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Finding Flow State in Joshua Tree

May 28, 2018

“Flow state” is a deeply powerful experience. In this state, we can feel free, fluid, expressive and open. We become a channel for our truest self to feel and express. We access our authentic creativity and step out of story, into ourselves.

On retreat, we come together on our mats in inspiring destinations to open ourselves up to this state, so we may fully embrace ourselves and this wild adventure we are on.

Here is a story about how I found a flow state at the Joshua YOGASCAPES Yoga Retreat and Joshua Tree Music Festival, opening up a channel for healing.

Let us start by defining ‘flow state.’ To me, ‘flow’ is the Venn diagram of Acceptance, Non-Judgment, and Surrender. If I can accept the present moment, without judgement, I’m able to surrender to the many blessings.

Flow State step #1: Acceptance
I’ve never driven 8hrs alone, I told myself.
I’ve never spent my birthday with only strangers, I told myself.

So began the story in my head during the first few hours of my solo roadtrip. A bag of Jackson’s Honest sweet potato chips, and some pop-radio sing-a-longs later, I found myself settling into a new rhetoric:

I’m on an 8hr road trip right now with my best friend (me!). What a joy!

I’m spending my birthday challenging my notions of self and adventure. Bring it on!

joshua tree music festival

Capture by Jacob Avanzato

Flow State step #2: Non-Judgement

One of my biggest triggers at festivals is self-judgment about feeling or not feeling enough like a ‘festival girl.’ Other labels I brandish myself with include ‘yoga girl’ and ‘corporate girl,’ all in a seeming synchronistic conflict of identity.

As I walked around the desert festival grounds, I observed every walk of life in perfect harmony, and felt an instant sense of community. Every generation had it’s place there: from the children making shirt pins & masks, to the 20/30-somethings contributing to community art murals, to the elders traveling from lawn chair to lawn chair chasing acoustic tunes into the afternoon sun. This festival was clearly a space of non-judgement through utter acceptance of self-expression.

Flow State step #3: Surrender

Once I accepted my solo-festival experience, that felt held in a non-judgmental community of support and self-expression, I was able to surrender to the flow. The flow of music easing out of acoustic harmonies into twangy electronic melodies. The flow of an afternoon hand pan jam into an evening jaunt by the river where I spent half an hour in a wooden box frame reverberating with the sounds & vibrations of several harps. The flow of the final Sunday night dj dance party into the entirety of the festival singing me happy birthday at the stroke of midnight.

The desert is freedom. The freedom of expansive space. The space to feel, accept, and surrender. Joshua Tree Music Festival is the pinnacle of a community festival gathered for good times and music with a single intention: love. Joshua Tree Music Festival feels like home.

See you there next time or on one of YOGASCAPES incredible retreats around the globe, as we continue this journey.