Hello Pygmalion Me!
"To feel completely at one with what you are doing, to know you are strong and able to control your destiny at least for the moment, and to gain a sense of pleasure independent of results is to experience flow" - Mikhaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow in Sports: The keys to optimal experiences and performances, 1999).
Csikszentmihalyi gave a TED talk in 2004 about the principles of Flow. It's a little heavy on the psychology, but everyone can relate to a time when you have experienced this state of mind. A spontaneous and yet effortless feeling you get when you are "in it".
While I learned about Flow in the context of athletics, I have found that it pervades my life, no matter the endeavor: writing, reading, teaching, cycling, yoga. You can't force Flow, but when you're in it, you know. And, as you practice being more mindful about the activities in your life, you find yourself there more often.
There are conditions to Flow. The most important condition Csikszentmihalyi terms The Challenge-Skills Balance. Basically, you must tackle situations that are slightly (*emphasize slightly) out of your comfort zone, but you have to develop the individual capacities to achieve the task at hand. For example, if you've never been out for a run, a marathon is not a good place to start (duh). But, a well planned one mile route - on a sunny day - with a friend - is a perfect beginning! When I was the director of an amazing non-profit called G-Row we used to call it "high challenge, high support". You have to present yourself with a slightly out of reach situation for which you are prepared to succeed.
This brings me to "Pygmalion Me!". The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon that says the higher the expectations that are placed on a person (*within reason), the more likely they are to succeed. A self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
(Note - This can also work in the negative, so let's stay positive, people!).
Why is Pygmalion relevant to your health? Because it demonstrates the extraordinary effects of having a strong support system in your life. Both physical and mental health require that you are surrounded by an environment that can lead you to conquer your greatest challenges - to Flow. You won't find it often, but when you do, you will be astounded at the way it will change your perspective of the future, of yourself, of life.
That is what Strong-Process.com aims to be. A piece of your support through movement, food, life. A sometimes guide, sometimes friend, sometimes confidant to accompany you in your personal pursuit of excellence through health.