I’m tempted to say that ‘flow’ should be my middle name. For those who know me, they might even agree that I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of gal. I like to think that is the state of being that I try to maintain most often than not. When I’m not in flow…I know it pretty quickly and try to get back. The getting back usually involves me reaching out to a friend to witness my thinking and help me to turn it around…OR to take a chill pill until I choose to deliberately get back into the groove.
Another reason that flow is one of “my words” is that in graduate school I studied it. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (say that five times fast) wrote some seminal research on motivation. His theory of FLOW is that it is a state of being where your skill level and the task at hand are such that the task is just hard enough to not be boring, but not too hard to be frustrating. He studied athletes, surgeons, climbers, dancers and the such and asked them to describe their “state of being” when they were doing what they loved. The one phrase that sums it up for me is…”what is the thing you do when you feel as though you lose track of time? ” Examples of my “flow” moments are when I’m in the middle of a photo shoot with a child, or during a coaching session, or deep in conversation with a friend. Actually writing this blog is pretty groovy too!
This flow thing really speaks to me and I feel very ‘at home’ with the topic. Now, 17 years after graduate school, most of what I am reading about, teaching, coaching and living is “flow”….do what you LOVE and ramp it up a bit and BAM your on the path to fulfillment and joy. Pretty much every other book I read has that long…hard to pronounce name in it and I get that proud sense of “I was onto something way back when…”…it’s as if my cards were being played out and I didn’t know it.
What are your “FLOW” situations? Are you doing them on a regular basis? If not, do you want to? I’d love to hear your stories…that surely gets me all FLOWY!