Creative Courage

There’s a rumble in the ground.

Can you feel it?

Can you hear the low, deep groan of something just underneath the surface?

Something is about to break ground.

Perhaps every generation gets this sense. That feeling something new is emerging. That there’s a groundswell of change underfoot.

That the foundations of old, rigid societal structures are on the verge of collapse. The status-quo is being interrupted by a new way.

A new mind.

A new level of consciousness.

On a universal scale this pattern of collapse and expansion is the rhythm of black holes and galaxies. Cataclysmic collapsing of massive stars into supernovas, astronomical stellar explosions expelling shock waves of energy back into space, forming new stars and planets.

Destruction and entropy are natural forces at play in our universe.

But so is creativity and unity.

Life is also a natural force at play in our universe.

We are a product of that energy. All of us are made up of the same elements and energy that pulse through space like waves of light illuminating the dark void of infinity.

Each of us possess that light. The life-forming wave that transforms matters into beauty. That impulse to transform nothing into something. That urge to escape the heart of the black hole, break free from the grip of its gravity, expand into the unknown, and begin pulling together the fragments into some new, unified and whole.

I believe that impulse is at the core of being human.

You could say it is our purpose to create something new.

It is our fundamental condition to be creative.

Creativity does not come from a place that distinguishes between colours, race, birth place, wealth, or status. It does not operate on the level of binaries.

Creativity is non-dual. It is both/and.

Creativity is only ever about unity. The drawing together.

The process of making something whole.

Particles into molecules.

Molecules into cells.

Cells into organisms.

An organism is any entity that embodies the property of life.

In other words, the process of creativity is responsible for making

Every. Living. Thing.

That includes you and me. And the "other".

This universal organizing principle/force/energy that pulls elements together into greater unity is what made us.

It is what makes you.

It is what made your neighbour.

It is what made that stranger walking across the street.

It is what made your grandmother.

And that stranger’s grandmother.

It is what made the plants you eat. The wood beams in your house. The cotton in your sweatpants. The paper in your sketchbook.

It is the force behind every work of art, poetry, architecture, design, literature, music, and dance. Every object, composition, house, book, film, painting, and pot.

And, it is the force behind ideas.

Ideas that spark movements.

Movements that dismantle stagnate, decaying and diseased structures of power.

Movements that expose the need for a new, more expansive consciousness.

Movements that know we must declare Black Lives Matter, before we can move into greater unity as a species.

Creativity IS movement.

It is the wave of momentum generated from the death of something.

Out of the imploding star is birthed a luminous array of creative potential.

There’s a rumble in the ground.

Can you feel it?

Can you hear the low, deep groan of something just underneath the surface?

Something is about to break ground.

So what now?

It’s nice to wax poetically about supernovas and potential energy.

But how can I even think about creating when there is so much destruction happening around me?

What do I do with this growing sense of anxiety and uncertainty?

Here’s something I’ve noticed...

Uncertainty rides the same wave as Creativity.

Perhaps another way to put it is that Uncertainty and Creativity are roommates. Or Uncertainty is Creativity’s dance partner. Or Uncertainty and Creativity ride the same tandem bike. I hope you get what I’m trying to lay down here.

Uncertainty and Creativity are mutually arising.

One begets the other.

And so it is natural to feel that pit in your stomach watching protesters fill the streets, and simultaneously feel a certain hopefulness and joy that urges you to participate and contribute.

We inherently know what comes after the implosion, that is what excites us. Something new is going to come from this.

We are drawn IN during these moments.

Just like matter being pulled towards the centre of a black hole.

That sounds terrifying and it is.

Especially when only a few weeks ago you were on your couch, peacefully watching Tiger King.

There are moments that awaken us, call us out of our collective slumber and invite us to participate and contribute to something much larger than ourselves.

They help us shake the dust.

This, I believe, is always the invitation that Creativity offers us.

But with that comes feelings of uncertainty and fear.

Creativity. Uncertainty.

Uncertainty. Creativity.

So what carries you forward across that threshold of terror, to transcend the fear and navigate the uncertainty? What pushes you through into the new space that Creativity is calling you?

Two words.

Creative Courage.

Psychologist Rollo May defines Creative Courage as,

“The discovery of new forms, new symbols,

new patterns on which society can be built.”

Creative Courage is what Frederick Douglass possessed when he wrote in 1852,

“For it is not light that is needed, but fire;

it is not the gentle shower, but thunder...

The conscience of the nation must be roused...

the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed.”

Creative Courage is what compelled Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, in 1955.

Creative Courage is what Martin Luther King Jr. drew from when he shared his dream on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in front of a divided nation.

Creative Courage is what transformed Malcom X from a prison inmate into one of the most powerful voices in the fight against racial injustice.

Creative Courage is how Katherine Johnson, one the first black female NASA scientists, calculated the precise trajectories that landed Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969, despite all the mathematical complexities and dire consequences.

Creative Courage was behind the pen of James Baldwin as he crafted the beautifully tragic characters in “Giovanni’s Room” in order to explore the unspoken complexities of sexuality and identity.

Creativity Courage possessed Miles Davis to follow his intuition and allow his jazz to take on a life of its own.

Creative Courage carried Aretha Franklin beyond her stage fright and onto the throne as the “Queen of Soul.”

Creative Courage is what the young civil rights attorney, Barack Obama, tapped into to become the first black president of the United States of America.

Creative Courage is the human capacity to turn an idea into reality through action.

Creative Courage is doing the thing every one said couldn’t be done.

Creative Courage is continuing to do the work despite the failed attempts.

Creativity Courage is the first stroke on the blank canvas.

Creative Courage is the countless hours spent in the garage refining your craft.

Creative Courage is walking up the microphone and trusting your voice.

Creative Courage is showing up every morning to write the next sentence.

Creative Courage is starting that social movement to empower those at the margins.

Creative Courage is the relentless pursuit of making things whole. Unified.

Creative Courage is what we all need to shape this new world that is emerging.

Creative Courage is the flower pushing through the pavement because ‘up’ is the only direction to go.

There’s a rumble in the ground.

Can you feel it?

Can you hear the low, deep groan of something just underneath the surface?

Something is about to break ground.

The only question now is...

What are you going to create?

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