I love to read and believe reading is an essential tool for my growth. I think people often underestimate the life enhancing, even life changing power of really good books read deeply. So here one book in progress.
I am hammering my way through this fascinating psychological treatment on mindful creativity. Just the premise of living mindfully is tremendously powerful. The book?, On Becoming an Artist by Ellen J. Langer.
The most concise way I can describe mindful creativity will make the most sense to actors. When I’m on-stage in a scene I must listen. I must pay intimate attention to what is being said, to what’s going on, to where we’ve been and where we’re going with the work. To act mindfully is to be “in the moment”, to sell out and become completely engaged in the work. Mindful creativity is engaged creativity, a listening if you will to the work; think the opposite of robot, or automaton, or even auto-pilot.
When we live mindlessly, we’re disengaged and running from one meaningless event to another on auto-pilot. We’re not thinking, we’re just doing. We’re bored and shut down. When we live mindfully, we’re interested, we’re engaged, we’re afraid and taking healthy risks, we’re growing.
I’m excited about this book, although the less creative, more psychological approach the author takes is a little bit left-brain for my ears. This isn’t Julia Cameron’s incredible The Artist’s Way where we’re encouraged and nourishing our attitude toward our art. No, Langer is a psychologist and deals with this subject from more of a behavioral paradigm. That’s what makes the book a little more difficult for me. There’s still a great deal of insight and wisdom here well worth mining out.
I’ll post more on this book as I move through it.
Here’s to living mind-fully!