McNiff begins this section with his theory of why people are hesitant when present in the act of creating. His hypothesis highlights on Jungian theory with the “shadow”of expression. The author sees shadow as complementary of light. Every image has a shadow depending upon the lighting, A shadow complements and completes the light. He stresses the importance of showing empathy at this time of tension for someone at the beginning of experiencing creative expression. While it usually easy to avoid any difficulty, this type of tension is one wants to learn from. As with any agitation, like in a washing machine, it’s process it to brake down, dissolve, stir up. And within creativity, this most likely would move or drive forward one finding the opportunities by responding to them, rather than avoiding them. McNiff refers to this as art alchemy, transforming difficulty into life affirming experiences.
I encourage you to buy a copy of Imagination in Action for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.