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Complete presence can feel like a difficult place to access, but being in a state of flow can happen in different forms, and people tap into it in various ways. Flow state occurs when you’re so engulfed in the present and the task before you that you cease to be distracted by anything else and lose sense of the past and future. It is the ultimate state of peace, presence, and no-mind. Some people can access this place by sitting in meditation, but for many, flow state occurs while they are either doing something creatively fulfilling or an activity that engages and challenges them enough to require their ultimate presence.
Flow state can occur in many places, and for some, the meditation cushion is their ultimate place of peace and presence. In the beginning stages of a meditation practice, it can feel near impossible to quiet the noise of the mind and access a seat of stillness. However, the more you practice and the longer you sit, the easier it becomes to sink into this peaceful state and allow the chatter of the mind to slow down. Start small, and try working your way up in frequency and length when it comes to your meditation practice. Stay patient and dedicated to your practice and before you know it, you’ll find your flow and drop deeply into the present, allowing the world around you to fade away.
For many, flow state happens when they are in the ultimate state of creativity. Musicians lose themselves in the song, artists become enraptured with the canvas in front of them, writers forget about everything else as they pour words out of their fingertips and onto the pages. Creative output can help facilitate a deep state of presence and help us let go of any past and future narrative. If you already have a creative practice you enjoy, get centered beforehand and dedicate full presence to your craft. If you don’t, try getting out a pen and paper or some paints and let yourself get lost as you allow yourself to create imperfectly.
Physical activity is another powerful place that helps people drop deeply into the now. Many athletes enjoy the sports that they engage in because it requires complete presence and alertness, helping them foster a meditative state. Yoga is another way that people access a state of flow, linking breath to movement and allowing awareness to drop into the motions of the physical body. Physical activity that both challenges you slightly as to where it requires your full awareness, but that you still feel comfortable engaging in, can be a sweet spot for tapping into a state of flow.
Everyone has something different that drops them into their bodies and gets them out of their heads. Be curious about when and where you feel most present. What are you doing when time seems to stand still? Where are you when you aren’t focused on any matter of the past or future, but are fully engulfed in the now? If nothing comes up for you, get curious. Try new creative endeavors or activities that you find engaging. Work on your mindfulness and meditation practice so you can cultivate presence no matter where you are and what you are doing. Stay open to trying new things and ways to access your own unique state of flow.
Develop deep awareness and embrace your potential in Access the Flow State, a five-part collection with Devi Brown, available now in the Chopra App.