The idea has been lingering in my head for a while now that, just as energy contained in matter is invisible, but light, movement, wind, and waves are some of the ways it manifests and transmits, happiness can be a moving experience as well. In essence, it refers to the idea that when we focus, as often as we can, on tapping into that feeling/energy of happiness, we give it momentum and give momentum to more of what we are focusing on: feeling good.
The Feeling or energy of Happiness
This feeling can also be referred to as “spaciousness or feeling in the flow”, but perhaps not in the same way that athletes experience it when they are delivering peak performances. It is a somewhat more tender, but tangible feeling that grows stronger in my heart-space, almost like water flowing gently through a hosepipe with no knots and tangles in it. I'm sure we all feel it in our own unique mental, emotional and physical expressions. As soon as I think a not so great thought that brings emotional resistance, my 'happiness/flow/space' gets pinched and smaller. While I don’t think we're designed to always be in this state considering the contrasts of daily life, we can certainly do our part to encourage the feeling, and usher in the feeling as often as possible. Naturally the more we try, the easier it gets. And we'll get to that in a moment.
When We Disconnect From The Feeling
Just like the feeling itself is unmistakable (a cuddle or laugh with your pet or lover is exactly it), when we disconnect from the feeling, it’s evident right away. This happens through our own thoughts (have you also become a professional at creating stories in your mind that don't make you feel good?). Also from lingering on our fears and insecurities. All of these areas can contribute to us disconnecting from the “feeling of flow”. To me, it feels a little bit like a hosepipe flowing from my head to my heart is getting pinched, and the flow trickles a little less.
Getting Back To The Right Space When This Happens
Navigating through the disconnect can be hard. It can even get to a point where you feel like your flow is completely closed.
1. The first step tis to recognise and care about how you feel. Notice when your emotions aren't feeling so good.
2. The second step is to get back into your flow with better feeling thoughts.
It's easier to start broad.
**For example: 'I don't understand why so and so are hiding information or lying to me.'
That is not a great feeling thought.
Notice it, then choose to think a better feeling thought.
'I've lied before. I lied because I didn't think he/she would like the truth.
I wanted to protect their feelings.
Maybe there is some compassion in lying. I know that making a fuss about the lying will make the issue bigger.
I really care about them and about my connection with them and about feeling good.
What matters is not what they're doing, but how I feel. I shouldn't ask them to behave in a certain way in order to connect with them as I would like to be a source of connection and good feelings and unconditional love.'
And continue until you get to a better feeling state. If it's too close to home and the words aren't helping; take a nap, brush your hair, plug into a quick meditation or yoga class, disconnect from the situation in a way that works for you and most importantly, find a focus on something that makes you feel good again.
Make decisions and drive actions when you're in a good feeling space. If you're not, go to sleep! Tomorrow is another day, and the momentum will start again.
Tapping Into The Feeling and Staying There
To tap into the feeling or “being in the flow” more regularly, it helps to care about what you're thinking and prioritising mindfulness and self care goodness that makes you feel good. My best meditation for starting my day in the flow is a 10 minute Esther Hicks one that you can give a go and see if it works for you as well. All their audios are amazing, start the day with one that resonates with you. Repeat it until it becomes the the way you think. A regular yoga class can also do wonders. Follow the activities that spark joy for you, help to fill your cup (or detangle the hosepipe!), and strengthen your connection with the energetics of your happiness. Adding some extra tools to your arsenal is never a bad idea. If you feel like you need an extra nudge, consider holistic health coaching, or even therapy, both of which are useful tools used by millions of people around the world each day.
At the end of the day, this is your personal pathway to joy, and tapping into the feeling and staying in the flow will largely be up to the way you construct your thoughts and your life on a day-to-day basis. And practice, practice, practice good feeling thoughts! Caring about how you’re feeling, choosing better feeling thoughts and tapping into the things you enjoy is a great way to slowly build some 'in the flow' momentum. From there, you’ll keep getting better at it, and soon enough the flow state will become second nature in your life. And when you tap out, you'll know how to get back in. At the end of the day, that’s all that we can ask for, really.