Kick your self back into your flow
I wrote this article a little differently than usual. I recorded it originally while driving in the car (hands free of course). So let me offer the original audio version as well as the written article for you to enjoy.
Listen to article audio here
When we you feel you are not ‘in flow’ and something isn't right. You can feel it. How do you feel it?
Well first of all if you're tuning in to your self and you’re in development of your intuition you'll know when you’re not right. It’s kind of like when you are not on the track and one of your wheels on the railing isn’t in the groove. And you say well I’m not in the flow. I can’t open the door I can’t move it, it takes a lot of effort. It’s those kinds of signs, that it takes a lot of effort, it doesn’t move easily, it doesn’t flow, that mean that you are not in tune with your intuition, your not in your flow, not being true to your self.
So how do you kick your self back out of that or kind of right yourself, realign if that’s the way to do it? I think there are lots of different ways. I have talked a lot in other posts about the approaches that I use, that is you go from a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual way. But beyond that what are some practical ways where you can actually just get your self back?
Well first is, what somebody else does, doesn’t work. So if someone else is saying to you “Oh, I do this”, or “try this”, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for you. Likewise you may find and get one way that works for you but what if that one way isn't available when you really need it? So you got to have a few ways.
First of all you can't just do what someone else does because it's actually not you and you are unique. At the same time it is also good to try things out so that you can discover a way that works for you and have a few more up your sleeve. Let me give you an example of what I do what I need to get myself back in flow or right myself?
What I choose to do really depends on what's getting me off the rails and I think also you’re probably going to go 'wait she's the teacher. She doesn’t go off the rails.” No, actually like every other human being on this planet, I am not perfect and I get off the rails easily just as much as you do. But I am almost a master now at knowing when I am off the rails and maybe a bit less inclined to want to stay there. But I do know that I can tell when I am and when I am not. So when I am not, a couple of things I do.
What comes in goes out
First of all I love to listen to motivational audio podcasts. I don’t know why, but something about being third party in an ongoing dialogue conversation with people on the radio is to me uplifting. I like to hear I am not the only one in the world that has my problem. I like to hear how another teacher has suggested to various people some ways to help that person. I like to hear how another person’s light bulb turns on and they get excited about it. All of that inspires and motivates me. I know that sounds strange, I am just listening. But that audio, popped on my iPhone, or my iPod, taken with me on a little walk, gives me a boost. Often there may be just one thing said in that whole entire hour I’ve listened to it that gets me going. It might be one quote, one statement, one little “oh yeah that’s it”, and it will be the most relevant thing for my day.
How do I know this works? Well, because ironically when I'm coaching somebody, I will go out for coffee whatever it is, (and anybody who knows me well or works with me will be used to this) I will be in a conversation with somebody, whether it’s over coffee or in a coaching session, and it inevitably happens that that information that came to me through that motivational conversation online suddenly becomes the extra helpful hints story that I then leverage off and elaborate on in my own way to help the person I'm with. And it will often be a comment like “Oh, I was actually listening to this person today and this person said” and it will just fit in. And it always fits in. I feel like there’s this constant flow in of inspiration and then it flows back out of me as inspiration.
So why do I say that? Well one of the ways to get out of my flow - for me because I am an coach and like to help and inspire people - is it’s really important for me to actually take what I have inside of me and offer that out to other people. So that's how I get back into the flow.
Now you may have another thing. You might be in a job where you are in customer service for example. And you had bad day with some customers on your own experience, like you were out shopping on the weekend and you got treated really badly and it left you grumpy, and you were just like “why would I ever go shop there again.” But your job is to be a customer service person in your own company. You go to work on Monday and what happens? A light bulb goes off and you go “aah” so I know what to feels like when the person doesn't get good customer service, let me tap back into my good customer service skills and provide that because I certainly want to be the best at being a customer service person
What else do I do? I have to get out for a dose of creativity in nature. I call it my creativity in nature because I go for walks just so I can be in nature. I go for walks just so I can see plants and flowers. I have this experience of living in Sydney, and one of the things I love about living in Sydney is that every month of the year, and I guarantee this, every month of the year there is a flower in bloom somewhere in Sydney. So I can go for a walk and always find a flower to stop and look at, to smell if it smells, to appreciate the delicate beauty and transient nature of that flower. So that to me gives me a kick back into energy of life going “wow isn’t it amazing to be alive! Isn’t it amazing to see life in front of me! Isn't it just amazing!” So all of that together reignites my energy, reignites my flow gets me back in to me because that is something that I enjoy doing.
