This doesn’t mean you should be “brutally honest” and hurt people’s feelings! Never be brutal and always use honesty with compassion. What it means is to be open to the goodness in your heart and your inner voice of compassion and allow it to guide you.
Being “in the flow” is an idea that’s been written about to some extent in recent books, articles and seen in a few TED talks as well. The way I experience being in the flow is being connected in a joyful way to what we give ourselves to so much so that we lose track of time. When we do this our true nature unfolds in our work in such ways that it all seems effortless.
I experience this when I talk about things that are deeply important to me and when I want to share these things with others. For example when I write or speak about kindness, happiness and how it’s essential for a healthy society, I feel like I am in the flow. I feel like I’m in the flow because I care so deeply about the people I’m writing or speaking to (like you!), and I want to share something important and helpful with them. When this happens the words simply flow out of me and people often tell me they feel warmth and kindness in them and from me. This is a very healing experience to me and I hope all of us can experience it more often.
Others might get “into the flow” when they’re playing with their children, maybe playing an instrument or even washing the dishes! I’ve noticed despite feeling resistance to tackle a sink full of dishes at times when I get started it’s actually a very timeless therapeutic experience, one where I feel lost in time and one with the process. That’s why I always do the last dish and think wow that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!
You can open your heart into anything you’re doing in life. Being present and fully engaged in whatever conversation or task you’re involved with opens our heart to find tiny rays of joy in the sometimes dark areas of the mundane parts of life. This is why I love Marie Kondo’s show Tidying Up. She advises people to find a joyful presence in their things and in the process of organizing their lives. She suggests even when you let things go that do not serve you any longer you thank them and express gratitude. That is a path to opening your heart and living in the flow.
Imagine if when you let people go who don’t serve your purpose in life and don’t align with your mission and positive energies if you could either silently or verbally thank them. There’s a saying that I try to remember that always makes me chuckle, “everyone brings me joy in life, some by coming into it and some by leaving!”. I remember this when someone cuts me off on the road and speeds ahead of me. Instead of being angry at them like I used to I now gently wave and thank them for speeding out of my life and moving far away from me.
What brings you into a state of flow? Can you remember when you recently experienced losing track of time? That will give you a great clue as to one of the doorways you can use to enter a state of flow. Here’s a helpful and powerful simple exercise you can use to find your flow.
Take a few slow long deep breaths now. Inhale to a count of five, hold your breath for a count of five then exhale slowly for a count of five. Doing this for several breaths will help you relax your mind and body. As you do so place your hand over your heart. This creates a type of closed circuit of energy that I find activates our (heart chakra) or emotional wellness. While doing this mindful breathing ask yourself the question “what brings me great joy in life?”.
Our subconscious minds work like great quantum computers. When you ask yourself a question in this relaxed state your subconscious mind will seek out answers for you and they will come! It might come to mind immediately as you see your loved ones face in your mind’s eye or something else that brings you great joy in life. Or it might come to you in a dream in the next night or two. Or it might come to you in a moment of daydreaming while you’re gazing out the window. Just be expecting yet patient and listen with your heart!
As I suggested with my washing the dishes story, being in the flow doesn’t have to be some kind of unusual meditating on top of a mountain sitting cross legged experience. You can access this state of being throughout your day. You can take a slow long deep breath, put your hand our your heart and be present in life doing anything! And when you do this you will find your relationships with others, with the work you do and the way you live will have a whole new quality that you’ll quickly grow to appreciate. Remember, what we appreciate in life appreciates in value! So find the joy inside you, open your heart and let your truth flow.
Joseph Segal is the co-founder of Happy Cards a Los Angeles based startup creating tools to cultivate happiness in people and a happy kinder society. Learn more about our new Affirmations & Incantations for Happiness & how it can help you and those you love or work with today.