The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to all our new readers to this newsletter. We are growing by
leaps and bounds, and each new day brings us new subscriptions. Be sure
to tell your friends about this newsletter and forward them a copy at
In this 5th issue, we offer some pre-holiday creativity tidbits. As
always, we have a note from our friend Etta Mology, as well as a great
article from one of CCA's active member coaches, Jori Lynn Keyser. You
can also read about an interesting "manifesto" on creativity,
and learn how you can have your creativity measured.
Be sure to notice our special offer on Inspiring
Creativity — it makes
a great gift for anyone you know who is exploring their creative passion.
Rick Benzel, Executive Director
A Creative Linguistic Note
Why Pursuing Your Passion May Be BitterSweet
by Etta Mology
The word passion — in the sense of a deep inner mission or driving
force that motivates you — is bandied about frequently these days. Everyone
seems to need passion and if they don’t have it now, they'd better
go out and look for it. We hear that life is most meaningful when we pursue
our passion. We hear about baseball players, entrepreneurs, teachers, chefs,
and actors who excel in their field because they feel extreme passion for
their craft. There is even a healthcare company that graciously sponsors
NPR's evening news hour, and their corporate slogan goes something like, “Here
at so-and-so company, diabetes care is not just our business; it’s
our passion.” (Who ever would have imagined hearing diabetes and passion
in the same sentence!)
Our dear friend Etta Mology wondered what this word passion really means
— and she took the time to find out. Of course, as you might guess, the
word derives from Middle English via Old French all the way back to the Latin
verb, pati . But surprise, surprise, this Latin verb means to suffer. In
fact, the word passion is related to the word patient — as in someone who
is sick, ill, and suffering.
It seems that Middle English used the word, circa 1175, in a context that
had nothing to do with what we moderns think today. Passion was the word
that signified the sufferings of Christ between the night of the last Supper
and his death, as in the Passion of Christ (a la Mel Gibson). In the 1200s,
the meaning was extended to signify "general suffering" on the
part of anyone in the populace. In 1374, the word took on the sense of “strong
emotion and desire” but this was because the English word was used
for the Greek word “pathos,” signifying emotion.
Moving somewhat closer to our modern meaning, passion was used in 1588 in
the sense of “sexual love.” Etta guesses it was a bawdy Elizabethan
reinterpretation of the word such as when a man could no longer "suffer" through
his unreciprocated lust for an feminine object of his desire.
It was only in 1638 that passion was used in the context of strong liking,
enthusiasm – the meaning far closer to our contemporary usage. Today's
dictionary also distinguishes between passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm,
and zeal — related words that form a kind of rainbow of emotional excitement
and devotion, but differing in their intensity or in the degree of self-control
the individual can exert over the emotion.
So, to those of you out there who are struggling to discover your passion
and to those of you who have already found your through serious hard work,
Etta says "Take heart." There is solid linguistic reason that real
passion does not come easy. Passion is not found on the street, or created
overnight; it does not appear with a flick of the paintbrush or a few taps
on a keyboard. According to what we learn from Etta, passion originates in
effort, emotion, desire — and yes, maybe a bit of suffering too.
But don’t become a patient for lack of finding your passion. Keep
some perspective on your zeal. And never neglect to seek passion in your
love life or to enjoy a bite of the sweet/tart passionfruit (pictured above)
from time to time as you discover your passion.
The Life Cycle of the Creative Soul
I just learned about a web site called ChangeThis (found at www.changethis.com),
which is dedicated to providing new perspectives about the world. Originating
from an idea from Seth Godin, ChangeThis states about itself: ChangeThis
is creating a new kind of media. A form of media that uses existing tools
(like PDFs, blogs and the web) to challenge the way ideas are created and
spread. We're on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds.
One of the recent postings from ChangeThis (sent to me by a friend) is called
The Life Cycle of the Creative Soul: The Manifesto. Its author is
Felix Gerena, a native of the Basque country who is an "Innovation consultant" with
an interesting career. Without any further clues, I highly recommend this
brief work to you. It portrays the creative person's journey into creativity
as occurring in phases, each identified using a mythological personage or
a well-known artist to symbolize the personality of each phase. I'm sure
you will find this Manifesto a new take on thoughts you've likely had.
Download the Manifesto (a PDF file) at www.changethis.com/19.LifeCycle
Note: this is a PDF file that fills your screen. Once you are done reading,
hit the Escape key to close the window.
