In the third section McNiff titles “every experience has something to offer,” and breaks down the next six chapters into bite size nuggets of discovering the HOW to use one’s experiences to improve their lives. He begins chapter 10 with where one has power -- it is through a cumulative effect of individual actions that contribute to lasting changes or improvements to society. McNiff is less impressed with what people want to do, and more impressed by what actions they have taken. While we might have celebrated artists such as the Monet’s or the Shakespeare's in our world, it is the other experiences of their lives we may never have any knowledge to what made them take action. For example, what had to set the stage for Shakespeare to do his writing? What was it that motivated him into action? His action of contributing to poetry, plays, etc., changed the world. Never underestimate one’s ability to contribute to the creative process of a civilization. McNiff suggests to his readers to immerse themselves in the doing, with repetition. To be aware of old messages which may pop up to limit one’s creative efforts. It is through this shift of seeing one’s creative contribution to a community, does one move to being significant in making our world a little bit better. One caution of patience to the process, as McNiff states that “even experienced creators find it difficult to accept” the gestation period, especially when there are “few signs of progress.” In other words, creativity is non-linear. It is through a commitment of immersing oneself in daily play do they have new insights to what creativity has to offers them.
The next chapter, McNiff takes the reader forward with a review of HOW to see the world - that is that for each person, one sees their world through their own lens; their own perspective. Within one’s perspective, one chooses what to see and what not to see. McNiff urges his reader to put aside their perspective to become open to other ways of seeing. It is through this exercise does one begin to see the patterns and themes which influence day-to-day personal living. He guides the reader to review metaphorically how shapes/patterns, images as guides, or the colors in one’s life create meaning. He encourages the reader to review how these qualities have influenced their creative style in playing with the various of mediums for expression. At the end of this chapter, McNiff brings to light that through this distillation of life’s multitude of forms of expression, it is the practice of broadening one’s perspective to see the influences and their contributions. There are many choices at one’s disposal, but it is the ability to see the possibility of expression through a wider consciousness.
Chapter 12 begins with a focus on the arrangement of things as McNiff suggest for the reader to sit and observe things as they are. For example, reviewing the things in one’s home may display the express of what one holds valuable. He urges his readers who may not view themselves as creative to remain open to viewing things in one’s life, as these things often influence person’s initiative in a creative expression. In paying close attention to what they hold as valuable, begins a “collaboration with the forces outside” themselves.
I encourage you to buy a copy of Trust the Process for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.