The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is simply one of the best books I’ve ever read on the practice of art making. Whatever art you create, you will be able to relate to the fears and resistance Pressfield so lucidly writes about in a clear and compelling way.

I just started rereading it this week.

Get it. Mark it up. Share it with a friend. It’s a great book for an artist small group discussion.




From Amazon…

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. hat keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identif ies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.

Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing

Can you believe it? This book serendipitously arrived at my doorstep earlier this week sent by the author himself! I don’t know Christopher West, but I have been devouring his book. It has been a soul feast. A banquet of words encouraging me to develop deeper union with God.

This book is about desire. Holy desire created by God’s Design that leads to your ultimate Destiny.

Friends, Fill These Hearts is a remarkable book. One of the best books that I have ever read that probes deep questions in a story-based writing style that is accessible, compassionate, and thought-provoking.

Christopher West deftly takes on and teaches the core of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body that takes you on a journey “from the depths of human longing to the heights of eternal ecstasy with God.

I’m only halfway through now…but I have much more to say…to all of you who know that deep ache, longing and utter dissatisfaction with the fast-food superficial servings of this world, this book will fill your heart with the eternal things of God.

Your purchase helps support Art, Life & Faith.

From Amazon…

Fill These Hearts is a book about desire.  Not trivial wants or superficial cravings, but the most vital powers of body and soul, sexuality and spirituality, that haunt us and compel us on our search for something.  Weaving life-altering lessons together from classical and contemporary art, pop music, movies, and the Christian mystical tradition, popular theologian Christopher West explores the ancient but largely forgotten idea that the restless, erotic yearnings we feel in both our bodies and our spirits reveal the cry of our hearts for God.  Along the way, West blows the lid off the idea of Christianity as a repressive, anti-sex religion by demonstrating that Christ came to stretch and inflame our desire for love and union to the point of infinity.

Unthinkable: The Scott Rigsby Story

My good friend from the Deep South, Mr. Scott Rigsby, is the first double-amputee to complete the Hawaiian Ironman. You can read his amazing story of heartbreaking failure, stunning setbacks and overcoming incredible obstacles in his inspiring book, Unthinkable: The Scott Rigsby Story.

You won’t be able to put this book down as it will make you laugh and cry. I first met Scott a couple of months after his 2007 Ironman finish and we’ve been close friends ever since. I could go on and on about all the hilarious episodes we’ve shared (like walking in our home filled with my teenage son’s friends and the looks on their faces when they see a Terminator-Bionicle-Transformer before their very eyes…).

Scott’s the reason why I do triathlons today and why I have the privilege to serve The Scott Rigsby Foundation. (I also had the chance to be inside the finish line as part of his media team when he raced in his second Hawaiian Ironman in Kona 2011… now that was a fun trip!)

If you want a great read, an inspiring story to tell your children, and a reminder to list the 1,001 reasons you’re grateful to have two two legs, then pick up a copy of Unthinkable.

Then go do your unthinkable!

Your purchase helps support Art, Life & Faith.

From Amazon…

After losing both of his legs in a car accident at age 18, Scott Rigsby battled his way back from depression and addiction to achieve the unthinkable—become the first double-leg amputee ever to cross the finish line in the sporting world’s most grueling and prestigious competition, the Ironman Triathlon. Scott has since become an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of physically challenged and able-bodied athletes the world over. Unthinkable documents Scott’s remarkable journey. From the scene of the devastating crash that claimed both of his legs, and his subsequent battle with depression and alcohol addiction, through his dawning realization that God has a greater plan for his life, readers will be inspired. From his decision to participate in the Ironman competition, to the moment he crossed the finish line, readers will engage with Scott’s unthinkable courage, determination and faith. Unthinkable releases simultaneously in both hardcover and softcover. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Scott Rigsby Foundation, a Georgia-based non-profit organization dedicated to inspire, inform, and enable physically challenged individuals with loss of limb or mobility to live an active lifestyle.

Becoming Who You Are

If you are interested in the integration of the contemplative and active life, the difference between the true self and the false self, and how a few of the greatest spiritual thinkers of the 20th. century reflected on these issues, then this is the book for you.

James Martin, SJ, shares his insights learned from the writings and spiritual journeys of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Mother Teresa. Many of their books populate my bookshelf as I find myself returning again and again to their works. For those of you who are writers, you may like in particular the chapter, Writing the True Self.

Becoming Who You Are will encourage you to keep pursuing the life of faith, hope and love God has called you to.

Your purchase helps support Art, Life & Faith.

From Amazon…

By meditating on personal examples from the author’s life, as well as reflecting on the inspirational life and writings of Thomas Merton, stories from the Gospels, as well as the lives of other holy men and women (among them, Henri Nouwen, Therese of Lisieux and Pope John XXIII) the reader will see how becoming who you are, and becoming the person that God created, is a simple path to happiness, peace of mind and even sanctity.

The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

I am heading to Idaho for the next few days with a good friend of mine. It’s our annual men’s retreat. Enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, which is always good for my soul.

Just two guys. The Spokane River at Post Falls. No rah-rah. Lots of time to eat. Read. Pray. Hike. Talk and laugh. I can’t wait to dig into Erwin M cManus’ new book, The Artisan Soul. I know it will be good for my soul. I hope you find it nourishes your soul as well.

Your purchase helps support Art, Life & Faith.

From Amazon…

The most important work of art is the life that we create.

In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus—author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles—pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renais-sance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves.

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

One of my lifelong goals is to stay curious, ask more questions and to learn how to ask more beautiful questions.

Whether you are an artist, parent, pastor, creative team leader, or simply a good friend to someone else, learning how to ask good questions can lead to breakthrough ideas in your own life and the lives of those around you.

Learning to ask deeper, more beautiful questions can lead us down the path toward cultivating a more beautiful life, which is why I’d like to recommend Warren Berger’s latest book, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.

If you’re looking for creative ways to solve perplexing problems that lead to new innovations, Berger’s book will help you to start thinking out of the proverbial box.

Wait a minute, what if there is no box? Do I blame myself or others for ‘not thinking out of the box’ when it might be better to take responsibility for asking better questions? Maybe I need to take my creativity more seriously?* (Sorry, I digress.)

I hope Berger’s new book inspires you to seek more beautiful questions.