Go With The Flow

In addition to having a great name, Mihaly Csikszenthmihalyi*, an academic and psychologist, coined the term ‘flow’ — when you are completely absorbed by an activity, often something creative, so much so that nothing else seems to matter.  You forget yourself as you are totally focused on the activity, not aware of the passage of time, feeling a part of something bigger than yourself. 
*pronounced “Me-High Chick-Sent-Me-High” 

Photo Credit: Isabella Herman


 Csikszenthmihalyi’s research has suggested that ‘flow’ is highly correlated with happiness. Even more intriguing, he and others have suggested people who experience ‘flow’ regularly seem to develop other positive traits, such as increased concentration, and improved self-esteem and performance (www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/getting-in-the-flow/).
 We don’t think it requires a big leap to include creative activities such as those found at…a folk school, for example. The process of creating something, such as a knitting a hat or carving a wooden spoon, or cooking, involves using both your hands and brain, engaging your brain in a creative process where you are totally absorbed in the activity  — ‘flow’.   

Photo Credit: Isabella Herman


 Many of us spend a lot of time at a computer, pressing keys and thinking, but perhaps not fully engaged or experiencing ‘flow’. Think back to a time when you felt the satisfaction of using your hands and creating something – following a new recipe or refinishing a table or knitting a scarf as a gift. Were you absorbed in problem solving, then a bit frustrated but not enough to quit, then satisfied and proud of a new skill or product? We believe taking a folk school class, learning with others and engaging your hands and brain, will increase your happiness as you leave your regular life behind for a little while and become absorbed in a creative process. Get in the groove, go with the flow – whatever you call it, come join us at Marine Mills Folk School!