So what else do I do. I love taking photos. I really enjoy taking photos of anything. Now I’m still holding back on the people ones, but I love taking photos of things. I'll just be out somewhere I’ll suddenly want to take a photo of it. So I will. And it’s that kind of experience I find that uplifts my flow and my energy. I do really well with that.
So I gave you just a couple of examples of my own because that way you get to know what works for you and what works for me, not to say you should try what I do, but find something that kicks you into flow, that gets you back.
And of course meditation
I guess the last one, which maybe is something that you do or don't do, is I'll do a meditation of sorts. I don't want to say I meditate one way because that would be saying I follow a particular practice. I tend to have a range of different ways that I will meditate. The key thing is that I consciously stop whatever I'm doing and I consciously get into a space that is internal and I consciously follow a process that takes me through the relief of my stress or anxiety at the moment and tension and moves into a place of happiness and joy. It is sometimes just a small shift, and sometimes a big shift but whatever it is. I know that the technique of finding a way to stop for a moment, allow myself to be still, allow myself to just be with me gives me a chance to reconnect with me and then of course by doing that I'm in my flow.
I'm no longer distracting myself from being here. I'm actually being here. And that sounds simple. It is simple. It’s actually simple. People say “oh I’ve got to do meditation, I can’t do meditation, I can't concentrate” I go it’s not that. It's the way you choose to meditate it’s the way you engage in any practice of stopping and what you do with that time. So I have found other practices some of them keep my mind occupied other ones don't keep my mind occupied and the challenge is to the stop thinking too much. And some of them are movement versions of stillness even though that sounds contradictory. I like for example the practice of walking as meditation, listening to music as meditation. Anything that takes me out of my current reality and situation into something a little bit beyond where what we are in now and allows me to just be in that without any of those other references is a way to get me back into my flow.
Should and shouldn’t
Now the challenge of all of this, and this is where the human self-sabotage, the human issues come, is when we are aware of that this is what we should do it is one thing to actually do it is another thing. I find that the real disconnect that happens because of our humanness is that we know what we should do but we don't do it.
One of the best examples is our bodies. I'm sure many of you have physical challenges. I know I get my aches and pains. What I find interesting is I tend to sometimes push through them and pretend they don't exist and then all the sudden they catch up on me and go ‘oh maybe you need to go to the massage therapist or chiropractor and get a bit of adjustment’. If I paid attention to all of that before all that happened and worked with it while it was going on I wouldn't have that same problem.
So that is just one example. The other example is I know I should meditate is often a comment people say to me. I say well as soon as you tell yourself the word ‘should’ then you are going to fight it. As soon as you put into your own intellectual ego the idea that somebody, in particular it’s you, telling yourself you should do something you are going to want to resist that. Or you’re going to feel guilty if you don't do it or you going to feel like you have to do it.
So what I would like to say is focus instead on the ‘what do I want to feel like’ and ‘what works for me’ and ‘how can I create the time and space to allow that to shift me’. How badly do I want to feel better? How badly do I really want to get out of this unadjusted flow? How much do I want that? And if you really want that if you really can say I want to feel better then it will just happen, you will make the time, it will fit. Otherwise you'll just keep following this pattern of well I can't, I don't have time, I should and I shouldn't. And what happens if you keep following that pattern? It becomes a habit, you then get into the habit of saying I can't rather than I can.
Over to you
So final words on this post is simply I'd like to encourage people to practice first of all just being aware of when you're in and out of flow and then when you actually know you're out of flow start to explore different ways for you to go and find help or help yourself and then begin to explore even further the ones that work for you. So that ultimately what you have is you have your get back in the flow toolkit and it's your own personal little set of practices that work just for you that you've tried on you develop you keep refining and they work because they're yours. And leave it at that and no one else can say any about because it's for you when you want to get out of that flow the unadjusted flow.