Engaging Flow States

imageI got it! Eureka! I entered into flow state. I discover flow by engaging it. Not by entering it. I have spent years trying to master this ability and I did not see this. It was not outside of me or separate from me. It is a matter of engaging and disengaging from it. Now. This “active” moment is the only one and those before and those after are only in the “active imagination.” Why would it be so hard to ask myself where is floe and not have it be present. It is like asking where is love and have it not be present. It would be like asking where is the light from a dark cave. The knowledge of what we seek is present in the moment by knowing it in the moment. So from the questions come the answers without and delay.

This state is further enhanced by opening the senses to the surroundings of the flesh by such engagement. Like a gear on a bike either lines up with the chain or its skips or disengages. Being disengaged from flow is by default what we all do. Not by choice but by the distractions of everything that is in the physical universe of our shere of interest, our sphere of immediate influence by proximity and everything outside that may one day become a part of our active moment. Our engagement with those elements triggers the responses from the elemental. The decision to be present in its interaction with our elation is just a matter of asking. Am I engaged?

Just as a cyclist on the road flips a switch on the handlebars and spins the wheel so we too are in control of the steering and the pedals of our minds. The cyclists “become one with thier bicycles and interact with the pavement in a dance of rhythm and timing. Much in the same way we use our bodies and minds to travel through time and space all the while engaging with others and thier elements.

To continue with this cycling thought flow state has me engaged to travel down this analogy.

Just as there are many components of our bodies there are many components to a bike. The essentials are this. A frame to support the parts, the body. A cranks to propel the rider, the heart. A steering wheel to guide, the knowledge we have and the intentions we have. A little more vague but these are such primitively acquired by the leanings of walking and talking then the foundations of upbringing and character that guide us on our paths of what each of us believe to be right or wrong in an efforts to survive and prosper. The wheel, the cells. That which is the body of work that is engaging with the elements.

Many of the parts of the machine can be missing smaller components and still function properly. For example the wheels can be missing up to 50% of the right spokes and still support the rider. Many of our body parts are optional. I have heard that the pinky toe will become phased out of evolution in a few million years. Have you heard that? The brakes are not needed on a bike but they help.

A crash. Adversity. Big or small will shift the flow into an anxiety or a worrisome state that will leave this moment less than pleasurable.

The other day my family was in a parking lot going into a store. My son, my wife, my daughter and my youngest daughter were getting out. The youngest, January, 4, ran out to catch my oldest, James, 15, who was at the front of the store about 20 feet across the lot. I was getting out of the drivers seat when I hear a scream from my wife,”January!” As I looked up I noticed she had just nearly been stuck by a car. A small red vehicle being driven by a woman. The woman looked more upset in anger of our inability to watch our kids rather than her near accident. I did not see how close it truly was but this was nonetheless a huge “wake up call” as a parent. I have the ability to overcome moments big and small so the after effects of this moment however close did not effect me more than a new found love for my family and a realization of how in an instant lives can be altered. My wife however was so rattled that she was in tears an hour later for the rest of the day.

In her defense January has been the stunt kid. She damaged a tooth at 9 months old so bad that it had to be extracted and a week before her first birthday broke her wrist in a crawling off the couch accident. If you can imagine a one year old birthday party with a missing front tooth and a pink cast from hand to armpit. One more “incident” and child services was sure to step in. Oh and then there was that time we found a Xanax in her mouth and had to pry it out. My mom was living with us and she frequently dropped her meds. So yeah, we worry about this one.

Finding the moment of total immersion into a state of flow is all about choosing to be inside of the moment or outside. To pursue being “actively” engaged at all times may not be a good idea. Knowing whether I am in flow or not can only be identified by the moments I “know” it or “question it.” BUt what if one could actually achieve living fully in a state of bliss. A state of being embraced by the warmth of the universal love. The glory or the high. The epiphany or the glow.

Like the cyclist, I want to be always moving. My heart never stops therefore I never stop moving. I never stop leaving this flow state. I was to remain engaged as long as possible. Like a bottle of whiskey can get you drunk and then fade I too must be drunk with flow. Engaged in the moment and remaining diligent in holding the gates open so that this feeling never ends.

How can I capture this in a bottle? How can I hold it? Is it an element? NO! It is mental. There are only two in the universe. Mental and Elemental. I engage only one and interact with the other. Therefore, I must practice lucid awakening. Religious fanatics are obsessed with interacting with the holy unknown and make a pilgrimage or a vow to perpetuate the cycle of exchange with the body and the spirit. The elemental and the mental. So too I will become like the fanatics and whisper prayers in the universe to remind me of this. This engaged moment. The flow.

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