Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Creative Cycle

It may be helpful to know that when you're feeling the least productive important things are happening below the surface. It's part of the creative process and it's all necessary. You can't crank it out at 110% 24/7. Here's the cycle as I see it:

Aspire - It starts here - with your dreams, aspirations, visions of where you want to go, what you want to create, or how you want to feel. Without aspirations you can still enjoy the experience, but you're not driving the bus.

Acquire - Going after means to the ultimate end, as well as the end itself. If I want to paint a masterpiece I need to acquire the technical skills to get there. It's the developmental piece of the cycle. Pulling the building blocks together.

Assimilate - This is the trickiest phase because it works best when it's out of sight and certainly out of our conscious control. It often feels the worst. We think we're doing nothing, and still worse it often feels like we've lost some ability. But things are happening - often very important things.

Apply - This is the happy stage when it all comes together. Sometimes it's scary in the sense that here's where the rubber meets the road, but when it all falls together it feels like you've harnessed the winds. It's where flow happens. You're riding the wave, on top of the world.

And then the cycle starts again. You can't stay in the last stage forever because you need to re-juice the process and that doesn't happen without a new round of aspiration...

So the next time you're feeling blocked and unproductive realize that the creative process continues, just below the surface, out of sight. Know that with time the cycle will turn again and you'll stake it to a new stage. In the mean time feed yourself, be patient and kind and stay aware, awake. You can't beat your way to the next stage but only wait in wonder until the time is right.

And know that the day will come when all that was stewing around in the pot of your unconscious mind will begin to bubble and boil up and over into the urge to DO something. Finally it's time to apply. To jump. To let go of the questions and doubt and act. Trust yourself and the creative process. Seize the day - harness the winds and know that while this too will pass, it's the gift you've been waiting for and if you tap into it, it can be your gift to the world.

Don't try to hold onto it, or to make it last because it won't and you can't. Celebrate the cycle.

No comments:

Post a Comment