Journey’s Frontiers album plays as I lie on my bed upstairs in my corner bedroom. It’s the summer before my freshman year in high school and I recently experienced my first real kiss. As Steve Perry sings “Send Her My Love”, my mind recreates the scene at Lumberjack Park inside the small Plymouth Horizon.
We’re in the front seat while my friend is in the back with her current love interest. Brent puts his hand on my leg as we talk. He smells like Off! bug spray, which I find surprisingly appealing. He leans in and kisses me with soft lips and just enough tongue. He tastes like Mountain Dew…
Then, suddenly, my sister is in my room yelling something about taking her sweater. She rummages through my closet, grabs what she wants and leaves.
Flow states make life worth living
I’m taking a six-week online workshop on the flow state. I’ve had a fascination with the delicious dreamy creative state of being since I was a child. I believe the steady presence of flow experiences in my life is the reason for my overall contentedness and satisfaction. Jamie Wheal of The Flow Genome Project, says flow is the source code for intrinsic motivation. In my opinion, intrinsic motivation and curiosity keep life engaging and interesting and therefore fulfilling.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Mee-high Chick-sent-me-high-ee) is known as the father of flow theory. Noting that levels of happiness did not increase with increased personal income, he set out to find out what does bring happiness and satisfaction. Interviewing creative individuals like scientists and artists, he found many of them frequently experienced feelings of losing themselves, timelessness, effortlessness and ecstasy. During those periods they felt they were outside of everyday experiences. Time and movement felt fluid. Certain activities brought about a sense of flow.
Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost. — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, description of flow
Do introverts experience flow differently due to stimulation sensitivity?