17.6 Thinking about flow and the need for fixed points of attention within a wider framework.

 

Did you ever try learning something new, which the people around you don´t really believe or support? Flow may be a way of strengthening your resolve to keep at it....

 

Since finding flow experience is dependent on our awareness of clear goals, like climbing to the top of a mountain, or completing the composition of a poem, or creating a great business presentation... whatever it is we want to achieve, we can work out our own rhythm between the big goal and the smaller steps which will get us there. I was just riding a bicycle in the countryside today  - and enjoyed the opportunity to practice seeing without glasses. Sunny day, low traffic, so a chance to try out some short distance/long distance-vision swinging. This is about micro-goals, like focusing on the handle bars of the bike, blinking, focussing on the horizon and seeing a tree (blurry), letting go, appreciating the surroundings "moving" while focusing on something fixed. All of these mini-moments of perception, if coupled with awareness, eg. are my eyes relaxing/straining/dynamically concentrating? - then lead to moments of improved vision, sometimes a few seconds of a whole landscape, sometimes a few seconds clear focus of a street sign. The seeing flow which enables my weak eyes to see more clearly comes from a swinging rhythm between long distance challenge, short distance challenge, failure, relaxation, concentration, new fixed point, letting go, concentrating, letting go. I guess this is true for many flow experiences. If we have a high ability to do something, it becomes possible to have stretches of high performance within our comfort zone, and then stretches of higher performance, and higher flow in phases where we are stretched slightly beyond our known limits. But these reflections also give me the idea of applying flow principles to topics where we sense a deficit, and apply the principles to get back into a normal state. The main point is, from whatever state we are moving from, however skilled we are, we need a fairly clear idea of how to get to the next state, eg. what we need to do to reach it. If we have a clear idea, and the step is manageable, then our chances of success will be higher, as will be our chances of enjoying the stretch... so let´s make sure our goals are realistic and clear, however big or small they are. Keep the big goals in mind and hone your clarity and concentration for the everyday tasks required to get you there.