(Second Edition, Pianoscapes, 2006)
first published by Conari Press, 1995.
Creating an Imaginative Life received The Body, Mind and Spirit
Magazine, Books to Live By, Award of Excellence. 1996.
Michael Jones inspiring and award winning book about
his life at the piano, offers many rich insights to help the
reader find this story for themselves. Who will play
your music if you dont? He asks. What is
emerging at the periphery of your awareness now? When do you
feel that you are fully living your own signature in
creation - a place to which you often long to return?
Too often we focus on building our careers, based upon an
identity crafted from our trained skills and abilities
an identity that does not accurately reflect our primary strengths.
Michael suggests an alternative through a personal
narrative that bursts with wonder and magic - he offers vivid
portrayals of how through seemingly ordinary people and events
we can discover how to live a fulfilling and imaginative life.
The Songline of the Heart (5pg.pdf)
Will Play Your Music (6pg pdf)
Michael's stories have the same combination of clarity and
intuitive richness as his music. A fine, contemplative and
thoughtful guide to the artists dedicated life.
David Whyte, poet, lecturer and author of The
Heart Aroused and Crossing the Unknown Sea.
Learning comes from questions. Questions come from not knowing.
The source of not knowing is the ineffable mystery of what
it means to be alive. Can we tap that mystery as a force in
our lives, individually and collectively? In asking the questions
'who will play your music?' Michael Jones is one of those
helping us to find our way.
Peter M. Senge, author The 5th Discipline,
Founding Chair, SOL (Society for Organizational Learning);
Senior Lecturer, MIT, Sloan School of Manager.
This illuminating collection offers a candle to those seeking
to explore and express the unique mystery of their lives.
It sheds the light of innocence on this risky search for meaning
and makes it all seem possible - and essential
Dawna Markova Ph.D author No Enemies Within
Creating an Imaginative Life makes joy accessible - a dangerous
gift because it can change your life. Luckily Michael's courage
is infectious. An inspiring book.
Betty Sue Flowers, Editor The Power of Myth.
A myriad of rich and evocative stories of the author's own
journey toward integrating himself back into a whole and complete
context. it is an invitation to reconnect with the essence
of who we truly are, to trust that there is a dimension of
life behind life, one that can live through us and bring with
it a renewed sense of dignity and grace each time we honor
it by doing what we love, feeling what we feel and simply
being ourselves. Includes a 70-minute CD selected from a catalog
of solo piano compositions recorded by the author during the
past 10 years with Narada
Arizona Networking News-April/May 1997
One of the things a musician learns, if he is ever have an
audience is how to feel the room. This is one of many lessons
imparted by Michael Jones in this collection of stories with
life lessons. To connect with the room, you need to connect
with yourself first.
Book Page 1996
If you need to step back from your work and renew your creative
well-spring, here's a book to inspire you.
"As we discover how to follow the stories' unfolding
trails of meaning, we can appreciate how perfectly suited
they are for us: they become our teachers, subtly and exquisitely
revealing to us our next steps."
Jones writes in a clear, direct style about finding and following
the creative impulse in dreams, everyday experiences, and
the "wild part of our natures."
Training and Development-Sacha Cohen-November 1996
Creativity flows an unpredictable path. That belief rests
in the shadows of the pages of Michael Jones's book, Creating
an Imaginative Life. Michael Jones is a musician who became
a management consultant, and then became a musician, and then
a management consultant who uses music in his management consulting.
"This is your gift-don't waste it." Michael Jones'
advice and music are gentle, like a little brook insistent
with its quiet sound. It is easy to walk away from, but not
so easy to forget. His voice is the voice of the artist, one
who has been there. As gentle as it is, it is still scary
for those of us who haven't been there, who stay within the
tight and clear edges. The haunting question it left with
me is "if we knew that we were being deeply listened
to, what is it that we would wish to say?"
A.H.P. Perspective: Association for Humanistic Psychology-July/August
Jones tells highly readable stories about what has informed
his music inspiration-everything from observing and internalizing
the authentic, energetic body movements of his first puppy
to having a burly convict walk out of his first, nervously
performed prison concert, only to return and wordlessly offer
him a glass of water. These were the kinds of experiences
that turned his musical world inside-out, dissolving the constricting
armor of forced technical practice and freeing his heart and
body to soar into realms of musical possibility. The stories
speak for themselves, and speak deeply, to the creative spirit
in any of us who yearn for genuine content and joy in the
activity of our choice. The message that keeps percolating
up through Jones's stories as well as his gentle, moody solo
piano music is that setting aside our thoughts about how to
do life opens other possibilities for life to "do"
us, which is far more effective, passionate, and fun.
New Dimensions-January-March 1996
If reading about crises has you depressed, pick up Michael
Jones' book, Creating An Imaginative Life, for a sensitive,
inspirational portrayal of the creative process. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
(author of Flow, HarperPerennial, 1990) uses "flow"
to describe the positive aspects of human experience-joy,
creativity and "the process of total involvement with
life." Jones' book presents a good example of what it
means to live a life in "flow." He gives us insight
into the process he uses for staying in a flow state and through
wonderful, "magical" stories shows us creativity
Anyone who has experienced the creative process will relate
to Jones' experiences. And for many of us who want to be able
to tap into our creativity, what some call our most "powerful
resource," Creating An Imaginative Life can help us explore
inventiveness in our own lives.
Ethical Management-July 1996
An award-winning composer and pianist takes us into the
very heart of creativity. The eloquence with which he describes
his own musical journey applies directly to the creative process
itself, no matter what outward form it takes. Jones is an
inspiring teacher. "Each of us is designed to create,"
he says. "It is our 'birthright.' " Virtually every
page of this truly beautiful book provides wise and wonderful
clues for allowing the creative impulse within us to emerge.
Throw out your books of creativity exercises and read this
Napra Review-Fall 1995
"Do not be content with the stories of others,"
the Sufi poet Rumi tells us, "Unfold your own myth."
Pianist and composer Michael Jones does just that in this
beautifully-written and compelling spiritual autobiography.
Past experiences including a walk in the woods, being ridiculed
by peers as a boy, learning to improvise while working with
a dance troupe, playing music in a hotel and prison all serve
as catalysts to bring out his creativity. The author locates
his "signature in creation" and reveals that everyone
can find the he or she was meant to sing.
BodyMindSpirit Magazine- 1996