Flow to experience authenticityFebruary 13th, 2015
I like keeping my word; and since we are about a quarter into the 100 Days Project I would like to share with you a taste of what the journey feels like so far.
100 Days of Flow has a few different phases: from evocation of what flow feels like to each individual through to the exploration of its attributes and triggers to using flow for creation. Then we start fulfilling the dream and achieving our goal.
I welcomed a small team of “awesome seven” – 3 women, 3 men plus myself :)
And my very first question was simple:
What would you like to create in the next 100 days?
The members signed up in order to create some wonderful things from renovating a flat through finding a dream job or getting fit, from consciously challenging themselves to creating an extensive training and writing the book they planned for so long I am totally impressed, these goals go far beyond what I expected! It covers various kinds of creation and falls into all key aspects of life (i.e. to do, to be, to have). Despite our team’s diversity in terms of age, gender, nationality and background (or maybe because of it) this is actually a team of like-minded souls. I admire their decision to invest time in themselves with the intent to create something new. And by saying it out loud they have already put things in motion.This is EXCITING!
Now, check the Wordle cloud above that came out from our initial sharing. Do you love what it says as much I do?
Flow to experience authenticity.
The project gives us the chance to dig deeper, explore, experiment and eventually create in flow.I’ve been interested in flow for quite a while and I believe we all deserve to experience it. There is something in flow for everyone – from those that need to re-connect with their authentic self to those that wish to embark on a creative journey.
Flow is hard to explain. Technically, it is defined as an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform at our best. As hard as it might be to understand intellectually… fortunately, it is easy to feel. For me it feels like plugging into something way bigger than myself. It’s connecting to a universal river of wisdom, beauty and creativity that is constantly flowing no matter whether I’m connected to it or not.
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
~ Martha Graham
Knowing that this divine energy is available why not leverage its flow to create something we are inspired to do? The ease of flow has the potential to inspire us to incubate our ideas and give them life… If you have a goal I invite you to join our journey and befriend yourflow to create what YOU feel most inspired to.
What are your top 5 favorite attributes of flow?
You can choose anything from how it feels, what triggers it, why you enjoy it anything goes. I bet you already created or accomplished a lot while in flow in the past. That means you can do it again. Notice when flow happens; what was your last flow moment like? What were you doing? What have you most enjoyed about it? Where were you? With whom? What aspects would you say triggered it? What tends to put you in the state of flow? Share your story with us. Notice that when you are plugged into the present moment, 99% of the time there are no problems. Yes, there might be things to do and solutions to be found, but rarely we have a real problem. For more you can read this post.
I took note of my own flow moments during the past month and I realized a few patterns that help my flow: beauty of nature, deep connection with people (e.g. coaching), music, delicious tastes, writing and cooking without rush. I noticed I am relaxed yet highly focused; there is inspiration and ideas are coming at a high pace. It’s as if something precious, fresh and unique is going on that I can’t (and don’t want) to interrupt. Nearly as if something larger than myself has taken the control. Perception of time distorts or completely disappears. The attributes I love the most on my flow are the joy, wisdom, focus, creativity and connection to the universal energy. In Tim Gallweys Inner Game this is called Self 2.
What does flow feel like to you?
Based on research published in Psychology Today, during flow, our brain releases enormous quantities of nor-epinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. All are pleasure-inducing, performance-enhancing chemicals with considerable impacts on creativity. Both nor-epinephrine and dopamine amp up focus, boosting imaginative possibilities by helping us gather more information.
This is huge. I guess this makes all of us even more interested?!
Can we define flow?
It happens within the range of optimal balance between our skills and the level of perceived challenge (see the image on the right).
You see, Flow can mean anything, as long as it actually means something to YOU. Because when you show up in an authentic and creative manner doing what your soul is most inspired to do, people notice it, its contagious and it makes others want to show up in the same way.
My flow is often enabled by blocks of time with single focus (good bye multitasking!), rhythm such as drumming and music in general, sunlight, witnessing the colorful beauty of nature, experiencing a new environment, delicious food, piece of art… And yes, did I mention writing? Its also noteworthy that flow happens more often when I am on the important stuff and less during an urgent firefighting kind of a task.
What gets you into flow?
Urgent or important things? Based on Stephen Coveys 7 Habits of highly effective people your big goal falls under the quadrant 2 (i.e. important). Do you keep this in mind when you start your days? How do you prioritize it on your schedule so it gets your attention before all the urgent stuff (calls, meetings, social media) consumes all your energy and focus?
We are always right on track, ready to enter the flow. It comes naturally many times per day. So our job is simple: wait for a moment of flow. Just allow it, no rush. It WILL happen. Be gentle about it as you would be with a friend. Become aware of its attributes. See what it does to you (and what you do to it ;)
Panta rhei – Everything flows.
That’s right. Everything changes. And to be honest that’s what makes life worth living. That’s where fun and the best of improvisation happen. That’s how we learn and create. The flow inspires us to build something new where the old doesn’t work well anymore. Mind your flow. Befriend it to find new ways, to feel connected, to open up to its beauty. Start taking notes of what lights you up and brings you flow. I’d love to hear about your own experience, so feel free to share:
What can you do now to get some flow today?
And what are your top 5 favorite aspects of the state of flow?
I’m facilitating more flow for our project team with focus on awakening the resourcefulness, inspiration and creativity within us. We use our ability to get into this magical state of inspiration in order to create. Let me know if we can help YOU do the same.
We have until end of April to explore the magic of Flow together.
I am all in…wishing plenty of Flow to everyone!