Monday, August 26, 2013

Finding Flow

Do you remember the last time you lost yourself in an activity? Perhaps you were so involved in what you were doing that time slipped away and you were completely engaged and focused on the task at hand. You had no distractions; you forgot about yourself and the world around you. Complete and total immersion in your work resulted in a creation that brought you pure joy. What caused you to feel this way?


I recently read an article discussing the psychology of flow and how it was a key to happiness. The concept of flow was first proposed by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and he describes it as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."


My flow activity is photography, specifically taking photos of my animals. Over the past year I have been learning more about photography and feel like I am finally at the level where I have enough technical knowledge to focus on my subject and getting a good shot instead of fumbling with the settings. There's something about the elusive "perfect shot" that I strive for and want to capture.


I love that feedback is immediate. I know right then and there if I've managed to get the shot that I wanted. And it is challenging, because I can't tell the animals how to pose or where to look. Or in Gizmo's case, I can't tell him to stop moving! That's why I'm overjoyed when I finally get a decent shot of him. Nothing else brings me pride and satisfaction like getting good photos of my animals to treasure for the rest of my life.

What is your flow activity?

~Tammy

Shared with Tuesday Muse, From the Farm Blog Hop  

48 comments:

  1. These are wonderful. It's all about timing, right Tammy. I really enjoy taking animal shots, too to capture the innocence of the moment. I love Gizmo's tucked in front legs. You can feel how comfy he is and he's completely intrigued with your camera. They are all beautiful. Deb

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  2. So happy you have found your muse, Tammy. You do take lovely images from around your rural home. :)

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  3. The pictures are beautiful! Love the picture of Gizmo, but Slyvester in the flowers is my favorite! Gosh, I don't know what would be my flow activity....I do like gardening a lot with flowers, but I do love cooking for people and getting their feedback on what I make. So maybe cooking more. :)

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  4. I know what you mean.......I love to try to get the "right" shot but I have a limited camera but it happens every once in a while. Your shots are wonderful however!!!! I always look forward to your blog because not only do you always have interesting info but you photos are so very good!! Thanks.....I enjoyed this post very much..:)

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  5. Watching my children can result in the most happiness ever. Whether it's at the beach, the farm or walking through the woods on a hike - their pure innocence and joy results in such a happy place for me words can hardly describe it. I really agree that finding your flow is essential. By the looks of your beautiful pictures, you've certainly found yours! Yay Tammy!

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  6. i do not have that talent or skill for photography. i am envious of those who do.

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    1. Oh, but those snake photos just recently, were some of the best I've ever seen!!! :)

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  7. Great post and marvelous photos ~ love that kitten! , carol, ^_^

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  8. Michael Britt does a lot of psych podcasts, and he has a neat one on flow too. I love your cat in the flowers.

    Flow happens for me on my runs. Sometimes I forget what mile I'm on!

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  9. Thanks for this post Tammy, I need the reminder to find my flow. I'm missing my painting and creating, I seem to find other things that I think are more important to do each day, but sometimes we need to be selfish and do something for ourselves. S:)

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  10. I'd say you really are finding your flow - these are fantastic. I'm not sure I could even choose a favorite, they're all great in their own way!

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  11. That picture of Gizmo is just adorable! You really do have a knack for photography. :)
    My flow activity is actually my baking. I always said if I could make money with my baking, I would be a happy girl.

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  12. I love your photos.

    For me it is gardening, hiking and writing.

    Enjoyed your post!

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  13. Those are beautiful pictures! You have a gift for photographing animals!

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  14. What treasures! I enjoy photography, writing and gardening in the same way. Nothing like getting lost in your bliss...

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  15. Nature photography, writing, kayaking, pretty much creating anything with my hands.. These are my flow activities!

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  16. Love the photos! the cats are so cute. not sure i have good flow. my work seems to slow down the flow. i know when i go vacation it takes a couple of days but i do lose track of time and things just move along without effort.

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  17. Photography is a great flow activity for me, but what about reading a book? I have lost myself for hours before just reading a book.

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  18. Pictures speak volumns! You do a beautiufl job of telling a story in the photos you take. All of your animals are larger than life for those of us who do not know them personally!

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  19. Gizmo's picture is ADORABLE! Well, I love all of your pictures, they make me smile :)

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  20. My flow has to be my gardening. I could get lost in weeding and hoeing for hours. You are truly coming into your flow for photography! Love all of the pics you share with us!

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  21. Love the photo of the kitty with his paws folded! I also like the black cat peaking out of the flowers. You are really getting good at photographing your animals!

