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The Art of Flow

That moment in which nature moves forward, and your ego lets go.

This is where I am at, right now.

Photo Credit @M_Media_

Photo Credit @M_Media_

Why is that simple statement so difficult to embrace?

I’ve been considering these last few days what exactly it is that inspires me? Where does my drive come from?

The easy answer is “Oh I am a creative, it’s just how my mind operates.. blah, blah, blah..” That would be a false un-authentic answer.

The truth looks a little more like this: I saw this sign a few weeks ago, a young Entrepreneur/Artist I know whom has spent the last year studying music production at a school in California called Icon Collective, it was sent to me.. randomly on a text. Interestingly everything that I have heard about this school has been positive, inspiring and geared towards nurturing ARTISTS, not ego centric money grabbers. (my nod at Fitz) I love that. Truly. This sign is hung in one of the hallways at the school.

fear

It challenged me that day, and it challenges me still, today as I write this.

The Art of Flow..  these four words have been swirling though my brain waiting to be unpacked and honoured.

Something I believe in with my entire being, is Adventure Walking.. When you go to your fear place, feeding them, allowing them to grow and thrive in your mind, when you are challenged, blocked, stagnant or generally lacking flow –  first things first –  best practice in my opinion, go outside.

Photo Credit: @M_Media_

While I was searching for a quote about the Art of Flow I came across this video from the Co Founder at Icon, a guy named Christopher Wight. The video is a few years old however that matters not, it’s dead on the message I have been seeking.

Christopher says, everyone is fundamentally creative. On the most basic level – we are creative and it’s reflective in the multitude of choices we make daily, our clothing, our transportation our friends – every single time you make a choice you are creating something. HOWEVER to take that up a notch, speaking specifically to artists and “ART” is subjective – I believe writers, photographers, musicians, painters… ALL ARTISTS.

This truth is applicable.

Most decisions are based in fear, we need to train ourselves to distance our minds from that place, from making our creative decisions that way, “Is this cheesy, will people like this, does this sound/look/feel right?” What a very creative person does, someone that is tapped into their creativity does, is they just do what they feel. 

Our goal as artists is to create sub-conscientiously, that goes straight across the artistry board – it’s as applicable to me as writer and a photographer as the kid learning how to make a rad beat or the girl learning guitar..

Christopher also says, if you start dictating where your art is going, what its going to sound like, look like or feel like you have already fucked yourself. Ego takes away from flow.

You can be good at this, what ever this is - but if you let your nature take over you can be far better.
“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Now ask me the original question again; Where does my drive come from?

True Answer: “I have no idea, It just seems to be in me..” I honour the gift.

I can tell you where it doesn’t come from a little easier though.

Social media, expectations, deadlines, ego, people pleasing, busy.

One of the oppositional points that tends to become the anti creation is simply put, fear. Fear restricts flow.

I admit, one of the most important things I do in my day is meditate.

Photo Credit: @M_Media_

I will digress for a moment. A few years ago I worked to develop a personal empowerment plan that would allow me to grow creatively, physically, emotionally, intellectually and also to take ownership over the direction of my life.  IN Simple bits though.

The “plan” or the intentionality is the key, it’s keeping to a dedicated self care schedule that is in fact the “plan”. 

Daily, 15 minutes of uninterrupted time – you call it – it looks different to each of us – but I have found the most successful use of time is of which is focused and completely away from all modalities of digital media! Breathing, morning practice, a walk on your lunch break – stop at a park on your way home, pop in some headphones to block out sound and breathe. Visualize.. imagine love surrounding you, penetrating your aura, caressing you. Energy attraction is a POWERFUL life asset. Exhale all of the negatives that have attached themselves to your person, FEAR, let it go, name it and let it go.

Weekly, 2-4 hours. Put it in your calendars. It’s as important as any other thing you will do, and if you really begin to make this a priority, you will recognize the value of working hearter not harder. Taking an afternoon to get outside, to paint, to create, to get a massage to go for a hike whatever it is – as long as you do it off the clock and off the grid. Entrepreneurs/Artists.. take a notebook with you, a small easily totable notebook and a pen and watch the ideas that flow during this time.  Working harder isn’t the key to successful entrepreneurial or creative pursuits – clocking hours isn’t as effective as creating with purpose and fundamentally being productive. Take time each and every week to flow,  it will essentially become a conduit to a more productive time use.

Bi Monthly, ONE FULL DAY. Yup. Every other week – take a day off.  If you have the ability to do this weekly I recommend that to happen but let’s be honest – little bits, often times our days off are peppered with stuff to do. That is NOT the same thing as scheduling self care, learn that truth intimately.

Lastly, every 4-6 weeks. 4 days minimally.

Yup. I am telling you to take a mini vacation every few months. How? Prioritize it. If something is important,  you will find both the time and the money. It’s not that you have to “go away” either, it’s just an intentional time off the preverbal grid.

The most consistent mediation mantra I use while changeling my flow, is a breathing technique: Inhale ~ Love, Exhale ~ Fear.

Photo Credit: @M_Media_

Adventure walking has become part of my week – Adventure walking in synonymous with, hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, surfing, kayaking… you get the idea. It’s my weekly therapy appointment. Nature Therapy that is.

I have really reflected on Christopher’s philosophy about fear,  because I have field tested the theory.

I am all about passion and connection, that truth is infused in nearly everything I do, touch, say and feel.  While watching the above video I resinated with something said deeply and a few weeks ago as I was interviewing various people at the Life is Beautiful Festival, it came up time and time again – I don’t exclusively write about music but I do a lot because of its innate ability to connect us to one another.  Christopher in his Art of Flow philosophy tried to teach a principle that I feel is truth in present tense.

Music | Connection

If you want to create music (Art) that affects people, you are going to have to  create in the manner that you, the creators are feeling, this is done by allowing your flow to drive.. The whole point in what affects people is that you are aligning yourself emotionally with them, translating that you understand how they feel. Human connection. It’s an underlying life truth that is as real as the earth, stars and the moon.

Art is a reflection of life. So it has to do with individual truth.

Christopher used the example, “No one can tell me my eye colour is wrong because it just IS, right? You can not tell me it’s wrong, you can however not like my brown eyes, you can not like the way they sit in my skull, but they can’t be wrong. It’s the exact same thing with art, it can’t be wrong.”

There is so much freedom to be created in lifting that truth up off our shoulders, if we are simply to understand that one thing.

{Art} It can’t be wrong, it just is.

In closing, I have spent the better part of last week paralyzed by they frenzy of fear and distraction, completely loosing site of the flow.

All of those things, social media, expectations, deadlines, ego, people pleasing, busy are still here – but with one exception – I am letting go of the FEAR and embracing the FLOW.

I am embracing that THIS IS WHERE I AM AT, NOW.  It can’t be wrong, it just IS. Thank you Christopher for this video, this philosophy, the entire thrust of truth into the universe!

It’s time, Exhale: Fear.

 words by | miss d 

All excerpts based on the Art of Flow are based on my observations, and are not verbatim.

1 Comment on The Art of Flow

  1. 🙂

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  1. Lone Cone: Meares Island | LoveBeingHere.com

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