Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Going with the flow

“If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it. Many of the things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology Of Engagement With Everyday Life

Have you ever felt the flow? Perhaps it was while watching a movie, playing a console game or ... CREATING! That's when I get it - those times when hours fly past because you are so immersed in the enjoyment of your process. When I'm in flow my intuition seems to take over. It's my right brain kicking in and adding its flavours to my creative juice.

Letting my paint and life flow in the direction it needs to go

Can you remember what it was like when you were a young child and presented with a blank sheet of paper and some poster paints. Did you sit there and moan to the teacher that you couldn't draw or that you didn't know what to paint? Or did you slather colour across the page, sticking your tongue slightly out of your mouth in concentration, and just make something?

Flow is naturally represented by Water and was the element explored by Whitney Freya and my band of vision questers last month. We dove deep into our soul and cleansed ourselves of notions that we weren't good enough or that everything had to perfect.

Imagine your life at present immersed in water right now. Are you all at sea with the waves of life taking control and casting you against the rocks. Is the sand clogging your senses? Do you need a sense of direction?

Or are you at one with your intuition, flowing down the river? When an obstacle appears on the horizon you don't fear it, you just flow right around or maybe grab the things from the water that will serve you and let go of what doesn't.

I've been painting with my intuition, just letting what wants to come make its way onto the canvas. Mostly the same canvas, I've fought the impulse to hang onto something just because it looked good at that moment and instead practiced detachment.

Evolution of a Picasso-inspired painting - later it became a red bird!

The lessons I've learned have applied in my work life too. I was holding onto a role that had been a comfort blanket but hadn't realised how much it had gone from soft and welcoming cashmere to a scratchy horse hair that was bringing me out in a nasty rash! So, I bravely let go of that which no longer served and followed my bliss. Right now for me this is stepping away from my regular income and throwing myself in the deep end as I launch my Creativity Coaching business. Scary stuff but there are no rocks so far! The water is warm and I'm bobbing along just nicely!

And as I flow into this new coaching career I seem to have Liz Gilbert on autoplay in my ear reminding me about how important it is to act on your ideas before they carry on downstream to find someone else to grow them to fruition. So, while in flow I've already launched both a new Facebook Group and a collaborative art project to further help bring my tribe together.

Art is Life. Life is Art.

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