You know that feeling?
That place where everything just clicks in, seemingly by itself.
We’re there, we’re in the activity, we’re in the moment, of course, but we’re there differently.
We’re there, but we aren’t efforting.
We’re there, but we aren’t pushing.
We become the activity. The activity becomes us.
It’s a delicious and spacious place to be.
Perhaps it’s the best of all places to be.
I had such an amusing experience with this concept the other day, in readying this blog.
I wanted to create a video of myself leading a guided meditation for you.
I lead meditations all the friggin’ time; this cannot be hard.
(Might this be the first time friggin’ and meditation are used in the same sentence?)
Since teaching gives me access to the flow state, I knew this video self-shoot would be super-simple.
It was not.
I set up the chair, arranged the music stand to hold my oh, so efficient smartphone (that I know is smarter than I am but please, don’t tell it).
I turned on the video.
I recorded a sample few seconds.
I hit stop, took a breath and watched the 12-second sample video.
It was painful.
My eyes looked so beady.
My face filled too much of the frame.
I moved the chair, moved the stand, I re-ordered the “shoot”.
I did it again: Play—Stop—
My eyes looked beadier.
My face looked saggy and yellowed.
My friends, I repeated this cycle for twenty-two minutes, moving the chair from place to place, setting up the perfect angle for this video shoot, arranging background, moving a plant for ‘scenery’.
Again, the process was a repetitious Play—Stop—Delete.
This wasn’t working.
I had zero access to the flow state.
My mind became louder. (I’m laughing as I think about the multitude of 12 second, 22 second, and 31 second videos I filmed, momentarily previewed, and instantly deleted.)
In the middle of this debacle, a friend texted. I told her what I was doing, and how fully unsuccessful I was at accessing the flow state.
She cracked up, and sent me for condolences, the little laughing emoji, my fav—and said,
Why don’t you just do audio, she suggested.
Instant internal shift.
Keep it simple? Who would have imagined that?
I took a breath, rearranged the chair, got comfortable, hit record, and, in eleven minutes, had the audio recording.
It was effortless.
What a great experience of feeling both the non-flow state and the flow state.
I didn’t realize I created an unconscious experiment about the topic of this blog.
We get all of it. We get the moments of frustration, of ego, with the inner-whiner running the show.
We get the inner-rebel, our internal ten-year-old-with the car keys, driving wheelies around town.
We get the flow and the non-flow.
Life just asks us to keep returning.
Yoga philosophy teaches us about that flow of positive life energy, the flow of prana. To enter that flow, to cooperate with it, to become it—these are all the gifts of living a mindful, conscious life.
Positive psychology defines a flow state, also known as being in the zone, as the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
Here is my gift to you today, 11:03 minutes/seconds of my flow state experiment. Enjoy:
It is beyond- imperative that we quiet our minds, that we allow ourselves to enter and reenter that zone of ease and effortlessness. It is a timeless zone, when an hour of gardening might seem like a few minutes.
Time expands and bends.
The zone is different for everybody. For me, five minutes in the garden would occur as days of misery. Yet, I could mow myself into bliss, and not know if a few minutes or a few hours have passed.
It’s different for everybody!
We each get to discover, to cultivate, to bathe into that energy, that space of unity.
Where do you find flow?
What do you do to drop into it? What do you adore doing so fully that your mind softens, the wisdom of your body and heart emerge, and brilliance flows?
What did you love to do as a kid? Those memories might hold information relevant to today; those ancient activities might be doorways back, today, for the adult that you are to quiet, to ease, to relax, to become one with, to flow.
Here’s to the flow!
Let’s honor the constriction.
Let’s celebrate our willingness to
To always return
To those places
Here’s to savoring!
Let me know—oh! Please let me know. What works for you? I am firstname.lastname@example.org