• Shannon Eastman

[Resources & Exercises] What I do to access and work in states of flow

Updated: 14 hours ago

There's a Flow State I go to several times a day to connect to a world of creativity, possibility and intuition.


If you don't know about the Flow State or the 5 Brainwaves for flow, performance and regeneration - my infographic over here will sort that out.


We take in information through our senses, received by our Central Nervous System, which instructs 50, trillion cells in our body to act accordingly.

It's important that we deliberately feed our 5 senses material that facilitates us to be quiet, calm and relaxed if we are to access states of flow and creativity, intuition and inspiration.

At first it was like any new thing; it needed work, discipline and reminders. Once that muscle is sufficiently worked over, it becomes habit, then it becomes unconscious habit. It's now my go to that I can access by just the thought of doing so.


This is a list of resources & exercises I have used over the years, and still use today to maximise my ability to perform in my business world. Perhaps it will give you an idea or inspiration you can take and spin in to your own version.


My mind has no chatter. It's actually been so long that I can't recall exactly when the chatter fell away, but I'd guess it was circa 2018.


Here's what I did to shift my mind from foe to my: best friend, business partner, creative inspiration and all round best ever butler.

FOR THE MIND


1. Reprogramming my unconscious mind: Theta Waves


I began in July 2011 with Meditations I purchased through audible. I would play them very quietly at night on repeat and sleep to them. They were voice only - no music or sound in the background. I did this for years. I still do this today.


Only today I recognise the value of Theta State and my own voice, and recording my own vision.


Here's what I do.


Using the 7 areas of life, I worked my way around the wheel articulating what my heart wanted for my self in each area. Just a few sentences.


I used present and past tense language. For example, in the area of business, I have things like:


I deeply value the insights, science community and books that I continue to receive that help me deepen my understanding of growth. I am grateful that I can freely associate concepts and ideas that when applied in business, produce meaningful and profitable results for my clients. I am so grateful to see my clients businesses flourishing; their genius showing up in the world that is directly influencing the lives of thousands of people.

I use vivid language, detail, and the cause and effect (Universal Law) that I want for my business, for my clients business and the industry they are operating in.


I do this for all 7 areas.


Once I have completed the wheel, I open my laptop, go to one of my favourite Theta 4-8Hz tracks on youtube - I am currently using this one here.


I take a few minutes of just breathing with my eyes closed listening to the Theta waves, then when I'm ready, I open my eyes, open my voice recording app on my mobile phone, and with Theta Waves playing from laptop, phone on record, I will read out my wheel in a very soft, whispery, monotone voice. This is important. I didn't used to do this - I got carried away with my voice recordings - and then at that moment of emotion in whatever I was saying, my voice would raise, and on the recording while asleep, the volume would climb and I'd be disturbed from my sleep. Annoying. So! My counsel here is, quiet, soft, monotone voice recording!


Once it's on my phone, I will set the recording to repeat, and play it at night as I climb into bed, quietly so I can barely hear it, but can hear it. I used to use headphones as the background music/sounds I used were binaural beats (that require headphones) One ear receives one frequency, the other ear receives a different frequency, and your brain converts the two frequencies into the average. I'm not a headphones at night kind of girl,. so that ended quickly. But I do do it during the day. Binaural Beats are incredible.


2. Breath work - Box Breathing


Breathing is the only thing we share with both our conscious and unconscious Self.


(That statement I just made is no longer true once you reach advanced levels of Flow States. At advanced levels of Flow State you can control other autonomic functions such as heart rate and blood flow - but for newbies - that first statement is completely true. As you move deeper into prolonged levels of flow state, you will discover a lot of new abilities that before you would have sworn to be factually untrue.) HaH!


So breath is commonly referred to as the doorway into the Flow States. I've tried a lot of different versions of Breath Work - I tend to use the one I learned from the late, great, Joe Guthrie.


He was a big fan of box breathing - he used to love to share the stories of SWAT and Black Ops using this exact technique before a mission. (I love you Joe). Right! Box breathing is simple:

  1. Breath in for a count of 5.

  2. Hold your breath for a count of 5.

  3. Exhale for a count of 5.

  4. Hold empty lungs for a count of 5.

  • Repeat 8x. Keep count by using your thumbs.

