Thursday, April 30, 2009

the zone

in my this girl post a couple of weeks ago, i mentioned the zone. it's the feeling that i get when everything is clicking, my energy is high, i'm wearing the right clothes, having a good hair day and i can actually SEE people around me being caught up in the sheer force of it. but as i said in that post, i have no control of it. i can tell when it's there, but i can't make it come. i wish i could, because i'm extremely convincing and i always get my way when i'm in the zone. that and actually seeing people be swept up in it are the best parts about it.

certain places are more sure to make it come than others. one of them was associated with my old place of work and one is actually where i work now. so it might have to do with good scandinavian architecture. but i also had moments of being in the zone long before i ever even imagined visiting scandinavia, so it's not only that. i was once totally in the zone on a train speeding through the macedonian countryside on a warm summer night. i have no idea what brought it on, but the train conductor (who was thankfully harmless) found it very compelling and kept lurking outside the coupé.

husband says at those moments that i'm "beaming life," and it was what attracted him to me, lo so many years ago when he was someone else's husband and frankly, i was someone else's wife (but i digress). but i think that what it comes down to is a sense of energy that can almost be seen.

i'm not actually sure how much it has to do with the people around me, but it would make sense that it has something to do with them. i don't know if it's so much that they make me enter the zone or that they prolong it once i'm there. i probably shouldn't actually overanalyze it too much, but you know me, i have to try to pick things apart and understand them.

mostly because i'd like to be able to control it. i'd like to be able to wake up and say, "i'm so gonna be in the zone today!"  but that's simply not how it works.

so i try to enjoy it when it happens. i watch the reactions of people who are hit by it full force. they sometimes have a slightly awed look, or they look like they've just had the wind knocked out of them. some of them try to play it cool and act as if they're in the zone themselves. but it's disarming. it might be why sometimes people tell me all kinds of things, things they wouldn't normally say. or they try to prolong the conversation, hoping that the energy will stay there so they can soak some of it in. or they just hover nearby, not entirely daring to say anything.

but when i'm in the zone, there's plenty of energy for all, so it's not like they're stealing it from me. it's kind of like those old doritos commercials where they said, "eat all you want, we'll make more," the energy is like that. the more people take it to themselves, the more there is. like an endless bright glow of energy. i found myself wanting to assign a color to it, but my mild sinaesthesia tells me that it's different colors all the time, depending on the situation, it's not just one color.

i suppose you can tell that i had one of those days today. i had so many ideas and i felt so excited about what i was doing and discovering (perhaps it's that that puts me in the zone in the first place). the very somber, but sweet man who sits across from me, calculating energy curves and the wave effects on paint coating and how much CO2 it saves if you sail at a certain speed, was knocked quite visibly off-balance, but you could see that it was in a good way. and that he didn't want it to stop. and neither did i.

do any of you know what i mean? and how would you describe that feeling? the zone is just the words i've assigned to it. i've also heard it described as being in flow. what do you call it when you feel it, because i think we all feel it on occasion.

oh well, i'll stop obsessing now and just be grateful for it when it comes.

23 comments:

marathoner81 said...

Yes I kind of know what you mean...Today I was able to get in my running zone for the first time since I've strated running again. My energy level was good, I maintained a perfect pace, and most of the time I didn't know that I was actually running. I got lost in the sites around me.

My word verification is: hogerine, as in..Someone brought cookies into my office and I'm going to hogerine them.

Kamana said...

i totally know what you mean, but i have to say that those days are few and far between for me.

Amanda said...

I do know that zone feeling.
My zone-feeling is that my heart is racing, in a good way, and I can't control my thoughts enough to slow them down to get them written down.

I sometimes have them frequently and other times, months and months go by without the feeling.

I can't imagine how much power I could provide if I could just harness that energy somehow!

Bill Stankus said...

Yep, know the Zone. Often when I'm in either the studio or workshop - I begin to work and the next thing I realize, hours have passed and good things were done.

Somethings, after working in the Zone, I say to myself, "Wow, did I do that, where did that cool thing come from?"

Eliane Zimmermann said...

i call this feeling "the brothers-in-arms-feeling" as I heard that song INSIDE my head when I that flowing sensation for one of the first times, maybe even for the first time. I had a good night's sleep (on a matress, as my father was visiting me in my college-appartment and sleeping in my bed) and while waking up I felt that graceful flow in me, around me, above me, everywhere! and that music was playing aloud without any technical device... somehow spooky but real and blessed! cheers from Ireland Eliane

avidrealtor said...

in the zoneis a great feeling.. like you can take on the world ... or at least the guy standing in front of you on line at starbucks... http://stopbeingsheep.blogspot.com/

Sara said...

I LOVE that feeling! I call them my Rock-Star days as in "today I am a total Rock-Star!".

Glad to hear you're having one of them!

