The Flow State [Part 1 of 3]

THE FLOW STATE

How many times have you sat at the table, medium in front of you, waiting for the inspiration to strike and guide your hand?

Hustle Coffee Not Included . . .

Showing up and awaiting an entrance into the creative process.

You set aside time, did all your rituals, created a dedicated space, even went out of your way to make yourself uncomfortable so you could focus.

All of the lower granularity items were in place, and yet the page remains blank.

What is wrong with this picture?

Much like stretching and shaking out the physical body, the mind also benefits from oxygenation. It needs time to work out some of the kinks...recurring thoughts...conjurations of fabricated fairy tales...the neverending ‘to-do’ list - all the general cobwebs of resistance that distract you from your most impactful, meaningful activities.

I sit here at the top of the page, gazing out over the canvas. I see the sheen surfaces of the marble, ripe for carving. I imagine the form that may be coaxed out from it. Here the idea is to stretch out and open up the mind through expelling its contents in a stream of consciousness.

Can you hear Her call?

For Example: "Even now, my writing has been more structured as I did not allow a full breakneck writing speed. I held just back from 100mph and let mostly unfiltered, but well thought out material emerge."

To begin tapping into the writing ‘flow’, one must first unblock debris from the creative stream by “caging the monkey mind” (coined by Tim Ferriss). With as much haste as your fingers will allow, release your words and ideas onto the page.

Once you release these thoughts and bind them up in letter form, they are no longer free radicals bouncing around inside your head. They can no longer stifle your expression.

In the moments since typing this paragraph, I already feel space and lightness opening up even in my physical body. Making good is feeling good.

To make good things you need a producer that is in a ‘state’ of good, a byproduct of simple logic and mental calisthenics.

It’s like shaking an Etch’ a Sketch and clearing the board for a new drawing.

Letting out torrents of swiftly travelling thoughts; releasing semi-formed and crude sentences clears a path for a highway where the really good juices flow!

Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

 The Studio

The Studio

COURTING THE MUSE

Everyone has had the experience of showing up to create, intending to the turn the faucet full tilt - but only getting a trickle. What was the cause of this state of impeded flow?

It's a messy process ...

Artists throughout history have referred to their relationship to the feminine creative forces, or Muses - Ideas of divine creative inspiration innate to the human psyche.

 

 

The feminine force is classically idealized as the receptive, more artistic element in humanity. Many great builders and thinkers did their best work when in communion with a female potential or force outside of themselves. These sages personified this creative part of themselves, symbolizing them in stories and myth.

Some of these men and women will go as far to say the work itself was not their doing, but this intervening force. The inspiration just came upon them and struck them dumb - their job being to go forth and give this energy a form.

The “I” or the ego-self has nothing to do with these states, nothing to do with these periods of great work. And the true visionary knows this, which is why they readily gave up autonomy to their muse.

Musicians and artists will say that their best lyrics, songs, and pieces did not come when they spent hours on the hustle grind or sleepless nights in their studios.

The works that reached the greatest heights and ended up having the largest impact were often those that were scribbled on napkins, written hurriedly at stoplights, or came over them at the most inopportune times.

So it must follow from these descriptions that She has to call you. Ringing your muse is not a full-proof method.


The Muse comes and goes as she pleases; her presence and absence is equally a mystery. This doesn’t mean we can’t try to facilitate a meeting.

PART 1 - TO BE CONTINUED ...