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!

Fly Like An Eagle

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eagle631

Human Connections

As part of the human race it is interesting to think about how we think of and treat others as a duty, or following the natural law of reciprocity, or as a higher purpose of service without expectations of anything in return. In many ways it makes sense that we only find it most natural to serve others for whom we care about. We may have a duty to serve everyone, or as mentioned at least deal justly with, and respect all others. It is far too easy to separate people into different groups and feel various motivations as to why and to what level we would have a duty to serve them. This spectrum of levels of caring for others should be more even and equal but our intentions really dictate our attitudes and actions.

The first thought I have as I think about the differences in how I feel and act on duties regarding others, is that subconsciously I separate those I feel I should take care of and those that are outside of that scope. My intimates (family and close friends), loved ones (certain; extended family, friends, co-workers, & neighbors), acquaintances (people I have a connection with), and my fellow man (all others). I truly feel a desire and obligation to serve intimates and most loved ones to a certain degree. It’s more of a desire than a duty. Acquaintances and my fellow man are for the most part outside of this sense of duty to take care of, but I definitely feel like I should honor and respect them and support their well-being if possible. I am pleased that I do not consider anyone to be an enemy or outside the scope of good will towards them.

Intimates are those that I serve authentically, much of the time without my mask. They see the best and worst of me. Consequently they receive the highest level of service but at times they are taken for granted and not served or honored nearly as they should be. It would be my will to take care of intimates as they deserve to be without judgment or harshness. I owe them more kindness and need to check all attitudes that stop me from caring as I need to.

Loved ones may not get as deep of a level of service and caring but what they do get is mostly good. They see the best of me most of the time. It seems funny that these less intimate family and friends would get a more balanced, level, and consistent level of love and compassion but in reality they do. I tend to see the best in them and show them the best of myself.

Acquaintances and my fellow man for the most part are not on my radar as people that I have a duty to serve unless for some certain reason I wake up and pay attention to them and their specific needs. They deserve more than my respect and honor. I need to do more to be aware of their needs and I feel it is my duty to acknowledge this and do more for them.

This writing assignment help me notice subtle attitudes within me that need to change. I need to be more awake and aware of everyone. I need to be kinder and gentler in my intimate relationships. My circle of intimates can be expanded and I should not ever take them for granted, be open with them and truly let them in, and love them as they deserve to be loved. Just like we do not do that which we do not, DESIRE, we do not serve others unless we really CARE for them. We all need to understand better the word care. If and when we open our hearts more of the time and see the highest in others we will automatically care for them. In my work I look for and see the best in others and on a daily basis move strangers from my fellow man group into the loved ones category in minutes of meeting them. I need to do this all the time as I cross the paths of others, look for and honor their humanity fully, it is not only my duty but my nature. May we all wake up and truly notice how incredible everyone is. You don’t have to watch a video on “You Tube” with inspirational music and such to feel connected to the beauty of humanity, you just need to open your eyes and heart and notice that we are already connected.

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.