Finding FLOW for Optimum Creativity and Productivity

Today is day 2 of a self-imposed experiment that I have put myself into to find my flow once more.

The father of FLOW, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that an optimal state for satisfaction, and happiness is during the state of consciousness called FLOW. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity which involves their creative abilities. During this “optimal experience” they feel “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.”

I used to operate in this state consistently and almost daily. Creativity would just flow through me. I wrote daily content, blogs, emails, and put out consistent video content effortlessly, and I loved it.

But then it all stopped.

The past 12 months or so have been an emotionally challenging time, and events unfolding as they did took a toll on my nervous system.

I’ve traversed the range of human emotion. The shock of a cancer diagnosis, the fear of the unknown, the elation of a successful operation, the hope afforded by the various treatment plans, bitter disappointment and hopes dashed as the treatment failed, awe in human courage and spirit, and the depth of love and connection bringing a family together in support during grief.

And everything in between.

As I’m emerging out the other side of this year, I’m feeling an itch to ‘get back on the horse’. That’s the only expression that comes to mind. A desire to get back into the saddle, and find my creative flow.

You can’t create when you’re in survival - you just don’t have access to that part of your brain and so I’ve been relying on repurposed content, and the tiny windows of creative inspiration here and there.

But my coaching business needs some serious love and attention now, and I feel ready to give it that. To start shining my light again, and doing some impactful work.

As I considered this, I felt some frustration because I feel blocked, creatively speaking.

I want to feel inspired! I want creativity to flow to me and through me in an effortless stream of consciousness so all I have to do is capture it, and put it ‘out there’.

I want to feel confident again, and back in my stride instead of self conscious, second guessing everything I write, and produce, and falling into perfectionism.

That’s when it dawned on me. What I want is to be in FLOW.

I feel excited again. I have a focus. A project that I can get my teeth into. “Project Find Sanae’s Flow!”

So, it’s day 2 of Find Sanae’s Flow and I thought I’d give you a peek into the actions I have taken to set myself up for success.

Minimise distraction: 

I’ve become quite addicted to my mobile phone. It served a purpose during the past months, but it became the last thing I looked at night, and the first thing I checked in the morning.

I’d also find myself falling down a scroll hole and lose time, and precious mental bandwidth watching reels or silly stuff on Instagram.

So I bought an alarm clock and have moved my mobile phone out of my bedroom and I don’t look at it for at least 2 hours on either side of bedtime.

Hopefully, this will free up some headspace, and quiet so I’m more receptive to new ideas and inspiration.

Start writing: 

I’d stopped journaling lately too. I told my best friend this yesterday and she couldn’t believe it! “But Sanae! You’re my journaling muse!”

Journaling helps with creative flow, as it’s an outlet.

I’m hoping that by simply starting writing every day, and allowing the stream of consciousness to flow out on the page that I will activate the flow of creativity and ideas.

Along with journaling, I have committed to myself, and my coaching community, to write a blog every week day for the next 30 days. Just write! I’m going to do my best to let go of the need for anything I write to be perfect. The point is that I am writing with the express intention of finding my flow.

Listening to music: 

I’d forgotten that I used to do this. When I’m writing, I’d play focus music with binaural beats in the background. So, that’s what is on in the background as I write this piece.

Activities that bring me a sense of peace, and relaxation, and inspire new ideas: 

Hot bubbly baths, exercise, meeting up with friends and taking time out.

Not so much Netflix! I watched a lot of Netflix during the past months which was just another form of distraction for me.

So there you have it.

I feel like everything that happened, and my response to it - all the noise and distraction - has created a static frequency around me, blocking my receptivity to inspiration. So these initial action steps will bring some quiet, and clear some space for a finer reception.

I’m ready for it.

Love Sanae x

Categories: : mindset