When I was a kid, I used to hear this expression all the time: go with the flow. I was an imaginative child, so I had several different variations of visuals pop into my head when I heard this. One was my period, I know I was weird. Another one was a gushing waterfall, and yet another was some mellow dude listening to reggae music and dancing slowly. As I got older I realized that none of these things are what people mean when they said: “Just go with the flow.” What they were trying to tell me was “stop thinking so much and just live your life.” Well shit, if it was that easy to stop thinking I THINK I would have done that by now. But seriously, I know that going with the flow is a good thing. There is the whole mindfulness movement that encourages people to be here in this moment. Focus on your breathing and don’t try to change what’s happening in this moment.

Yeah, I dig that. I would like to worry less and enjoy life more. I mean, who wouldn’t like that? Sometimes we (as human beings) get stuck in our heads. We don’t enjoy our lives because we’re thinking about the next step; worried about what “could go wrong.” What I’m beginning to realize is that when I do that, I miss what’s right in front of me. I lose sight of reality. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t plan for the future. I’m saying that there needs to be a balance. I’ll admit, sometimes I find myself being impulsive and I’m working on that. But I don’t want to go to the other side of the spectrum and worry myself into oblivion. There are shades of gray here and it’s possible to find them.

I’ve noticed that I gain nothing by obsessing and worrying and that it’s actually a bad habit, much like biting your nails or picking a scab (both of which I have problems with at times). Habits can be changed with hard work. I don’t particularly like working hard, but sometimes you have to do things that aren’t so much fun in life; that’s one of the reasons I miss being a kid. My kids do NOT know how good they have it. They don’t have to worry so much about things.

I’d like to “go with the flow” more and obsess less (hey that rhymes) but I recognize that is about me changing my way of thinking. I’m down if you are, brain. Let’s have a sit-down, you and me, and talk about switching things up in there. Maybe you don’t have to be so rigid in the way you worry about stuff. Yeah, I know you’ve been doing it for years, but maybe it’s time to try on a new mind outfit and see how that looks. It’s no fun to wear the same thoughts every day. Mix it up and try this whole mindfulness thing. I hear people like it and they’re happier when they spend less time worrying about shit that probably won’t ever happen.

I’m going to try to go with the flow like that dude I used to imagine dancing to Bob Marley. It sounds like fun.