Table of Contents
- That magical flow state where time slows down and space stretches
- Don’t try so hard, let your subconscious do it for you
- Without losing, there is no winning
- Expand your Senses Beyond the World
- Your opponent is your best friend
- Bringers of the Dawn
That magical flow state where time slows down and space stretches
The magical, wonderful, amazing state of flow, where t i m e slows down and s p a c e stretches. How many more times am I going to write about this? Many more! I’ll write a whole book about it one day! It’s one of the most delightful, delicious, desirable things a human can experience.
The reason I talk about playing tennis so often, is because it’s where I have most often been in the zone. Sometimes I maintain the flow state for several weeks. In that state, I win every match, even if the opponent is normally better than me. If my momentum breaks, it can take weeks before I get back into flow. Because I am a coach of optimal performance, I closely observe the factors causing flow and falling out of flow.
There are levels of flow, from simply lucid and “things working out to my favor” all the way up to supernatural. That’s when the ball looks as big as a beach ball and floats toward me in slow motion, as if I had all day to position the racket. Someone just hit a serve into the far corner at 70 mph. My jumping there and scooping it up would be next to impossible without the flow-state. My skill certainly isn’t at that level yet. I am able to whip the ball where ever I like with incredible velocity and precision. But this magical level is rare. It might be too windy, too hot or I might be playing with someone who has a bad vibe. But those are excuses. Were I to intend flow more deeply, I could also get into it in bad circumstances.
At the highest level of flow, I’m not even trying. It’s a blast. “He/She makes it look so easy” is what they’ll say about you. An athletes reflex actions, the position of their body and their tools (in my case a tennis racket), one’s focus and timing (judgment of time, space and velocity) are all inner, mental and emotional processes. That’s why success in sports is not only a matter of physical training but also mental and emotional training.
Flowy Golf players who get a hole in one have reported that it felt like the ball traveled on a straight, pre-determined laser-beam and the hole seemed gigantic. Flowy Quarterbacks have said that time slowed to a point to where it seemed they had all day to find someone to pass the ball to and their pass was like a magnet to the receiver. Flowy Soccer players have reported feeling in this state, like shooting a goal is unavoidable and can often predict that it will happen within minutes (and it does).
So how do I get into this state????????
If only I had an answer to this question that always works! I wish I knew! But there are a few behaviors that prepare the ground for a state of flow. I will explain them using Tennis as an example, but they apply to all other areas (beyond sports):
- Soft Focus. Rigid Attention is the greatest block to flow. Attention becomes rigid when we feel under pressure through our own expectations, the opponents superiority, unresolved emotional issues, etc. Focus becomes too hard and I stare at the ball, the opponent or elsewhere. In this case, I need to slow down. It sounds paradoxical that slowing down would increase my performance, but that’s exactly what happens. If I myself s l o w down, the ball s l o w s down. A trick I often use is to hit the ball slightly later than I normally would. This puts me into an e x p a n d e d mental state because it assumes I have more time to hit the ball. Even if I do not get to a state of magic, it puts me in control of myself and the game. I just wait about 1 second longer. Yes, this applies to other things too: On your next phone call, why not wait 3-5 seconds longer before responding? Your answer will be more to your liking, because it will be more conscious. Another way to soften attention is to stop looking or staring in the same way. I’ll begin noticing the clouds, the surroundings, the trees, the hills, the birds, the players on other courts. This opening of attention, softens attention. When attention is fixated, there is a drop in awareness. The flow state is high awareness (but without effort). Soft Focus is neither a loss of focus nor over-focus.
- Let go of Worry. Typical concerns are about winning or losing. What others think of you. What you think of others. That it’s too hot or cold. The way to let go of these during play, is to acknowledge that they are there and intend to release them on the out-breathe. Simple as that. Unless something is a big issue for you, then you require an Emotional Releasing session. You might think that “wanting to win” is a good thing, but it won’t help you with Flow. Have you ever noticed how you play much better when you no longer care whether you win or lose but play for the sake of enjoyment? Yes, you should intend to win, but that’s different than wanting to win or worrying about it. It’s a brief intention at the start of a match or phase.
- Fully Embrace the Situation As-Is. Letting go of mental resistance, supports Flow. As long as you are not 100% committed and present, you won’t experience flow. If you are wishing or thinking of being elsewhere, doing something else or if you are distracted, you won’t be present. Eagerly being “into it” will create flow. This is a different state than being a dissociated observer. The dissociated observer state is also useful, but not for flow. In flow, you are not the observer but fully identified with what is going on. Reality gets an effortless, liquid quality, because there is no observer-self monitoring the situation. It’s as if you are slightly drunk, with a mind deeply at ease, but without the unconsciousness or unawareness of drunkenness. One could say it’s a meta-observer, not a critical-observer that’s present. The meta-observer is aware of what is happening, but has no preference or label on what is happening.
