During the last chapter of the book, Csikszentmihalyi brilliantly connected Flow to a life of Meaning & Purpose and Inner Harmony, a subject which resonated with me deeply.
Someone who knows his desires and works with purpose to achieve them is a person whose feelings, thoughts, and actions are congruent with one another, and is therefore a person who has achieved inner harmony.
So long have I sought for Inner Harmony or what others would call inner peace. I have come to realize why I have felt lost and unhappy within the depths of my consciousness for more than half of the last decade despite being materially wealthy. No one would wish the Covid-19 pandemic to happen, but its disruption was essential to come to this point of self-reflection. Losing a good portion of my work (and income) may have deprived me of some material wealth, but I soon realized that what I lost weren’t essential and what I gained is the opportunity to ask myself the question I have not been able to face while being previously engrossed with so much work, money making and spending, as well unhealthy infatuations with both people and things.
The questions are many, but the answer is simple: my thoughts, values, emotions and actions were not in alignment. On top of that, I have been living my life unconsciously letting the waves choose my direction instead of being the captain of my vessel. Perhaps I’m still hung up with my chronic, albeit controlled, SLE and I’ve not yet overcome the external bandaids I rely on to heal the wounds I still have within me. Throughout the years, I have come to determine the things and values I hold highly: detachment from material things, an unselfish way of loving, self-control and discipline, focus, love for people and interaction—yet I find myself falling short of those values and instead find pleasure from trivial, short-term things and relationships. My thoughts were often in disarray, my actions a result of impulse not of intention.
It’s not all bad of course, otherwise I would be depressed and I am far from that. However, there is this constant longing to become someone who acts upon and embodies my values. And that’s why I sought these kinds of people, so that thru osmosis I could become like them.
Slowly and actively I am in the path towards Inner Harmony. Perhaps it’s the result of the spiritual maturity and discernment afforded from what’s supposed to be a tragic year. Finally and end or at least an initial release from my constipated frustrations. That combined with the wisdom from books, and the influence of gurus and friends new and old, that I am finally on my way to a search within.
And it is only when we are at peace within ourselves, when our thoughts and our bodies are not getting in our own way, that we are then able to pour out our energies to others. And that to me is the ultimate goal. Liberation from the imprisonment I’ve made for myself and finally being able to become a person for others. And living in flow is among the tools to get there.