January 11, 2011
What is flow and how do you find it anyway? Both are valid questions. The one thing I have discovered is that even if everyone describes the feeling of flow in different ways that are specific to them, we all know what it feels like to be there.
Flow is that rare and ecstatic state where everything in the world is just….well….right. Things happen in a seamless fashion and synergistic miracles slip into place one after another. The world is beautiful, perfect and life enhancing in equal measure. We perform at our best and people see the best in us.
The challenge with this blissful state is that is rarely lasts. The vast majority of us get fleeting glimpses of it’s stunning synergy once in a blue moon if we are lucky and able to raise ourselves above the daily grind to attract it to us. Many of my coachees bemoan the fact that they can’t seem to stay in flow once discovered and then it appears even harder to get back to once lost.
After many evenings pondering this phenomena (and several bottles of red wine later) I reached one obvious conclusion. Humans, at least normal humans, are not supposed to experience prolonged periods of supreme bliss and flow. If we did we would become so lost in its exquisite nature that nothing else would get done, the house would become a tip, the kids would go to hell etc etc, the list goes on.
The true beauty is in the contrast of life. Knowing when we are in flow and synchronicity gives us a target to aim for when we are lost, down and disheartened. If you didn’t have the shadow, how would you fully appreciate the light? The real trick is in becoming aware of the activities, people and places that help you personally to find your flow state and then finding ways to bring them more regularly into your life. I would never think to suggest that you try and become blissed out whilst cleaning the bathroom (although there may be some of you for which this is your ‘thing’ and I’m not knocking it) but for the majority of us it downright sucks. There will always be the things in life that aren’t as super shiny and fun as others but knowing what your fun and flow activities are in the first place gives you the opportunity to balance these out with things that make you glow.
So before you start wishing that you could have spontaneous flow moments of awakening like the great spiritual masters, why not try to spend some time writing down the things in your life that simply make you happy? Happiness is the fast train to flow which, in turn leads back to more happiness. One of the great virtuous circles!