It’s likely, if you have suffered narcissistic abuse, that you have a high level of integrity, and it’s likely you’re known as a person who does the right thing. You have a conscience, and because you do, you’re mindful of considering your environment and other people.
Therefore you will be dismayed, and even regularly incensed by the narcissist’s inability to conduct themselves appropriately, or abide by basic human morality and decency.
It’s likely that you will fight for decency and morality. Before long you’ll find yourself lecturing and prescribing ‘correct behaviour’ as if you were talking to a 5 year old.
YOU act responsibly and uphold your integrity, therefore why shouldn’t THEY?
Life with a narcissist is like a bag of tricks, and a box of chocolates. You never know what will morph out of thin air, or be unwrapped next. You are constantly on edge, walking on broken glass and suffering from high levels of anxiety. Understandably you want the instability and madness to stop…
Forcing accountability logically seems to be the answer, so that the crazy feelings and fear can end.

Your Integrity Is Used Against You
It’s extremely important to know the strength you possess – integrity, is in fact one of the greatest weapons that the narcissist uses against you. Firstly understand the narcissist purposefully targets people who have high levels of integrity.
The reason is he or she knows:
  • You will take responsibility for cleaning up the messes that the narcissist creates.
  • You will stoically work overtime on cleaning up these messes.
  • You are the perfect person to blame, because you vehemently try to prove your integrity to the narcissist, rather than leave, despite the abuse.
  • By focusing on trying to get the narcissist to act like a responsible and considerate adult you will hand over lots of much needed narcissistic supply (attention).
  • The narcissist can accuse you of lack of integrity in any area you pride yourself in – (being a good parent, a caring role model, a pet lover, an honest business person etc. etc.) which grants omnipotent delight when the narcissist views how much this maims you.
  • You will be a partner ‘who loves and cares’, therefore willingly handing over your resources, time, support and money.
By preying on your need for integrity the narcissist has set you up to lose your mind. The more he or she attacks and pillages supply and resources from you as a result of your high levels of integrity – the more you will try to righteously force the narcissist to be accountable. In fact you may go out of your way to prove a point, and do the ‘right thing’ – to set the right example, hoping that the narcissist will learn and start acting like a decent person.
The narcissist by the very definition of what a narcissist is, does not want to be accountable, does not want to ‘play fair’, does not want to conform and does not want to ‘do the right thing.’ A narcissist believes playing by the rules makes him or her like everyone else.
In fact the narcissist watches you doing all of the ‘right things’ and inwardly laughs about how pathetic you are for doing it, and loves it because it gives him or her ample opportunity to keep mining supplies whilst you keep trying to force him or her to be as ‘good’ as you.
The narcissist believes ‘being good’ would mean being reduced to a mere human, swallowed whole and controlled by the system. The narcissist thinks this will create vulnerability and take away his or her ‘edge’ of remaining separate, having the upper hand and securing narcissistic supply. To co-operate means he or she will have no way to steal energy to fill up the empty painful void within – and this would spell emotional annihilation.
You must understand that there is now way to make the narcissist accountable – and trying to is one of the greatest hooks that are keeping you stuck in abuse.

The Deadly Dance
A horrible addiction process occurs when you try to exert control over the narcissist’s actions and demand his or her accountability. In fact the more you try to control the uncontrollable, the more you lose control of yourself.
As your focus on trying to make the narcissist ‘normal’ and ‘decent’ intensifies, the more you expose yourself to the mind-bending twists and turns, the insane behaviour and the intense gas-lighting, manoeuvres, projections, justifications and downright lies that will tear your self-esteem and self-belief apart.
Before long you will think you are losing your mind, and you find that you can barely function. As the process intensifies you will feel so empty, tormented and anguished that you may feel like life is not worth living.
I promise you it is the strongest, most intelligent people with high integrity that suffer the most in this deadly dance. Be very aware you can’t win this game with the narcissist – and trying to win will just grant A-Grade supply to the narcissist every step of the way.

