Self reflection and writing has truly become a healing process for me. Healing in the sense of everyday stresses, anxieties and buried emotions from the past.
The feeling of just pouring myself onto paper is invigorating. It provides a sense of calm, clarity and rejuvenation.
It’s a process with many obstacles
Obstacles that simply don’t want you to write; making time to write but finding excuses not to, sitting down to actually write but focused on not having anything to write about.
Finding distractions instead of having the mindset and energy to offer it purpose and meaning, not surrendering to your emotions to allow the words to just spill.
This is the resistance.
The important thing to remember, as told by Steven Pressfield, is that she (the resistance) is not you talking. Her voice is not your voice. You hear her voice, but then you move on.
Obstacles get in your way, but it’s up to you to push through them. Obstacles are merely excuses.
Get into the flow
One of the foundations to self growth is reflecting and writing from the heart, allowing yourself to have intense focus prying into the deepest parts of who you are.
This is what I have come to enjoy and crave; surrendering to the process and then slipping into a deep mental state of flow.
When you know you’ve been in it, you begin to crave it. The funny thing is that you really don’t know you’re in it until you’ve had an opportunity to think about it afterwards. While in the state of flow you are so connected and focused on that thing you lose all sense of your surroundings.
4 key ways to get yourself in a deep mental state of flow:
1. Start from a place of want
How you mentally approach anything in life matters, the same goes for self reflection and writing. It’s essential you start from a place of want, having it be part of your intentional journey of self growth.
Don’t treat it as a task on your daily to-do list. When it’s a task, it becomes a drag and you more than likely won’t want to do it, at least not with purpose.
Coming from a place of want provides a solid foundation for flow. If there’s no purpose behind your efforts flow is much harder to accomplish. Allow it to become part of who you are.
In committing to this practice from a place of want, it has become a place of joy.
– Claire De Boer
2. Decide to take physical action
Deciding to get off the couch is half the battle. Take that tiny step forward and physically move, allow your body to go through the motions to get you where you need to be.
Once your in motion, tell yourself not to stop. You’re here, you might as well continue.
As you continue to move towards setting yourself up to do the work you begin to feel the feeling you have upon finishing the work; the good feeling, the feeling you crave. Use that as fuel and move forward.
3. Put yourself in a place to succeed
If you know you easily get distracted, create an environment where there are no distractions. Pick a time and place that best suits your ideal flow environment.
I typically do this in the evening after my son has gone to bed or first thing in the morning (5 a.m.) before anyone else is awake. I know it’s easier for me to get in the flow during these times.
I choose to sit at the kitchen table, versus the couch with a laptop, knowing I will be more productive with the work. I also know that regardless of the time and place I need to wear my ear buds listening to Simply Noise.
This sets me up to succeed. This prevents me from making excuses in not doing the work.
As you take this journey, and you’re intentional about the things you put in place, you’ll begin to notice the tiny nuances, or tools, that allow you to be in a state of flow. It’s a trial and error. Find what’s working and have it be part of your process.
4. Surrender to the process
Everything is set, you have your butt in chair, you’ve eliminated the distractions, you’re craving that feeling, now all you need to do is surrender to the process. Let the words spill. Let your thoughts travel far and wide.
Trust that the intentional actions you do within the process will lead you down a path of self growth.
Let go. Surrender. Lean into the work. Learn to love the process. When you do, you’ll crave and become addicted to the flow.
What are some practices you do to help sustain greater focus? Share in the comments below.