Category Archives: Flow State

Smell the Sweetness — Revisited

Originally posted October 27, 2015

Have the daring to do the risky thing - Bill Harvey

Annie was moving fast. She always moved fast. She did everything fast. She even laughed fast, and then quickly moved on to the next thing.

She whisked through the garden doing the necessary watering without noticing the sweet fragrance of new-mown grass and wildflowers. The softly scented breeze on her bare arms itself felt delicious and somehow combined into one thing with the scent. Faintly and unheard, a small inner voice related the moment to the song about a kiss you could build a dream on. The perfumed wind and quiet meditation could have been a winged heart dream, but all this was literally beneath her attention as Annie had things to do and if asked she would have said all her concentration was on getting the job done. There was some truth in that. She was intent on getting the tasks behind her, but not because there was good stuff ahead that she was eager to get to. And there was nothing like a state of concentration going on in her head.

Like so many of us, Annie’s mind was all over the place. It was not focused. Her movements were not based on a carefully-thought-out plan with clear priorities. She was just keeping up with the to-do list — in line with the pervasive tone of life in the Accelerolithic Era (aka Acceleritis). Most of us spend our time in this distracted state, which precludes Flow. There’s too much noisy messy input, with seemingly not enough time to process it.

Annie could be an artist. She is good with her hands and can envision a piece and create it. Doing that got her into the Flow state, where she did her best work — her gift to the world.

Making money at her art seemed like an idle fantasy judging from the toughness of the world, her surroundings and friends and the lives they all led. There was great beauty in her surroundings but the mood created by the difficulty of making enough money to live pleasurably without constant fear of money problems made that beauty literally invisible.

If Annie were hypnotized and asked patiently about why she is always moving so fast, eventually she would come to realize something she does not know: it is because she is always unconsciously striving to make money. Without knowing it, she feels that she will make more money by doing everything as fast as she can. She does odd jobs for friends and acquaintances, like working in a dress shop, washing cars, walking dogs, and landscaping, so there is some logic in that unconscious thought. However, in reality the fast motion causes a slowdown due to the need to fix things not done properly. Of course this also eventually causes her to not get as much work from her employers as she would if everything were always done rather than half-done.

One layer deeper she might realize that the quest to make money isn’t really because she wants to buy specific things so much as to please her partner and also to have other people be proud of her or realize that she is more capable than the way they have treated her.

Annie went on a hike one day and as the sun passed its zenith and the breeze began to be cold, she nevertheless remained bare-armed and slipped into that waking dream where she was uplifted out of Acceleritis-mode and into the Flow state and into what You Are The Universe calls “Soul-Level Two” — the bliss state, ananda. She was not moving fast. She was not under the dominance of any have-to-do compulsions. Her mind and body and every aspect of her were all lined up in the moment. There was no rush. She could see everything around her, hear it, smell it, enjoying the moment itself with nothing causing her to lose freedom or break the fast on motion.

This is the place all of us can live at every moment. And because we then give our finest performances at any beloved Game, we get paid more money for it. We cannot get there if we give up the inner drive to do a specific thing we love to do because it seems unrealistic, and instead settle into a mortgaged life of second-choice work that is steady and dependable. Like the hero or heroine in a movie, in real life we must pursue our highest calling: have the daring to do that seemingly extraordinarily risky thing.

Then we will smell the sweetness of Life. And because the Universe is us, if we actually do what we are uniquely designed to do so that we provide true value to others, the dreams will come true in the end as if by magic.

            Do what you like to do. You’re going to be doing it for a long time.                                                   — George Burns, while puffing cigar

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, “Program Environment Can Add +35% to +37% ROI Lift.”

Originally posted 2015-10-27 12:09:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Savor the Moment

Originally posted September 15, 2017

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.— Rumi, from “The Guest House”

Imagine if we were to fully believe this and felt grateful for and loved whoever we’re with at any given moment in time.

Now imagine seeing that person as highly sentient like ourselves, each with his or her own story, knowing that we are interacting with each other now for reasons that may not be obvious in this moment. And then realize that there are undoubtedly layers of additional opportunity in this moment — allowing our interest to swell by being in the moment with this interaction, at this time, fully engaged, fully open and also being a studious observer.

How can we become more engaged in the moment?

Be engaged in this moment

This is much more difficult if our day is packed and we are just trying to manage a sense of constant chaos and distraction.

If our days are filled with scheduled meetings and phone calls, we might be just getting on with a conversation or meeting so we can move on to something we more look forward to doing. We’re checking off our to-do list, which affects the quality of each of our interactions.

