Balance, flow, and connection

Sometimes at night while I am sleeping so much Spanish will be running through me that if only I could move my fingers over a keyboard at the same time I would be set for life. Last night was quite a different story and the only Spanish word I could even remember was “pinche.” I think that is because, when I went to Ceragem yesterday, though the experience was really good and felt so much more thorough than usual, I became aware of what felt like a pinched nerve or something towards the bottom of my spine. I was feeling it in the middle of the night and all I could think of was pinche, pinche, why can’t I think of any more Spanish, is pinche the only thing I know?

It was really kind of simultaneously hilarious and embarrassing when I went to Ceragem yesterday and found some clarity around that que se llama será será song I’ve been talking about and it wasn’t what I was expecting. I heard it again and the sound was coming from close to where I was lying down so I paid closer attention. I heard lines like “la historia del amor” and then came the part that is so catchy that I figured it must be one of the all time hits in México based on how often I hear it. This time, I heard: “que se llama Cera- Cera- -gem.” OMG, it was the Ceragem *theme* song that I’ve probably been hearing pretty much every day that I go there! I started laughing because it sounded just like a love song you might hear on the radio and all this time I was thinking it was this really popular perhaps number one hit. The girl who often takes me to my Ceragem bed asked me, “¿Qué pasa? ¿Todo bien?” I know that I sounded JUST like Elliot in Bedazzled when I responded, “Todo bien, MUY bien!” I don’t know why it is that when you are laughing about something out of nowhere people ask you if you’re all right, do you? I responded just like Elliot because her “¿todo bien?” felt *just* like the Colombian butler in Bedazzled asking Elliot if he was all right when he was laughing about realizing that he could suddenly speak Spanish! I don’t think there was any way to explain why I was laughing but I simply mentioned it was because of the song. Then I heard her singing it. Of course I’m all right, it feels good to laugh!

I really feel if I could keep lying in these Ceragem beds every day it would make a big difference. I would love opportunities to do lots of stretching and yoga-type things every day. I am not sure if Ceragem has anything to do with why my legs have not been hurting over the last couple weeks but I am really happy that even when I do plenty of walking and moving around I have not had any pain at all. Maybe the work these beds have done on my spine have helped the circulation in my legs or it could just be that the massage I did on my legs every day was really making a difference. I haven’t really massaged myself in a while but I think I should go back to doing that a few days in a row so that I don’t lose any progress I made with all that hard work.

I got up around 8 AM this morning and went for what will probably be my last grocery trip before I leave México. I decided to make pico de gallo again. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to make my own pico de gallo right from the start but I bought some fresh warm tortillas and a bit of this Soi-Yah vegan ‘deshebrada’ (shredded beef). I buy their hamburger patties because that is about the only domestic vegan patty type stuff that I can find but I don’t usually buy the other products because I tried one or two of them and they didn’t really impress me. Maybe I didn’t notice this one before but I decided to buy it and I couldn’t wait to eat these fresh tortillas. I had a couple of them plain with nothing at all because fresh tortillas can be sooo good. These are softer than the ones I bought last time and I like that. Then for lunch I made pico de gallo and cooked up some of this deshebrada with chile peppers and avocado and… well, it was delicious. It is strange to talk about vegan products in terms of how much they taste like meat (especially because now when I think of meat the idea of the taste of it isn’t good at ALL), but I feel like you could give this to a carnivore and they probably would not know this was not real meat… but what is good about it has nothing to do with how well it simulates meat? It’s strange to try to talk about… but anyway.

