Volume 2, Issue 29
Flow state is within our reach at any moment. Think for a second how small your average challenge is at any given moment in time. Mostly you are not overmatched — if anything there is too little challenge at any given moment to evoke Flow. As Czikszentmihalyi taught us all, Flow can happen when skills and challenges are well matched in the moment. But that single criterion is not enough. Attachment to outcome also has to disappear.
The way almost all of us live our lives in the present culture rarely escapes attachment to outcome. This is the big Flow blocker.
It is the difference between Being and the peculiar form of existence that characterizes the present civilization. Being is when there is no dislocation in time between stimuli and the flow of our actions. We simply do it. We don’t think about how it will impress other people, or even about how it will impress the internalized judge.
The way we grow up and are taught, we inherit an internalized judge that we check with subconsciously before every action we take. This creates a gap, a dislocation, between simply and trustingly flowing with our being vs. the way we normally behave, which first last and always is constantly checking with the internalized judge, scoring ourselves on everything we do.
In situations big and small, unimportant and important, if we can flip off those safeties and simply trust who we are to do the right thing and enjoy ourselves in a non-self-protective and compassionate way, Flow happens.
If there is negativity present within you, this is unsafe to do — “do not try this at home” — first you must process out the negativity before it makes sense to flip off the safeties. Negativity is a great distorter of actions, so you must then edit impulses discriminatingly. Negativity includes any fear, hurts, and even that faint form of negativity we call attachment to outcome.
When on the edge of Flow, slipping in and out of it, and/or in environments in which the situation is changing rapidly so that from moment-to-moment the challenge slope is unpredictably modulating, there is a subtle inner tweaking of the edit dial that can correct for letting too many impulses into action vs. too few — so that the ego-driven impulses get weeded out and the compassionate and un-self-protective ones get through the filter into the consensus reality for sharing.
Wishing you ever more Flow state in your life.
Best to all,