Flow

Zen stack

We need to Accept w Wisdom, Change w Courage, and FLOW around lives challenges!

FLOW

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the former head of
psychology at the University of Chicago.

Noted for his work in happiness and creativity –
Csikszentmihalyi is best known as the architect
of the notion of flow.

What is flow?

According to experts, “Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus,
full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.”

Athletes call it “The Zone.”

According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It’s a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing
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.

The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.

Can you start thinking of ways being in “Flow” could help you in particular areas of your life?

Csikszentmihalyi identified these 9 factors that accompany the “Flow” experience:

1- Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one’s skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.

2- Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and
to delve deeply into it).

3- A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.

4- Distorted sense of time, one’s subjective experience of time is altered.

5- Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).

6- Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).

7- A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.

8- The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.

9- People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.

Sounds like a lot to consciously focus on, doesn’t it? But in true FLOW it just happens!

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Fly Like An Eagle

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eagle631

Common Nature

Flying Monkey HeaderTrue gentleness is founded on a sense of what we owe to him who made us and to the common nature which we all share. It arises from reflection on our own failings and wants, and from just views of the condition and duty of man. It is native feeling heightened and improved by principle.   Hugh Blair

Good Intentions

All people are good.

At least the underlying intentions of humans are basically good.

There is much evidence to support the idea that all people are basically or fundamentally good.

The first concept that comes to mind that proves that the basic intentions of all humans are common and good, so they must be good is the fact that throughout the world many basic laws are similar and show goodness as a theme. Most to all cultures believe it is wrong to kill. Other laws are in place to support not doing harm and doing good to other citizens, animals, and the environment. The collective conscious generally inspires us to take right actions if we are awake and aware enough to notice.

Even when people have bad behaviors if you ask them layer by layer to explain their underlying intentions you will find them they were good. Even though they may be far off track in the actions they were taking, they were initially trying to do good. Examples of underlying intent being good even when say a person robs a store are things like; take care of myself, feed my family, eat, feel better, buy things we need. 🙂 Off track but good intentions.

All of the charitable work done in the world is because people are basically good. The patience and hard work of parents in loving and taking care of their children is because they want to serve, contribute, and do good. A tendency to nurture and love animals in most people is because they are good. Babies and young children are born with a good nature, and they tend to reciprocate love.

Even though there is much bad in the world it never ceases to amaze me how much good there is in people. Humans work hard to contribute and help. When trials and catastrophes occur so many people bond together and help and assist those less fortunate even when they have lost everything. Behavior can be bad, but given the right circumstances that learned behavior will self-correct and people will return to their good nature and eventually contribute in many ways.

There is far too much evidence in the world to show a common thread of decency and good among everyone for one not to see the good in everyone. When we look for the highest in ourselves and others we can always find it. Let you GOOD come out, no really it’s O.K.!

Values

I have come to believe our moral values are formed through experience as we accept ideas and beliefs as values. I also know that various external forces, some of which affected us long before we came into this life, influence and inspire our moral values. Many values can change as we gain understanding and openness, but some core values remain constant and unchanging if we are really being true to ourselves.

Many of our values come from our families and the groups we consider ourselves a part of. During our domestication as babies, toddlers, and youth our parents, grandparents, and in some cases older siblings may subject us to their moral beliefs. While we are making our way in the world it may be natural to adopt or at least live according to this family moral belief system if we want to be loved, accepted, and get what we want within the family system. As we accept these family beliefs as truths we may make them our values also. Being labeled as good or bad within this family system may very well be based off of compliance to the norms or moral values of the family. In many instances these beliefs or values have been passed down for several generations as family tradition and pressure to comply often is great.

Similarly to the family system of implied moral values, most groups whether they be religious, cultural, or affiliated have a system of beliefs, and part of membership is the expectations to live by those norms. For this reason many moral beliefs are inherited or adopted through membership. Since these moral values where inherited, many times a duality in between the way one lives publicly and privately will show which morals are truly and deeply believed. There obviously are times when a person does not live up to values that they really do espouse due to other pressures and or issues. Having a moral compass does not mean we are always right on the trail.

