Filtering by Tag: flow

“Your life is a story of transitions. You are always leaving one chapter behind while moving onto the next.”

Your life is a story of transitions. You are always leaving one chapter behind while moving onto the next.
— Unknown

If you asked any of the performers I have worked with what my major pet peeve is when it comes to a show or a dance piece, they would tell you, transitions. Transitions are an integral part of the flow of a show. In fact, the transitions can make or break a show. For example, in the Broadway production, “An American in Paris,” there was a great amount of detail given to the transitions. The set changes were choreographed into the dance phrases so that the performers were moving the audience from one scene to the next. As an observer, I was never taken out of the world that was created, and it was beautiful to see how the performers not only interacted with each other but also the environment around them.

Here is another example how art imitates life. Transitions, and our approach to transitions, can make or break our happiness in our lives. I, like many, do not always enjoy transitions because it means that some sort of change probably took place. Change is hard; it is usually accompanied with turmoil, unknowns, and angst. We are so worried and focused on getting to the next place, event, or milestone that we forget about how we are getting there.

If we shifted our view on transitions and decided to allow ourselves to really engage in the transitions, we would realize that they are actually pretty magical. It is during these times that we learn and grow the most as people. We are usually challenged to step out of our comfort zone. Every time we do that we are adding/reinforcing our foundation and becoming stronger individuals. Ideally, we would approach transitions the same way we approach getting to the next place, event, or milestone so that the Flow and engagement in our lives is not disrupted. This is the true manifestation of being present.   

So what are some ways we can shift our mindset on transitions?

Remain Open.

Many times, when we are faced with change and new challenges our “fight or flight” instinct kicks in and we shut down. If we remain open, then we are allowing ourselves to approach the transition with a positive outlook. Helping us to maintain an upward spiral and not downward spiral.

Be Curious.

If we approach transitions with curiosity, then we are continuously asking questions and engaging with the environment around us. We never know what new idea or path may present itself. By saying “Yes,” this new opportunity could lead you to a place that gives you more than you could have ever imagined.     

Find Your Breath.

Your breath is your foundation; it is your life force and energy. Connecting to your breath in times of anxiety, frustration, and confusion will help you to continue to stay open and be curious. A strong breath practice is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

 

I am always reminded that in order to become a beautiful butterfly, the caterpillar has to engage in the transition. If we want to be seen as we are truly intended to be, then we, too, need to engage in all the transitions or our journey.  

 

Do you need help working through and approaching transitions with a new mindset? I would love to guide and support you through your process! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

 

“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.”

Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.
— Alan Cohen

About a year ago, I was taking a beautiful vinyasa flow yoga class and the teacher began with the beginning part of this quote. It resonated deeply with me. I made sure to write it down as soon as class was over. Recently, I have been revisiting the idea of fear when working with my clients and it got me thinking about this quote again. When we are scared it is usually because we are afraid of something; the fear is taking over in our mind. It then manifests itself physically, whether that is literally running away from something or pain in the body caused by stress and anxiety. But what if we stopped and shifted our mindset about fear? Maybe fear isn’t always negative or debilitating, maybe it’s actually a positive indicator and can be used to facilitate.

We are programmed to think when the knot in our stomach starts churning that whatever is causing it is bad and we should remove ourselves from it. But sometimes that knot is telling us something else. It’s reminding us that we have a lot of energy towards whatever is causing the reaction and that we can choose to view that energy as a positive thing. Instead of allowing our mind to downward spiral, maybe the knot is there to tell us that finally something has come along that challenges and excites us. So why are we doubting ourselves?

For example, say an opportunity presents itself, and this could be the very thing that you need to take that next big leap in your career. At first, you are super excited, but then that knot comes in and you begin to “read” it as maybe it’s not the right time, how will this effect your personal life, do you actually have the skills to be successful? The list goes on and on. However, sometimes we aren’t actually afraid of failure, but really of succeeding. What if you do get what you have always wanted and it’s not what you thought it would be? Allowing yourself the space/time and self freedom to really understand where the fear is coming from can help you to realize that fear is not always bad. In fact, a little fear can go a long way in guiding you in the right direction. We have to push ourselves into the unknown in order to create new and amazing things. If we don’t, we stay complacent.

This week lets go back to journaling. Think about some of the goals you have created and ask yourself: “What is holding me back in taking the next step? What am I afraid of?” Then just start writing. Don’t stop to judge or analyze what you have written, just continue writing until you have gotten it all out. After some time, go back to what you wrote and observe (without the critical eye) what you wrote. Are there any new realizations? Has it become clearer the reasons you are holding back? What if you gave yourself the freedom to release the negative energy around these thoughts and instead looked at them through a positive lens? Maybe the thing you are most scared of will become the thing that is most sacred to you.