A better strategy is to engage in each interaction with our full attention. It helps to schedule time in our calendar for meetings with ourselves, to use as we like best in the moment. It might be to launch into a high-opportunity project that has been waiting. It might be to take a break and a mental vacation, where we may find creative ideas popping of their own volition. It might be to sort out the latest incoming chaos and to calendar it for handling at a future date.

The strategy of pre-planning our days to include these meetings with ourselves at reasonable intervals, and pre-dream the other meetings, calls and other activities (which we can do in the shower or even in bed in the morning or the night before) allows us to arrange things so we can focus 100% on one thing at a time, in the moment — the Now.

As interruptions arise or even fresh thoughts relevant to the conversation or the meeting we are in, it may help to note them on paper or on your tablet so you don’t lose them; this helps to relieve our mind of worrying that we’ll forget them. I create a place for these notes until I can sort them into the appropriate file, which allows me to be more in the moment and not overwhelmed.

If we allow ourselves to remember how much can be accomplished in a few minutes when we are patiently engaged, we can really listen and be more absorbed in the moment — feeling the feelings inherent in the conversation and being grateful for this present opportunity whether we understand its greater meaning right now or not.

Our attention is divided into the Now, the past and the future. All we really have at our grasp is this moment, the Now. The past and future are concepts, abstractions, ways our mind has of organizing experience so it seems to make sense.

What is always real is the Now, this moment.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Identifying the Ethical Limits of Persuasion in Advertising.

Originally posted 2015-09-15 08:49:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Getting to Flow by Living in the Moment

Originally posted August 18, 2015

Rise to this moment

My first experiences of Flow state were at the Brickman Resort when as a young child my parents, Ned and Sandy, put me onstage. The height of stage fright got my attention. I was pulled out of my mind by the sheer challenge of dealing with it. I had no time to dawdle or stay in my head. This seemed as close to a life-threatening experience as I could imagine, although I did not have the time or ability (as a child) to put it into those words. I couldn’t even distract myself by paying attention to my fear! I was totally absorbed in handling the immense challenge of the moment.

This and other experiences when I was young made me keenly aware of the existence of Flow, although I had no name for it then and didn’t think about it consciously. I also noticed there were other incidents in which I was more like Hamlet, overthinking a problem while the time to move had long since passed. Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-08-18 10:56:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Are you balancing activity and stillness?

Originally posted June 16, 2015latest Great Being post

If we are always pushing toward our goals, we are inadvertently setting ourselves back from reaching them.

There is a stage in the creative process in which it is wise to turn away from the challenge and do other things, for it is during this turned-away phase that the Aha! moment comes.

not creating may be essential to creativity

Certain batteries get recharged when we take ourselves temporarily off the wheel that is always driving us. This can happen when we are entertained — on our screen devices, reading, watching stage or other performances, spectator sports, vacations, making love, being with family and/or friends.

The subtlest batteries, however, only get recharged when we are alone with ourselves. This can take the form of sitting meditation but it doesn’t have to. We can be alone in nature, alone at home, alone on an airplane, anywhere. As long as we are not working down the TO DO list, there is a greater chance that we will slip into the Observer state (the precursor to Flow state) effortlessly.

To help bring on Observer state — a mindset in which you are able to simultaneously observe and analyze your emotional reactions to situations somewhat impassively — this works for me:

  • Look more closely at the place from which thoughts/feelings arise.
  • Don’t add to what you observe inwardly/outwardly, i.e. stop interpreting everything.

 

If we spend too much time doing, our conscious mind will block the functioning of our subconscious mind, and we’ll interfere with the stream of consciousness. If we spend too much time not doing, we will under-actualize our own goals. The movement associated with creative energy is a good thing, but stillness in body and mind is also valuable.

Balancing movement and stillness is optimal for maximizing effectiveness toward all our goals in life for love, creativity, and ultimately spiritual fullness, intuitively knowing and feeling connected with all beings and all things.

Strive to achieve the right balance between times spent doing versus time spent not doing.

L’chaim! (Hebrew toast “to life”)

Best to all,

Bill

Here is my latest post at my regular series “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers .

Originally posted 2015-06-16 14:04:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

If You Aren’t Enjoying Your Self, Something’s Wrong

Originally posted February 3, 2015latest Great Being post

Assume that if you are in a bad mood or feel a negative physical symptom, this is a direct internal communication to you. Your subconscious is trying to tell you something! This is an autonomic alarm system we all have.

