Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Entry # 82 - READERS TALK BOOKS - The Element: How Finding Your Passions Changes Everything - Reviewed by Laura Mueller

"Find Your Passion"  - photo credit Jan Bowman - 2012
Today marks the first Tuesday of the Month of August (2012) and we are fortunate to have a brief review from Laura Mueller about a book she recently read and found interesting and useful.  Here are her comments about a book by Ken Robinson.
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything  
by Ken Robinson, Ph.D.
Laura says:  
I feel happiest reading about people who love what they do. Their creativity ignites new ways of thinking, being, and achieving. In The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Ken Robinson, Ph.D. warmheartedly shares stories of people who attain the Element—where natural talent meets personal passion. 

Drawing from diverse fields, Robinson offers many examples:    Meg Ryan, Paul McCartney, Julia Child, Sir Ridley Scott, photographer Gordon Parks, Hip-hop poet Black Ice, trumpeter Miles Davis, political commentator Arianna Huffington, artist Chuck Close, drummer Mick Fleetwood, Matt Groening—creator of “The Simpsons,” and dancer Gillian Lynne—choreographer of Cats and Phantom of the Opera

Each learned to engage in the Element, focusing intently to be in the “zone” with no sense of time passing; gathering in “tribes” who share this focus; and finding mentors who facilitate development. 

“Being in your Element, having that experience of flow, is empowering.  Feeling deeply connected … through a sense of relaxing, of feeling perfectly natural to be doing what you’re doing…is a profound sense of being in your skin, of connecting to your own internal pulse or energy. … When we connect with our own energy, we’re more open to the energy of other people. The more alive we feel, the more we can contribute to the lives of others.” [pp. 93-94] 

[After reading this book]    I'm asking myself key questions to kindle the Element:
      “How am I intelligent?” [p.42]
      “When I'm not worried about making a living or what others think of me:
               What am I most drawn to doing?
               What activities do I engage in voluntarily?
               What absorbs me most?
               What sorts of questions do I ask?"  [p. 102]

Dr. Robinson advocates for educators to encourage individual learning in interdisciplinary activities. Rather than breaking curriculum into a hierarchy of unrelated subjects and mandating assessment tools that generate conformity, he encourages educational transformation.  Let’s spark creativity, confidence and imagination to sustain life well on our small and crowding planet.

Laura A. Mueller, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Acupuncture & Zero Balancing©
Feel free to comment on the blog site or contact Laura, if you'd like to write to her about this review.

to send me your thoughts about what you've read and want to share and I'll plan to post it on the first Tuesday of each month.  Here's what you do:
Write a couple of paragraphs if you would like to talk about a book.  Don't worry about being particularly academic.  This is not intended to be a formal review, unless you really long to write one, and in any case - write what you wish from your own impressions and reactions.  Then send an email to me. I will collect these, edit a bit, if necessary, before posting your comments on the first Tuesday of the month under the title: READERS TALK.

Jan Bowman’s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, Broadkill Review, Trajectory, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes, and others. She won the 2012 Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories and currently shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. She has nonfiction work pending publication in Spring 2013 Issues of Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at:

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