Flow: My Safe Zone

June 22, 2017


I want to help you identify Flow. Here is how I identified my own. 
Early Life & My Safe Zone

Since the age of 5, I’ve been a musician. Music has been a huge part of my life and its undeniable involvement of my life has been a passion of mine since the time I could appreciate its intricate structural details. I’ve always had an eclectic taste in the music I choose to make the soundtrack of my life. I feel the choice of genres interplay to help create what I experience to be my identifiable safe zone. 
 I remember, as a child, choosing music that reflects my natural vibe as well as music that reflects my emotional state. This is a familiar concept as humans enjoy familiarity and identifying with their choice of entertainment. However, as I develop my musical career and fine tune my artistic delivery, I notice more than ever that I feel satisfied, safe, and free to express myself without consequence during a performance. 
As self-aware humans, I feel we all try to achieve a high level of emotional intelligence. In efforts to exercise my own emotional intelligence, I navigate life with a cloud of neutrality. This neutrality manifests as the choice to reserve heightened emotional reaction in response to various occurrences in life. This emotional reservation is intended as no disregard for anyone around me. It is more so in order to more effectively problem solve and maximize the experience of interpersonal relationships. So in contrast, my personality craves this safe zone. 
The Safe Zone, Itself.

When I'm in the zone, I feel completely comfortable and present. The only time that matters is the moment. I achieve this easily on stage while playing the drums. The significance of my surrounding diminishes, and I'm able to close my eyes and bask in my immediate comfort. I’m able to shed tears. I am able to burst into laughing hysterics if the time calls. I am able to be as flavorful as my heart desires. I can dance like a wounded duck if I feel the urge. I can unleash the unrefined primal self who constantly seeks to be released from the suppressive judgmental prison of social norms. 


This safe zone exists as a judgment free cognitive state that allows for expression to whatever dynamic needs be. Time spent in the safe zone should be used for therapeutic purposes as the experience is nothing less. Intention is everything as you reach your safe zone as intentions directly guide your actions. 
This safe zone allows a giver to become selfish without perceived malice to anyone around him/her. This puts the giver’s mind at ease and allows for a guilt-free submergence into the safe zone. The safe zone is a mental state where self-advocacy is expected and appreciated by the ones who share the experience.
The experience:

The experience is the collective vibe centered around the one(s) who are currently existing within the safe zone. Remember intent? The intent of the one existing in the safe zone directly guides the mood/vibe of the experience. The momentum potential within the experience is high. There can be overwhelming moments of love and connection or it could manifest as a more malicious energy like a riot for example. ​

​The experience is what has brought me to the interplay of massage therapy and psychology. The safe zone surrounding psychology exists in the intention behind field which strives to explain human behavior for the benefit of everyone. The safe zone surrounding massage therapy exists in the desire to help individuals heal physically, mentally and spiritually. 

The experience is how the arts and music originally caught my attention. The experience in the context of music manifests as the sounds of the music itself, the delivery of the chords, the passion in the phrasing, the freedom in the motions of both the performers as well as the dancing audience. The experience encompasses the mood. The experience is the identifiable shared element between the the safe zone and reality. 



In positive psychology, I believe the concept of flow lives within the experience and the safe zone. In positive psychology, the concept of flow is the full submersion of one’s focus and involvement in the moment. Experts say the people who spend more time in this state of mind achieve more happiness in life. For example, flow can be described as the state of mind a child settles into while coloring or playing with their favorite toy. As an adult, I can identify countless experiences surrounding music achieving the state of flow. As a musician, I can identify the moment I am fully submerged in my current moment. I call this submersion my safe zone. I believe the safe zone is really me allowing myself to enter flow. 


I say all this in hopes that it will help someone else identify their own flow in life. I genuinely want (that’s the giver in me) others to experience this momentary peace of mind and allow it more regular involvement in your life. The therapeutic benefit in unparalleled. To spread love, one must start within. 
After quality time is spent in flow, I am left with this euphoric feeling of satisfaction in the world around me. I experience true peace of mind. Love starts from within. #SpreadLove
 Michael Hatter, LMT.

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