Sunday, 25 June 2006

Flow

I have recently finished a very interesting book 'Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ' by Daniel Goleman. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0747528306/026-8382806-3916402?v=glance&n=266239

It talks about 'flow' - when you are relaxed, yet highly focused & it feels so good because every thing is aligned & in harmony. I know I haven't experienced this many times in my life, as previously concentration was always paired with some level of anxiety & trying too hard.
My yellow belt grading in aikido was definitely this flow. Completely focused, but relaxed & very aware - brilliant feeling!
I guess I want to experience more of this for both my aikido & shiatsu. The book says it's when your brain activity actually decreases & every thing comes together.
For example, one surgeon was so focused on his operation, that he didn't notice part of the ceiling collapsing in!!

I passed my motorbike test in 1994 & only sold my bike last year. I know that I would normally be in flow when riding. Some how I don't get that when driving my car, but I guess I only have 5 years car driving experience in comparison.
Riding a bike like that is fantastic. It's this state of heightened awareness that make every thing so easy & I've also heard it likened to the trance-like state you enter during hypnotherapy.
I guess it's also relevant to scuba diving too. The more slowly you breathe the longer you dive, but you still need to be aware of your air/equipment & surroundings. I still breathe too quickly, but that'll come with experience.

I miss riding a bike. I assume it has an awful lot to do with this flow, so I'd like to experience it more else where. There are wonderful moments in aikido where my brain doesn't interfere, I'm relaxed & all of a sudden my partner goes flying off to return with a big smile on their face.

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