Much of the creative process can be seen as a diverging and converging experience. In the first phase, we must be completely open, collecting anything that we find of interest. This is our seed phase. We’re always searching for potential seeds that can grow into something beautiful.
We try not to compare them to other seeds, but rather we continue to gather them.
A seed can be a word, a note, an idea, or even a visualization. There is no limits to what the seed could be. As the seed for this post was the title itself and nothing else.
Collecting seeds does not take much effort. It’s a receiving of what’s coming towards you. A noticing while being aware as we cast our line into the universe.
If you’ve read my previous blog on The Conveyor Belt of Life(https://jondouglas.dev/the-conveyor-belt-of-life/) you might be familiar with how our awareness unlocks the ability to receive these seeds, but we don’t get to choose when they come.
Being curious about each of the seeds you collect is a natural tendency. You may have opinions or conclude their value of potential before they have even sprouted.
The artist should resist throwing out any seeds. The artist must do what artists do best — plant them and give them attention to see if they will sprout.
Having a vision about what a seed may become can serve as a helpful guide later on, but like throwing out seeds, it could limit the possibilities for what it may sprout into. The possibilities are endless.
As you collect many seeds, with time you will find ones that resonate more than others. Sometimes you may even become fixated on a few that speak to you.
It’s generally preferable to wait several weeks or months with your collection of seeds before choosing which to focus your nurturing attention to.
The reason being is that procrastination is often one of the most significant creative powers we have. The more seeds you’ve accumulated, the easier it is to judge with this sense of awe and wonder of what might be possible.
Next comes the second phase. This is our sapling phase. Now is the time for convergence based on our starting points of potential.
We tend to work by playing with each of these seeds to see if they have anything to reveal to us. Sometimes seeds will reveal a lot and sometimes very little. There’s no right way to experiment with them as each have their own starting points.
You start to explore the directions to explore with each seed and they will lead us to areas that test us. One seed might reveal something that shocks you and you’ll often wonder why you have such a strong reaction to it. Another seed may reveal so much relatedness that you’re nodding your head along as it roots.
We’re typically not looking for what seed progresses the quickest or furthest, but which holds the most promise to us. This is such a subjective process in itself. You’ll come to conclusions about seeds at this point where you may decide to move on without them.
The goal is to remain open to the new and unknown. Procrastinate as long as you can while beginning with a question mark and keeping commas until they become periods.
Depending on your personality, you may be tempted to intervene and direct a seed’s development towards a specific idea or goal. Don’t. Let it go through its natural course while it grows. Give it the space it needs.
However, not every seed must or will grow. As some seeds are dormant by default even under ideal growing conditions. If a seed does not decide to grow, do not throw it out. Keep it for another time. This is where many people go wrong by discarding these seeds.
Similarly, a sapling may grow into something but stops after a certain point. What you may find is that it is similar to the dormant seeds in that we haven’t quite found the right experiment to nurture it further. It doesn’t mean one should discard the sapling, but perhaps set it aside for awhile.
The outcomes are not up to us. Try your best to give each seed enough attention regardless of what you believe its potential might be. Even if you have only one seed, be open to the possibility that this seed may go in a direction that you’ve never considered before.
This organic discovery is the outcome desired from these seeds and saplings. When a seed starts to germinate or a plant begins to flourish, we are filled with emotion. This excitement tends to be the best metric for following your seeds and saplings. When something starts to come together, you get that wonderful feeling of wanting more. That’s the feeling to follow in this process.
When you base your decisions on the internal feelings of being moved, it will hold your interest longest and tends to be the right choice to follow. Follow those seeds and saplings.