The Liberation Found in Going with the Flow

Have you ever known someone who seemed to be born with all the advantages—money, status, intelligence, opportunity—but floundered and ricocheted through life in a constant state of frustration, lack and misery?

Have you ever known someone who appeared to be born with a ton of limitations—poverty, abandonment, academic challenges, maybe even a few run-ins with the law—but transcended it all to live happily and gratefully, despite circumstances, becoming responsible, successful and widely respected?

What was the difference between the two? Why did the one for whom you’d think gratitude and success should have been easy, never thrive? And the other, who could have found plenty of reasons to wallow in self-pity and limitation, do just the opposite?

Your attitude creates your reality

So what are the keys to fostering an optimistic attitude? It’s a construct I call “living in flow.” What is flow, and what does falling in love with yourself have to do with finding it? While you may study a more in-depth explanation in my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013), here’s a quick summary.

When you fuel all aspects of yourself with love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, you begin living in flow. Your life becomes a fluid Journey to Wholeness grounded in who you are being, not what you are doing. Every breath, thought, word, and act—your very presence—fosters a generous, effortless, gracious life of flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy.

  • Faith: I am confident that love is the greatest power in the Universe.
  • Hope: Universal love is always unfolding the highest good for all, in all, through all.
  • Prosperity: My Universal Source is excellent, limitless and reliable.
  • Peace: I relax into all that was, is and will be.
  • Joy: Whatever my circumstances, I know who I am and Whose I am: a unique cocreative expression of the Divine.

I live in flow: being not doing

When living in flow, work, rest and play all feel the same. Organic. Effortless. Force is not needed to accomplish anything; in fact, its use would be detrimental because force disrespects your deepest wisdom and greatest gift: your intuition.

Rainer Maria Rilke said it this way, “May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”

Your ability to experience flow in any moment, filling your life with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy, is directly proportional to your ability to fuel yourself in that moment with love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude. That fuel allows you to realign your awareness with what I call the God’s-eye view, enhancing your perception and expanding your perspective until you know that, whatever may be happening at that moment, we are one and Universal love is always unfolding the highest good for all, in all, through all.

Constructive core energy fosters flow

These terms are not just five woo-woo, New Age words I pulled out of thin air because they sounded Zen and cool. They were revealed to me individually, real-time as I lived through the phases of my own dramatic and highly personal healing and transformation in the wake of burnout.

  • Love: I nurture, encourage and delight myself in healthy ways.
  • Respect: I honor my choices; I do the best I can with the love and light I have at the time.
  • Curiosity: Instead of judging, I wonder why.
  • Compassion: I acknowledge and value my feelings.
  • Gratitude: I appreciate my life; everything is an opportunity. 

The formula for making these principles a way of life is simple to explain. In every situation, love yourself enough to pay attention to every aspect of your life. Respect everything you are experiencing—what you are thinking, feeling, deciding, saying and doing. Determine whether the energy underneath is love or fear. If it’s love, you are probably on your authentic path. If it’s fear, demonstrate compassion for yourself. Foster gratitude by reminding yourself that everything is an opportunity. Then further neutralize the fear by bringing curiosity to bear. Explore every aspect of the situation, especially your internal landscape, and identify all of the opportunities available to you through this unique experience. As with any new skill, practice will help this way of being become a healthy new habit—your automatic response to every situation.


In summary, figure out what you want, understand whether it’s fueled by fear, transform any fear into love, set your intention and then get ready to receive it, because it will happen.

Becoming conscious and claiming your personal power to neutralize the self-sabotaging, judgmental voice in your head will yield immeasurable benefits. You will literally be able to redefine your world, because there is no absolute reality, only the story you tell yourself about what is happening and what it means.

Every being, encounter and experience that comes my way is filtered through a conglomeration of lenses that results in my unique perceptions. These lenses cause me to see my world in a certain way. They are influenced by my unique and complex mix of myriad factors: the family, cultural and societal norms I was taught; my physical and mental abilities; my personality and natural talents; my birth order; the patterns I deduced from all my past experiences and the assumptions I’ve presumed concerning what’s likely and possible in the future. 

