It’s Just What I Do

 

“How do you do that?” asked my new friend. I quickly started assessing what part of my life is she referring to? This isn’t the first time I have been asked that question. I assume she’s wondering about the early hour I get up. Even though I’m not sure what she is asking about, I know how to answer the question. “Because I love it.”

This was the story I had just shared with her….

Monday mornings I happily wake up at 3 AM. On a perfect day, my eyes open at 2:55. That gives me validation I’m supposed to be waking up at such an early hour. My husband joins me at 3:30AM for green smoothies. I leave the house at 4:30 to start my 75 mile commute (one way.)  I workout near the office, and I’m sitting at my desk at 8AM to start my 13 hour day. I have worked a 13 hour day on Mondays for 20 years. I haven’t always had a 75 mile commute. That started 2 years ago when we started a purchased a run down farmhouse and turned it into a wellness studio. My husband works there full time. His main job is running the business. His part time job is finishing the renovations.

During the work week, I am a therapist at a domestic violence program. I work with victims, perpetrators and children who witness the chaos. I have done for 20 years.

Turns out my new friend was wondering how I to work with perpetrators of domestic violence. I’m aware this work is not for everyone. Many of my clients have done horrible things. The kind of stuff people have a hard time listening to without getting upset. My responsibilities there are to educate, hold people responsible and believe change is possible. When I’m working with abusers, I am focused on helping them make a turnaround for the sake of their partners and children as well as for themselves. Does it always work? No. But there are so many different examples of change/success/achievement. There’s a lot of room for growth and improvement. I love being in a position to assist someone in this process.

My new friend was wondering if my job has altered my view of the world. I started my career with a positive attitude about supporting people through life’s transitions. If anything my experience has strengthened my resolve that this work is part of my life’s purpose.

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe”~ Albert Einstein

Our attitudes have a drastic impact on how we see things. From the minute I wake up I decide to be happy and optimistic, even though I will probably be exposed to appalling examples of human behavior. I see life as a journey filled with opportunities to help others and ourselves. This view point is what makes my work possible.

When I am actually doing the work, I am in my “flow.” I know in that moment, I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing at that time. When we hear about “flow” we don’t typically envision a lady facilitating a group for abusers. We might think of someone running a marathon, playing the piano, or painting a masterpiece.

Flow has been defined as an experience when doing a difficult task but it feels manageable. When explaining  your flow, the description might be, “it’s just what I do.”

Flow can occur many times through out the day. I feel it when I get up at 3AM. I feel it when I whip up a green smoothie. I feel it when I drive 75 miles. I feel it when I workout. I feel it when I run any kind of group or talk to people that contact me for support. I feel it when I blog. I have felt flow when I help my husband with renovations! Flow doesn’t mean the activity will be easy. It just means you are in your zone doing something that feels right.

Today is Sunday. My flow this afternoon will involve sitting on the couch snuggling with my husband, dog and cat. I know in those moments that’s exactly what I should be doing. I have a lot on my to-do list. But I know my favorite Sundays are filled with down time.

 “Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”` Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Where’s your flow? Do you think you can develop flow around things you might not initially enjoy? Do you think attitude and beliefs effect flow? Can you see the little, tiny rainbow in my picture?

 

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. maryruth16 says:

    A really interesting post. For me, flow is all about fully connecting with the moment through focusing on the activity and I agree wholeheartedly with the Csiksgentmihalyi quote.
    Where I’ve experienced (and still experience) flow is during endurance exercise (marathons/cycling) & also when writing a story (once it’s started to develop). The initial stages definitely require a lot of effort though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. plankful says:

      So true! Most of the time when I start writing I think, “this sounds stupid.” But if I give it a chance, I really can find my flow! When people say they want to exercise, but have profound negative feelings about it, finding flow is harder. I believe our bodies are meant to move! We can help people find an activity they may like more than others. But people need to be open to changing their beliefs that liking exercise is possible! I’m sure when they hear about your flow for endurance exercise they have to think, ” if she lives that, what can I love?” It motivating!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite a lovely article. Your life sounds purpose driven and full. It’s a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. plankful says:

      Thank you! It does feel that way ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. DaisyWillows says:

    This was a pleasure to read. I’m so happy to be connected with a lady like you who thinks like you do. More of this kind of thinking is needed. Yes, it is true flow isn’t always something that just goes with it. It does take hard work. My flow today; A work out, blogging, reading blogs, being with my family and just being …

    Liked by 3 people

    1. plankful says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Encouragement is validates flow! Enjoy your flow today😄👍

      Liked by 2 people

  4. abbiegrrl says:

    Well-written, and thought-provoking. It causes me to consider times when my life flows. I work with similar folks to tge ones you do, and that is one time I feel that I’m “flowing”. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. plankful says:

      Thank you so much! Flow is awesome!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so great! We all should do what we love and love what we do.
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. plankful says:

      Thank you so much!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    Without an optimistic viewpoint, it’s difficult to put one foot in front of the other in this world. Some days it can be difficult to conjure that positive attitude, but in many ways, our health and wellness depends on it, doesn’t it?

    Thank you for visiting my site. Much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. plankful says:

      So true! I look forward to checking out your books!

      Like

  7. And from this story that flows so well, I’ve learned so much. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. plankful says:

      That’s a huge compliment coming from an English teacher! Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Erica Herd says:

    I admire the work you do and your attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lee Anne says:

    Love today’s blog! Being single parent with two kids, one in grade school and now one in high school in another town, and both that place sports…I find the flow often changing. Prior to this school year wake ups were at 630am, now they are at 5am. I never thought I would be able to function that early but now it flows great. With each change from season to season, child to child, and varying work schedule, I have learned to just take one day at a time and go with the flow! I am still not sure I could run your marathon schedule starting a 3am…but I commend you for your amazing “flow” and how you incorporate so many ways to help others while doing it.

    Like

    1. plankful says:

      Thanks Lee Anne! You have amazing kids! You have definitely found your flow with parenting! You have also have the gift to make people heal through massage. Taking life one day at a time helps us stay in the moment and appreciate all the good stuff. Hey! You mentioned writing the other day! Have you ever thought about starting a blog? You should! I have been introduced to so many fabulous authors! I think you would love it, and find more flow through blogging!

      Like

  10. Miriam says:

    A wonderful post. You certainly do lead a life of purpose and I commend you for the work you do … and the early start to the day! And what a contagious, positive attitude you have for life. My life is flowing when I’m with my family and we’re all on the same wave length, at the dinner table is good or when we’re out camping and amongst nature. Thank you so much for a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. plankful says:

      I loved your camping post!!!! Magnificent!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Miriam says:

        Thanks so much.

        Like

  11. plankful says:

    Thank you! Everyone finds flow in different places. I’m so glad my post got people thinking and appreciating their own flow. It’s easy to take it for granted! But life is much fuller when we are grateful.

    Like

  12. helloleaa says:

    Such a brilliant article, but I’m still in shock that you can get up so early. Bravo to you!

    Like

    1. plankful says:

      Thank you!!! Lol!!!! It sounds more shocking than it really is! I woke up today at 2:59 and smiled!

      Like

  13. When I first started reading your post I also though ‘how the hell is she doing this?’ (meaning the getting up so early and this gruesome commute). But when I kept on reading I kind of got it. You are happy doing what you are doing. This way it doesn’t suck all energy out of you, as unhappy occupations tend to do. I recently discovered the Japanese concept of ikigai, the reason for getting up in the morning. Sounds like you have found yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. plankful says:

      I am going to google ikigai! It’s amazing what we can do when it’s on purpose!

      Like

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