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September 3, 2019
Word of the Week: Flow
I have a confession: I wrote the last five Monday Vibes emails back in July. I was feeling particularly creative (which tends to happen to me when I am on my period) so I decided to put everything else aside and knock out all of my newsletters for the month of August over the course of a few days. Being able to adjust my work and life around my natural energy cycles is one of my favorite parts of being an entrepreneur.
The truth is, it’s not possible to be productive, creative, and “on” 24/7 like is expected in most corporate jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I am not over here twiddling my thumbs on a meditation cushion all day. Some days I’ll work for fifteen hours straight. The difference is I am listening to my body and capitalizing on when I feel creative instead of forcing myself to do something creative when it’s not there. Everyone’s creative process is different but for me, my creativity comes in spurts. I enter into highly intense states of flow where I can work for hours on end bringing a new course to life, creating a new business model, or writing five newsletters in a row. And it usually takes me a fraction of the time than if I were to tackle these kinds of projects when I’m not feeling it.
The trouble is, I never know when these flow states will come or how long they will last. I had never really experienced flow before I became an entrepreneur so it took a while to learn my rhythm. At first, being in flow scared me because I wasn’t used to the intensity of energy. There were times when the ideas poured in so powerfully that I would go 2-3 days barely stopping to eat or sleep because I was so focused on trying to execute on them, for fear they would disappear. I felt like a mad scientist.
Now that I’m more familiar with my creative process, I’ve learned that if I give myself enough time to rest in between flow states, the ideas will always come again. When they do, I know it’s important for me to carve out as much time as I can to bring them to life because they do have a tendency to flutter away. I try to give myself plenty of white space in my schedule so that if the ideas start rolling in, I’ll have the time to take advantage of them.
Looking back, I wonder if I missed out on flow when I worked in corporate because my schedule was always back-to-back and thus leaving zero wiggle room for dreaming, visioning, and creating. It probably didn’t help that the person I was when I worked in corporate was equally as fast-faced. I was always running from one thing to the next and trying to squeeze in as many happy hours, weekends away with friends, and book clubs as possible.
It has taken a lot of work to learn how to proactively say “no” in order to leave enough white space for my creativity to run free. I like to call this leaving room for magic. If we busy ourselves up so much that we never leave room for magic, then I think we’re missing out on one of the best parts about being human.
Ask Yourself: How can you create more white space in your schedule for visioning, dreaming, and creating? If you could create anything today, what would it be?
Weekly Mantra: I choose to leave room for magic.
When in Doubt, Jam It Out! Lonely (feat. MAX) by Matoma , MAX (Be sure to follow the Spotify playlist called “Jam it Out with Elizabeth” to stay up-to-date with the weekly jams 🎵)
Things I am Loving: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Ted Talk on Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a renowned positive psychologist, is thought of as the founder of “flow.” His seminal research grew out of trying to answer the question: What makes life worth living? This Ted Talk is a great introduction to Csikszentmihalyi’s work and why the flow state is so critical to our long-term happiness.
Bonus: Want a recap of all of the weekly intentions and journal prompts from August? Click here to access your September journal guide! Bring it to your next book club, girls night in, or weekend getaway. Post a pic and tag me @heyelizabethsu so I can cheer you on!
Hugs for a dreamy week!
P.S. Don’t forget! I started a Dear Abby/Dear Sugar-style advice column (and/or podcast!) called Notes from Camp. Think of it like you are writing your BFF a note from camp. Tell me your deepest fears, biggest dreams, soul-whispers, and heartbreaks…and I will respond with as much honesty, compassion, and humanness as I would my BFF. I will be taking submissions on a rolling basis (prioritizing Monday Vibes community members) and compiling responses over the next few weeks…and we will go from there!! Send your note here.
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