I love the smell of cow dung.
I was reminded of this recently during a bicycle ride in the outskirts of the city. Despite the beauty of the bucolic area, I had been experiencing the training ride as long and strenuous — until I caught the distinctive scent of cow manure.
The odor instantly conjured up very specific happy memories from childhood, reminding me of something I had loved. I found myself inhaling deeply to rediscover a brief glimpse of yesteryear, felt a sudden jolt of joy and then pedaled on with renewed energy.
This reflective moment allowed me to have a connection with some positive emotions, which took me away from the strain of the task at hand and permitted me instead to immerse more fully in the present activity with confidence and enthusiasm.
I suspect that what I had experienced in that moment, at least in part, was being in a state of “flow” and that I was having the sensation of being “in the zone.” This is the mindfulness and positive psychology concept which is believed to channel energy into a feeling of spontaneous joy. A flow experience involves focusing deeply on nothing but the activity itself.
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