Going with the Flow

From time to time, things do not turn out the way we want them to. In spite of all our planning and hard work, sometimes the result is quite different than we expected or hoped it would be.

When that happens, we often feel disappointed and discouraged. We are convinced that we did something wrong, that we should have gone about it differently. Or we put the blame on someone else or claim circumstances were much harder than promised or estimated.

Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones these things “happen to” and we say things like: “I am always the unlucky one” and “Why does this only happen to me?” We feel resistance or anger and try to hold on to the plans we made and the life we want to lead. We resist our disappointing and frustrating reality and take out our negative feelings on ourselves or others.

There is something we can do to make it easier to deal with disappointment, and that is to go with the flow of life. Some people think this means we should only be doing things that are fun, or that we should passively let circumstances direct our lives. We have certain ideas about how we should live, what our life should look like and how to make that happen. Surrendering to the flow of life is scary, because the outcome is uncertain.

For me, going with the flow means not resisting what comes your way and not trying to manipulate and control everything. Going with the flow requires self-awareness, attention and being present in the moment. Here is what you can do to be more in the flow.

Breathe and feel

Breathing consciously and calmly helps to quiet your mind and your body, and releases tension and resistance. Acknowledge your feelings. There is no shame in being angry or sad. (Read more about this in my blog on feelings.)


Take a good look at yourself. Why are you feeling resistance and rejection to reality? Maybe you expect too much of yourself. What can you learn from this experience?


With acceptance I don’t mean giving up and calling it quits! Accept what you cannot change and try to find other options and alternatives. You may find there is an opportunity that you did not see before.

Let go

Let go of your expectations and thoughts about yourself and your life. Have a closer look at what life brings you.

It is helpful to know that there is very little we can do to control circumstances. And that you cannot change other people. What we can change is our own behaviour and our own way of thinking about people and situations.

I would love to hear your reaction on this topic. For example, what does going with the flow mean to you? Do you find it difficult to accept and let go of things? Would you like to learn to live in the moment, instead of worrying about what has been or what the future may bring?

If you would like to talk about yourself and your life, and about what you would like to change, I invite you to book a free coaching conversation with me.

You can find more information on my website www.luisabatista.com.

Going with the Flow (NL)

Soms gaan de dingen niet zoals we willen. Ondanks alle plannen en hard werken is de uitkomst soms heel anders dan verwacht of gehoopt.

Als dat gebeurt, reageren we vaak teleurgesteld en uit het veld geslagen. We denken dat we iets fout hebben gedaan, dat we het anders hadden moeten aanpakken. Of we leggen de schuld bij anderen of bij de omstandigheden die veel moeilijker waren dan beloofd of ingeschat.

Soms denken we dat we de enige zijn die dit soort dingen “overkomt” en zeggen dingen als: “Ik heb altijd pech” en “Waarom gebeurt mij dit nou weer?” We worden opstandig of boos en proberen vast te houden aan de plannen die we hebben gemaakt en het leven dat we willen leiden. We verzetten ons tegen die teleurstellende, frustrerende realiteit en reageren onze negatieve gevoelens op onszelf of anderen af.

Wat we kunnen doen om beter met teleurstellingen om te gaan, is ons wat meer door het leven te laten leiden: going with the flow. Er zijn mensen die denken dat dit betekent dat we alleen nog leuke dingen moeten doen, of dat we ons passief door de omstandigheden moet laten leiden. We hebben bepaalde ideeën over hoe we moeten leven, hoe ons leven eruit moet zien en hoe we dat voor elkaar moeten krijgen. Je zomaar aan de stroom van het leven overgeven is eng, want de uitkomst is onzeker.

Voor mij betekent “going with the flow” dat je je niet verzet tegen wat er op je pad komt en niet alles probeert te manipuleren en naar je hand te zetten. Met de flow – de stroom – meegaan vraagt om zelfbewustzijn, aandacht en aanwezig zijn in het moment. Om dat voor elkaar te krijgen, kun je de volgende dingen doen.

Ademhalen en voelen

Bewust en rustig ademhalen helpt om je hoofd en je lichaam te kalmeren en spanning en weerstand los te laten. Geef je gevoelens de vrije ruimte. Het is helemaal geen schande om boos of verdrietig te zijn. (Meer hierover in mijn blog over gevoelens.)

Bij jezelf te rade gaan

Kijk eens goed naar jezelf. Waarom ben je opstandig en reageer je met weerstand op de realiteit? Misschien heb je te hoge verwachtingen van jezelf.  Wat kun je ervan leren?


En dan bedoel ik niet alles opgeven en het bijltje erbij neergooien! Accepteer wat je niet kunt veranderen en kijk welke andere mogelijkheden en alternatieven je hebt. Misschien ontdek je plotseling een kans die je niet eerder had gezien.


