On 10/2/11, I delivered a 90-minute presentation at Imagery International’s annual conference. My topic was Using Guided Imagery To Overcome Creative Blocks. In it, I mapped eight stages of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey onto the creative process. To illustrate the eight stages, I shared a tale from The Odyssey, I discussed how each stage relates to the creative process, and for each stage I shared questions for reflection, and explained one or two imagery techniques that I find helpful. I will post notes from my presentation in parts here. Click here for the series of entries.
* * *
The Crossing of the First Threshold—Odysseus’ Story
One of Odysseus’s early adventures is to the land of the Cyclops. He is appalled to discover that this band of giants do not follow the sacred Greek custom of hospitality. Not only does the Cyclops, Polyphemus, refuse to offer refuge, but he traps Odysseus and his men, and begins to kill and eat them. Odysseus has crossed a threshold into a dark world without rules. He uses his wit to survive.
For the artist, The Crossing of the First Threshold means taking those first steps: starting creative work, going into the unknown where there are no rules
Here are questions that you might consider when you find yourself when you cross the first threshold of a creative project.
The Crossing of the First Threshold: For Reflection:
- Where is the best physical place for you to do your creative work?
- Make a list of ways you can better protect your creative space and time.
- Look in your closet and at your accessories. Are there items that help cultivate your creative spirit?
- If the pressure to be perfect were lifted, what would you create, or how would your project be different?
- What might you create if you knew that no one would ever see your work?
The Crossing of the First Threshold—Imagery Techniques:
- Design your own inner creativity studio that inspires the mindset you need. Start with an empty room or space. Paint the walls, put in windows and a view, decide what the floor should be like. Expand the room to make it spacious, or shrink it to make it cozy. Furnish it and give it all the tools, supplies, and inspiration you need to create.
- Cross the threshold into the landscape of this project. Notice the terrain and the weather. Are there any symbolic obstacles? Resources?