Interesting set of numbers: 2020.
Visual acuity at 2020 refers to the eyes’ ability for normal sharpness and clarity, and in tarot readings, an appearance of the angel 2020 indicates the guardian angels have arrived to ensure you rise to great heights. Superb! Isn’t it? It’s not a situation where just one or two of us have access to these numbers. It’s every single living organism on this planet. ALL OF US HAVE ACCESS TO 2020! That’s pretty darn monumental, I’d think?
So what’s my thing for 2020? Go against the flow. Shudder!
I may not have visual acuity since age isn’t entirely on my side, but perhaps the angels have my back, just in case. I’m sure you’ve made some resolutions for yourself. As 2019 came to a close, I decided I’d do one thing: go against the flow. I’d have to mention my guru here, he was instrumental in guiding me on this path; unwittingly so. He said, “go with the flow, kiddo!” And in classic me style, I told him, “I’ve decided to do just the opposite.” So doc., if you are reading this, I know you’ll be smiling.
Remember that scene from Finding Nemo when Marlin tells his son not to touch the boat and he does?
You know how that turned out in the end, right? He was one fin small in the beginning but, by the end, he was ocean big! Aren’t all our lives one fin small to begin with?
Flow is interesting and widely researched in the creativity circles. What is flow, you ask? It’s certainly not the ability to solve problems or your scores on an IQ test. It is simply the moment where you’ve zoned everything out and the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task. When in flow, the creator and the universe become one, outside distractions recede from consciousness, and one’s mind is fully open and attuned to the act of creating. This flow is very different from “going with the flow.” Not everyone is gifted with this kind of flow. We’ll come to this creative flow later in the post.
Zen masters consistently advocate the path of least resistance. Bruce Lee said, “Be like water making its way through cracks.” Flowing water is essential for so many reasons. If for any reason, the flow stops, it builds up, and a deluge destroys everything. Yes, going with the flow yields results for the short term, but what happens then to your long term goals? This is where I believe going against the flow turns things around.
You’ve watched and heard documentaries about salmon spawning and olive ridley turtles returning to their places of birth to nest. Each of these creatures goes against the flow to birth new life. Adult salmons have to swim upstream, to lay eggs that eventually mature into salmon fry. But, the adults, they become martyrs for the new since they die in the very stream they navigated to, and they do this to ensure healthy fish swim back to spawn again.
Many species of turtles come back to nest at the very same spot where they hatched. They swim through the crashing surf and crawl up the beach searching for a safe spot where the female can lay up to 100 eggs before she drags herself back to the vast blue again. How does she do this? Scientists struggled to find an answer until recently. Turtles derive navigational information from the Earth’s geomagnetic field — a field humans cannot sense without the use of scientific instruments. So voila, these prehistoric giants have something inborn. And what do they use it for? Well, you know the answer to that.
Living a life that is ‘yours’ and one that is fulfilling take guts, and it is very, very hard to let go and take a risk; it is terrifying to give up security and constant cash flow among other things to dive into the unknown. But I’ll tell you, it is possible. There was a time, not so long ago, where I was in this terrible state of destitution (by that I mean, out on my ass with not even a penny to my name). Believe me when I tell you that deciding between lunch or dinner because two meals meant that much lesser money in hand, was bloody frightening. But, those days are behind me now, and I am stronger for it. The many things it taught me will be a post for another day. But go against the flow I did, and I wouldn’t trade that phase for anything. Ever. So when I say throw caution to the winds and do that thing YOU want to do, I am not speaking from a place of comfort and cushions. That shit is for the well-endowed.
You may argue that it is even — shall we say — stupid (gasp!), the opposite of smart if I’m not writing a post that goes under the title of “Smart Habits for Rich Living“ tagline? Nah. Like I said, the more material wealth you amass, the more your happyness quotient shrinks! If you’ve seen a dried prune, you know how the shrinking happens! So go follow your heart. Nothing stupid about following your heart at any – and I do mean any– expense whatsoever! There’s nothing like sweet freedom!
Believe me when I tell you the freedom to pursue your heart’s desires and to build on your passions is not over-rated.
So, the only thing that does go with the flow is dead fish! What’s your plan then. amigo?