Any book with "time" and "creativity" in the title grabs my interest. Any book about time management hooks me, too. Thus my interest in Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life
by Marney K. Makridakis.
Creating Time is about finding more time between the hours in your regular life. That is, it's not about living longer or ditching your responsibilities, but stretching the time you do have. And that's the crux of flow: becoming so absorbed in what you love that clocks no longer tick directly into your brain.
The book's author, Makridakis, is the founder of an online community for creators, a graduate of Duke University, and a leader of workshops to help people use creativity for self-discovery. Creating Time is a very visually appealing book, featuring unusual artworks by the author and other contributors.
Call it magical if you will (Makridakis does), but what reinventing time is all about is engagement. This book teaches you, via various tools and strategies (14 creative projects, in this case), to focus and appreciate and liberate yourself from ordinary time so you can enter flow and access your most creative self.
THERE'S THAT FLOW AGAIN
"Creating time through flow" is the most relevant chapter to me. Makridakis subtitled the chapter "Time Sighs When You're Having Fun" (I'm sure she means "sighs" in a good way, not in the "oy" way my mother always uses). Here is Makridakis on when and how she first discovered the power of flow to alter time:
I can remember a sensation of blurriness in the air as I was painting, as if the edges of my experience were fusing into something else, perhaps the very borders of time fading away.
Funny how much such flow descriptions could as well be about experiences of getting high in other ways.
When we are being true to ourselves and existing in authenticity, we are not measuring ourselves against time or anything else. We are simply being, and this opens a doorway to flow.
When you allow a more circular sense of time into your life, you stop trying to save time. "Instead," she writes, "I'm aiming to conserve the energy that can be lost rubbing against the frictional constraints of modern time." And, going deeper:
Even though we measure time in a linear way, time is and always will be asymmetrical. One moment is not like another, just as each day is different and each tide that rolls in is different from the next. This is why it is impossible to “balance our time” by some objective pie-chart formula in a time management book. Exploring nonlinear, asymmetrical time allows us to move in tandem with an inherently lopsided time and thus regain our relative balance. If we stop constantly measuring ourselves against the standards of linear time, we can accept ourselves more fully.
The assignment for the flow chapter relates to creating a visual motivator for engaging in flow more often. After compiling a list of elements that help you enter flow (where, when, and so on), try creating "a piece of art, using any media or techniques, to represent activities, events, places, people, and things that get you into the flow state."
Of course, anything goes if you're trying to free yourself from pre-set ideas (my collages always used to consist of words scattered around the page). In Creating Time, you'll see numerous approaches to each exercise, which should free you to come up with your very own.
Watch the book trailer: http://www.bit.ly/creatingtimetrailer
And here's a recent interview that Marney did on Good Morning Texas.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Susan K. Perry
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