Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Do We Create? (Steps 1-3)

Of all the teachings on the Sweet Medicine SunDance path (and there are so many! it just amazes me), one that I find myself using nearly daily is the 10 Steps of Creation (based on the 0-9 Law, one of the Sacred Laws). This teaching describes a series of 10 steps - or a cycle of them, really, because each end is always another beginning - that occur as anything is created: a project, a relationship, an idea, an identity, etc.

This blog isn't intended as a formal teaching venue, so I won't even try to be comprehensive here - if this peaks your interest, check out the resources at DTMMS! But I will give some tidbits about how this teaching is useful to me. Here are just a few things I have learned from the first three steps (combining them with a few other teachings as well...):
  1. I'm someone who works professionally designing retreats, meetings, strategic planning projects and the like, so I work with things like "mission statements" and "objectives." The first step in the 10 Steps of Creation gives me a visual for this process, and a way of knowing what these things should feel like. I see myself (or the group I'm working with) shooting an arrow to a distant target - making sure that the speed and direction of that arrow, the focus of my intent, is strong and clear. In other words, a lifeless blah blah mission statement or objective won't get us anywhere. It needs to have that "thwang!" of the arrow leaving the string, and the "thump!" of it hitting the bullseye. And at this stage, the vision stage, there is no gain in bogging the process down with all the worries or challenges or resources needed to get there. There will be time for all that, but it doesn't belong at the beginning. The vision step needs to fly straight and true, connecting the place you are now to the place you intend to go.

  2. The second step of creation shows me that in order to take care with what I am creating, I must know what I'm working with. Is it fluid or solid? Restorative or radioactive? Is it able to hold a fine edge? Might it easily disintegrate? Just what is its substance? Applying this to being a consultant with change projects means asking things like: are we trying to change policy here? or attitudes? or the procedures or structures used for accomplishing a specific task? Is there enthusiasm for this change? desperation? resistance? What are the resources we have to work with?

  3. A key thing I've learned from the third step of creation is that once we get into the form of something then, well, that's called life, and life can be messy. There's this thing we're actually trying to do, but then there's always pain in the mix (although remember: "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"), and also the fact that life and death have this exquisite balance - which means that creating new life is going to mean that something is dying (which can be related to the pain, or could just be a challenge or a gift of another kind). Through this step I'm learning to let change just be real, to look for its inherent beauty all the while knowing that it will never look or act quite like I planned. It will be what it is, and the more I accept the giveaway of that, the more I can realize the truth of what I've put in motion.
Ah - there's so much more! But enough for now...I'll be back with more to say on the 10 Steps of Creation, one of the many things I hold so precious from these teachings.