The Power of Positive Psychology? - Flow - John Van Sloten

March 21, 2010

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Media @ New Hope CalgaryIn this message we connect the biblical concept of joy with the psychological concept of flow.

Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!
Romans 5:11, MSG

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!”
Philippians 4:4, MSG

By his Son, God [the Father] created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God's nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!... he says to the Son, You're God, and on the throne for good; your rule makes everything right. You love it when things are right;
Hebrews 1:2-3, 8, MSG

Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Jesus in John 16:22-24, TNIV

Why should the children of a King,
Go mourning all their days?
Isaac Watts

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January 05, 2012
May the flow of your life reflect that of a stream, the water and the rock bed corrospond with the waterfall to never end...
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March 16, 2010
March 28th, 2010 on 8:11 am
Reading Solo, looking out at my back yard, or at the river valley in the front, watching kids in worship, becoming acutely aware of God in the quietness of his creation, reading my kids’ report cards, remembering “moments” of God speaking directly into my life, travelling, challenging students to think bigger, sharing a beer with friends, coming up with ideas to serve, dreaming about running an “off the grid” organic farm close by the city that students could come to to learn about sustainable living, reading the Narnia series, reflecting on the intense beauty and love of God…These are a few.

March 19th, 2010 on 10:22 pm
I thought of quite a few!

When I’m writing a story and the characters seem to come alive – when I am able to put the “me” aside and just listen to the story and let it be, to let it lead. I am able to create something that astounds even me when I do this.

When I’m lost in the love of my husband – no matter what we’re doing – it is impossible to care or even notice what time it is. From going for a walk together to sharing in the wonderful joy of making love in which it is impossible not to feel surrounded by beauty.

When I’m playing music/singing a song – most especially with others. The song takes on a life of it’s own and almost becomes a separate entity. It is a bond that connects me to my other musicians in a very intimate way as we all get lost in it. Playing a song together, to me, brings us closer than anything else.

When I get away alone – anywhere. I can become lost in the simplest of sights or sensations if my mind is willing to relax.

Talking to a friend! I have a few friends that don’t live in the city and when they call I can be on the phone with them for HOURS and i don’t realize it until I hang up!

Reading a good book. I can read all night if the story pulls me in. I don’t realize the time passing – and I never want the book to end!

I constantly get lost – stop dead lost – in beautiful music.

A great movie. Wow. I just watched Forest Gump again and felt that those two and a half hours were like nothing to me. I was moved.

When I have had a friend who has needed me to be there fully. I’ve held a sobbing friend in her dark room for hours and not noticed nor cared about the time. I’ve sat up all night with another friend to make sure someone didn’t die on us while we slept. I’ve cleaned wounds and stopped the shaking. These moments take my all – and I give of it gladly.

Thinking about concepts – I just spent about twenty minutes on this and didn’t realize it.

Adrian VW
March 19th, 2010 on 2:48 pm
hmmmmm. this is a puzzler. For me I would say that flow happens for me when I’m lost in deep thought. Generally over thinking scientific concepts, and contemplating the overabundant opportunities for learning about the universe.

As well, being secluded from the “world” as in other people. Being in Calgary it’s difficult to be far from civilization, but back where I grew up on Vancouver Island, I could pick a spot off the highway, climb a mountain for a couple hours and spend, well God only knows how many hours at a time looking over the valley just thinking about the future, what heaven would be like, what the world would be like without hate/war, the list goes on. It was always these times when I was able to clear my head of life’s stress and connect with myself, with God, with nature.

Thanks for this topic John. It’s made me realize that I really don’t get the opportunity for that flow at all anymore really. I think I’ll find some time for that.

March 18th, 2010 on 5:52 pm
I experience flow when I’m planning. I’m a teacher, and one of my favourite things about my job is envisioning a lesson, a unit, or a semester. I can literally lose myself in front of the computer for an entire work day and then wonder where the time went. And I love the feeling at the end of it, because I’ve solved several “problems” (usually timeline and content related), I’ve been able to use my creative energy to infuse “new life” into my teaching, and I’ve accomplished something that will help guide my work for the next day, week, or month. There’s definitely a sense of joy in this for me.

March 18th, 2010 on 3:17 pm
Time stands still when I’m editing video – sorting through hours of footage making a story or a montage come out of nothing. There is a sense of accomplishment and purpose to the whole thing. I am at one with the process and it defines who I am for the time I am engaged with it. Hunger, thirst, and other biological functions fade away. I enter eternity – or maybe it takes an eternity to complete a project.

March 17th, 2010 on 7:11 pm
when does time stand still for me?

it’s the times when my kids are sick, or sad, or lonely, and they melt into my arms to find comfort and encouragement and love, and in those moments i get a glimpse of the love that god has for us, and the anticipation of heaven and resting in the arms of my saviour.

and it’s the times on a friday night when the kids are in bed and the neighbors come over for a night cap, and we can share our lives, good and bad, when we can relax and enjoy the company (and sometimes order a giovanni’s pizza).

it’s also in the sharing of a conversation with a really good friend, whom i’ve grown so close to, yet i know won’t be around forever.

and sometimes it’s when i’m on facebook, and the hours just melt away and then i realize it’s after midnight and i’m going to be tired and cranky the next morning.

March 17th, 2010 on 2:36 pm
I personally see a direct correlation of “flow” with the act of love. I notice flow happens when I’m caught up in loving or being loved. Whether its in the thrill of talking to someone new, a quiet date with my husband, making someone smile, expressing myself through written word or paint, or just doing something that electrifies me…love is the common denominator. God gives us all the capacity to love and endows his love by giving us skills and abilities to physically show that love…I’m pretty sure that’s what I’d call flow.

March 17th, 2010 on 12:08 am
I would say “flow” happens for me differently. It doesn’t have to be things I “enjoy”, or “never want to end”, but more when my brain is fully engaged. Doing paperwork (trying to find a missing entry), fixing the car (mechanic work), putting together a proposal, or writing down the plan for my next “great” business idea. When these times occur I come away from them feeling accomplishment and fullfillment, which for me is a form of joy.

March 16th, 2010 on 10:07 pm
I’ve been mulling this question around and my conclusion is that for me it’s lots of seemingly little things. Snuggling up with one of my kids on the rare occasion that they’ll sit still, when supper’s over and the kitchen is cleaned up and we can relax and just “be” as a family, having a deep conversation and really connecting with someone, losing myself in a great book in the tub after the house has quieted down for the night, talking with women about their birthing experiences and dreaming of becoming a midwife, having my breathe taken away by a fiery sunrise, all of these and more are when and where I experience joy. Thanks for getting me thinking about them John

John Van Sloten blog comments
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Authentic Happiness 2010
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joy,Seligman,happy,happiness,Romans 5:11,Philippians 4:4,Hebrews 1:2-3

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