The Courage of Creativity January 29, 2016 08:00
We have talked about what it means to be creative and why it is good for you. But there is another side. It builds your sense of courage. It takes leaps of faith to try something that you aren't sure of the outcome. Or maybe you are sure that the outcome won't be good. So why try.
If courage isn't the absence of fear but the ability to do what needs to be done anyway then Creativity is the spark that can get that going.
I had never skied until winter of my 25th year. Hell I had rarely even seen snow but an international move with my husband brought that subject up and it seemed like something I might want to do. I LOVE the mountains. The beauty of being high up. The air the clarity the violet sky. It is the most inspiring thing for me. So Christmas in Germany I decided that I was going to learn. After a half day lesson that did not go well.... Here we go. Needless to say it was an embarrassment. A painful one. I was terrified . There was lots of butt sliding down the mountain.
But I was a tour guide. And one of the things was taking ski groups to the mountains. And I made a decision that I was going to do this. So 30 times that year I suited up and rode the lift. Fell and got run over and hurt and embarrassed myself down the mountain. I cried, had temper tantrums. But I simply loved being up there and I was determined.
Into my second season of this torture... I had that light bulb moment. And I figured it out. Not to say I was great but I was better. Shockingly better. And I had my first black run. I tackled the things that had scared me the year before. And I realized that all of my courage in the previous season meant something. I had achieved something great. To this day I am a ski addict. And I don't know if it would have been the same if I hadn't had to work so hard for it.
Ballet: I rode horses for years. Somewhat competitive (more in my own mind than in reality) but I was serious. There was a point that I started having trouble with flexibility especially through my hips and someone suggested that I take ballet. Yeah That is what I thought. So with trepidation I signed up for a class and in a room full of 14 year old girls ( I was 24 at the time and 30 lbs overweight) in sweats to cover my bulge I took my first steps to learning something beautiful. I'm awful. But I LOVE it. It makes me feel beautiful when it goes right. Awkward when it goes wrong. I gained health and flexibility and it is something that I still do now 10 years later. Even though my riding days are over (maybe) I learned ballet for ballet's sake and met wonderful people along the way. But to do this I had to face all the young thin girls. The horrid mirror that makes you see everything you don't want to and the constant urges to do a recital (oh hell no)
My Philippine Adventure: I was once lost at sea. I'm not joking 26 days in a sailboat with 4 men as we floated adrift across the Philippine sea. There were times where I was sure death was a wave away. 30 foot seas and gale force winds. I learned the most important lesson of my life. It is Attitude that equals survival. In that situation if you just give up and don't try. You die. It is that simple. Morale keeping positive, hot meals, singing anything you can do to keep a positive outlook is what it takes to try the next repair and overcome the fear that is pervasive to the point of hallucination. it is courage that makes all things possible.
The point of all these examples is simple. You have to have the courage to try and to keep trying when it all goes wrong. It is the essence of survival. Not only physically but emotionally and mentally. I an not saying that there isn't a time to walk away. There is. But so many people I meet say the words to me that "I wish I was creative like you" I get so impatient at this statement. It is hard for me to get my head around. You are creative you can do this all you have to do is try. Trying takes courage. I get that. But what is life without it.