The best of my creations are left unrecorded, and so the magic remains…The most wondrous art I made is not my own and impossible to make alone. I want to thank the muses and mother nature for partnering up with this body to let the magic come through.
Strangely enough in these moments of divine creation the person I think I am is no more…
Even stranger are the feelings I get in return. Pure happiness, beauty and wholeness. Upon landing the spaceship from up above I notice the people around. They look at me with so much life shining through their eyes. They were here all this time.
We did it. Once again,
we did it!
This is a personal story describing a deep flow experience I shared with people around a campfire. It was late at night, in a dreamlike world in the south of spain. I fell in love and the first mdma I ever took slowly kicked in. At this time I was playing guitar. One by one people joined me in one of the most magical jam sessions I ever experienced. Everything clicked. People were singing, dancing and going out of their mind, altogether in perfect harmony. It was truly beautiful…
The term flow is introduced in the scientific community and it simply means a state of optimal performance that feels good. So good even, that when people get a taste of it they tend to go really far to get it again. The research goes back many decades. Only later the new age people took the term and started using it in different contexts with a vague, woowoo air hanging around it. I say this, because to understand flow and to use it in your life, the scientific discoveries can help tremendously. On the other hand a deep flow experience can feel magical, mystical and might even reveal things that seem supernatural. Like in the example of the jam session I had effortless access to everything I ever played before. Without thinking, note after note flew through the air. This was possible, because in flow conscious processing is replaced by subconscious processing. The limits of the subconscious are yet to be found. These scientific discoveries don’t take away the magic and mystery of a deep flow experience, but they do reveal universal patterns that can be used to practice the art of flow. I say art, because to master flow it takes commitment, deliberate practice, repitition and self reflection.
I wrote an ebook about everything you need to know about flow (see cover image). I plan on releasing it for free in combination with a newsletter subscription on this blog.
Now we know what flow is, let’s dive into how it works. What’s probably the most important to understand about flow is the four part cycle. Flow follows focus. If your ability to focus improves, the likelihood of getting into flow increases too. Repitition is another key ingredient. Since I practiced playing guitar for about 11 years it is easier to get into flow while playing guitar than to do something that’s new to me. On the other hand, flow also occurs in conversations, when time flies by so fast it seems like you’ve been traveling through time.
The Flow Cycle:
Stage one is loading your brain with (new) information. Repeat that thing you are working on over and over again. It is called the struggle stage because it generally doesn’t feel good and tends to frustrate people. This is like all the stages in the Flow cycle, a necessary ingredient.
Stage two means to take a step back and focus your attention on something else. Hence the term release. You release the tension that you got from the struggle stage. Doing simple physical things like cleaning or going for a walk seems to work very well.
Now it’s time for Flow, the third stage of the cycle. This simply means to dive right back in and continue where you left off. The most enjoyable and exhilerating part! Be patient. Even master flow hackers struggle to get into this magical zone from time to time…
The last and often overlooked part of the cycle is the recovery stage. Since a cocktail of performance enhancing and feel good chemicals run through your body during flow, you need to rest, especially after an intense deep flow experience. Flow is a physical activity, as well as mental. Take it easy!
There is much more to learn about flow. What are your thoughts? Did this information help you in any way? Would you like to know more and get my free ebook? Please let me know in the comment section. It helped me a lot and I believe it can help more people by sharing this information.