The infinite creative power of Chaos

Posted on Jun 3, 2011

This has been a tough week for me.  I could cite circumstances and reasons, but the real difficulty has come in my response to them. So I’ll just go directly there, and save us both the boredom.

One of the most intimate pieces of advice I’ve ever received about writing (and it holds true for just about everything else in life too) is:

“You can’t take someone where you haven’t been yourself.”

I guess that little ditty sits at the heart of what I’m up to in the world. It’s the launch pad for my thoughts about the creative journey we’re all on in life. For me, and I believe for all of us, it gives meaning and context to the inevitable peaks and valleys along the way.

In my Creative Process Group this week we’ve been working with the second gate in the Wheel of Creativity™… Chaos. Chaos is the far side of the Wheel, as far from the metaphorical Home as you can get. If Home is what is known, ordered, stable and predictable, then Chaos is unknown, disordered, unstable and unpredictable. Yet, throughout all of Nature—from the origins of the universe, to the regeneration of our cells—it is the creative void from which all things come to be.

In the past 30 days, the word chaos appeared more than 10,000 times in the text of the New York Times online. A few tidbits from the headlines:

  • Chaos in Yemen
  • The Chaos of War
  • Anti-Chaos Crusaders
  • Chaos of Internet
  • Signs of Chaos in Syria
  • Bloody Chaos

…along with:

  • Creating Amid Chaos
  • Creations of Poetry and Chaos

The world is currently undergoing an enormous and sweeping transformation. In times of Chaos, the forms we have known dissolve, releasing energy from which new forms are created. It is a creative process, but not an easy one. The point of Chaos is a fragile time, and what we do in these hours and days and months will determine whether it leads us to failure or a new way of life.

Chaos appeared in my life this week as disappointment and self-doubt, when Life threw me several unexpected curves. I have embarked on this journey consciously, and I am grateful to recognize this place and to know it is leading somewhere good. In order to take my group through the gate of Chaos, I must go through it again myself. Its infinite creative potential exists not only for them, but for myself, as once again I come through that gate and find my Life on the other side, and myself clearer and stronger than ever.

Where in your life does the instability and unknown of Chaos appear? What could your response to it be?

Be brave. Leave a comment.

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