Speaking of Chaos


in Creativity

Chaos is a friend of mine. ~Bob Dylan

Life feels a bit chaotic lately. Ideas are firing. Projects are bubbling. Conversations are happening. Gears are turning. Directions are shifting. Everything is in complete disorder.

I love it and I hate it.

Order feels peaceful, known, and comfortable. I can relax into it without having to think about it. I already know the answers.

I repeat – I do not have to think.

Disorder and randomness, on the other hand, are distinctly unsettling. I have to think my way around big changes and little changes. Around opportunities and issues.

I repeat – I have to think.

To think, believe, consider, examine, explore, review, imagine, reflect, feel, sense; a multitude of wonderful things that wouldn’t happen if I were relaxing in my well-ordered cocoon.

Too often, when faced with chaotic circumstances, the desire is to retreat. To protect what we have and what we know. To hold on, hunker down, and hope that this too shall pass.

Instead, we might be better served if we tried to catch the random sparks. If we explored how we might take advantage of the chaos. How we might use it to re-imagine or reinvent our worlds.  

We should be thinking.

Because chaos is where creativity happens.

Got chaos going on? Be glad.

Savor the sparks.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra Purvine March 10, 2011 at

Chaos is the stuff of creativity. Something goes “wrong” or unexpectedly and through that avenue we find ourselves breaking out the big guns or not so big guns to come up with an alternative path or solution. I thrive on chaos. Then again, I’m pretty darned wacko. Neat and orderly feels so slow, so predictable. I’ve been know for shooting from the hip most all of my life. Bring on the random, non-linear, all encompassing, unpredictable chaos. Then when the solution comes I sit back and enjoy the moment of quiet order until the next moment takes me by storm and I’m off to the races yet again. Better yet, throwing myself to the floor and dancing the worm. Can we find our center (our best selves) through the chaos, can we find peace in the unpredictable? I believe we can as long as we don’t face our chaotic life through fear and retreat. If we come with a perspective of wonder and gratitude anything is possible. This is the stuff of dreams.

Creativity comes when we are in an orderly place too. When we generate ideas from a place of order, we are able to see a different picture. As long as our ordered life is a choice and not an operation resulting from fear.

Sending love and joy to the great big world of orderly chaos.


Andrea March 10, 2011 at

Beautifully said, Sandra. I love the idea of throwing oneself on the floor and “dancing the worm” when chaos comes to town. Fantastic. Thank you!


Shingyo Shelley March 10, 2011 at

Thanks for the reminder that Chaos is the telling me that I am on the Right Path! I forgot for a minute…

Also, sent me to the book shelf to revisit Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future by Meg Wheatley:

“We can’t be creative if we refuse to be confused. Change always starts with confusion; cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for the new. Of course it’s scary to give up what we know, but the abyss is where newness lives. Great ideas and inventions miraculously appear in the space of not knowing. If we can move through the fear and enter the abyss, we are rewarded greatly. We rediscover we’re creative. “


Andrea March 10, 2011 at

What a great way to describe chaos – the space of not knowing. Thanks, Shelley. Yes, you are indeed on the right path!


Leesa March 11, 2011 at

Beautifully written Andrea. Thank you for putting into words what I’ve been experiencing. Somehow just having it explained so simply transforms the way I live it. You’re a jewel, sister.


Andrea March 12, 2011 at

Your words are much appreciated, Leesa. Thank you!


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