Visits To The State Of Flow Are Quiet Accidents - Grasshopper
Where is the state of flow on the map? If not shown on a map, what are its GPS coordinates? The problem is you can't get there from here. There is no official route to the state of flow, but it's an unmistakable feeling when you arrive.
What is the state of flow? It's the effortless process of doing something gracefully without conscious effort.
Athletes often refer to The Zone. The Zone is being in a state of flow. Whatever it is that gets you to do what you are doing so flawlessly and effortlessly has no obstruction from the thinking mind.
Most of us only visit the state of flow when we cross the border by accident. There are some incredible folks who actually have a home there, but they are rare.
Either way, it's a sight to behold to witness yourself or another in the state of flow.
I'll never forget my first visit. I was conducting a seminar at an alcohol treatment center in Massachusetts in the mid 80s. At one point in the evening something weird but very natural happened. While I was speaking, it was as though I was two feet behind myself witnessing myself addressing the participants. The words coming out of my mouth were unscripted and flowing without conscious effort and, for the moment, I was two people – the one speaking and the one observing the speech.
The person speaking was in a state of flow; the person observing was in a state of awe. The experience lasted less than a minute but it was the taste of honey that kept me wanting to come back.
You've probably visited the state of flow but the stay was so short that you didn't recognize you were there. If you can't remember a visit, perhaps you can remember a dream about visiting. Did you ever have a dream where you were doing something without effort that you were consciously incapable of doing? – Flying through the air? Playing like a virtuoso on a musical instrument that you don't play? Speaking to another in a foreign language you don't speak? That's what the state of flow feels like.
The only way I know to get back there is through a process of elimination – eliminating the conversation going on in my head to make room for the flow. It seems that the more I enter these moments of quiet reflection, the more often flow shows up in my day-to-day life.
Our seminar "Sales Gal" (her description), Hali made me a 2011 calendar for Christmas. In there were some quotes she attributed to me. I asked with some astonishment, "Did I say that?" Apparently they came from a state of flow when I was writing that I'm normally incapable of coming up with.
I actually think that's why I engage in the process of writing. It's a vehicle to get me to the state of flow, where occasionally, one of these "out of the blue" gifts will show up.
Make no mistake being in a state of flow is being in a trance. You have no idea how you are doing what you are doing but whatever it is, it's flawlessly flowing through you.
The state of flow has another name – Creativity.
You create that which didn't exist before when you are in the state of flow, and the feeling you have while creating it is sublime.
If you would like to visit more often, find the way that works best for you to quiet your mind, because there is a direct connection from a quiet mind to the state of flow.
Here is my 2011 wish for you: May your New Year be filled with the creativity of "Quiet Accidents."
All the best,
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