Your Sweet Spot: Guide to Unleashing Your Flow

I have some insight to offer, especially in the realm of Sacred Creativity, Inspired Craftsmanship, and Effective Illumination. But sometimes – A Confession –  I stop short of sharing what I’ve learned over the years, maybe because sometimes I feel like no one’s listening, it’s all been said before, no one cares, or maybe I still have a bit of the inner “who do I think I am to dish out my crazy insights, anyway?” (Wah.)

But then my kick-ass can-do attitude returns to remind me that not only do I have a bangin resume, but each year my art practice and clothing company grow more and I know there’s value to share from those experiences.

Keeping all this in mind, I’m about to shower you all with some wisdom! I’ve developed some handy tricks to maintain the workflow, and it’s these I’m sharing today:


You know the feeling of Flow — that optimal experience of losing track of time because you’re so absorbed in your process.

I read a bunch of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work, including Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, which focuses on the psychology of and stories from highly creative people. Fascinating stuff, and from it I’ve found myself more observant of my own patterns, and what it takes for me to find that sweet spot…

Unleash the juiciness that is Flow with any of these ideas that float your boat:

Work in spirals.

If you were to trace your daily movements from above, would it be a straight line from your desk to the bathroom and back again? Break it up! Create different work stations and areas of your space that include sitting, lying down, standing, drawing, computing, pacing… whatever full spectrum of active engagement you like best, make room for it, and add it to your process:

 
Playlist it up.

Music is a miraculous tool. Make different playlists according to your needs and utilize appropriately. If you’re in a communal work situation, have headphones on hand. I call my playlists: a.m. sweetness, dance party, deeper nighttime, happy fluffy, haunting, hip hope, hypo, meditational techniques, preppin, and run towards. Depending on my mood, I’ll listen to hypno when I’m painting, dance party when I’m organizing, and deeper nighttime when I’m writing. Make your playlists work for you!

Be lazy.

I don’t really mean lazy lazy. But studies have shown that insights and solutions come during downtime. So be sure to get 8 hours of sleep each night, take long hot baths, enjoy lingering lunches, and trust that your brain is still chewing on the problems while you’re relaxing, and will spit out the solution when least burdened.

Moon Child Painting by Meghan Oona Clifford
Ritual.

My morning ritual includes brewing a large french press of mate and only then do I feel like I’m ready for work. It’s not the caffeine per say, but the reassuring cup-in-hand. Like a blankie, but for productivity. Find your blankie.

Morning Maté
Everyone likes their morning elixir just so. Here’s how I do it.

Add Boiling Water to French Press containing 1-3 Scoops of Maté, in 1/4 C Cold Water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain into cups.

Add: 1 Dropper-full of Liquid Vanilla Stevia
Unsweetened Oatmilk to taste
Optional: Peppermint extract, to taste. Ice, for hot days

Morning Mate Picture by Meghan Oona Clifford
Research.

That word “research” isn’t very sexy. But it is so exciting to live in this time, with access to a world of artists, writers, thinkers, and spiritual seekers that all connected on the web. What works for me is Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Gmail, Reader, and Blogger. Plus a series of bookmarks labeled “Art Sources, Spirit, Health, Family, Dreams, Music, and Soc-Poli-Eco.” However you organize your web surfing, surf the waves that bring you the most joyful inspiration, and surf often.

A lovely chat. 

If you have a partner or super cool mom or a good friend, have a nice chat with them about your current project. Sometimes feedback from your sounding board, or even just their presence, can lead you to Solutionville.

 telephone1

Shake that Ass. 

Move your body, get your cells happy. Do yoga, dance, walk, do cardio, whatever works best for you. If you can get sweaty, that much better. Sauna-cold shower-sauna-cold shower works wonders. I’ve had so many insights come during a workout it’s unbelievable. I like to have my iPhone on me so I can type in Notes during cardio.

*Breathing* Photo by Meghan Oona Clifford
Get Wasted. 

Well not wasted, wasted, but a glass of wine or 2 can go a long way to unleashing some creative thinking. Get relaxed, unwind, find that sweet spot. Reboot.

*Abundance* Photo by Meghan Oona Clifford | Realeyes Gallery
Self-Inquiry.

Dive into your core. I tend to love workbooks and self-helpy kinda guides that move me towards my truest essence. Meditation can also quiet the mind and connect you with the inner creative field. Or try out these 50 questions to reposition your thought process with some fresh perspective.

Organize!

Your space should feel like mission control for your sacred work. A little creative mess is one thing but after each project, spend some time (it doesn’t take long) with some music on, cleaning, organizing, and sorting. You’ll feel freshly renewed to tackled your next thing.

*Organize* Photo by Meghan Oona Clifford | www.RealeyesGallery.com

These work for me, hope they bring some inspiration to your process as well! Anyone have anymore tips for gettin er done? 🙂




*(c) Wake up World

14 Comments

  1. I have a few spots I enjoy. I sit on my couch to research and surf for art sites, inspiration. I stand to paint either at my kitchen counter or the counter in my art room/office. I sit at the kitchen table to cut things out like fabric or magazines for collage. I didn't know this was a good thing but after reading your blog it makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. Meghan, Thank you for your post. It was a good reminder for me of those things that support my flow. For me, I think the most important thing is to practice refining and following my intuition in all areas of my life. Of course, I do this imperfectly. But this practice drops me into the flow deeply and surely, regularly.

    Like

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