Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flowing in the River of Life

Some days the time moves in contrast to how you feel. It creeps as you race, you mimic a sloth and the clock acts as though it's on a coke binge. But sometime, in the way that dusk moves to evening, time feels liminal - it's breaths merging with yours as you pass through conversations, resting, thinking, running errands as you walk together in step with no perception of going fast or slow but just being. I have had some of these moments, where life seems timeless - just moving along as if guided by a power contained within and without, in concert but without you have any conscious notion of participating in the process.

Wouldn't it be nice to have more moments like that in our life? I treasure the moments, no matter how short, that have this quality. When I'm very present and in my body it's more likely to happen when I am dancing is when this happens the most, though still all too infrequently. For me, the lesson there is to dance more: alone, with others, at home, at boogies, at clubs, wherever, whenever possible. I suppose this state would be referred to be being "in flow", as popularized by Csikszentmihaly. For me I relate it more to my Buddhist studies which predate my exposure to Mr. Csikszentmihaly, where I first encountered what intuitively I sensed in my body, in my heart about being in the moment even though I spent my childhood escaping via daydreams and books. I suppose that given how fully I immersed in those activities it could be argued that I was in that state, even while I was dissociating from realities, creating my own which felt safer, nurturing in that they provided me a world of possibility outside my own.

Given my lifestyle which lacks structure even as I strive to create some in order to meet some outside idea of how I should live, most of my days are about finding the flow, allowing life to flow over and inside of me. Appreciating the moments of deep terror, amusement, and bliss have become, while not second nature, it seems that I have the ability to "stop and smell the roses" better than I ever have before.

Whether one labels being in the flow, living the dogma of Buddhism, or having a sense of humor about the gods playing dice to figure out your destiny, I find that I am engaging more deeply in random minutes, walking the liminal, enjoying that moment of stepping off the cliff wondering whether a wind will carry me, or a net will catch me.

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