The Narcissist Fights Dirty
The need for integrity creates the perfect forum for the narcissist to unleash his or her most powerful arsenal. Within arguments he or she has a wide open playing field with no boundaries. This is like a blood-thirsty game of mortal combat with no rules. The narcissist has no conscience, therefore an endless amount of nasty tools are readily available.

These include:
  • Outrageous lies in order to gain whatever goal the narcissist has in mind.
  • Gas-lighting techniques in order to get you to doubt yourself.
  • Imagined allies to back up his or her claims.
  • Malicious comments to maim you.
  • Attacks on your integrity to disarm you.
  • Expert projection to make what he or she did your fault.
  • Purposeful outrageous and childish non-sensical comments to incense you.
  • Refusal to remain on the topic at hand.
  • Insistence on boundaries within the conversation, granting him or her all the rights to continue speaking, and you none.
  • Discard and abandonment techniques regardless of the state you are in. (The more distressed you are the more delight in abandoning you).
  • Attacking you in regard to your distress, hysteria or anger that has occurred within the argument.
  • The ability to use any of the above (plus more) to purposefully punish you, and create the highest level of anguish possible.
No human being is a match for these tactics, and if you do try to match the narcissist’s game with any of the narcissit’s tactics – the narcissist immediately pounces on your lack of integrity, which throws you into the despair: The narcissist doesn’t believe I am a decent person (this destroys your soul and mission to ‘change’ the narcissist …) or you will feel the incensed mind-bending rage of: Who are you to accuse me of lack of integrity?
Whichever way it goes, you end up battered and distraught, and the narcissist obtained narcissistic supply and the omniponent knowing that he or she can have this effect on you…
You can’t shrug off allegations like the narcissist can. The narcissist, once securing you in their life, actually doesn’t care whether or not you think the narcissist is a good person. The narcissist is simply in the game for the two reasons that narcissists interact with anyone:
1) To secure narcissistic supply, and
2) Having a person to hurt in order to offload their tormented inner self.
You have to accept that the narcissist simply does not hold or even care about the model of love and relationships that you do. His or her values, needs and neuron brain pathways are miles apart from yours.

The More you Need the Less You Get
At the time of entering the argument you will feel that you were seeking accountability for a specific issue – now as a result of the argument you will feel totally unsafe and need accountability for all the brutal abuse that occurred within the argument as well.
The more you try to gain accountability, the less you receive it, then the more accountability you need – and the vicious cycle expands and broadens until it is literally ripping your life apart, with no way out if you continue…
You know when you are disintegrating and complete losing yourself, because this is when you start acting like a crazy person. You may call the narcissist twenty times in a row, start seeking people in his community to tell them the truth about the narcissist. You may be constantly checking the narcissist’s facebook, phone records and contacts about what the narcissist is or isn’t doing, and your whole life becomes obsessed and totally taken over by the need to get accountability.
This is the exact opposite of where you want to be. With your focus completely obsessed with what the narcissist is or isn’t doing, he or she has you right where they want you – detached from your True Self.
No longer are you able to healthily supply yourself with your basic emotional needs, sustenance and safety. It’s likely that you’re no longer able to look after your practical and even survival needs effectively. You may find it virtually impossible to eat, sleep, pay bills and function.

