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Creating Flow

The Freedom To Be

Tag Archives: Personal Growth

Tripti Vyas, Head – Gandhi Fellowship

“Flow conducted a five day Personal Reflection process for the fellows of the Gandhi Fellowship program. The brief to Flow was to design a process that would enhance the fellows’ self-awareness, get them to systematically begin exploring the question, “Who am I?” and thus be able to reach clarity about themselves so as to enable each fellow to articulate to herself his/her early version of their ‘private dream’; which is a the pivot around which the Gandhi Fellowship program is designed.

Flow had to design a process that explored the innermost questions of each individual but it had to be done in a group and it had to be designed for 40 people. How to design a standard process that can be customized to the needs of each individual? And most importantly how to do this an environment that is emotionally and psychologically safe? These were the issues around which Flow had to work.

Added to this was the challenge that these were no regular corporate employees, who would do a process simply because they had been asked to. The Fellows are individuals who will not do anything only for the sake of it and they are people who will ask questions and demand reasons for what they are getting in to.

Flow Consulting designed a process that effectively and intelligently worked around the above-mentioned challenges and constraints. The design of the process was accurate to the last minute and yet left room for ideas and emotions to flow when needed. Within a tight design, there was room for adaptation, participation and even co-facilitation. The beauty of the process was that by the second day fellows themselves had begun to contribute to the facilitation process.

The process stretched the limits of all, the fellows and of members from Flow Consulting too. A process of such intense nature that extends for five days can be an emotionally and psychologically draining but Ajay, Payal and Jaya flowed through the ebb and flow of intense emotions with consummate ease.

What I appreciate most was their ability to connect with, respect and appreciate the uniqueness of the Gandhi Fellows. This attitude percolated to the fellows and so they were able to draw  real appreciation and respect from the Fellows.

The most evident outcome of the process has been that the Fellows have learnt how to accept the emotion they are feeling at a given moment and then give word to their emotions. This ability to connect to the ebb and flow of one’s emotions is the first step towards taking responsibility for one’s feelings, which in turn is a giant step in reaching true maturity.

Flow has made a huge contribution to this growth in the journey of the 40 fellows.”

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Our Note

From 40 to 100, from 100 to 250. Since our first facilitation of the PR process the size of each  new batch of Gandhi Fellows has grown and continues to grow. To know more about Flow’s journey with Kaivalya, read our blog post Kayaking With Kaivalya

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Having just completed a workshop for a group of young and energetic twenty year olds, I wondered what I would have to say to myself if I came across my 20 something avatar now. Here is a letter to him with a decade of experience.

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Dear Ajay,

Relax. It will all turn out fine.

Actually, it is all fine even now. Except you think it is not and that you need to do something to make things right. A vague haze of getting a job, making a living and getting married someday. The haze will lift in its own time, until then it will make you run in circles, leaving you dizzy and exhausted at times.

All your hard work to become a Chartered Accountant will be reduced to nought. You will forget all that you studied, except the three basic principles of accounting. Which you shall not make use of anyway. The only time you will mention your degree will be to share about your journey from numbers to people. Mostly to emphasize that people need to follow their passion. Infact that will become your passion – helping others get in touch with their passion.

Your girlfriend will eventually marry your college friend. You will be confused how best to relate to the opposite sex for a long time. Just know you are not the only one. You will come across many definitions of love. Neither of it will help you in anyway. For love cannot be learnt, much less taught.  You may find it hard to understand this now, yet, love has nothing to do with a man-woman relationship. Neither, is it exclusive or conditional. It will take another decade and more than a few heartbreaks for you to live this insight. You will discover many flavours of love. Intimacy is one, letting go is another.

You will struggle very hard in your corporate life. It will not interest you. Yet you will not know what else to do. You will shift from finance to human resources thinking it will give you a chance to work with people, growth and awareness. Gradually you will realize that that the prime purpose of corporations is to grow profits not people. Human resource training will be mostly scripted modules where the latest leadership model will be delivered, in an entertaining manner. The impact of these trainings will be temporary and will not have any lasting impact on organisation or human reality. Some day you will drop all models and theories of change. Become empty and realize the value of ‘I don’t know’. You will call this flow.

Many gurus and ashrams will feature in your path of self-discovery. A good amount of books and workshops too. They will give you a new identity of a seeker. It will make you a scholar on the subject of life. Not a practitioner. You will forsake being in touch with your so-called negative feelings of anger and lust, to be perceived as a spiritual person. One day you will have a volcanic eruption and all that you have suppressed will emerge. This will be far more therapeutic than all the books you would have read on self-expression.

There will come a time when you will feel as though you are standing on crossroads, not knowing what action to take. Anger and fear will give birth to so many voices, that you will not know which one is yours. You will borrow other’s voices for a while, until you find your own. Until then it will be a lonely existence. You will think all is lost. Just hold on because the night is the darkest before the break of a new dawn.

Even though you do not feel him now, there is a frozen child inside of you. He holds all the secret to your joy, love, spontaneity and wisdom. You will have to warm him and bring him back to life. You will receive help from others in doing this, the most unlikely people. You will meet them when the time is right. Just remain open to receiving them. Do not think too much about it. Some will come and go. Others will remain.

You will realize that work is simply an expression of who you are. Moreover, there is no shame in following your bliss. Giving names to relationships robs them from the joy of relating and love can operate only in freedom, not obligation.

Eventually you will come to a point where you will realise self-analysis is not self-growth. Thinking about the past and hoping for a better future will not take you anywhere. Neither will it secure you. You will learn to embrace insecurity as an integral part of being alive. And you will someday, accept yourself as you are and consider what comes with the least effort as what is natural to you. At this point, you will relax into your being and flow in life’s river, floating effortlessly.

Of course I know, no matter what I say, none of this will stop you from falling and hurting. That is essential for you to own your insights. Just want you to finally know.

Relax. It will all turn out fine.

Yours,

Ajay

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