On the Need to Lose Ourselves

A follow-up thought to Flow=Dreaming (that borders on the too-philosophical, which I promised I wouldn’t do anymore, so thanks for bearing with me… really, this does have relevance to time management).

I’ve been thinking about the paradox that in order to more frequently experience the absence of self-awareness while doing (a major aspect of flow), we must cultivate greater self-awareness the rest of the time.

It occurs to me that when we veg out (say, by watching America’s Next Top Model) or check out (say, with a brimming glass of wine from a box at the end of the day) we are often trying to take a shortcut to that absence of self-awareness.  I wonder – what is so compelling, so essential to our nature, about losing ourselves from time to time?

Is the absence of self-awareness really about a basic need to feel connected to something larger than oneself (a certain loss of boundaries) – which is why creating so often feels a spiritual act?

Vegging- and checking-out are no more substitutes for flow than a cat nap is a substitute for REM sleep.  What happens in your brain is not nearly as strengthening, healing or satisfying.

Since we’re going to do it anyway – take a break from ourselves, that is – it would seem to matter how we choose to go about that…  it would seem to matter that we structure our days to allow for as much flow as possible.


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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



© 2008 Cairene MacDonald, Third Hand Works. All Rights Reserved.

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