Since “flow” has been defined in so many different ways, the questions we wanted to answer in today’s show were…What is Flow? and Should You Go With the Flow?
This week Lexi and I wanted to clear up some big misconceptions, such as…
Why is the concept of FLOW so misunderstood?
What is FLOW? (the different types)
How do our survival instincts and the Ego influence FLOW?
Should FLOW be comfortable or uncomfortable?
How do you know when you’re “in the FLOW”?
Before you go any further into this stimulating discussion, I would like to provide you with a way to get my latest FREE mini-guide.
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Why FLOW is Misunderstood
Even legit dictionaries can’t agree on what “flow” is…for instance, Urban dictionary defines the term as “be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter or control it.” (yes and no)
But, the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “to do what other people are doing or agree with the opinions of others.” (absolutely NOT)
And, this is why “going with the flow” is confusing and somewhat controversial, because the phrase is being used to describe two very different things.
What FLOW Should Mean
My definition…the flow is universal energy…it’s the life force that is all around us…it’s a pro-creative energy…it’s an expansive force that, when you dial into it, provides you with a heightened sense of clarity and a knowing that you are exactly where you need to be in that moment.
The Instinctual and Ego Influences on FLOW
Instinctual – From an instinctual level, flow is grounded in survival with the focus being on creating a pattern or patterns for consistency sake, like moving to where the herd migrates or knowing to save water during the rainy season because there will be no water during summer or, from a human interaction perspective, knowing where you fit in the tribe. This would be considered the beginner’s step in flow, but it’s very limiting because it starts and stops with “survival” as your only goal.
Ego influence – The ego-influenced flow is what is described by the Cambridge Dictionary, “to do what other people are doing or agree with the opinions of others”. It’s all about going along with stuff in order to get external validation…to not rock the boat in any way. The entire concept is about putting aside any of your own ideals or internal motivations and “conforming” to whatever group is steering the boat. This type of flow is the one that confuses people because they start to believe they have to “go along” because it is the path of least resistance, but in doing so, they compromise their own ideals and dreams, which creates a thing called cognitive dissonance, which can end up in frustration, depression, anger…a lot of bad stuff.
Should FLOW Feel Comfortable or Uncomfortable?
In a momentary flow state, there is no comfortable or uncomfortable…emotions fade as you literally become what you are doing. However, in the process of going with your own flow, usually there’s an initial euphoric sense of “yes!”…of knowing and feeling in every molecule of your body that it’s the right thing to do, but then once that fades, there’s the realization that the expansion into that flow growth will mean stepping out of your comfort bubble and begin to put yourself out there, which will most definitely result in you facing some of your fears and a number of setbacks.
What Does A True FLOW Feel Like?
- It just makes sense
- It creates an opportunity
- There is a sense of uncomfortable after the initial euphoria wears off
- There is a strong feeling of “I can do this”, along with the realization that it will take some work and sacrifice.
As a sidenote, I mentioned in the show that we are beginning to videotape our conversation and I will post it on my Javabud Youtube channel (it will also be posted in the “videos” section of my website). This week was the trial run and it turned out fair…I might chalk it up to a beta test and start the posting next week. So, if you don’t see a video up this week, then that’s what happened.