it is scary and you might get hurt? If so, this energy will radiate towards others and beautiful connections can develop. Maybe for a short time maybe longer. Travelling underlines to core principle of life: “nothing stays in this world”. And that is often tough and painful to deal with but that is life. You and I cannot change that.

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