Few people have ever considered aligning with the natural flow of their lives. We are so caught up in our careers, family and other responsibilities and rarely do we take time to look at what we are doing and ask; Is this what I really want? Time flies and often we wake up in the morning, get busy and before we catch our breath the day is over and we wonder where all the time went.
The demands on our time can feel overwhelming.
Meditation, Intuition & Focusing on the Positive
Over the last few weeks I’ve been putting my focus on the concept of flow with a desire to bring the experience more fully into my life. Starting with meditation I now meditate every day to calm my mind, relax and observe the thoughts, feelings and sparks of creativity that come up for me. Listening to my intuition is the next step and is critical for this process. I’ve learned that negative thoughts, feelings or reactions are an indication that flow is missing. Only by shifting to the positive thought or feeling am I able to get into flow.
Focusing on the positive takes effort; it requires awareness and an attitude (which can include affirmations or visualizing) to consistently bring me back to the state where I want to be.
What is Flow?
The best example I can use to describe flow comes from sports. An (American) football quarterback having a great game where every pass seems to connect and every play moves the ball forward is in flow. His team wins and he becomes the hero.
The professional golfer who consistently hits every drive or putt perfectly is another example. There appears to be more than just skill, focus or determination at work for an athlete when they’re in the flow. They have trained their body and mind for years but what I'm finding is it’s not just conditioning that creates flow. Even the best athletes can have a bad game.
For me the definition of flow goes beyond our body or conscious mind. Flow is when our conscious mind steps aside and we allow our unconscious or intuition to guide us. Flow is when we just let go.
Why is Flow Important?
Many believe that success comes from our ability to use our mind, set goals, commit to action and stay organized and focused. While there is some merit to this advice, in my experience action without flow is useless. If you look at nature, instinct and natural flow are the only rules to the game.
As a society we pay a heavy price for not going with the flow of our lives, the results being stress, poor health, damaged relationships, career or financial frustrations.
What’s your Flow Like?
Whether managing your finances, your career, family, finding a job or building your business, a good question to ask is; how is my flow going? Does your mind and experience consistently flow in a positive direction or do you find yourself getting trapped in negative thinking, stress or frustration?
Here are 6 steps for what I’ve learned so far about bringing flow into my life.
This is a work in progress so be patient or feel free to offer suggestions.
- What does flow feel like for you? – Go back to a time when something was flowing for you. How did it feel? What were you thinking? What was the situation? If you know what flow feels like you have a reference point.
- Where is your flow level RIGHT NOW? – How smoothly do your days generally go? Is there a natural rhythm that kicks in or do you find each day a struggle? Are some days better than others? Take specific parts of your life and ask how much flow is there in my career, finances, relationships, health, family, etc.
- Where would you like to be? – Don’t be afraid to dream big on this one. Think of your goals and your life. What would your life feel like if you were totally in the flow? Write it all down.
- Focus on the present moment and let your intuition be your guide – Begin to use meditation, intuition, journaling, dreams, to become aware of your thoughts in each moment. Negative thoughts are usually a good indicator that flow is not happening. When you have a negative thought become aware and go to the next step.
- Learn to shift your thoughts, feelings and beliefs from negative to positive as much as you can – Use affirmations, visualizations, law of attraction methods or whatever techniques work for you. Here are some of the resources that have helped me. (Zen Habits, Good Vibe Coach, Abraham Teachings, Inner Noodle) There is so much available to teach us how to shift our thoughts.
- Be kind to yourself – Recognize that moving into a positive flow is a process that can take time, it doesn’t happen overnight especially if you’re used to a life that has been a mixed bag of flow and non-flow experiences.
Flow is the engine that brings balance and good things into our lives. Without flow action, goals or focus are pointless.
Moving towards positive thoughts and listening to our intuition are guides that can direct us into flow. Flow allows us to make better decisions and move more confidently toward the outcomes that make us happiest.