Flow, process, inspiration, beauty.
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Flow, process, inspiration, beauty.

"Flow 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 of DO-ING.

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 as art.

Mixed media pendant from freshwater pearls, stones, glass, polymer clay, beads.  Art & Soul CreationsI 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.

Logo for Art & Soul Creations.   I paint, do mixed media wall art, and make jewelry.  For me Art is an expression of inner joy, which I have found once again through practicing energetic interventions, WHEE and EFT; and also through Tai Chi and Qi Gong practice.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 unexpressed.

1 Comment to Flow, process, inspiration, beauty.:

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Barbara Daley on December-12-11 1:44 PM
Thank you for your very eloquent answer, Laurel! Duly noted, and carefully recorded, and in fact, shared on my wall. I won't phone you about this, this is good, as is.
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