If meditation is a practice of stillness and disassociation, flow is nearly the opposite. It requires active movement.
Getting into the creative flow is best described by its discoverer, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz.”
In our modern world, flow is often associated with helping us be more productive, but this is a misconception. Flow, by definition, is an autotelic experience, which means that it requires us to be intrinsically motivated. In essence, creative flow comes about when we are doing something that we enjoy–so much so that we become immersed in the task, while losing all sense of time and space. We become one with the moment.
What’s even more powerful about practicing creative flow is that it’s an entry point to living a full, meaningful life. At Daydreamers, we’ve seen this in action: 65% of our members have made transformative, purposeful changes in their lives after developing a creative flow practice, such as switching into a meaningful career or leaving a difficult relationship for a better one.
But engaging in creative flow doesn’t mean your life needs to change in a large-scale way. Even just by taking a new walking route or noticing the beauty in a freshly folded load of laundry, you’re more connected to ‘little p’ purpose.
Getting into the flow relies on one main equation: Find the right balance between skill and challenge. Here are some ways that you might experiment with incorporating the flow equation into your life: