Finding Your Flow
How To Get Into A State Of Flow In Life
Finding your flow is something that can be achieved in the moment, and is often described as a “flow state,” and then there are other levels of getting into flow states which we will discuss here that are last longer and can be experienced over time.
What Is Flow Psychology?
Perhaps the most famous work done on the concept of “Flow” is the book, Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Truth be told, when I started my journey of experiencing and writing about flow states, I was not familiar with his work.
I had my own personal experience of a flow feeling one night in the desert while dancing. It was a transformational experience that set me off onto a lifelong journey of learning about, experiencing, and creating content to help more people experience a state of flow, and expand that flow state into a life “flowosophy” to experience flow all of the time. The phrase that came to me was, “Find Your Flow.”
In The Flow
So, how does one get in the flow? Well, there are a few key tactics that
can really help. I have actually condensed them down into 3 Steps to Flow, if you want to get straight into your own personal experience of a flow state, then that is the best place to start.
We won’t get into the technical process of experiencing flow states in this article, we will continue on a more philosophical, life journey experience of flow here.
My First Big Experience Of Flow
When I had my peak flow experience on New Years Eve of Y2K, it instantly changed my life, but not in the way I thought.
When I tried to explain the flow feeling to my friends, they thought I was crazy.
“It was like my body was dancing by itself! I felt like I was floating! All of the dance moves that I have been practicing all just flowed together seamlessly, perfectly. Even when I “messed up” a move, it somehow flowed into a whole new move and became even more awesome!”
Okay Winston, just keep that crazy talk to your self!
But, over the last 20+ years, more and more people have started to recognize the value of being able to get into the zone, or a flow state, at will.
Giving a presentation at school or work? Get into a flow state!
Going up to bat against that tough pitcher? Get into a flow state!
Studying to pass that big exam? Get into a flow state!
There are so many different things that you can do while in a flow state.
And those are just your own personal flow experiences. What about when you look beyond your Self?
Social Flow – #socialflow
As I got older, trying to figure out exactly what was this flow thing all about, I used to do a lot of journaling.
I would take notes anytime that I would get into a flow state, to try to look for patterns or clues about what caused me to get into flow.
One thing that started to happen, was coincidences, or serendipity, or synchronicity.
Sometimes I would experience de-ja-vu, or I would think of someone and then they would call me. Or I would call someone and they would say, WOW! I was just thinking about you!
It was like mental telepathy, or low-level psychic abilities.
The more I became aware of it, and journaled about it, the more it started happening, (what you focus on expands!)
I started to call this, “Social flow.” Like, I would think about someone, and then “randomly” run into them at the park.
When something coincidental would happen like that or when I was with someone and we experienced a coincidence together, I called it #socialflow.
Mind Flow – #mindflow
Then, sometimes I would be thinking about something, and the thoughts would just come together and I would have an epiphany or a revelation and my mind would start connecting the dots almost magically!
I decided to call this “mind flow” whenever I could get my mind to work in this optimal state of focus and creativity.
I differentiated this experience from flow state experiences like dancing or surfing, because those involved me doing some sort of physical activity.
So, if it was more cerebral, more “in my head,” then I labeled it #mindflow.
Body Flow – #bodyflow
If it was something more physical, like playing a musical instrument, walking, bouncing a basketball, then I labeled it #bodyflow.
It doesn’t mean that my mind wasn’t involved, but it kind of “zoned out” a little bit.
But not too much!
That’s the balance, that’s the flow!
There’s kind of a sweet spot where the body can do the thing without thinking too much about it.
It’s just challenging enough to keep the mind from drifting off too far, but not so challenging that the mind needs to fully engage with the activity, which would require mental energy and pull one out of the flow.
Spirit Flow – # spiritflow
So what about when you have something more magical of an experience with flow? Maybe even, out-of-body, or spiritual?
Well, to tell you the truth, my first big flow experience that I mentioned earlier, was very much an “out-of-body experience” and it was very spiritual for me.
I have had other flow experiences that lifted my spirit and helped me feel more connected to “Source” or “God.”
For me, that could happen from #mindflow, #bodyflow, or a combination of the two.
It also gave me a sense of being in spirit more than just in my body or in my head.
It also helped me connect to a larger sense of flow in the world, or even the universe!
This is something that also got me deeper into the profound phenomenom of “coincidence.”
