The Art of Flow
I think we have all probably experienced moments of “flow” in our lives – those times where everything seems to be unfolding with ease, where we feel completely aligned with where our efforts and energy are going. In this moment for example, I feel completely in flow with what I am sharing, it feels like it comes from the heart, it intuitively feels right. Of course this is not always the case, I’ve been sharing all manner of classes, workshops, trainings in the world of health, fitness and wellbeing for 25 years and it fluctuates between this ease of sharing and a more jarred uncomfortable feeling that it’s just not the right fit, it feels forced and out of sync.
So how do we find this path of flow? Well as with all things like this, there is no golden answer, no magic formula but maybe more just little threads of my own exploration that may help.
A nice to place to start is with the lovely Daoist concept of wu-wei – something I came across for the first time in my training with Yoga Like Water. It is often described as effortless effort or actionless action. However, it’s not to be mistaken with sitting back and just letting things happen, it is the beautiful philosophy of appearing to do nothing but achieving everything, the greatest transfer of energy with efficiency. I think this transfer of energy is key, after all everything is a transfer of energy so it makes sense that is should be efficient and with ease. How do we know though where our energy should go? A question of course that only each of us can individually explore. For me it comes down to our intuitive awareness, our home of inner knowing. If we are sharing from this place it may feel like we are right there when the wind comes through and picks up the sail, that we are going with the flow of energy rather than against it, that we are moving with the wind and at the same time allowing new routes to emerge if we meet obstacles along the way.
So how do we connect to this intuitive place? It seems clear to me that we need to turn inwards, find space where we can become quiet enough to listen and to hear the guidance of that inner wisdom… this is where yoga and meditation can help. Through movement and meditation we have the opportunity to drop into that wonderful immersive flow state, where brainwaves, heartbeat and breath rhythms fall into a state of coherence – sometimes described as feeling in sync with the universe. It’s where our conscious sense of self loosens its grip and we feel more connected to the now of the moment, where there is a channelling of energy into a single direction of focus, there is pure presence. We may experience this during any number of activities such as yoga, meditation, running, time in nature, surfing, art, music etc. The best quote that I have read that frames it perfectly for me is;
“when I’m out on a long run….the only thing in life that matters is finishing that run. For once my brain isn’t going blebblebbleb all the time. Everything quiets down, and the only thing going on is pure flow. It’s just me and the movement and the motion. That’s what I love ….running in the woods” – Born to Run
I think it’s these moments of pure presence, of quietness and stillness where the clarity can arise. The voice is clear and unclouded by any doubts and fears, we are deeply connected to our intuitive self. From there experience tells me it is just a process of trusting, of following that thread without expectation, being ready to let it go if it doesn’t feel right, to be open to simply moving with the flow.
With all this in mind, I will be sharing more on this through The Art of Flow retreats and gatherings, to keep in touch you can simply sign up to the newsletter or follow me on instagram - @paula__harrison
Sunday 20th November 10am-1pm
The Yoga Barn, North Devon