From Freedom to Flow
When I was a child, I wanted an alternative life. I didn’t want to conform or play by the rules, so I figured my best career option would be to join the circus. Pretty soon I realised what I really wanted was freedom, but without the gymnastics and the lion taming.
When I was an adolescent, I wanted a creative life. I didn’t want to starve in a garret or suffer for my art, so I flirted with a bohemian lifestyle that would enable me to be close to the creativity without doing the creativity.
When I became an adult my first real job (after years of “paying my dues”) was road manager for a rock & roll band. The hours were long and the problems at times insurmountable, yet every day via a mixture of synchronicity and magic, the doors opened on time and the show went on. I now had three core values – creativity, freedom, and magic.
Then it was time to “settle down”. This phrase always struck me as funny. If different substances “settle” after being shaken together, they separate. If an argument is “settled”, there is no further movement. When we settle down, we often separate our creative spirit from our mind and our thinking becomes set or rigid.
My settling down coincided with a career in marketing and advertising. There was a lot of creativity in marketing but it was a type of independent creativity often referred to as masculine. It belonged in a separate department and had “lone genius” on its business card.
During my time in the corporate world, I had a few revelations. Creativity isn’t a skill (though it can be developed with discipline) it’s the essence of who we are. When we have a high need for certainty and control, we suppress our creativity and rely on our intellect to make decisions. True creativity is our capacity to make choices without fear of consequence.
I became a coach.
Lack of energy, anxiety, overwhelm and fear are rife in the workplace today, and I knew I could help with that. I wanted to encourage people to experience the feeling of freedom and connection that occurs when we move from survival thinking to creative thinking.
This led me to Flow. A lot is written these days about Flow states or “being in the zone”. Again, the approach is often masculine – getting more done with less effort in order to achieve super productivity. A feminine approach to Flow is being able to move through life without clinging or resistance in order to become a co-creative partner with the life force itself. This allows us the flexibility we need in our current world of constant change.
As I worked with teams of people in their place of work, it became obvious that Flow was another word for the magic I experienced during life on the road. When we remove the blocks created by our separate agendas and come together with one objective, incredible synchronicities occur. Work becomes more of a co-creative dance than a linear climb of the ladder.
And then there are the side effects – increased confidence, humour, intuition, and the feeling of freedom as the cage door opens and we are reunited with our creative spirit.
So it turns out I wanted the lion taming after all.