We often hear people talking about how their best ideas occur to them when they are “in the zone,” or in a state of flow. When I hear descriptions like this, they sometimes sound like the person believes they somehow found their way to this state through a set of unrelated events and coincidences that could never be created again.
Not true, even if it might appear that way. We can notice and create with intention the conditions that help us reach this state, where things seem to evolve with little effort and move along with a sense of order and precision that feels superhuman, yet is available to all of us.
Why would we bother to try to create this state? For starters, our best ideas often are born out of this kind of consciousness of ease and grace that some think they have stumbled upon, and some have learned to cultivate.
I like being in the state of flow because things feel easier here. I seem to have access to a higher level of thinking, which produces superior ideas and solutions without strain or effort. We hear athletes give credit to this peak state when they perform at their best.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” –Rainer Maria Rilke
An easy way to remember how to find the way to this state where things do seem to flow easily and freely is to remember the four Ps:
Peace – When we are feeling peaceful, we are more present with ourselves, each other and the intuitive signals we might be receiving in any moment that allow forward motion with ease. Peace comes when we are fully connected to ourselves, the important people in our lives and our sense of what matters. If you are a person who loves order, for example, and your office is a mess of papers and files, you may find it challenging to feel peace until you tidy up the mess. Peace is always available to us as a state, provided we aren’t distracted from it by something important to us getting in the way.
Plenty – We must know there are abundant resources always available in our world, even when we might not know how to reach them in the moment. The sense of scarcity is a huge distraction and keeps many people locked in a prison of their own making. We always have the power to say “yes” to resources, expecting that everything is here for all of us. Practicing a mindset of abundance is important to a state of flow, because it brings a sense of possibility.
Passion – Whatever we find deeply meaningful to us related to our strengths, gifts, talents and abilities will automatically shift our mental state, helping us to reach that peak state of flow. Joy and playfulness seem to grease the wheels, in a way. Some find a connection to passion in service to others, some find it in spiritual practices like prayer or meditation. Others might find it in nature or dancing. Any of these activities can put you in an altered, uplifted state that is conducive to flow.
Potential – We are designed to continually evolve and expand toward our greater potential. When we aren’t doing that, we may feel thwarted, stuck, stymied. I began asking to be used at my highest potential years ago—it was a prayer that just came out of the depth of my heart and soul. When I know this is happening, it feels amazing, energizing, powerful. We each have, I believe, an innate desire to make a positive contribution in service to each other, and moving toward that does lift us to higher ground, where the view is beautiful, we are met with partners who share our vision and wonderful projects emerge. We somehow feel a connection to each who will benefit in the future from our offering.
There are other ways to achieve a state of flow, ease, and grace, to be sure. I’ve offered here a simplified version that you can put your personal stamp upon to make it fit for you. My intention, my BIG WHY is to lift as many as possible to their best potential contribution. In so doing, we become partners in shifting the planet to a more holistic, friendly and evolved place that works for all of us.