What is Flow?
What is Flow?
When inspiration seems lacking and you find yourself staring at a blank page, how do you find your way back to your flow?
This, right here, is me in the process. Connecting to my flow, my inner guide, my intuition. My WORDS. I find my flow by getting started. By putting that first word down on the page. For me, flow means to write. For you it may look like inspiration to paint using a different medium to what you are used to. It might look like trying out every recipe you can find until you get the perfect apple pie or playing guitar until the sun comes up. For me, it is trusting the words as they find their way onto the page. It is tuning in to that self-expression that is more than the surface ‘self’. More like expression of the true self. It is like freedom and clarity and love all at once. It’s deeply personal, like pure surrender.
How do we find our flow?
Finding your flow is simply a lesson in learning to trust yourself. For runners it is when you ‘hit your stride’ and the world seems to blur around you. The same for musicians. You become one with the process. The world vanishes and all that matters is your creation. To me it is God working through me. The reason we feel so in tune is that we are connecting with our true essence, with our higher purpose. Anyone who has been in the flow knows it, and knows how valuable it is. It is like spinning gold from the spinning wheel. It is like magic.
Take Time to Consider what puts you into the Flow State
This inevitably boils down to ‘what do you love?’. What we love is at the core of our being, what makes us tick, and why we are living this life. We all have a different set of likes and dislikes. This is the beauty of this life! There is a place for each and every one of us to make our mark. Finding what you love is the starting point. This is not just about writers and painters, this applies to everyone. You might LOVE grooming horses or knitting blankets for newborns in need. When you love what you do you find yourself in a flow state where it is the only thing on your mind, where nothing is more important than you and the task at hand. It is a state of pure joy.
Have you Experienced the Flow State before?
Can you remember a time when you realized you had been enjoying doing something so much that the time ran away with you? This is what happens when you are in the flow state. When you look at what you have achieved and you are amazed. How did I get so much done? Wow, that turned out way better than I expected! Again, there are so many variations on what the flow state means to each of us but you know it when you feel it. The best advice I can offer is to find something you love, shut yourself away from any distractions and just start. For me just picking up the pen can be like flicking a switch. Not always mind, it doesn’t work that way, but if you keep coming back you will be rewarded.
Watch this great video Flow:
Spark your Flow
How do you express yourself? Is it through food? Art? Nurturing others? However you naturally choose to express yourself is where you should start trying to find your flow. In the case of athletes you might think ‘they don’t express themselves through sport’ but I beg to differ. This is exactly what they are doing. They express themselves physically where someone like me expresses themselves verbally.
Doing more of what you love is a way to offer yourself self-love and an excellent way to find your way into flow. Do what you love, be kind to yourself and get rewarded for doing it. There are no losers in this game! Embrace your true self and share it with the world! If you are an artist you go to an art gallery and you soak up the techniques and colours of the art on display. You walk through the gallery until your head and heart are spinning with inspiration! The art feeds you, the way reading a good book inspires me (I happen to love art too in case you couldn’t tell).
A Helping Hand
While there is no 3 step program, there are definitely some tips and tricks that can encourage flow state. Meditation and Journaling are great ways to get yourself primed for flow state! Meditation helps clear your head so that you can get ‘in the zone’ and journaling can both clear out thoughts and spark creativity. Both of these are ways that you connect with your authentic self, which is the best way to get revved up and inspired.
Another tip for achieving flow state is to keep fueling the fire. So, if you are writing a blog on baking then you would immerse yourself in learning about baking. You would be reading books, watching videos and baking consistently. This will fuel your inspiration and send you straight into flow state! Essentially you want to immerse yourself in that creative energy of what you love, let it spread through your veins! A musician would turn up the volume on their favourite music, tuning in to the notes and energy of the music before picking up their own instrument and starting to play. If you want your own flow you have to open the door to let it in, encourage it, make it feel welcome!
Choose Your Peak Time for Creativity
I work best in the morning. It is when I have the most energy and motivation to get things done. Decide what is the best time of day for you. Set aside a section of time where you are at your optimal performance and throw everything you’ve got at your creative endeavor. No distractions allowed, but inspiration (eg. music) welcome! Set your sights on your goal and put those blinkers on.
I believe getting into the flow has a lot to do with your attitude towards your creativity as well. In other words, don’t go into it with an attitude of checking off another to-do-list item. Prime yourself, yes, but then relax. Don’t force it. You can’t anyway, it just doesn’t work that way. This is about soaking up inspiration for around you and then opening yourself up to your own flow working through you. It is like taking the lead in the dance vs being led. You have to allow yourself to be led in this beautiful dance of flow!
I hope you enjoyed this blog! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of flow so please share with me in the comments. And, if you are looking to work on your flow, a great resource worth checking out is Udemy, they have courses for anything you can think of. including Flow! Check it out here: Udemy
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