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Getting into a Trance State for Flow

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Follow the below directions:

Initially, make yourself comfortable, either sitting or standing, and focus on one small area out in front of you.

Pick a spot that is above eye level. Maybe this is a small section on a wall or a tree outside; whatever you choose make sure it doesn't move. Focus on this one area, finding new detailed information the longer look. Keep your eyes on this one spot, staying fixated, and gaining as much information as used on the small detail you can see.

Over thirty seconds or so, allow your tunnel vision to deepen; blocking out everything else other than the 1-2 inch square. Slowly become more and more aware of the detail within this small single point.

After fixating on this one small area for a couple of minutes, AND WHILST KEEPING your eyes transfixed on this one spot, allow your periphery vision to widen. Start to see what is to the left and right of the spot you are staring at. Keep widening you periphery vision until you can see the floor and ceiling in front of you.

Note: This peripheral focused attention is essentially what happens during our performances. When we are focused on the task at hand, whether that is looking at a tennis ball or our partners arm as we perform a complex dance move. Our eyes maintain a fixed focus point, whilst our periphery actually picks up all the detail the body needs to know to carryout the activity. In tennis, for example, the focal point is focused on the ball, whilst the periphery is taking in vital information such as how far away the net is, where the opponent is moving, where the line we are aiming for is positioned, and so on. Every microsecond, the subconscious is busy digesting and adapting to the information absorbed by our periphery, so that we can make the best shot available to us.

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As you take in the periphery visual information, start to become aware of other senses and sensory input. Maybe, you can feel the wind against your face, the clothes against your skin, or the ground beneath your feet. Maybe you can hear noises around you; both close and far away. Allow all your senses to become heightened as you become fully connected to the moment.

Turn up the senses like you turn up the volume button on a remote control. Become fully immersed to the sensory experience of the now, just as it is. Stay in this space for as long as you can.

Train your mind to stay connected to the moment; experiencing it without the grip of the conscious mind.

You may start to notice thoughts come in and out of your otherwise clear mind. When they do, simply acknowledge them and then let them flow out, as you would a leaf that floats past you in the wind. Simply be aware of them, and let the leave as quickly as it arrived. Instead, focus on connecting your senses to the moment.

If you want to take the training up a notch, see if you can intuitively feel what is happening behind you, to the sides of you, below you and above you. Allow you presence to be all around you, almost as if you exist outside of your body.

The above practice normally elicits a slight state of trance, a light state of hypnosis, a possible gateway to flow. The more you practice getting in and out of these states, the more you will become aware of trance states already existing in your day-to-day life. These trance states are very similar to the light trance states we experience when driving a car on auto pilot, or loosing time when we are engulfed in surfing the internet. We are doing what may seem a simple task without the conscious interference of stress, fear or other conscious thoughts. We do these task without the narrative of the ego or the rhetoric surrounding our self-image; we simply act, just like when our body breaths, or pumps blood round our body.

Trance states, like flow, are less inhibited by our conscious mind, they do not engage identification with the ego. These altered states of consciousness allow us to function more effortlessly, more efficiently–just as we want all our performances to be.

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