Ever since I started creating the Creative Coaching for Introverts program, I’ve been feeling in flow (which happens to be my word of the year for 2017). But how can you start getting into creative flow and what does being “in flow” really mean?
Surprisingly, I really love the Wikipedia definition:
“In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does and loses sense of space and time.“
I imagine it feels a bit different for everyone, but these are some of the ways I recognize I’m in flow:
- Ideas come to me quickly and freely
- I’m excited to get to work each day
- I feel good about what I’m working on, and proud of the work I’m doing
- I know that what I’m doing will have a positive effect on others
- I’m focused and clear about what I need to do
- My work is aligned with my values
- Time flies by
And oh boy, let me tell you about a course working on that would tick off a lot of those boxes, but for some reason, every time I went to work on it, I would start to do almost ANYTHING ELSE (including things like clean the bathroom and exercise, two of my least favorite things on the planet!) I think I have have three different versions of that course started, but none are complete. In fact, I put it off and/or worked on it halfheartedly for so long I just decided to shelf it for now.
The thing is, I know it would be so helpful and valuable to the right people! So I’m just not sure what the block is. But over and over my intuition told me that was NOT what I was supposed to be working on. So I finally listened.
But what I do know is that when I’m working on Creative Coaching for Introverts I feel the exact opposite! In fact, I feel like waking up early to work on it (and let me tell you, I think one of my favorite things about being my own boss is sleeping in and/or not having to set an alarm!) Even when I’m watching my favorite shows (I’m currently binge-watching Ozark on Netflix. So good!) or doing other things, I just want to be working on CCFI!
So how do you get into flow? Well, first of all, don’t spend months of your life going against your intuition about what you should be working on like I did! 😬
Some of the things I’m currently doing to stay in flow are:
- Meditate Daily
- Know my values and work within them
- Check in with my intuition
- Get out into nature regularly
So how can you start Getting into Creative Flow? Here are some ideas:
This can be any form of meditation that suits you (guided meditation, Transcendental Meditation, mindfullness, etc.) and doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. I meditate for a minimum of 6-10 minutes a day, but typically more like 20-40 minutes daily. And any time I think “I don’t have time to meditate!” I know that meditation is exactly what I need.
That’s because meditation has been scientifically proven to improve/increase: focus, attention, memory, creativity, positive emotions — even your heath and overall mental well-being! And so much more. If there was a pill for all of that I’m sure everyone would be taking it! So why not take 5-40 minutes a day to create it yourself?!
Check in with your intuition.
I have learned that people hear from their intuition in different ways: it can be a “gut feeling” — something you literally feel in your core. You can also feel it in your heart, or your throat – really anywhere in your body. You might also see an answer in your mind. You might actually hear an answer. And finally you might just have an inner knowing.
I typically feel my answers in my gut. But that’s mostly useful for yes or no, or option 1 or option 2 type questions.
If you check out this resource from Jess Lively’s podcast and post about intuition, you’ll see that she talks about writing to your intuition, which can be extremely powerful and insightful. I’ve done this several times and it’s almost always been amazing. (A few times I got “no answer”, but she has ideas about that, too.)
Create the “Right” Goals or Projects
Everyone will have a variation on what “right” means for them. But I would suggest creating goals that:
- Are attainable, yet still challenge you
- Light you up
- Align with your values
And make sure that when you’re working on your goals or projects that you can focus on just that one thing, you block out enough time to work on it, and that you work at the time(s) of day where you feel the most energy whenever possible.
Having said all of this, getting into creative flow isn’t something you can force. These ideas are meant to help you get there, but ultimately there is no one perfect formula or idea that will work 100% of the time. But I do hope these ideas help you create flow in your own life!