  • Start with your thumbs resting on your index fingers.

  • Starting with the left hand - thumb to index finger is 1.

  • Thumb to middle finger is 2

  • Thumb to ring finger is 3

  • Thumb to baby finger is 4

  • Right hand Thumb to index finger is 5

  • Etc.


Once 5 feels easy

Work up to 8 counts

10 counts


My dear friend and Personal Trainer, Marcin Gucia practices 20 seconds in, 20 seconds hold, 20 seconds exhale. 20 seconds hold. He's a machine. Don't mind him.


Some benefits of Box Breathing include:


1. calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS) - required to enter flow state

2. reduce stress and improve your mood - shifting from high anxiety or anxiety into calm

3. an exceptional treatment for conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression


3. Journaling - 10-Minutes Daily of Gratitude


My journaling takes the form of gratitude lists.

In all 7 areas of my life, I make note of what I am grateful for.

Then I do a list of the people I am grateful for.

The ones who invited me to learn tough lessons for they have deepened my resilience.

The ones who invited me to stand on their shoulders for I can see further because of them.


This activity is science drenched in why it is so good at calming the mind, creating stillness and helping you see things in ways that the chatter-run-wild- just can't do. Carl Gustav Jung - Grandfather of Psychology - swears by it, prescribed it.


4. Visualisations of the future in the present


This one isn't for everybody. I love it. I bring clarity to an idea I have in my mind's eye with the limited visibility I have of it now. I always prepare first by engaging the 5 senses in a form of ritual. (Rituals are so important for the unconscious reprogramming). Senses are what directs the central nervous system - the part of you that want soothing and being made calm.


My ritual is as follows:

  1. Candle - for my eyes to focus on

  2. Gate Gate Music for my ears to take in is a fave of mine.

  3. I burn essential oil for smell - I use different ones as they stimulate different parts of the Central Nervous System

  4. I do a form of breath work that focuses on relaxing my body. You can google and find thousands.

  5. Then I bring a picture into my mind's eye


For example; a business deal tied to a conference. In my mind's eye I see the people involved, in my mind's eye I see the conference in full swing, in the background. Then I allocate colours, shapes, imagery (the language of the unconscious is colours, shapes and symbols). It they were a colour, what colour would he be? If the conference was a colour, what colour would it be? Then shapes. If that colour (representing that person was a shape, what shape would that person be? etc.


So by the time I am done, everyone and thing, in my mind's eye has a colour, shape, - sometimes a symbol: 2 people and 1 conference? All 3 entities have their own colour, shape, symbol assigned.


Then Once I see that clearly in my mind's eye, I watch as a horseshoe magnet appears in the area of my third eye - and points at the colour, shapes and symbols I've just brought to life in my mind's eye. I hold that until I can see both the business event and the horseshoe magnet in my mind's eye, together, crystal clear. Then I imagine the magnet can literally pull out ideas from the business opportunity and present them to me.


I hold that intention and watch as the colours, shapes, symbols change form and ideas surface. It. Is. Incredible.


This one should go first in my list.. but I recognise that without the Theta practice, this exercise can be frustrating as mind chatter can get loud during these exercises when its new to you.


Unconscious writing


When something is bothering me i write it down, take a few minutes to do some box breathing then I set my mobile phone alarm for 15 minutes - and I write without thinking - literally a stream of consciousness without stopping until my phone starts letting me know 15-minutes is up


This compels you to continuously write pulling from abstract ideas and perspectives within your unconscious self that when brought into your awareness allow you to better see what is currently running your emotion so you can begin to dissolve or resolve it.


If you cannot control your emotions, you cannot control your money! - Warren Buffett

Too many think this means to suppress, control or somehow mentally overcome your emotions in order to be in control of your money or {whatever your thing is - put it here]. Whatever you repress, must passive aggressively express. Repression is not the way for long term viable growth. Repression is one of the biggest barriers that keep us from accessing the Flow State.


Meditations


Transcendental Meditation - you need your mantra - which I got from doing a course in this form of meditation. There is plenty of material online to explain this concept. The core of Transcendental - is "To Transcend"


Hooponopono


Hawaiian meditation - I used to use this one at night time.- if you are knew to this version of meditation, it is worth researching first to understand it's intention, meaning and design.


