Flow states enable us to achieve greater levels of mastery, higher levels of consciousness, and outstanding creativity.
While much spiritual practice centers around meditation and “being still”, most of us have to get up and “do things” in our lives. Flow states are highly coveted forms of human expression because they involve “doing”. Flow states can be among the most enjoyable and essential aspect of becoming a conscious creator.
Flow states are more common among “high achievers” like Olympic athletes, musicians, actors, and artists, yet we are all capable of achieving flow states. In this article, I’ll offer some tips on how to achieve flow states.
What Exactly IS A Flow State?
When Olympic athletes win a gold medal, they have almost certainly entered a flow state during their competition. They are not “thinking”, they are not even “strategizing”, and they are not “distracted” – they are “flowing”.
Their body starts to move on “auto pilot” while their “will” carries them forward, fearlessly. They have in their mind a “big picture”, in this case, winning their competition, and something greater than their physical body carries them to fulfilling that vision.
Many successful athletes do not even remember “how they did it”, because their mind was not involved in the process, it was a direct connection between body and spirit.
Of course, flow states need not be competitive. Nearly any activity can induce a flow state if we choose. However, it is worth noting that competition brings out our “best”, and our “best” is often achieved through flow states.
6 Ways To Achieve Flow States
1. Do Something You Love
While a football quarterback might enter a flow state in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, he might not find a flow state while stuck in traffic on the Interstate. The difference is, he “loves” playing football.
I’ve been able to enter flow states while cooking. I do this by turning on the music, laying out the ingredients, and “playing a symphony” while I slice, dice, and then cook up my meal. I feel, rather than think, using my intuition and higher faculties to determine if the food is ideally seasoned and cooked. Critically, to achieve a flow state, we must be free of distractions…
2. Be Free Of Distractions
Nothing interrupts a flow state better than a distraction. Distractions are so common in today’s age, many of us spend our whole day jumping from one distraction to another. A distraction is when we are doing one thing, and must suddenly shift to do (or think about) something else. Flow states require momentum, and distractions disrupt momentum.
To use an analogy, if a vehicle drives in a straight line, it can achieve incredible speeds, but if the same vehicle has to wind through a series of curves and stop signs, it cannot achieve great speeds. Likewise, if we give ourselves a period of time free of distractions, we are more likely to “gain momentum” and move ourselves into a flow state where we can remain focused…
3. Be Focused
A flow state could be achieved while chopping wood. What would be required is extreme focus. Nothing else exists except you, the axe, and the wood. Your vision moves to sharpen in on the spot that must be struck, and the body moves in a swooping flow without thought. The mind is only used to imagine “what” it wants to do (splitting the wood) but the fearless body/spirit flow state brings forth the intended result.
4. Be Creative
Whatever your form of expression, whether it be photography, painting, music, or any other, when we are pouring out our creativity we can enter a flow state.
5. Be Fearless
Fear is a mental abstract that can inhibit our flow state. Usually, our fears only manifest when we are distracted, unfocused, or trying to take advantage of someone.
6. Help Others
Flow states need not be about personal achievement, they can also be about helping others. When we are soothing a child, petting a dog, or listening to a friend complain about their problems, we can enter a flow state. In such a state, we are emanating compassion and love for another. We are empathetic. We are not thinking of our self-interests. We are not analyzing, judging, or debating, we are simply present with our awareness.