Last month I talked about the value of regularly obtaining a FLOW state. This month I will explain how to do it.
The majority of people diffuse their attention in hundreds of random ways. Those who flow, focus their attention intentionally upon the task at hand. It really amounts to knowing your goal, concentrating on it, remaining determined, and having the self-discipline to complete what you are doing.
You create yourself by how you invest your energy. When it is under control your attention is focused. Attention is your most important tool in the task of improving the quality of your experience.
1. Choose a task that you have a good chance of completing.
2. You need the ability to focus your concentration upon the task at hand (a list of CDs that will help is listed at the end).
3. Clear goals are necessary, allowing you to focus your concentration.
4. The task provides feedback, which allows you to focus your concentration.
5. You get so involved in the task that you forget about everything else.
6. The task allows you to exercise a sense of control over your actions.
7. You become so focused on the task that self-concern disappears. (Your sense of self returns, stronger than ever after the flow experience is completed.)
8. You lose your sense of time; hours seems to pass in minutes, minutes can stretch out and seem like hours.
The combination of these factors causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is intensely gratifying. With this knowledge, it’s possible to achieve control of consciousness and turn even routine tasks into an experience of flow.
Remember, flow is when all your relevant skills are needed to cope with the challenges of a task, and you become completely absorbed by the activity. No attention is left to process any information but what the activity offers.
Those who naturally experience flow appear to have an “autotelic” self. The word is made up of two Greek words meaning “self goal.” Most people have goals that are shaped by biological needs and social conventions. In other words, their goals are generated externally. Those with an autotelic self have self-contained goals, and they accept few if any goals from outside themselves. They aren’t bored, seldom experience anxiety, and easily translate threats into challenges, thus maintaining inner harmony.
An important aspect of an autotelic self is the development of the self-discipline necessary to sustain your involvement until you accomplish your goal. Finally, you must learn to enjoy the immediate experience -- live in the now while working for the accomplishment of the goal in the future.
Once you are flowing, the experience drives you on to more creativity and achievement. The development of increasingly refined skills to sustain enjoyment is the actual power behind the evolution of culture.
If this short synopsis of the flow experience is intriguing to you, I suggest you read Csikszentmihalyi’s book, “FLOW” (Harper Perennial Books)
Peace and Light,
Programs to help generate the "Flow" while doing other things:
Author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says in “FLOW,” “More than anything else, people seek happiness.” The author is a professor and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. He spent 20 years researching topics related to this psychology of optimal experience.
Happiness is sought for its own sake, but all our other goals—health, beauty, money or power—are valued because we expect they will make us happy. Mihaly began his happiness research by studying hundreds of “experts”—artists, athletes, musicians, chess masters, and surgeons—in other words people who spend their time doing the activities they prefer. From their accounts he developed a theory of optimal experience based on what he calls flow—“the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
Further research indicated that flow wasn’t limited to experts. Men and women, rich and poor, young and old, regardless of culture, can experience flow. The flow research included old women in Korea, adults in Thailand and India, teenagers in Tokyo, Navajo sheepherders, and people working on assembly lines in Chicago. And the research concludes that the happiest people spend much time in a state of flow.
In exploring this research, it became obvious to me that the common factor in flow is a natural altered state of consciousness. Mihaly claims flow is addictive. Altered states are addictive, because the brain releases soothing beta-endorphins into the central nervous system. These brain/mind opiates are chemically close to opium. Also, an eyes-open altered state is a matter of focusing your attention on one thing, which is the key factor in flow.
Although Mihaly does not mention altered states, his work shows that when psychic energy (attention) is invested in realistic goals and when your skills match the opportunities for action, flow results. The pursuit of your goals brings such intense concentration that you momentarily forget everything else. Time disappears. In so doing you achieve control over your psychic energy, and by stretching skills and reaching toward higher challenges, you become an increasingly extraordinary individual.
The research clearly states that people who regularly experience flow are stronger people who can more easily handle life’s ups and down without caving in. To fully enjoy your life, learn to transform your activities into flow.
As a writer, I’m in flow most of the day. The same is true if I’m reading or painting. In my younger days I loved playing tennis. Mihaly often mentions tennis as a flow activity because of the need for intense concentration to monitor feedback.
In my next blog, I will share step-by-step, how to achieve flow.
Satisfaction & Happiness
$12.00 - $14.00
Track 1 Hypnosis Porgramming and Self-Talk. Track 2 Subliminal Programming.
