Yesterday, when I picked my daughter Jenna up from tennis camp, she rushed over and handed me her uneaten snack and her nearly full water bottle, with a big smile on her face. I was surprised she hadn’t eaten her snack (after all, Goldfish is her favorite) and I couldn’t imagine her not drinking a gallon of water on this hot summer day! When I asked her about it, she exclaimed, “Mommy, I was having so much fun playing tennis I forgot to eat or drink!” Jenna was doing something that energized her. She found an activity that caused her to forget about everything. She was in her “flow.” This got me thinking about how Smart Women find their “flow” and live energetic, passionate lives.
When I was studying to become a Professional Certified Coach, I was required to read lots of books that were essential to my growth as a coach. I found one book in particular, “Finding Flow” by Mihaly Csikszenthihalyi (“chick-Sent-me-high”) to be quite thought-provoking. Csikszenthihalyi believes that many people walk through their lives without ever becoming aware of what energizes them or where they find themselves in the “flow.” Athletes sometimes refer to this as being “in the zone.” “Flow” is the place where you lose yourself and all track of time. You know when you are in the “flow” when you finish a task or project and you feel more energized than when you began. Have you ever done something and forgotten to look at the clock or stopped to take a break for lunch or even go to the bathroom? I personally find my “flow” in my work with women, watching my children play sports and listening to solo piano.
How about you? Have you found your “flow”? And if you have, are you practicing it on a regular basis? In my work with women, I find there are some who know where their “flow” is, and some who have lost touch due to their demanding lives and lack of time for self-care. Even though some women know where their “flow” is, they typically aren’t making the time to practice it as often as they should. One of the ways I support women is to help them find ways to have more “flow” in their lives.
In my Success Circles, I offer some exercises to help women discover their “flow”. Not sure yet what yours might be? Here are a few questions that will support you to finding the “flow” in your life:
1. Where do you lose yourself? What activity are you doing when you lose track of time, forget to eat, etc.?
2. Describe a time in your life when you felt passionate about being alive, inspired, challenged.
3. If you had a day off, and could spend it any way you wanted, what would you do?
Finding “flow” is a lot more essential in life than you might think. It’s the difference between living an energetic, passionate, purposeful life that holds meaning, or living one that feels full of boredom, humdrum, and just going through the motions. I invite you to find a quiet, peaceful place and ponder these questions. Once you have the answers, make the necessary changes to allow more time for you to be in the “flow” of your life.
“The quality of life does not depend on happiness alone, but also on what one does to be happy.” Mihaly Csikszenthihalyi
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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