I have had a fly in the cabaña bothering me since last night. I guess there were two of them because I caught one of them this morning and brought it outside. The thing about having such a little cabin is that when you get a fly it wants to hang out with you *all* the time. This place is a mess right now and it’s kind of bothering me but I need to go out and get some trash bags before I can do anything that feels like real cleaning. I thought about going to Ceragem after grocery shopping but I had that frozen deshebrada so I decided to take the groceries back with me and make lunch. I’ll go to Ceragem pretty soon, maybe. I have gone to the beach so often lately and yet I think September 16th was the only day that I actually gotten a sunburn. Usually it is impossible for me to spend a few minutes at the beach without getting a sunburn but I just wasn’t getting one even though I wasn’t wearing any sunscreen. I think it’s because I end up going to the beach in the mid to late afternoon when the sun isn’t that likely to burn me so right now I have to decide whether I want to go out and buy sunscreen (I need trash bags anyway) or if I’ll just wait to go to the beach a little later in the day. If I get any more of a sunburn it will probably hurt…

Right now I’m just kind of frustrated because I am not quite sure what to do with myself. I am going to start reading Fahrenheit 451 and watching more Spanish language movies and that will help me feel like I am doing something that gets me in a sort of flow, but then there are times when I need to take a break from that, and what else is there to keep me engaged in a flow? I want to practice writing in Spanish too but suddenly I am hesitant again to start writing and I am afraid that if I start I’ll run into the same sort of thing where I get stuck or need a break or what I’m writing about isn’t quite satisfying me and I don’t know what to do for a while. I want to be in some situation where I’m engaged in something in such a deep way that there’s always going to be something interesting and meaningful to do, like some bigger project where, if I get a little tired of working on one aspect of it, there is always another that I can turn to. It’s like I have something that feels like ‘writer’s block’ but it’s a block as far as what it’s going to take to get into a sense of creative flow in general.

I have these vague ideas of how I want to feel… like my heart is totally in something I am doing, and I am learning, and I am excited about what is being created, and it is not so challenging so as to overwhelm me and not so simple so as to bore me but just challenging enough to keep me in the sweet spot of flow. I don’t want to get restless or bored or to have too many moments where I’m just stuck and don’t do much at all because I’ve forgotten what interests me because I’ve lost the inertia of following some kind of project down a track… if I were to look for the perfect coach, at least at the moment, what excites me is the idea of finding someone who could help me learn about my passions and what makes me come alive and to find something to do with that so that I could stay in a flow and get deeper and deeper into it. It is so easy for me to get excited about something and to start getting into it and then to feel like something is missing or like it’s not including everything that I love enough or I could be doing something else that suits me even better and then I just get tired and wary or something.

Sometimes it feels so easy to explore screenwriting while writing in Spanish but then other times I get writer’s block and I’m not sure exactly what I want to write… and as for screenwriting I don’t know if I know how to just follow a concept through to completion. I want to feel immersed in something, in the flow of something, dedicated to something, and I know that a combination of languages and film (and music) will go so far in getting me into a flow that I love but I am not sure how exactly to orchestrate that flow so that my brain is totally engaged in something that keeps it fascinated all day long and dreaming about waking up the next day to do it again. I am thinking one way to bring these things together is to kind of explore my psyche in Spanish, write about fantasies and dreams in Spanish, but I hate these waves of ennui that come over me just when I feel like I know exactly what will keep me engaged for as long as I could possibly imagine.

I am on the right track but it doesn’t feel like it sometimes when I have moments where I’m like, what do I want to do now and I can’t really think of anything that lifts me up because there’s nothing that comes to mind that seems to fit my current emotional state and energy level and what kind of thing my brain wants to be involved in and… well, having more BIKING and SWIMMING in my life would go a long way towards that. I mean, I swim a lot, I guess, but it still doesn’t feel like enough, and something feels missing from it somehow, like maybe friends to swim *with*.

Meditation helps because a lot of how I get worn out is not being able to stay in a flow with my experience when I am engaged deeply with something and then I have down time where I am waiting for something in order to continue or I don’t really know how to proceed or there’s just down time for some reason. Some of the most wonderful experiences of flow for me happen during meditation. Flow is one of the things I love most about meditation and it is how I know that I am getting something out of it: I don’t think I ever remember to set this as a conscious intention but so much of what I am looking for when I meditate is to get into an intimate flow with my experience, and it is soooo good at showing me how to do that… but I feel now like perhaps it is hard to explain what I even mean by ‘flow’ to those who do not have experience with meditation! When there is quiet space and when there are times when there is nothing in particular I am doing, meditation helps me to stay into a flow even when I am not engaged in doing.