Soft Worry-less Focus and Presence support the state of Flow. Having an opponent similar to your own level also helps. If the opponent is much worse or much better than you, no back and forth momentum can be developed.
I’ve been able to transfer the state to Business, Family and elsewhere. Just the other day, I told someone to buy certain stocks. He did. He made thousands of Dollars within a few days. What he doesn’t know: I know nothing about that stock. Then why did I tell him to get it? Intuition. Intuition comes from flow. It’s inexplicable. Magic. In flow, you often know things but don’t know why you know them. It’s a no-mind state. I have a long History of accurate predictions. But if you press me to explain how I knew these things, I couldn’t tell you why. Intuition doesn’t follow the rules. “Fred, you are not supposed to do it that way!” I have often heard, in different contexts. But I do it anyway, and it works. Why didn’t I get those stocks? I’m not into stocks, I find it boring. Following things you enjoy (rather than things that bore you), supports the state of Flow.
How to be in a better flow with your Partner, Spouse, Friend: Be present without expectation. Present, label-less attention is the greatest gift you can give a person. And if you could just put your phone aside for some time and put your own opinions and automatic-responses and beliefs and prejudices aside for some time and just be open to…whatever!…you can get into a flow state with your partner and surprising things can happen.
When you are on vacation, is it better to plan or to “go with the flow”? My definitive answer to this is: If you are unable to get into flow, it’s much better to Plan. But if you are practiced in higher states of consciousness, it’s better to be without a plan. My solution? I choose the effortless, intention-less, definition-less no-plan vacation. But just in case I don’t get into flow, I have a backup-plan. I do the same for Seminars. My seminars are done spontaneously. But I have a backup plan just in case.
Can the magic of flow be used in Gambling? Yes it can, and no I don’t. In Basketball there is a term called “hot ball”. That’s when a team has momentum and every ball seems to go in. In Casinos, there is a term called “cooler”. That’s someone who comes in and disturbs the energy just in case a person is in a too good of a flow. The trick to using flow in gambling is to quit the very first time you are out of flow. Don’t be tempted to continue. You might be in flow and make several wins. But if you make one single loss, quit. Then you still have a plus. However, I don’t gamble. Why not? Because there are so many better ways to use flow. Casinos and online betting is always rigged against you and the scene is full of seedy and desperate characters. The Get-rich-quick-mentality often found here, is poverty-thinking.
Negative people and events disrupt flow. Honesty supports flow. Suppression disrupts flow. Free communication supports flow. The most common flow disruption comes from being too ambitious. Over-focused people never enjoy the stuff they work so hard to achieve. Nor do they ever achieve anything without hard work. In flow, work is much easier. If you hope to attain flow, you neither under-perform nor over-perform. You hit the sweet-spot in the middle.
Don’t try so hard, let your subconscious do it for you
There are two ways to achieve something. One: Sheer willpower, practice and concentration. Two: Effortless intent and letting go. You visualize the desired outcome and then let go to let your subconscious or “the Universe” take care of the rest. Both ways are legit, but the second way is rarely trusted, even though it can achieve greater results.
Today I’d like to give you a direct experience of the power of the second way. For this experiment, you will need a target to shoot at, and a ball or projectile. A bow and arrow. Or bottle and a ball. A golf club and a hole. A tennis racket, a ball and a bottle. A soccer ball and a goal. All sports have the deeper purpose of learning about these two types of manifesting.
Method 1: Take 10 shots at your target from a distance that makes success moderately difficult. Do it with the “trying hard” method. Using concentration, repetition and will, try everything in your power, to hit the target. Note how many times you hit the target. If you did not hit the target at all, note how close you got.
Method 2: Now take around 30 seconds to relax, breathe and visualize hitting the target. Imagine the motion of throwing or shooting and then hitting it at the center. Then, let go and take 10 shots at the target. Don’t “try to hit the target”, just trust your body, allowing it to throw or shoot in that general direction, without monitoring or controlling. If you miss the target, do not worry, continue to trust that your body knows better and will dutifully follow what you visualized. Note how many times you hit the target. If you did not hit the target, note how close you got.
