Hey, Tamara -
i had a session with my lifecoach where i "crossed the line", stepping into a new commitment to make my artwork my first priority in my life. this was a radical but subtle shift for me. rather than looking mostly to external sources (like yoga, martial arts, nature walks) for my dose of "magic", i would look to my work as my primary source of magic. this meant making it my number-one priority each day, and in this way i happily re-engaged with my work.
over the next week or two, i experienced a real flood of high-voltage energy. i was in a state of flow in my work, even feeling ecstatic about it. then, on top of that, i experienced a flood of dramatic synchronicities, which felt like affirmations from the universe that i was "on track". wonderful, right?
so my question is, have you come across this phenomenon of high-voltage energy/synchronicity suddenly becoming available to people when they make a shift? what is it? and when it happens, how does one receive it? is it a matter of being "fit" or "grounded" enough to handle it? and how does one direct all that energy into one's joy, one's work, in a way that feels gentle and sustainable?
Interestingly, there is a fair bit of research to indicate that the flow experience comes as much from the experience of commitment to a priority as it does to the priority itself - in other words, it may be your re-engagement that is giving you the energy, not the art! Jay's book recommendation is right on the money - alot of Csikszentmihaly's work deals with this!
but a funny thing happened. i started to freak out! it was like the lid was being blown off my reality, i was seeing where i had placed "upper limits" on my expectations for reality, on how wonderful/inspiring/supportive life could be. i backed off a bit, to recoup, to digest. then i got a bit pissed off with the universe, as life went back to "normal"!
how silly that it can seem easier to live at a "lower voltage" or lower quality of life, just because that feels familiar and manageable! but i feel like i've had a glimpse of higher voltage, and i would like to learn how to live there more often.
any thoughts would be most appreciated!
My first thought is simply 'cool'!
You're focusing on having lost it instead of what you found - how much 'voltage' is actually available to you. This is not unlike the Kensho experiences of mini-enlightenment talked about in Zen practice - it's like a preview of coming attractions. You probably don't get upset when you see a preview of a really great film that the film won't be out for awhile - so maybe offer yourself the same amount of patience as you work towards sustaining higher levels of energy and passion?
In terms of how to actually sustain the higher levels of energy, practice works pretty damn well. Work with focused intensity for an hour a day; when you can do that, go for 90 minutes. If an hour is too much, go for 1/2 an hour. Still too much? How about 15 minutes? As you develop your stamina, internal energy management practices may help as well.
I personally like the work of Mantak Chia, particularly the inner smile and the Microcosmic Orbit - Transform Stress into Vitality is a good place to start, though if you google him you may find others that appeal to you more!