Jason M Knight

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Speed Blogging - Flow and Mindfullness

I'm going to try something today that I've been meaning to do for a while: speed blogging.

Basically setting a timer for a few minutes and seeing how much of a blog post you can get out in a small amount of time. This way I don't burn 2 hours on a blog post and feel less inclined to do it the next time because of the huge time commitment. So I've got 6 minutes and twelve seconds left on my egg timer (literally we are boiling eggs) and we'll see how far I get.

So Bryan has started a new blog (located here) and in his most recent post he talks about mindfulness. In due time I will address all of the Hero's Journey content he has been writing about, but I wanted to share one thought about mindfulness itself.

Specifically, he gives the example of driving to the grocery store, and before you know it, you find yourself in the parking lot (or even in the store) without realizing where the last few minutes had gone.

This is a great example of not being mindful... when the thinking process was dominated by thoughts of worry about the future or regret about the past. (Although I'm not sure how I would classify it if those were good thoughts about the past or future).

But on the other hand, this same phenomenon can occur in something called "Flow" (obligatory wikipedia link). Flow is where you get so wrapped up in a project that you lose track of the world around you, the passage of time, and even your own physical state of being (tired/hungry). I would say that being in a state of Flow is actually one of the best examples of mindfulness, because you are no longer even trying to live in the present, but instead your thought processes are completely embedded in the present. You have no thought for past, future, or even the external world.

So one way to practice being mindful is to practice Flow. Luckily there is quite a bit of literature on how to initiate and maintain states of flow, and I'm hoping the wikipedia page will lead the way (for both you and I).

Wow! A whole blog post in under 6 minutes, pretty cool. A little stressful, but a fun exercise nonetheless. And 53 seconds to spare too!
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