Find a way to repeat this exercise in different ways, perhaps with different tools over a few days, so that you learn the difference between the two modes. I mean it: Repeat this exercise! Your life could depend on it! Wouldn’t you love to learn a much more effective way of Being?
There is nothing wrong with the first way. Concentration, Willpower and Practice help you eventually achieve the goal. After some time, you’ll be able to hit the target more often. If something does not manifest with the second way, you can always resort to the first way.
But the second way is magical. It requires less effort at greater result. Most people who conduct the experiment, are surprised that their body “somehow knows” how to move to hit the target. They get more hits than with the first method.
Have you ever visualized body movements or sports while falling asleep and wondered why your arm or leg suddenly jerk on their own? They follow the orders of what you imagine. All of creation follows the orders of consciousness.
The challenge is in letting go/trusting. Normally, if there is a miss or failure, the mind goes back to relying on itself and its concentrating, willpowering, efforting, gripping ways. I highly recommend you continue trusting, even if there are mistakes. You visualized it and your body has learned and will start adjusting. If you can deepen the trust, your body will be able to do things you thought are impossible.
Fortunately, visualizing outcomes and letting go, not only applies to the body, but to life as a whole.
Most people naturally have this state when they do something for the first time. If they are relaxed about it, it flows effortlessly. Later, as they accumulate too many assumptions about it, they lose natural ease and the intervening mind takes over. This intervening, controlling part of the self is the fearful self.
The second way does not lack interest. It’s an attention different than concentration. More of a relaxed awareness. But not so relaxed, that it’s dull. It’s a trust that comes from the heart.
Taken from a future (2021-2022) book by Frederick Dodson titled “The State of Flow“.
Without losing, there is no winning
“What if I don’t make it as a singer? I’d feel like a loser. Maybe I should pursue something more realistic” a student recently told me. The word “loser” stuck out at me. Losing is one thing, defining oneself as “a loser” a whole other. With a sense of compassion, I responded:
“A loser is not someone who loses a challenge, it is someone who doesn’t even try, out of fear of losing”.
I lose a lot. That’s a good sign. It means I don’t shy away, I participate. Not participating in life because you fear losing, is much worse than losing.
I enter a sports match against players much better than I. Even though I know I will probably lose. Why? Why not just avoid the humiliation? Because I can learn the most against opponents who are better than I. Only the insecure require everything to be “safe and easy” – all that cozy comfort won’t help you grow. There is much to learn in losing and “not making it”.
Sometimes I take on projects that might overwhelm me at first. Or I enter projects that might not make me much money. I don’t mind “losing”, because of this:
Any inventor failed a thousand times before they had a breakthrough.
Any baseball player had a thousand misses before they hit a home run.
Any money investor can tell of hundreds of misses before they learned how the market works.
But if you’re afraid of losing, you won’t allow yourself to fail even once. And then you can never learn the game. So you can never succeed at it. So it is true that…
Losing is a part of Success!
I win some, I lose some, but I keep playing. Even if I lose, I learn and grow. I get stronger. If I hadn’t played to begin with, there is no growing.
If my student pursues a singing career, she will either make it as singer, which is a win, or she won’t. Then she will learn. Which is also a win. Either way, she wins.
It’s not win or lose, it’s win or learn.
With this philosophy, you leave no space or possibility for failure. Instead of discouraging competition because you are afraid of there being a “loser”, you realize that every experience is of value. Success is not an event, it’s a process that contains many “wins” and “losses”. But success can only happen by entering games, projects, tasks, contexts, realities. So do not avoid challenges, social encounters, new tasks, new jobs and a couple of risks, be eager to play.
Expand your senses Beyond the World
“If you were a fish in an aquarium, your field of awareness wouldn’t expand beyond a few inches in the water. You probably wouldn’t even know you are in an aquarium and a slave to whoever comes to purchase you for their home. Some parent might walk in and buy you for the entertainment of their child. Expand your awareness and you might have an awakening and realize you are actually in an aquarium.
And you’d communicate to your fellow fish that there is a whole “higher realm” out there. A much more expanded place. Greater beings living outside of the water! But they won’t understand you, if their awareness hasn’t expanded to that point yet. You will have found out that staying above water for a while is hazardous to your health. The best way out for now, is by leaving your fish-body and travelling by spirit.
Now you experience the whole pet shop. It’s such a mysterious and gigantic place. And there are a lot of strange beings there. Some nice, some horrifying. But you have not yet expanded to a point where you realize that the pet shop is only a small part of all that is. As you grow in consciousness you become aware that it’s in a building and that this building is one of many. And then one day outside of the pet shop you see a tree. It is beautiful and has a scent you have never smelled before. That’s as far as you get for now so you return to your aquarium and tell of an awesome place called heaven.
