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Mindful : August 2015
Do moments of empty brain allow some- thing fresh to emerge in your work? Once you find yourself totally engaged in work, it’s a blissful state. It’s not as if there aren’t problems to solve, but you’ve kind of left and gone some- where else and taken your body with you. It helps if you can find what is your thing to do and stick to it. It’s choosing the right umbrella. This is what you’re supposed to be doing, and you allow the road to let you digress and shift, but you have a strong sense that this is what you’re meant to do. You talk about a gasp of delight, and falling in love all the time. Falling in love, that’s a lot of emotion. It could get exhausting. I can fall in love with a chair, or a vase, or a hat. I’m going down the street or walking into a museum, and I fall. What’s happening is that I’m falling in love with connecting to something, appreciating some- thing that exists in the world and being thankful for it. I’m immensely grateful all the time for the unbeliev- able amounts of beautiful things. It would be sad not to fall in love all the time with all of these amazing things that have been created by people and by nature. How could you not fall in love? You are easily touched by things and by people as well. You must also be touched by pain. How does that fit into the gasp of delight? The more tragedy and sadness you’ve generated or passed through or expe- rienced, the more you have to figure out how not to be annihilated by it. You certainly can. There’s no lack of rea- sons to make you say that this is all not worth it, it’s just too sad and depress- ing. How does the delight fit in? For whatever reason, I’m very much aware through the day of the duality of being completely heartbroken and madly happy at the same time, which some say is some kind of chemical imbalance. But I say it’s a good state. The brain and the body and the heart can accommo- date those very very very contrasting and conflicting emotions. How do you learn to do that? I don’t know. Is part of that letting yourself be dissat- isfied or uncertain? I don’t know if I can say I’m satisfied with being dissatisfied. I get really upset and annoyed when I feel I’m not productive enough or when my energy lags and I worry it’s never going to return. I’m not complacent about the moments when I’m agitated, but when I’m agitated and I’m uncer- tain and I’m unhappy, I do have the experience to know that those things change and you come out of it and you will approach things with renewed energy and renewed interest. There’s the longer view. Shitty mood now. It will pass. Nothing lasts. There’s some kind of backdrop or back- ground you have confidence in. Things will unfold. You’ve gone through enough rough times that even though it’s still discon- certing, you know you can ride it out. And more than that, what’s occurring is probably a necessary part of what- ever process you’re going through. Not only do we have to ride it out, but we have to accept that it’s doing some- thing that might be uncomfortable and yet also inevitable. ● 36 mindful August 2015 creativity