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Finding Your Flow in Life

By Julian Freeman on Tuesday January 7th, 2020

Embracing Your A-Game and Your T-game

Your heart knows the way, run in that direction. – Rumi

It’s that moment when your chest feels like it’s going to burst or you sit in quiet beauty by a river or in a garden, and feel totally at peace with yourself or that warm comfortable moment under your covers at the start or end of the day when you just know that it’s all good. You get that sense that you are part of a beautiful world where peace and harmony are always on hand.

In those moments, you are really at peace with yourself, there are no decisions to make. Things are so clear that no thought is required on which option to take, which direction to head. You have time, space and all the clarity you need to live your ‘Best Life’.

These are great times. Times when you know everything is going right, you are confident, great opportunities come at you thick and fast. It’s a place full of energy, you have great ideas, you are creative and guess what? It’s all coming together. You could call it luck, but you know deep down that it was all going to happen this way. All of these situations are times when you are at your best, a place that sports psychologists and TV commentators call your ‘A-Game’.

Where gratitude fills me for what I feel and who I am in that moment. No affirmations or positive thinking required – thank you! I’m sure you’ve been like that too … remember it? Isn’t it wonderful?

When you’re playing your A-Game you just can’t lose! Well guess what? You can never lose.

Sure there are times when you feel like you are losing; like nothing is going your way and then you think that it’s all going to go horribly and permanently wrong.

These pains you feel are messengers, listen to them. – Rumi

I used to search, almost maniacally, for my holy grail. I was looking for an ‘elevator button’ to take me to the wonderful views of life from the penthouse. The place where I could see the bigger picture of life. Sunlight and blue skies, clear air, calm and impressive. Alternatively, in the lobby, it’s crowded full of people, no sunlight and hard to see where you are going. How great would it be to step into an elevator and press the button for the top floor? My ‘elevator button’ could have been riding my bike, connecting with dear friends, doing my Tai Chi Practice, walking the dog or even reading a great novel. They all qualified, but nothing was reliable. Other times just being with my partner had the opposite effect and it was only when I left the house to do something simple, like drive down the motorway, did my elevator start to rise.

“…”Depression is on the rise for young people, and so is suicide. Image: Amy Treasure

We are human and that means we have good times and bad. Just like the rolling waves in the sea or the sun and rain in the springtime. We get to experience it all. The good news is that after the rain, the sunshine returns. After the crest of the wave, there is always the swell.

Why is that good news? It means that the peace and harmony we look for is only a moment away. No ‘elevator button’ required. If you find yourself in a bad place then know that if you just ride through it you’ll be riding the crest of the wave again soon enough.

In my life I’ve sailed yachts in seas where the waves seemed, and sometimes were, way bigger than the boat. I wondered if we would capsize or be deluged, but the wave always passed quietly under the boat. We even surfed off the crest of those waves with very little effort. It was magical! 99.9% of the time life is just that.

Have you ever had something you’ve really been dreading? Maybe it’s your tax return deadline? Maybe there is some family or relationship issue that you are really worried about? Maybe it’s a fear of failing or letting someone down? Think about an experience like this that you have had. How did it go for you? I’ll bet it turned out much better than you expected, didn’t it? Just like the yacht, your ‘wave’ passed by and you coped with it much better than you’d thought possible. Even in the unlikely event that you ‘capsized’ you are still here to tell the tale. There! Aren’t you amazing?

And all the stress you put yourself under in those situations. Don’t our thoughts go ten to the dozen about everything that could happen, should or shouldn’t happen. Was it ever warranted?

Lord Tennyson said of finding motivation, “I sit down to write at 9:30 every day and my inspiration arrives at 9:35!” However talented a writer he was, I’m sure he had his off days, just like the rest of us.

So there’s something even bigger at play, a superpower we all have to hand, available to us at all times – I call it the ‘T-Game’ (The Trust game).

“…”Depression is on the rise for young people, and so is suicide. Image: Moises Alex

Back to my TV commentators for a moment … if you were watching tennis on TV you’d see a player hit the first serve and second serve very differently. On the first serve he can give it everything and go for the win. That’s the A-Game. If he misses, no biggie he gets another go. The shot he makes on the second attempt, when he is under pressure and needs to work the percentages, is just as well played but in a totally different way. It’s his T-Game; perfect for the situation he’s in and there to take him into a more positive place where he can go for the win once again. T for Trust. Trust that you are enough — because you are always enough.

There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen. – Rumi

Do You Know How Big that is?

