Project Luminosity: Taking Steady Steps Through The Mess of the Creative Process

(Photo from my journal using prompts from this week’s Year of Dreams journaling kit)

This is a continuation of my post from last week: Project Luminosity: Mapping Out My Next Steps. After 7 years of doing the Creative Dream Incubator as my full-time job, I am taking a step back, looking at *everything* and exploring how to make it all better. 

After writing that post I was on a real creative high and got a whole bunch of stuff done.

Then the next day I totally crashed.

It wasn’t like I was stuck or coming up against inner critics or self doubt, I saw what I had to do next and I just felt ill-equipped to start. When I explored how I could equip myself I saw that I needed to rest and slow down.

I also caught a cold, my 70 billionth one of the season.

(My husband was a social worker up north and when we got married last spring he moved to the city. Now he’s a social worker in the city and being around so many kids who are around so many other kids – well there’s been no shortage of cold bugs going around. After a lifetime of not being around kids, my immune system wasn’t ready for this but after this Winter Of A Zillion Colds I am sure I’ll have the immune system of a superhero)

I mean – from that purely logical standpoint it makes sense that I’ve been getting a lot of colds this year. But also from the “life is happening FOR you not TO you” viewpoint, I can also see that this winter I am deeper into my creative process than I have ever been, which uses a LOT of energy, and these colds are gifts in that they force me to slow down.

So I got a cold and binge-watched The Imposters on Netflix which I just loved.

Then I went out to my friend’s farm on the weekend and had a sacred fire for Starfish (my cat who passed on about 3 weeks ago).

I am so grateful for what my husband is teaching me about traditional Indigenous ways. Also grateful that my friend with a farm is also Indigenous (they are actually from the same First Nation and both lived there as kids but didn’t meet until I introduced them) so she understands and was happy to give us space for this. The full moon in March is one of the good ones for feasting the dead, so that’s why we went this weekend. My husband built a sacred fire for Starfish and we fed him his favourite cat food (a whole tin! he would have loved that) and some catnip and we spoke to him.

I felt like I was able to connect with his spirit and that felt like a relief and a blessing. It felt like he was grateful for the food and love.

Then on Sunday we thought we found our dream house! !And went to look at it and were just horribly disappointed. (I shared that whole story on the Facebook live video I did with Chris Zydel on Monday). That also took a lot of energy.

And that’s why I am just coming back to this now – there’s been a lot going on. So I ended that last post with this list:

  1. Put each section of the Principles/Rules/Manifesto of Dreaming on it’s own sheet of paper and look at it all together with the intention that this helps me know what to do next
  2. Do my personal Dream Book every day (make notes about The Dream Book as I do this)
  3. Make a list of all of the components of the Dream Book and list what each one will need.
  4. Use the Un-Sticking Station in the Creative Dream Circle to meet with whatever fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, un-helpful patterns and inner critics that come up as I take steps 1-3.

Here’s my update:

Thing 1: Put each section of the Principles/Rules/Manifesto of Dreaming on it’s own sheet of paper and look at it all together with the intention that this helps me know what to do next:

This was amazing! Playing around with the order, putting them into different groups, exploring all the different ways they can fit together. Definitely gave me the perspective I needed and I am happy with the process I am making with this.

Thing 2: Do my personal Dream Book every day (make notes about The Dream Book as I do this)

Yeah I kind of did this – it gets all fuzzy when I got sick though.

NEXT STEPS: Keep working on establishing this as a Solid Daily Practice. This will definitely be easier to do once I have made all the tools I want to make as a part of the Dream Book class, and can use them.

Thing 3: Make a list of all of the components of the Dream Book and list what each one will need.

Yes I did this! I have SO MUCH more clarity about everything than I did last week.

NEXT STEPS: Creating the basic structure of this to put it into the Creative Dream Circle soon(ish?!) so we can start using it there WHILE I add in all the stuff I want to add.

Thing 4: Use the Un-Sticking Station in the Creative Dream Circle to meet with whatever fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, un-helpful patterns and inner critics that come up as I take steps 1-3.

Actually I didn’t have much of this pop up – my main struggle was depletion + needing to rest more than I wanted to.

So where am I now?

Ha! Before I started writing this I was actually feeling much more confused + lost than I was last week, but now I see that actually I have a LOT more clarity than I did.

The creative process is just weird/messy/confusing at times but actually I am doing ok.

Looking back on where I was last week, I can see that I have taken significant steps forward. It’s so good to see this because I’ve been focused on the 57 billion steps I still need to take and feeling like I am hopelessly behind. But actually I’m just on a BIG journey and I’m moving forward.

So if I want to use last week’s steps as a guide for deciding this week’s steps, then my next steps are (from above):

  • Declaration of Creative Dreams needs more editing + work on the images to go with each principle.
  • Keep working on establishing my Dream Book as a Solid Daily Practice. This will definitely be easier to do once I have made all the tools I want to make as a part of the Dream Book class, and can use them.
  • Creating the basic structure of the Creative Dream Alchemy program to put it into the Creative Dream Circle soon(ish?!) so we can start using it there WHILE I add in all the stuff I want to add.
  • Use Un-Sticking Station as needed

Oh hey I just noticed that the Un-Sticking Station is NOT needed as often if I do the daily Dream Book practice. Oh! Yes! This is what I was hoping it would do.

I also have a busy week in other parts of my work, so I want to prioritize this stuff, let’s see:

  1. Keep working on establishing my Dream Book as a Solid Daily Practice. This will definitely be easier to do once I have made all the tools I want to make as a part of the Dream Book class, and can use them.
  2. This feels less important, but this is needed for #3 to happen: Declaration of Creative Dreams needs more editing + work on the images to go with each principle.
  3. This is actually the #1 priority but those other 2 things need to happen to make this happen: Creating the basic structure of the Creative Dream Alchemy program to put it into the Creative Dream Circle soon(ish?!) so we can start using it there WHILE I add in all the stuff I want to add.
  4. Use Un-Sticking Station as needed

OK that’s good. My first instinct was to focus on #3 because that is my priority – but listing it all made me see that I need to do #1 and #2 to support #3.

Do I feel ready?

Yes! I actually feel excited to get to work now that I see that I have more clarity than I thought I did.

I just have to remember to focus on the steps right in front of me and not get caught up in wanting to be further ahead than I am.

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