The Higher Ground Of FLOW


We have not been trained to go to the “higher ground” of our strengths, of feeling good, of living in an UpSpiral.

Where is the positive emotion?

Where is the positive thought?

What is the strength that works best?

What do I really want?

We are not trained to “go to the higher place.”

This is what will pry you loose from the judgment of the ego, which, in its appearance, is simply telling you to go “GHP.”

Your ego is hard at work keeping you just exactly where you are. It doesn’t like to attach to new things.  Your ego holds you to your associations with your old strengths. You play to your strengths or you play to your weaknesses.

Judging is a way of playing to your old strengths to keep yourself fixed where you are and so that you do not have to face change in your life.  It creates a stagnant, fixed life given to DownSpiral movement.  This is the kind of judging that has a negative emotional content to it.  It’s about the people you react to, don’t like, bother you, irritate and rub you the wrong way.

The negative that you see in another person, that also produces with it a negative reaction in yourself, is judgment.  It is also projection.

What you project is something within yourself that you have not come to accept and grow through.

Judging causes you to play to your weaknesses because you have to be coming from a weakness in order to get this “judging” thing going.

What you don’t like in another person that bothers you emotionally is what exists on the inside of you in some fashion or another.  It is a key to your greater inner freedom.

We are creating a new mythology, and it is not characterized by “living in the now.”   That is just the best present cultural solution we can accept.

It is characterized by finding your autotelic center that generates your personal sense of discovery and satisfaction.

It is the core of “flow.”

There is no dragon to slay on the way to “manhood” or enlightenment.

There is, however, the way to the permission-giving center which allows us to experience pleasure and novelty.

“Flow” is a description of one aspect of this new mythology of the essential journey.

Pay close attention to those places where the ego is raising a fuss.

It’s goal of course is to get you to go to a weakness, to become frustrated and oppressed.

However, it is also a laser pointer to GHP.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Mary Garvey Horst The cue of “GHP” or go to a higher place, as well as those of the UpSpiral images attached here remind me to move beyond my current circumstances of limited consciousness. If I continue to set my gaze straight ahead, I only see what is in front of me. However, if I lift my gaze to a higher place or perspective, I allow for new possibilities to enter into my field of vision. I am inviting in practices that assist me in doing so, such as daily pulsing the Emotional Gym, coming from my Top 10 strengths, practicing yoga and breath work, setting time aside for meditation, eating foods that are more alkalizing to my body, and surrounding myself with people who uplift me. Practices of inner and outer connection infuse me with a level of neuropositivity that resonate with greater truth than the formerly ingrained responses of judgment and projection.

  • Dr. gloria wright

    Shoot fire and save matches. Looking at judgement and criticism as a Projection, has a sting to it. So much easier to find fault with others – but it then draws me to my weaknesses. Then begins the cycle: criticize and find fault; look in the mirror; face my weaknesses; reconnect to my strengths to find peace and gratitude. It may sound easy, but when I’m in this intentional process, it is challenging and takes much determination to pull into the positive.
    Somehow noticing the slights and unfairnesses of others is way too familiar and has a real pull to it. “Somebody done me wrong” must be an old well-worn tape. And I really detest being in the victim role – but it can be my “go to” place. One of my favorite professors used to say, “life is not fair.” All in the eyes of the beholder….
    Dr. Larkin reminds us, “What you don’t like in another person that bothers you emotionally is what exists on the inside of you in some fashion or another. It is a key to your greater inner freedom.” When our ego is acting up, we have some work to do.
    And ego wants to keep us where we are comfortable – even if we’re not living out of our strengths. I said years ago that I wanted to make a bumper sticker: “Comfort is a Killer.” But with semi-retirement, I crave comfort. But too much becomes stagnation. Too much comfort is a sure decline into aging. To thrive in our senior years, we need to spend a lot of time in FLOW.
    Flow is that space where you’re consumed with whatever you’re doing. It is where time passes without notice. It’s where you’re curious and almost unconscious while being totally conscious. It’s the space where you are in your strengths – and yet challenged to go the next level. It’s often where your passion and/or interest thrive. It’s like being in the zone and somehow exhilarating but not always in a dramatic way. It’s more of a nice hum of peace of being in the groove of being present.
    Seek novelty. Take time to savor. Cut the radio off (of all those ego-driven aggravations) or move it to a music station. Try Tommy Emmanuel on Pandora. He’s a treat!

  • Shuhan Yang, PHR CPCC ACC

    The ego is the “defense program” for the beliefs we have formed about ourselves (identity selves). As indicated from the name “defense program”, the ego does not like changes; nor does it like anything we do to help us grow into our true self. All we have learned from this course including the UpSipral, Strengths, VibeCore and FuturePac are ways we can lean in to become who we really are and create what we truly desire in life. So quite obviously the ego will try to find its way to interfere with the process by keeping us in the DownSpiral, playing to our weaknesses and growing comfortable with where we are in life.

    Focusing on problems only intensify the problems. In order to better manage our ego, we need not to judge or resist it. Instead we need to be aware and acknowledge its presence and the limiting beliefs it carries. We need to start from here to build up the positive emotional muscle and play to our strengths. When we live an UpSpiral and StrengthSmart oriented life, we feel better and more comfortable in our own skin. We also pave the ground to increase our VibeCore through which we get more of what we truly want. We also judge less as a result as there are less things in ourselves that we do not accept or own. The ego will never go away, but we are in better control of our lives instead of being controlled by the ego when we live a NeuroPositive life.

  • Michelle Carl Rizal

    Living and exploring ways to increase my UpSpiral (starting with pulsing love, joy, peace, gratitude, and hope)…..exploring and playing with my 10 strengths in creating my day or in making decisions,….and having a focus on my flow (knowing what I want…believing that I will get it…and having an openness to the when and how of receiving)…have opened my eyes to a new way of awareness, thinking and believing.

    This blog is a reminder how often we get caught up in our own ego through negativity, judgement, and projection. With this in mind, I’m paying more attention to times when I am using my weakness. Then, I’m using this awareness as a signpost or cue to move towards NeuroPositivity. From my experience while going through the class, we always have a choice. The choice of going to a “higher ground of flow” allows us to grow, develop and begin to experience the life we want and imagine.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute