At flow synergetics we provide focus based flow training and coaching. Our passion is helping individuals and teams access the power of flow to create extraordinary synergies in life, at work, and with our planet as a whole.
What is focus based flow?
Flow is conventionally thought of as a rare and elusive state, mostly seen in elite athletes. Over the last few decades researchers have discovered that flow is a brain state where we fluidly cycle between alpha and theta states of awareness. Neurofeedback researchers have shown that people can learn to reproduce alpha and theta states at will. Once people are familiar with alpha and theta states of awareness, they can discern what state they are in. In other words, once we know what a flow-state feels like, and get comfortable functioning in this amazing state, we can reproduce a flow-state at will through focus and intention alone. Focus based flow allows us to bring the level of joy and performance we see in elite athletes into our everyday lives and work.
All About Flow States And How To Harness them
In a flow state, we feel and perform at our best – sometimes better than we ever thought possible. Modern positive psychology has firmly established that flow is the universal gateway to genuine happiness and no matter what we do, we do it far better in flow. In deeper states of flow we discover a sense of oneness and connection to one another, to nature, and sometimes to the mystical or divine. Time in flow deepens our sense of meaning, of purpose, and of genuine spiritual connection. Whether we want to feel better, succeed personally, connect with a higher power, create a better world, or just figure out what to do next, flow is where we have access to the most ingenious answers.
Flow is conventionally thought of as rare and elusive state, but it’s really our natural state of being. We naturally seek out flow inducing activities when we need to make difficult decisions, reset, rejuvenate, or heal. We spend our childhoods in flow, and easily slip into it whenever we are fully absorbed in doing something we love. Do what you love and you will find flow. When you can’t do what you love, love what you’re doing. The right mindset and focus is all we really need to instantly and effortlessly slip into a flow state. Learning to flow is more about remembering than learning, and we can all harness the power of flow simply by reclaiming a childlike spirit of enthusiasm, curiosity and playfulness. To fully harness the power of flow though, we need plenty of practice and a thorough understanding of the strange and wonderful world flow carries us into.
What Is It Like To Be In Flow State?
In a light flow state ordinary thinking slows. We lose track of time and space. We feel alive and elated. In deep flow worry, hunger, and pain disappear into the blissful peace of a timeless moment. The world and our very thoughts pass by in vibrant slow motion. Feeling as if we have an eternity to process, plan and react, perfection comes with ease yet hours flash by in the blink of an eye. We perceive ourselves like an objective witness, noticing every relevant nuance in the situation at hand while blocking everything else out. Miraculously wise insights accompanied by wildly creative solutions spontaneously arise in our minds and automatically guide our actions.
In flow our experience of the world becomes dreamlike; a lucid waking dream. Our actions unfold with grace and ease, as if we are being gently carried by a benevolent and vastly intelligent outside force. We simply flow with the gentle inspiration that overwhelms us and makes us feel vibrantly alive, without worrying, analyzing, or trying. We don’t control anything but it feels like we are in control of everything. The past, present and future meld into a unified moment, and it feels like we know what is going to happen before it happens. Indeed, in flow we can uncannily shape and predict the near-future.
Technically, in flow our frontal brains deregulate and we engage the resources of our whole brain. We fluidly cycle between alpha and theta states of awareness. We engage the right brain state at the right time to instantly perceive and process exponentially more information than we can logically think through in an ordinary beta state of awareness. Alpha is a light meditative state, so flow in a sense is meditation in motion. Theta brainwaves are seen in advanced meditators, in elite athletes in action, in chess masters mid-game, as well as in psychics, mediums and shaman at work.
Theta states, or bursts of theta activity enable us to access the power of the subconscious mind, but in flow we become conscious of the so-called subconscious. Theta is an elusive state of awareness, but one that all of us have experienced and can all learn to access. In all likelihood you’ve experienced a theta state while you’ve been enjoying a hot shower, automatically scrubbing away while you allow your mind to float off and discover brilliant ideas and insights. You’ve also likely experienced a theta state if you’ve ever found yourself in what many people call a twilight state, in between waking, dreaming and sleeping.
How To Induce A Flow State?
Athletes call flow “the zone”. Musicians know flow as “the pocket” or “the groove”, while actors know flow as “truth”. In Taoism flow is “wu wei”, a state of effortless action in perfect harmony with nature. On the spiritual side, words like “enraptured” and “ecstatic apply”. Many of us simply understand flow as a state of inspiration, the word inspiration coming from the Greek entheos, meaning “God within” or “ possessed by God”. In truth, much of humanity over most of human history has been questing for flow and methods of inducing flow to make it part of our everyday lives. Even the hero’s journey, the archetypal story around which all stories unfold is a tale of flow, a tale of journeying into the underworld of our own minds, finding a supernatural aid, and returning transformed with treasures to share.
