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Flow State: Harnessing Altered States To Achieve Excellence

Recently, I sat in on a lecture at The Farm Soho, in New York City, hosted by Vitamin R Studios. With seven panelists we spoke about “flow state”, which could be more commonly understood as being “in the zone”.

With so many distractions today, especially with the technology of cell phones, computers and social media, I find it more difficult now than it was before these technological advances to be able to stay fully focused.

Flow is a mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the tasks at hand or activity.

Speakers at the event included: David Straus – Tech CEO, Author and Fortune 500 Purpose Coach, Nitin Ron – Dr. of Neonatology, Expert Surgeon on Premature Babies, Meditation Researcher. Casey Supple – Award Winning Fundraiser, Global Philanthropy-Super-Connector and Meditation Teacher, Anita Teresa Boeninger – Founder of the Sex & Medicine Summit and the Embodied Femme and Justin Ritchie – Professional Poker Player turned Master Yoga Teacher and Whole-Life Mentor Exploring Neuroscientific Consciousness.

Dr. Nitin Ron was asked what is flow state for you?

Nitin explains the process of when he is called into the Intensive Care Unit in the operating room of premature babies and saves a baby that was born without a heartbeat. In the moment of taking the laryngoscope to see the very tiny vocal cords and inserting the premature baby breathing tube (which is 1mm by 1mm) into the vocal cords, he is in his flow state. If he misses, by 1mm, he will not succeed. During this process, he takes a deep breath and releases all attachment of failure and success and is just in the moment. He states that there is no distinction between him and the baby, that he is one with the baby. The moment that he gives back a baby with a heart beat to their mother, there is one second the mother looks at him with utter love and utter surrender. This is the flow state that people need to be in.

Nitin was asked, what puts you in a flow state? One way Nitin is able to achieve flow state is by having utter self acceptance of himself. Trying to discover himself in the Himalayan cave for 10 days. He climbed this mountain 4 times. He isolated himself in the cave in the process of trying to discover himself. He mentioned how one of the scariest things in the world while being the cave is yourself. While being in the cave alone, he went into the deepest places of his mind. There has to be utter self surrender and utter self acceptance of yourself. The biggest lesson he learned this time in the Himalayas was about self compassion. If you can not love yourself, you cannot love others.

Another way Nitin is able to help him achieve flow state is by expressing love and compassion. While meditating, there was a wild mountain dog, (closer to the wolf family than the dog family) in the Himalayan mountains next to him growling. Nitin calmed him down by putting his hands on his shoulders. The dog stayed with him for 10 days and protected him from the mountain bears. He explains that if you have love this will break every boundary and barrier.

A third way Nitin is able to be in a flow state is by putting an active effort in appreciating being in the present moment. He explains that most of us could possibly learn this principle from premature babies. He states how around six weeks of being in the ICU, the babies tend to let out a large, genuine smile. They don’t think “oh i am a premature baby”. Instead, are living in the moment. Nitin advises to not let the past come into the present because it is water under the bridge. Learn from your past but after that, let go.

You can check out the full video here: