Updated: Jan 1
When uncertainty threatens our wellness it is so easy to give into negative thoughts which then turn into a loss of enthusiasm, energy, and productivity. Covid has certainly spilled into our lives like an overwhelming avalanche of heavy-loaded uncertainty. Being secluded in between walls or hiding behind a mask is neither a common nor natural way of life even for people like myself who, as an INFJ personality type, am very comfortable with my introverted, brouhaha-avoiding lifestyle. I have come to learn, over years of life experience, that when it comes to one’s wellness finding ease with life is closely tied to a coaching of the mind that is indispensable if we ought to live in a state of flow. Mindset is everything. Positive mindset creates a peace guided flow that allows you to do more than overcome but strive during the most difficult of times. In contrast, negative mindset creates a dread suffocated flow that discourages, debilitates, and can even make you ill. In this article, I would like to propose three questions I find very significant in answering which I hope will serve you well during this difficult time. And because I want you to be empowered by this article, I will share some personal thought processes which I allowed to occupy my mind with such busyness that I am constantly led to a mindset made up of positive energy which then funnels down ease into my very soul: 1) Why is solitude such a difficult task? 2) Can we rewire our mindset? 3) Can we enjoy flow at all times?
1) WHY IS SOLITUDE SUCH A DIFFICULT TASK?
Solitude can be a very difficult task because humans, by universal law, were designed to build and cherish relationships. Yet solitude can be such a wonderful temporary relief. “Unless a person learned to enjoy it, much of life will be spent desperately trying to avoid its ill effects.” – Mihaly Csikszentmialyi. Solitude is not easy because as Mihaly mentions in his book “Flow,” my absolute favorite book of all times, the moment we are alone the brain starts to wander. Have you ever just stood there by yourself and suddenly you felt your mind was filled with thoughts that were spinning so fast it was becoming unbearable to sit with yourself? Have you ever felt as if it was too difficult to find order in your mind from within? You should never feel bad or guilty to answer with a firm, solid “yes” because unless you are not part of the Homo sapiens specie you will definitely deal with this difficulty in your life. It happens to all of us. It is a condition of human life experience that is inevitable. This is when you may be seeking external distractions such as pleasurable activities to get your mind off so much that it is trying to order itself in the mind. Therefore, sitting in solitude can often seem a dreadful experience compared to being distracted because it is far harder to manage the information overload floating through your mind all of the time than for example to watch a film you love or socialize with friends and family. But if we could find a way to order the mind from within while we are alone, in our solitude, if we can master over the sentiment of solitude and demand of our mind to focus on internal order – things can change for the better. How? – you may ask me. Well, keep reading.
2) CAN WE REWIRE OUR MINDSET?
We can rewire our mindset only when we learn to be comfortable with solitude and begin to order things in our mind the way we want things to be but not only order. We can delete, replace, and re-organize our very thoughts. That little voice that is talking to you all of the time, tell it to “Shut Up!” from time to time. Your mind will then quiet a bit and you can start going to work. Then you can get busy trying to delete any negative thoughts, replace them with new, better thoughts that will serve you, your health, and your very way of life far more than any previous ones. For example, at the commencement phase of Covid I felt very lonely. I don’t think I ever felt this lonely in my life before. Not only was Covid to blame but I had just moved to a whole new state where I did not really have friends or any immediate family. Soon after my relocation, Covid happened. I then decided to start a journal with lots of notations. Very aware and intentional, I chose to jot down positive affirmations, mindsets, philosophies, and spent a great deal of time with them. I read many books that continued to encourage my focus and understanding of flow. My mind had no time to think about loneliness anymore. My mind was now too busy focusing on learning new concepts, enjoying the work of other great minds such as Mihaly’s, paving an internal map towards the destination where I wanted to get to not the place I was actually in, making sense of information I was selectively feeding my mind on my own via articles, books, YouTube videos, seminars, basically anything that would add to my appreciation of flow and the ability to create it and maintain it over time consistently. So, can we rewire our mindset? Yes, but it takes focus. You want to be intentional with yourself, draw down what you would like to do, if it helps you more to write it down (it does help me as a writer for sure) then do so and, finally, go for it. When the little voice in your mind returns uninvited with “I am lonely” tell it “I never invited you! Excuse me, but I am busy mapping my future!” and then go back to your plan. Soon enough your little voice will not try the “I am lonely” rubbish on you and you can focus on your flow, progress, and goals.