I create my reality in each moment by choosing what I will think, believe, feel and do based on what my lenses allow. I can choose to look through the lens of fear and remain weighed down and self-imprisoned, or I can choose the lens of love and embrace a life of freedom and flow. No outside event or situation, no other person can dictate my attitude.

The lens I choose creates my reality

To help yourself remain mindful of this healthier new habit, try incorporating relevant affirmations that anchor your desire for living in flow. Here are three of my personal favorites:

  • I free myself of all fear and dedicate myself as a clear channel for love, light, hope, possibilities and empowerment.
  • I do not rush. I am enough. I discern, focus and follow through. The Universe works wonders through me.
  • I learn my lessons quickly and gently and help others do so as well.

Once you get the knack, you’re going to love the feeling of trading judging for curiosity. It’s not a forced march, a different set of rules you must follow to be a “better” person. It’s a gift of grace accepted freely and with gratitude, an honor and a privilege filled with joy and wonder. By discovering possibilities you never imagined, you open the door wide and go bounding through to endless opportunities.

However unconscious the process may feel at the time, you are manifesting the world you choose to see and the life you choose to live. What perspective and attitude will you choose today? The only person controlling your life is you. Choose your energy and change your life! 

Daring Greatly

Many of us think if we dare to try something new or take a risk in order to expand or improve our lives, we won’t make life better, we’ll make it more difficult.

Daring greatly

We tell ourselves it’s easier to stick with the status quo because it’s predictable. Our preference for the familiar is so strong, it’s actually cited as one of the most common reasons people chose to stay in dysfunctional—even abusive—situations and relationships.

But what if the familiar just isn’t working for you anymore?

We’ve all heard the saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You reach a point where you can no longer escape the truth: you know in your heart what’s really making your life difficult is constraining it with the same old limiting beliefs and destructive habits. Fear is keeping you small—trapped in a lackluster life you’ve come to loathe.

So what if you do recognize the status quo just isn’t working for you anymore? What if you realize it’s keeping you stuck in a life you’ve outgrown? What if you’ve had enough of the familiar and you’re ready to take action to try something new that could help you break through the old barriers of limitation and lack that have been holding you prisoner in a life you abhor?

When the Universe loves you enough to keep pushing you outside your comfort zone, it’s time to embrace the grace you’re being offered, face your fears, stop resisting and open your fearful heart to new possibilities.

Baby step, gratitude, celebrate, repeat!

One of my favorite movies of all time is What About Bob? The film is about the transformative archetypal journey of the hero: the lesson that no matter how broken we are, with love and compassion, a dash of courage, a pound of commitment and a sense of humor, we can do anything. We can learn and grow into happier, healthier people. Every one of us can find deep peace, lasting joy and meaningful relationships. We do this through a lifetime of never-ending baby steps. Bless his heart, Bob baby steps his way all over the transformative Universe. Each time he pushes past his current limits to try something new, he is delighted. After his first sailing adventure (for which they had to tie him to the mast to get him to participate), he exclaimed to all he met, “I’m a sailor! I sail!”

Ready to live a life of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy?

The Flow Scan

Whenever you have the sense that you are stuck or blocked, a real-time Flow Scan can help you identify which aspects of your thinking would benefit from recalibration and what form that might take.

Flow Scan

On the previous page you will find a snapshot of the worksheet used for the scan. In my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I provide a variety of scans to help you recognize when you are out of alignment and get yourself back on track, including the Flow Scan. Click here to download a FREE full-size, color version of my Flow Scan, along with full-size, color versions of all of the other illustrations and scans included in my book.

The Flow Scan consists of a five-step process, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever you are feeling stuck.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the fear-based lies and illusions that are blocking you, identifying any feelings of distrust, despair, scarcity, panic or misery.
  • Determine what baby steps will restore your life to a love-based truth and reality of faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your results and continuously refine and expand your action plan to fill your reality with the truth of love-based flow and minimize succumbing to the lies and illusions of fear-based blocks.

