Is it possible to Live in the Flow State as a Life Style?
It’s taken me many decades to come to a place in my life where I am consistently having the experience of being ‘in flow’, not just as a ‘state’ as its often referred to, but as a lifestyle.
Speaking from my decades of being in the life laboratory of my own direct experience, I propose that being in the flow state as a lifestyle may be more of a birthright and innate to being human then we have acknowledged. What if being ‘in flow’ is not just rarified and marginalized to the privileged few creatives or sports enthusiasts out there?
How might more and more of us embodying this birthright, impact the world?
To begin with, what is a flow state?
Originally this term was coined in the positive psychology movement by a man named, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, one of the most eminent psychologists of the modern era. A ‘flow state’ is described as an optimum state, where we feel our best and we ‘perform’ our best. A holistic state in which a person is completely focused on a single task or activity. They are directing all of their attention toward the task, and they do not experience many self-referencing thoughts about themselves, their ‘performance’, or what other people might be thinking of them. There is a quality of peace, ease and freedom to be fully present. In this space of open presence, often creative ‘downloads’ come though. People often naturally experience being in the flow in high intensity sports, like rock climbing or surfing as well as activities like writing, painting or sculpting. Some people refer to this informally as being “in the zone.”
Flow has similarities with mindfulness, as both involve a focus on the present moment. However, people often use the term “flow” in reference to situations in which they are being productive, whereas a person can be in a state of mindfulness regardless of whether they are doing ‘a task’. It can also be a healing state biochemically in that more dopamine is produced while in flow. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that supports feelings of motivation, pleasure, and reward. Culturally we are conditioned to seek for dopamine fixes externally, which can keep one on a roller coaster of seeking external validation and feeling empty without it. Social media addiction is a great example of this!
So back to my proposal of being in the flow as a lifestyle. Last year I had a small pilot study done on my Core Embodiment® Practice and it consistently tested very high in flow states according to the EEG results. So, yes, I have a somatic practice that I teach that is quite potent in giving one access to participating in state changing from nervous system dis-regulation to coherence in a very short period of time.
What I have noticed over these years of doing the practice myself is that there is a way in which every time I do the practice, I tap into a more intimate and direct contact with the truth of who I am, on the inside. Whether I am specifically asking for guidance about something or I am feeling disconnected from myself in some way, the practice always grounds me and takes me back home to my core. ‘From in here’ it’s obvious what I need to do, or not do, say or not say as well as access to the life force energy of being a creator, not a victim of any circumstance.
Flow As Life Unfolding
Over time though, what I am coming to see so clearly is that this ‘practice’ can be maintained as a lifestyle by listening to and honoring this inner bio-feedback system that is always guiding me in the direction of what is in alignment with my inner truth. When I honor what my inner truth is expressing, I stay in the flow with a core sense of coherence and connection.
Life reflects this back to me, by offering supportive and resonant relationships and opportunities. Sometimes even surprising and magical divine winks, as answers to prayers! When I act from and upon this courage to stay true by speaking my truth, creating boundaries where I need to and making choices that are based in self- respect, the universe stands in full support by having my back.
As opposed to when I act from dis-connection, scarcity, resentment or any other vibration that takes me even a hairs-breath off from my core center of truth.
Have you noticed as well? When you make choices from a dis-regulated nervous system, from unconscious fear of loss or or any other version of scarcity— what do you notice as the karmic bio-feedback? Likely, more of the same!
What do you notice when you take the time to inquire into what you are feeling when you feel ‘off center’ and to allow your feeling experience and in this way, re-set yourself, re-calibrate around your core truth and in turn speak, act and have your being from here? How does life respond to you? What opportunities open up before you?
Can you imagine the implications for you and the beauty of your life’s unfolding if staying in the flow with the truth of who you are, became your lifestyle new norm baseline?
Can you imagine the implications for the world, if more and more humans reclaimed this birthright? And we could all meet on this trust-worthy ground of honesty?
In reality the entire Universe is in a flow state, expressed as all of the natural world; simply inviting us to join in with nature, as our true nature.