By Beth McAlpine
“Closing the deal — your daily salespiration.” I hesitate, then click unsubscribe.
“Strike gold! How to prospect for new clients.” I click unsubscribe.
I click unsubscribe, again and again, and I feel a tingling all over my body.
As I click down the list of emails in my inbox, I become aware of all the clutter that was there, getting in the way of life as I want to live it.
I’ve made a decision, a bold one. I feel a release. I’m delivering myself from years and years of doing something I don’t really have the heart to do any more. Moment by moment I feel an ever greater release.
My mind has kept me enslaved. My mind has kept me believing that sales are the only way for me to make a living. Sure, I’ve made a quick buck or two — in fact a cash cow — out of sales in my time. I’ve bought some fine things with the money, had a good holiday or two, and have been to the Mediterranean with all the other high-flyers. But now? That excitement and the month-end frenzy no longer satisfy. The pressure to perform that once was challenging now leaves me with hardness in my shoulders, my head and my heart. I’ve been keeping at it for years, disregarding the dissatisfaction and the pressure … until, recently, I was retrenched.
And now I’ve made the decision to break with the old and claim the new. I have decided not to look for another job in sales. I claim myself anew, and ask: “Who am I, where am I going, and who is going with me?” Something is shifting in me. I am in flow. I’m free. Sometimes I just sit, aware that I do not have to do anything, just breathe. This is the state of flow I’ve experienced before, when I dance or am on my yoga mat.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced “cheek-sends-me-highly”) is the positivity psychologist and “Happiology” professor at Harvard. He first described the state of flow (also known as the “zone”) as a mental state during which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and is enjoying the process. Flow is characterised by complete absorption in what one does. Watch a young child at play, and you’ll see it happening.
Flow is single-minded immersion, and could represent the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channelled, but are positive, energised, and aligned with the task at hand. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture. Flow is also described as a deep focus on the activity alone — and being free of thoughts about one’s self and one’s emotions.
What a great word: re-trenched. A trench is a channel, right? And my life is flowing down a new channel. Right now I am finding flow in asking those questions I’ve mentioned. It comes as no surprise that I’m seeing the answers coming in the form of work that I love. I am finding flow in what I do now: being with another person or a group, finding answers together to life’s many complicated — and simultaneously simple — questions.
Where are you finding flow in your life? What are the things that are getting in your way? That stop you from living your life to the full? Unsubscribe! Make that decision and click now!
Beth McAlpine is a coach and facilitator who is most intrigued about how to access truth and live extraordinarily. She runs courses on building self-esteem, purpose and connection, as well as the enneagram and archetypes. All tools which enable us to reach in and live the lives we were meant to. Beth01Mac