Friday, August 11, 2006

August Happiness Challenge ~ Aug 10 ~ Books that Make You Think

I've just recently picked up On Becoming an Artist by Ellen J. Langer. It feels different than self-help, inspirational books on creativity. I found this book in the Psychology section. Ellen Langer has researched into written about mindfulness, which she describes here:

"Mindfulness is an effortless, simple process that consists of drawing novel distinctions, that is, noticing new things. The more we notice, the more we become aware of how things change depending on the context and perspective from which they are viewed. Mindfulness requires, however, that we give up the fixed ways in which we've learned to look at the world."

In this book, she applies mindfulness to creativity. She talks about how our mindlessness of what we've already learned about the world and ourselves serves as a roadblock to creativity and encourages us to open up to the power of uncertainty and thus, creativity.

"But think of the benefits if we actually made choices instead of following a script."

And here's the line that has really left me thinking:

"When we stop experiencing ourselves, we end up treating ourselves as objects of evaluation."

Does that mean that an antitidote to self-judgment lies in simply becoming connected to ourselves in the present and truly experiencing who and where we are? This makes me think about the mirror meditations that Liz is encouraging people to be a part in.

How could you experience yourself today?


krista said...

Hmmm, I don't know. I would like to hear more about this book though, I hope you'll continue to share your thoughts about it.

Shannon said...

Interesting concept. And YAY to thinking!

liz elayne said...

oh that line is incredible.
when we stop experiencing ourselves. that can happen easily i think because in our society it can feel like so much happens "to us." thank you for this thought-provoking words.
(and i just love the phrase happiness challenge!)

Sacred Suzie said...

If I left the script behind then I would do something spontaneous today that I wouldn't usually do. This would mean actually doing something creative, something I haven't been able to do for a month. I will stay mindful and see if it happens!

Judi said...

I agree with Krista ... please share more. This is quite interesting.

I have not been very spontaneous lately ... "spur of the moment" used to be my way of life to some extent.

Isolde said...

Now that is nothing short of entirely brilliant. You know I'm going to have to RUN to the bookstore for that book, now.
OMG, I want to plaster that on the inside of my eyelids. "When we stop experiencing ourselves, we end up treating ourselves as objects of evaluation." The simple perfect application of that. Amazing. Thank you, thank you for sharing.