At all times you have the capability and the resources you need. Your intuition never deserts you. Even when you are totally in the grip of some circumstances that seem to be ‘rocking your world’ you always have your T-Game to serve you.

Even when things don’t feel like they are going well, you have at your disposal the ability to make the right decision, do the right thing and come through it better than you would ever have thought possible. Take today. As I write this I’ve had a very difficult twenty-four hours. My personal values have been sorely tested and yet I’ve done business and done it well. I’ve stayed focussed and written this piece when I could have been highly distracted by the circumstances that surround me. Yes, the T-Game Rocks!

But don’t we always feel more fulfilled when we are going for it? Using all our life given talent? The thing that works for me here is to relax, take it easy, just like the tennis player composing himself between games. I can rest back into the harmony of life, like sinking into a lovely warm bath. Then, I come back fresh and see whether my A-Game has returned. It might not happen straight away but I know that it will sooner or later and that’s when life gets really fun!

Like a top professional tennis star, you have your A-Game and your T-Game to serve you at all times. You are a complete player in the game of life. You are ready and fully able to ride the waves and the swell of life with no stress and sympathy for the prevailing weather that gets you to your destination every time. Know you are the captain of your own ship, one that’s unsinkable, and when you know this you can be satisfied that whatever the weather, you’ve got it covered.

~

What are some of the ways in which you recognise when you are in and out of presence and flow? What are some of the strategies that you adopt to get back in the game? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

May your serve be ACE and your game be swift

Much love

Team UPLIFT

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Words By Julian Freeman

 

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21 Responses to Finding Your Flow in Life

  1. I love the analogy of the T Game and reading this and the comments made me think about how I get my T game going. For me its been doing the gentle and compassionate work of trusting myself before applying trust in my life. This meant learning about the blueprints I received early on in life and how my self trust and worth was never fostered and a big empty space was there instead. Filling that space with evidence I am trust worthy was the major building block to using good second serves. Without that I didn’t even know I could use a racket or even play tennis!! Thanks for the wonderful exchanges to Uplift and everyone else.

  2. Thank you. You said it so perfectly. I had to navigate life for 70 years to come to the same beliefs in these principles. Experience is a great teacher, but we don’t alwas see things clearly while we are in ut. I am sharing this because it is so relevant so all of us, and a great “heads up” for the young ones.

  3. When I was in my mid 60s I had a terrible meltdown —— lost confidence in myself and had complete nervous breakdown. Luckily I had plenty of vacation due to me, so I took 3 months off work to recouperate. I did not understand why I let myself and my company down !
    On my return to work after plenty of self analysis and prayer I recovered my self confidence and was promoted to a position of authority. In that position I managed to influence the transfer of 9 good people from under performing projects to new jobs in new locations.
    In all probability, if I had not had the breakdown, this opportunity would not have afforded itself to me or them …
    God moves in mysterious ways!

  4. That describes how I have been feeling during the last few days. Things fall into place. I have been here before but what tends to happen is that I begin to drift. I stop doing the things that keep me well and revert to throwing myself at the next shot. Making time and creating space to make connections with my ‘wise mind’ is how I come back to my A game. Going at my own speed helps too. Most of my life I have felt like a record that’s being played a bit too fast. You need to hear the tune as it was meant to be heard.

  5. Your article has made some good points. The A-game does not always show up, but it is there lurking in the background ready to surface. For it to surface, we sometimes need to be patient with ourselves. The key is to make sure we join the game even when the A-game is not seemingly at hand. It will show up with time. I have always been a slow starter requiring time to warm up. For example, I find physically when I run it may take 30 minutes before my flow kicks in and my running is smooth and almost effortless. I have a hunch that is not that different from many people. Those first minutes are difficult and it would be easy to stop, thinking this is too hard and painful. If I stay with it, however, the lungs open up, the blood flows, the muscles warm and the most wonderful, powerful feeling comes over me.
    The same kind of warm-up period is needed for almost everything I do. Even conversation in relationships can be difficult until you break the ice and warm up. The T-game comes with experience, practice. and perseverance. That second serve does not come as easy as you suggest. It requires skill and lots, lots, and lots of practice time.

    • Thank you for sharing Dale, you make a valid point – everyone is different and will find their flow in different ways and at different paces. I’m glad to hear you’ve persevered and found your own rhythm with it 🙂

      Blessings,
      Team UPLIFT

  6. This post gave my partner and I a breakfast topic today. Good job, thanks for the inspiration to always know, we got this!!!! <3 Thanks

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