Some of us are like this fish. We are aware of a little more than the aquarium, but much less than all-there-is”.
Quoted from the book “Levels of Heaven and Hell“
by Frederick Dodson
Your opponent is your best friend
This is taken from a section in my upcoming book “The Flow State”.
A lot of people are averse to “beating” another, feeling that “winning” is at another persons expense. So instead of trying to win the game, they focus on playing well. This no-desire state can be relaxing, as it lacks Ego. But it’s based on a misunderstanding of the purpose of competition. Competition has little to do with the Egos rigid focus on subduing others. The flip-side of that rigidity, is lack of determination. The sweet spot is in between the two: You can have intention to win, that does not involve all the worries that go along with it.
External obstacles let you learn about your abilities and limits. Once you realize that, competition becomes your friend. Losing, failure, competition and challenge are tools of self-discovery. Yes, opposition is a mere tool, not the dramatic disaster some people make it. Every goal and every game has obstacles to overcome. Without them, there is no game and no growth. The bigger the obstacle, the more ingenuity and courage it brings out of you. If there is no opponent, focus weakens. Competition allows you to achieve peak performance.
“Winning” is not about bragging or oppressing others, it’s about potential. Your potential. The path to a goal is more valuable than reaching it. It was never about the goal, it’s about who you become as a person, while overcoming obstacles. The goal is merely the carrot stick that lures you onto an obstacle-course, where you can grow. Regardless of whether you have achieved your goal or not, look at who you have become while pursuing it. You might as well believe in a fairy-tale goal that doesn’t really exist, but if pursuing it makes you better, who am I to argue?
Your “opponent” is your friend. This friend tries to make things as hard as possible for you. He or she is helping you learn and become better. Just this little re-frame of what opposition means, can reframe your whole experience of life and the world. Then, instead of an ordeal, it becomes a fun play.
In playing tennis, I remember a time that I was hoping my opponent makes a bunch of mistakes. “Yes, hit into the net! Yes, let’s see you double-fault!” I wished. After I changed my attitude, I began to hope that my opponent is strong, well, healthy, fit, successful, possibly even stronger than me. This shift made me a better player and also put me into a stronger position to return the ball. Nothing is gained by hoping for a weaker player, just so my Ego could say “I won the game”. Sure, I did want to win, but more importantly, I wanted to grow my skills. Winning against a weaker player doesn’t feel like much of a win. The real “win” is not the final outcome, it’s learning and growing during the game.
This shift in attitude also meant, I let go of worrying about other players lack of skill. If my opponent wasn’t good enough, I used to go soft on them, playing easy balls. But how could they ever develop if I only went easy on them? So I began playing balls I “knew” they “couldn’t get” – and it turned out that indeed, sometimes they could get the hard balls. My “compassion” had not been helping them stretch beyond their current ability. A lot of so-called “compassion” really isn’t. It’s pity, which is truly disempowering. How do you feel when you are across from someone who has pity with you or views you as weak and helpless? That doesn’t mean I now play all balls hard, without consideration. A person can enter flow at a level slightly above their comfort zone, when the challenge is neither too hard, nor too soft. But today, I mostly play my authentic game, without worry about how it will be taken by others. I am responsible for my game, they are responsible for theirs. This manner of Being, makes things flow smoothly. The exception is, when there is a player several levels below mine. Then genuine compassion arises and I intentionally hit the ball to help the person get into their own flow. And so we live our lives, developing our own skill and flow and helping others achieve theirs.
Bringers of the Dawn
I first read the book Bringers of the Dawn by Barbara Marciniak in 1993, when I was 19 years old. As I do every couple of years, I was packing boxes of books for giving away and I came across the old book. I flipped through it, reading a few lines. I wasn’t expecting much, having all but forgotten what the book was about. I was surprised at how current or timeless it sounded. It might as well have been written this year. These are the passage I read:
I couldn’t agree more.
The “game” is to keep us separated and in a low frequency. Winning the game, is to first raise our own frequency and then unify with others in the pursuit of the good, true and abundant. And even though 2020 seemed like things were falling apart, people have really become more interested, awake and unified than ever before. They are asking all the right questions about Health, Government, Freedom, Community, Civil Rights, etc. But it took a crisis to awaken from complacent comfort.
The book is vintage reality creation and I decided not to give it away just yet.