How to Drop the Need for Accountability and Reach Acceptance
Read the following very carefully. This is your truth.
Understandably you will be operating from the mind-bending pain: ‘You should or should not be doing this!’ and ‘How on earth can somebody do what you do?!’
This may seem correct at a human and logical level, but this does not help you create a healthy and accountable life with accountable people.
One of the largest fundamental lessons of life, and intense learning curves that we are forced to face as a result of narcissistic abuse is this: People can be and do whatever they want to be and do. This lesson of acceptance is one of the most essential when recovering from narcissistic abuse.
There are only two ways we can live our life. These are:
1) Resistance, or
2) Acceptance.
When we judge something as wrong we have set ourselves up energetically (energy being the true ‘note’ that creates our reality), as My experience is wrong, because of this thing being wrong and therefore I have to make it right in order to be Okay.
For example: If you do something bad to me, and I decide to be affected by it ( a normal human reaction) I’ll replay it in my mind, and every time I do I feel the pain of what you did to me. You are however no longer standing there and doing ‘it’ to me. I am actually free to get on with the TRUTH of my life, but I can’t now – because what you did was ‘wrong’.
I have assessed my life can’t be ‘right’ now, because you exchanged with me in a way that was ‘wrong’. Your ‘wrongness’ has now become my ‘wrongness’ (I took it on), and it can’t be fixed until I change you from being ‘wrong’ into ‘right’.
Understandably this is very POWERLESS. I have no power to change you. And If I try to I can’t have a ‘right’ life until I change you from being ‘wrong’. The truth is I’ll be having a ‘wrong’ life forever…
Why? Because even if I could force you to change into ‘right’ (highly unlikely and impossible when dealing with a narcissist), more and more ‘wrong’ people would still keep coming into my experience and keep doing ‘wrong’ things to me…
Why? That sounds crazy! Why would I keep attracting the ‘wrong’ behaviour that I detest so much?
The answer is simple. It’s because I have an intense focus and dislike (judgement) on ‘wrong’. I take it personally, I make other people’s behaviour about me, and I judge who they are, and try to fix them and change them in a futile attempt to make me happy…rather than take responsibility for being the Creator of myself…
…all because I have not as yet learn the vital SOUL LESSON of acceptance and unconditional love which is:
“I love you and all of life enough to allow you to be whoever you want to be on your journey, and I love myself enough to choose what is the TRUE journey for me. Therefore if we are not a MATCH thank you for showing me what I needed to heal within myself, and I can let go and allow us both to experience the journey that is our choice as it stands right now.”
Whenever we judge something as wrong, we are in resistance. By resisting this thing, we think we are saying ‘No’ to it – yet in reality we are saying ‘Yes’ and bringing it into our experience. Resistance hooks us into the fight of trying to change something that is ‘wrong’ into being ‘right’ and pollutes our being and experience with ‘wrong’ in the process.
True Acceptance does not mean tolerating – it means the exact opposite. Acceptance means we observe the narcissist’s behaviour and accept that the narcissist does what he or she does because they are a narcissist. With this acceptance you will no longer have the need to change or fix the narcissist for your own wellbeing.
The gift in learning how to stop trying to get accountability is the peace and the acceptance that we are Unlimited Beings with all of the resources of life at our disposal. We don’t have to try to force unmakeable deals to work – because there is plenty more of what we really want available in life.
You need to establish that you DO have the resources within you to create your own truth and fullness. You can allow others to be whoever they wish to be, and if who they are or what they do does not line up with your Truth, then that person does not need to be your reality. Leave and stop participating and put your focus fully onto creating what it is that you want.
If this article resonated with you I would love you to join me for my next free Live Teleclass called the 3 Keys To Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse. In this event I share my healing system, Quanta Freedom Healing which has allowed thousands of people from over 50 different countries to break free from narcissistic abuse and start new lives filled with abundance, freedom and joy.
I hope this article helped you realise just how much damage fighting to get accountability is causing you. Next time you judge someone or their actions as ‘wrong’ remember to apply acceptance instead. Everyone is doing their own journey in their own way, given their map of the world. Now set yourself free to choose your truth regardless of what this person is or isn’t doing, and if their truth is not a match for yours it certainly does not have to play any part as your truth anymore.
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blue nails

