Monday, February 18, 2008

Courage to Create

Another Monday already! That was quick!

First, a huge thank you to Elysabeth, Steve, and Heather for their angelic and brilliant editing of my Web copy. I owe all three of you!

NEWS: Please remember to stop by and visit UPositive Life Coaching's table at the Turner Center Health Fair on Saturday, 2/23, between 9 and 2. It's focusing on (mildly) Alternative Medicine and Health, so there promises to be interesting information available. The Bellevue Y is behind the Starbuck's in the newly developed area just Nashville-side of Chaffin's Barn on Hwy. 100. Let me know if you need directions.

The March-April calendar for both UPositive Life Coaching and Passion-for-Life Psychotherapy is ready. I'm really excited about presenting a very wide range of workshops. The dates will be up on the Website as soon as the Website is up (, which is soon, I promise! Seminar topics: Goal Attainment for the Creative Person, Breaking thru Creative Blocks, Getting it Done! (accountability for attaining your goals), Intro to Past-Life Regressions, 2 Hours to Better Sleep, Positive Thinking, and a Women's Therapy Group. Contact me if you want more info on any of these prior to the website getting going.

Hopefully, my winning, and funny, contest entry will up on this week. I'm in the process of finding out what's holding it up.


The Courage to Create, what a wonderful phrase! It's also the title to one of Rollo May's books, first printed in 1975. Rollo May is a psychotherapist whose writing can fit as easily under the heading of philosophy.

Before I get into more detail, my Argumentative Imps (adorable little things, really) insist on being heard. The book talks about creative endeavors in the sense of high art, or well-judged art, or successful art. I wholeheartedly argue that creativity, art of any sort, every product of creative energy, has equal value. Rather than go into detail about that (a totally separate blog), I'd just like to say that what takes courage is not the quality of product, but the quality of action---the doing, the process. We only have the ability to choose to create, not to choose the results (if only we did! Grammies all around!)

In The Courage to Create, May addresses such questions as, Why does an original idea pop up from the unconscious at a given moment? What's the relation between talent and the creative act? Why are we so delighted by the products of creativity? Right in the Preface he gives the answer: "We express our being by creating. Creativity is a necessary sequel to being." The rest of the book explores the process of creativity itself as well as the courage needed to participate in life with a creative response. He discusses form and harmony, the need to make meaning from chaos, the high of the creative moment, the depth or absorption into the energy of life itself that is required for creativity.

The book is well-worth reading: I can't possibly do it justice here. Anyone interesting in creativity as a process or act will enjoy reading it.

What I would like to ask, though, is what does 'courage' mean, in relation to creativity?

Courage is usually defined as the determination to proceed with fear. If there is no fear, there is no courage...there's just everyday action. So...what's fearful about creativity?

Instead of giving my answer (fingers itching to type), I'm going to open the discussion up to all of you. Please post your thoughts, other questions, and ideas. I'm curious to hear what you all have to say! (And I promise to offer my own thoughts on the topic next Monday, or before.)