Flow, Baby, Flow!
I’ve been determined the last several weeks to get my arms around the resistance that frequently shows up in my thinking throughout my day. Amazingly, I have had some breakthroughs on the bike. This last weekend I had another one!
There is a tricky intersection on my regular Sunday bicycle ride that is a hard four-way stop for cyclists and cars because it’s on a slight hill, making it difficult to maintain any speed on a bike while allowing for smooth traffic flow among the vehicles.
As I approached that intersection on my way home, I started to slow down, and a car passed me on the right. I was about 30 feet from the stop sign when another vehicle came up on my right and started to edge over in front of me.
I immediately suspected they were going to turn right directly in front of me. Sure enough, they finally turned on their signal light. HAH! I knew it; they were going to cut me off just before the stop sign, giving me only a couple inches before I would run into them.
With all the years of riding under my belt, it’s almost automatic to feather the brakes, particularly near an intersection, in case something happens suddenly. This person was now forcing me to quickly slow down so they could cut in front of me while creating a significant safety risk for me.
I decided before leaving on my ride to see if I could use the thought ‘just flow through it’ when confronted with situations that would normally raise my hackles. The person cutting in front of me as I approached the four-way stop was a good example of a ‘hackle-raising’ event. Keeping my intention in mind as they slid their car in front of me, I said to myself, ‘flow, baby, flow’ to keep myself from getting angry.
As they began to turn, I continued braking to slow down for the stop sign. As the person completed their turn, the first car that passed me earlier had reached the stop sign and began to accelerate into the intersection. I then rolled right through the intersection next to the car without having to stop.
After getting through the intersection, I realized the car that cut in front of me caused me to slow down just enough for me to safely glide through the intersection without needing to stop. It also allowed the rest of the traffic to continue smoothly alternating through the intersection as well.
If I hadn’t been slowed by the car cutting in front of me, I would have had to stop which would have created confusion among the other drivers at the intersection – some waving me through with others trying to get through as quickly as possible.
Not only had the thought, ‘flow, baby, flow’ kept me from getting frustrated with the driver, it also allowed me to move through the intersection safely and without disrupting the traffic. AMAZING!
Earlier, Peter and I had been talking about how we need to share how important ‘just flowing’ is to living a fun-filled life. It was a meaningful conversation because it highlighted how frequently we are distracted from achieving what we want because we put up resistance, often without thought.
These kinds of situations happen to us all the time. Unfortunately, we don’t usually recognize them because we rarely take the time to go back and reflect on what’s happened.
We label the event as ‘bad’ and move on. Sometimes, we even stay focused on the ‘bad’ event and continue to attract similar ‘bad’ events to us.
This small experience on the bike was a significant example of how easily we put up resistance to the events in our lives. The fact that I could smoothly move through the intersection because of a previous ‘hackle-raising’ event, really drove home how I didn’t need to get uptight because that car cut in front of me.
It was quite the opposite! Because that car cut in front of me, I was able to glide safely through the intersection.
Resistance is the opposite of attracting what you want in life. Resistance will push away the very thing you’re working towards.
Next time you feel like there is something someone shouldn’t be doing, stop yourself for a second to see if what they are doing will actually enable you to get what you want more easily!