Every so often things that felt confusing and challenging and hard start to flow.
Rather than fighting to make things come to fruition, they just do. Rather than feeling stuck, you have a sense of where you are going, why you want to get there and where you need to focus your energies to make them happen.
The Magic of Getting into the Flow State
When you’re in a flow period, excitement and anxiety come together to create energy. And at least for a while, what seemed impossible or unlikely or complicated seems simple and achievable.
That’s the way I’m feeling today. And I’m trying to figure out how to make this feeling of flow happen more often, or at least last longer
Here are six ideas that work well for me.
1. Stay With Confusion
Be willing to stay confused for a good long time. I’m convinced that without enduring confusion first, there will be no flow.
2. Listen to Your Body
When your body tells you to lie down and sleep, do that!
When I’m really wrestling with making things happen, I often have to lie down. And in a magical sort of way, when I get up, I find clarity in what had been confusing.
3. Trust that the Pieces Will Come Together
You’ve got to believe that what seem like random pieces of a puzzle somehow do fit together if you turn them the right way. Without that faith, you can’t stay with it long enough to find the big picture.
4. Feel Your Frustration
You may feel the most frustrated just before your energy flows. I think of it as a test of will. Can you hang onto the ideas even though everyone and everything is recommending that you go in different directions? If not, the ideas weren’t lined up to flow.
5. Remember… It’s All Between Your Ears
Remember that the difference between being stuck and flowing has little to do with the outside world and just about everything to do with what’s going in your mind. So stop railing against what’s ‘out there’ and start thinking about what’s going on inside.
6. Find a Mantra
Finally, focusing on compassion and dignity and equanimity and forgiveness seem to help me drop at least some of my self-judgement, which always stands in the way of flow.
Try memorizing Dr. James Doty’s 10 letters to live by and reciting them to yourself every day.
Dr. Doty’s lovely new book, Into the Magic Shop has just come out. I read it last week. Perhaps that’s why my life feels so flowy right now!
Consider Your Past Flow States
Think about a time in your life when all of the pieces seemed to come together. Recall a time when your energy was not getting you stuck, but rather moving smoothly as though on a piece of velvet going with the nap. Pull up the sensation of not having to struggle — a sense of being able to trust your direction and energy.
Can you identify some of the conditions that caused that amazing period in your life? Do you have any practices you do to help you stay in the flow state more often or for longer?
Please share your flow experiences in the comments below or leave a comment on Facebook.