How long is a day? Forever. How long is a life? Milliseconds. How long is a moment in the Flow? Never Ending.
Where did we get the structure? Who made up the context of time? When did somehow we become expect our work to happen in daytimes, during the week, and our play time on nights and weekends? This isn’t going to be a whiny post about how we need to work 24-7 and if we’re not, then we’re doing it wrong… Exactly the opposite.
There is no separation between work and play, in the flow. There is no exhaustion, just excitement. There is rest time, there is work time, it all interplays throughout each day at all times of the day. Early morning, late morning, noon time, afternoon, evening, late night, early early morning. All these times are open for work, open for play, open for rest, Really.
I have struggled though, fitting this truth into a context of time, that maybe I learned in grade school? Starting quite young, our school weeks are boxed-up and packed, with blocks of play built-in: Recess, Lunch, Recess Again. All the good stuff seems to be the small parts, while the boring, or hard or tedious or stuck-in-your-chair work is the painful majority. Sad really. I did well in school. I wanted to ‘do it right’ and get good grades, please people, yet I still wanted those play times most. Art classes, special project time, or science experiments are what I enjoyed more than anything else. I didn’t want the boring work time… So sue me.
So later on, we grow up, we want to continue this structure and rhythm we’ve been institutionalized into believing, and we ‘need’ a job, and our stuff, and our little place in this big ole world. The best jobs, give the most free time, for the most money, right? Get a 9-5, enjoy weekends and vacations, be happy?!?!? Nope.
Been there, done that, it wears out. What’s funny about lately, is that I am working harder and better than ever. I have a place again. I am more found-er than lost-er on my little career journey. But quite upside-down from my old life. The work now is more intense, it’s harder, and requires more depth of focus. I make a mere fraction of the pay. I work all hours of the day, and night. I am happier. What?!?!
Yeah, it’s weird (ha!). Among the hard intense work, I enjoy mid day naps often. I sleep in late many days. I work late too. I make creative designs. I grill fat juicy steaks. I talk about business with my spouse a lot. I had hiring conversations and meetings this week. I cleaned up poop, just yesterday. I dropped tough news that not everyone would like. I saw historic firsts, that delighted me deeply and simply with my wife.
I have enjoyed moments so far out of my own ideas of success, that I appreciated and was surprised by. This stuff is more highly concerted and divinely orchestrated than I could have ever created myself. And that’s the really funny part. I have been intentionally directing my life for several years now. Picking a far out big ole crazy goal, like becoming a professional Life Coach. Working with the world’s best, and choosing to dive into such uncharted waters, the struggle to stay afloat at all, was so exhausting. I chose all that. I chose how hard it was too. Probably didn’t have to be that hard. Anyway…
I see quite lately, that the Flow, shows itself in it’s ease and play and forthcomingness. The Flow is timeless, it’s suspended as an infinite and fleeting flash of gratitude and cooperation. I’ve experienced Flow in such simple little moments lately, no stress, no fear, nothing I could ever have decided and planned for and carved out with my intentionality.
To quote a teacher that has impacted me, it’s like holding a cork underwater and just letting it go. The feeling is release, it shoots upward, it’s easier than the struggle to grip something where it doesn’t want to be. This blog itself is like that. Even today, I struggle and fight to keep it where it is. It’s painful to push words through the clattering keys and make sense of something to share with myself, to fill this space, what is the point? I don’t actually know what the point is. I can tell from other recent experiences however, that this pattern of black letters and spaces, isn’t really in full flow. It’s too hard. It’s too much of a fight. It’s too pointless, to make sense of. Other activities lately are not that way at all. They jump onto the screen with vigor and pop. They ignite conversation and feedback and gifts and participation. This place don’t do that. It’s a fight to write, then crickets chirping, a like from my wife, maybe a couple more. Thank You all, for every last one of your clicks or comments that’s ever come. Maybe it was a struggle for you, to let the world know you read these crazy words.
This isn’t a beg. Please don’t read that. This is a contrast, it’s a distinction, it’s a laugh I’ve had at myself this last week. Things that are falling so fittingly into place, are a joy and delight in my world, they are so easy. They are not however, ‘normal.’ No, you can still guarantee that my life, doesn’t look like the thing you would want for your kid. It doesn’t have ‘security’ and ‘balance’ and a disciplined schedule that you can ‘count on.’ No, it’s wilder than that. It’s no round peg for a round hole. It doesn’t even Flow, most of the time.
I have seen the Flow lately, in tiny glimpses. It’s so Real, and so visceral and so ordinary I chuckle at myself. I couldn’t have pushed for this. I couldn’t have made it happen. It was supposed to be this way, it was and is, always perfect. I was supposed to die, and be sad and be lost and fail. I was supposed to crack and crumble and be brokenhearted. I was supposed to be rich and unappreciative, then broke and content. I was supposed to have all the friends and all the people, then push it all away for one. The flips and flops and counter-intuitive lessons keep piling up, they will forever.
It’s quantum. As soon as I observe it, it changes, by the act of my observation. I love that. I hate that. It’s how it must be. The darkness and hollow silence of night, has broken. There is a glow of pink and shafts of orange fresh light spiking through cloudbanks. The Flow, is sunrise, out of my control, yet bringer of all life force. Without it, death. Luckily, I kept holding on, and struggling to grasp the cork, till finally I gave up, and let go.
What does all this mean. I dunno. It’s about darkness giving away to light. It’s about exhaustion wiped away by enthusiasm. It’s about menial tasks that show me God at work. It’s about divine detours rerouting our best plans, and taking somewhere far better than we ever set out to go. It’s about seeing for real, the unreal. It’s about release of our Mind, and letting God have our heart, and starting to listen to our Gut.
If it feels good, in our gut, and we know, like we know, like we know, that we feel that Flow, then it doesn’t fricking matter, if it looks right to the rest of the ‘world.’ The world’s got it wrong. God’s got it right.
I’ll see you around, maybe here next week. It may be a fight, or it may be the flow. We’ll see, as it unfolds. Again, it’s all perfection. The struggle and the song.