I found flow

There’s this thing psychologists call “flow”. It’s about being totally immersed in an activity – so caught up that you lose all track of time and all your worries evaporate. There’s no mental noise, just complete immersion and focus on whatever you’re doing. Fully engaged and totally carefree.

I found flow in photography. I also found it at the MSO’s production of The Messiah tonight (even if I’m not remotely religious) 🙂

Just me and the camera, or me and the music. Nothing else existed, let alone mattered – not work, not my mother, not really anything at all. My mind, body and spirit all fully engaged and all working to the same end. I can’t remember the last time I felt like this.

It’s liberating and energising, and yet calming at the same time. Wonderful! I’d even go so far as to say it’s bliss. 🙂

The Wonder Therapist says this is “very positive”. I suspect so, too. 🙂

This has been one of my favourite pieces of music for as long as I can remember. Enjoy.

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13 thoughts on “I found flow

  1. Kerro – So happy for you and glad that you continued with the photography. It is great to have our minds so occupied on pleasant things.

    I too love the Messiah and sang in a production once in college. In addition to the above, I also love Glor – or -or- or ia. You know the one 🙂

    Good thoughts to you!
    OLJ

  2. Thanks OLJ. I love Gloria… In Excelsis Deo?

    I have loved the Messiah since discovering my Grandmother’s album at a tender young age. The other piece I really like is “For unto us a child is born.” Stunning.

  3. I love the concept of flow. If only I could find it more often! I’m so glad you’ve found it with photography and music. You know I just had a thought that therapy is “flow chasing”…similar to those storm chasers. Just a little whimsy.

  4. Kate – I agree, this one gets me too. More than the Hallelujah chorus, though there are so many special pieces in The Messiah, sometimes it’s hard to choose.

    Cat – Now that I know about flow, I love it to – when I can find it. I agree that therapy is “flow-chasing” – I can’t tell you how many times my therapist has asked me if I ever find myself “lost” in an activity. Now I finally understand what she means. 🙂

    To quote Kate, “Good and healing flow to all of you.” 🙂

  5. I don’t think I have a CD of Messiah. I will have to rectify that soon. Or download from itunes. Any favorite renditions?

    OLJ

  6. It’s great when the senses are really perked, you know, when all of one’s neurological attention, or so it seems, is focused on a pleasure stimulus. The glory of music. What would we do without it?

  7. Hi Kerro… Sorry I’m late to replying to this… I got behind in my blogs…

    I will write about flow soon… I have touched on it before. It’s a very nice place to be in… But I don’t think therapy should and is about flow chasing. I see flow as touchstones of hope. They are glimpses of what we can achieve. Flow is a wholeness and a separateness existing at the same time.

    Congratulations for getting there.

    paul

  8. Paul

    Perhaps I should have said that therapy is not solely about flow-chasing. Part of my therapy is definitely about finding flow – finding things in life that I enjoy, that take me away from the mess, that help me to realise that life is for living and not just for working.

    I grew up in a family that was not only dysfunctional in the ways discussed elsewhere on this blog, but that only believed in “work”. You are born, you go to school, you work. You work hard. And on weekends you do laundry, or paint the house and dig the garden or other things I generally consider to be “work”. And then you get old and you die (or sit around and wait to die).

    Things like music and photography and reading were (and still are) seen as “indulgences”. Not a normal part of the richness of life’s tapestry. I like that therapy is helping me discover these things; that it’s helping me learn about the things I enjoy, the things that can help me have a rich experience of life.

    So in this respect, part of my therapy is very much about flow-chasing.

    Kerro

  9. Yes, I see what you are saying. I do understand that. From your perspective, and how you describe it, my life now is kind of about flow chasing to some degree. But one has to be a bit careful because the flow experience is a high standard and we cannot get too upset with ourselves when we cannot achieve it. I love your phrase: “richness of life’s tapestry”. Really nice.

  10. Paul, I think you’re right in that it’s important not to “chase” flow in the way some of us have chased “highs” before. I wouldn’t want this to become another dysfunction – either through the chasing or the self-flagellation when we don’t attain it.

    But I do think we should celebrate when we do find it, and add whatever it is that brings the flow to some sort of mental list for next time.

    I wish I could claim credit for the phrase “richness of life’s tapestry”. Alas, I stole it from somewhere…. I can’t remember where but it’s probably somewhere lame like a soap opera!!! LOL

    Kerro

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