is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is
fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and
success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály
Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely
referenced across a variety of fields.
According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the
emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the
emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized,
and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of
depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The
hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while
performing a task although flow is also described . . . as a deep focus
on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions."
For me, this is also the
state when "self," as in the egoic self, seems to fade temporarily. In
this state, one becomes a channel for the love of God, or perhaps for
the river of energy of the Universe (which is the same thing). As a
channel, the stream of love flows through you as healing, as art, as
writing, as compassion, or even as a sense of oneness with the world.
Afterwards, the egoic self, or the mind, may intrude and pass its
judgment on what has happened (this is good/bad, this is enough/not
enough, this is because due to MY greatness or talent or whatever).
While it is happening, you are more in a place of BE-ING than in a place
The more "time" you spend in
that space, the more easily you are able to slip into it. So the more I
do art, the more easily I am a channel for healing (self and others).
The more time I spend "healing" the more inspired I am to express spirit
I have been asked to reflect
upon what inspires me, so I have been reflecting on what sort of things
take me into a place of FLOW. My list: Colour, beauty, nature; lately
it has been forms I observe in nature - birds, trees, light upon water.
I am also inspired by transformation I observe in myself, in friends
and family, and in clients of my practice. Inspiration comes when I see
past what IS to what COULD BE.
I have also been asked to
reflect upon how I process that inspiration into creation. Sometimes, I
hold it in my mind, then look amongst my "dragon's treasure" of
colourful beads, yarns, paint tubes, papers, photographs, and then find a
way to assemble the ones that "speak" to me into a representation of
the idea or feeling I am wanting to express. More ideas remain
"unfruited" than expressed, and that is a source of dismay and
disappointment to me.
The healing I have been doing
with myself and others means more of my inspiration is expressed;
ironically, it also means more ideas stream through to remain