I live in flow: being not doing
You’re worth the effort. With practice, you will become adept at noticing whenever you’re feeling stuck or blocked and quickly taking action to restore flow. This way of living mindfully will become a healthy new habit through which you will build the less stressful, more fulfilling life you dream of.

Start today by identifying one small step you can take in the direction of your dreams. Even though trying something risky or new may cause your pulse to quicken and your palms to sweat, the rewards will far outweigh any perceived benefits to simply ‘playing it safe’. In fact, playing it safe is actually the riskiest path because through it you risk wasting your one precious life. You risk missing entirely the reason you are here. To be who you fully are at your core with delight and abandon. To let your light shine to brighten the way for all of us. You’re the only you we’ve got. A precious natural resource never to be wasted or taken for granted.

Baby Steps Make a Big Difference

Slow and steady produces meaningful, lasting results. Vast forced output is rarely sustained. Great strides of lasting value involve myriad baby steps over time. If the conceivers of the Taj Mahal had believed fast was the only way to get there, it would have crumbled in the first storm.

The power of baby steps

Easy does it. Letting any shifts be as organic as possible is key to more substantive, longer lasting results. Begin with one tiny baby step toward one small desired change. No amount of progress is too inconsequential to celebrate. Each step forward is an important opportunity to stop, consider what you’ve learned, examine your new tools, realize your new strengths and embrace with gratitude the joy that will take you to the next step.

Celebrating each success is key to fostering the constructive core energy that will keep moving you forward. Noticing and demonstrating love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude for any resistance to change is as important to moving forward as celebrating your successes.

Before you know it, you will have left behind your former life of limitation and lack. You will have built your dream and it will last your whole life through. What will you dare to do today with your one precious life?

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.


What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“Do you feel overwhelmed, out of sorts, and unfulfilled? Do you work and strive to do more, and still find that no matter how much you do it’s never enough? Do you feel depleted and constantly on the hamster wheel of life? Striving but never arriving to a place of contentment and peace? Do you over give to everyone else and find that you feel empty and unappreciated, yet struggle with receiving from others in return? Do find yourself stuffing those empty feelings with food, alcohol, shopping, social media, toxic relationships or some other obsession or habit that leaves you feeling unsatisfied? Have you searched for answers but have come up empty handed? Then this is the guidebook to help transform your life by not only helping you learn to fall in love with yourself, but explore patterns that no longer serve your highest good.

This amazing book is packed full of skills, tools, and techniques to assist you on the journey to a life fueled by love rather than fear. Deborah Jane Wells will challenge you to examine your life and will teach you the ‘Discovery Framework’ that will guide you to choose love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude as your core energy. Through this new perspective it will help you implement and experience the flow of faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy so that you can live a fulfilled life. She will walk with you while sharing her own journey of struggles and help you learn to find balance, hope, and inspiration to live a life that you truly love. As a psychotherapist and someone who has struggled on my own journey in life I highly recommend this book to anyone who is really ready to face the challenges of getting unstuck and ready to make real changes in their life and to learn to fall in love with the person who matters most…You!” Angela McGoldrick, MS, LPC, Executive Director, Life in Balance, Christiansburg, Virginia

“Just as all of us are born as unique individuals with gifts and abilities, all of us encounter unique obstacles and challenges in life that may limit or hinder us in fully expressing our gifts and abilities. In her book, ‘Choose your Energy: Change your Life!,’ Deborah Jane Wells encourages readers to discover ourselves, embrace who we are and welcome life’s challenges as opportunities rather than roadblocks. I found this book to be insightful and encouraging in its message. What we tell ourselves about ourselves is the backdrop against which we then measure the significance and value of all our life’s encounters, experiences, accomplishments or failures. When we choose to stand upon a foundation of love and respect for ourselves, it follows that we can view the world around us with the same positive energy. Curiosity, compassion and gratitude can be powerful and transformative attitudes we extend to the world around us when we choose first to view ourselves with these same grace-based convictions. This book will be an affirmation to all who read it.” Debra Maviglia Podish


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What clients say about
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“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

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About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
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