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August Book Review: Creativity: Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creativity. We all have it, and we all want to relish in it. But how?

Creativity, Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiMihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s groundbreaking book, Creativity: Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention, is considered an exemplary work (and I agree) in the study of creative expression. Csikszentmihalyi interviewed almost a hundred creative people in every field and synthesized his findings in this book. He also brings thirty years of research on the subject of creativity. Professor Csikszentmihalyi explains the creative process, the creative personality, and what it means to work creatively in the first part of his book. He then summarizes his findings from his interviews of very successful creative people, followed by a thorough explanation of what he renders the domains of creativity: the word, life, future and culture and how to enhance your own personal creative energy.

Although it has been almost twenty years since the publishing of this writing, this masterpiece stands alone as the bedrock of how people experience creativity and live in what the author calls, “flow”- the experience of spending hours or days where you lose track of time, forgetting to eat or sleep, feeling like there is no other place you would rather be, being “in the zone,” feeling completely immersed in your creative endeavor, experiencing creative bliss and feeling an instinctive calling to keep working on your project. Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presents the author’s nine, necessary component states of achieving flow. He also explains that in order to achieve a state of optimal flow, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the creator.

For a long time, I believed I did not possess creativity. However, I thankfully discovered that I, as well as all of us, have an abundance of it! We are all creators to one extent or another. You might be a person who thinks you are not creative, but you truly are. Every day, you make decisions that require the use of your given and inerrant, abundantly supplied creativity. Deciding to shower a certain way as opposed to another is being creative; decorating your bedroom is using your creative mind; designing a spreadsheet, delivering a speech, sewing a dress, knitting a scarf, building a skyscraper, re-arranging your pantry, cooking, using a programming language, making jewelry, writing music, designing the underground structure of an emerging neighborhood, organizing the applications on your cell phone, and blogging is being creative. And, the list goes on. Every time you imagine and then take action, you are creating. Having had to read this book in college years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I possessed some of the characteristics of highly creative and successful people that are described in this book, and you do too! Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will show you what creative people are like, how the creative process works, and what conditions encourage or discourage the generation of original ideas. I recommend this book to those interested in the study of creative expression or those who want to understand or nourish their own creative lives.

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

A bit about the author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi has written several other books or publications in addition to Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. His most recent work centers around the study of intrinsic motivation and how it contributes to overall success of the individual. Born in Hungary in 1934, he was affected by the Second World War in ways that deeply influenced his life and later work. During his childhood, he was put in an Italian prison. Experiencing the horrible loss of family and friends due to the war and subsequently becoming “lost in flow” playing chess when he could were the catalysts that inspired his future work in the area of individual flow and optimal human experience.

To purchase Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, visit: Goodreads.

To learn more about the author, visit: The Pursuit of Happiness.

“But it is impossible to enjoy a tennis game, a book, or a conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Visit my blog about creativity: DesignsbyVilms.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings From One Creative Being


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February Book Review: In the Body of the World by Eve Ensler

February Featured Book, In the Body of the World

As a lifetime lover and student of literature and as an author myself, there are no words to describe Eve Ensler’s absolutely stunning, courageous and profound book, In the Body of the World It is nothing less than a 21st century original masterpiece! Ensler’s prose is so poignant, original and raw; it will ignite the passion and fire in your own body and emotions. Her metaphors left me speechless, her story left me breathless, and her courage is incredible. This is by far the best-written memoir I have ever read! There are no words to explain the magnificence of this book!

In the Body of the World is a story about the author, Eve Ensler’s, battle and healing from very advanced uterine cancer. Using rich and original metaphors that leave you wanting more, Ensler combines her experience of being sexually abused as a child by her father, growing up with a distant, non-protective mother, her fight with cancer, her love and commitment to the ending of the genocide and brutal rape of millions of women in the Congo, and her disconnection to mother Earth to produce a very inspiring memoir. She brilliantly describes her dissociation from her emotions due to her tumultuous childhood and reconnects with her body, mind, emotions and soul as she heals from cancer. She writes, “Because I did not, could not, inhabit my body or the earth, I could not feel or know their pain.” The metaphorical weaving of this text is nothing less than first rate!

A bit about the author, Eve Ensler:

Eve Ensler is a visionary. She is an international bestselling author and an award-winning playwright. Her theatrical works include but are not limited to: The Vagina Monologues, Necessary Targets and The Good Bodies. She is author of Insecure at Last, a political memoir, and I am an Emotional Creature, a New York Times best-seller, which she has adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature.

Ensler is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls that occurs in various cities worldwide every Feb 14th, and which has raised over $90 million for local groups and activists and inspired the global action, “One Billion Rising.” Eve Ensler has won numerous awards for her plays and has been given two honorary doctorates.  Eve’s mission is to end all violence towards women and girls worldwide. To join Eve in her mission or to learn more about this incredible woman, visit her website, EveEnsler.org, or join her on V-Day, Feb 14th, every year, until all violence ends.

In the Body of the World is her latest book. To purchase a copy, visit her website: EveEnsler.org.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com. Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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Let’s Roll

Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentine Border

I thought today would be an appropriate day to start blogging at the end of a breathtaking Earth Day in my part of this world. I am in love with God’s creation and His abundance. I am responsible, as a living, breathing, conscious human being to take care of what is bestowed upon me. This is a photograph taken on the Argentina and Brasil border at Iguazu Falls in 1998 on a visit to my home country of Argentina. No words could adequately describe what I felt watching and listening to those majestic waters. It is moments like these that don’t only take our breathe away but spur us to ask the question, “What am I doing here?”

I am in the process of revamping my website and will be offering more of myself and the gifts that have been given to me to share with as many interested individuals on this planet. For now, I have begun this blog. My hope is that you are encouraged, inspired and moved to think differently about the world around you and about who you are relative to it.

Recently, I have begun a raw food journey, which, frankly, sometimes has left me speechless! I expected to feel healthier, to look healthier, to savor an abundance of the Creator’s natural food, and to love it.  Not only am I experiencing that, but I am also finding that the raw food life is an abundant spiritual life as well. I feel a turn around in myself, once again. It is another life journey that I am now embarking on, and am choosing to love every moment of it!

Stay tuned for many more blogs. I am just now getting started.

Let’s roll…

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso