State of Flow.

“What is your sexuality?”

That question was a hot topic at my all women’s college. The answer would seem simple.

“Fluid,” I’d respond. “I don’t discriminate by genitalia. I’m more interested in what’s in here.” Then I would tap my head.

Sometimes I would tap my heart.

Usually I would tap my head.

Those words weren’t true.

At least, not until after they left my mouth for the first time.

When I first started weight lifting I told people I was doing it so that I would be more attractive to hot people. Seemed like a sensible idea. If the person I wanted to date was to be all hard and cut, so should I.

I took that shallow motivation and used it to drive me. After I got to that place, that comfortable balance where you just begin to explore the capabilities of the body, I found myself more attracted to people who would jiggle and hulu-hoop naked for the hell of it than people who look right at home in an underwear commercial.

Once I couldn’t turn around without running into hard abs and cut muscle, my perspective shifted.

The goal became understand what it means to have open and honest adult relationships.

The goal became learning what it means to listen.

Our perspectives change.

Just because we start out with an idea of what the world should be like, doesn’t mean that the world is interested in acting out that story.

Just because we think we see another person for who they are, doesn’t mean that we understand what we are looking at.

The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

As soon as you label another person, whether it be a base descriptor or a racial slur, you lose your ability to see them. All you see now is a category – a way of lumping them in with the rest, creating definitions and quick judgement about what they are in this life. You restrict your interactions.

You restrict the possibilities.

To interact honestly and openly, you can’t let your judgement restrict you.

You learn to flow.

Flow is a state of being. It that moment in the breathing where you are utterly at one with the movement of the universe. Things become sharper, clearer. The golf game is a simple victory. The artwork drips from the paintbrush effortlessly. It is thundering of the audience applause. It is the roar of the crowd. It is the sound of raindrops in the canopy.

You exist in a flow state when you maintain that connection to right here, right now.

Right now you breath.

This state is exquisite.

The meditative physical acts (poi, acrobatics, yoga, tai chi, staff spinning, dancing, etc) that take you into a flow state, the “flow arts”, are just a vehicle, just as the body that performs those arts is the vehicle through which you interact with the world.

Flow is just one way to experience the world, one way to optimize your interactions, one lens through which to see everything around you. It is not the only way. It is not the only state. It is not the end all be all of understanding.

When the lesbians at my all women’s college would ask me:

“What is your sexuality?”

I didn’t answer “fluid” because I didn’t discriminate based on gender.

I absolutely discriminated based on gender.

I answered “fluid” because I wanted the lesbians to like me.

Even the mighty Dan Savage is a little bi-phobic.

My reason for first opening my mouth and labeling myself as “fluid” was self-interested and ego-motivated, just like my reason for first stepping into a gym. But each step forward was a step towards happiness, a step towards change, no matter what the initial motivation. Fluid led me towards open human interactions just as the ego led me towards flow.

Do what it takes to be happy.

Do whatever it takes.

Just know that your efforts will be in vain until you understand how to see the world from a different perspective. To see from one perspective is to be stagnant. You will be endlessly walking in place, wondering why “whatever it takes” isn’t delivering what you paid for.

You don’t have to pay with “whatever it takes”.

Happiness is free.

The world is the church, the other is the guide, and the heart is there to do good, be good.

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