Imagine precision and fluidity between you and your activity. You are totally absorbed by the moment. Your mind processes everything at light speed in millions of simultaneous moments. Time becomes distorted and your senses become heightened. Your activity is no longer something you do, but an effortless journey. You feel totally alive and in tune. You’re in flow -- the power zone.
Flow is the state of mind almost always associated to an elite class of top performers. But God created all people to experience flow, it's in our biological makeup. Although everyone may experience it in different ways, the characteristics are nearly always the same:
- Total and complete focus on the activity.
- Merging of activity and awareness.
- A sense of completeness and fulfillment.
- Decreased ego and a sense of being uninhibited.
- Feeling as though we are operating at our peak potential.
- Pure enjoyment without a sense of time.
Most top performing athletes, musicians, actors, ministers, priests, moms, dads, and business people describe flow as the place where they feel most alive. It is a psychological realm where a person experience a sense of great power and freedom.
If you think the power zone is a secular concept, it's not. It's a Biblical concept that people discovered and scientists proved. Here's what I mean.
In John 7:38-39 it states...
"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."
Let's ask ourselves a question. Is it possible to experience the flow of the Holy Spirit if ego is involved in any way? The answer is obvious, no. Ego is a barrier that blocks us from God, or anything He may offer.
Flow occurs when ego, or the sense of the ego-self, is relinquished so our greater potential can be released. That's flow.
We can come to the conclusion that God designed and built the human race to experience higher potential. For the Christian however, our greatest potential is released when our ego-self is completely relinquished in our faith in Jesus. Then an even higher potential is released -- the flow of the Holy Spirit.
In the state of mind Jesus describes, the ego-self is non-existent while the Spirit of God is fully existent -- now that's flow!
Prominent psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, observed that people are most happy when they experience flow. He notes that this largely due to becoming absorbed in a single task. When a person is singularly focused on one task, one mission, one objective (like Jesus who came to save the world), the things of the world become secondary. Worry, doubt, and stress decreases, while inspiration drives us forward.
Flow is so rewarding, it’s accessible to all people, and since Jesus stated that believers will experience even greater flow, we decided to create a simple list to help anyone experience it. The key is in understanding your environment first. The conditions can trigger for flow. Here are five steps to get help you:
- Choose an activity you like. It could be anything, sweeping, working, cleaning the house, exercising, singing, reading, cooking, writing, etc. Then look for the sweet spot in your activity. You know, the moment when you're totally engrossed in what you do. Flow emerges at the midpoint between boredom and anxiety. The balance between the perceived challenge and the engagement of your skill level. There cannot be any boring moments, or any anxiousness -- just pure bliss in balance.
- Think about feedback. What activity can you choose that will give you instant feedback. If you sing you'll knows when you hit the wrong note. Use feedback as information to help you navigate through the challenges. Adjust as necessary until a level of mastery is felt and reflected in the outcome.
- Breathe. Yes, breathing is extremely important. The Bible says that the breath is life to the body. As you engage in your activity make sure you are breathing at a regular pace. If your exercising, your breath should be coordinated with your exercise cadence. Before you begin you can also try taking a few deep breaths to help you get focused.
- Visualization, determination, and focus. As you move ahead with your activity try to visualize the perfect outcome. Start performing according to your visualization, and keep going. Be determined to keep going and stay focused. Trust that you are gifted by God to perform the task.
- Self-control. The scriptures constantly advises to control ourselves, and in the art of flow it's no different. Can we experience a wonderful Bible study if our mind is wandering, no. When this happens, just bring you mind back to the task you're engaged in. Don't be hard on yourself, remember you're just a human being, imperfect. Let the distracting thought go and proceed.
In addition to these five steps, you can enhance your ability to enter a state of flow with God by committing to a daily Christian meditation practice. The discipline develops your sense of oneness with Jesus (John 15:5). This will enhance your perception of flow and the tendency to remain in it.
The reality is that once we experience the power zone of flow we can view life and all it's complexities from within the Holy Spirit. Distractions are minimized while creativity peaks.
As you experience flow more each day your confidence will build. Just be sure to always keep love at the center. If you're experiencing the Holy Spirit this won't be a problem. Remember, there are two types of flow, one with the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39), and one without.
The first form is driven by love, light, wholesomeness, even humility, while the other is driven by gain, desire, and even greed. We must carefully develop God's gift, and the Word is always the best place to start.God bless you.
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