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 Creativity Calling


The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends,

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 the bottom.

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

Passion FruitWhy 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 the system.

If you’ve found setting goals difficult, give this a try:

  1. 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.

  2. 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 vision

  3. 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 and strengths.

For any questions about your creativity profile, e-mail Stephanie.

Make 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 Creativity. 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 here. Send 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 join@creativitycoachingassociation.com for information.

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