Go with the F L O W

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. — Julia Cameron

Skipper in the moment
Skipper in the moment, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

Flow with the river
Float with the breeze, bathe in bliss
Notice nothing else

In my last post, I cited that getting lost in an activity could be considered a type of meditation for me, which allows an escape from some of the pain.  I can get lost in certain music, artwork, photographing nature, etc.  This is described as Flow psychology (or being present in the moment).  It involves being fully immersed and absorbed in an activity to the point you are oblivious to everything else.  It is being connected to an activity, to a moment.  The expert on this is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist and educator who emigrated from Europe to the United States in the 1950’s.  (I’m  unable to pronounce his name correctly.)

The skipper butterfly in the photo above is a good example of Flow, in my opinion.  This butterfly was so absorbed in drinking nectar from the flower that it was totally oblivious to me.  I stroked its wings, I nudged it back and forth, I put the camera right in its face, which is how I got such a closeup shot, and it did not budge or fly away until it was done.  Great Flow!  Working on getting this photo and enhancing it afterwards was Flow for me.

What activity is Flow for you?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meanderer
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 02:22:20

    Stunning image and beautiful poem. I agree with what you say about flow and being present in the moment – I actually edited my ‘About’ page earlier this morning using similar words. Photography really is a flow activity for me as are gardening, knitting and the creative side of DIY.


  2. Rick Daddario
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 02:57:49

    hmmmm…. i think almost any activity can work as flow in this sense. however it is up to us to focus with that intensity. the idea being to be present in every thing we do to such a degree that we… as you say, become lost – or absorbed?? or… one??? in it. i also agree that it is or can be very much like meditation. in fact some concepts of meditation would say that is the goal or idea of meditation – to bring it to such a presence in our every day every activity that we are perpetually in that meditative state (at least that is my current understanding of it – or at least that particular concept). that said, yes, a number of things can take over my awareness to such a degree that i “lose track of time” – which means i’m in the part of my brain that does not track time well. that part that is often the creative side to life – and art. yeah, i like when that happens. it can happen at other times too, and at any time of the day. i like that too. more flow to you in your every moment – aloha.


  3. sandy
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 14:53:43

    This is nice, I am so glad you stopped by, and lead me back here.


  4. buddhafulkat
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 08:02:46

    I love vinyasa (flow) yoga and flow psychology. The psychologist above wrote a book called Flow and it has made a huge impact on how I view life. Great post!


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