1000 Filanges said...

Julochka,

Thanks for that; it was the shot in the arm that I needed today as today I'm having one of my "Panther Days" (as refering to the poem by Rainer Maria Rilke). Still, on the days or in the midst of the moments that I am fortunate enough to feel "the zone", I feel truly blessed.

I found you while exploring my new Blogger.com account. If you wouldn't mind, I may reference this blog post in one of my future word posts at my blog, www.mysecretvocabulary.blogspot.com

Also, you write well and you seem to have a life-view that is very much in tune with one of mine. Have you written any books/poems that have been published?

Too much for a comment maybe, but thanks...

- Josh

Mal* said...

Hey, darlin'. Have you ever heard of "Flow" as a psychological concept? It was mostly crafted by a psychologist named Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. I'm re-reading his book right now in preparation for posting a review of it on my website. I think it's sort of what you're talking about. Actually, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi asserts that you CAN control when it happens. Neat stuff.

Emmy said...

I just love your writing. It's always so full of energy and creativity. You describe things so well. I want to be half the writer you are. I read your blog everyday. Kudos to you!

Char said...

:) love the zone (when it happens) and you're so right about it being unpredictable. but i actually think that's part of why i like it so much.

Bee said...

Yes, I do know what you mean. Not only energy and drive -- but also something very like euphoria, at least for me.

Other people can enhance it, and maybe even kick it off. I feel it more in the city than in the country. (I NEVER feel it in a small town.) I'm also highly sensitive to weather, and there is a particular kind of spring weather that never fails to gee me up.

Sadly, I also have a (corresponding?) low/dullness/lethargy. Do you?

p.s. I missed your "this girl" post the first time around and I really enjoyed reading it. It reveals quite a lot about you.

Carlotta said...

Yes, I know what you mean. A few years back a friend of mine use to talk about this very phenomenon. I never thought about it before until she brought it up. She described it as positive energy when you feel secure with yourself, life and God. It's as though all the hangups and phobias you have disappear and the real you emerges. I've seen it's affect on people. It's just like you described, people are very drawn to you in a upbeat sort of way. People smile more. It's a great thing to experience when it happens. I'm glad I read this.

- Just me said...

I think the major thing that allows for it to happen is when your happily surprised by something, and it just keeps piling on (and you tend to forget all the small negative things).

While forcefully trying to get in the "zone" in the morning might not work, it doesn't hurt. I think it might increase the probability you'll have a great day.

cheekyketek said...

Interesting.

In a related way, I feel like that when I'm teaching. I'm all energy and sparkly light. But then I get home and I'm zonked. So I know it's not quite the same as your zone (because, ahem, I *am* an introvert, after all).

Boomka said...

I had a perfect hair day once. It was my 16th birthday. That was 10 years ago. Damn it!

Convolgulous said...

Perhaps you are not given the power to bring "the zone" on because then you would be unstoppable and you would destroy the world?

enchantedartist said...

I'm going to have to read your thisgirl post...but I too, know that feeling of being in the zone. It would be bliss to turn it on at a moments notice, wouldn't it? Maybe we need to work on that...:-)

Extranjera said...

Often I think I'm in the zone, but then I realize I'm just hopped up on coffee and/or sugar. So unless scaring others with very bad latte breath I don't think I sweep up others into my forcefield of caffeine.
Also, I'm pretty much never wearing the right clothes. Must shop more in DK.

Extranjera said...

there's supposed to be the word 'counts' somewhere in there.

Mike said...

For me "being in the zone" doesnt necessarily feel like I am at the center of the universe like a bright star commanding events. Rather my perfect moments are when different forces are in perfect alliance creating positive buzz of energies that feed off each other. I can only describe it as being in harmony with the world. It is not about me. It is about you and me.

An Open Heart said...

I read this post on the day it was posted and wanted to comment, so, I came back to contribute. The Zone is awesome and I do know exactly of what you speak. I find that I have more than one zone....related to any of my creative endeavors, that is when the zone gets HIT. When I am in the kitchen and am crafting a complex cake or a concoction of whatever is left in the fridge from the week before and I'm hoping to make something edible and when the concoction is complete and it is actually edible, the zone has been visited. Or, when I'm editing photos on the computer and I'm lost in my pics and just keep working them until they speak to me and then I print them out and I come out of this reverie and realize I was in the zone. Or, when I am cutting, sawing, sanding, soldering a particular piece of jewelry I have been working on for a few hours and I look up and realize it's been 5 hours and my creation is worthy of actually wearing.....I get the comfort from knowing I was in the zone. And, yes, there are times when I am hosting people in my home and I've planned, baked, cooked, prepped, lovingly, an event for them, the energy is palpable, they feel it and I feel it, just this force, beam, almost a light that eminates.....yes, I know the zone, too. Wish I could experience your's first hand, it sounds quite powerful!

libby walkup said...

Have to say my zone doesn't come about so often and not nearly as strong. Pretty sure Im the only one that ever knows it's there and I'm definitely not feeling it today. I like to call it my mojo though.