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what shade

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Eckhart Tolle's first bestseller, The Power of Now, has riveted readers with its enlightened insights. Staying in the present moment, he says in that book, is the way to eliminate the suffering created through identifying with the mind. In his latest book, A New Earth, Tolle continues his theme of present moment awareness, elaborating on it with his unique clarity and depth, and he also explores how an awakened consciousness aligns us with our life purpose. We have both an inner and an outer purpose, according to Tolle. Our outer purpose changes with circumstances and necessarily involves time, whereas our inner purpose remains always the same: It is to be absolutely present in whatever we do and so let our actions be guided and empowered by awareness, the awakened consciousness, rather than controlled by the egoic mind. We fulfill our destiny and realize our purpose when we awaken to who we are: conscious Presence.
Tolle has taken the essence of spiritual wisdom from such great teachers as Jesus and Buddha, and put this wisdom into meaningful expression for today, just as Ernest Holmes has done through his formulation of a Science of Mind and Spirit. When Holmes says of spiritual mind treatment that it is "clearing the thought of negation, of doubt and fear, and causing it to perceive the ever-presence of God," he is gleaning the same wisdom from ancient teachings that Tolle has also done in his books. Now, with A New Earth, he makes this key to enlightenment—being fully conscious in this very moment—real and alive for us in today's words and for today's world. His book title comes from the biblical passage in Revelation promising a new heaven and a new earth. It is a metaphor for the state of conscious awareness of infinite being (heaven), which continually comes forth in a new way into new form (earth). Because his meaning goes beyond an intellectual grasp, Tolle's ideas ask for contemplation. They are more to be opened up to than studied. "Words are only pointers," he says. "What is being communicated lies beyond words, but we can use them to go at least in the direction of what is meant and that is helpful."
SOM: In your vision of a new earth, the purpose of life involves what you call awakened doing. What do you mean by this?
Tolle: Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.
In awakened doing there is complete internal alignment with the present moment and whatever you are doing right now. The doing is then not primarily a means to an end, but an opening for consciousness to come into this world. Aligning yourself with the Now is aligning yourself with universal purpose, the purpose of the whole. What is the purpose of the whole? The birth and flowering of consciousness. The whole then guides you in whatever you think or do.
As I explain in A New Earth, awakened doing has three modalities, depending on circumstances and the nature of the activity. They are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. If there is neither acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm in what you do, you are out of alignment with universal purpose. You are creating unhappiness, that is to say suffering in one form or another. One way of defining the ego is simply this: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment. What I refer to as the "new earth"—the outer forms created by awakened doing—arises as more people realize that their purpose is to allow consciousness to emerge through whatever they do.
SOM: Do you believe that humanity is ready for this transformation?
Tolle: Yes. I see signs that it is already happening. For the first time there is a large scale awakening on our planet. Why now? Because if there is no change in human consciousness now, we will destroy ourselves and perhaps the planet. The insanity of the collective egoic mind, amplified by science and technology, is rapidly taking our species to the brink of disaster. Evolve or die: that is our only choice now. Without considering the Eastern world, my estimate is that at this time about ten percent of people in North America are already awakening. That makes thirty million Americans alone, and in addition to those people in other North American countries, about ten percent of the population of Western European countries are also awakening. This is probably enough of a critical mass to bring about a new earth. So the transformation of consciousness is truly happening even though they won't be reporting it on tonight's news. Is it happening fast enough? I am hopeful about humanity's future, much more so now than when I wrote The Power of Now. In fact that is why I wrote that book. I really wasn't sure that humanity was going to survive. Now I feel differently. I see many reasons to be hopeful.
SOM: You say in your new book that for humanity to make this transformation, there needs to be a shift from object consciousness to space consciousness. Can you explain more about that?
Tolle: Yes. I am saying that I see the emergence of space consciousness as the next stage in the evolution of humanity. By space consciousness I mean that in addition to our being fully conscious of things—that is to say of sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and whatever happens in our lives—there is at the same time an undercurrent of awareness or Presence operating in us. Awareness implies that we are not only conscious of things, such as the objects and the people around us, but we are also conscious at the same time of being conscious. Conscious of the timeless I AM without which there would be no world. We can sense an inner alert stillness in the background while things happen in the foreground. That is the unconditioned. That is true intelligence. If there is only object consciousness in our lives, we remain trapped in the conditioned, trapped in form, which creates an appearance of separation. We are always trying to change the form or are resisting it in some way. We are looking to the world of form for salvation. But when we are aware of space consciousness, aware of being aware, we are freed from identification with form, which is ego, and there arises within us a sense of oneness with the whole and with our Source.
