I bet, at some points in life, you have been in ‘the zone’ – a state where you have total clarity in your mind, your work is getting done better than usual, your creative juices are flowing out in full volume. Best of all, you don’t have to try to make any effort for it. You don’t have to decide the right course, it sort of flows out. People in sports call it, being in the zone.
Sit back and think about such a moment in your life.
There are also times when, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get things done. For most people, this is more often the situation. Most of us keep moving up and down on this scale but keep closer to the out-of-zone experience. You find that there are a lot of things that ‘need to’ be done. You have all the right intentions and make all the plans and efforts you can. But you never get the progress you wish. At best, you get it done with a lot of effort.
For a lot of people, their senses have been so dulled by the repeated out-of-zone experiences, that they don’t even remember what it feels like to be in the zone. They have accepted that this is the best they can get in life. They have forgotten the in-zone experience that they might have had fleeting glimpses of, in their childhood and possibly in their youth.
Why is there this difference?
Here is one way to look at it.
This Universe is a friendly, creative force. If we let it, it shows us the right direction. All goes well when we let it lead us, work through us. If we resist it, we create a clash of forces. Less work gets done and there is a lot of resentment and frustration.
The creative force works well when you don’t try to control it. If you like dancing but take up mathematics because you believe its good for you, you are working against this creative force. You try to intellectualize what is right and then suppress the natural direction of the force within you. You try to channelize it towards that which you think is useful. This creates friction and you feel out of the zone. Even if you get things done, they don’t come without a lot of effort. This effort leaves you spent and unable to enjoy life fully.
Do you see some people who just seem to flow effortlessly through life, achieving one success after another? And then have you seen those who just don’t get something, no matter how hard they try? Does this happen to you? And do you attribute it to luck? Don’t do it. Don’t give power away to luck and then sit with your hands crossed. That is a disempowering notion and you just leave yourself in the hands of some outside entity.
Why shouldn’t I try to channelize this force?
If you want to, you can channelize it. It is ready to accomplish anything you think about. Read law of attraction for more on this. Even if you don’t listen to the direction the Universe points to, it will do as you command, as you think. But your satisfaction will be fleeting. You will have to manifest one thing after another to feel satisfied. Even that won’t keep you interested for ever.
I believe the urge to have total control over things, over the creative force, stems out of fear. The person who doesn’t believe that the natural course of the force will find him happiness, tries to mould it into a direction where his fears direct. One who has faith in a friendly Universe, will see no need to control its direction.
How to work with it?
The force can make us do hours of work in a matter of minutes. We can work with it to create more occasions when we are in the zone. We can unblock its flow through us and start listening to it. We can start understanding which direction its pointing us to. In fact, its possible to enter the zone daily.
1. Start by doing what feels light and right. Start in small but deliberately increasing doses. Do whatever makes you feel happy and at ease. This might not be easy for some. For those who have denied themselves for years and years, to come to terms with, to make peace with their true passion might be discomforting. You might feel there are other, more important things that need to be done. You might even face resistance from people around and have an urge to go back to old ways.
You will have to realize that this is an environment you have created. If you really want to get out of it, you will have to brave the resistance. Keep the larger picture in mind. The good thing is, the beginning will be the hardest. Once you are past that, it starts getting easier and better from there.
2. Keep specific time for letting the energy flow. Set a specific time when you will get into the zone. Keep this time sacrosanct. Don’t allow any disturbances, any distractions.
3. Don’t plan how to do the activity, just do it. Whatever you are doing in this allotted time, don’t decide each step before you do it. I know this will sound counter intuitive to some. Earlier, I would never do anything without deciding how to do it. But this is about letting the Universe take control. Also, new ideas and creativity require that you try things without any prejudices. If you plan in the same old way you will get the same old results. You will not be receptive to the Universe’s direction. Just do what feels right without thinking. If you let go completely, you will find new ideas and new directions open up. Not only do you get new ideas and broaden your horizon, the whole activity becomes fun!
I think, as you get more attuned to the Universe, you don’t have to decide the activities either. Everything just flows.
4. Let go. When you hit the zone, you hit a high you may not have experienced before. It will be with you for some time and it will go away. When it does, don’t try to stop it. Don’t try to accomplish some more. These are your old habits at work. Stop, let it go with love, in the knowledge that it will come again.
5. Have faith. It won’t come easy in the beginning. You have years of blocks to clear. You have to have faith. Keep doing what feels right. Don’t despair if it doesn’t come right away. Slowly, but surely, the blocks will clear away and the force will shine through you.
This is how I work – I have a set time at which I sit down to write. Its just me and the computer, there are no distractions. I sit down and think of what I feel like writing, what will give me joy. Usually I start writing whatever comes to my mind. Mostly, in the beginning, it doesn’t make much sense. But I keep on writing, and soon enough, I start getting coherent ideas. My fingers can’t run fast enough to put my thoughts on the screen. I loose sense of time and self. That is when I have entered the zone. I write so fast that I make a lot of spelling/typing mistakes. I hold the urge to go back and set them right. That will be later. When I am in the zone, I surrender to it, completely. Sometime, I am astonished with ideas and clarity that comes out in such moments.
There have been times I have tried to decide upon an article and write. I feel something is important and needs to be written about, or that you readers might be expecting a certain kind of article. Such posts are never easy. I have spent 2-3 days on certain such posts. But if I let things flow, I usually have an article ready in a matter of 2-3 hours. What’s more, most of the articles that generate the most interest among people, were completed while I was in the zone. I can’t even take credit for it, it was the creative force, the creative energy doing it through me. I was just having fun. How is that! Imagine working with such speedified productivity, finishing your day’s work in a couple of hours!
Once you learn to get into the zone on a daily basis, you won’t have to make an effort for things. You will be glowing with joy, finishing things at speeds you had never imagined. You would be wanting more, enjoying every bit of it. That’s the real you. That’s how you are supposed to be. Happy, efficient, glowing with life.