When was the last time, you were in a state of flow? Getting lost in thinking about the same! We all are always in a state of flow. But mostly we don’t recognize those and neither we try to capitalize on those. Before we get into this state of flow, let’s understand what is flow?
Flow means the action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream as per the online dictionary. It’s a state in which one is aligned seamlessly with the thing. For example, when a river flows, it’s in a state in which it moves continuously and steadily across the terrain. In this state of flow, it carries every small pebble, gravel, sand, fishes along its current flow. The flow is smooth and rhythmic. Give in your ear to listen to the river flow, you can always hear that rhythmic sound.
Whenever the river comes across a hurdle, a boulder or a valley, it creates over time a force to navigate, passthrough or fall to comeback into its state of flow. That’s when you see any river as it originates is in a smooth state of flow, before it navigates through all mountains or valleys and then recovering back to its original state of flow. Thus, as humans we easily get into a state of flow, without realizing the same. When one is in this state of flow, it’s a meditative state too.
Let’s delve to understand, when are we in this state of flow? In our day to day tasks, for example, when you listen to the favorite music of yours, you indulge in it – That’s a state of flow; similarly when you take a walk or go for your jogging or in your work, when you start to make that proposal or the presentation where you can see yourself your work flows at a rhythmic pace, you are in the state of flow. During those states, we are one with the flow or the music or the task or the jogging etc as to what we do.
You would have always felt after listening to that music or completing that task in your flow state or relishing the coffee as you read the book etc, you feel a kind of relaxation. That’s the strength of being in the state of flow. It actually relaxes the one. We are in the state of meditativeness during the state of flow.
The challenge with the state of flow is that, it’s addictive in nature. The moment you realize that, you are able to focus when you have that refreshing coffee or you listen to that music or take a walk and come back; which initially starts as a rhythm becomes a habit of addictiveness. Eventually, we start to feel that without that music we are not able to focus. Our mind gets accustomed to this routine. Is this good or bad? That’s a question one’s own mind needs to ponder. As long as one is able to have a watch over it, then it’s not a challenge. Else, these state of flows rather than being supportive engines for oneself, become more of a relaxation engines. What do I mean by here is that, they actually become your stress reliever or attention seeker. For example, we start to play the music to get relaxed of the stress, which at first go started as a channel of focus; similarly we start to take a smoke to relieve, which initially started as a time to think; so how can one be watchful of the state of flow.
In a state of flow, it’s being mindful of what drives you to make it happen. Keeping a watch on the instruments of flow and then occasionally trying to break the rhythm shall help the oneself in the state of flow. As a tamil proverb goes,
too much of elixir can turn out to be a poison.
Thus, try to look out to your state of flow. The moment you understand your state of flow and the instruments that influence the state of flow, you are in control of the actions in your hand. Actions are nothing but the thoughts pushed into a momentum.