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How to increase your energy for performance & to shine? Running, moving, breathing in Flow
Written by Nila Matthews
Backstory: The Pain – to Yeah – to Boo Hoo Squish:
I have been overly excited and overly nervous about the weekend of May 20th 2022 since February. Why? As I lay injured on a worn sofa gazing at the beautiful white mountains, beating myself up for my spectacular fall down a Red Ski slope in France, I received an email asking me to present at Chris Evan’s Run Fest Run. Yes, I did jump up for joy, then cried happy, yet painful tears!
I love Chris Evans as he just gets the link between science and spirituality of ancient wisdom and the connection to your wellbeing and performance. I was ready to perform something new, my Embodiment session, designed to talk to and move your nervous system, mind energy and soul to get you out of stuckness to heighten energy. All this wrapped up in methodology with the theme being: balancing your divine feminine & masculine for your power.
And then – Boo hoo Squish it got postponed.
So I offer this – short article on energy, flow & how to increase your performance with flow. Why it works and Wim Hof breathing to improve your performance and recover quickly!
Flow is an optimal state of being and consciousness where we feel our best and perform at our best (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, psychologist). Flow is also the path to self-actualisation, our intuition and inner knowing, known by eastern philosophy for years. Still, science is (finally catching up with and) proving we have an enlightenment circuit in our brain (Dawson Church, Bliss Brain), and we can ignite it. The enlightenment circuit to inner knowing and Flow.
If you’ve seen Free solo (the movie documentary of a free climber, who puts the I’m possible, in im-possible), a deep meditator or even surrendered to the deep joy of running, you will have experienced Flow.
My brain scanning studies showed clearly that the unconscious brain works much faster than the conscious. When your mind, heart, nervous system and energetic body combine and you surrender to the ever-present now – where yesterday and tomorrow do not exist, you have awakened a flow state.
There is a process to flow, (which I won’t cover here, but) my goal is to awaken Flow, not as a fleeting state but as a way of being. Surrendered to the freedom, joy, clarity and creativity that Flow provides. I also aim to access the added benefit of helping you to tap into your inner knowing and intuition so it can flow for you and to you.
What’s a non-negotiable to flow?
Movement: moving energy. If you run, jog, do yoga, and just move with conscious intention, you’re raising your vibrations and energy to allow the process to start and the brain and energy alchemy to begin. The alchemy to alter brainwaves states, from high-beta (stress) to cross to the brainwave states to allow Flow, the alpha state and beyond. Of course, you can do this in meditation, but we need to raise our vibration.
Raising your vibration is critical. Why?
Because we are energy first (as suggested by Quantum physics), our bodies are just ‘matter’ (slowed down dense energy). We need to raise the vibrations to get our brains in the right states (as mentioned above), then release the right chemicals (endorphins, dopamine etc.) and provide life force energy to fuel us.
Can you feel the energy (good and bad)?
I’m sure you’ve been in a room with someone whose energy was low or angry. We often say you cut the atmosphere with a knife because energy travels just like energy waves. We all feel it as it ripples. Then you meet people like Chris Evans (runner and meditator) whose energy is light and loving, and it’s a joy to be in their presence.
In his book Mapping Consciousness, Dawson Hawking maps energy and shows that energy has a scale from low (helplessness, anger, fear, doubt etc) to higher (love, reverence, joy). But as energy is a wave, we all have the power to impact others; being conscious and being purposeful with it is critical to your well-being and others.
Yes, we have that power. But, we need to harness our energy and, therefore, our power.
How to harness our energy?
Firstly, be conscious of it. You matter, your energy matters, and you take responsibility for yourself; you only control you but your energy can impact others. Entrain it your energy so they meet you at your high energy, not be bought down to a lower vibration.
Raise your energy?
Raise your life force, chi, prana, and mana (Hawaiian) energy. I always say, give some energy, and it will give back tenfold.
