If we were all fish, there would be days when we feel like we’re swimming against the current. Perhaps we’re headed for the unknown and want to turn back the other way, or we’re so stuck in a dull routine and wish we could go back to times when life was more exciting. Whatever the cause, resistance often blinds us to the beauty of life’s flow.
How can we reconnect to the here and now, and actually appreciate it for what it is? How do we turn a rhythm that we’ve come to dread into something cool and refreshing? In psychological terms, “flow” is the state of being where we’re fully immersed in what we’re doing—that relaxed but focused state of mind where when something has fully captured our fullest attention and interest, we feel in control, altruistic and joyful. Getting ourselves to flow can help us take control and feel a sense of direction and vigor again. Like a fresh current cutting through stagnant water, we feel refreshed!
Try out these five hacks that will not only help you go with the flow, but be the flow.
Challenge Yourself (But Not Too Much)
Isn’t it usually true that lack of engagement with work or school leaves us feeling disillusioned with the rest of life? If we do something we’re good at, but are still challenged by it, we can come to feel flow in our work. For example, musicians would be bored out of their minds if they practiced the same piece of music over and over, right? But playing a new piece that is the perfect combination of familiar and unfamiliar gives their mind and body a challenge to improve. Think of something you’re good at, and take it to the next level. If you’re a writer, start a blog and make it a point to post twice a week. If you like cooking, look up a slightly more challenging recipe to mix it up a bit!
Find the Love for It
Life is full of obligations. But let’s not forget that we have complete control over how we feel in each situation. If we can dig deep and find the love for that boring meeting or that paper we have to write, we can come to feel like creators of our destiny and not just some tumbleweed in the vast, empty universe. As Father Moon says, “You become God through your love.” What’s the next task on your agenda today that you’re not looking forward to? Single out the best aspect of it for yourself, be it the topic, the people, the potential for change, and let that be your driving force.
Be Funky, Quirky and Creative
Father Moon teaches that when we are in a mode of creating, we resemble God, the first creator of all things. God loved creating and got lost in the joy and challenge of it, as we can see in the story of Genesis. Wouldn’t it make sense then that we, too, feel the need to get lost in creating?
When we’re completely absorbing ourselves in creating, we’re giving of our core, true selves, and connecting to it, too. God gave us special gifts and talents for interacting with the world in the most unique possible way. Take a creative adventure and find a way to add some spice in your everyday, menial tasks. Hand out your family’s clean laundry with a piece of chocolate and a note. Make yourself a music playlist for each day of the week and listen along during your workday. Get up early and start your day with an exercise routine. Repropose to your wife or husband. Wear colorful socks. Go crazy!
Fire Distractions and Hire Silence
Get rid of those distractions! They can be the worst enemy to achieving flow, because interruptions like the phone, cat, email, to-do list, etc. keep us from fully enveloping ourselves in our task, leaving us frazzle-brained, multi-tasking and stressed out. The next time you need to focus on something or just want to relax, turn off the cat and feed the phone—frazzle-brained already!—and go into a clear space without distractions where you can just feel your own heartbeat and breathe.
Set Clear Goals
We need to have a goal to work toward if we are to accomplish something with flow. Goals usually give us that sense of purpose and drive, right? But remember to focus on the process and not only on the end result. Flow can then be one of the best ways to live in the moment while achieving our goals. Once you’ve set a clear goal pertaining to your job, school, family or whatever, focus all your energy on the present moment—on that first step towards accomplishing your goal.
Like everything else, flow requires practice. What routine thing can you turn into a creative outlet today? Make a note of the times when you are in that state of blissful flow and share about it with your friends!