Where focus goes, energy flows


- that's the saying, yes?


Setting up my focus to move into a flow state:

I have used visuals such as: Mandalas, nature, and abstract moving objects to bring my mind into a focus that produces calm and stillness: The Entrance to a Flow State.


FOR THE BODY


Nutrients!


Magnesium is responsible for 300 different reactions in your body.

B Complex is a must.

Vitamin C

Zinc

D3


All so important.


I ended up swapping all the pill bottles for this in the last few months:













I take one serving of each daily.

Both are critical for me and my body to perform at the levels I need it to. The sleep is so. much. better. My goodness.


I do have coffee in the morning but not after 11am. I was down to 1 a day. I'm back at 2.5 now. o_0


In the evenings I drink Turmeric Tea, Fennel Tea, Cinnamon Tea.


I almost always have orange essential oil burning. When I was going through the dark night of the soul phase, then I was using Lavender. Different Essential Oils effect different parts of the Central Nervous System. My intention has always to bring deep inner calm... the deepest state of relaxation I could muster at the time.


I eat lots of vegetables and organic meat a few days a month.





I draw my goals in picture form


using colours, shapes, symbols to illustrate them and hang them on my wall.


I own this book here on the right - and use it a lot.


Sometimes after a visualisation described above using the business/conference example, I will visit this book after to explore the meanings of colours, symbols, shapes from 4 corners of the world to better understand what my unconscious is bringing into my awareness.





Music during my workday

Emiliano Toso is for any kind of work. I screen grabbed the spotify cover so you can see what he's about.


I also use Schubert's Ave Maria to center me in my creative flow state before a big meeting with a client, or a workshop I am delivering or anything that may cause me the slightest of anxiety. This version of Ave Maria goes on every time.


Gate Gate by Deva Premal. Wow. Heaven.


I basically use music to adjust my senses. (Smell as well through essential oils).


It's important!


We take in information through our senses, received by our Central Nervous System, which instructs 50, trillion cells in our body to act accordingly.


It's important that we deliberately feed our 5 senses material that facilitates us to be quiet, calm and relaxed if we are to access states of flow and creativity, intuition and inspiration.





I pay a Personal Trainer


to meet with me 5x a week to sweat 45-minutes a day in the park.


He is an old soul with a very big heart who knows as much as I do about what I've listed in here and then some. We train in the park and for those times I come a bit too tense and grumpy - he puts me straight into breath work.


If you are in or near Dublin 6, Ireland - his name is Marcin Gucia and he is a wizard.


What I haven't covered in here is dear friends, books and poetry - but that wasn't the intention for this piece. I wanted to share a few practical exercises I have come to value dearly in my desire to be in more flow, less force.


Adaptogens


Ashwagandha for example to manage Anxiety can be incredible. I tend to visit Dr Josh Axe's site for my information or research on which adaptogen. If you are new to Ashwagandha this may be of some use:


Hydrolysed Collagen Powder


I don't eat a lot of meat AND I want quality protein. This dissolves in cold water, hot water and has no taste. :) I add a tablespoon to my salads, yoghurt - sometimes ice cream. hah.


Yoga


- always. Stretching, breathing, hot yoga, is literally the embodiment of Alpha State


Water


- 2 liters a day clears toxins and hydrates a body that is 70% upwards water anyway. I am using herbal teas these days. Fennel, Turmeric, Cinnamon.


Jump around


- I bought a personal rebounder - the good kind. And I have the C25k app on my phone. i use the C25k app on my phone to time out a cardio session in my living room when I am in lockdown.


Massage


- I have a shakti mat, a neck massager, a foot massager - and pre-covid a massage Therapist I was seeing fortnightly.








I am delivering a 2-Hr Clinic in February titled:


Clarity, Focus, Action? Meet Fear, Shame and Guilt!

The emphasis will be on Clarity that moves you into more flow, less force.


If you'd like to know more

Details are over here.



Shannon Eastman is a #GrowthHacker, Communications Expert, Management Consultant, Human Behaviour Expert and Transformation Artist


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About Shannon Eastman

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