SOM: So attachment and struggle are released.
Tolle: That's right, because in space consciousness there is no future and no past. There is only the present, and it is always free. This is what the Buddhists call "emptiness" and Jesus calls "the fullness of life." It is the same thing, or rather no-thing. Because it is an opening into the vertical dimension, which has no limit, the present is never confining or fraught with problems. Problems need time, that is to say past and future, to survive. On the other hand, if we let our focus drift back to the past or forward to the future, we are functioning in the horizontal dimension, and this results in an expanded differentiation of forms deriving from ego constructs. Entering the vertical dimension requires a high degree of Presence. The Now needs to be the main focus of our attention. Of course, we need the concept of time in order to function, for example, to schedule this interview. But the point is not to be limited to that dimension alone. The arising of space consciousness—a shift to vertical rather than horizontal awareness—is the next stage in the evolution of humanity, and it's happening more and more as our awareness remains in the now moment.
SOM: Can you suggest some ways to stay focused in the now?
Tolle: One thing we can do is to notice the little things all around us, paying attention to details such as the birds in the trees and the flowers in the garden or the park—just notice the beauty everywhere, even the smallest things. To notice seemingly insignificant things requires alertness. That alertness is the key. It is the unconditioned. It is consciousness itself. Another helpful practice is to watch the breath, and breathe consciously. If we are paying attention to our breath, we cannot be thinking of anything else at the same time. Our attention is in the now moment and not on our worries about yesterday or our plans for what we will do next week. We are just breathing, not thinking. Because the practice of breath meditation takes us out of the activity of thought, it is an effective way to awaken. In fact, breath, because it has no form as such, has traditionally been equated with spirit, the formless One Life. In the German language, the word atmen, meaning "breathing," is derived from atman, which in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India , refers to the innermost essence or universal self.
SOM: Why is it a desirable practice to free the mind from thinking?
Tolle: Thinking, or more precisely identification with thinking, gives rise to and maintains the ego, which, in our Western society in particular, is out of control. It believes it is real and tries hard to maintain its supremacy. Negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear, envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego. When the ego is in control, these states of mind appear to us to be justified and also to be caused by some external factor. Usually another person is blamed for these feelings. Their true cause, however, is not to be found in the content of your life, but in the very structure of the egoic mind. It needs enemies because it defines its identity through separation, and so it emphasizes the other-ness of others. For this reason, letting the ego be in control leads ultimately to violence, fighting, and war. This is madness, but the ego doesn't see it that way.
The film A Beautiful Mind does a good job of depicting how the mind can delude us if we are not aware that it is controlling us. It's the true story of a man who is a genius but he's also insane. The audience doesn't know that he's insane until he himself realizes it as the story unfolds. The film makes the point that when you become aware that you are insane, you are no longer insane. So when you become aware of your mind, you are not identified with your mind anymore. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. The madness is caused by thinking without awareness, and thinking without awareness is how the ego keeps us in its grip.
SOM: Are you suggesting that we just change the content of our thoughts away from negativity or rather that we cease the activity of thinking?
Tolle: Positive thinking is certainly preferable to negative thinking. But to be in the consciousness of the now moment and to practice awareness of the divine Presence is what Jesus means in his Sermon on the Mount when he says, "Take no thought for your life." From this state of Being comes great creativity. "Change your thinking" can really be understood as telling us to cease the constant busy activity of the mind, which is repetitive, futile, and often negative. Instead of constantly thinking, we become still and quiet, and we become conscious of being conscious. This is the realization of I AM, the realization of Being, our essence identity. When we are rooted in that, thinking becomes the servant of awareness, rather than a self- (ego) serving activity. It becomes creative, empowered.
SOM: You talk in your book about the pain-body, both personal and collective. What do you mean by the pain-body?
