Archive - 2017

Life As A “Flow” Experience
Need The Balance Of Negativity?
Our Strengths As Our Values?

Life As A “Flow” Experience

Flow Brained


Anything in life can be a flow experience.

Just go back and remind yourself of the steps for creating flow and you know that anything can be a flow activity, if you can get to “oneness” with it- forget yourself and get to that point where you are one with the music of whatever you’re doing.

What is amazing is that “flow” is like a drug or a medication.

We are concerned about the affects of drugs and medications, particularly psychotropic or psychological drugs.

What we don’t realize is that social interaction, the way we think, what we talk about and the social context around us affects us, particularly the brain, as much, if not more than drugs, in the long-term.

Your thoughts affect the development of neuropathways in the brain.

Negative and anxious conversations about “bad” things and people affect the amygdala of the brain which is a center of fear, negativity and anxiety.

The more you focus on the negative, the more extensive and tightly bound are the neuropathways that are connected to the negative memories that are held by the left hemisphere.

The words we use, the conversations we have, and the images and programs we take in have the power to create a DownSpiral of negativity that releases cortisol, a major stress hormone, adrenaline, thyroxin (long-term adrenalin), and ACTH, the body’s basic stress response.

Don’t like to take medication?

Don’t want to use drugs?

Then make “flow” the medication you use.

As it shifts you from your left hemisphere dominance to the larger picture of the right hemisphere, that sense of being one with the music, that subtle shift turns the “feel good” chemicals and gives you distance, perspective and it adds to the neuropositive reservoir.

The more you are in flow and the more you experience being “one with the music”, the more you build it into your life, you are building your reservoir of psychological capital and you are also building a “buffer zone” of positivity.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Need The Balance Of Negativity?



Illustration of positive and negative. Plus and minus.Does “happy” sound trite to you?

Need the “balance” of the negative?

You would neither be afraid of facing what is negative or need to deny that the negative is everywhere if you were grounded in what an increased capacity for positive emotion means for your brain and for you.

It is not a matter of just changing your thinking and it is not a matter of just being happy.

You do not live where you think, you live where you feel, and in the “incubator” of your experiences that produces the state of mind or feeling state that you’re in.

The life of positive emotion in us, freely accessible and lived, is like good nutrition as opposed to eating frozen dinners.

We find our lives of creativity and meaning in our capacity for positive emotion and in learning to live from it.

For most folks, the enlarged capacity for positive emotion is a foreign idea they assume they understand.

Your enlarged and engaged life of contentment and satisfaction is grounded in your capacity for positive emotion.

It is not grounded in resolving your past mistakes or conflicts. Your negativity is grounded there.

That negativity waits, hopes, and breathes in anticipation that you will try to “work through” your defensive, negative armour and be engaged for years in resolution of your issues.

While at the same time, in another part of your brain, the capacity for positive emotion, growth, increased options, thriving, and flow waits patiently in your life.

The increased experience of enlarging the capacity for positive emotion engages the brain in a process that creates transition and moving into a whole new structure of consciousness that stops using what doesn’t work.

It unearths, one day a time, the defensive behavior that doesn’t fit the nature of positive emotion and its perception of what the new options and new strengths can do.

People change when they feel safe, they do not change when they experience threat, at least not over the long term.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 




Our Strengths As Our Values?


Our signature strengths, the top five big ones that we can test to identify, are expressed as values, our “core values.”

What a concept.

Let’s think about values.

They are standards or guides to how we are most who we are.

When we live most consistently aligned to our values, a way of life that is most expressive of our true nature is formed.

Our valuing takes the form of these strengths as one of the strongest indicators and answer to the question, “Who am I?”

I have never heard a person who has found out what their strengths are ever ask, “Who am I?”

They know.

Take any problem you think you have and talk to your strengths.

Yes, have a dialogue with one or more of your strengths.

Ask of it, “with this or that in my life, how do I apply this strength? What does this strength have to tell me, teach me?”

How have I created my world from this strength that is also a value? And where in my world am I furthest from its expression or truth?

Where you are closest, you will be happiest, most content and grounded in easy joy.

Where you are far enough a way from this strength, you will find how you devalue yourself and your life and live in a disembodied and compromised life.

It will usually be experienced as anxiety, flat lining, or even depression.

The fundamental expression of a strength as a life value is as a lens to filter out what doesn’t fit and the delusion that allows it to remain.

Our strengths seek the restoration of the truth of who we are and provides the joy that results. It restores our presence to ourselves and to others.

As you dialog with your strengths, can you hear this message…?

“I fill my shoes and they are solid to the ground, my gait is centered with my posture and it is sure. I am firm footed. I sit in my seat, I fit and I am there, present. I am a part of the beauty and excellence I see accurately around me.”

I am learning to embody my strengths, to go beyond an intellectualized understanding of what they are, and to live in them, with clarity and connectedness I can feel.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute