12 Days of Creativity 2012 – Day 6

Posted on Dec 18, 2012

Christmas is upon us. So each day from now until December 25,

drop by The Wheel of Creativity blog

for a deep breath of spirit in the midst of the festive flurry.

Let’s be creative and connected this Christmas!

It’s the best gift under the tree!


Lean back.

Take a deep breath.

Look up from the screen.




Station 6 and the Wheel of Creativity gives me… Crisis-a-brewing


There is a moment in any kind of struggle when one feels

in full bloom . . . vivid . . . alive.

One might be blown to bits in such a moment

and still be at peace.

                         – Alice Walker

The holidays can be stressful for us all. Emotions, expectations, priorities and celebration mix a potentially explosive cocktail, and when we try to manage it all we can easily feel overwhelmed. These moments of overwhelm are part of the creative process too. Respond to them consciously and transform them.

Good rope, bad rope

In the mid 80s, I participated in a self-development seminar in the Adirondack mountains of New York. One day of the seminar was a ropes course in the forest, which included three events. It was my undoing. And that was a good thing.

For the Tyrolean Traverse the ropes team secured a rope across a high gorge, some 50 feet across. I stepped into a harness and was attached to the rope with a carabiner. I stepped off the cliff and felt all my weight suspended below that rope. On my back with the carabiner at my waist, I was to pull myself to the other side.

Advancing was much easier than I expected until I got to the center of the gorge. Suddenly the angle of the rope changed from downhill to uphill. No matter what I did, I couldn’t move even an inch. I was furious. Tearful. Desperate. Someone was going to have to come get me. But no one did.

I dangled there for about 10 minutes, facing the sky, powerless to move. I got more and more angry, more and more helpless, until finally I kicked. With each kick, I discovered that I could lift my weight off the rope just enough to put one fist ahead of the other. And that was enough; just like that I moved my body across the second half of the rope and got myself to the other side. And then I got it!

Crossing over

Crisis is inevitable in the creative process. Seeing the Promised Land is not the same thing as entering it. Whatever you want to change in your life—whether it’s actually enjoying your family this season, managing the holiday have-to’s differently, or both—the obstacles between you and the new you are the way through.

The crisis, your feeling of overwhelm, is a wake-up call. In the midst of the storm, it yanks you from the crescendo of external demands and rivets you to yourself. In the center of every hurricane there is an eye, a still point where everything is silent. The storm brings you to the end of yourself, and finding that still point within it reveals the new idea, and the new you waiting on the other side.

This moment of CRISIS is station 6 in The Wheel of Creativity.

Where in life do you feel overwhelmed and out of control?

First Day of Creativity – Hunger
Second Day of Creativity – Appetite
Third Day of Creativity – Anorexia
Fourth Day of Creativity – Launch
Fifth Day of Creativity – Isolation

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12 Days of Creativity 2012 – Day 5

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12 Days of Creativity 2012 – Day 7