Updated: Jan 22, 2020
I love it when the simple translates into the profound.
I love it when wisdom shows up in unlikely places.
I love it when someone I barely know captures a thought that reflects a foundational concept of how I think and experience the world.
Today the concept captured is not new for me.
Flow. I love flow. I look for flow. I see flow. I see openings. I see entrances. I see routes around barriers. When people say impossible... I hear, “what do I need to see or know or what resource do I need to access to make it possible?”
How do you fill the gap between where you are to where you want to be? The answer is: creativity. You need to employ creativity to IMAGINE.
Imagine what? Imagine the way through to the other side. Imagine your way to the desired outcome.
I’m not talking about the kind of creativity that you often see in an artist with a brush that paints on a canvas. I’m talking about the kind of artist that uses life as the canvas to express. The kind of expression that makes a way where there is no way.
My first training in flow, that I remember, was when I was 12 years old while whitewater rafting on the Wolf River in Wisconsin. There in the bouncy yellow rubber rafts I learned to “read” the upstream v’s and the down stream v’s in the surface of the current. I learned about hydraulics, also called keepers. I learned what a rooster tail meant and how you had to play it differently in high water verses low water. I knew how to “work an eddy” if you needed to time-out from the fast current.
One primary principle, a core wisdom really, I learned from whitewater rafting is you maintain control of your raft by moving faster than the current or slower than the current. If you’re going the same speed as the current the current has all the power. Sure you have flow traveling with the current but is the current taking you where you want to go? Is the power of the flow taking you some place safe or dangerous?
(Darn, I wish I would have been more tuned in and willing to trust my sources of wisdom back in my 20’s! I could have saved myself so much self-induced injury and heartache.)
Standing in Japan, my husband and I, newly married, at the ticket both for the bus that has already left on its last trip up Mt. Ontake.
“Wait! Is there another way to get to the top of the mountain?”
“IMPOSSIBLE!” Is all the attendant would say over and over again.
Not deterred. I lead the charge as we headed on foot for the road that went to the mountain. Too far to walk, we had to figure out another way. Looking for what appeared to be a nice driver, our thumbs go out. First car. Stops. Asks us where we are going. They wave us into their van. We head off in the direction of the peak.
Do you know this incredibly kind couple went out of their way to take us to the top of the mountain?! Standing on the top of Mt. Ontake, I was thankful that through the generosity of others, we found a way to the top. But to get there we had to imagine another way. We had to access different resources than the obvious ones.
At my daughter’s violin lesson, her teacher often expresses a musical view of the world that articulates a shared view, a philosophical view, that fits for me. This week the framework was:
Imagine is the planner.
Play is the doer.
Observe is the watcher sitting in “the press
Reflector is the reporter.
Did your action actualize what you imagined?
Now flow. Connecting action, to action, to action, producing the imagined outcome.
If you’ve ever seen my daughter play her violin on the Stewart Shell stage at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, without awareness, she has accessed a flow of her music that reflects a beauty that a “released” performance following a pure flow can bring. All I know, is that it is a sight to behold.
So now to Imagine...
Imagine walking today...
in this moment...
in this released state...
to participate in this bigger picture of flow.