Creativity Q&A: Direction of The Wheel of Creativity

Q:  “I’ve seen a diagram of the Wheel at one of your seminars. Is there a particular order or direction that is followed along the wheel, and if there is, is there ever an occasion to experience the steps out of sequence?”

CH, Musician

A:  Great question, CH, and one I hear frequently. The shortest answer is yes. Both are true.

Counter-Clockwise from Home to Home

The journey through The Wheel of Creativity begins at Home and moves counterclockwise through four quarters—Vision, Exploration, Incubation and Cultivation—one station at a time, until you arrive back Home again at the end of the cycle. That is the order and the direction of the Wheel.

It is not an arbitrary order but easily observable in the unfolding of Nature and life itself. It is well documented in cultures around the world as the archetype of “The Hero’s Journey.” And it occurs for each of us personally as well, as the Heroes of our own lives.

Out of Sequence But Always on Time

At the same time, it is also possible to move in and out of the stations indirectly and out of sequence. But the unfolding of the Wheel in your life is unique to you. The journey is your life, and you can never be off track.

It Takes What It Takes

For example, the Vision Quarter is the quarter in which you leave the status quo in your life and move outward toward the creation of something new. In Station 1 (Hunger), you first begin to feel a sense of restlessness. “Something’s missing.” You’re hungry for something, but it’s not yet clear what it is. As clarity begins to come, you move into Station 2, where that vague sense of hunger gets focused: “It’s you! ‘You’re all I want.’”

But the big “Yes” of Appetite is often followed by the automatic “No” of Anorexia. All the negative voices—within and without—cry out here. That drives you to retreat Home again, to the familiarity of the status quo. This recycling continues, sometimes for years, until you generate the necessary torque to finally leave Home on your authentic creative journey.

ROI in Risk and Setbacks

Every place on the Wheel comes with risks and setbacks, even in product development. You might get as far as the Breakthrough Station in Quarter 3 and realize that your prototype for a new product is not really what you wanted, and not worth the continued investment to move into production. Honoring this realization takes courage, but ultimately the truth reveals the best decision.

Multi-Tasking through Meditation

Don’t forget that you have many creative cycles (many Wheels) spinning in your life at the same time. You can be harvesting a nourishing relationship in your personal life, even as you are feeling lost and despairing with regard to your business.

Wherever you are in the Wheel, whatever areas of your life challenge you most, you can bring balance and grounding to them all with one simple step. Detach from the circumstances (the Forms at the outside of the Wheel) and return to the stillness (the Essence at the center) through the daily practice of centering meditation. Download my free 10-minute meditation here to help you. The Hero is always there within you.

Enjoy the journey! Live CREATIVE!

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