Tuesday 8 January 2013

Finding Flow in the New Year

Welcome back to Adventures with Autism Works and Happy New Year to all readers for 2013! After a much needed break and taking some time to settle back into working routine after the excess of mince pies, turkey and not to mention the generosity of giving presents, things are gradually getting back to normal at Autism Works this week.

Traditionally, at the turn of the year, when Earth has completed another orbit of the Sun, some of its human inhabitants often like to talk about resolutions that they have for the new year, such as what they would maybe like to achieve and what they may like to do differently. Though New Year Resolutions can be motivating factors, one sometimes also has to be careful not to become lost in them to the extent that they find themselves becoming anxious or disappointed that such resolutions can't be fulfilled, or in just trying to attain them, one becomes over-stressed that they forget the moment or situation they are in. This is why, in relation to mindfulness practice, I am going to attempt to without trying to hard, to be with each moment of 2013 as it unfolds with the journey that lies ahead of my with my duties at Autism Works as well as Asperger-related work and charity challenges.

One of the qualities that I feel I am beginning to experience more from mindfulness practice in recent months is in being able to find flow. As readers of this blog will be familiar, I have written much here about how the practice has enabled me to tune into the present so much more, but to experience the quality that the present moment can bring, it also helps to find flow in what one may be doing here and now in the present. Obsessive compulsive tendencies present in Asperger's Syndrome can sometimes see me become anxious about what stage I am at with a certain task, exercise or project or how much longer I need to continue with it to the extent that I may become obsessive about the time. This is where times and routines start to become almost a 'dictating' factor, inducing stress and anxiety.

When one finds flow in the present, goals and targets start to become factors for one to do the work to a achieve an outcome rather than doing the work to achieve the outcome. Applied to software testing, this could mean aiming to achieve a deadline to test the software rather than testing software to meet a deadline. This can enable one to be with each moment of the testing and hopefully produce better tested software for the developers, being able to identify bugs and defects early through applying eye for detail in each moment of the testing process. The other target that I hope to achieve this year through finding flow in a similar way with the ISEB Foundation Certificate.

Where I am also hoping to find flow this year is in the second part of the challenge that I am taking on for Daisy Chain, which is to hopefully summit Kilimanjaro (5896m) to raise much-needed funds for Daisy Chain.  To hopefully achieve my target, I am going to focus on the the summit being a factor to do not just the trek, but the fundraising activities as well, to enable Daisy Chain to continue to deliver the vital service that they provide to children and young people with autism and their families. To find out more or to donate, please visit my sponsorship page at www.justgiving.com/Chris-MitchellGNR/

If 2012 was about tuning into the present, can 2013 be about finding flow. Stay tuned to Adventures with Autism Works to see how 2013 unfolds. In the meantime, every best wish to you all for 2013.