063: Courage and Creativity, with Emily Ann Peterson


If you’re creative are you automatically more courageous? Our guest on today’s show says you are and that’s exactly what she writes about in her latest book: Rainbows Die and Unicorns Fart: Creative Courage When Sh*t Hits The Fan.


On this edition of The Real World Woman: Sex, Money and Food podcast, Emily Ann Peterson joins us to talk about that book, her musical career and how a major medical diagnosis in her 20s changed not only her outlook and her career, but the course of her entire life.


More About This Show


For her entire life Emily Ann has been a musician; she began playing piano as a child, and was taught by her mother. Deciding it was just too much to have her mom as her mom and her piano teacher, she switched to cello. For the next 17 years she would play cello, both in collaboration with other musicians and as a soloist.


After graduating college with a degree in business, she immediately set off for Seattle. And it was immediate – she walked across the stage to get her degree, left the building and then drove to Seattle! She was ready.


She continued in the world of music, becoming a cello teacher full-time. But all of that changed during the Christmas holiday of 2013 when she was diagnosed with an essential tremor in her right hand. Even though there is a family history of tremors, the diagnosis was a shock and a life-changing experience.


At 26 she was far younger than most are who suffer from essential tremors, and with her profession the tremor impacted her work, her experience with her co-workers and her relationship with herself.


But she refused to give up on her musical talents and abilities. She began writing songs and playing the piano again.


By defying fate and committing to her dreams, she had even more creative breakthroughs. Emily Ann wrote a book, created a podcast and even gave a TedX Talk called What Are Shared Experiences Worth?. She also founded the music project, Cello Yoga, which partners with yoga & dance studios and their teachers to create musical couture for their practice.


On today’s episode, we dig into how her Tedx Talk came to be: she was asked by a friend and former bandmate if she would do the background music during one of the TEDx Talk conferences. She didn’t necessarily need the money, and she wasn’t inspired by the idea of being the background music for people, so she told him she’d play for free if she could speak at the event. He agreed, and she submitted her idea. The board voted her in as a speaker, and the rest is history! To watch her talk check the Resources section below.  


Also on this episode we talk about the topic of her podcast: who are heroes, why are they heroes and quiet heroism vs. loud heroism. We also delve more into the idea her book is based on: the link between creativity and courage and how committing to and practicing one leads to more of the other.


Today’s show with Emily is uplifting, inspiring and fun! Whether or not you’ve ever faced a serious medical issue, she will help you appreciate all you have and invigorate you to continue pursuing your dreams no matter the obstacles in your path. Join us for this episode of the Real World Woman: Sex, Money, and Food Podcast!  


Tweetable: “Being creative is the best choice.


Emily Ann Answers the Questions

Q: Rank the following in order: sex, money, food,

A: Sex, money, food…especially if you use sex as an umbrella word for relationship, community, connection. I believe if we are connected with Earth and people we will have enough nourishment.


Q: There is nothing better in life than…

A:  Being 90% done with a song.


Q: Your ultimate pleasure in life is?

A: A good orgasm is really awesome!


Q: What does playing the cello smell like to you?

A: It smells like rosin dust! For anyone who doesn’t know what that smells like it smells like a dusty tree.


Q: What is a mistake or a circumstance you went through that has allowed you to grow and learn?

A: In 2012 I was teaching cello lessons full-time, and I was exhausted. I saw a business coach who suggested I raise my prices by 100% and switch from month to month to a yearly contract. My first mistake was doing it too fast! I lost more students than I wanted to lose.


Q: What book are you reading?

A: The Introverted Entrepreneur, by Beth Buelow


Episode Resources


Alexandra Harbushka
Alexandra Harbushka
About me

I am an entrepreneur, a daughter, and a lover. My life passion is to help women discover the secrets to having all three of life’s essentials: sex, money, and food. I bring my international experience and corporate success together to help other women thrive as a Real World Woman.

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