Mar 01 2018

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Csikszentmihalyi / Holly Stoppit

Session 2 of The Mindful Play Sessions. Even though the snow was falling, a freezing cold room full of intrepid explorers came together to explore the theme of flow through meditation and play.

I started with an explanation of flow, as defined by psychologist Mihali Csikszentmihalyi: 

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Csikszentmihalyi / Holly Stoppit
Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Csikszentmihalyi / Holly Stoppit
Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Csikszentmihalyi / Holly Stoppit

I mused on some of the factors that can prevent flowful living, that Csikszentmihalyi cites in his book on Flow, including predisposition, family influence and societal pressures, before moving onto founder of 5 rhythms, Gabrille Roth's argument:

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Gabrielle Roth / Holly Stoppit

I spoke about my own experience with flow and how learning to embrace my vulnerability has opened me up to more flowful living, bringing in vulnerability and shame researcher, Brene Brown to explain:

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Brene Brown / Holly Stoppit

I spoke about the link between vulnerability and fight flight freeze, which is what I've been exploring through my work in progress performance research project. This time, I drew a picture to illustrate:

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly Stoppit

I explained that through learning to spot the sensations of fight flight freeze and  practicing the breathing skills to calm myself down, I've been able to touch in deeper with vulnerability, which in turn has helped me experience more flow.

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Brene Brown / Holly Stoppit

We the spent the remainder of the session meditating on and playing with our personal relationships with vulnerability and flow. At the end of the session, the group created and embodied a collective poem which I'll share a little of here:

Vulnerability in Flow
-a collective poem

Seaweed in the waves
Feel vulnerable to the flow
Let the world lead me

Trusting to myself
Abandoning absence
Nothing is missing

I'm vulnerable
When I put my trust in you
I can dance with joy

So happy as a weed
Moved by a laughing soft sea
That I don't want to be

Uncertainty is a vast and powerful place,
Only sometimes can I savour its taste
Live it now, it will leave in haste.

Falling into flow
Releasing what would be closed
I forget to think

Shadows dance through
Flickering light
Freedom to move now

Spirited away
I leaned into the big um
Beauty it blossomed

Big blind bloke’s moving
Trust to be shared awkwardly
And with the flow we go

Fear rigidifies
Surrender without my eyes
Laughter is dancing

Move fast through darkness
As hands skim skin like warm stones
Lighting my body

I want to know you
Can we connect in flow
Yes I think we can.

The Mindful Play Sessions continue on 13th March. This time, we'll be exploring the theme of Spontaneity. 

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