I journaled my daily coincidences, and noticed that I could really just make them up on purpose, or I could notice them completely by accident, or I could kind of put an intention out to the universe and then have it almost magically come back to me in some unexpected way.
For example, I can look around my office right now as I type this and say, what a coincidence, my pen on my desk is black, and my desk is black, and my hat and computer monitor on my desk are black too! OMG!
Well, that’s not necessarily all that cool, BUT! If I do that as a game, and I play that game more and more, what starts to happen is I start to train my brain to notice coincidences.
I might look at the clock and see that it’s 2:22 pm!
Or I might think about Elena and then she walks in the door.
I could just write that off as unimportant, trivial, “just a coincidence.”
But, that takes away my power.
My power of The I AM.
The power of my attention. Of my consciousness.
My Creative Life Force.
What I Focus On Expands.
What are YOU focused on?
How could you measure it as it expands? How would you know that it’s working?
Journaling is a great way of finding your flow because you can see the interplay of your awareness, your conscious energy being directed and then reflected back to you in new and exciting ways.
The better you get at this, the more you may start to notice more impressive coincidences.
I like to think of it as an inside joke between me and G-d.
Like, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
It makes a disturbance in the air, which makes air waves, but a “sound?”
A sound is something that one observes or experiences, in a sense. So if no one experiences it, it doesn’t happen for that person.
Without getting too convoluted, if you say, nah, that’s just a coincidence, it doesn’t mean anything, its a statistical probability at some point, then you are right.
Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right. – Henry Ford
Whether you think the coincidence is significant of your BEING there, at that exact moment in time and space, then that is completely up to YOU. YOU are the creator of your own experience.
Okay, moving on.
Cash Flow – #cashflow
Growing up I had many mindset issues around money. I got very mixed messages about it.
On the one hand it was important, but we never talked about it in our house, unless my parents were arguing about it.
So, the #cashflow element didn’t come into the equation until later.
But, over time I realized that it was a critical part of life here on Earth.
Since then I have studied the subject of money in depth and worked heavily on my money mindset.
I have studied and developed business skills and consider #cashflow an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Work Flow – #workflow
Work is sometimes given a bad name or a negative connotation.
There can be work that is unfilling, stressful, under appreciated.
One can be “overworked.”
But work can also be one of the most amazing and rewarding flows of them all!
Getting into a nice workflow can help you experience some of the deepest and most rewarding flows.
Also, you can give back to your community, your state, your country, your planet, etc.
Work flow can happen in many different types of work, and it can be a sacred undertaking.
The work that we do can have a huge impact on our family, friends, team, customers, students, and not just now, but possibly for future generations too.
Over the years I learned how to get paid #cashflow to do #workflow that I absolutely loved!
“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
That’s how I’ve felt. I have somehow luckily managed to get amazing paying gigs where I got to get paid to party and rock a dancefloor full of people who are professionally good looking, lol.
I’ve gotten to teach kids music! Something super important and meaningful and rewarding for me.
And when there wasn’t a job for a music teacher, I made one. That’s the flow!
Find Your Flow – #findyourflow
During my first big revelation about the experience of flow, the wise voice inside of my head said, “This is FLOW. You will learn to bring this experience into every area of your life. You will write a book about this experience.”
And that’s exactly what I did!
Since the year 2000 I have been getting into the flow of life, following the subtle signs and intuitions, the ups and the downs, and writing (and podcasting on the Find Your Flow Podcast!) about strategies and tactics that have helped me get into the flow more often.
But, it was and has been very important to me that I don’t “preach” or try to force my way onto anyone. It’s important that I give people the opportunity in finding your flow to be your own way.
So it occurred to me that really, I was trying to build a framework, a system that would allow each person to come with their own experiences, and get into flow states in the “now,” and also a framework to help those who want to experience flow in other areas of their life.
Those area are: Mind, Body, Spirit, Social, Cash
Mindflow, Bodyflow, Spiritflow, Socialflow, Workflow, Cashflow
This became the basic framework that would quickly and easily allow anyone who is finding their flow to identify which flows they want to focus on at any given moment.
Then, one can find flow in that focus and expand from there.
This has become my life “flowosophy.”
I hope that it helps you to Find Your Flow.
And until next time my friend…be flowing!
— Winston “the Find Your Flow guy” Widdes