Can You Go with the Flow?

Date posted: August 7, 2014

Melissa and I are spending a few days away in New Hampshire, and decided to head out this morning to do some hiking. Our goal is to bag our first 4,000-foot peak in the White Mountains — something we’ve been talking about for more than a year.

We pack our lunches, gather our gear, fill our Camelbaks, and hit the road. In just over an hour, we reach the parking lot for the trailhead. We arrive at the same time as something else — rain and thunder. Awesome.

With no cell signal to check the radar, we hem and haw while looking up at the sky.Go with the flow

“Let’s go for it. It’s probably gonna pass quickly,” I say.

Just then – CRACK. Thunder rumbles.

“OK, maybe not!”

We sit for a while more, and the sky looks like it’s brightening a bit.

“Should we give it a try?” Melissa says.

Boom! Thunder again.

“Geesh. Every time we think about going for it, Mother Nature shuts us down,” I say. “Let’s forget it. It’s our first time doing such a big hike. I don’t think we should risk getting caught in a storm on a new mountain, and potentially far away from shelter.”

Melissa agrees, so we instead explore some shorter walks in the area that we can do in between storms.

Early into our Plan B, I find myself thinking about whether we made the right decision by skipping the hike. Really, I’m just disappointed and frustrated with the weather.

Just as I catch my thoughts, Melissa says, “Oh well. At least we’re here together. Who cares about the weather?”

She’s right. There’s no point in resisting what is. The mountain will be there the next time we decide to go, but this moment will never be again, so best to be in it.

We ended up having a loose, minute-by-minute, great day, and saw some beautiful scenes we would’ve missed had our hike gone as planned. Oftentimes the best parts of vacation — and life — are the unplanned bits.

How willing are you to go with the flow? To take life as it comes? Does your need for plans and schedules have you wound up so tightly that spontaneity is not even an option?

That awesome universal force that is always ready to rally thrives on loose agendas. It has trouble fitting in to hyper-focused lives. Even if you consider yourself pretty chill already, try to let go even more and see what cool stuff finds you.

What do you think about all this? Join the convo in the comments below.

Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.

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  1. I look forward to reading your articles each week. I am sure you will have another opportunity to hike that mountain.

  2. Mountain trip is tough enough, but thunder storms can be dangerous. Better safe than sorry. That big hill will still be there. Smart move to delay. Love, Dad

  3. I enjoyed this blog very much. As a nature-based coach my experience is that it’s the being IN nature that gives us healing rather than conquering it (i.e. achieving a set goal) That’s generally not the temperament or conditioning in our culture. Your story points to the benefits of accepting and embracing what IS instead of pushing it to be according to a thought in one’s head. Lovely!
    I teach ‘going with the flow’ in my river workshops and it’s fun to see people get it when they actually embody the wisdom through experiencing it. All great stuff!

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