What Is Flow?

As I have shared God’s flow from my life, to the lives of women I’ve met around the world, the #1 comment I consistently hear is, “I just want my life to FLOW more naturally.”

Which is then quickly followed by, “Lisa Maria, why does everything have to feel like such a struggle?”

Perhaps you resonate with these questions in your own soul. I certainly do.

Like these women, you are beautiful, hard-working and creative. Your soul years to find your purpose on this earth and serve God with your whole heart. Most people would probably call you at least modestly “successful” in life. But deep inside, you know that nothing you gain seem to come naturally.

You work hard to get (and keep) you boyfriend or husband. Your battle with writer’s or artist’s block on all your creative projects–often trashing their work or starting over multiple times. And let’s not talk about the hours you put in just trying to make a living (which usually means having no life).

If you recognize your life in that description, this page is for you. It was my story, too.

Because there really are only two ways to live: STRUGGLE and FLOW.

By God’s grace, I choose FLOW.

I believe FLOW is truly attainable for any woman who loves God: a state of being in which life feels like an abundant never-ending river of ENOUGH, watering every aspect in your life continuously, coming straight to you from the God Who says, “I AM.”

Enough love. Enough creativity. Enough money–and more to spare. Enough confidence. Enough grace. Enough comfort. Enough clarity. Enough joy.

Because isn’t that the real problem we face every day? That whatever we have at the moment, or whoever we are today, never seems to be enough?

Flow is the opposite of anxiety, struggle and lack. It is constantly moving, and yet it is entirely fixed.

When we operate from a place of FLOW, we move with the current of what God is doing at the moment, let we never have to worry about the destination.

And that’s where as women, we tend to get ourselves in trouble–and why we feel so little FLOW in our lives. As human beings, we are finite. We understand the notion of an “endpoint” more than we do an “I AM.”  As women, we’re usually looking for an end point: the goal, the success, the accolade. And that’s exactly why we find ourselves so exhausted in the middle of our “success.”

We tend to chase love, inspiration and money as if they’re hard to get and moving a million miles an hour away from us. But the real work is to stand still long enough to hear the calm bubble of the brook within.

If you’re looking for love, creative inspiration or wealth, you’ll find a million blogs out there with the information you want. Everyone’s got some new system for how to find your perfect mate, finish your dream creative project or make a lot of money.

The seeking of our dreams can become a kind of addiction that always keeps us clicking and scrolling to the next thing. My story is about looking less for what we think is so scarce, so we can find more of what’s already available to us. Right here. Right now. From the God who lives within.

I don’t believe that love, creativity or money are something you need to find, earn, win, strategize for or cultivate. They’re more like a river, running past all of us all the time.

So how do we get to this place where we’re moving organically with God, and finding everything we need in Him for each minute of each hour of each day?

On my journey, I found practices that helped me to step gradually out of a struggle-based lifestyle and embrace FLOW. These are concepts that underpin everything I share on this blog:

1) Receiving radical emotional healing in your soul

As women, our emotions are the engine of our motivation and the barometer of our spiritual lives. Many Christian pastors and teachers have led women to believe that because our hearts are in need of a savior, none of our emotions are trustworthy.

I take the opposite approach. I believe our emotions are a “warning light” about what’s happening inside us. When we ignore, downplay or dismiss our emotions … we allow ourselves to live with emotional brokenness that keeps us trapped in exhausting schedules, perfectionist tendencies, self-loathing and anger.

One of the first and most powerful things I did on my journey into FLOW was to make friends with my emotions, really listen to them and learn to extend God’s love to myself no matter what emotions I was feeling. In doing so, many of the “negative emotions” I had been judging in myself and fighting for years dissipated on their own–along with a host of negative emotions and hurts from things that had happened in my life (including my divorce).

As a woman, your emotional life is closely tied with your relationship to God. Open yourself to allow God to heal this area and bring you into beautiful, powerful emotional balance. When you do so, you’ll automatically step into some serious levels of FLOW!

2) Healing your relationship with your feminine energy

Does term “feminine energy” sound super woo-woo and New Age-y to you? If so, you can replace it with the term “femininity.” Growing up in church, I was taught that God loved women with long hair, bare feet and tons of babies. In society, I saw that feminine women with gentle, soft hearts were looked down-upon, penalized financially in the workplace and/or treated only as sex objects.