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  22. Gizmo is darling Tammy. Great picture!!

    This is interesting! Other than flow power yoga, I've never heard of this. I believe we need to stay engaged, focused, and goal orientated .. so I totally understand the benefits of this. Hobbies are wonderful flow activities and I too have enjoyed photography as it relates to my blog. Wonderful photos!

    xxleslie

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  23. One of my flow activities is hiking. Another winter flow activity is skiing. And of course photography is always in season!

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  24. Love the photos!!

    Can we have lots of flow activities?! I feel like depending on what I'm doing I can get lost in it? But I think whenever that happens it always includes communication with people in some capacity....so maybe that's my flow activity if I had to boil it down to one thing.

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  25. Photography is my flow but I also being with the animals... time flies. Your photo's are awesome! Gizmo is such a cutie :)

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  26. I love that shot of the cat amidst all those wildflowers. Yes, I also know know that 'flow; feeling and it's a good sign of expression and creativity, seems to me anyway.

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  27. I love the picture of your cat. It looks like a photo straight out of a magazine.

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  28. Great photos! Mine is crocheting and knitting. For sure.

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  29. You're quite good at photography...so it's good you enjoy it. Good for us, that is! :) Must I choose just one for myself? I have so many! Creating, gardening, sewing, quilting, reading books with my kids, cooking, baking, canning, kayaking, being with my animals, wandering around a farm, picking flower arrangements...etc etc etc.

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  30. These are some seriously amazing photographs. I want to have Gizmo. May I? Seriously though, the activity that I can most easily get lost in is reading. Does that count?

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  31. My flow activities are gardening, woodworking or anything that is creative where I work with my hands. I totally immerse myself in the activity and am "in the moment" while I work. I love building furniture, using only hand tools, feeling the texture and grain of the board as I work, listening to the sound of the plane as it cuts, smelling the aroma of the wood...it's therapeutic and feels as if I am putting a bit of my soul into every piece I make.

    Your photos are stunning! You really have a creative eye for photography. Your pictures not only capture the moment but also tell the story! :)

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  32. My flow activities are photography, riding my horse, writing. Everything else just slips away...

    Love the kitty photos. I smiled when I recognized Gizmo in the Tuesday Muse linkup. :-)

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  33. I am not sure if it is flow or just routine. I love all your animals photos. Gizmo is Cute! Great post, have a happy day!

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  34. That kitten's face is just perfect! Wonderful photos!

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  35. Great post, Tammy! My flow activity is anything that involves creativity. Writing, photography, arts and crafts. I've loved creative writing since I was a child. Photography is something I've taken up in the last couple of years. I love the kitty photos! :)

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  36. All three of those are perfect shots, and I laughed at the last one. Very sweet! I can't pick a favorite though, I like them all.

    My flow activity is academic writing. It brings me peace. :)

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  37. That picture of Gizmo is great. You captured so much personality. I love how he has his arms folded, and the expression on his face.

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  38. Wonderful captures of your animals!

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  39. Well your "flow" is coming along nicely as these are wonderful. Gizmo is a cutie and what a great shot of him. I liked the chicken too and that other kitty in the clover is just a darling shot.

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  40. Drawing, writing, and photography! Love the photos. :)

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  41. Those are such cute photos, Tammy! Love that last one the best :) I do know that feeling and gardening, cooking and crafting do it for me. xo

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  42. I love photography as well. My flow activities would definitely include photography... and then probably just about anything animal-related. When I am around horses, dogs, cats, time stands still for me and I think of nothing else.

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  43. I love that last picture of Sylvester's ears just above the flowers! Wonderful picture. I lost myself a couple of weeks ago cleaning out my laundry room in the basement. That is my space. My desk and crafty things are in there and I organized the life into that room. If I hadn't seen it, touched it, used it in a year it went into a donate pile. Hours went by. It was wonderful.

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  44. Lovely post, beautiful pictures. Absolutely my animals will do it, just spending time with them relaxing. But mostly cooking, hiking in the forest, and crafts can cause me to just carry on and not realize anything around me or think of anything else :)

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  45. like you, my flow activity is photography. when i'm behind the lens i'm completely absorbed by what i'm trying to capture. i enjoy floral and macro photography the most but am going to delve into still life this winter . . .
    i really enjoy your photography btw and have spent quite a few happy minutes reading your lovely blog.
    i also enjoy "flow" time while doing other creative things like stitching and mixed media art.

    :-)
    libbyQ

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