In the busyness of being a single mom, working full time, beginning a part-time online practice and taking classes, I decided that I needed to create more balance and fun in my life by adding in some "me" time. Through this process, I began thinking about the state of “Flow”.
I learned more about the concept of “Flow” from the Positive Psychology course that I completed a few weeks ago. The term “Flow” was named by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1975, which means being in the zone, which is the mental state of being fully immersed in the process of an activity where a person is so fully absorbed in what one is doing, that it results in loss of one’s sense of space and time. This concept has existed for thousands of years under other names. Some people also view this as being in a meditative state.
Activities that a person enjoys and where they are wholeheartedly involved, can get one in a state of flow. For some people this might be sports, prayer, gardening, cooking, going for walks, tinkering around in the garage, learning new things, etc. Activities that create a state of flow is different for each person.
This past spring, when the snow began to melt and it began to warm up outside, I began going for walks in the evenings to have some “me” time. This became my relaxation and reflection time. At certain times during my walk, I began to experience a state of “flow”. The simple act of going for a walk, listening to the sounds in the environment, talking with people that I meet along my walk has really brought me joy and focus. These walks have provided me with a way to connect with nature, prayer and with others. I have found that going for walks has really helped me to come to a place of stillness, reflection and joy.
Another new interest that I began exploring a few weeks ago was singing. I enrolled in vocal lessons with an excellent teacher who has shown me how singing can be used to connect with others and in our interrelation with nature through voice and sound. I have also experienced being in a state of “flow” during my lessons and I have felt myself experience increased happiness during these lessons by being so immersed in new learning and enjoyment that the time seems to whiz by and before I know it, the class is done.
These two new activities that I have added to my life have helped me to experience “Flow” which has created more happiness in my life.
Below is a link to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED TALK about Flow. I hope you enjoy watching it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What activities do you enjoy?
Do you experience a state of “flow” during your enjoyable activities?
Do you recognize when you are in a state of “flow”?
I wish everyone a joyous month. See you next month.