 

Do you need help shifting your mindset about fear? I would love to guide you and support you in your journey! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

“Incidental events do not directly cause natural evolution; they just remove the obstacles as a farmer [removes the obstacles in a water course running to his field].”

Incidental events do not directly cause natural evolution; they just remove the obstacles as a farmer [removes the obstacles in a water course running to his field].
— Sri Swami Satchidananda

This past weekend, I had the privilege of going deeper into my yoga practice by attending a Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra training. It was such a special weekend being able to immerse myself in the power of restoring our body not just physically, but energetically as well. When reflecting on the weekend, I was reminded of one of my favorite Sutras (the quote above).

I really love what Satchidananda had to say about the guru being an agriculturist and removing obstacles to reveal what has always been there. I visualize a current of energy that is forever present in our body and soul. Our body/soul is constantly striving towards perfect health and free flowing energy, but sometimes we get in the way and create barriers. When I first started going to my chiropractor, he told me that his job is not to “fix” the person but to remove the obstacles away from the nervous system so that the body can get back to its healthy state.

I believe gurus, or teachers, come to us in many different forms whether they are people, events, situations, physical practices, and even animals (my cat has been one of the best teachers I have had in the past few years). Everything we need to know we already do know deep down inside, but sometimes we need these teachers to help guide us.

Teachers come into our lives to provide us lessons in order to grow and continue on our journeys. They are not there to do the work for us, but to help us remove the blocks so we can live from a more authentic place. There are times when we are not ready yet to learn certain lessons, but the universe will continue to send people or situations until we are ready. It is best when we are open and willing to receive what these teachers have to show us. This is something I sometimes struggle with because of the fear of the unknown. I want to control what’s happening and feel anxious when that control is lost. However, when I look back on different points in my life I see that when I was open to receive and trusted in the process it has always proven to be fruitful, many times providing much more than I could have imagined.

The most important teacher you will have throughout your life is yourself. By using the many tools we have talked about and engaging in practices that resonant with your authentic self, your energy will continuously flow freely.

 

Do you need help clearing the obstacles from your life? I would love to guide you and support you in your journey! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

 

"The key element of an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself. Even if initially undertaken for other reasons, the activity that consumes us becomes intrinsically rewarding."

The key element of an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself. Even if initially undertaken for other reasons, the activity that consumes us becomes intrinsically rewarding
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Last week during one of my middle school dance classes, we were talking about pathways. When I asked the students to tell me what are some examples of pathways in life, one girl answered “the pathway to a career.” Though not the answer I was looking for, she was absolutely correct. I was looking for more tangible pathways like hallways, a staircase, or a dirt road. My student’s response stuck with me. I started thinking back on my pathway to a career, and oh boy has it been curvy, sometimes filled with diagonals, other times seemingly random, but without all the twists and turns I wouldn’t be where I am now and who I am now.

This week I would like to focus on the “Flow Theory.” Flow is a state of consciousness that needs to be obtained in order to feel genuinely satisfied in an optimal experience. Optimal experiences are sometimes thought of as being major events like a performance or a game or getting the job you always wanted, but really our entire life should be one optimal experience. Csikszentmihalyi, the creator of the Flow Theory, identifies eight major components:

-       A challenging activity that requires skills

-       The merging of action and awareness

-       Clear goals

-       Timely feedback

-       Concentration on the task at hand

-       The paradox of control

-       The loss of self-consciousness

-       The transformation of time

We have all experienced Flow at some point in our life. When was the last time you said “time flies when you’re having fun?” Think about what you were doing and see whether the 8 components were present. Most likely they were. It’s easier to experience Flow when we are involved in a task that means a lot to us, for example working on a big project at work or preparing for an audition, but it is harder to reach that Flow state when we are involved in more mundane tasks. And lets be honest much of life is filled with mundane tasks that are necessary to get through in order to achieve that greater goal.

So how do we make it easier to obtain a Flow state with mundane tasks? First, we need to make sure we are fully engaged and being present in the task. We already know mindful listening is a good technique to help with being present. Second, even the most mundane tasks can be fun. It’s about changing our mindset about them. We have many tools to help us with that, positive replacement being one of them. Maybe we make getting through an inbox full of emails into a game? Third, we need to limit the self-talk that becomes distracting. Here’s where our trigger words come in handy.

At times, we may seem lost and that our path is turning into a dead-end or keeps going in a circle. It’s at these times when we need to trust that there is still forward motion. By staying engaged, being present, and trying to maintain a Flow state, that sense of “lostness” will dissipate and be replaced with fulfillment and purpose. We are all capable of achieving this. We have the tools and the skills. Now, we just need to use them to create our practice.

 

Are you ready to live a more fulfilled and purposeful life? I'd love to help you create your practice! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min complimentary coaching call!

ONE WEEK left to sign up for the workshop I will be running on Oct 24th - Manifesting Your Dreams: pushing beyond your fears and obstacles. Email me to reserve your spot!

 

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