Have you experienced flow in your life?
I know when I’m in flow when I’m part of life, letting myself be taken by the currents. Like a river rafter, I might be in high waters or low, or maybe I’ll occasionally bounce off a rock or go through some scary rapids, but I’m moving through life. Then there are those times that I’m stuck in an eddy, or sitting still in stagnant waters, unable to move at all.
I think a lot about flow these days. It’s my favorite experience. I notice that, when I’m flowing along, magic happens. I cross the right person’s path at the right moment; I find the object that’s been missing; my relationships–with clients, friends, colleagues, and my beloved–are like a beautiful dance, as we co-create our next steps, finding life’s rhythms under our feet.
I used to believe that being in flow happened randomly, simply the sign of a lucky day. Not anymore. Now I can see how I am directly in charge of whether I’m in the magical world of ease and flow–or not. I can create heaven; and I certainly can create hell. Since I vastly prefer the former, I’ve been pulling apart the mechanics behind what creates flow. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far.
1) Flow happens most when I’m living in integrity.
Following Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks‘ “Four Pillars of Integrity,” I keep a careful eye on: Am I speaking the truth? Feeling my feelings fully? Am I making only agreements that I want to make and keeping the agreements I’ve made? Am I taking 100% responsibility for being the creator of my life? Keeping on top of this list isn’t a moral issue for me, it’s about plugging my own energy leaks. When I’m integrity I’m in alignment. And that’s where flow happens.
2) Flow happens when I’m moving at my essence pace.
Another powerful concept of Katie Hendricks, “essence pace” is the speed at which you move through life and still be connected to yourself. I used to try to move (and speak and think) more quickly, somehow believing that “faster is better.” Too bad if I was cranky or dropped things or bumped into large objects–at least I was moving fast! Once I slowed down, I was present enough to know what was going on inside and outside of me, find my own grace.3) Flow happens when I accept, embrace, and love what is.
Before I understood how this all works, I waved the flag of “THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING.” I’d be in the middle of an experience (getting a flat tire, standing in a long line, breaking something, getting a notice of an unpaid bill) and trying to figure out what I should have done so that it wouldn’t have happened. In other words, I’d be focused on who I could blame–you or them or me– for me having to deal with life, with some vague notion that, if I figured it all out, life would show up just the way I thought it should. I spent my energy and focus resisting what was, and lurched along, hoping I could make it into what it wasn’t.
4) Flow happens when I’m Above the Line.
The threat orientation of Reactive Brain means my whole mind is looking for what is WRONG. That’s the opposite of flow. When I find my way back to Creative Brain, my mind can re-orient to what is RIGHT. Strangely, that was there all along. The only that changed was–me.
As I understand more and more about flow, I have a sense of having lived in a world of gray and finally popping my head above the clouds, seeing clear blue sky everywhere. I didn’t know that the blue sky had been there all along. I see now how the magic of flow surrounds us, enfolds us, supports us. And I understand that, as we hone our integrity, move into acceptance, and tune into our own essence pace, we’re stepping onto that magic ride on the river of life.
Are you interested in having a life full of flow, personal power, and vibrance? Come to my workshops on Conscious Leadership and the (Core) Essentials Weekend Retreat. See you soon!