Tolle: The pain-body is my term for the accumulation of old emotional pain that almost all people carry in their energy field. I see it as a semi-autonomous psychic entity. It consists of negative emotions that were not faced, accepted, and then let go in the moment they arose. These negative emotions leave a residue of emotional pain, which is stored in the cells of the body. There is also a collective human pain-body containing the pain suffered by countless human beings throughout history. The pain-body has a dormant stage and an active stage. Periodically it becomes activated, and when it does, it seeks more suffering to feed on. If you are not absolutely present, it takes over your mind and feeds on negative thinking as well as negative experiences such as drama in relationships. This is how it has been perpetuating itself throughout human history. Another way of describing the pain-body is this: the addiction to unhappiness.
SOM: Can you suggest a way to eliminate the pain-body?
Tolle: Yes. We release it by cutting the link between the pain-body and our thought processes, so that we no longer feed the pain-body with our thinking. Every negative thought has a similar frequency to the pain-body and so feeds it. It cannot feed on positive thoughts. When the pain-body no longer runs the internal dialogue of our compulsive thinking, we become aware of it directly. We feel the emotion in our body, and so we bring awareness to it, the light of consciousness. The old emotion is then transmuted into consciousness in the same way that a fire transmutes everything into itself. So disidentification from the emotion and just being in the now moment is the way to stop the cycle of constantly recreating painful experiences.
SOM: Fear seems to lie behind most negative emotions. How can it be released? You speak about a process of disidentification. How does it work?
Tolle: Fear arises through identification with form, whether it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role, a self-image, a thought, or an emotion. It arises through unawareness of the formless inner dimension of consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are. You are trapped in object consciousness, unaware of the dimension of inner space which alone is true freedom.
Every fearful thought is about future, is about something that could or may happen. Most people are familiar with the "mental movies" that cause stress and anxiety and keep you awake at night, while your body lies in a warm and comfortable bed. The moment you recognize a fearful thought for what it is, that is to say futile and self-destructive mind activity, you begin to disidentify from it. Awareness or Presence then takes over from thinking. I am not saying that you don't think anymore, just that you no longer confuse it with who you are. Thinking becomes rooted in awareness rather than being autonomous and self-serving, which is the ego.
Every pain-body contains a great deal of fear, since fear is the primordial negative emotion. How do we deal with that? Here again, you recognize it for what it is: the pain-body, an accumulation of old emotion. Once you recognize it, it cannot take over your mind, feed on your negative thoughts, and control your internal dialogue as well as what you say and do. Once the pain-body has come up, don't fight or resist it. It is part of the "isness" of the present moment with which you always need to be in inner alignment. So you allow it to be there. If you don't feed it anymore, it loses its energy charge and the negative emotion undergoes transmutation.
SOM: You speak in your book of the ego's incessant wanting and its insatiable need for more. Wouldn't certain things we want be considered worthwhile, though, such as wanting to become a better person?
Tolle: The desire to become a better person is usually to do with wanting to improve how I feel about myself, how I see myself, or how I am seen by others. It is to do with mental image-making, that is to say, ego. That includes, of course, wanting to become enlightened or more spiritual. Awakening or spiritual realization is the discovery that you don't need to add anything to yourself in order to be yourself fully. You don't need to try to become good, but allow the goodness that is within you, inherent in Being and inseparable from who you are, to emerge.
SOM: You say that as people awaken to their true self and their life purpose, a new earth is created. What is this new earth like?
Tolle: I don't want to speculate about the characteristics of the new earth, but whatever it is, it will be an outer manifestation of the new heaven, the inner realm of consciousness. It will arise out of the awakened consciousness that is unconditioned and free from the illusions of ego. Hints of what the new earth will be like are found in the Bible, where it says, for example, that "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb …." One way of understanding this is that what we perceive as external reality is one with and a reflection of collective human consciousness, so a change in consciousness will change not only the world we create, but our entire way of perceiving reality.
As human beings awaken from the dream of identification with form, consciousness can begin to create form without losing itself in it. The true essence of who each of us is, is being realized. The coming of a new heaven and a new earth, predicted both in the Old and the New Testaments, is an apt metaphor for this shift in consciousness. This shift, however, is not a future state to be achieved or even believed in. A new heaven and a new earth are arising within each of us at this moment. So awakening to your life's purpose is not to try to look to the future and expect fulfillment there but to stay in the moment, allowing the ego to dissolve. Your life's inner purpose is primary, and your inner purpose is to awaken, to be conscious. In whatever you do, your state of consciousness is the primary factor.
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i wrote you a poem
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Flow : The Neurology of Excellence 