Satisfaction & Happiness MP3
Track 1 Hypnosis Programming and Self-Talk. Track 2 Subliminal Programming.
Health, Wealth & Happiness
$12.00 - $14.00
Two different 30-minute tracks (songs) of relaxing music with subliminal suggestions imbedded in the background.
Health, Wealth & Happiness MP3
Two different 30-minute tracks (songs) of relaxing music with subliminal suggestions imbedded in the background.
A man kept a goose in a bottle, feeding it until it grew too large to get through the bottleneck. How can he get the goose out o the bottle without killing it or destroying the bottle?
This Zen koan offers a choice between two alternatives, both of which are equally impossible. The purpose of the koan is to reflect the dilemma of life: the problem of passing beyond the two alternatives of assertion and denial, both of which obscure the truth. the real problem is not to get the goose out of the bottle, but rather to get ourselves out of it. The goose represents man and the bottle, his circumstances. Our bottleneck is our conditioned way of seeing things. We see situations and problems as alien objects standing in our way rather than as extension of our won consciousness. We are conditioned to believe that our mind is inside us and that our perceptions of the world are outside. In reality, our mind is outside and all that we perceive is within our mind. Or, to put it another way, "The goose is out!"
Every thought you've ever had, every word you've ever spoken and every action you've ever experienced is recorded in the memory banks of your subconscious mind. This also includes all the memories of previous lifetimes.
According to brain researchers, the subconscious mind has 200,000 times the capacity of the largest computer ever built, so recording the history of your lives really isn't too great a task. In addition, it is now known that the human mind works like a computer, so all your past experiences represent your software programming. It is this programming that has made you what you are today. Your talents and abilities, problems and afflictions are the result of this subconscious programming. Your subconscious has directed you and it will continue to direct you. Sadly, it is often in opposition to your conscious desires.
You'd like to be able to go boating with your friends, but for some reason, you experience a great deal of anxiety whenever you get into a boat. Consciously, you realize there is minimal danger in boating, yet the anxiety persists.
Why? Because the subconscious has no reasoning power. It simply operates…like a computer. It functions as the result of programming. Maybe you experienced a fearful, though forgotten, trauma involving water as a child, or maybe you drowned in a past life. The result was negative programming, and although the past experience may not relate today, you still experience the anxiety.
The subconscious creates only according to its programming. It will assist to bring into actuality the reality for which it is programmed. This may have nothing to do with what you consciously desire, relating only to the past programming (thoughts and experiences) it has received.
If the subconscious were to receive no new programming, it would continue to operate on past input. This, of course, cannot happen, for you are constantly feeding new programming or data into your subconscious mind—YOUR COMPUTER. Every thought programs the computer. Thus, if your thoughts are more negative than positive, your computer is being programmed negatively. YOU CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY, OR KARMA, WITH YOUR THOUGHTS.
Many people have no idea how frequently they think in a negative manner. If you climb out of bed cursing the alarm clock, grumble your way through breakfast, then dwell on how much you dislike the rain and the traffic during your commute to work, and brood unhappily about your job, and on and on throughout the day, you are literally creating a worse reality for yourself. Because you are thinking more negative thoughts than positive ones, there is simply no way you can be creating anything but a negative reality. With all that negative programming of your computer, how could it do anything but create the programmed result: more negativity?
You do not HAVE a mind, you ARE mind. You are using your current body, but your body isn't you. You have a soul or a spirit or whatever you want to call it. Whatever it is, it must be mind, for any of regressive hypnosis will show that the mind carries all the memories of the past. Every individual carries memories of previous lifetimes, and the events in these past lives often seem to be affecting the present. This in itself does not prove reincarnation, but does show that a lineage of cause and effect (karma) is evident.
If you are a mind and that mind operates like a computer, that makes you a computer … a machine. Naturally, there is more to you than the mechanical aspect, but few people are presently working with larger aspects of their totality.
Everyone has the potential to create their own reality, so if you are not happy with the way it is, what mind has created, mind can change. To better understand these concepts, the following information shows effectively the subconscious mind doesn't reason but it does appear to generate circumstances to create a reality that reflects the programming it receives. Although this is normally accomplished by thoughts and through our life experiences, brain researchers have found that the subconscious incapable of telling the difference between reality and fantasy … between the real experience and the imagined experience.
these fears, but because they're still seems to be questions about the practice, I want to share my basic hypnosis teachings.
