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The Flow

Days are chopped up into tasks, oriented to doing: make the coffee, make the lunch, make the bed, get to work, see the schedule, do all the messages. What’s for lunch? What’s for dinner? And in that ever-draining hourglass, where is the flow? The externalized focus addresses all that needs to get done but how to turn the focus inward? Without falling asleep? Too often, sitting down and being still ebbs into escape: television or just more tasks: clean the house, pay the bills, do the laundry.

How do you find the Flow? Admittedly, my flow has been long absent. An echo of a time when I once imagined. Imagination is the remnant of play for adults. It is beyond baking a new recipe. Or even sewing a quilt. Flow is the macrocosm AND the microcosm. The juxtaposition of minutiae and the Big Picture. The blown mind: this desk is solid able to hold the weight of two adults….but it is just a perception of solidity as it is a swirl of electrons and atomic fields, our material world’s hologram. In the Flow we can arrive at those moments when our mind is blown. The Oh Wows. The Whoa!

You forget how amazing The Flow can be when you are on the hamster wheel. Undoubtedly, these last few years have required that mindset: Do The Day. If you can just get up and get going and Do The Day…..just focus on Today. This moment. This task. You’ll be able to string a whole bunch of those things together and…..Viola! You have stayed on the rails, you have made payroll, you have kept your head above water. One minute at a time. Don’t look too far ahead. Don’t look back at the wake of catastrophe. Just do NOW. But there is no Flow in this kind of task-oriented survivalism. There can’t be, really.

The Flow doesn’t require affluence or echelon. It requires security, confidence and openness. And passion. And the ability to cull fear. It is not a luxury. Plenty….PLENTY…..of artists were starving and came from rough places. But something in them flowed and they created a new thing. For me, Flow has been evasive. No time. No extra time. And you’re tired. Brain tired. Beyond physical fatigue. Spiritually tired.

But, I am starting to elbow into an open space, making room to allow the Flow. The think big thoughts. To imagine. Wisps of creativity arrive and then it all starts to Flow. I found it this past weekend, standing on a ladder, hand-painting, cutting in. Focused on the details while podcasts of other people thinking filled the air. Listening. In the ebb of ideas, the Big Picture forms. I can see a whole picture, not just all the small jigsaw pieces. In the stillpoint between the ebb and the flow, there is the awareness that it’s all opened back up. Imagination is about being. Not doing.

 

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