Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
I’ll admit it. I never really “got” sports.
In school, I wasn’t athletic (you mean I was supposed to get out of the way of the dodgeball?), and I only began paying more attention to what my body is capable of out of vanity (yes, I too went through my OMG, I need to burn more calories phase).
Mind you, I wasn’t a complete couch potato growing up.
I was lucky to have found dance at a young age – and by “find,” I mean my parents enrolled me at age 5, and despite being scared to death and dancing at the back of the stage, I stuck it out for 13 years, learning to love being in my body.
But even after I began to understand the importance of moving my body simply because I ENJOYED it, I really didn’t get the point of watching sports.
What could I possibly gain from being a watcher rather than a doer?
A whole lot, it turns out.
In fact, watching the NBA playoffs with my boyfriend this past week has opened my eyes to the amazing lessons we can learn from some of the world’s greatest athletes.
During these intensely competitive games, you can feel the energy on the court right through the TV screen, and there is a marked difference between those moments when the team seems fully connected and in their flow and moments when there is clearly a disconnect from that flow.
So I began to ask myself: what was the difference between these moments and how could I replicate it in my own life – or had I already?
You’ve probably experienced being in the flow at some point in your life.
What felt like work started to feel easier, pieces of the puzzle fell into place, answers seemed to come out of thin air.
I know I’ve had those moments in my life – more and more so lately now that I’ve recognized the sneaky voice of my ego and am choosing love over fear more often – and I knew there must be some overlap to what I was doing and what these great athletes were doing in their lives.
So I explored this idea further and discovered these 5 lessons from the world’s greatest athletes about being in the flow:
1. See it before it happens and believe it’s possible.
Visualizing is NOT just for the woo-woo at heart; the world’s top athletes know how to see that ball go in before it happens, and usually before the game even begins. Visualization is such a powerful process as it speaks directly to the body and subconscious mind, so if you haven’t daydreamed lately, it’s time to pick that habit back up.
The power of belief is also demonstrated through these athletes; you can see it on their faces as a knowing – that moment of “yes!” Of course, if they do begin to doubt it, you can sense it too, and that moment that their belief in themselves wavers is the moment that they break that flow.
2. Focus on the present, while keeping an eye on the bigger picture.
Basketball players have to be in the moment – the game simply moves too quickly for them to spend their time anywhere else. Their focus is right there, on the ball – but they never lose sight of the next play.
Click to tweet>> Being in the flow means staying rooted in the NOW, without forgetting the bigger picture. <<Click to tweet
Don’t let your ego fool you into thinking this is impossible; our minds are capable of so much more than we give them credit for, so simply set the intention to stay present with an eye for the bigger picture, and trust that you will.
3. Create a plan, and then fully commit to it…but If the plan isn’t working, stay open enough to listen to your intuition to change the plan as needed.
Ah, the power of the plan.
Before every game, you had better believe those players are huddled around in the locker room discussing strategy and a concrete plan of action. After all, our conscious minds crave order and structure – even the most creative among us.
There are many ways to create a plan of action – if you’re stuck at all in this area, I invite you to seek out a coach to help you get clarity on your ideas and get organized on the steps it will take to create them.
More important than your plan though is your willingness to change the plan if it’s not working.
In fact, it is more than likely that things won’t go exactly as planned – the key is to surrender to what is and recognize the opportunities that a new plan presents.
4. Always, always, always keep the energy moving.
This is the real mind-body connection; being in the flow often means being out of your head and fully into your body.
That doesn’t mean you turn off the thinking mind, but rather turn up your ability to think quickly on your feet and turn down the judging, worrying mind that keeps you from taking action at all.
The best way to get out of your head and into your body right now is to get back into your senses (click here to try this easy 5 Senses Guided Meditation to try it for yourself).
5. Surround yourself with a team you trust.
Napoleon Hill speaks at great length about the power of the Master Mind in his book Think and Grow Rich (one of my current obsessions), and I have witnessed this in my own life time and again.
Granted, these ball players don’t have 100% choice in this area, but that shouldn’t keep you from making that choice.
Unless you are living alone in a cave, you are going to have to rely on other people to help you in some shape or form in creating your life.
Why not choose your team – the other players, your coach, your fans – and surround yourself with people you trust to develop your ideas and manifest your dreams?