The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Is your Machine in tune?

Pure flow state--separate from application, is an essential part of the Machine, the core of the "Golden Hour" concept that triggers daily access to the "Genius Zone."  If you have optimal input, and optimal output, then the thing that lubricates the entire system is Flow.  It is the rest period between heartbeats.  It is neutral gear, which allows you to change ratios.  Flow is the moment between moments, and learning to expand this state allows you to have access to the doorway between conscious and unconscious minds.  This, in essence, allows you to access your own highest good.  You, as an individual, simply don't get smarter than that.  It is your "Genius Zone." 
It is critical that you find an activity that triggers this Flow response.  If you are already relatively healthy, then it might be something in your daily life: gardening, artwork, housecleaning, holding the baby, driving on the freeway...all MIGHT be Flow state activities, although you would be better served by finding a specific, dedicated activity like meditation, belly breathing, Tai chi, yoga, Be Breathed, listening to Vivaldi string quartets, etc.  If you are very imbalanced in any of the three arenas (career, body, or relationship) I can almost promise you that your Machine is broken.  That is, that you do NOT approach optimal input, output, focus, and flow.
1) Input.  What is the daily input of positive, nurishing ideas and affirmation?  How many minutes a day of positive, healing input?  The further from 60 minutes, the more work you have to do. How close to an optimal diet pattern?
2) Output.  How many minutes of focused physical effort?  If you're healthy and lean, you might be able to get away with 5 minutes of focused work--because the rest of your lifestyle apparently contains the work you need.  But if you need to raise your energy, or you are overweight, you need about 30 minutes of daily low-intensity sweating to get your metabolism up.  Better still would be 20 minutes of "spiking" exercise: sprints followed by 30 seconds of low-intensity work.  More  on this later.  How many pages of writing, or brainstorming?
3)Focus.  do you have well-defined, written goals in all three arenas, and dated plans for their accomplishment?
4)  Flow.  Do you meditate or center in some fashion for 20 minutes a day?  If your life is approximately what you want, this might be applied work--something that involves a hobby or interest.  But if you need a shift in your life, this should be pure.  Heartbeat meditation, breath counting, yoga, Be Breathed, focused walking (NOT just ambling, but breath counting or doing Be Breathed), etc.
This is the Machine: input, output, focus, flow.  These four aspects, in balance, will put you into the Genius Zone, where every day you are producing ideas and actions that begin to spiral UPWARD in terms of average efficiency and excellence.


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