The flow of excellence

By Karin Leonard

Amazingly enough our brain size hasn't increased much over the last 300,000 years.  However, even after such a long time, we're only using a small percentage of our gray matter (about 5%).  Much of our further evolution - both collectively and personally - is going to depend on learning how to use our neocortex (the newer  brain parts) more fully - and integrating itís use with the functions of some of the older brain parts.  Philosopher Ken Wilber says that some of the geniuses, prophets and shamans of the ages may represent fore runners of what is possible for the evolutionary future of humanity.  In a way evolution - a process that has been guided by natural forces for billions of years - has become a self- directed adventure through the rather recent past, present and future of Homo sapiens.

Changing The Internal Weather

So how does one use the brain more effectively?  Research shows us that "inner work" like meditation, processing experiences, therapy - anything that has sustained effects on our state of mind - also changes the activity patterns of the brain. Meditation and relaxation techniques especially change the brain wave patterns; regular meditators tend to have a higher percentage of alpha waves ongoingly.  Albert Einstein is said to have been in a fully relaxed state (high percentage of alpha) when solving mathematical mysteries. Most of us are far from that when engaged in life.  The majority of our thoughts are like interference or static, reducing both the quality of our daily experience and our effectiveness as human beings.  Awareness is the first step.  Just noticing what goes through your mind on a regular basis brings you closer to being at choice.  A great practice to engage in during the day is to just stay present - noticing your thoughts and returning to center.  This is much like coming home and resting there peacefully.  As you begin to practice mindfulness - and understanding that it is practice protects from perfectionism - you'll notice that all at a sudden there is a sense of spaciousness in your life, a feeling of inner peace.

Surfing The Super-conscious Net

Great achievements of any kind - be it in science, the arts or sports - tend to occur in states of excellence often described as "being in the flow".  Remember the last time you were engaged in an experience or task so completely that time flew by and maybe it seemed that you weren't even producing the results - it just happened through you and ideas showed up out of nowhere. 

You were unconsciously accessing the super-conscious computer - a storehouse of information that seems to be available to all of us. Mozart "received" complete works of music this way - written down perfectly on first attempt.  "Flow" also happens in your interactions with the world around you and it shows up as synchronicities - chance encounters and unexplainable "coincidences" that give you a feeling of being on track with your life.  Flow tends to occur more as you clear your mind from internal clutter, follow your intuition and do what you feel passionate about.


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