The variety of methods humanity has discovered to induce flow like states is both impressive and confusing. The diversity of practices athletes, writers, and artists employ to induce flow from jumping and wriggling on the starting block, to wearing special items of clothing, to repeating a special prayer, to listening to a special song may seem stranger still. Frustratingly, what works to induce flow for one person may not work for anyone else, and what works one day may not work the next day, or ever again. Flow is a very personal journey, and a fickle partner that needs to be romanced, cultivated, and sometimes snuck up on.
Historically, music, dance, prayer, chanting, ritual, fasting, sensory deprivation, isolation, extreme exertion, extended focus, heat exposure, and plant medicines have all proven to be highly effective methods of inducing flow like states, especially in guided group settings. Flow is contagious and participating in any coordinated group activity can effectively induce flow. Flow is all about deep absorption, so losing yourself in beautiful environments or passion projects can induce flow.
Engagement is key, so active participation in activities with clear goals, that are intrinsically rewarding, and that provide the right balance of immediate feedback and challenge easily induce flow. Too little challenge or feedback is boring, while too much is frustrating. To stay engaged, focus on the process, not the outcome. Lastly, risk is a highly potent flow inducer, both physical and emotional. Race, climb, jump, surf, ride, create, or simply say “I love you” without knowing what the outcome will be and you will find flow.
One of the biggest barriers to flow is overthinking, along with the fact that painful memories or difficult problems we can’t logically solve often come up for resolution when we slip into a flow state. Initially, flow can feel stressful and scary. Adrenaline and anxiety are often necessary precursors. The disappearance of our egos in flow can also feel very strange and scary initially. Trust is key, along with knowing that by letting go of our egos, fears, and thinking about our problems for awhile, we can access a far wiser, more authentic, and far more capable part of ourselves.
Who Benefits From Flow States The Most?
The happiest people on the planet are those who spend the most time in flow, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances, culture, nationality, or gender. Facilitating extraordinary increases in performance, productivity, creativity, insight, learning, and cooperation, flow is also the key to accomplishment and success in any endeavor. Remarkably, the most challenging or boring of tasks become effortless and enjoyable in flow, leaving us energized and fulfilled by life’s challenges rather than burned out and exhausted. No matter your circumstances, challenges, or goals, flow provides a range of valuable, bountiful, and profound benefits. In the end though, everyone benefits from flow.
The unifying feature of the spectrum of flow, altered, dreaming, hypnotic, psychedelic, and meditative states is transient hypofrontality. We quiet the part of our brains that is thought to give rise to logical thinking; to our sense of separateness and identity; to our cultural inhibitions, and to our sense of time. We stop processing small chunks of information in a slow, step by step, linear manner based on rules and past experiences. We begin simultaneously processing very large sets of information holographically. Our brains become holographic optimization engines. We can instantly, simultaneously, and wholistically compare decades of experiences and thoughts to the present moment, a present problem, or a present intention.
Patterns, similarities, the ideal path forward, and one in a million solutions suddenly brighten in our minds. The world around us brightens, and we brighten throughout our entire being. We feel fully alive, like we can accomplish anything. At the same time we are inevitably overwhelmed with a sense of oneness, and see the world from a higher perspective. Time in flow tends to make us more compassionate, more concerned with the wellbeing of the planet, and tunes us into creative solutions that benefit everyone involved and nature as a whole.
Flow has already changed the world, and our transformation has just begun. Organizations such as Google who have integrated flow into their business models and practices have created trillion dollar industries in a few short decades, and have transformed the competitive landscape. Inefficient, extractive win-lose economic models are failing spectacularly in the face of more nimble, highly cooperative, flow inspired open-source, moon-shot, and “don’t be evil” business models. Flow is rapidly becoming a competitive necessity in the 21st century, but it is a kinder, wiser form of win-win-win competition. We win personally, everyone involved wins, and the planet as a whole wins. Embracing the power of flow, our future is indeed very bright, no matter the challenges we face.
What is synergy?
Synergy is far more than a combination of elements that creates an effect greater than the sum of the parts. In life, relationships, and business, synergy is a state of being where everyone is tuned into the greater whole, where it is going, and their role in the moment. A highly adaptive state, in true synergy roles and relationships become fluid and highly co-creative. Everyone intuitively understands what needs to happen, who needs to do it, and whether to lead, support, or follow.
In relationships, synergy means intuitively knowing when and how to give, and when to receive so that one another’s needs are always fulfilled. There is no argument, no fighting, and no fear that your partner won’t be there for you. Finding synergy in a relationship means you support, entertain, inspire, and grow with your partner in lovely ways neither of you could have predicted or accomplished on your own. For organizations and teams, synergy is that coveted state of functioning where everything works. Quality productivity, collaboration, and innovation spontaneously flow from inspired team members working towards a clear vision with a sense of belonging, connection and ownership.
