Flow Arts Lifestyle
Flow Arts, alongside Yoga and QiGong, have been the foundation of my life since 2013-14. I’ve drawn alongside that foundation and awareness of how the flow arts game parallels good life practices respectively. The simplicity of my flow art practice taught me in more depth then any of my teachers ever did. These are the three primary things that have stuck with me as a flow artist/fire spinner, which I apply to everything I do.
When you make mistakes, Flow On.
The first lesson that comes to mind is likely the most useful to all who are afraid of failure. When you are learning to flow, be it a specific tech trick, or just discovering your own style, the prop is going to hit you. Sometimes a little graze, sometimes a smash to the face or other tender area, adapting oneself to having a new extension of the body is like being a baby learning to walk. You’re going to not get it perfect right away and maybe never 100% flawless will you be.
But to the untrained eye, which is just about everyone who may be watching you except experienced flow artists, when you hit yourself, if you draw attention to the mistake, THAT’S the mistake! If you let it be and flow on, others often won’t even notice. You may even discover a new way to flow or a new trick with your prop. You may even develop more sensory awareness as your nervous system self corrects (so much of your skills are put together while you sleep; the muscle memory sets itself in).
This has applied MAJORLY in other areas of my life. Whenever I make a seemed “mistake”, it’s often just a lesson in disguise. We are not trained in everything, we have to train ourselves, even if we are being trained by someone else. We must train ourselves to listen, be aware, take note, and learn/adapt. This is how we grow; by not being good at things and experiencing the humility it takes to get better.
This is fundamentally how we understand value. So flow on, and remember that mistakes are only there for you to understand how to do it better. Getting down on yourself is the only true mistake.
Flowing is for Fun!
Now, this part seem obvious as you likely did not start getting into flowing for serious reasons. Or maybe you did, as the practice is very good for you and your brain. Flow art is just a continuation of what you did as a kid, playing around with sticks, rocks, and ropes. Now we’re getting more into our fine motor skills and it’s a lot of playing, even though it’s a practice.
There will be challenges though; especially in the beginning. It’s important to remember that though it’s nice to get good, master moves, and look impressive, but overall, it’s just for fun. Often in our adult life everything becomes work, which causes us stress, stagnates our creative energies, and causes us to be “dis-eased”. Learning how to enjoy oneself and our flow props just for the sake of it is vital for long term growth.
When you get upset at yourself during flow, be kind, take breaks, and practice letting go.
Flow Arts and Life is for fun; don’t believe anything else anyone says. At the end of the day it’s all relative. “The Universe is a fireworks display, to celebrate that existence is.” -Alan Watts. Enjoy what you do, else, don’t do it.
Visualization is over half the practice.
What often draws us to flow arts is the “visual euphoria” as my partner Catherine describes it. Seeing someone quite skilled with a prop is a wonderful stimulus for your eyes. It is also a great way to get inspired as well as start learning your prop. Seeing it done. But in order to get good, it helps massively to see yourself in not how you currently are, but how you desire yourself to be.
Whenever I am teaching my students, I often remind them to first see themselves doing the trick. And when they mess up, to practice a knee-jerk response to stopping themselves from seeing themselves messing up, or worse, saying “I can’t do it.” The truth is You Can Do It, but you’re just under-practiced at it.
When you see yourself clearly doing a trick, the mind doesn’t know the difference between what you see with your inner eye and what you see with your two eyes. Granted you need to also develop your skills of imagination to the point of creating some level of FEELING what you are imagining.
As I wrote earlier, much of what you learn will be put together in your brain while you rest. If you’ve filled your mind with visualizations of your mess ups, you will likely continue to mess up. If you fill your mind with your succeeding, you will succeed that much faster.
Everything in life applies to your visualization. Since your reality is first light reflecting off your irises, then electrodes firing in your brain, and then your decided upon result is your reality before what actually happens. Granted it’s not always instantaneous, but over a unspecified duration of time, you will continue to get nearer and nearer to what you visualize in your mind, as long as you stay consistent.
You Can Do It!
I have gotten students from zero experience to their first fire flow (and not just simple spinning, but actual tricks) in three weeks with these three lessons. I’m not saying you’re guaranteed to be ready for fire in that amount of time, but I have witnessed significantly rapid growth in peoples skills with these reminders, across the board.
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