Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I was happily in a state of flow while working on a tiny wax moss!

I am reading a book called Happiness by a Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, who also has a background in cellular genetics. In the chapter about flow he has this to say:

William James wrote, 'My experience is what I agree to attend to.' Entering the state of flow depends closely on the amount of attention given to the lived experience. If we are to enter into flow, the task must monopolize all our attention and present a challenge commensurate with our abilities. If it is too difficult, tension sets in, followed by anxiety; too easy, and we relax and are soon bored. In the experience of flow, a resonance is established between the action, the external environment, and the mind. In most cases this fluidity is felt as an optimal experience with a great sense of satisfaction. It is the inverse not only of boredom and depression, but also of agitation and distraction. It is interesting to note, too, that so long as the state lasts, there is a loss of reflective self-consciousness. All that remains is the alertness of the subject, who becomes one with his action and has ceased observing himself.


  1. In teaching we often refer to a theorist by the name of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced MEE-HI CHICKS-SEN-ME-HIGH). He has a theory of flow which is interesting to read as well. It's really fun to see kids when they're in flow. They totally lose track of the time! It's great.

  2. halo, i am from hongkong and i love your works so much,
    but i have no idea how i can get it, especial the Sterling Silver Handcrafted Latch Bracelet with a Quote by Susan Stauter, could any one give me a favour =[
    my mail: wing_04551@hotmail.com

  3. the classroom would softly buzz along as i'd enter that flow with the students!! and now, when in the spirit of art making, i realize another singular flow...leaving that annoying "self-consciousness" behind. thanks for the excerpt from 'HAPPINESS'...

  4. Kate, I was wondering how on earth to pronounce that name. The monk talks about him in the book--so interesting. I HAVE to use a timer or I will spend way to much time going down the bunny hole with some things :)

  5. Dear Anonymous, I am so thrilled to have a fan in Hong Kong! Janine Belvini will be contacting you to help you with your order. By the way, Susan Stauter is my mother and I am sure she will be very honored that you like her quote.

    Nancy, I agree about the annoying 'self-consciousness'... now I find if I am carving I have to put on NPR in order to really lose myself and not get stuck in my thoughts. Music sometimes provides a white canvas for my crazy head to go nuts ruminating on whatever happens to pop in. Funny though, if I am drawing I must have quite or music without words, it is truly meditative and my thoughts stay distant.

  6. As a writer, and great admirer of your jewelry, I find I move into the flow every time I become fully engaged in the act of creating (or editing). It's a state of alertness, intensity, sustained joy. I'm not sure where I go, but hours can go by and I won't even notice! Thanks for sharing the quote. - Deidra