Zen stack

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


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!


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.