The Language of Flow

The Language of Flow

After reading Ben’s piece from Friday entitled, Easy or Hard, I thought I would write a little about language. How we use it, and how it can help and/or hinder us as we try to create change in our lives.

Each day as I work with clients, I am constantly monitoring the words they choose to use and how those words affect their body, mood and workout in general. Often, we’ll use words that although benign in nature, using them causes a sense of stagnation and struggle. A perfect example of this is the word fine. People ask how you’re doing and the short answer is “fine.” In this case, “fine” means you really don’t want to know and I really don’t care to share.

But what the word “fine” really does, when injected into a conversation, is kill any sense of flow or feelings of well-being. Try this - as you sit reading this take a moment to center yourself. Take a couple of open and flowing breathes. Now, out loud, say “I’m fine.” Repeat it a couple of times. Notice the change in energy within your body. What do you feel? When I do this this I can feel my energy stop flowing and my system shut down.

This shut down is caused by the lack of harmony between what I am saying and what I am feeling. It really doesn’t matter if I’m feeling great or horrible, the word “fine” doesn’t flow with either one of them and therefore, the energy gets blocked and stops flowing.

For example, let’s say a client comes in and he’s not doing well. His knee hurts and walking is obviously uncomfortable. I ask him how he’s doing and he says “fine.” The conversation and the energy flow stops right there. His words and physical reality are out of sync. Because there is no balance between his statement and his pain, the energy cannot flow between them. He’s essentially stuck right there.

But let’s say that he’s not doing well and I ask him how’s he doing? He responds, that his knee hurts today. First, by voicing that his knee hurts, I can confirm the obvious visual indicators of his pain, he’s limping and grimacing with the statement that his knee hurts. This builds an energy balance and a sense of flow between what I see and my clients experience. From here, I can build on that energy by asking about what happened to his knee and what he’s done to treat it to this point.

By furthering the conversation, I continue to build the energy between his perception of what happened to his knee and what he really feels physically. This harmony between perception and reality allows for him to give me the necessary details to design a viable treatment plan. This interaction also creates a sense of flow between he and I, that builds the trust necessary for me to help him with this problem.

The harmony of thought, expression, and physical reality creates a sense of flow, which is critical for positive change to happen.

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