Finding Flow within Empty Space
There is a notable sense of peace that comes with the empty spaces between the noise and heavier vibrations in our lives. I‘ve long believed that it is only with stillness that we can tune into the quieter rhythms in our environment and embrace the ‘hum’ that connects everything together.
Overall I would say you can divide human thought into two phases, one that dictates day-to-day life with a premeditated schedule and habit-oriented thoughts, and another that - successfully or not - focuses a productive energy for knowledge, art, entertainment, movement, or freedom. Ultimately, it makes sense that we strive for a healthy balance of both patterned thought and a growth-oriented state; the most ideal life being one with a healthy routine that keeps our bodies and minds maintained as well as a drive for harmony and individual happiness.
I think that a lot of reaching this full potential has to do with tapping into your natural ‘flow’ state; and not just being able to tap into it, but also tap out of it. The balance between the energized and slower part is one of the hardest things we can do as human beings.
Much of what we now recognize as ‘flow’ comes from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work. He describes flow as a highly focused and energized state of being that bypasses the parts of our brain with our inner critic and working memory; it gives us a chance to put our energy and focus into the task at hand and be free of the distractions of our inner mind.
In popular culture we’ve pushed this idea that meditation is the only way to achieve peace within yourself and that the goal is to reach nirvana, where your mind is fully quieted and you’ve ‘tamed’ your monkey brain.
Similar to meditation, being in a flow state doesn’t mean you’ve got your mind under control, it means you’re able to sink out of the regular noise of your own brain from time to time and use your energy efficiently and productively in a way that brings a fullness and joy. You can find that many people meditate much better in the every day activities for moments at a time, e.g., cooking, running, playing music.
Listening to Andy Puddicombe’s *wonderfully calming* voice through Headspace was one of the best ways for me to tap into a more relaxed mindset, that training made it easier for me to understand how to gather my thoughts. Everyday is an exercise in learning how to relax and be mindful of my inner self, and tapping out of that state and melting into a rewarding creative flow.
I am far from living a perfectly mindful existence, but practicing a life with intention has begun to be a calming journey in this otherwise chaotic world.