Vilma Reynoso

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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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May Book Review: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness.” – Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

After stepping out of my reading comfort zone and immersing myself in New York Times best-selling author, Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, I was pleasantly surprised to put it mildly. The book pretty much left me speechless. I have to admit that when I first picked up this piece of writing, I was very skeptical. I believed that it was something that I could not relate to or have the patience to read because, although I am very spiritual, I am also very analytical, and I believed that a book like this from a spiritual healer like Eckhart Tolle would be something I would find without substantial substance. I was wrong.

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, thoroughly and convincingly explains how our current ego-based state of consciousness functions and how it contributes to pain, misery and violence in the world. He demonstrates how to live in pure joy in the present moment, and illustrates how most people live in the past or the future, thus missing out on true life now. He shows how thought and emotion can be hindrances to true joy and happiness. Tolle describes addiction (all known forms in addition to others he believes are problematic) and how most of us are living in reaction to life and not in response to life. He then covers how to break free from this behavior; he reveals how we are pure consciousness, how to live in pure truth and what the “new earth” is about. This book is well written, intriguing, illuminating, uplifting, very rich, easy to read, and is one of those books you cannot only read ONCE. It is a life-changer and a must read!

I highly recommend A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle to anyone who is looking for an answer to life’s BIG questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Where did we come from? What are we made of? Although not exclusive, Tolle’s book attempts to answer all of these questions with very thought-provoking answers.

A bit about the author, Eckhart Tolle:

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Eckhart is a spiritual teacher and author who was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty nine, a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Eckhart Tolle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Power of Now, and is also author of Stillness Speaks and other books. He lives in Vancouver, Canada, when he is not traveling sharing his message of profound truth and hope. To learn more about Eckhart, visit: EckhartTolle.com.

To purchase A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, visit: EckhartTolleTV.com.

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


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August Book Review: You can be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective by Richard Carlson

Happiness – “It is our natural state,” says, Richard Carlson, Ph.D.  But, if so, then why are many of us far from “happy?”

Richard Carlson, Vilma Reynoso

Dr. Richard Carlson’s book, You can be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective, explains exactly how to be in a state of happiness and demonstrates why we
usually are not thriving with abundant joy. The author breaks the book down into two sections. Part one explains the principles behind true happiness such as thought, mood, separate realities, feelings and the present moment. In part two of this book, the author explains how to apply these principles in our relationships, stressful situations, in solving our problems, in addictions and more. Even though I have learned that my happiness is always my choice, Richard Carlson’s book explained to me how my thoughts and consequent feelings have a huge impact on my happiness every moment.

You can be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective by Richard Carlson is a pleasant and easy read; the material presented is very practical and solid with real-life advice. Dr. Carlson even includes a “Checklist for your Life” at the end of the book to help identify what is keeping us from truly thriving in abundant happiness. I recommend this book for anyone who might be wondering why happiness seems to be illusive or for anyone seeking simple solutions to improve the joy in their lives.

A bit about the author, Richard Carlson, Ph.D.:

Dr. Richard Carlson is considered one of the world’s leading experts on happiness and stress reduction. He is the author of thirty popular books including Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and was a psychotherapist and speaker. Dr. Carlson was a great television and radio personality, appearing on The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show and The View. He died in 2006.

To learn more about Dr. Richard Carlson, visit Wikipedia on Richard Carlson.

To purchase You can be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective, visit Barnes & Noble.

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

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso