The Psychology of Optimal consciousness
The Psychology of Optimal consciousness
In the 1970's psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that that peak performance was derived from being in a state of total immersion in activity. He named this the "flow state".
Our brain's electrical and chemical patterns change, driving a shift in how we process information. We act spontaneously and effortlessly as our senses become heightened, time becomes distorted, our sense of self vanishes. Our attention becomes laser focused. We feel calm and completely in control. We achieve our goals with style and ease.
The foundation for flow is a laser focused awareness on the present moment. Similar to mindfulness and meditative states, flow creates order in our consciousness, because we must concentrate our attention on the task at hand, and forget about everything else, at least for a short time.
The ancient mystics, philosophers and monks of the east have built their spiritual, creative and martial practice in the pursuit of flow for centuries.
The Japanese martial & creative arts use the word mushin to describe an unusually heightened state of awareness where there are no thoughts or emotions to block you from accessing the zone of peak human performance. It comes from “mushin no shin” which is a Zen term for “mind of no mind.”
In the Chinese internal arts, this is called this wu wei, sometimes translated as effortless action, non-forcing or effortless doing. Both wu wei and mushin describe entering a state in which it feels as though nature is guiding us.
In the yoga tradition, there is the concept of samyama (perfect control of the mind) which can be likened to mushin and wu wei.
Living in flow is to join the flow of life. It is to live consciously, in balance, on the edge of uncertainty, releasing control and livig in trust.
Living in flow is to be mindful and aware, in harmony with the natural order of the universe.
Flow is a state of being- it is our state of full potential, highest achievement and clarity of purpose.
Flow is a glimpse of the innate and unconditioned part of us that has no name or labels. In flow we are in-sync with life around us. We connect with our environment and with others who are also in flow.
A life devoid of flow is a lonely life without connection, a struggle against the flow of life. To live in flow is to be connected with our higher selves, with nature, and with others.
Flow is about transcendence of ego-self, enabling the clarity of vision required for us to come together and solve our collective problems in an integrated way.
For the necessary change to occur in the world, it will not come from that politician getting elected, or by that group being defeated. Borders, nations, political parties, ideologies and other vestiges of artificial separation will be transcended in this new era of change.
Change will come via mass shifts in perspective and awareness, creating a groundswell of connectedness and empowerment.
By learning how to live in flow, you are taking personal responsibility for expanding your awareness and raising your consciousness. You are turning away from separation and toward connectedness. You are taking meaningful action on behalf of everyone and everything. It is a heroic and revolutionary act of freedom and love.
These are the basic route I charted to navigate my way from living a life of fear and inauthenticity, to now living a life of purpose and flow.
This is not a full guide for the process of walking your path to freedom. This info-graphic illustrates the step by step process you can take.
If you are already walking this path towards your own freedom, you can see where you are, and whether your path is similar to mine! Signing up will also keep you in the loop with our latest adventures and inspiration.
Thanks for your support! :: Jiro Taylor
You want to be free? Here is the challenge you face.
You've been told that freedom means choice, so you buy things and become enslaved by possessions.
You are told freedom means security, so you trade years in servitude for the illusion of security in the future.
Education, mass media, government and corporations all perpetuate the same myths. We are programmed since birth to search outside ourselves for freedom.
In this futile search you change jobs and relationships. You buy more shit. You move country. But the problem doesn't go away.
The more you struggle the less free you become.
One day you wake up and realise that you have been looking in all the wrong places.
So you look within. You stop thinking and doing. You listen. You feel.
You discover that the "freedom" you are sold is bullshit. You discover true freedom is an inner state.
It is the power to dismantle the shackles of conditioning so you can choose your response in every moment of life. The foundation of this freedom is self-awareness.
So you look within.
You make the time and space in your life to be silent and still.
You take responsibility for your freedom. You train your mind, body connect with higher levels of consciousness.
You become free.