I wish to explain my belief that many values we have are innate. I believe our spirit or soul comes into this life knowing what morals are right or wrong for lack of better terms. I prefer the terms light or dark myself because so many moral beliefs can be in the grey area and really need to be a personal decision. I also believe we can feel what is right or wrong not based on some dogma but based on feelings of the heart, insights of the mind, and inspiration from the universe. I don’t know if it’s that important if we believe that those external forces of inspiration come from a higher power, God, Creator, Jesus Christ, Buddha, nature, the universe, or the cosmos. What I think is important is that we learn to recognize that inspiration and come to trust it as something larger and truer than our own understandings. As we turn more towards light and transform to a point of allowing these insights and inspirations to guide us towards doing what is good, noble, and true we will let go of a bit of those domesticated moral beliefs and be more open to learning that most morals are not black and white.

Moral Values to be accepted, shown, and lived need to be believed in your heart of hearts. This only happens when we deeply learn and honor such beliefs. Since we are far from perfect all sets of moral values need to include forgiveness of self and others as being important, since even when deeply felt and believed all values are difficult to live by. It may be hard to walk our talk and truly live by what we believe. Even though certain values may make us rise to the occasion to meet expectations, if our values are truly ours, we will to a high degree succeed at living by them.

A Loving Higher Power

I read an article today about Hurricane Katrina that bothered me. I do not believe the 2005 Hurricane Katrina was a punishment sent from God or any other higher power. I do not believe in a punishing God. It is hard for those that believe in a God to understand and explain why bad things happen to good people. It is also a point taken by those that are atheist or agnostic, that there cannot be a God that would allow so much evil in the world.

I believe that evil or bad things are caused by several things. One is that we ourselves can cause things to occur that are not necessarily what we want in our lives and the lives of others. Second others can do harm to us, themselves, and to others. The third cause I think is best described by universal laws of nature that have cause and effect. that must be followed. (i.e. If I grab onto a downed arching high voltage electrical line in the middle of a rain storm I may be electrified.)

These universal laws of nature or the universe have to be followed by all, even God. Now I believe God is omnipotent and understands these universal laws and can manipulate them but that he allows us all to have agency or freedom and chooses not to intervene in our lives the majority of the time. Like the laws of physics these laws govern the universe.

Storms, Hurricane’s, Tornado’s, and other natural calamity’s all have scientific explanations as to what caused them or how they occurred. Man continues to cause all kinds of travesties to themselves and others. If one believes in the Bible it could be argued that God has sent pestilences, disasters, and all manner of bad things to punish the wicked, but I choose to believe that is a rare or almost extinct practice. I believe God has the power to punish in that way but takes a more loving and forgiving approach most of the time.

Man continues to cause most atrocities. If we look at wars and other evils and how they came about I believe the majority of the time we can trace the source to a person or group of people. It is amazing the damage we even do to ourselves. I work in the addiction field and I watch the carnage and death inflicted by the disease of addiction every day. In spite of good intentions people loose their free agency to rationally choose what is good and right for themselves and others. Yes it is within them to take back the power, dig deep, overcome, and reclaim themselves as they gain ownership of their life and responsibilities again but for most part this is very difficult. The greatest tragedies in history are cases of men’s inhumanity to men. I feel it is wrong when people make the assumption that people deserve this inhumanity and the pain it causes as some sort of punishment or karmic pay back.

I can look at all the difficult and painful trials I have gone through and clearly see which ones I brought upon myself, those that were caused by others, and the trials that the universe presented as learning experiences. Now maybe God put those in my life. I don’t know? Maybe I could frame those as punishments, since I have been far from righteous, but I doubt it.

Good things come to those that may not deserve it, just as bad things happen to good people. Maybe its timing, maybe it is meant to be, but I believe most of the time there is a direct correlation from a causation by a person/group/entity, or a natural law of nature following its course.