• Kacen Callender

WIP: The Flow State

The flow state when writing is my favorite place to be, because it’s the intersection of meditative peace and purpose. I don’t think I’m on this Earth to write, but my writing is a tool of my purpose, a symbol and catalyst of so many lessons I learn, my path to freedom and joy.

The flow state, when I sit and meditate and feel that peace without any distractions, is a vortex of creativity. Lights flash, joy rises, and I feel an unconditional, powerful love. I think my greatest moments of writing happen when I am in this state, my hands typing and my body overtaken. If I close my eyes and meditate while I write, I can feel this explosion as my story is guided.

I think that all writers, all creators, are vessels for energies that guide our stories, give us the ideas and messages that need to be written, or help us express emotions that are felt through the page, or help to heal us as we write, healing others as well, and more. For me, this is where the greatest inspiration is found and is the definition of creativity. When the story flows and we feel joy and it feels like we’re in a whirlwind of energy and lights and we enter a state where it feels like our hands are moving without us thinking and the story is flowing through us, literally, as though we’re channels—this is the state I aspire for now when I sit down to write.

I know when this flow state becomes blocked. My creativity is blocked and inspiration shutters to a stop. I know what triggers so many of these blocks. Fear, first and foremost. When I start to wonder what other people will think and say, if my writing will be too strange or if people will say I’m a bad person for writing about a topic or expressing an opinion many others don’t agree with. Fear branches into ego. When I think the book is all about me, the author, wanting to receive love for my writing because I’m depending too much on the love of others in order to feel the love that’s already inside of myself. This fear ironically is reflected in the world around me, and the lack of love I give myself is my own responsibility when I see that lack of love reflected back to me.

When my ego, and the desire to look for love out of fear, becomes my motivation, my intention, in writing, then this is also reflected in my storytelling. I start to write for what it is I think others want to see, want to read, with the hope that I will be loved. This blocks the energy and story that naturally wants to flow through me, the joy and love that is creativity.

How do I better access this creativity—not for the sake of others’ opinions, but to embody my love for myself and allow myself to shine? Because I think this, ultimately, might be a little closer to why I’m on Earth. To embody the love inside of me, and show that love to myself, which means I am also showing that love to others, and to let that love for me expand into a light that can sometimes be seen with the human eye, sometimes not, but is always felt. My writing has been a wonderful tool of that love, when I allow myself into the flow state.

There are layers of fear built by traumas inside of each of us. Healing that fear lets us see and feel the love that’s always there. I heard a beautiful analogy today: the clouds are the fear that we believe is the truth, when really, the truth is always the blue sky and the shining sun, hidden by our clouds of fear. Healing this fear and learning to remember that the clouds aren’t really the sky ultimately means getting closer to the flow state in writing, too. Opening myself to love allows stronger access for the loving energies that want to guide me, without fear. When I let myself feel only pure light, love, and purpose, I feel closer to my writing. The writing is easy. The novels, literally, write themselves. I only have to let my hands become a tool of a greater purpose.

I used to feel ashamed about talking how quickly I write, because at one point in my life it felt like a competition, to write more quickly than others so that it would feel like I was better than other writers—but this isn’t true. The ability to write novels within weeks, in between the 9 to 5 and the making breakfast for our family and the interruptions and distractions—it’s always there, if we’re able to stay in a meditative state and get out of our story’s own way and let it flow out of us. That joy and creativity and peace sucks us in so that we only want to write. We don’t want to watch TV or play video games or scroll through social media, because we’re consumed by this story that has flowed through our bodies and is desperate to escape us, to be seen by the world.

I used to purposefully stop this flow because of fear, too: I used to think that there was something wrong with wanting to do nothing but write, as if this was unhealthy, as recently as a few months ago—but it feels closer to the truth, I think, to acknowledge that there isn’t anything unhealthy about joy, love, and peace. Maybe it would be unhealthy if I was writing nonstop because I felt I had no choice, or because I was desperate to receive something—money, love from other readers. But to write nonstop while in the flow state is exhilarating, a gift, one that I hope to find again and again.

This creativity is a natural state of us, since joy and love is a natural state of us, so it’s easy to get into that state of creativity. We only need to sit and breathe. Turn off the thoughts. Count the breaths. Meditate on energy, perhaps. Meditate and practice the feeling of love. Receiving love and giving love. Love for ourselves. I imagine crystals inside of me, filtering out the stale energy, the anger and the pain, and transforming it into loving energy instead.

When people ask about my process, I talk about how I’ve written many of my books lying down in bed with my lights off, eyes closed, and let my hands move without thinking about it. I didn’t realize yet that I was doing the best thing I could to enter the flow state, by removing myself and my ego and my fear. The flow state is always there, waiting for us and beckoning us and welcoming us.

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