People usually, purposely induce an altered-state for one of three reasons: 1) reprogram beliefs, 2) relax and open to awareness, or 3) access memories. The subconscious mind is a memory bank of everything you've ever thought, said or done. Your mind remembers what the doctor said at your birth; what you did at your 4th birthday party; and who you had dinner with on October 14, 1990. The most important fact about the subconscious is that it can be fooled. In other words, it is like a computer that doesn't know where the information is coming from, only to act on it. Hypnosis brings you into an altered-state where you can easily re-program your mind. You have the power to change your life!
Hypnosis and Meditation are both altered-states of consciousness. When your mind is in an altered-state, you are 25-to-200 times as suggestible, which is why hypnosis can be so powerful. Being in an altered-state does not mean you are "tranced out'" but rather that you are in a relaxed state and are focused upon one thing.
There are only FOUR mind states:
1. Beta, the awake state
2. Alpha, in an altered-state
3. Theta, sometimes called the "Hypnogogic" state. This is the state of mind Einstein liked to go to receive his discoveries
4. Delta, sleep.
Being in an altered-state is not unnatural. You experience this state two-thirds of the time while you are watching TV. Runners go into an altered-state as they hit their rhythm and natural pace. Writers go into an altered-state if they are focused upon what they are writing losing track of time. Those who work at repetitive jobs, such as assembly line, go into an altered-state. Any time you are totally absorbed in what you are doing, you are in an altered-state of mind.
Some call this being in the "Flow." So, being in the flow is being in an altered-state of mind. This has nothing to do with training, or education. It happens to us all.
People usually, purposely induce an altered-state for now of three reasons:
1. Reprogram Beliefs (Hypnosis audio programs)
2. Relax and open to awareness (Meditation)
3. Access memories (From the Subconscious mind, as in Past-Life Regression)
Your SUBCONSCIOUS MIND is a memory bank of everything you've ever thought, said or done. Your subconscious mind holds the memory of what your mother's Doctor said at your birth; what you did on your 4th birthday; and who you had dinner with ten years ago.
The most important fact about the subconscious mind is, YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND CAN BE FOOLED. Visualization is the ultimate programming technique. This is where you tell your mind what is going to happen. You see it as a real experience, including how it feels to have it already accomplished. Visualization tells your mind that this is going to happen, therefore your mind then creates it as a reality.
Visualization is an extremely powerful tool and numerous studies have been done to test this. You may have heard of this basketball study or a different one with similar results.
Peace and Light,
Dick Sutphen is called “America’s foremost psychic researcher” by Simon & Schuster Pocket Books, and “American’s leading past-life therapist” by the Mind Body Spirit Festivals in London, England and Sydney, Australia. In addition to writing the million-copy bestseller, You Were Born Again To Be Together, he has authored 24 additional metaphysical books—seven for Pocket Books. His latest book, “Wisdom Erases Karma” is available now.
I was looking for some reference material this morning, when a book fell out of a stack and lay open on the floor at my feet: “Creative Mind and Success” by Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Religious Science movement—copyright, 1919.
I always think a situation like this is meant as a message for me, or for my readers. I had already written my column for this week, but if I considered it important, I still had time to change it. The book was open to page 33, and I began to read:
OLD AGE AND OPPORTUNITY: One of the besetting errors of people is a belief that they are too old to do things. This comes from a lack of understanding what life really is. Life is consciousness and not years. The man or woman who is seventy years old should be better able to demonstrate than the man who is only twenty. He should have evolved a higher thought, and it is thought and not conditions that we are dealing with.
Amelia Barr was fifty-three before she wrote a book. After that she wrote over eighty, all of which had a large circulation. Mary Baker Eddy was sixty before she began her work, and she attended to all of her great activities until she passed from this plane to a higher one. The author of this book once took a man who was over sixty, one who thought his chance for success had gone, and through teaching him these principles in a year’s time made him a prosperous business man. He is now doing well and was never before in his life so happy. The last time he was interviewed he said that business was increasing every day and that he had not begun yet. Every day he stands in his store and claims more activity. He speaks the word and realizes increase all the time. If this were not true then life would not be worth the living.
What is a few years in eternity? We must get over these false notions about age and competition. In the truth the word competition is never mentioned. The people who think about it have never known the truth.
