“One of the strongest signs of being in the zone is a sense of freedom and authenticity.” _ Ken Robinson in The Element
Once I got to this sentence in Ken Robinson’s book The Element, I had what I call a Pause Moment. That is the point I have to stop reading and ponder the statement. What activities do I engage in that envelope me in a sense of freedom and authenticity?
I decided that I am completely in the zone when I am facilitating a learning event and when I am designing my jewelry.
I will start with the designing jewelry, because it does not surprise me that I go into the zone with this one. I spent hours alone as a child in my room creating. I would sculpt clay into caricatures of animals. I still have the felt mice I painstakingly designed and assembled complete with little dressing gowns. I would lose all sense of time assembling and painting model cars, planes and boats.The world would melt away freeing me from stresses of not fitting in. I didn’t have to worry about trying to be someone I was not, blissfully enjoying being my authentic self.
Therefore, it is no surprise that designing and assembling my jewelry puts me in the zone. It is the identical creative process of seeing how I want something to be and then physically making it happen.
It is a surprise that facilitating a learning event puts me in the zone!
I was painfully shy as a child. I participated in two school plays. One at age ten and another at age fourteen. I was petrified! While I had my lines memorized, I am sure I looked like a deer caught in the headlights the whole time. I took drama classes, but that ended abruptly when we had to do improv and I burst into a full blown anxiety attack of tears. Public speaking was avoided at all costs, and I sure as heck was not on the Debate Team.
Yet here I am experiencing a sense of freedom and authenticity doing key note talks, teaching workshops, and facilitating women’s groups. I lose all sense of time; a two hour workshop feels like ten minutes. Remember that improv induced anxiety attack? Inspiration flows and I improvise my words to adapt to my audience. I am completely and freely in the moment. I am completely ‘in me’, my authentic self.
How on earth did I go from avoiding public speaking to actively seeking it out?
It isn’t really a mystery. I found what I am absolutely passionate about. I am driven to guide women to tapping into their personal power. I believe in the benefits of this personal power so much that talking about it is natural. Actually, try and stop me talking about it!
The result of this reading Pause Moment is the conclusion that there are two ways to uncover what your zone is.
1. Think back to your childhood
What activities did you engage in that gave you a sense of freedom and authenticity? Activities in which you lost all sense of time and you simply knew what to say or do. Then think of things you can do in adulthood that have similar aspects of your childhood activity. I was not designing jewelry as a child, but I was working with both my mind and my hands to create something pleasing and tangible.
2. Explore what you believe strongly in
What gets you excited and energized when you talk about it? What do you seek out new knowledge and information on? In what way can you share your passion with other people? I read everything I can get my hands on about personal power and I continually take courses to strengthen my power. My form of passing on this passion is through workshops and key note talks.
Each and every one of us has something that puts us in the zone. That provides us with a sense of freedom and authenticity. If you haven’t uncovered what that is, no worries. My frightened tearful little girl would be in total awe of the darn near fifty woman talking to a packed theatre. You will discover it.
In the comment section below, tell us what puts you in the zone.
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