Sunday, May 5, 2013

Visioning Step 5: Explore and Find Order in Chaos

The hardest part about this step is the word explore. The reason is that if I am in chaos, I want out. Now. Even if I claim I'm willing for the chaos to shift into order, I still want it to happen yesterday.

Here's what Lucia has to say about this vital step in the creative process.

“In Visioning we are reshaping the images in our heads to catch up with the vision in our hearts. The heart leads, or more accurately, it wants us to experience the creative self: its ecstatic highs, unfathomable depths, and everything in between.” Visioning Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams. page 104.

Traveling with Pomegranates co-author Sue Monk Kidd describes her journey with chaos while collaging the outline for her fiction work, The Secret Life of Bee's.

“...It was pretty much an unconscious process. I told myself I was being creative, turning my play instinct loose to roam around and find what fascinated it. Inside, I was thinking: This is nuts.

I ended up culling the pictures to twenty images and randomly gluing them together. Among them: ...A whirling cloud of bees. A black Madonna wrapped in chains... A banner that reads Walls For Wailing."

Kidd goes on to describe her doubt over her idea to write a fiction book. Up until this point, she had only published non-fiction. Kidd also reflects on sharing the collage with her daughter and co-author, Ann Kidd Taylor.

“...When the idea came, it felt inspired, but knowing how capable I was of doubt and how cold my feet would get, I wrote a note to myself: 'Sue, this is a really good idea. Before you dismiss it, remember how you felt when it came to you.'

If it hadn't been for that note, the idea never would have survived. I still wasn't sure whether it was perfectly ridiculous or ridiculously perfect.

Ann does not laugh or roll her eyes. 'So where do they go?' (Ann is referencing the plot scenario that Kidd explained while sharing the collage outline.)

This is the part that makes me nervous, the part over which the novel has stalled.

'I have no idea,' I say.”

Hum. If exploration through collage was Sue Monk Kidd's process for ordering chaos into The Secret Life of Bee's, then by all means—let the chaos begin.

Guest blogger Dorothy Segovia is an author, songwriter and certified Visioning coach living in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. She can be reached via her website at