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Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi & The Flow State


I was just now emailing with Tami Lewis Brown about tapping into the unconscious as writers and realized that this is the very kind of thing I could blog about--see, it's taking me a while to get up to speed on this.

In fact, it takes me a good while to "get up to speed" on just about anything I do. Is that because I'm a truly well-practiced procrastinator? Maybe. But it also might be because I'm learning to wait, to listen, to become open to the creative experience, giving my mind and body time and space to prepare for the activity, to enter it slowly, and to find connection with it, to "go with the flow" of the moment. I've learned that it takes us as organisms time to adjust our brain waves from one activity to another. Thinking we can rush here and there, be bombarded by outside and extraneous information, then zip into our writing spaces and immediately tap into the deepest parts of ourselves for our poems and stories is wrong. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do just that and we really need to stop. We need to make space in our lives, take time with our musings, and tone and relax our bodies in order to be the best we can be as writers, and, I believe, as people.

If you haven't done so already, take a look at Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi's work on creativity and the flow state. Among his books is FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, a favorite of mine. It's been long enough since I read it, I think I will revisit it. I need to find the flow myself.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jeannineatkins
Aug. 9th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Sharon, for the beautiful reminder to honor what's slow.
tamilewisbrown
Aug. 10th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sharon. Creativity and getting into the flow is a fabulous thing to blog about!

I'm already really good at being slow. Now I need to combine that with being creative! Csíkszentmihályi here I come. (thank goodness for copy and paste. what a name!!)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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