Laat je verwachtingen en gedachten over jezelf en over het leven los en kijk wat meer naar wat het leven je op je pad brengt.

Het is handig om te weten dat we veel gebeurtenissen en omstandigheden niet in de hand hebben of naar onze hand kunnen zetten. En dat het niet veel zin heeft om te proberen andere mensen te veranderen. Wat we wel kunnen veranderen is ons eigen gedrag en onze eigen denkwijze over mensen en situaties.

Ik hoor graag je reactie op dit onderwerp. Bijvoorbeeld, wat going with the flow voor jou betekent. Misschien vind je het moeilijk om dingen te accepteren en los te laten? Zou je wat meer in het moment willen leven, in plaats van je zorgen te maken over wat er is geweest en wat er misschien gaat komen?

Als je over jezelf en je leven wilt praten en over wat je graag anders zou zien, kun je een gratis coaching gesprek met mij aanvragen. Op mijn website https://nl.luisabatista.com/ vind je meer informatie.

About me…

My name is Luisa. I have got one daughter, and I live in central Portugal together with my husband and our 6 dogs and 2 cats.

I love vegan food and am allergic to chickpeas (I know! No more hummus for me…). I am a passionate and idealistic person, with both feet planted firmly on the ground. I used to feel angry and insecure and blamed others for my unhappiness. Now, I look at myself and the world in a different way, and am more in touch with my thoughts and emotions. And yes, I am happy!

I used to teach English, I translate books, I am a certified holistic coach. I have done all kinds of different studies and trainings: English, Yoga, Ayurveda, dance, plant-based cooking and more. Some of my hobbies are reading, crochet, cooking and making jewellery, and I love to binge watch series on Netflix. My favourite: La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). The book currently on my nightstand is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I am a big fan of Stephen King.

Let’s go back in time for a bit…

I was born in Amsterdam on December 21, 1963, daughter of a Dutch mother and a Portuguese father. I spent my primary school years and the first year of my secondary school in Zaandam, a city about 25km north of Amsterdam. I have always loved to read, and I spent most of my free time reading books.

When I was 13, my mother and father got divorced. After my mother married again and had another daughter, my second sister, we moved to a small village in the south of the Netherlands where everything was different. I had to go to another school, where I had a hard time adjusting. I felt like an outsider.

From a very young age I thought of myself as stupid and ugly, which resulted in a long search for love and validation. So, for a large part of my life, all my decisions were guided by my romantic relationships.

When I was 32, my life seemed perfect on the outside: I was married and had a child, we owned our own home, and I had a job and an active social life. Then I started suffering from anxiety attacks. It was awful and scary… I didn’t understand what was happening to me or why! I was at a loss so I went looking for help. That was when I found out that I was far from happy. I didn’t know who I was and learned that I was living a life that I didn’t really want.

With the help of a psychologist, I managed to overcome this major life crisis. I became an English teacher and later went on to university. I met my now husband, became a Zumba instructor and yoga teacher. In 2012 we moved to Portugal, where we had bought a piece of land with a ruin. My husband built us a beautiful wooden home and we lived a quiet and secluded life.

On June 14, 2017, a fire started in the village where we lived. Everything that happened on that day and the following days, had a major impact on my life. You can read about the fire here.

Although our house, me and all our pets were unharmed and people around me even regarded me as a hero, I became depressed. I hated myself so much, that I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. The fire worked like a catalyst and brought other traumas that I thought I had long since overcome, to come back up.

In October of 2017, we moved to England for one year, for my husband’s work. One day I found myself sitting on the bed staring into space. I felt empty and dead inside and wondered if there was any sense in continuing with my life. I don’t know how long I sat there. At some point I forced myself to get up, walk downstairs and went looking for help on the internet.

For a month, I sent long stories to a psychologist in the USA, contacted a gym where I then started working as a Zumba and yoga teacher and started a course in plant-based cooking. The psychologist said I suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt. She also said that she couldn’t do anything for me, because I was already doing all the things I needed to do to overcome my problems.

With the help of dance, yoga, meditation and mindfulness – living mindfully – I managed to climb out of that deep dark place. It was a hard, painful and difficult journey. Not just for me, but for the people who love me as well.

In the last two years I have followed a number of courses and trainings and have developed my business. Apart from various yoga classes and meditation, I now offer coaching sessions as well. I decided to become a coach, because I want to help people who have been or have been through similar circumstances, to heal themselves, to become who they want to be and live a meaningful and happy life.

I get a lot of joy out of helping other people to get more out of themselves and their lives. And through my coaching sessions, I keep learning every day.