In Positive Psychology, there is a term called Flow, which refers to "being fully immersed in energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.' It is a state that I have recently become reacquainted with and I wanted to share a bit about what it feels like and also, the contrast feeling of being stuck or disconnected, which I am also familiar with. I also wanted to discuss a bit about how I arrived at this new flow state and how I keep it going.
What Stuck is Like:
The feeling of being stuck is something I think we all can relate to as human beings. I spent quite some time in this space and am pretty familiar with this state. I recognize that we wouldn't be able to experience the feeling of letting go without the contrasting experience of gripping on. I've written about this before. For me, stuck feels like being in the small space of my head, rotating thoughts and ideas around...each time, turning them away. Thinking, I can't possibly do that! How can I trust myself? etc etc etc....until eventually, I push the idea so far away from myself that I completely forget about it. I did this for a long time before launching my business. I stayed in a professional environment that wasn't fully serving me and I started to feel myself losing my shine. I connected less with people and started to isolate myself...I became small and unsure...I began to believe that others had some idea about life that I wasn't privy to...I was disconnected and tired and lonely...I became regimented and shut down and ultimately could not be of service to my students and clients as much as I knew was possible.
What Flow is Like:
Being in flow feels like being one with the Universe. Living and working are such natural extensions of myself that I barely have to think when making decisions because the answer comes to me effortlessly. I never know what day it is and it doesn't really matter because everything is connected. I write and create without blocks...I am motivated by a deep well of energy and I have very little time or space to over analyze or talk myself out of things. I say yes more often than I say no and I experience the fullness of life. I notice that people are drawn to me because of my bright spirit and I feel really full with love. Projects and ideas flow toward me and I am moving in the same direction as the current that naturally moves with my life as I know it.
How I achieved flow and keep it going:
This particular flow state in my life started when I said YES to myself. It began in one of Erinn Lewis's yoga classes and also as a result of my therapist urging me forward.....but I remember this break through...and a small, but growing more powerful...voice within me saying, Brooke it's time to stop acting small...it's time to take a risk. Saying yes in this moment started a big, beautiful movement forward. So, I think the first step toward finding flow is saying yes to the thing that scares the shit out of you. It may be hard at first, but keep going...keep going because you have to and there is no going back....I started to see beautiful, serendipitous changes unfolding before me and that's when I knew I was on the right path. Collaborations started falling from the trees and my light started to shine more....words spilled out on the page and ideas started flowing like water...there was no stopping this slingshot effect once I let go.
I keep myself in this flow state by continuing to stay open. I have moments where my thought patterns want to go back to their natural and familiar state of doubt and worry...but I remind myself that I am in the right place and this is the right time. I show myself examples of when saying yes to my true calling has revealed the sweetest and most rewarding gifts. If I feel like shutting down, I notice why and explore what it would be like to stay open, keep connected, keep searching...keep putting myself out there...I connect with my creative spirit through writing and dance and stay grounded through my yoga practice, long walks and talks with supportive friends and my family. I feel gratitude daily and often express it out loud. Life is a blessing...I want to savor every moment of it.
I continue to see my experience with curiosity. Surely, after a period of extreme connection and high vibrational energy, the opposing energy may be lurking around the corner...but, I remind myself that just as there are downs, there are inevitably going to be ups and also moments that feel dull....because that's life....and it is a beautiful thing to be awake to.
Until next week,