From a wider perspective, attaining a state of synergy means recognizing that the nature of life is change and we’re all in this together. To truly win the game of life we all have to win, including the marvellous ecosystems we depend on for oxygen, food, shelter, and recreation. Attaining a true state of synergy necessitates achieving a state of creative symbios in our relationships, in our communities, in our work, and with nature as a whole. We have to think beyond win-win, and focus on radically creative win-win-win solutions. Individually, synergy is the path to a sense of genuine purpose, meaning, connection, accomplishment, wellbeing and happiness. Collectively, working towards and finding synergy is becoming increasingly urgent if we are to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing world.
How does flow create synergy?
Flow is an intuitive state of being where we feel and perform at our best. In flow, ordinary thinking stops. Our egos temporarily disappear into the present moment along with our perception of ourselves as separate beings competing for recognition, staus, power and resources. Flow creates a state of heightened perception of our entire environment, allows us to see the big picture, and gives us access our implicit or subconscious systems of thought.
Our implicit systems of thought are capable of processing far more information, far more effectively than the explicit systems of thought we use for ordinary thinking. Creativity and insight also flow from our implicit systems. Flow is where we discover those “Aha!” moments where we suddenly see clearly, have amazing ideas, or know exactly what to do. In flow, we don’t have to think. Our actions merge with awareness and become effortless. Rather than feeling drained and burnt out at the end of a long day of thinking and worrying, we are left energized and fulfilled after a day in flow.
Logical thinking is powerful and effective tool for simple problems with a few possible outcomes. Science, math and artificial intelligence allow us to effectively extend logical thinking to complex problems – when we have time to think, research, experiment and code. Fast moving complex systems however present us with problems we can’t logically think through in the moment. There are too many variables, all changing too fast for us to think through all the possible courses of action and their outcomes. Effectively functioning within rapidly changing complex systems like relationships, teams, or organizations requires far more intelligence, insight and creativity than logical thinking can provide in the moment.
To achieve a state of fluid synergy we have to stop overthinking and overanalyzing. We have to become fully present to what is actually happening in the moment, where everything is going, and how we can contribute to the desired outcome. As a part of a complex system, if we stop to think and analyze for too long, or apply the wrong logic based on the wrong information, we crash the system. To maintain a state of synergy in a relationship, at work, or in life, we have to lean into our intuition to rapidly act effectively and make good decisions. Flow allows us to transform intuition from a mysterious gift that sometimes works into a reliable and effective skill that consistently leads to extraordinary performance, both individually and as part of a greater functioning whole. More importantly, flow is contagious! Living and working in flow invites everyone in your orbit into flow, and synergy is quite simply the product of group flow.
How Flow Synergetics Can Help
Flow is a purely intuitive state where we momentarily let go of logical thinking and fully lean into our intuition. With twelve years of experience guest speaking in psychology classes at Western University, and twenty years of experience applying intuitive skills in a variety of capacities including life coaching, mediumship, remote viewing, and animal communication, Angie Aristone has transformed intuition from a mysterious gift that sometimes pans out into a reliable skill that can be applied to any problem or intention. Over that time, Angie has discovered multiple insights, tips, tricks and hacks for attaining and navigating flow states of consciousness where intuition takes over.
With undergraduate degrees in Medical Biophysics and Chemistry, and a deep passion for human potential and performance, Angie’s partner Rod brings a scientific perspective to Angie’s work. Working together to integrate Angie’s extensive experience and knowledge of altered states with modern scientific research and models, Angie and Rod developed the focus based flow model that answers the difficult question “How can I integrate the power of flow and intuition into my everyday life?”.
Rather than just offering simple flow hacks or inaccessible time consuming flow practices, Angie and Rod’s integrated training and coaching approach is designed to cultivate an awareness of the subtle aspects of our minds that are always present, but most of us are unaware of. In essence, Ange and Rod teach people how to access natural brain states and latent abilities most of us are unaware we possess. An inside-out rather than an outside-in approach, Angie and Rod focus on teaching individuals and groups to recognize and skillfully navigate their own states of awareness, and support clients through the personal growth and transformation that inevitably comes with time spent in flow.
Flow Synergetics Teambuilding Workshops
Combining a decade of experience speaking in university psychology classes and two decades of experience conducting workshops, Angie and Rod are adept at breaking down and explaining complex concepts into simple, accessible and practical understandings. Angie and Rod’s half and full day Flow Synergetics workshops integrate the foundations of focus based flow with experiential learning experiences that create and deepen connection and synergy between participants. A truly transformation and enjoyable experience, learning focus based flow is like learning to ride a bike – you never forget how to do it.
Flow Synergetics Programs, Executive and Personal Coaching
Consisting of weekly phone calls with Angie, text support, and a commitment on your part to spend a few minutes each day engaged in easy exercises, Flow Synergetics 8 week focus based flow training program provides the foundational knowledge for accessing and navigating flow at will, and transforms your everyday life into a playground for practicing, testing and playing with your flow abilities. Executive and personal flow synergetics coaching with Angie provides ongoing support and a deeper dive into the extraordinary possibilities of flow.