There have been times when I am doing my clients hair and I become quiet, I have a look of intensity on my face, my stare becomes centered and my eye color darkens and becomes black, I work deeply and methodically, everything around me softens. This look on my face can make my clients feel uncomfortable. Out of the silence my client will talk to me and when I process what they have said my demeanor goes back to normal, my stare is softened, my eyes relax, and I am aware of my surroundings.
What the hell is that about? Why the intensity?
From time to time when I am really feeling the experience of working someone’s hair I fall into a state of flow. The sounds around me soften and almost disappear, the voice in my head stops, and I am 100% present in what I am working on.
You might be thinking, “Yeah that’s cool and all, but what the hell is flow?”
Flow is a state of consciousness when you are present in the moment and the neurology in your brain shifts. This allows for the creativity to take hold and guide you in that moment. It is almost a form of meditation, performers enter this state when they are on stage, writers get it when they are ‘in the zone’, athletes experience this in competition, and even our Navy Seals enter flow when they are in the field.
Flow allows a person to act and react in what they are experiencing. It allows a person to enter a mind-altering experience without the use of mind altering substances. You can tap into flow in almost any activity you are doing, it’s about dropping into that experience, being 100% in that moment, then you fall into effortlessness, selfishness, and timelessness.
Why is any of this important? Flow is important because it allows a person a sense of freedom to be themselves and express themselves and what is more liberating than a personal sense of freedom. Any successful person has propelled themselves forward by learning how to hack into a state of flow. The Navy SEALS hack into flow to work in the demanding situations they are presented, Google CEO’s hack into flow when programming or designing the brand of Google, they also allow time to hack into flow in other environments, like Burning Man.
Hacking into flow doesn’t need to derive from something that you are creating. Flow can be experienced through others work, for example, if you’ve ever been to a concert, or a music festival you achieve flow as a collective group when you are entranced and lost into the music, into the art someone is creating for you.
Flow is necessary for all of us to experience, it allows us to drop the surrounding noise in and out of our head, it taps into a sense of creativity, it propels us into unusual ways of thought and different experiences in the world. Flow allows us to operate at and/or beyond our capabilities, it is the pathway to self-actualization and discovery. Flow can shift us away from patterns, feelings, and thoughts that do not serve us.
My question is, where do you find flow in your life and are you tapping into the potential of what the state of flow has to offer? If you can’t think of ways you find flow, seek it! You can achieve flow in all areas that you are excreting your mind and/or body. By dropping into the experience, you allow your thoughts to come and go as your please, let them pass like clouds in the sky with no judgement, focus on what you are working on or creating. Lastly breathe, allow your breath to move in and out of your body fully.
The next time you get your haircut and if I have an intense look on my face and the conversation dies down, don’t take it personal, it just means that I’m in a flow with your hair. This is where I like to live when working with hair, in yoga, or writing this blog, it allows me to be in tune with what I am trying to create, and this is how I create my best work.
If you would like to learn more about flow I highly recommend checking out Jason Silva’s YouTube series, Shots of Awe or pick up the book Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s topic, until next time.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF HAIR
The Geography of Hair is devoted to share experiences and stories in cosmetology and how it has affected people, myself, or us as a society.