Victus Spiritus


Ebb and Flow, ode to Zen Habits

31 Aug 2009

There are moments, days or even weeks where my energy level drops a little. I am more apt to choose fanciful mind numbing distractions over in depth analysis and social engagement. Instead of a day long hike followed by research or writing I'll relax and listen to some music while snacking on something sinfully delicious. I used to fight the urge to slack with every fiber of my being, and force myself to stay active every day and work and even play on a fairly regimented schedule. It's a fools errand though.

Finding the rhythm and harmony of life is not mechanical, it's art. Living as complex biological machines, we continually seek out productivity and value from our time. Discovering and creating great value to others and ourselves with our time is a noble goal. But our pursuit of such ideals requires careful observation.

I read a post by Leo Babauta (Zen Habits) that discussed how he had been transitioning his life to a state of flow. It was fascinating to read Leo's transition, his life's evolution. I would argue anyone can live in this manner with a positive revenue stream, but living in a flow like manner without minimal sufficient revenue is a challenge (some would say foolhardy). Until you build something of value that "pays the bills", it's difficult to shake off fiscal responsibilities. But that doesn't mean it's impossible ;).

The "what if" moment dawned on me when I perceived the tremendous value in choosing a flexible lifestyle. No meetings are must attends, no clock is more important than our internal sense of right timing, no particular project is more valuable than our healthy state of mind, body and spirit. We all live by our own rules, whether or not we choose to recognize this fact. We conform to social expectations because we are guided to by people we trust. My hypothesis is that they are wrong. It's not their fault, they thought they were pointing us in the best direction. But the flaw in their guidance was in measuring the value of our own natures. Our life energy flow is more sacred than any behaviorial rulebook.

Listen to your own stream of vital energy, and follow where it takes you. Then you will be in a strong position to help others discover their own ebb and flow.