If only I could find some way to get into that kind of flow with more active doings I may want to pursue and if only I could find others to help me do that. I can’t just do one thing. I think I need a bag of at least a handful of things that I love to do that get me in the flow that I can pick and choose from at various times and juggle as I see fit, and if they are all connected in some way to one project or life goal that is even better.

I want to immerse myself in Spanish for a long time and then… have friends that I can chat with about whatever and be in a flow with that too, and let that experience rejuvenate me so that I can come back to whatever project I’m working on or whatever I’m studying. I miss having friends that I can chat with and if we’re engaged in the same project together even better. How fun it would be to find friends to just commit to getting sooo much better at Spanish together in the next three months and then we’d just… do it… and it would be such a lift to have friends doing it too! I need others to help me stay in flow and I think that means trusting they can help me stay aligned with the song of my heart and see me in clearly enough to know what gets me excited even when I can’t figure that out myself.

I feel so awesome when I realise that screenwriting and film can really hold *all* of my other interests within it, and that’s pretty exciting, and it makes me feel like I have time for all my other interests if I can fit them into whatever I might want to be doing with film, but then I get lost, say, in wanting to read this really big biography of Jung, thinking that maybe eventually some ideas for screenwriting might come out of that, but that doesn’t keep me connected to a *project* and I want to stay connected to some kind of project. I wish I never again had to feel bored and wonder what to do next. I need to find something specific, like some kind of keystone or some kind of seed or, I don’t know what metaphor to use, but something that ignites a spark in me, some kind of integration of all my interests into whatever it is that makes me most excited to be doing it.

It’s frustrating to feel like I am unable to find a book that will help me figure out what I am wanting here. There is Csikszentmihalyi’s work on flow but considering what an important concept it is it’s kind of amazing that it’s hard to find more guidebooks for staying in flow. I guess it’s hard because flow looks so different for everybody and… well, I have a really unique organism, and I am interested in everything, and… for others to help me stay in flow I think they have to understand me in an impressively deep way. I think I have to understand myself in an impressively deep way in order to stay in flow. Flow is how I want to feel, so what are my blocks to flow? Right now the blocks to staying in the flow with Spanish and screenwriting feel kind of emotional, like this hard emotional stuff just came up and now it’s a little bit exhausting, and I need something now that will keep me in the flow even with all this hard emotion coming up… and the closest thing I can come up with to something that could do that is music. I can’t think of anything that gets me into the flow like music has the capacity to do, like singing songs that I love, or practicing a piece on the guitar, but then when I get *stuck* — either by not having support to learn things that are hard for me, or because certain emotions are coming up and I’m not sure what music I want to listen to at these times — the flow ends and it is all the more frustrating and maybe even traumatic because we are talking about MUSIC!!!

When my HEART is connected to someone else who is engaged in what I’m engaged in and who is in a rhythm with my heart that is nurturing, that makes so much of the difference. I feel like that is so much of what is missing, being around someone who I can be in rhythm with in a way that enhances my experience of flow rather than taking me away from it. When I put up with people getting skittish and walking away after a few words they don’t like rather than seeing what amazing depths we could go to with a few nights of deep conversations, when I put up with getting ghosted and people being so skeptical of me and raising their eyebrows and thinking I am strange in a *bad* way, when I put up with transactional connections where others want something from me but aren’t willing to give in return or where I want to give them everything but they then threaten to stop talking to me… none of these things are good for flow, and not having enough time with people to figure out how I want to get into a FLOW with them is a problem. I can’t get into a flow with someone in just an hour. I couldn’t get into a flow with Rebecca in the amount of time we usually had to hang out but if her heart was open to it I think we could have gotten into an amazing flow. It’s important for me to have a lot of time around people where we’re doing nothing, where nothing needs to be said, we’re just enjoying nature or swimming or watching movies or meditating, and then more active time where we’re figuring out what we want to do together.

