The 12 Days of Creativity… Day 7.

Life comes in with a bang, makes a mess, and leaves us with the building blocks of the future. What we do with them is up to us.

When the pyrotechnic power of the Exploration quarter explodes into Chaos, the seeds of the new thing are scattered on the waters. It’s time in the Wheel of Creativity to downshift from full-steam-ahead to all’s-quiet-within. Time to let Life in.

If Chaos is the turning point of the creative process, what lies around the corner?

On my 2001 walkabout, Chaos first appeared to me in Florence. It was my first day on my own, and it was September 11. I returned to my hotel after lunch, hoping they had found me a new room for one more night. A pale-faced American man stood in an archway, jabbering wildly and pointing to special-effects images on TV. I sat down and didn’t move for four hours. I left Florence two days later for Chianciano Terme and then on to Villefranche-sur-Mer in the South of France; but that day had put me in my place. I stopped. I began sketching my surroundings. I lay on the beach in the sun with my eyes closed. I stayed.

Arrival in Station 7 of the Wheel of Creativity deposits you into a new neighborhood where life on the street is softer. Incubation is the quarter, and Conception is your first stop there. It is a place of wonder, with an invitation to settle into stillness and listen for the still small voice of the new thing.

The Task of Station 7 is to be receptive. That’s it. When the masculine energy of Life comes to the feminine in the creative process (I’m speaking of principles, not genders), the feminine response is to receive. Here you must allow Life to penetrate you, and awaken the seed within you. The reward of this station is fertility.

For many of us in modern society, the more internal, feminine energy of Conception takes some getting used to. There is a lot of action in previous stations; but here, if you keep looking for action outside, you’ll miss the subtler, invisible movements of new life developing. Shifting gears from the active, masculine outward thrust of Exploration, Conception brings you back inside, where you will stay for the next three stations.

Accustomed as we are to doing, being is unfamiliar. But somewhere, for creation to occur, someone must surrender. Active (masculine) and Receptive (feminine) principles work together; there’s always a little of one in the other. Check them out in three simple steps:

  1. Stop. Whatever the signals to slow down, heed them. Get still again.
  2. Look & listen. Observe your surroundings; use your senses.
  3. Be receptive. Notice what you feel in response. Let it open your heart.

Where is your life asking you to let go and receive today?