If for example your current activities are not in alignment with your goals, or if you have set a goal that is not in alignment with your core values, parts of your mind will try to bring this to your conscious attention any way they can, and often the signaling will involve feelings of distress or something not quite right.

Maybe it starts out one day as a bad mood you don’t even realize you are in, and then escalate as the signal strength is gradually increased in an attempt to finally get your attention. If this persists long enough it can turn into physical symptoms. It is all about communication — in this case, internal communication.

Act as if you deserve to be happy

The highest priority then is to decode the message and thereby reverse the emotional or physical quandary. Don’t get lost in the suffering and forget to decipher first, ahead of anything else. Act as if you deserve to be happy at all times, whatever the circumstances. Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-02-03 15:23:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Inner Imagery Shorthand to Reinstate Flow

Volume 4, Issue 14

Five hours in an airport. It’s a great way to catch up on work and then relax with a novel of speculative fiction, especially when I’m exhausted. It’s all okay until they start the delaying-the-flight game, which all too often leads to cancellation. Kristin isn’t working (on my clock) but has a little time so she starts researching the hotels nearest the airport and the probable flight alternatives, God bless her. Sure enough the flight is cancelled and I make it to the taxi stand before the horde. Only problem is that I’m going to get at best 4 hours sleep to make the flight heading to a city 1000 miles further away from home in order to change planes and get home by 5PM, right in the middle of the Memorial Day weekend traffic. Really? Ah well.

Next morning, walking through the airport toward my first plane of the day, I sense that I am feeling angry, exasperated and negative, projecting that I will run into further snags all day. Knowing that such projection will cause the snags, keeping me out of Flow, I experience something that I will describe below, laugh at myself and am back in a good mood. My eyes always go back and forth taking in as much as possible when I am in an unfamiliar setting, and on the next leftward sweep I see a flight heading to where I am going – La Guardia – leaving shortly nonstop for home. Why didn’t they put me on that flight, I wonder, and keep walking. A step later I figure I have time, why not at least check if I can get on that flight. Sure enough there is one seat.

In You Are The Universe I talk about Noia, the word I coined to mean the opposite of paranoia: yes, there are personas out there trying to do something to you, but it isn’t harm, it’s gifts. If you perceive the Universe to be a single Self playing all these roles including you, there is every reason in the world why Noia as a lens should work to help you notice these subtle gifts and clues happening constantly. Therein lies the magic. Of course, that kind of observant behavior would also be good to protect you should anyone be out to do you harm, so pragmatically, why not use that lens?

The shortest flight home and my noticing it was a gift that appeared a second after my mood shifted out of negativity, and the feeling I had at that instant was a powerful sense of synchronicity, the Universe giving me my just reward for acceptance of what is.

I said that I would describe the experience I had of shifting out of the lower state (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure, or EOP, as I call it), which in fact is my reason for writing this — to share that moment of shift and what it felt like, so that it becomes a shareable psychotechnology.

A long time ago, I had established “trigger words” to remind myself of one folly or another so that when I was later in the same sort of stuckness loop I could spring those triggers to mind and it would restore the clarity and learning to frontal awareness where evasion of the lower state would be easier (despite the chemical insistence of such states).

For the situation as described, what I would say to myself in my youth was something like this: Accept What Is. That would unpack a stream of remembered relevant words that might go something like this: It is what it is. It’s not in your control. So you’re just wasting time and bringing yourself down by railing against it. It’s a useless activity not worthy of you. You’re not a fool any more. Meanwhile, in my mind I would see a goat butting a fence repeatedly. Eventually, the goat (me) calmed down.

In the airport I heard none of those words although a wispy suggestion of the goat image flashed. Another image came with it that is hard to describe. The Universe around me that ended at my skin was a solid substance and then again I too was in that substance, I am that substance. All of it was translucent and One Thing. Without words, the image conveyed that the very fact that it – the substantial Thing, the process of It – was happening, meant that it was real and everything else that could be imagined about it was not in an equal sense real. So logically, It – the happeningness – was all that truly existed., and any emotional reaction to it was a nice-to-have addition layer but not with equal realness and solidity. That image-feeling was what shifted me out of the downcast defeatist mindset.

Consciousness is the substance of the One Thing that is the primal substrate of existence. Science is even coming around to this view. Psychotechnology to guide consciousness is therefore not a crazy idea. Discovering what works and sharing it is something all of us do naturally, although not often enough, due to Acceleritis™. Yet psychotechnology is the very thing that can cure us of Acceleritis. Let’s have more of it! You can start with this excerpt from my book, Mind Magic: Doorways into Higher Consciousness.

Best to all,

Bill

My new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available.

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.