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Have You Ever Been “In the Zone”?

The car was out of control. Veering and spinning across the highway, it didn’t respond to the steering wheel or the brakes. It was only going to stop when it ran into some immovable object.

I realized in that moment that there was nothing I could do to influence the outcome. I was entirely powerless.

And in that moment of recognition something wonderful happened. I became entirely calm, entirely still. I knew there was nothing I could do, so I was free from any pressure to do anything. All I had to do was watch and wait.

Time slowed. My perceptions became sharp and vivid. I was curious but not concerned about what was happening, unworried about what the next moment would bring. My mind was clear and open.

Afterward, I thought Why isn’t my experience always like this? What exactly made me feel so free? Is it possible to feel this free all the time? And I set out to find the answer.

You may never have had such a dramatic experience, but I’m willing to bet you’ve had a taste of what I’m talking about.

Have you ever been “in the zone” when playing sports or video games? That same sense of clarity and flow is what I felt.

Have you ever gotten lost in the beauty and wonder of a sunset, a mountain scene, a seascape? That same sense of freedom from care is what I felt.

Have you ever gotten so involved in an intricate bit of craft work or art work that you lost track of everything else, “lost yourself in your work”? That same sense of focused presence is what I felt.

Have you ever been so carried away watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a book, that you feel afterward like you’ve been taken away from yourself on a journey? That’s also what I’m talking about.

All these states of mind are reminders that we are naturally free, that tension and worry are artificial discomforts we impose on ourselves because we’ve never been properly taught how to relax, how to go with the flow, how to be focused without being uptight.

What have I discovered? Those are skills we can learn. That’s why I wrote The Relaxation Solution, so you can discover them too.

Adapted from The Relaxation Solution, available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook on Amazon and elsewhere. See purchasing links here. For announcements and special offers, sign up for the newsletter.

Published inStressWriting
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