When I run, sometimes, I get in a zone where I feel so relaxed and peaceful. Endorphins kick in and probably are helping, too. I enjoy the stillness; it is so soothing, energizing, and decompressing. It gets me in my flow; everything becomes so effortless. I have experienced getting new insights, new ideas, or new ways to look at a situation or problem, unlocking new answers.
I feel so relaxed and focused when I am writing or preparing for presentations. There is stillness, and sometimes, I even forget where I am and who is around me. There is an oasis of calm in the middle of noises, even if I am at a very busy Starbucks where there is music, people talking, and so much activity going on.
I love to go out in nature. The change in experience engages me, making me forget everything else. When I return to routine after that, I can focus on work better, relate to other people more quickly, being more productive, think more transparent, and am more energetic.
I think the common thread in the three experiences is losing myself. I am no longer drawn in or distracted by thoughts in my mind. It allows my innate intelligence or intuition to emerge, popping up aha moments with insights.
Another way to look at it is, being in the grind of a daily routine is like standing in the middle of a forest. I can see a few trees around me, but I can’t get to see how big the forest is, which other types of trees are there, what is the terrain, etc.? When I look at the forest from an aircraft or top of a mountain, I have a much better overall forest perspective. Losing myself in moments is doing something similar to my ability to observe. It gives me a broader or higher big-picture perspective to the forest of my thoughts. It naturally allows me to be a more effective witness; it makes it easier for me to let go and detach from the bind of emotions.
I think losing myself in something that I enjoy – running, hiking, cooking, reading, writing, coaching, presenting, storytelling, etc. – also helps me remove my thinking shades.