Mary is standing on the terrace taking in the fresh air looking on as the small but joyful crowd is sipping expensive wine and munching on premium aged cheese in the lounge. This is the end of the board retreat she produced and headlined. They loved it, and she is glowing! Actually she looks like she is hovering 2 inch above the floor!
Mary is on the couch in my office and we are preparing for the most important event in her carrier so far. She wants to make sure that every board member and the advisors leave with good feelings and with all the right take-away points.
The goal we set at the beginning of the session is that glowing state at the end. She feels like a winner. She is in FLOW.
Prof. Csikszentmihályi, who defined FLOW, asks: "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looked to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of flow. In his research he showed that it is not only creative activity but also work that can get us into flow.
In my co-creative coaching I help leaders to get into the state of flow, and help them to bring their flow experiences to their workplace.
So with Mary we are not only envisioning and programming this event but we also anchor it in the state of flow. In our session we first connect her to a previous flow experience.
Mary is 15, she is at a summer-camp by a beautiful mountain lake in Oregon. On a whim she springs up and runs/climbs up on the hill next to the lake and shouts out a loud “HEEEEYYY” on the hilltop! I ask her about how she felt and we collect three key components of this feeling. We then use these components as small imaginary pebbles that we just run through our body, a technique I have learned from Stephen Gilligan.
Mary is glowing! We just recreated her hilltop state. (When we do the goal-setting at this point many of my clients just say I want to feel like this all the time :) )
So this is the state we then transport into Mary’s future, where she is standing on terrace after the successful board meeting.
She is now ready.
The mind is the new frontier. As quantum physics comes to the same conclusions as thousands of years old spiritual teachings we use the latest findings of neuroscience to create optimal experiences. We leave behind the Freudian fears from the unconscious and we connect to our creative unconscious capabilities like Einstein and Tesla did to access new resources.
Daydreaming and visualization was thought of as an idle state of the mind suggesting that in this phase our minds stand still. New research suggests that in the so-called idle state the mind consumes about 40 times more energy that in the “active state”. Not so idle after all.
We use this state to tap into the creative energies to make sure Mary wins the day.
How do YOU like to be in FLOW?
Tell me about a flow experience you had, how did you get to flow and how did it feel?