Flow

javier-detail-1-1drawing-for-javier-1-1

Dante Aligheri wrote The Divine Comedy in which he states that people feel most fully alive and are enjoying living when they can express who they really are.

Mihaly Csikszentmihaly has several Ted Talks on youtube.com concerning Flow, the secret to happiness.  He says that you can’t make yourself happy, and that no one can make you happy, either .  Flow can and does make you happy.

So, what is Flow?  It’s what you’re feeling when you are fully alive.  It’s when you’re involved with what you do and in harmony with the environment around you.  It’s something that happens most easily when we sing, dance, do sports, paint, compose–but it can happen while we work, read a good book, or have a conversation.  Flow happens when you are carried by a force outside of you.

So, why am I telling you all this when what I want to share is my progress painting a picture of two little girls and watermelons?  Because, according to Mihaly, flow depends on a balance of challenge and skill.  You’re going to get frustrated when your level of skill doesn’t produce the outcome of your expectation, or if your challenge produces so much fear, you’re unable to allow the flow.

I know myself well enough to know that I’m susceptible to either having to find out how to achieve the look I want in a painting I’m doing by working on my skills, or having fear come up which results in not being able to see what I need to see to resolve the look I’m wanting.  Fear keeps us from seeing more options.

Actually, when I was transposing the drawing for my painting onto the canvas (picture above), I did experience fear when something didn’t look right in one of the faces.  I did what I always do when I’m scared.  I tried to fix it by drawing over what I’d drawn wrong before with darker lines.  This is always a disaster.

To get into the flow again, I tried to get into a higher vibration.  Feeling love always does the trick.  I took a small step forward.  I erased the mistake but got chalk dust on the drawing.  No matter.  Now I stand back from what I’ve just done, assess that the drawing is good enough.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Sometimes, when I think the drawing is perfect, it makes it harder for me to paint over the lines, thinking I’m going to lose that perfection.

Stay tuned for the steps I’m taking beginning painting on the canvas, and for more insights on Flow, the secret to happiness.

Thank you for visiting my blog, Doretta.

 

 

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