Go with the Flow: 10 Ways to Tap into the Flow of Chi

In Chinese medicine, chi is the most fundamental force in the universe and is the reason why everything in existence is in a constant state of flow. In nature, we can see this flow reflected in the rising and setting of the sun, in the seasonal shifts, in the ocean tides, and in the moon as it moves through its phases. In our bodies, the flow of chi is reflected in our sleep patterns, menstrual cycles, digestive processes, and larger physiological shifts like puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and aging. Since flow is such an inherently essential characteristic of the universe, it is important to go with it and allow things in our lives to unfold naturally in an organic way. We can intentionally tap into this flow in many ways.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Whether that means something formal like developing a meditation practice or something as simple as just slowing down, being present in the moment is an excellent way to tap into the flow of chi. Mindfulness helps us become more aware of the flow in the here and now and enmeshes and anchors us in it.

2. Move On

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can’t change things. If something is very difficult, if it feels like there’s a lot of resistance, if you still feel stuck, or if you just can’t quite take it to the next level, it might be a sign to just let it be and move on. Accepting things for what they are and detaching from what isn’t working in our lives is a powerful way to get unjammed and back in the flow.

Go with the Flow

3. Get in the Flow

When we’re in the flow we are so immersed in whatever we are doing that we forget about the world around us: no thoughts, no sense of time, simply being, doing whatever it is that we are doing nothing else. One of the best ways to get in the flow is through creative, improvisational ventures like art, music, and dance. Another is cultivation exercises like tai chi, chi gong, yoga, and endurance training. When we are in the flow, we are essentially channeling the chi.

4. Be Flexible

Being too rigid can impede the flow of chi in our lives. Looking ahead and setting goals is a good exercise, but if our plans are firmly set it can prevent us from adapting when circumstances change. Being too rigid in our values can also interfere with flow. Part of life is allowing ourselves to grow as human beings according to what we have learned from our experiences. Don’t be afraid to periodically reexamine your goals and values and change them if they no longer align with where you’d like your life to go.

5. Forgive

Sometimes, we get hung up on punishing ourselves or others for past mistakes. Things like regrets and grudges keep us tied to the past, preventing us from moving on with our lives. When we understand that part of life is making mistakes, we can find the compassion to forgive ourselves and those who have wronged us, unblocking our chi and freeing it up so we can move forward.

6. Feel the Feelings

A full life comes with a range of emotions: joy, worry, grief, fear, anger. Unfortunately, in our culture, we are often taught to hold our emotions in. When we do this, they can build up inside and cause blockages in the flow of our chi. If this continues, over time emotional and physical symptoms may begin to manifest, like depression, anxiety, pain, tension, and even imbalances in the internal organs. Allowing our emotions to flow, expressing them as they come, can help us process whatever we’re going through and move on. Though it can be hard and uncomfortable, doing so is an important part of experiencing life in an authentic way.

7. Declutter

Sometimes this means pairing down our possessions, opening pathways for the chi to flow more freely through our living spaces. This is one of the most important principles of feng shui and can help you feel calmer, sleep better, let go of the past, and improve your concentration. Sometimes decluttering can also mean letting go of the unhealthy relationships that we still have. This can be very complicated and energy-intensive but can lead to great strides in the progress of our lives.

8. Be Spontaneous

Just as a vacation is more enjoyable if we leave room for spontaneous activities, so is life. Too often we fill our time with work, tasks, and other commitments, leaving no space for anything else. When we allow for spontaneity, it opens us up to whatever the universe wants to hand us at that moment. It also teaches us to read the signs, following the clues and prompts that can lead us on a new path.

9. Get Outside

Chi flows everywhere but is strongest in the wild. Getting outside into nature is an excellent way to tap into the flow. When we wander down a new path, we are literally following the flow of chi. When we swim in a river, we are literally immersing ourselves in the planet’s energy channels. Camping in the woods is another way to get in the flow, resetting our biological clock, syncing us up with the larger more universal rhythms of nature.

10. Follow Your Path

Each of us has a path in life that winds and flows, pulling us along, silently guiding us toward a goal that we cannot envision. To find your path, follow your inner voice. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do. Explore your interests. Experiment and try new things. Travel to new lands and experience other cultures. Meet new people. Embrace change. You never know where it all may lead.
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