Don’t you love those days where it seems you can do no wrong and things magically line up so that you hit all the green lights, there’s no line at the bank and people are delightful in every meeting? We all have those moments where we are in that state of flow, where it feels like we’re being carried along on the stream of life and all is well. Athletes play better in this state and strive to maintain it. Physicians describe it as something greater guiding their thoughts and hands. We notice when it happens in music or film – everything seems to click with perfect timing.
We can cultivate this state with intention, and why not? Who wouldn’t want life to flow more smoothly with fewer hiccups and snags? I invite you to notice what allows you to achieve this state. Do you see a pattern? Are there thoughts that help you achieve that state? What seems to take you out of it? How do you get back in?
You can create your own template for achieving this state based on your experiences, because it is unique and personal to each of us. Where one person might find it on the golf course, the next would prefer meditation.
There do seem to be some common gateways I’ve experienced, and others have named, that seem to be somewhat universal in their ability to bring us into a peaceful state of flow. Here they are:
- Appreciation. Pausing to appreciate and feel a sense of gratitude for the things that fulfill us often changes our state in a positive direction.
- Beauty. Noticing the beauty of a garden or a bridge or a vista can take our breath away and fill us with awe. The first time my husband and I saw the Salton Sea in the midst of a California desert we both gasped at the beauty of it.
- Being around animals. They have a way of being so real, so tender and so courageous at the same time. I was tremendously inspired seeing the salmon run up stream during the fall. Their tenacity and encouragement of each other amazed me.
- Releasing the struggle. When we truly feel confident in turning things over to a higher power, there is a definite shift that is tangible.
- Meaningful pursuits. Reminding yourself what’s truly meaningful to you in a quiet, reflective moment.
- Acceptance and non-judgment. Practice these daily and you will see an improvement in flow, in mood and in every relationship you have.
- Music and art. Those that we respond to viscerally, that lift our mood and inspire us are a lovely way to achieve flow.
- Laughing, especially with friends.
- Peaceful orderliness. Putting order in your space, even if it’s only a desktop, frees you from a sense of chaos and feels wonderful.
As you reflect on times in the past when you were in a state of flow, and notice those things that helped you achieve that state, you can create your own ritual or practices for getting there more frequently. Operating from this state is more satisfying and less stressful. We use less energy and are fully present to enjoy our right now moment. We have access to our greater selves and the capacity they bring to contribute.
Check out my video on You Tube: http://youtu.be/8VPhDLzIXt0