A couple of weeks ago, I was in the strongest current of flow that I have ever experienced. I wanted to shout from the rooftops about how wonderful Life is. Slowly that state of Flow ebbed away, and I was just determined to find out how it went away and recapture it.
Today, I woke with such sadness that I wanted to weep. Yesterday, I wrote and wrote. Today. I wept a little, then listened to a concert that I sang in two weeks ago, and found my smile again.
I needed to update this web site. I found the passwords and started the process, and before you know it, I had a mess on my hands. There were broken links. When I went to correct one, another would show up. I tried to fix one on the blog entry “What Two Ingredients Put You Into Flow.” I must have needed to relearn that lesson again and again, because every time I fixed something, something else went out of whack.
In the process, I remembered and relearned about what helps to get into Flow, what takes me out of Flow, and How to Return to Flow.
These times are helping us find the broken links inside ourselves so that we can Restore ourselves to our natural State of Being which I call Flow.
- Physical Exhaustion can take us out of Flow. After the concert on December 12, I was exhausted, and though I gave myself some time to replenish, it wasn’t enough.
- Berating ourselves can take us out of Flow. I pushed myself to get presents in the mail to my daughter for her birthday (which is today) and for Christmas. I wasn’t entirely happy with the pajamas I got for her, and then I missed getting them to the Post Office before closing. I had this quiet but hurtful conversation with myself about not having chosen the right gifts, and not having gotten to the post office in time. While I have really significantly improved my self-talk, I was susceptible to more negative talk to myself because I cared that I got my daughter’s presents to her before she flew out today, and because I was tired.
- Focusing on the negative in the situation rather than in the positive will take you out of Flow. When I was in the state of Flow two weeks ago, both positive and negative were happening in my life. I just wasn’t reactive to the negative, and I paid more attention to the positive. I sold my car two weeks ago. I spent all Fall getting ready for the sale, and it hadn’t happened. I determined that I would sell it a particular Saturday. Even though I had the remnants of a migraine headache, I awoke, went to Craig’s list, edited my past ad and got it listed. Two hours later I had a phone call, and 2 hours after that my car was sold. I was in Flow. My hurting head was not what I focused on. My car Sold! When a couple of weeks later I was tired, and started “beating up on myself,” my focus changed from what was going well, and wonderful, to what was going wrong.
- Reacting to external circumstances (from our smaller parts) will take us out of Flow. One of my neighbors parked too close to me the night I was taking my packages to the post office. I got irritated because I was in a hurry, and it slowed me down to drop my packages, and to skinny through the slender opening. I spoke sharply about that to my neighbor whom I was taking to pick up her car from the repair shop. Contrast that scenario with the one two weeks ago, where I went to the morning rehearsal and there was no parking. It was raining hard, there was traffic everywhere, but I found joy seeing my town doing the Jingle Bell Run with their dogs – in the rain. After the rehearsal, I walked back through the rain and cold, and when I got to my beautiful new car, I burst into tears of Joy. I was cold, wet, and tired, but my heart was thrilled that I had this new little car in my life. I enjoyed the tears and the feeling of deep appreciation that came from being in the Zone, in the Flow. Being present to the moment in its joys and sorrows, and all its realities is a part of Flow. Reacting from the smaller part of me takes me out of Flow.
- Caring what others think more than caring about how we feel will take us out of Flow. I really cared about my daughter, and I cared how she would respond. She would have been OK had I not gotten the packages to her in time. Disappointed yes, but in the scheme of things, she would have understood. But me, no, my caring what she might think or feel if I didn’t get the package to her was more important than listening to my intuition and to my own physical well-being. I didn’t want her to be disappointed, so I pushed myself when I shouldn’t have. So increment by tiny increment, I let my wellbeing fade away, and found myself out of the State of Flow.
- Trying to Control Circumstances and other people will take us out of Flow. My friend and I planned some errands one day this week. I wanted to pick up some parts to repair a toilet. While we were having breakfast, we got interrupted and our day completely went upside down. So I spent the day not doing what I had planned, but I did manage to not get upset with our self-invited family who went along. The positive out of that is that my surrogate brother helped me choose the toilet parts, and then installed them in 20 minutes. Which was a huge gift to me. It would have taken me four times as long. In quite a few ways that day, I did stay with the flow. A while back, I would have tried to take charge and herd everyone along. That day, I drove my newer car (which gave me a little control – of at least the route where we were going). Because I treated them respectfully, I got another benefit of having Ed show me all the attributes of televisions that I wanted to buy, and the cheapest way to get the best picture. Sometimes Flow takes us to different places that we didn’t expect.
These are just a few of the things that took me out of flow. There are more for sure.
But let’s remember the two things that help us move to the flow state.
- A. Have a sense of where you are going.
- B. Be Happy along the way.
Yesterday while I was writing, I ended looking at my Vision Board that I constructed in January of 2015. My vision Board gave me direction for the year. It helped me set a direction for the year and have a sense of where I wanted to go.
Today as I was trying to fix the broken links on my website, I was reminded of the long list I wrote in February about How to Be Happy Along the Way which is the last part of the blog entry. Please refer to it to find ways to regain your happiness along the way. That one blog entry is a self study course with links to other entries on the subject. Enjoy if you have the time.
We don’t really have “broken links” inside us, but I loved the metaphor that the Universe gave me to relearn. I just need to tweak and fine tune my link. My link to Source. My link to Self.
These times are wonderful workshops to tweak and fine tune – and that is the way I choose to see these times. We are being given moment by moment notice of where we are tapped in and tuned in, and where we are not. I choose to learn the lessons. Blessings to you and yours.