Saturday, 22 January 2011

Six Tales of Courage and How To Be Successful

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by a coalescence of happenings which all point (or shout if I try ignoring them for a while) in one direction. Today I look out over my world and am blasted by the vista of courage.

My favourite thought about courage, and I'm sorry I can't attribute this (can anyone else?), is that a fearless person has no opportunity to be courageous: courage is feeling the fear and still doing what needs to be done (slaying the monster/ removing the spider/ exhibiting the painting/ getting the haircut). So, the more scared you feel, the braver you can be. Hurrah!

I'd like to share with you some of the examples which appear on my horizon.

A friend has just met up with an old friend. Not so scary, you might think. But this woman was part of a group my friend had felt rejected by many years ago. Yes - now it's scary.

Another friend is taking on a teaching job for the first time; moving out of the student space and standing in the spotlight as the one everyone else turns to for help. She's definitely scared.

One of my best friends, who deserves a break more than anyone else I know, has been sending her children's books to publisher after publisher, despite many rejection letters (and silences). I know that one's scary.

An artist friend staggered when a commissioned piece fell on stony ground, but is working on another commission now, with fresh faith.

I have organised a local exhibition of my newest artwork (more on that in a post coming to you soon) at a time when my town will be swarming with art lovers and artists. Big scary exposure!

My daughter, Ickle Pickle, is standing, with support, despite some bumps and scares and bruises.

Which brings me to that famous Goethe quote:  
Maybe boldness is another form of courage. It certainly needs courage.

So, did these bold and courageous actions attract power and magic, even genius?

My first friend discovered that she had misunderstood her old circle of friends. They had not rejected her; they had actually missed her when she left. Now she is beginning to find some of them and re-weave the web of friendship with them. It is a magical and powerful process.

My second friend is still nervous about being in the teaching role, but is buoyed by all the people telling her how much they have benefited from her help over the years - a kind of genius, right?

My hopeful writer friend took me out to lunch yesterday to celebrate her first publishing deal. After all that magical dreaming, the genius won through and it actually happened.

My artist friend has been swamped by people eager to applaud the genius, power and magic in her paintings and to express delight about their commissioned works from her.

My exhibition, while still safely in the future, is also lurking in my studio, magically tempting me away from these hypnotic keys and suggesting that maybe I, too, can pour power into art.

And we know, don't we, that Ickle Pickle will one day run into my arms and climb a tree and, also that she will fall many times, but try and try and try. Her example is breathtaking; her method so simple:
Step One - Begin trying to do something that is way beyond your abilities. 
Step Two - Keep trying.
Step Three - Now you can do it.

We can all do it, whatever it is. 
Do let me know what it is you can do and where your courage lies so we can all inspire one another.


  1. Absolutely fantastic Lunie! I shall share your empowering words! <3

  2. I think you are splendidly courageous for giving so much of your innermost self in this wonderful, but very public, blog! That is bravery indeed.
    For me, courage means being outgoing and sociable - my goodness I find that scary :)

  3. Ickle Pickle? Don't you mean Hinky Punk?

    I am just relishing my own small victory. Because of a comment you made on a blog I have sold my first Calendar directly to someone I don't know, purely on merit!

    It is so hard to put art work out there in the world - especially when your own critical eye downgrades it constantly. I feel a fool to be putting these things in the world, especially as my world contains so many genius artists (Rima Staines and Alan Lee spring to mind!). Even now, even now, I worry that the person I am sending it to will be disappointed when they see it for real!

    I have sold a good 30+ through shops and lodes more to friends, but this feels different. Even the shop-keepers where my friends first. This feels like it is happening because my art is good, even set against a backdrop of all the rest of the online world!


    Rima's blog -

    About Alan Lee -

    My Calendars -

  4. do you remember Lunar, that there is a tune that goes with this Goethe quote, which you can sing as a round, in Joyful harmony with friends. If you do not know it I will happily call and teach it, if you like.
    thank you Lunar, your words continue to inspire me and shine a light through the gloomy January blues xxxx I would like to share this post at a Bardic evening, with your permission xxx

  5. Bravery comes in all shapes & sizes. People often think I'm brave to share so much of myself, my art & my world with other people, but I can't be any other way! :)

    Congratulations to your wonderfully brave & successful friends & daughter :) xxx

  6. I needed to read this today! Thank you Lunar, I'm not the bravest of people that's for sure, but it's somehow comforting to know that I'm not the only one who is terrified sometimes of trying something in case it doesn't work or I just end up looking silly. I just read Terri Windling's blog post about allowing yourself to be foolish, so this goes hand-in-hand beautifully with it.

  7. Nicki, thank you.
    Danielle, I can write the words here, but in my writing class I had to get a friend to read my piece to the group - that's where the real fear is for me, and I ducked it!
    My handsome ent man, didn't I tell you your art was different from anything else out there, and wonderfully, dreamily inspirational? Now the world is starting to catch on and you'll have to believe it soon :o).
    Sam, I don't remember the tune and of course share my words if you wish. How wonderful. Be outside when you can to soak up the cheering vitamin D which is about, even now. The bulbs are getting ready to burst and soon the light will be back in our arms.
    Julia, thank you. Your sharing inspires mine.
    Christine, I just read Terri's blog too and thought it was a lovely synchronicity.

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