Growing Organic Goals for Artists
Contributed by Jori Lynn Keyser
Setting goals is often a daunting task for artists. We’re never
short of dreams, but our dreams are often moving targets that slip
and slide out of our grasp, refusing to be pinned down into goals that
can actually be achieved.
If this sounds familiar to you, why not try growing your goals instead — organically,
from within your unique purpose and vision?
Your purpose is what you’re meant to do here on this wonderful
planet of ours — it is yours alone and never changes. Your vision is your Big Idea of how you intend to go about fulfilling your purpose
at any given time. Together, they act as your guiding thread.
Creative folks tend to welcome odd ideas, serendipitous thoughts,
surprising elements. We like to turn things upside-down and follow
our noses, allow events to reveal themselves. Have no fear — none
of this is incompatible with a set purpose and vision.
On the contrary, purpose and vision give your creative work the freedom
to exist. I would bet there’s ground beneath your feet wherever
you happen to be at this moment in time. And a nice thing that is,
too, because how much would we get done if we spent our days worrying
about where to put our feet? Picture purpose and vision as the ground
beneath your feet.
Now, what about goals — those left-brain monsters that threaten
our creativity? Well, goals imposed from thin air are certain to kill
a creative idea. But goals that grow from the rich soil of one’s
inner purpose and greater vision can’t help but be organic to
If you’ve found setting goals difficult, give this a try:
- Start by moving toward a clear written statement of your purpose.
Be as specific as possible, but know that it may take time to grasp
the bigger picture.
- Now, think about how you can best fulfill your purpose. Be expansive,
be joyful! What BIG IDEA could you really fall in love with? This is your
- Once your vision is on paper and clear in your mind, set a sizeable
goal with a deadline for completion, one that works directly towards
your vision and supports your purpose.
Your goals will grow well in this fertile ground, and they’ll
be easier to achieve because their roots are in your heart.
Jori Lynn Keyser is the creativity and prosperity coach behind art
in abundance. Purpose, Vision, and Organic Goals for Artists
is her six-week online workshop starting in January 2006. If you’d
like to work hands-on with these concepts, you can find out more about
this at the workshops
page on Jori's website.
Can You Measure Your Creativity? Yes!
How many kinds of creativity are there? Three? Seven? A dozen? Since each
of us brings a different mix of aptitudes (not to mention values and interests)
to the creativity feast, the answer is actually much closer to infinity.
Given this, is it possible to deeply understand our unique, individual creativity
strengths so we can use them to their highest potential? Yes, it is — because
now we can measure them. Many factors define our own, individual type of
creativity, and these factors are not mysteries to be guessed; they are identifiable
and include abstract visualization, observation, time frame orientation,
idea productivity, and more. These factors all combine to define our unmatched
creativity in a way that is as unique to us as our DNA.
If you are interested in measuring your creativity, contact Stephanie
West Allen, JD, a certified administrator of the Highlands
Exam, the most accurate
exam to measure the factors that make up your creative DNA and help you stay
motivated to find and do the right work for your innate strengths. By taking
a series of 19 work samples, you will learn from this assessment how to use
your unique profile to your best advantage. The complete assessment includes
extensive feedback on your profile, a 30-page (or longer) personalized report
about your scores, and a personal discussion with Stephanie based on her
many years of working with creative people — all giving you valuable information
about you, your professional and personal choices, AND your creativity style
For any questions about your creativity profile, e-mail Stephanie.
Your New Year's Resolutions Come True in 2006
If you're already planning to take your creative life in a new direction
in 2006, then you need a copy of the award-winning book, Inspiring
Selected for November's Alternate Feature of the Month in the North Light
Book Club and Writer's Digest Book Club, this anthology is winning praise
and kudos from everyone.
Loaded with 22 essays by professional creativity coaches, this book takes
you on a journey through the creative process and guides you every step
of the way.
You can purchase your copy at a special 15% off too in this newsletter.
To peruse the Table of Contents and download a FREE sample chapter,
go to www.cca-press.com.
PS — Consider buying a copy as a gift for that special creative person
in your life.
Special Discounted Price: $12.75 + $6.00 Shipping
Click here to place your order
Thank You for Your Time and Attention
This is the end of the November issue and we're glad you made it down to
us an email and let us know your thoughts and reactions.
Note: If you are a life coach, executive coach, literary agent, therapist
or any other profession involved with creative people, and you are interested
in joining the Creativity Coaching Association, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org for