“The flow experience, like everything else, is not “good” in an absolute sense. It is good only in that it has the potential to make life more rich, intense, and meaningful; it is good because it increases the strength and complexity of the self.” ― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
After a break up a few years ago it took me about 6 minutes to decide to fully step into the heart ache.
For a good few hrs. I moved – sort of danced around my room trying to shift it, I nursed it and took my heavy, unrested heart to the ocean for sunrise and then I picked myself up and got on with my day. I knew it at the time and I admire my maturity in reflection that to fully step into it and let the pain consume me for a time was key to my healing, I didn’t try to fight it I just let that ache flow.
More recently I had a first kiss with a potential new love, a sweet innocent kiss in the early afternoon of a perfect summers day.
I floated into my apartment, collapsed on my bed, let the current of bliss pulse through me, I even wrote down ‘my eyes close and I’m only the current, like water spilled on earth I dissolve.’ So taken by the moment was I.
At opposite ends of the emotional spectrum I experienced a state of flow, an unimpeded current of energy moving through me, I simply held space for it. The intensity of that first state is a direct in, its often our pain that calls us to presence with such immediacy that we can’t help but be with it.
In fact I find the sweet moments and their residue are often a little more fleeting.
What’s interesting to me and an ongoing experiment is can we sustain a state of flow in the moment to moment experience of daily life?
Mundane as it may sometimes seem.
Let me ask you this – Is there anything you do that makes you forget what time it is?
Besides heart ache, new love elation, some meditations, I’ve lost track of time dancing, watching a sunrise, in conversation and so fortunate am I to often feel that way when facilitating a yoga class.
That forgetting, that pure absorption, is what the psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi calls “flow” or optimal experience. He also suggests that if our skill set meets a challenge equal to or even a little more challenging than we are ready for there is an entry to the slipstream. Oh and repetition is necessary.
I believe there’s an invitation there to CREATE the conditions for flow.
Join Maryanne and guest teacher, Justine Malick for FLOW STATE – a Yin Yang masterclass at Flow Athletic, Saturday 24 March, 12.00pm-2.30pm. More details here.