I like to have time where I’m working on my own things and time when we’re working on things together and sometimes in relationships I have had trouble finding that balance: am I spending too much time exploring my own interests, reading, doing my own thing? Are we spending so much time doing things together that I am missing the things that I liked to do alone? I love feeling like even when I’m doing more solitary things I am participating in the flow with someone else, working on some kind of project we are working on together, perhaps, and that even when we are engaging in a more actively social way, I am still participating in my own flow and not being taken away from it. I kind of feel like in a lot of ways this has been the HARDEST thing to figure out how to do in a relationship. I want connection to others to contribute *to* my flow and I refuse to be taken further *out* of a flow state in my desire to connect with others but I don’t know exactly how to have conversations about flow even with myself so how exactly would I begin talking about it with people who might want to spend time with me? I don’t want to make a mistake and start investing in connecting with someone who is going to take me way out of flow and make it so hard to get back. How do you make clear when you’re getting to know people that flow is important to you and that you want to design your relationship in such a way as to optimize an experience of flow? I would love if I could spend significant time around someone really compatible to being in a rhythm with me where we could both intend and have conversations and coach each other as far as deepening our flow both individually and together. Actually co-coaching and intending to deepen the experience of flow in every moment would be such a valuable way to spend time with someone, and then seeing them in a deeper flow! So rewarding!

I think one of the main ways that I need support in my life is… real support to deepen into myself, know myself, have an intimate experience with myself, and connect with the spark in me that makes me come alive, and more to the point, to figure out how to live my life in such a way that I am experiencing a beautiful state of flow every day. At the same time, I want connection with others, but I fear that connecting with others will interfere with this deep need that I have to experience flow. Since a lot of the activities that give me a sense of flow are things that I can do on my own, I am afraid that my need for connection is incompatible with my need for flow. I am already having enough trouble doing what I would absolutely love which is to stay in a deep flow state all by myself (which even so feels so much easier than doing it around others) so the idea of being able to stay in that kind of space around others especially when I hear so much about others experiencing the sorts of social struggles that, for me anyway, would take me pretty much immediately out of any sense of flow, feels almost impossible unless I find some way to get some kind of support around this need for flow. I want support in deepening the flow I experience when I am all by myself but then I want support to connect with others in ways that enhance that flow (and the only way I can see that happening is if the others I spend time with feel like their experience with me enhances their experience of flow, too, though I don’t know that many folks have actually thought deeply about flow as a need, so it might be hard to have these conversations).

When I am with other people staying in my own flow and connected to my own creative source is one of my biggest needs and when I can help others get into a flow too that excites me all the more. I want to be around people who aren’t necessarily dependent on me to keep them company, or to feel less lonely, or to give them anything socially, but who might want to be around me anyway. Someone who would like to just be in my company while I meditate or write feels really good… and I just… want to be around someone who isn’t going to be restless or where my flow isn’t going to take them away from theirs. I want to find some way or another to be with someone for a long time where we are both in some kind of flow with ourselves AND with each other at the same time and I don’t know how to get from here to there but I am sure there is someone or other who… has written a book, or could coach me, or just… help me figure out how to really intentionally bring an amazing kind of flow into my life.

I am psyched about the concept of flow itself, I love being in it so much and I think if I can start having conversations about how to get deeper and deeper into that kind of experience with myself and especially in the presence of others that is where the gold is! I am  so ready to make my life absolutely unrecognizable in incredible ways and the only thing missing is the resources that help me figure out how to get from here to there (with the key resource possibly being access to sweet conversations with people who actually have some clue what I am talking about… those kinds of conversations, when they do not abruptly end and take me into more such conversations, take me into the kind of flow I love all by themselves.)

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