They think of the peak flow experience. Mind, energy and body converge into one-pointed focus .. and efficiency, creativity and brilliance flow effortlessly.
Flow works in cycles. Each cycle has 4 phases with parts that precede and follow the peak flow experience.
In order to live and work in flow, we must learn to transition fluidly from one phase to the next.
Being out of flow usually results from being stuck in the struggle phase or skimming through the phases ineffectively.
The diagram below shows the four phases in the flow cycle.
No matter how much you want to make changes, somehow you cannot seem to.
You try to figure out why you remain stuck but the answer is unclear.
You can't seem to motivate or sustain effort to make changes that last.
Whether its cellphone notifications or other distractions, your mind and body are overstimulated and your attention darts all over the place.
You swing from peaks of intense stress to valleys of feeling drained and disillusioned.
You want to get things done but your mind and energy are too scattered and pressured to focus.
You feel like you are being chased by a clock. Too many tasks and not enough time.
You fall to the bottom of your own priority list.
The words "self care" don't really mean anything because it's been too long to remember what that would actually look like.
When overwhelm surges, you look for the something to calm your system.
Netflix, food, social media scrolling and self medication tools are quick and they easily convince your mind that tomorrow is a better day to continue. (I know this one intimately!)
These methods are effective at shifting the overwhelm in the moment, but can lead to bigger pressure and greater overwhelm if used too often.
The day begins and ends feeling out of flow.
No time is reserved to align your awareness with your mind, breath and body.
You want to create good habits and practices but you just have to get organized first.
You are in good company. Everyone experiences being out of flow at different times .. and sometimes for big chunks of time.
The key is to recognize where we are at and take one strategic step to get back in flow.
All too often we are running a negative self dialogue in our minds, judging ourselves for where we are at and increasing our pressure.
This only causes our mind to panic and overthink in an attempt to get flowing. Overthinking will NEVER get you back in flow.
Instead, say something kind and encouraging like ... "Ok. We are overwhelmed and we can shift this. We are doing the best we know how. We can do this."
(By "we" .. I mean all those aspects of your mind that are arguing, blaming or shaming each other.)
Flow is a state where mind, breath, body and awareness are synchronized and focused. (When your mind is scattered and overwhelmed these are NOT aligned.)
By placing your awareness in your breath, and following it in and out of your body, you will bring your whole self into a present-moment converged focus.
Conscious breathing also has major biological effects that optimize brain and cellular function. (We'd need several blog posts to go through all of that good stuff!)
When awareness enters your breath, you synchronize your physical and intuitive sensory systems.
This allows you to draw from the knowledge you already have while accessing the fresh knowledge your intuition can access. (FYI: This is where problems get solved.)
This is a two-fold step.
First, by asking your intuition to access better ways, you are giving your mind a break.
If your mind had the answer to your stressor, it would have given it already. Allow your mind to relax and open itself to what is not yet known.
Second, gentle movement without stress (like taking a walk, doing the dishes and so on) moves energy through your system and literally gets things flowing.
Living and working in flow is something everyone can learn to do. Investing time to learn this skill will payoff in every way imaginable .. and in every area of your life.
I specialize in training people to live and work in flow.
Why "radical"? .. because those who flow .. radically evolve in ways that improve themselves and their lives from the foundations up.
Here's how I teach:
First .. you learn what flow is and how it relates to you.
Second .. you enter a practice that trains you to transition from one phase to the next in a continuous flow.
Third .. you take those skills into your life and apply them in every part of everything you do.
*If you'd love to learn more about how you can work with me, click the link below.
Thank you for taking time to read the Radical Flow Blog.
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And until next time .. See you in the Flow!