Flow And Being Present

Me in the flow and being present.Years ago I learned that I needed to learn how to be present. I either focused on the past or the future but rarely experienced the present moment. After some examination I determined that I was indeed learning flow and being present through various activities, I just didn’t realize it at the time.

Flow And Being Present

There is a lot of talk about flow these days. Some people believe it in it while others don’t. For me flow and being present is nearly one in the same. If you’ve ever experienced focused flow you know what I’m talking about.

Flow is a state of heightened awareness and experience. A total immersion where time stands still and the false sense of ego and its boundaries melt away. It is when you are truly one with whatever you are doing in the moment. It’s when the runner becomes the race, the musician is part of the music, or when the artist melds into his or her work.

For me I discovered flow and being present, or the gateway for me to be present while on whitewater kayaking trips. I also believe this is why kayaking became so addictive to me and why between rivers runs during the week I would “crash” and sometimes become depressed.

Running a technical or big rapid or drop in the river requires the utmost focus. You can’t worry about your relationships, your money, your job, or anything else for that matter. To survive you must focus solely on the task at hand… find the right line in the water, avoid any deadly or dangerous obstacles, keep paddling and stay upright.

It was in those moments where everything melted away from me. There was no past, no future, only the present – with me being in the flow of life and the flow of the river simultaneously. Needless to say I loved it and in terms of my own personal growth, those time-less experiences were my introduction to the art of “being present” which I was able to later duplicate into real life and real situations.

Flow and being present is a magical and powerful place to be and once you’ve been there you have a deep desire to get back especially if you are one to always have a lot of mindless inner chatter with your monkey mind running amok. It is such a relief.

But it doesn’t have to be a dangerous activity or an adrenaline infused experienced that can get you there. I had a client who was a competitive musician and we worked together to help her find her flow, especially during her competitive performances. She would practice and practice reading the music and playing it until she could play every note without listening to the music but then we worked on her turning her brain “off” and playing the notes by feel only focusing on one note at a time. By finding her flow and being present, she went on to win more competitions as well as move up in her competitive class.

Experiencing flow and being present is what I believe to be one of life’s most powerful experiences. Focus on what you are doing so single-mindedly until there are no other distractions in your life and then gauge your results. How did things turn out? How did you feel? How can you get back to that again?

What about you, have you ever-experienced flow in your life? What were you doing? Did you feel that it grounded you more to the present or not?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo information: Me in Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River in Colorado spring of 2000. This is the base of the Zoom Flume Rapid.


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