Finding Your Flow with Pour Painting
I am a great believer in the flow state and working in the zone. This is one reason why I am an artist. Because I constantly enter this flow state whilst painting. I am also good at finding flow in my day job, because it’s a job I enjoy, which challenges me enough, so that I get lost in the process.
Recently, I came across a good book called Finding your Flow by Sarah Gregg. Now, I believe that I'm already pretty good at finding my flow. As I just mentioned, I get into flow quite regularly. However, what I discovered in this book were some fantastic journal prompts.
If you have read any of my blogs before, you probably know that I also love journaling. Any form of journaling. So, it was no surprise to me to discover elements of the journal prompts with which I was familiar. It started with gratitude.
Now, I have tried gratitude journaling in various forms throughout the years. It has crept into my bullet journaling a few times and it is not difficult to write just three things you are thankful for at the start of a day. But for one reason or another, I just haven’t kept at it.
But this flow journaling I have kept writing for several weeks now. And I love it.
Why is this?
The first part of the journal page was gratitude. But only the first part. After mentioning the benefits of waking up with positivity, Gregg then goes on to the next part, focus.
Focus on flow
Writing out your focus for the day was also not a new idea to me. However, in order to create more flow in your day, it is useful to actually take the time to focus on whatever creates that flow for you. Whatever activity that may be. Be it reading, writing, painting. And to make time for it in your day.
Of course, we all have busy lives, and there are things that need to get done. But once that has been attended to, there is time left to focus on your flow.
What got me about this part of the journaling exercise was that there were two sections to write out your focus for the day. One section for the important day-to-day activities which need to get done. The other for the activities which bring us flow. These Gregg calls high-value priorities (what needs to get done) and high-flow priorities (what gets you into flow).
Prioritising your time is important. But making time for fun hobbies and enjoyable activities is something which can take quite a mindset shift for some people. It is only possible if you learn to love yourself first. This can take many years of soul searching for some, because we are so often told that we are not good enough at a young age. Take your time and believe in yourself.
I have always believed that downtime is important and try to make the most of my spare time. However, to me that looked like creating an art business and always hustling in my free time. Completing these journal prompts really helped me see that, what I was beginning to realise anyway, you can’t just keep hustling.
The rest of the journaling exercise
After finding your focus for the day, both in the things which need to be done and the things you really want to do to get into flow, then it helps to be able to schedule them into your day. A simple morning-afternoon-evening schedule helps break down a day and you can write out what you are going to do in each part of the day.
Whilst I found this useful, as I like to have a schedule, I do tend to work very early morning shifts, and would often find that the evening part of my schedule was empty (or on some days, my afternoon, if I decided to take a nap).
I am also quite a spontaneous person, so although I would write out a schedule, almost immediately after, I would change up my order of doing things. Perhaps I am just perverse like that.
However, sometimes the schedule helped me to keep on top of what I was doing. When I was having a focused day.
Your ideal day
The third part of the journal prompt was to ‘script your ideal day.’ Now, whilst I really liked the sound of this, I think I am too much of a realist to believe that any flights of fancy I write down will come true. (I am on the fence about the law of attraction. Maybe if I believed it a bit more it would work for me). So, my ideal day which I wrote down was nearly always too mundane or basic.