What’s between you, right now, and feeling that things are flowing for you?
Certainly there may be external obstacles on your path. Can’t pretend them away.
But you have an inner GPS.
At the deeper level of your non-conscious mind (what I call my Pathfinder) you are always figuring out the best, most fulfilling path forward for you to experience flow in your daily life or project.
Your Pathfinder streams that inner guidance to your brain, moment by moment, all day, all night.
But your brain doesn’t always listen. Often it’s too distracted by the negative thoughts it’s having.
Some people call the brain Monkey Mind because it never seems to settle down. It’s always jumping from one thing to the next.
Some people call it the Inner Critic because it is negative, afraid of everything, critical.
I just call it that inner voice that sometimes is critical, sometimes supportive, sometimes quite fearful.
But I believe from my research, that no matter how misguided, or negative, or fearful it is, my brain means well.
It sees itself as my protector.
I call him ‘Milo,’ and imagine him as a separate person.
Which may seem a bit strange to you until you try this little experiment:
Observe how you feel when you say to yourself:
“I feel lost. I feel afraid. I feel frustrated.”
Now observe how you feel when you say to yourself:
“He (or she) feels lost. S/he feels afraid. S/he feels frustrated.”
That is the power of what psychologists call “distanced self-talk.”
It can change hopelessness into compassion.
You need your brain to reconnect to the inner guidance from your Pathfinder in order for him/her to find your best path forward to flow for any situation, challenge, or goal.
In Mindful Pathfinding, I take on the role of mindfulness coach to my inner voice, Milo.
Whenever I notice that Milo is upset, anxious, frustrated (which is the opposite of the feeling of flow) I know Milo has disconnected from Pathfinder’s inner guidance.
So, as his mindfulness coach, I help Milo reconnect using a ‘path’ I call STOP!
In my mind I say to Milo:
S - Step back from all the noise. Nothing else to do. Nowhere else to go. Just be, here, now.
You “step back” in whatever way that makes sense to you. I imagine setting back behind a large pane window where I watch the World outside doing its thing.
T - Take a deeper breath...and then just let go.
It is simply a ‘deeper’ breath than normal. Sometimes, depending on where I’m doing Pathfinding, I may just do a sigh.
O - Observe. What’s going on in my jaw, my shoulders, my seat, my stomach?
I don’t try to ‘relax’ any part of my body, I just have Milo direct his attention to it and the tension leaves of its own accord.
This is not simply a relaxation process. It is an exploration in my connection to my body.
What comes up when you ask Pathfinder:
“Where is my path here?”
I don’t always get a verbal answer like an insight, or an inspiration. Sometimes it is a feeling of confidence, or an impulse to act.
P - Proceed to acknowledge and thank whatever comes up.
Whatever comes up is okay. It is always better than things are expressed than repressed.
If it is something that evokes a feeling of being back in the ‘flow,’ then I may feel that Milo is reconnected and close the session.
If it is something negative like a criticism, or worry, I have Milo immediately give it a generic “label” like, “Oh, that’s a worry.”
Then I thank him because behind any form of ‘resistance’ is the intent (however misguided) to protect you.
I move Milo on before he gets hooked on all the stuff that goes with any particular worry, by asking, “What’s coming up now?”
Occasionally there won’t be anything I consciously notice that returns me to feeling in the flow.
I coach Milo not to prejudge that. Sometimes, just like when you are trying to remember something, what you need comes after you stop.
This is a brief glance at how I do Mindful Pathfinding.
You might find that the exact way I do it, also works for you.
Or it might need to be tweaked (customized) to work better for you, given your unique personality or situation.
You might have questions, or need advice on using it.
That’s the purpose behind The Pathfinder’s Conversation.
I invite you to join in.
Try it for a month, see if it works for you.
Only $8 - no contract.
Start anytime. Stop anytime.