There are those magical days where I feel most in flow. My mind is clear, mostly free of negative thoughts. I feel present and grounded. Loving.
Today was one of them.
I worked all morning on a project for a new client I’m onboarding. Texted my dad to support him in his company’s fundraise. Had a great first meeting with a potential client here in Cape Town. Worked some more, went for a run. And smiled at people walking down the street.
Smile, and the world really does smile back.
By focusing outward and being my most giving and attentive self to those around me, the chatter in my mind quieted.
It was a long day, but I felt completely calm and energized.
Tapping Into Flow
It’s not like this every day.
When I’m stressed or busy, there’s an undercurrent of anxiety in my chest. I rush through the day and forget to smile and really look the barista in the eye.
As much as I’d love to live in flow all the time, it’s easy to forget that this energy is available to me. And it’s a choice.
Maybe subconsciously, I want to feel busy.
Maybe there’s a part of me that holds on to stress, because it gives me a sense of importance. So many of us are busy, too busy, and secretly proud of it. And sometimes, when I feel tired, I choose to retreat inward in an attempt to conserve energy.
This is human.
Whenever there is negativity in you, if you can be aware in that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly. The moment this happens your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing. – Eckhart Tolle
Even on the busiest of days, we have time to smile at the world. We can take a moment to feel grateful.
The energy does come back.
When I feel connected to my inner self and present to whatever is happening in every moment, I feel so alive.
I wonder why I spend so much time wasting energy cycles thinking about the past or future. All we really have is this present moment, right now.
The Energy of Your Higher Self
I can give strength, encouragement, and support to founders in the middle of a fundraise. And then give love to my family or to my friends. Whether it’s work or personal, it’s all coming from the same boundless energy.
It’s a deep sense of calm, an inner knowing that I can handle anything that comes my way. When I’m focused on each moment as it comes, I don’t need to overthink and worry about how I’m going to get through the day.
Where does this energy come from?
Instead of trying to reach towards this energy to get more of it, it feels more like a dropping in – going deeper into myself, deeper into who I am.
Here’s the secret. I’ve had this energy in me all along. All of us do.
It feels boundless because it comes from the direct source of who we are. We are all made of energy.
Then – Why do we block it? Why do we have so much difficulty letting it flow? And why are so many of us unaware of it?
“If you want to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla
Strangely, I seem to have more energy when I focus on giving it away. But then again, it’s not so strange at all. Because we cannot give away what we don’t have in the first place.
It comes from believing in others’ visions of their highest selves. Raising them up. Believing in them more than they believe in themselves on their low days. Reminding them of the wholeness that they already are.
This makes me feel alive.
The Importance of Being
At the end of the day, who I’m being matters more than what I’m doing.
Am I living my inner truth, being present, giving to others? Or am I going through the motions, rushing through my to-do list, forgetting who I am?
If I’m not living my truth and being my best self, then I’m wasting my daily activities and work. If I spend years working on something only to lose who I am and become blind to the beauty around me, that is not success to me.
When we’re present, we’re more loving. Giving. Creative. And when we operate from that place, we’ll find we do our best work.
Reverse-Engineering Flow State
I’ve been curious about the habits and mindsets that unlock this energy, so I can tap into it at any time.
Here’s what I’ve noticed works for me:
- Focus outward – It might sound counterintuitive, but when you’re feeling low, focus on what you can give to others. Ask yourself:
- How can I brighten this person’s day?
- How can I give energy to them?
- How can I bring my best self to this conversation?
- Quiet the mind – The mind is addicted to thinking, and a lot of those thoughts are repetitive. Tap into your inner truth using a mindfulness practice like meditation, or simply bring your awareness to your thoughts and surroundings.
- Observe negative thoughts – Turn negative and fear-based thoughts around by developing an awareness of them.
- First, notice the negative thoughts and breathe them in fully. There’s no need to resist them, or else they will come back stronger. Instead, acknowledge them and let them pass through your body. I try to practice curiosity, like asking myself: “I feel anxious. Where is this coming from?”
- Look for the positive. Everything that happens is neutral. We give it positive or negative meaning, through our thoughts. Yes, there are many challenges, but even the biggest challenges are here for our greatest benefit.
- Ask yourself: What can I learn from this? How is this situation helping me grow? What if I acted as if I chose to experience every ‘negative’ thing that happens in my life? Your physical mind may not be able to comprehend how or why things will unfold, but trust that your higher mind knows how everything fits together.
- Fast-track with gratitude – Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions to turn the negative into positive. This is because it’s the strongest frequency aligned with your most loving self, putting you in alignment with the universe. Start with being grateful for the small things – the cool breeze, the trees – bringing you into a deeper gratitude for the wonder of life. When you see everything that comes your way with fresh eyes, you can’t help but find the magic.
- Diet, exercise, and sleep – Raise your vibration and energy levels by taking care of the body. I’ve found that a plant-based diet makes me feel more energized. I’ve also noticed that I crave cleaner foods when I’ve been meditating regularly.
- Follow what excites you – Follow the cravings of your heart. As much as you can, do what excites you most in this moment. Don’t force yourself to be productive or beat yourself up if you’re not in the zone. You might crave a walk or some fresh air. Your intuition guides you towards your passions – to the activities, opportunities, and ideas that will bring out your very best self.
I used to think I had to relentlessly pursue this state of flow, to try to force it into being. How freeing is it to realize that it’s within us?
Our most natural state is flow. We are meant to be in flow. Just look at a child who has not yet been tainted by limiting beliefs, traumas, and social conditioning.
I know it’s easy to get sucked back into old patterns. But to be able to feel this alive and peaceful on an ordinary day of work and errands (without the influence of alcohol or drugs – simply good ol’ gratitude and energy)? Wow, it must be true. Paradise can be on earth, within us.
Life can be joyful, ecstatic, and freeing. All we need to do is drop in and be.