Run, shuffle, liberated (don’t care who is watching), dance – just move. I love liberated dance to awaken my Flow; it’s a non-negotiable for my creative Flow to get over stuck-ness and self-doubt, I’m not good enough, self-trash talk. I incorporate movement, sound, chanting, and guided visualisations into my embodiment sessions, to help shake out and cut through old negative energy and self-doubt.
But, suppose you are injured like me (my knee injury continues), you can still raise your energy and vibration quickly.
For centuries the greats and wise chanted to raise vibrations and cut through energy, but you have to do it with feeling. Heighten feeling is the critical ingredient, the fertiliser for creation and manifestation—the difference between an affirmation (blah) to an incantation, the power to transform.
Why is that important?
Your brain is in a box (I say that a lot), and my teacher on an applied Polyvagal course (about the Vagus nerve and nervous system), Dr Ariella Schwartz, author of Post Traumatic Growth, says that the body and mind are bi-directionally connected, with 80% of the signals going up to the brain from the body (Afferent). This means more signals go up to the brain, rather than the other way round. This is why talking therapies are, neuro-biologically not going to help alone to deal with stress, and anxiety or helps with performance, i.e. mind over matter rarely works alone.
We need to feel, move and engage from the inside-out; move the body, engage and tone the nervous system and do it with a strong feeling of “Yes” or Hell-yes. A felt sense, so the body knows and pays attention. When I run and meditate, I’m constantly saying, with feeling, well done to myself or “You’re awesome“, to use B.J Fogg, author of Tiny Habit words (a behavioural expert).
Also, where you place your attention (with feeling) is where your energy flows (Dr Joe Dispenze). Being conscious and then rewarding your brain, (which is in a box looking for a stimulus) is critical in laying down the memory that you’re doing well. Encouraging you to repeat the action and making it easier next time
The power of breathing to flow
Breathing is also amazing. Yes, I know your brain can do it without thinking, but are you harnessing the power of breathing?
Wim Hof in his book, Wim Hof Method, talks about the power of the breath to rid your body of the acid that creates inflammation when exercising (or falling down a mountain and getting injured). Inflammation requires alkaline to reduce inflammation; fuel your Vo2 max for improved performance, or cleanse other toxins that you no longer need (alcohol)?
Also, intentional breathing has the power to excite and energise your system (activate the sympathetic nervous system –Inhale), or calm, centre and ground you (parasympathetic, exhale), rest and digest. To be at best, we need to dance between the two states. Pranayama (Prana, life force & Ayama, liberation) has been used for centuries to dance between the states. I love Wim Hof breathing for peak performance and reducing inflammation, especially now I’m injured (and cold showers), but other breathing techniques can cleanse or activate your flow.
Other styles of breathing that I teach, are more centred around heart-opening and releasing stuckness, or even just cleansing, or balancing the brain to create. There are many styles depending on your goal, and they all are essential to optimal health, brain function and your life force flow.
Tips if you are injured
I mentioned I’m injured, but the brain is in the box (told you I say it a lot), so I visualise running with the feeling, so I’m still running (in my head), wind in my hair, long graceful strides and the smell of the countryside. The power of rehearsal is amazing and it’s easily done with a guided visualisation. My embodiment practice wraps it all up and moves the body, mind, and energy to flow and hear your soul.
I’m passionate about awakening flow in people so they can awaken their Flow for transformation to get unstuck, stop feeling doubt and sabotaged and heighten their creativity, performance and, of course, innate intuition. Whatever you do, Go Flow!
Watch this space for two free meditation to for flow in running and Breathing for peak performance
Nila is a neuroscience and behavioural expert, intuitive intelligence trainer, and creator of Awakening Flow.
Her service is as unique as the intersection that she sits; the intersection of science, spirituality and technology wrapped in Goddess mythology. As the creator of Awakening Flow, she works with corporates, entrepreneurs and individuals to understand unconscious processes and energetics and gets to the root of the unseen. As a soul & flow coach, she helps individuals find their purpose, heighten their creativity, heal and open up to their intuition.