A composer describes those moments when his work is at its best :

You yourself are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don't exist. I've experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching in a state of awe and wonderment. And it just flows out by. 

His description is remarkably similar to those hundreds of diverse men and women - rock climbers, chess champions, surgeons, basketball players, engineers, managers, even filing clerks - when they tell of a time they outdid themselves in some favored activity. The state they describe called "flow" collected such accounts of peak performance during two decades of research. Athletes know this state of grace as "the zone," where excellence becomes effortless, crowd and competitors disappearing into a blissful, steady absorption in the moment. Diane Roffe-Steinrotter, who captured a gold medal in skiing at the 1994 Winter Olympics, said after she finished her turn at ski racing that she remembered nothing about it but being immersed in relaxation: "I felt like a waterfall." 

Being able to enter flow is emotional intelligence at its best; flow represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performance and learning. In flow the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. Yet flow (or a milder microflow) is an experience almost everyone enters from time to time, particularly when performing at their peak of stretching beyond their former limits. It is perhaps best captured by ecstatic lovemaking, the merging of two into a fluidly harmonious one. 

The experience is a glorious one : the hallmark of flow is feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture. Because flow feels so good, it is intricately rewarding. It is a state in which people become utterly absorbed in what they are doing, paying undivided attention to the task, their awareness on what is happening - the very thought "I'm doing this wonderfully" can break the feeling of flow. Attention becomes so focused that people are aware only of the narrow range of perception related to the immediate challenging operation during which he has in flow; when he completed the surgery he noticed some rubble on the floor of the operating room and asked what had happened. He was amazing to hear that while he was so intent on the surgery part of the ceiling had caved in - he hadn't noticed at all. 

Flow is a state of self-forgetfulness, the opposite of rumination and worry instead of being lost in nervous preoccupation, people in flow are so absorbed in the task at hand that they lose all self-consciousness, dropping the small preoccupations - health, bills, even doing well of daily life. In this sense moments of flow are egoless. Paradoxically, people in flow exhibit at masterly control of what they are doing, their responses perfectly attuned to the changing demands of the task. And although people perform at their peak while in flow, they are unconcerned with how they are doing, with thoughts of success of failure - the sheer pleasure of the act itself is what motivates them. 

There are several ways to enter flow. One is to intentionally focus a sharp attention on the task at hand; a highly concentrated state is the essence of flow. There seems to be a feedback loop at the gateway to this zone; it can require considerable effort to get calm and focused enough to being that task - this first step takes some discipline. But once focus starts to lock in, it takes on a force of its own, both offering relief from emotional turbulence and making the task effortless. 

Entry to this zone can also occur when people find a task they are skilled at, and engage in it at a level that slightly taxes their ability. As Csikszentmihalyi told me, "People seem to concentrate best when the demands on them are a bit greater than usual, and they are able to give more than usual. If there is too little damand on them, people are bored. If there is too much for them to handle, they get anxious. Flow occurs in that delicate zone between boredom and anxiety." 

