“Go With the Flow”

Are thought waves or thought ‘states’ like an onion that you peel, one layer after the other?

Do we prefer one kind of thought wave over another?

I find much of my time unwilling or unwanting to “downshift” my conscious thought into the mired details. If a game or a task requires strategy or logistic-style thinking, or mapping out the opponent’s moves to best win the turn, then I am usually not up for it. I put up a fight and procrastinate. It’s like pulling teeth for me and I usually have to force it. Why though?

I have to acknowledge that it is indeed easier to complete a task when you are not wasting brain power on trying to figure it out. It is much easier to get assigned a task that you know how to do or to have a plan or a “workbook” for life laid out before you. This spares you the extra effort of having to consciously figure it out. Using conscious thought requires exerting extra energy, and I believe this is a certain thought pattern – or wave – that we have to inhabit.

For a long time I thought I was just lazy in my brain power, or not as smart as my overly strategic and analytical peers, but maybe that’s not the whole picture.

After recently watching the episode ‘Who’s In Control?’ of The Brain with David Eagleman, where they discuss the unconscious processes of the brain, I think I might possibly be rejecting inhabiting my conscious thoughts in favor of a more unconscious ‘Flow State.’

The ‘Flow State’ that they reference is in regards to a space (or a thought wave) where you are not inhabiting your conscious thoughts, but instead defer to the unconscious. Like when you are driving home from work and suddenly you arrive home and are startled to realize that you don’t remember your entire drive. You lost time because you were doing it automatically – it didn’t require your conscious thoughts.

Is this what I’m experiencing? Perhaps. Part of me says ‘yes’ but a part of me says that’s presumptuous.

When I’m writing, or reading, or having certain conversations that are not bogged down in outrageous details, I effortlessly jump in. I do it with gusto. I do not have to force the thought waves – I just lean back.

When I’m assigned a detailed task to figure out, or to work out my personal budget, or play a game with friends where strategy – more so than chance – is involved, I drag my metaphoric feet and mind through the mud before I finally force myself into it. I have to literally push. It’s exhausting.

Not to say that I don’t enjoy the details and strategy once I’m there. But this leads to an ‘all or nothing’ approach. If I finally get around to organizing my room or a photo collection, or working out my budget or troubleshooting a detailed task, I usually desire to work on nothing else until that task is done. Nothing. No interruptions or I kiss my detailed, conscious thought waves good-bye. Once that happens, then it’s pulling teeth again. The cycle starts over.

Do I really prefer spending a majority of my time in the unconscious thought waves of flow? Is that what makes it so hard for me switch gears to the conscious thought waves? Is this normal for others?

Lately I have been feeling like I have to force my conscious attention to things around me more than usual. To tell myself to focus on the moment – and even to remind my eyes to not glaze over and look at what’s in front of me. Like I’m stuck floating just above the surface. But maybe I was always this way? Maybe my train of thought was always leaving the station behind, and now I’m just more aware of that fact? Certain things suggest to me that this is true. It’s a little disturbing, to be honest.

*

I’ve always been a more or less ‘go with the flow’ type of person.

I try not to overthink things and trust my instinct. But perhaps these days I’m going with the flow too much. I’m letting it take me away.

Perhaps I am supposed to help direct the flow, rather than flow with it. Nudge it and imbue it with my intention.

Perhaps I need to recognize that I am not merely separate from the flow, flowing with it.
I AM the flow.

4 thoughts on ““Go With the Flow”

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