Athletes describe being in a “flow state" as the sensation of seamless ability. Where all of your training and repetitive practice becomes as automatic as walking or breathing.
Your body and mind work as one. The game slows down and comes to you. The basket gets bigger and your ball glides upon nature’s perfect arc. You can’t miss.
You are one with your board and it is one with the wave. It’s like you think with your body. But there is no think—only motion.
You’re on flow. The only thing is the moment. You’ve worked and worked and now everything feels slowed down and effortless.
Another flow state is found in positive psychology. More about the mind than the body, it’s best described as having hyper-focus, or being completely present in the moment. But you don’t need to be moving or playing a game.
This flow state is often brought about using mindfulness techniques practiced in Buddhism, Hinduism and traditional yoga. The idea is that a flow state can help you transcend the psychic and physical hassles of this life, like anxiety, boredom and apathy.
Through intense inward focus, the outer world with all of its concerns disappears, or becomes very small to you. Transcendence is the goal, not transformation.
Then there is what I call 3rd Wave Flow State. This is where God’s love flows through you to those in your life. Where your life becomes a vessel by which the Holy Spirit is poured out to whatever part of the world you occupy.
This flow state is lasting and transformative. Rather than looking inward to quiet the noise, God’s flow is outward, ministering to a hurting world. Wonderfully, it transforms all involved. God’s flow touches both giver and receiver. And, unlike athletic and psychological flow states, this 3rd Wave Flow can be maintained for all eternity.