Life is what we make it from within and never from without. We are just as old as we think we are, no matter what the number of years may have been that we have lived on this planet.
(end of excerpt)
Ernest Holmes taught that our conditions are governed by our thinking. There is nothing but Mind, and your life is governed absolutely by Mind. In our lives of conditions we are the cause, and nothing moves except as our mind moves it. We are all surrounded by a thought atmosphere. The mental atmosphere is the direct result of thought which in its turn becomes the direct reason for the cause of that which comes into your lives. Through this power we are either attracting or repelling. Like attracts like and we attract to us just what we are in mind. It is also true that we become attracted to something that is greater than our previous experience by first embodying the atmosphere of our desire.
I don’t know if anyone wrote about The Law of Attraction before 1919, but it seems Holmes predated ” The Secret” by almost 90 years. I did replace the column I’d already written, because this seemed more important.
Peace & Light,
There is a parable about a poor man walking through the woods reflecting upon his many troubles. He stopped to rest against a tree, a magical tree that would instantly grant the wishes of anyone who came in contact with it. He realized he was thirsty and wished for a drink. Instantly a cup of cool water was in his hand. Shocked, he looked at the water, decided it was safe and drank it. He then realized he was hungry and wished he had something to eat. A meal appeared before him.
“My wishes are being granted,” he thought in disbelief. “Well, then I wish for a beautiful new home of my own,” he said out loud. The home appeared in the meadow before him. A huge smile crossed his face as he wished for servants to take care of the house. When they appeared he realized he had somehow been blessed with an incredible power and he wished for a beautiful, loving, intelligent woman to share his good fortune.
“Wait a minute, this is ridiculous,” said the man to the woman. “I’m not this lucky. This can’t happen to me.” As he spoke everything disappeared. He shook his head and said, “I knew it,” then walked away thinking about his many troubles.
Thoughts are things and they create your reality.
Peace and Light,
The Six Buddhist Perfections offer guidelines to all seeker of self-advancement:
Peace and Light,
The greatest resource you have is time—you either spend time or you waste it. Spending time means using it constructively, profitably, and ideally in a way that is fulfilling to you. Spending time might be working toward your success, a dinner with good friends, or sitting and doing nothing. Wasted time is any time spent with people you don’t enjoy. Time spent doing busywork without benefit is also wasted.
Time is the most precious thing you have. When you allow people to waste your time you let them steal your life. We all have the same 1440 minutes per day, but this time is lost forever unless you invest it in your future—by acquiring knowledge, learning skills, making business contacts or enhancing your personal life.
You don’t have to respond to the demands of others. Only your value judgements keep you spending your time the way you want. How you decide to spend time has everything to do with the quality of your life and the level of success you can expect to attain. Meditate upon any changes in the way you spend your time that would serve you.
Peace and Light,
Your current situation can be affected only by focusing upon and gradually working toward your goal. Do not attempt to force or pressure your way to a situation. It simply won’t work and could create a complication or total reversal of circumstances.
You need to clarify your intent and apply gradual effort over a long period of time. Emulate the water that wears away a rock in the stream. If you must influence others, perceive the spirit of that group and align yourself with their concerns; hopes and dreams. Although it will take time, you will make a profound impression. The same is now true of your personal relationships. Be patient and think in terms of lengthy commitments.
Make decisions and then stick to them. Great accomplishments will result from an enduring effort focused upon a clearly defined goal. Remember that thoughts are things and they create, so always remain optimistic about the successful fulfillment of your desires.
You search so hard for happiness, but how can you find it by searching for it? Happiness comes from within, the natural result of what you do in life. The more you spread joy to others, the more it will come back to you. If what you’ve been doing has not generated the joy and happiness you desire, it is time to change your approach. Stop searching. Stop desiring. Just give. Practice kindness. Share yourself. Give without expectations and it will be returned a hundred times over. Everything in life comes back to you.
Beneath your fears and insecurities, your true nature is pure joy. It isn’t something outside that you can achieve, it is something inside you’ve forgotten—your essence—what you are and what you were meant to be.
When you compare your level of happiness to what you perceive to be someone else’s level of happiness, you become dissatisfied, but the comparison arises from your ego and is always futile. You can’t know how others relate to their lives. Everyone is unique. The person who appears to have it all may not be able to enjoy anything as much as you enjoy looking at a spring flower. When you stop comparing, you will experience your joyful essence.
Peace and Light,
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