How to Stay in the Flow

Separation of Mind and Feelings (Exiting Flow)

Sometimes when feelings change direction, our mind can remain fixed on where we thought we were going to go. This seems to be one of the main ways we exit flow. That said, returning our attention to our feelings can help us return to flow.

Ok, first of all, what is flow? I’d say that when I talk about flow, I’m talking about a kind of experience, one where it feels as though we’re fluidly moving along, rather than in starts and stops. But what is moving fluidly? Well, perhaps it is one’s mind, since the mind can also become fixated or get stuck on one topic or another. It seems to me, though, that one thing that is always flowing fluidly, even as we fight it mentally, is our feelings. Why is this? It seems as though feelings seem to flow from one moment to the next because they change in response to what’s going on in the moment. One moment to another…

Well speaking of which, my feelings just changed on this topic, because it feels to me like I’m trying to describe things I don’t fully understand. The thing is, I had a strategy in that last paragraph, in terms of what I was going to talk about. I was going to define flow, and how feelings flow and how the mind can get stuck… but truth is, I’m not positive on those details. But what I do know is that feelings can inspire unexpected changes in direction, and that when I talk about “flow”, what I’m really talking about is the ability to flow with those unexpected directions. Maybe you don’t always take those directions, but perhaps there is something to consider in the way one’s feelings change. One can observe feelings, be aware of them, and strive to better understand them through techniques like expression of those feelings.

Staying in the flow, for me, amounts to staying close to one’s feelings. That experience is like a flow, and we, present to our feelings, can flow along with them.

Many times, though, we can get stuck. We stop flowing. Why?

Continue reading

The Natural Self and the Intellect

Our intellects tend to demand a lot out of our natural selves. But we can listen to our natural selves more, too, as well as question the reasoning behind our intellect’s actions.

As we’ve seen before, there’s a difference between the way you actually are and the way you want to be. One of the most common ways that this affects our everyday lives is in the difference between our natural self and our intellect.

The natural self is like a big blob of feelings. It doesn’t speak to us in words (thoughts), but in a flow of feelings. When we’re operating purely from this side our selves, this is usually called “the flow”.

Our intellect on the other hand has many ideas about what we should or need to do, regardless of what our feelings say. It treats our natural selves kind of like a pet, who sometimes “needs its leash pulled”. Continue reading

Distinguishing Your Ego, the Hidden Controller

The Ego

The ego can be quite an unreasonable perfectionist.

Recently, I met with my ego. This side of myself is familiar enough that it didn’t feel like a meeting, but it was the first extended meeting on paper in a long time.

I have been wrestling since this encounter to put into words just what the ego is all about and what you can do about it, but nothing seemed right. However, I will share the few thoughts I do have about this side of one’s self, and you can decide if it’s valuable or not.

Continue reading

The Courage to Face Any Thought

Oftentimes, thoughts can go all over the place. They can go so many places you may have no idea how the images in your head even got there. Images of pain and violence, or those of your worst fears. And every time your thoughts get going, you begin to dread having to see those things again in your mind. You’re not the kind of person who thinks those things! Can’t they just leave you alone…?

Do you know what I’m talking about? Maybe it happens for you after a scary movie, when your mind wanders back to the things that haunted you. Or maybe the phrase: “What has been seen, cannot be unseen” calls what I’m talking about to mind.

All in all, it’s when you don’t want to think a certain thought.

Continue reading