I was working late in the office, tunes on, shoes off, candles on.
I had been working all day designing a leadership experience for a lovely client – I had entered my usual pattern of chaos- coloured pens, google vortexes (my way of research) and post it notes of many colours.
If you were to picture the scenario it is very much like a snow globe. I throw lots of things up into the air and then watch them fall – some fall into place, some wonder why they have even been thrown up into the air at all!
And then I got ‘the feeling’.
I was writing in my design journal and it all started to fall into place –all those little snowflakes and I got excited. I became the observer of myself for a while and expanded into the feeling. I could see the pen flying on the paper, I could feel my brain ticking, flowing and – to extend the metaphor – building the snowman.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – a social theorist and positive psychologist talks about –‘flow’. I talk about his book and work in trainings and this feeling prompted me to tune back in.
In an interview he conducted in the 1970s with a composer the words were:
“…you are in an ecstatic point that you feel as though you almost don’t exist. I have experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching a state of awe and wonderment. (the music) just flows out itself”.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Another transcript from his work was from a famous poet saying:
“its like opening a door that’s floating in the middle of nowhere and all you have to do is go and turn the handle and open it and let yourself sink into it. You cant particular force yourself through it. You just have to float. If there’s any gravitational pull its from the outside world trying to keep you back from the door”
I love that.
Mihaley described ecstasy/flow as the feeling when existence is temporarily suspended. Finding that place is finding what moves your spirit. I have a full awareness and understanding of that feeling and I guess before I knew it but now I knew it in my bones – in my body.
In that moment in my office I vowed to do more to get that feeling – to really feel what contributes to a life worth living.