broke out of the old mold and found a better way. And in the process, she widened her world, learned more about herself and others, and gained trust and confidence in her ability to manage life.
Women's courage requires a new definition. Psychologist Judith Jordan suggests that courage, "unlike macho defiance of fear, is the capacity to act meaningfully and with integrity in the face of acknowledged vulnerability. There is no real courage where fear and vulnerability are denied."7 Courage then, is the action that comes with our full awareness of risk, tempered by self-reflection and confidence. This form of courage becomes most apparent in contrast to the alternative -- a life of stagnant complacency or helplessness in which challenges are seen and felt but avoided. Proving that they have courage was never the goal for these women. For them, courage is what it takes to get to the goal. We all show courage when we overcome fear, trust ourselves, and believe in the goal we are aiming toward.
And where is the creativity? Courage is necessary for the expression of oneself, and that expression, in whatever form, is creative. Action taken from the center of us is the foundation for a refocussed life. "If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also you will have betrayed our community in failing to make your contribution to the whole."8
Quote in chapter title is from Anais Nin, quoted in Julia Cameron, ( 1992), The artist's way. A spiritual path to higher creativity ( New York: Bantam), p. 156.