Because I only saw traditional femininity bring heartache and pain to the women I knew, I instinctively pushed away from it and went on a quest to develop more masculine skills that would guarantee me respect in the workplace. I still looked “like a girl” on the outside, but inside I drifted far from my feminine essence. There were years when I didn’t even feel beautiful or womanly at all–and it showed up in huge struggles in my marriage, including with my sexual expression.

After my divorce, God began to lead me to very healing teachings about feminine energy that helped me begin to see my femininity was a source of strength, not weakness. As I radically began to embrace who I am as a woman, God literally did miracles in my life, including healing me from a lifelong sexual dysfunction the doctors had said was incurable, helping me to feel totally re-connected to my womanliness, igniting my creativity and love for dance, and giving my whole physical presence a soft, new light that carries its own strength.

Struggle (or Striving, if that sounds better!) is the essence of masculine energy. FLOW is the essence of feminine energy. The more you embrace who God made you to be as a woman–regardless of what the world says about it–the more you will find He makes a way for you in your home, in business and in community … without you needing to sweat, fight and fall so hard, so many times, on the way there.

3) Align your life with natural rhythms, not man-made ones

This is where we get really radical, okay? As I went on my journey to embrace more FLOW and get out of the “rat race,” I began to realize that my woman’s body desperately craved natural cycles. Sure, there’s the natural cycle of menstruation. But I began to discover that the world around us is FULL of natural cycles.

The seasons are cycles. The planets run on cycles. The moon, in particular, encourages an ebb and fall in energy cycles (similar to the idea of the tides, just on the human body instead of water!), and as a woman, my body was very sensitive to these cycles. I had just been ignoring it my whole life because it was “old wisdom” that wasn’t taught or appreciated in the modern American society I grew up in (and certainly not in the church, where much of this natural knowledge is now viewed with suspicion).

Today, I run my life on the lunar cycle and the so-called “astrological calendar”–which is really just another term for the planting cycle (planting, growing, harvesting, resting cycle) that farmers have used since the dawn of time. Sure, in my job I have to function on the Western calendar. But by letting my body run on the calendar it actually best understands, I’ve found whole new levels of harmony.

There is ebb and flow my energy. There are ups and downs. Busy seasons and slow seasons. The more I embrace those seasons–instead of pushing myself to “perform” and shaming myself when I don’t–the more I actually get done, and the better I feel.

4) Prioritize feeling truly well and whole in your physical body

I used to struggle with emotional eating, weight gain, lethargy, gastric issues, IBS, constipation, diarrhea and all manner of other maladies. Once I began to embrace Principles 1-3 above, I began to realize that my physical body was only mirroring and expressing what was going on inside me. As I committed to heal WITHIN, healing came WITHOUT. And let me tell you, it’s much easier to become faithful in your rhythms of life when your body feels GOOD!

I don’t push myself to “hit the gym” six days a week and go on crazy diets. Instead, I embrace forms of exercise like walking and yoga that feel good, and I have embraced a vegan diet that also focuses on feeling good–because I DO feel better when I fuel my body with plants rather than the death of other creatures. I practice a lot of self-care (baths, manicures and pedicures, naps, etc.) also because the better I feel, the more FLOW I am able to embrace and sustain.

This didn’t come overnight. If you are struggling with serious health issues, like I was, and live in some deeply emotionally upsetting environments at home and work (and possibly in church, too), you won’t just “snap out of it.” But believe me, small changes have HUGE IMPACT. By beginning to prioritize “feeling good” versus “checking off boxes” on a chart, you will see some radical changes you can’t even imagine right now.

I promise, it’s worth it.

And there you have it ….

This is what FLOW means to me, and how God has led me into greater and greater levels of it.

Ultimately, FLOW less about finding something fixed, and more about tapping into what’s moving past us in the spiritual realm, just waiting for us to reach over and claim it as ours.. It requires us to dance with uncertainty, take risks and above all, listen well for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit to prompt us forward.

Does it sound different than traditional methods of productivity or goal-setting? Yes, it is! This is because finding FLOW is not about setting a financial goal, finishing your creative project or finally “putting a ring on it.” It’s about getting curious and letting God guide each step on the journey to get you where you want to go in a relaxed, organic, totally natural way.

You will get there, my friend. You absolutely will. By letting the never-ending God guide you, you will bypass all the endpoints that, in my life at least, often end up being dead-end points when we finally arrive.

This is not about “letting go.” It’s about “letting be.”

I hope you will join me on this beautiful, relaxed, easeful journey into revealing the women God has already created us to be, and enjoying the steady stream of EVERYTHING He is just waiting for us to embrace.