3) CAN WE ENJOY FLOW AT ALL TIMES?
I am not going to lie to you first because I loathe lies and second because lies will only lead one to disaster. So, here is the truth, maintaining flow as a consistent reality of your day-to-day life is going to be a challenge. Like with anything else in life, the more you do it the better you get at it. Ordering the mind from within is an extremely difficult task. You cannot just drift into flow zone with ease, at the beginning. You have to learn to master focus first. However, if you can direct the mind to focus on the habits, tasks, activities that will lead you to grow and blossom in areas that fulfill you, you will want more of that joy and, thus, will seek more focus on it. Suddenly something that seems so common to you like your television set will no longer be as attractive to you; you will want to do better things with your life. You might even find yourself seeking better people in your life, leaving the ones that do not serve you well behind. You might think to yourself right now that living without a television would be impossible. Well, I lived with one for over a year and I can affirm it is very possible though I am not telling you to do that necessarily. I am just proving that once the mind sets itself on an outcome, that outcome becomes very attainable. Remember, the important thing to realize is that focus is indispensable. As for flow, don’t be too hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself, is key. If we can have flow at all times, we would probably not be humans. But, here is the good news. We can access flow at any given time; so, when the threats come to divert us from it then we need to focus hardest on it. How one can access flow is different from person to person. One’s access to flow could be through a meditative state with painting, another’s with listening to a certain type of music, while another’s with flying an airplane, etc. You have to find out who YOU are. I don’t believe in those training tools that treat everyone the same for humans are different and what works for one person may not for another. However, I can only say that if you seek you will find what you need. Don’t ever give up. You will get there. As in the words of Winston Churchill, “Never Never Never Give Up!”
In summary, I am going to share with you some of my accomplishments during Covid. This is just the beginning for me, but here are some realizations which would have never come to happen if I would not have focused on my flow and personal growth. I don’t have all the answers and I certainly have much more growing to do, but I am happy to share these with you. But first, I would like to share with you a poem I wrote entitled “Light From Within.”
Light From Within poem by Carmen A. Cisnadean
There is a light Within each heart That can turn clouds In wondrous skies All of the storms That claim the earth Can be turned calm If we so want.
There is a strength Within each man That can turn feuds In loving tales All of the anguish That scars existence Can be turned peaceful If we so choose.
There is a force Within each soul To fuse a world That coexists One which may paint The future’s stars With brilliance strong If we so aim.
You can CLICK ON THE YOUTUBE LINK BELOW TO HEAR ME RECITE IT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vJfaDnMXws
April of 2020 – in collaboration with a local photographer, I created my first marketing product which was a postcard that replaces the traditional business card concept
May of 2020 – created my first website which you are visiting right now July of 2020 – I was recognized and published by Unstrung Magazine of, for and about poetry a project of the Arizona Consortium for the Arts
July of 2020 – Started my first poetry children’s book which I am currently writing and illustrating
July of 2020 – I was recognized as a visual artist by the honorable Artists AZ, sponsored by entities such as Arizona Commission on The Arts & City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, to name a few
September of 2020 – Recognition and invitation to join The Academy of American Poets
October of 2020 – I wrote this article for you because I want to empower you to fight for your life. Life is not easy, especially if you choose to live a conscious and flow driven life, but it is so worth it in the long run.
Thank you for reading. I hope the reading was enjoyable.
Carmen A. C.
The Creative Visionary