Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heart and Soul

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." — C. S. Lewis
After a rather harrowing experience at the start of last weekend, I decided against collapsing into fear and forced myself out for regular Friday night laps at the downtown Y.

Wow, how the energy of fear, anger and frustration can be transformed into a mighty and propellant wind, if channeled correctly. At almost a mile, I could easily have gone on but the clock was ticking and the steam room was calling.

When my body is engaged in a repetitive motion, it frees my mind to work things out. Two words kept surfacing. Courage. Valor. Courage. Valor. Realizing that I didn't really know the difference in meaning between the two, I set myself the task of finding out.

Courage seemed easy. Coeur. French. Heart. Cor. Latin. Heart. Courage indicates personal strength from the heart to overcome fear.
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." —Mark Twain
Courage also applies to keeping one's spirit strong and unbroken by failure.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." —Winston Churchill
Valor is more of an archaic term. Also from Latin through French, the Latin valere has more to do with a sense of one's self worth. Valere is also the root of "wield" and seems more about control of personal strength. If I grasp my self worth, I can operate from a place of strength.
"Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul."
— Michel de Montaigne
Personal, mental, physical and spiritual strengths are de rigeur for creative endeavors (and sometimes, for just getting out of bed in the morning.) We don't always have all parts in gear at all times but if we practice a holistic approach for our evolving development, our weakness are likely to be counter balanced by our strengths.

It's this holistic approach to my drawing and watercolor teaching and personal coaching that brings such transformative results. Stay tuned for announcements of my 2012 summer course and one-on-one openings.

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