Can You Trust the Creation Cycle and Keep Dreaming?
There seems to be some unwritten rule that says once we dream of something — especially if we hold onto it, tell people about it, and actually try to pursue it — we’re under blood contract to follow it through to the very end and/or be with it for all eternity.
We have it in our heads that there is no turning back and no re-negotiating.
I see it all the time in the brilliant creators I coach. They repeatedly get stuck at the end of their creation cycle (more on that in a sec). Or even before the end, like a fabulous creative who recently confided in me, “I’m just so worried that if I pursue the thing I want, and get there and realize I actually don’t want it, then, I’ll be stuck with it.”
Her fear isn’t ungrounded. I’ve seen this happen with several creators. They feel called, they pursue the dream, they create everything they thought they wanted!!!! Only to discover that it isn’t what they thought or (in having reached it) they are ready for something more.
But, having been taught they have to sleep in the bed they’ve made, they stay. Even miserable they stay. They stay because they feel they owe it to the dream and to themselves to not “give up” after all the work they put into getting there.
Except it’s not about giving up or quitting. It’s not about forgetting their original dream or creation.
It’s about letting go and releasing what no longer serves.
Just because we say something out loud, or think it for a while, or even implement it, doesn’t mean we can’t change our mind. And we definitely don’t have to keep going just to prove something to some naysayer or troll. Most importantly, where we begin doesn’t have to be where we end up. (Can you imagine?! *shivers* Dear God, no.)
Creation is a cycle. There are beginnings and endings and both are necessary, beautiful gifts that are a part of the magic and brilliance of creation.
Just as Winter makes way into Spring or pregnancy ends so that babies can be born. These are gorgeous life cycles where each phase offers something delicious and wonderful for us to experience. And we accept that in these cycles there are beginnings and endings. We don’t go running from them, we embrace them. The creation cycle is no different.
Why won’t creators let go? What are they holding on to?
Without going into all the details, there are five phases of creation energy (more like the life-cycle of a star than planetary seasons): Awakening, Exploration, Implementation, High Production, and Next Level Impact. As you can imagine, that awakening phase is like the conception of the idea. Then you get curious about it and investigate (explore). You start to act on your dream/visions (implementation). You produce. And you double down (high production.)
By the time creators get into the fifth phase (next level impact), they’re feeling really accomplished. They’ve just gone through all the phases to create something they were dreaming about. So when — not ‘if’ because this is certain to happen — they get the tap to keep going, they resist moving on. They don’t want to “start over” in a new creation cycle, back in the beginning (awakening) where they’re potentially going to feel uncertain, untethered, and uncomfortable.
Creators are dreamers, so, when they finally actualize that dream, it’s hard to let it go. I’ve been there. One of my early businesses included the creation of a community for women fiction writers called Creative Central. I dreamed it up, I made it real, I cultivated a community, I loved it, and then, something happened that is pretty typical for dreamers…I got tapped with a new dream, a new calling.
And, yes, when that tap happened, and that call was heard, I was like any character in a movie who goes into slow motion “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.” Followed by a lot of ‘why-ing’ and whining. Why now? Why can’t I stay? Why can’t this be good enough? But I love it here. But I don’t want to go.
I was stubborn and stayed for a whole year, ignoring the call. I could not bring myself to turn my back on Creative Central and the writers in there after all the time I had spent actualizing it. And that’s precisely how I felt — that I was turning my back on my creation. Abandoning it.
So the first reason creators won’t let their creation go is because they feel they’re abandoning their dream.
Eventually, I couldn’t ignore this new whisper. I knew I had to move on and say yes to my new dream. There was no denying I had adored Creative Central, nurtured it, raised it up, and made it beautiful. But I couldn’t stay. I needed to follow my soul song and enter into the next level of creation. There was just one more barrier: Leaving my tribe.
I had cultivated this community who loved Creative Central. I couldn’t just burn it down and walk away from it.
The second reason creators resist moving on is feeling they’re abandoning others.
I had seen too many other businesses go sideways when they “burned and bolted,” leaving their people high and dry. That didn’t align with me. I’d also watched businesses hang on for so long to dreams and creations that were no longer theirs that their passion died out. Income dried up. People, again, stopped being served.
There had to be a better way.
My answer to letting go without feeling like I was walking out on my tribe was to find new hands to take it over. People who loved this group as much as I did and who were as dedicated to the writers’ success as I was. Since I left, Creative Central has changed leadership three more times… each leader handing off the reins to the next. Each leader ensuring the legacy and power of Creative Central survives and thrives.
