Jars of Joy: In a state of flow

If you have ever been in a flow state, you know what I’m talking about.

The concept of ‘flow’ was first proposed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He described flow as an optimal state of consciousness, a sweet spot where we’re so absorbed in an activity that everything else seems to fade into the background. 

When we enter the flow state, remarkable changes occur in the brain. Our prefrontal cortex, responsible for self-awareness and judgment, quiets down, allowing other brain regions to synchronize and work harmoniously. Neurochemicals like dopamine and endorphins flood our system, enhancing our motivation, creativity, and wellbeing. (source.)

Today, three school mums and I spent hours in the school kitchen making relishes for the annual fund-raiser at the Einbunpin Festival. And I was in the flowiest flow state I think I have ever been in.

For those of you who know me well, you will know that last year in the role of coordinator took a toll on me, to the point where I wasn’t sure I wanted to run it again this year. The onset of peri-menopause and the stress that added certainly didn’t help! I did a lot of the cooking at home on my own, and could only really make enough to fill 12 or so jars at a time. And even this would take a couple of hours with all the prepping and cooking and sterilising jars and filling jars and cleaning up, and it would usually be interspersed with washing and making snacks or other housework.

This year I agreed to run it again, but a little differently. Firstly I am not aiming for 1000 jars, and secondly we are doing big batch cook-ups at the school. Today was the first of these and my gosh it just went so well. I was just in the zone and with three other people to help with all the prepping and sterilising and clean up, we managed to make about 60 jars in four hours. And I think we can do even more next weekend, now that I’ve got the hang of the kitchen!

Our accomplishment for the day!

I have honestly been euphoric all afternoon. I got home and made dinner while chatting to a friend, then had a glass of wine while I was cleaning up, and I just had the urge to crank the music up loud and sing my heart out. And to my joy, Julius joined me in the kitchen to sing along. I really wanted to write the post then, in that heightened state, but I also wanted to sit down with the kids and watch a movie, which was the right choice.

So here I am now, slowly coming down off the high, but still feeling the affects in a buzzing kind of way. A HUGE thank you for all the people who helped out with looking after my kids so I could do this, and another HUGE thank you to the three mums who took time out of their Saturday to lend a hand – I could NOT have done it without you!! I’m already looking forward to next weekend, and I know we will get heaps done again. This is how it should be – a team effort where many hands truly do make light work.

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