Optimal State Of Flow In Travel.
Going through the mountainous trail used by the dwellers of the Eastern Himalayan region of Nepal that rolled along the Arun river the village of Surtibhari came into view. It held together three huts put up with wooden posts, mud walls covered with straw. It was a station for porters – professional supply carriers that constantly plough along the trails delivering food, construction materials, even sick bodies to a hospital far below in the valley — all on their backs.
I put down my full expedition pack and wanted to go down the Arun. It’s white sandy banks appealed to my body one craving – to stretch and sit down unburdened.
The scene was nothing less than idyllic: Arun was dynamic and full of water fed by high altitude glaciers of Makalu Barun massif. Framed by low laying banks lush with sal trees, it was a postcard of rustic paradise.
I sat down, free from inner commentary. And I remember my inner world falling into a bigger one, inseparable with the one perceived by senses. It ignited a gentle and subtle process, like an invisible inner glow of completeness. I distinctly sensed a relief from habitual rush of “what’s next” or “is this the best thing right now?”, all I could feel was a spontaneous movement of unrestrained presence — “nothing is missing!” – I mused. It felt that nothing held more or less value in the past or in some kind of future – it was all elevated to the highest possible value — a state free from resistance of separate self. That was a mark to register of what psychologists call “Flow”.
From that moment, my travel agenda more often than not revolves around intention of moving into this state at least once.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says we can achieve one of the most elusive needs — self-actualization — by finding a state of “flow” in our work or our hobbies.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a leading researcher in positive psychology. He developed the notion of “flow” — the immersive moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake. Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, and he is the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about joy and fulfillment.