Dancing salsa has taught me one thing above all others: It’s all about the flow.
What does the word “flow” mean to you? What images come to mind when you hear it?
Perhaps more importantly when it comes to your own creativity, is a state of flow something you’re on first name terms with, something you know how to find and ride? Or is it a distant, vague concept you remember glimpsing once or twice briefly years ago?
In salsa – or in any partner dance – the best dances are those where the music, you and your partner all seems to absorb into one blurred liquid entity – the dance. You forget where you are, even who you are, and just let go and dance. And you feel like a superhero.
So how do we get into that flow? What’s the secret?
In dancing it’s a combination of many things. A track of music you connect with and love. A partner who have you a great chemistry with and are able to communicate with in a split second, someone who can interpret your every subtle lead and hand motion. And, of course, you need to be confident enough in your own dancing to be able to just get out of the way of yourself and, well, flow.
This of course doesn’t just happen by chance.
You can’t buy the flow, you can’t get on a fast track to it, there are no secrets and no short cuts.
Whatever anyone’s natural ability, to become more competent and more expressive in their chosen ways of creating, they have to get the flight hours in. Or, in this case, the dancefloor hours in.
The only way you’re going to be able to find and feel that creative flow more often – in dancing or any other creative expression – is to practice.
This is all about developing that underlying flow, that baseline creativity that is always there, an eternal source to draw from and the beginning point for your best creative moments.
Without this flow, your creative experiences will always be a struggle, maybe even painful, rather than enjoyable and rewarding activities.
Think of your creative flow as having a level of fitness. If you were a runner and trained by running half a mile only once a fortnight, you’re not going to be in very good shape for a 20k race.
But train a little each day – build that underlying fitness – and it’s so much easier to raise your levels a little more for a new running challenge.
Exactly the same with creative flow. Nurture it daily, many times daily. The more you do, the more easily you’ll find your flow.
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