Letting Go For Flow

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona — Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom 2021

This morning, I am sitting at a picnic table near my van and overlooking Lake Powell, a few miles from Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River. Today is about flow because the first lessons on this journey have been about letting go.

I am a planner, a systems thinker, and an experience creator. Two months before leaving I had maps for every quadrant of the US and the entire country map. The route I carefully planned was to head down the east coast to meet colleagues, friends and family. Then I would drive across the southern states to see the Cherokee lands and into New Mexico to explore before heading toward Washington state.

I decided to rent a van and fix it up to camp in with my dog along the way. I slowly bought the gear I didn’t have. I took Rollie (my 75lb Shepherd mix) on shakedown cruise on the coast of Maine to test everything out, which was a bit of a disaster.

Even though I called for permission to park overnight, the police woke me up and made me get out of the car before the officer realized that he was the one who spoke to me on the phone. They let me stay but Rollie was not comfortable. He had nowhere to move inside the van with all the gear there. He eventually settled down and yet I could see it was challenging for him.

I let go of renting the van. After much deliberation I also decided to leave Rollie at home. It was pointed out to me that even in an airconditioned van if the A/C stopped working while I was interviewing someone or having a meal it would not be good.

The following weekend I stopped at an RV center and discovered the Winnebago Solis. It felt perfect and it was actually less expensive to buy it and sell it later, rather than to rent one, so I bought it. And then it never arrived. Camper vans are a hot item in this pandemic.

It was back to a revised plan of renting a van with unlimited mileage on a solo trip. When I learned that the Solis wasn’t going to make it in time, I decided to have a ceremony to set my intention that the journey was the most important aspect of this plan and it was time to let the universe decide how it would unfold.

The next day, less than twelve hours after my letting go ceremony, a van came to my attention in Ohio. Not the silver one that was on order in Maine, but a red one with a pop-top (extra sleeping room for my nephew when I pick him up in Seattle). The one I had seen in a dream. With my heart pounding I called, bought it over the phone, and trusted. It was already sitting in their lot. If it didn’t feel right, I could keep the rental.

This shift changed my carefully planned route, yet it allowed me to see my in-laws in Schenectady on the first night, and to connect with a friend in Cleveland who had begun her own cross-country trip earlier that same week. None of which would have happened in the first plan.

Living in flow does not mean that we aren’t making choices. The most important aspect is having a vision and setting your intention on what you want to create. Then you let go and get into flow. When we focus on our purpose and our visions rather that every single detail, it opens up an entire universe of possibility.

Whenever I focus on exactly how I want something to be, it doesn’t happen that way and I used to allow that to frustrate me. It’s the same with people I have worked with. Early in my management career I would focus on the way I wanted something done which is a very limiting. When I learned to explain the vision of what we would like the end result to be and let go of the process, the outcomes were almost always beyond my expectation.

Living in flow is a beautiful rhythm. Learning to see when we get into that controlling place can be tricky and yet it is absolutely worth the work. I have never been healthier emotionally and physically because it allows your body and mind to be in a more natural state. All of this doing is not good for our souls. We need more being, which happens when we flow with energy rather than against it.

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Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom

Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom

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