Philosophy of Focus & Flow
The philosophy of practice that is used at Focus & Flow is a new yet old way to increase performance, build resilience, and boost health. It’s new because science and research has lead us back to many foundational transformative practices that have been stressed inside of many religious and spiritual traditions dating back to ancient times. Our philosophy of health is an integrative holistic perspective, which embodies the intersection between both psychological and spiritual practices, as well as scientific research. We have found that integrating and overlapping research from science and the art of applying that science, which we call transformative practice, has profound effects on many areas in life including: health functions in body, increase in positive thoughts and emotions, boost performance at work, school, or even sports. Resilience and performance are both a science and an art, as well as a choice to consciously practice and improve throughout everyday life.
From a science-based perspective Focus & Flow relies on over 50 years of research from performance psychology and on new field of research from the field of positive psychology. However, there are two main research centers that help to create our curriculum through science, research, and training. They are: Center for Mindfulness at The University of Massachusetts Medical School and The Institute of HeartMath based out of Boulder Creek, CA. The Center for Mindfulness is an innovative leader in mind-body medicine and mindfulness-based treatment and research investigations, pioneering the integration of centering prayer and mindfulness into mainstream medicine and health care. The Institute of HeartMath is an internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to helping people of all ages reduce stress, self-regulate emotions and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives. HeartMath tools, technology and training teach people to train their nervous system to become coherent and rely on the intelligence of their hearts in concert with their minds at home, school, work and play.
Heart-Coherence, also known as psycho-physiological coherence, refers to the synchronization of our physical, mental and emotional systems. It can be measured by our heart-rhythm patterns, the more balanced and smooth they are, the more in sync, or coherent, we are. Negative emotions lead to increased disorder in the heart’s rhythms and in the autonomic nervous system, thereby adversely affecting the rest of the body. In contrast, positive emotions create increased harmony and coherence in heart rhythms and improve balance in the nervous system. The health implications are easy to understand: Disharmony in the nervous system leads to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs while harmonious rhythms are more efficient and less stressful to the body’s systems. Stress is caused by an out of balance fight or flight response and both mindfulness and using positive emotions of the heart help reset the central nervous system to a healthier, more balanced, coherent response. Mindfulness helps heal the parasypathetic response or the brake to slow down and relax, while heart techniques help to reset the sympatheic response (the gas to have more energy). To be at the optimal state of health and perform at your best you need to be both, relaxed and energized.
About Erik (founder of Focus & Flow):
Erik specializes in optimizing performance and increasing resilience for groups, organizations, and individuals. He is a professional speaker, coach, and performance psychology consultant at Focus & Flow. His background includes a graduate degree in Sport & Performance Psychology from University of Denver and working for famous author Ken Wilber (leader in integral and consciousness studies). Since 2013 he has been working for the military educating and consulting with soldiers in the US Army in the areas of performance and resilience. He started speaking to audience by volunteering to speak at high school as early as 2005. Erik has been educating and entraining and inspiring audiences through his stories and the story of science for over 10 years.