Creativity Q&A: Does Your Vision Always Come True?

Posted on Apr 4, 2014

drawing businss conceptI love to get questions from the Wheel of Creativity community, and whenever it seems  they’d be useful for all of you, I like to post them here. This week’s question comes from Barbara Basalgète, who has been part of the Wheel of Creativity in Nice for several years now. She continues to touch my heart with her insights and appreciation. Here’s her question.

Barbara:  So, what you’re longing for – the vision that launches your creative process – does it always turn out the way you imagine? Or can the thing sometimes, in the second half of the Wheel, turn out differently that you envisioned?

Katherine:  It’s a great question, Barbara, and it makes me realize that there are things I’ve been learning myself, which I haven’t yet shared with you.  So here’s my answer!

As you know very well, the Wheel is made up of four quarters. Each quarter relates to an element, an aspect of the human experience, and a business output. Here’s what that looks like again:


Quarter Element Human Aspect Business Output
Vision Air Mind Idea
Exploration Fire Spirit Research
Incubation Water Heart Prototype
Cultivation Earth Body Product


Vision. When you have a longing for something new and you begin to get clear about your vision, that hunger takes you away from the status quo in your life. You begin the creative journey toward something that doesn’t exist yet. The Vision quarter is really about feeling that longing, clarifying your what you want, and overcoming your habitual No, your internal “Don’t you dare!”

Exploration. Overcoming that No enables you to leave the status quo in that area of your life, to launch yourself and take your beloved vision out into the world. Here you do your research. You begin to test your idea in the world around you, with different people, even in the marketplace. Testing your idea against the reality “out there” brings you obstacles and challenges. It can be quite uncomfortable, because you’re naturally in love with your idea. But Exploration is the quarter of fire, a crucible of sorts where your idea is refined and tested. When the fire burns itself out, what’s left is the seed of a new thing, an original idea, which is given to you.

Incubation. Just the way new seedlings rise up in the forest after it’s burned, in the fertile soil that remains, new life rises up to take root in you, asking, “Will you take me on?” You have a choice here. You are now engaged with a new life, which may have a different purpose than your original vision. So there’s risk here and vulnerability. Though the new thing may not be exactly what you were expecting, it is made with your love; it is bigger than you and designed to live on beyond you. You are a container for the seed, but you cannot force its process. When you see the first evidence of the new thing in the physical world, it’s just like a baby; you’re responsible for it, but it’s outside of you now.

Cultivation. The cultivation quarter is where you really work with the new thing in the physical world. There’s a new baby in the house, which must first be nurtured and protected and then must be given structure and discipline. Once again the new thing has to be refined until it’s ready to be released, to the market, the community or wherever its purpose will be served.

According to The Wheel of Creativity, by the time you get to the final station of Harvest, the new thing may or may not look at all like your original idea. What has been required is for you to bring it this far is to rise above your own self-will and choose to participate in the process in the way that feels right to you. You are creating something greater than you and all the choices you have to make along the way in every single station can transform you. So not only do you create something new in the world but that new thing also creates you.

If you have a question for me about The Wheel of Creativity, leave a comment here or post it on the Wheel of Creativity Facebook page.

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