Flow for Flow’s Sake
I find myself frequently trying to create a ‘set it and forget it’ schedule, as though I really am attempting to become a robot.
It actually doesn’t have as much to do with efficiency, as it seems to be more of a distraction than anything. The further I write out my plans into the future, the less likely they are to be accomplished. It doesn’t mean there is no value in the process, but I am beginning to feel like I have outgrown this method.
None of my plans ever seemed to work out, so I would make new plans. This is because I never ended up putting in the work that I’d so clearly defined for myself. I got addicted to the excitement of thinking about what was in the realm of possibility if I applied myself. I loved drawing up depictions of what my time commitments looked like for the weeks and months within a year. Its incredibly naive to think that plans will always work out, and even though I still think they are important to have, I found myself living in the future at the expense of current circumstances. I never had a doubt that I could do anything I set my mind to, however, setting my mind became the main event instead of the opening scene.
What I’ve learned over the course of this year of healing is that I can use this realization to my advantage. Those goals need to be met with action and that is a new mindset for me to inhabit. It is not enough to declare I will be making changes if they never come to fruition. Because I never incorporated them into lifestyle changes, my plans could never manifest into the physical realm before. The previous program of inaction continued to reboot each time I fell back into old thought patterns (just as they did when I was in my codependent relationship).
Lately, I’ve been taking the steps necessary to completely change my behavior in the physical realm. I add in exercise and meditation like sprinkles, rather than trying to carve out a big chunk of time that will inevitably become a looming source of anxiety for the day. I do my best to stay mentally conscious, moving in and out of the observer-mind perspective, throughout my waking experience. Where my schedules used to contain all the prerequisites I needed to complete in order to achieve a goal, now my goals themselves are a part of my checklists for the day. Checklists I don’t expect to always fulfill by end of day, but most days I can accomplish a lot more in this formatting than abiding by a strict schedule of deadlines for the month. My new mindset must include a healthy dose of mystery to keep me engaged.
I feel myself chipping away, little by little, to achieve an online presence that gets me to a greater network of like-minded people. I no longer aspire to have some claim to fame that introduces me to a wide-ranging pool of friends to choose from. In my actions, I have begun to attract those people that I feel a genuine connection with. Its actually lovely how acting out of my own interests exposes me to others on a similar path. In my inaction, I was never even a blip on these people’s radars. These acquaintances I’ve had the pleasure of making have opened me up to other possibilities I’d have never considered while operating in my old mindset.
Flow state has been perverted by an incessant need to be productive, so I am not simply advocating we always take action. There are moments that we should slow down to allow our intuition to guide us. I’m simply trying to encourage a practice of mindfulness that places value on wellness over comfort. Attempting to drone through a life of responsibility is not living. If we can be certain of anything in life, it is that change is constant and we have the capacity to turn that into something beautiful if we are willing to devote the time and energy.
It all comes from the desire to stay comfortable. As humans, we try to construct a stable environment that is predictable and, therefore, manageable. We resist change because it contains that which we do not know. This unknown may even be a better situation than current circumstances, but we cannot be sure and certainty is such a valuable ideal that it cannot be spared for a potential let-down. So, instead, we play the old game that got us to where we are, continuing the same habits and performing the same routines.
Originally written during Collective Journaling at The Stoa