Are you in ebb or flow...and why it's good to know
How often do you blame yourself for not being as productive as you’d like to be? Do you sometimes wish you could just have hours or a whole day to simply observe, absorb and feel inspired...without having to create?
If this feels remotely true for you, GREAT! You’re aware of your ebb and flow — and this is so important when you’re wanting to move beyond status-quo in any area of your life.
As humans, we all have our own distinct ebb and flow.
Just like the ocean tide, the wind and all the creatures in between, we have a unique rhythm to how we expand and contract. But our industrial/tech culture has wired us to believe that we can perform like machines, constantly outputting and doing. This is a myth which causes much malaise.
Knowing when we’re in ebb and when we’re in flow is what allows us to sustain our energy, dip into creative genius and, ultimately, feel greater purposefulness in our life.
So, how do you know know if you’re in ebb vs. flow?
Here’s what helps me best navigate and then harness the riches within these different states.
TIPS TO HARNESS THE EBB + FLOW
When you’re not sure which state you’re in: Meditate.
Here’s an awareness practice, excerpted from The MoMentum Coaching Program I lead. I often do this practice to tune-in, ground myself and just pause. For context: the last part of this practice asks you to bring to mind a quality you’d like to embody - this is part of the larger coaching curriculum from The MoMentum, just fyi.
When you’re in flow: Move.
I go through phases where I’ll listen to the same song over and over again while doing deep thinking and creating work for my business. Because I’m tuned in to my body and what it needs, I know that there’s a rhythm to the flow. In order for me to stay in the flow, I need to move with it. So, at about every 90 minute interval, I’ll feel the need to get up and move, dance, do some yoga flow. Sometimes I just throw on my runners and get outside for a quick jog.
Here’s my current fave flow track by Elder Island. Get ready to feel your body rise when the beat kicks in at the 2:13 mark
When you’re in the ebb: Listen.
Lately, when I’m doing anything menial - making lunch, tidying up, waxing my legs (yup!) - I’m absorbing podcasts. One of my current go-tos is the Tim Ferris Show. Ferris is an uber successful entrepreneur whose conversations explore the intersect between business and mind-set. He hosts really innovative thought leaders on the show and he’s incredibly curious about the practical application of their ideas. One of my favourite episodes was with entrepreneur and cofounder of Flickr Caterina Fake. So much of what she shared really blew me away, like this:
“I wake up in the middle of the night between 2:00 and 5:00 in the morning, and I do three hours of work. I don’t turn on the computer. I write everything on paper; I do my best thinking and writing and ideation during those hours in the middle of the night, and then I go back to sleep and get up and carry on with my day.”
Cool + crazy, huh?!
AN INQUIRY FOR YOU TODAY…
If you could do anything right now to harness your current state, what would it be? Now, go DO it!
Last two photos by Melanie Gordon Photography.