The spontaneous pleasure, grace, and effectiveness that characterize flow are incompatible with emotional hijacking, in which limbic surges capture the rest of the brain. The quality of attention in flow is relaxed yet highly focused. It is concentration very different from straining to pay attention when we are tired or bored, or when our focus is under siege from intrusive feelings such as anxiety or anger. 

Flow is a state devoid of emotional static, save for compelling, highly motivating feeling of mild ecstasy. The ecstasy seems to be a by-product of the attentional focus that is a prerequisite of flow. Indeed, the classic literature of contemplative traditions describes states of absorption that are experienced as pure bliss: flow induced by nothing more than intense concentration. 

Watching someone in flow gives the impression that the difficult is easy peak performance appears natural and ordinary. This impression parallels what is going on within the brain, where a similar paradox is repeated: the most challenging tasks are done with a minimum expenditure of mental energy. In flow the brain is in a "cool" state, its arousal and inhibition of engaged in activities that effortlessly capture and hold their attention, their brain "quiets down" in the sense that there is a lessening of cortical arousal. The discovery is remarkable, given that flow allows people to tackle the most challenging tasks in a given domain, whether playing against a chess master or solving a complex mathematical problem. The expectation would be that such challenging tasks would require more cortical activity, not less. But a key to flow is that it occurs only within reach of the summit of ability where skills are well-rehearsed and neural circuits are most efficient. 

A strained concentration - a focus fueled by worry - produces increased cortical activation. But the zone of flow and optimal performance seems to be an oasis of cortical efficiency, with a bare minimum of mental energy expended. That makes sense, perhaps, in terms of the skilled practice that allows people to get into flow : having mastered the moves of a task, whether a physical one such as rock climbing or a mental one such as computer programming, means that the brain can be more efficient in performing them. Well-practiced moves require much less brain effort than do ones just being learned, or those that are still too hard. Likewise, when the brain is working less efficiently because of fatigue or nervousness, as happens at the end of a long, stressful day, there is a blurring of the precision of cortical effort, with too many superfluous areas being activated - a neural state experienced as being highly distracted. The same happens in boredom. But when the brain is operating at peak efficiency, as in flow, there is a precise elation between the active areas and the demands of the task. In this state even hard work can seem refreshing or replenishing rather than draining. 

Emotional Intelligence / Daniel Goleman 

two trucks speed by
yellow flowers sit and hide
cool
tired

what are we doing


















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THE POWER OF NOW
Image result for red tubingImage result for red tubing
unconditional love
self awareness
creating own culture
deeply listening
practicing kindness


I've been trying to figure out what it is that I wanna say to white people.

White people lost their shit after the election . Events created under the support of the disenfranchised are dominated by white people who don’t seem to understand the very fact that they continue to dominate space that are not supposed to be about them.
Two hundred people piled their bodies into a gallery space that had a panel discussion on post election rights (immigrant, trans, prisoner, POC, etc.).The majority of the people on the panel were white. The majority of the people in the audience were white. Never once did the panelists, who I later found out were all lawyers, mention the importance of self-care and expressing community within interpersonal relationships. We sit down and talk about where we go from here. That question is different for different types of people. It seems that white people just started becoming aware of the injustices that other people have been experiencing, once a president that could jeopardize their very way of life was elected. The email list at the front desk described the event as an “apocalyptic” event. Who the fuck decided that the world was ending all of a sudden? The world has been ending for a lot of people for a long time.
Where do we go from here?
How many times can you tell a white person that they are taking up too much space
Until you choose to stop occupying spaces dominated by white people.
Use your hands
Use your time
Use your money
Use  your body
Use your resources
Use your rich parents
Use your connects
Use yourself to help somebody else get the chance to thrive

Stop assuming shit
And let somebody tell you how it is

Respect and educate yourself on the shit  you love

- Sarah Gail Armstrong