You get to renegotiate your dreams
Here’s the thing I learned the most during my transition to find new leadership: let other people’s disappointment be theirs. Sure, people were sad I was leaving. Some didn’t understand why I was moving on. I had to recognize that those were their weights to carry, not mine.
We can’t follow or lean into our magic if we are allowing our magic to be dictated by anyone else. There has to be room for new awakenings and renegotiating old creations.
If we are worried about letting people down then we have to hand those emotions back over and let them feel them. It’s theirs to feel, but not ours to carry. I wasn’t giving up or quitting on my people. I was releasing that original dream (Creative Central).
I was kissing it on the forehead and waving it goodbye like I had dropped it off at college and it was now ready to become its next best self under the tutelage of others. It wasn’t that the dream was no longer good enough… Or that the people were no longer good enough… Or that they (the dream or the people) no longer mattered…
That creation, that dream, was simply no longer the thing that called my name. There was something else I had to answer to and there were plenty of others to care for the original thing I had created. In that way, Creative Central became something that belonged to many people instead of just me, and now it’s a part of my legacy. It’s a tiny piece of Deb that I got to leave behind.
Your choosing into your next level of creation isn’t abandoning what once was, it’s choosing to walk toward what now is.
To every season … there are endings and beginnings
You all know that song, Turn! Turn! Turn!. There’s a lot of truth in this song. Just take it from The Byrds.
“To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die…”
A part of all creation is death (or endings) and I don’t mean that to be all doom-and-gloom.
The space between endings (like phase five next level impact) and new beginnings (like phase one awakening) is where grieving or letting go resides.
It’s the movement from what was to what will be.
Winter closes out the year, so Spring can then be born. This is the closing and opening of a season and we understand that it comes around when it comes around but we don’t go running from it. We accept that it’s time for the seasons to change.
We feel the loss of the wonderful things that the previous season brought and we find joy and hope in the things that are yet to come. There’s beauty in this cycle if we choose to look at it this way. If we choose to see the value in each phase.
As creators, we need to be aware that just as Winter and Spring come and go, our own creation process includes endings and new beginnings.
When we can move with creation instead of fighting against it… when we can accept that this is a part of the process… we’ll embrace the next phase when we see it rather than run from it. If we are not willing to let go of what was and of what we’ve previously created, we won’t be open to what comes next.
Be the star — go supernova
I like to compare this whole movement and the decisions we make to a star… When a star reaches the end of its life-cycle, it ends in one of two ways: as a white dwarf or a supernova.
If that star doesn’t blaze by on a path to supernova glory, it experiences a set of reactions that eventually “blow its envelope” (ejecting its outer layers) before collapsing in on itself, shrinking to about the size of our Earth while maintaining its mass. So you end up with an ultra-dense, smaller star.
In creation, if we don’t let go of doing or creating something that no longer serves us, we dwarf our own brilliance.
I often see it start with a series of “blow-ups”. Frustrated with what we’ve created, lamenting feeling stuck, afraid of what comes next, and refusing to let go, we get heavier, darker, and weightier. We cling to the old while that thing continues to profit us less and less. It’s not fun.
But if we can see the phase of next-level impact like a supernova and are willing to step into our most impactful creation at that moment, exploding in greatness even as we see that the end is near — even as we experience the fear of not knowing what’s waiting for us on the other side — we transform the energy, empower it, so that our old creation becomes the building blocks for our new creation.
Just like a supernova whose tiny particles and gases go out into the universe and become new stars. How freakin’ epic is that?!
Whatever you’ve created, isn’t lost or gone forever. It’s being channeled into what is yet to come.
Trust in the process. Be the supernova.
Your dreams are yours and you get to call the shots
They are always up for renegotiation. We get to change them whenever we want. At any point, if our dream no longer aligns with our vision and goals, we get to make the decision to stop our pursuit.
No matter where you’re at in the journey, there is room for new decisions and directions.
There is power in the ending and new beginning, whether it be that you get to the other side and realize “This ain’t it” or you go for a little while and realize “This ain’t it anymore.” There is no rule that says, “Once you dream it, you have to dream it always.” What happens between you and your dreams is yours to decide.
One thing I promise is that nothing gets left behind. What you create in one cycle comes with you in some form to the next. You’re not abandoning it or even some part of yourself. You’re allowing both of you to grow a little more wildly, beautifully, magnificently into the next version of yourselves.