The 5 Stages of Flow Inception
Below is TuxedoKat's working description of the 5 Stages of Flow Inception:
It is meant to be a place to share and store my subjective perspectives about the benefits and practices of Flow.
Just like being exposed to anything, it either happened to you or you went searching for it.
Happens To You
There are types of people who enjoy the comfort of the here and now. They experience peace in their current situation and make self and interconnected discoveries within these boundaries. The people they allow into their lives will bring in outside ideas that influence these types of people.
Searching For It
There are types of people who reject “status quo” in an elegant way: the vagabond. They live life allowing their feet to take them to adventurous places. This comfort-zone skirting behavior opens up a plethora of wonderful opportunities for self and interconnected discoveries. This type of person will mix with many minds, be enlightened to different viewpoints, and will live many lives in this one.
A Subculture to Rhythm
And just like any subculture, Flow was difficult to find in its beginnings but eventually grew and morphed into many of its own subcultures. Flow has spread across the world and has been influenced by many different cultures. One thing always remains constant: flow is a rhythm. (Analogy: Flow is the train and Rhythm is the track that allows the train to move forward, fast and smooth.) Wherever there is a beat of a drum or the beat of a heart, Flow can begin.
Common Places to be Exposed to Flow
Music Festivals and Concerts, That Thing in The Desert, Dance Clubs and Raves, Drum Circles and Jam Sessions, Ceremonies and Rituals, Circus and Stage Performances, Your Friend’s House
Once you are exposed to Flow, meaning you have seen it and had time to ponder this strange new activity, there is a moment before you can become “hooked” when you unconsciously measure the amount of work it would take to become as good as your understanding of what Flow is and its very worth to this feeling of excitement.
You witness someone flow dancing. If the flow dancing calls to you, you become mesmerized. Your feet pull you closer. You can’t help but stare. You are curious. What is this new thing? You watch closely. You may even become bold enough to measure up the activity’s difficulty. You see yourself doing exactly what you are looking at. It excites you. You approach the flow artist and share your curiosities. With a short introduction to flow dancing, you are handed your first flow prop. You feel it for the first time, your prop: the weight, the texture, the movement, the potential, the desire... In those first moments, your impression is painted over by the vibrant colors of experience and you feel the beginning of a long journey. You return the prop to its owner making sure you knew where to get one for yourself. You are hooked.
That Hooking Moment
The moment when a craving mind finds Flow, an everlasting expanding explosion occurs in the mind. This moment can be felt with a possibility of not being understood. Like magnets, the moment is created when the mind meets free flowing movement. (Analogy: Flow provides a safe space for the mind to drop everything it is carrying and run wild through an open field without the fear of tripping.) When a mind feels this type of freedom for the first time, it is enamored. It is affected forever.
One taste of Flow of a thirsty mind will put many wheels in motion. Small wheels. Big wheels. A system of wheels working together. Seeds start to sprout as time is reallocated from another part of your life to watering the gardens of discovery. The mind starts bending to the possibilities. The body begins to open and grow stronger to the practice. Time melts away as you flow through your own mind’s intuition. You push through every objective obstacle that Flow presents. When you start spending more time in this place, you will become more accustomed to going within, beginning to lose any fears you might have of facing what is inside of yourself.
Discovering the magic of Flow opens one door to a room full of many other doors. These doors represent the motivational reasons why one chooses to pursue Flow. This is the most dramatic, or challenging part of the Flow Journey: What are your internal factors for practicing Flow Arts?
Vanity is a natural stage of self-identity within Flow. When we are drawn to the outward appearance of Flow, we find ourselves on a pursuit to become a Master for several kinds of reasons. Becoming a Master at Flow is a very long process of self-motivated self-discoveries, including one’s identity. As enlightening as Flow can be, it is often abused in the pursuit of one finding their flow identity.
As Flow attracts you, your flow will also attract others. Being a Flow Artist is understanding that you will attract many types of people into your circle. You can either use this attraction to build your intuition or to build your empire.
Empire of Egos
When we are without a healthy amount of satisfactory interpersonal relationships in our lives, Flow can be used to build an Empire of Egos when creating our personal Flow Identity. Often, Flow on public display will undoubtedly gain attention from many types of people. This will objectively fuel someone with a need for attention. The pursuit for mastery becomes focused around the impression of others.
Usually after pursuing the Empire of Egos, a Flow Artist either abandons flow or changes their pursuit to serve them personally. Pursuing Flow for one’s own intuition creates a path of enlightenment through a self-meditated practice of identifying identity. When you choose to discover a practice of Flow that is for you, you create a space to meet yourself where together you can create the identity you both want to become.
When you meet other people who share the same desire for Flow as you, you are shown a mirror to yourself. If you like what you see, it can be concluded that Flow has brought you another level of intuitive connection. As both of you have spent much time studying, practicing and understanding Flow, you can meet in the center of that field of understanding.
Flow Jams are events designed to attract Flow Artists to one location to skill swap, mirror and connect with other Flow Artists. Occasionally, the creative world of music is present, mixing the two art forms as groups of artists collaborate with one unified goal to express themselves through Flow. A successful Flow Jam has the awesome potential of creating a strong community with a major asset to the underground and grassroots discoveries - not only for growing cultures but for starving subcultures.
Once a Flow Artist reaches this part of their Flow Journey, they are aware of their intuition, their flow identity, and their style. They know exactly why they choose to practice Flow and it never depletes their energy. They respect their relationship with the practice and make time to meet often because they have felt the importance of their awareness on their mind, body, and spirit.
When they flow, they are not in their bodies, they are running wild somewhere in the fields of their mind. They are strong in supporting what they are asking their bodies to do at any given moment. They are free from the rules of this physical earth - if only for a few moments as a time.
This awareness is precious. It has taken the perseverance of practice, the slopes of identifying identity, and the faith that you can fly. The fruits of these labors are bountiful but bound within your mind. You can experience it but you can never share the experience with another because it is only yours. You can only walk through your own doors and learn to understand these feelings. Only once you have done this for yourself can you even begin telling others about the door and they themselves are the only ones who can walk through their doors.
With every goal a mind sets out to achieve, Mastery is the end of the line that never ends. Mastery of Flow is complete understanding one's personal mind and body as it pertains to the freedom felt within Flow movements.
Mastery cannot be earned for anyone other than yourself. It cannot be sold or given away. It is a personal journey that you have chosen for yourself that will never end.