A sheet of paper blu-tacked to my wall…

It’s full of words; warmth, smooth, change, flow, ease, movement, laughter.

When I walk past that sheet of paper my eyes land on one word: FLOW

Hmm, that’s interesting, I think but I’m supposed to be telling people what I do – what’s that to do with helping people change the impact of migraine?

And so, I carry on with my day and put it out of my mind. Or so I think because each time I walk past the same word jumps out at me:

FLOW

Several days pass. I realise I simply couldn’t ignore it any longer. That word is saying something to me and I need to listen. Just why am I so attracted to flow? What does it mean to me?

Gradually, I start to hear my answer.

Flow is the sense of ease we get when we feel things are going right. It’s the sense of joy we experience when we’re fully engaged doing what we love. Whether that’s laughing with friends, walking across the hilltops under a clear, blue sky, solving that cryptic crossword or running those extra few metres.

Flow is present in those moments when we feel fully alive, full of joy and wonder at being here. It’s all around us. It’s happening all the time. So, why don’t we always feel it?

THINGS THAT STOP YOUR FLOW

Ever filled in a form where you have to tick a box to describe yourself? Yet none of the options really do describe you. So you leave it blank and click next. And up pops that red error sign: YOU MUST SELECT A BOX.

You go back and click the ‘nearest fit to you’ option but you know it’s not right; it doesn’t feel good.

Fitting into another’s pre-determined tick box stops your flow. Tweet this!

What else stops flow?

Picture a stream that’s cluttered with fallen rocks and dead branches. More and more stuff gets stuck behind this jumble. What’s the result? Less and less water can flow downstream. Everything becomes sluggish and dull.

Being in pain can feel like this. Slowly, bit by bit you become reduced and can do less.

Today, I think we’re wrongly encouraged to have an odd relationship with pain. It’s almost that pain is viewed as a test of character, something to fight against, pop another painkiller and get on with it.

You know what’s my least favourite TV ad? The one where the woman with headache, smiling, takes a pill so she can carry on juggling her job, family and home-life. How about finding a real solution to the problem instead? In that woman’s case getting her lazy-arsed family to help out…

Pain is only good in that it is a warning bell. Pain is not a badge of honour.

HOW TO GET YOUR FLOW FLOWING

First step is to notice that your flow isn’t, well, flowing like it can!

Perhaps, right now, those moments of flow are rare yet they’re still here. Begin to notice them. If it helps you, jot them down. What is that you were doing, or not doing, that felt good and uplifting?

In this way you can start to move those fallen rocks and sticks out of your stream.

Why is recognising the activities and people that help give you a sense of fulfillment and contentment so important? It’s because when you know this, you’ll be in place where you can bring about change. And, it’s when we notice change that things really begin to flow.

If one of those obstacles is migraine and you’d like to speak with me , get in touch and request your assessment call.

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