What is flow and why do we find ourselves in or out of it?
As a Psychotherapist and Reiki practitioner I know the concept around psychological, biological and energy flow as I aim to create inner flow to feel our best. Yes, this is flow, but what about performance flow – a flow state? This is available to us all – what is this phenomenon and why are we either in or out of it?
The flow state is what I always want to experience in my work, sometimes it’s there in varying degrees and sometimes it simply feels more disconnected, forced or my ego has taken the driving seat and taking me somewhere even I believe I’d like to go to!
From my experience, flow seems to dissolve when I get in my own way, my expectations, and inner judgements of how something ‘should’ be. This ego driven performance ends up being unsatisfying, mechanical with little or no deep and meaningful connection to the other person in the room with me.
However, when I surrender to what is, when I have no expectations, no judgements of how something ‘should’ be or have an ideal outcome in mind, I find I get out of my own way and something else comes in.
What is this something else? I feel words can only dilute the state that shows up? A surrendering to what is at that moment certainly allows a doorway to open to something perhaps Universal, and we find we are in that ‘zone’.
So, what is getting in our own way all about? Well, I think there’s a few ways to look at this, one being both our patterns of thinking and over thinking. Rigid thinking limits all possibilities before us and rumination keeps us in the head closing the door to the magic of that something else that may come in.
However, if we surrender and trust it will all be ok and we let go of our thinking and just observe, focus and be present, we create the fertile space for this wonderful state. Sometimes we feel we can ‘think’ our way into a flow state? Can we? I believe focus is needed but I wonder if thinking can be a sabotage?
Past and future rumination, I feel takes us away from the simplicity of the present moment where flow resides. Our ability to sense our outside world is also critical, our vision, hearing, smell, touch and our sense of space around us seem to be important to enhance our focus and let in that flow. Not only does it create a sense of presence but also creates safety in our bodies and more importantly, our nervous system.
Feeling safe is essential if we are to ‘let go’ and ‘trust’ in our abilities to surrender and let that flow come in! We can perhaps fully embrace that flow state more easily when we feel safe in our bodies and minds.
A great youtube clip to watch is Irene Lyon, a somatic experiencing therapist who talks about coming into the present moment by using Orienting. Daily practice of this, no matter how short, can stop some of the thinking traffic upstairs and create a sense of safety and regulation in our bodies.
With an inner acceptance of ourselves for who we are, flaws and all, maybe we can create more of the right conditions within us to enter that flow state more often.
Loving the theme of this community, take care and thanks for reading!