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 Creativity Calling


The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends,

Each time I write one of these newsletters, I become excited, ecstatic even. I am thrilled to be communicating with so many creative people who are interested in keeping up with the Creativity Coaching Association and all matters creative.

In this 4th issue, you will find several items to intrigue and spark you this month. After I send out each issue, I always wonder if there is anything else we at CCA can do to benefit our readers. Please don't hesitate to contact us with your feedback and suggestions.

Rick Benzel, Executive Director

A Creative Linguistic Note

Your Best Ideas Come From Your Eye-deas

by Etta Mology

Creativity is usually associated with the sense of "coming up with new ideas," right? But did you ever wonder what the word idea really means?

Our dear friend Etta Mology took the time to find out. To her astonishment, she discovered that it was only recently, in 1645, that the English word idea came to connote "the result of thinking." Perhaps this is why in today's fast-paced world, some people believe they have an idea every 3 seconds.

Before that time, the word idea meant something else. It was first used in English in 1430 and its meaning had to do with "figure, symbol, image." This reflected the true root of the word from the Latin idea and the ancient Greek, idein. You see, in Greek philosophy, ideas dealt not with the result of a single individual's thinking but with the absolute truths of the world. Plato used the word idea to mean what we now call the ideal or archetype of an object. An idea was the essence or pure form of an object. For example, the idea of a horse signifies the archetypal horse that all humans visualize as opposed to the many different specific horses each of us may see in our local meadows.

How did the Greeks come to use the word in this way? Well, Etta discovered that it's because the Greek word idea actually derives from the ancient Proto-Indo-European language of our ancestors about 5500 years ago in their word wid- es-ya-, meaning to see. In other words, the Greeks used the word idea to mean image or form because it literally derived from the verb to see.

So the next time you are being creative, it may be worth remembering that your greatest ideas may not be those that come as the result of your thinking. Your best ideas in the purest sense of the word may instead be those that you can see in your mind's eye, the ideal images that spring from deep within you reflecting an absolute truth of the world that all humankind will recognize because it's in our mind's eye too.

PS — I am working on a book about ideas, specifically how creative people develop ideas and manage them. One area of my work is to find out more about people who have "too many ideas." If you are someone who has large numbers of ideas and are willing to share some stories about how you get ideas, how you manage them (or don't manage them), please contact me. I would love to interview you and include your story in the book I am writing.

CCA and Creativity Portal Join Forces!

Most of you already know this, but for those who don't, we are announcing that the Creativity Coaching Association has teamed up with the noted web site Creativity Portal to form a veritable creative partnership on the Internet. Creativity Portal is one of the most popular and noted web sites for creativity.

Our partnership allows you to stay abreast of issues in creativity, while at the same time find a creativity coach if you would like to work with one. Please visit our Find a Coach web page on Creativity Portal, where you can search our coaches by name, geographic location, or specialty.

Organize Your Mind So You Can Create — It's As Simple as ABC

Contributed by Barbara Millman Cole (bmillmancole@sbcglobal.net)

Do you change direction on a dime when you get an inspiration? Do you find yourself working the whole painting, jumping from top to bottom to middle, instead of methodically working from left to right? All these qualities are right-brained, creative ways of thinking. In fact, being able to see the whole of the picture is what makes an artist. Predominately right-brained people find it hard to think in a straight line. Many creative people see the finished painting in their mind’s eye and can move about the canvas comfortably, knowing exactly what they want to achieve.

As a creative, right-brained person, you probably think in clusters. Many projects spin through your mind at once. How do you harness those ideas, organize them and choose one to work on at a time? It is simple as ABC.

  • Allow the left brain a turn. Though you prefer operating in the right brain, the logical left brain is at your disposal as well. Let the left side of your brain help you organize.
  • Breathe deeply to help clear your mind. In our anxiety of where to start, we forget to breathe. Taking deep breaths calms the body, sends oxygen to the brain and helps one think more clearly.
  • Choose the project that most needs completion first, that is most important to you or that is most difficult to do. However you prioritize, make a choice.

How can it be so simple? Most things are that simple. The clutter in our minds make things seem complicated and prevents us from working. If we can organize deep within, we can move forward in our creative work.

R. P. found it hard to work on her lamp-beading each day. Her intent was to work, but as she set up her torch, she was constantly distracted by the zillion thoughts speeding through her mind — thoughts about how to handle the business side of her art career, how to learn programs on the computer to help her sell her beads, how to find time to exercise, how to maintain her home for her family, and how to display her artwork. Her mind was cluttered with the many things she wanted to accomplish in the day, but she was at a loss as to how to organize those thoughts. This clutter only led to anxiety and inaction. She would start on one project and quickly feel the pressure of the other projects that needed attention.

I suggested she take a moment to reflect on what was most important in all of these projects. “Making the beads is most important to me, but my family is also a high priority,” she said. “The other things are important as well, but without the creation of the beads, there is nothing to display or sell. Also, I chose this field for myself. This is how I express myself, through my work.”

R. P. worked out a schedule and tried it for a week. (A)

  • First, she exercised for an hour to get the blood flowing. (B)
  • Then, she spent three hours creating beads: (C)
    1) experimenting with new designs
    2) torching the colored glass into the shapes she wanted
    3) assembling sample earrings and necklaces.
  • Next, she spent an hour working on her business:
    1) setting up separate bookkeeping from her personal finances
    2) working on displays to be photographed for her website
    3) researching local business laws.
  • Finally, she spent an hour straitening the house, doing laundry and preparing dinner.
  • On alternate days, she learned computer programs in classes at the local business college.

R.P. allowed her left brain to help her organize her day. She breathed deeply and chose what was most important, her art. When the week was up, R.P. admitted she had a hard time making herself leave the torch to work on finances, but she had accomplished more in that week than she had in months. Changing ways of doing things is difficult. Over three months, she played with the time limits and settled into a routine that worked for her.

If you allow the organizational half of your brain to work for you, if you breathe deeply so you can think clearly, and if you choose the project most important for you to accomplish, you will be able to create more freely.

The Importance of Creativity in the World — A Book Review

I recently heard a fascinating NPR interview with Professor Richard Florida which inspired me. It was my first encounter with Dr. Florida's research, although he published his first book in 2003, entitled

The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life. This interview was about his second book, Cities and the Creative Class, which I bought and read.

In a nutshell, Florida has been studying for a decade the rise of a unique new demographic group in America, which he calls the Creative Class. Composed of nearly 1/3 of the American workforce, this group consists of those people who make their living performing "creative" work using their minds, including science and engineering, research and development, technology, arts, music, culture, design, health care, finance and law.

As opposed to old industrial theories that culture plays a secondary role to work, Florida counters that today, the rise of the Creative Class is reversing the significance of creativity. As he writes, "The creativity thesis...argues that the role of culture is much more expansive, that human beings have limitless potential, and that the key to economic growth is to enable and unleash that potential."

In Cities and the Creative Class, Florida demonstrates through statistics and research that those cities in America that have large numbers of creative class workers are the cities that succeed economically. These cities foster an influx of knowledge workers, who have talent, who contribute to a tolerance for different lifestyles, and who share a love for diversity in life.

Cities and the Creative Class is rather dry reading, full of statistical tables and such — not for everyone, but it is clear that Florida's thesis suggests that our collective work as creative people will be vital to the success of America in the future. His research bolsters our sense that creativity matters in the world — which, of course, anyone reading this newsletter already knows.

Buy a Book - Get a F*R*E*E Coaching Session

MAKE GETTING INSPIRED A TRULY PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE

Our recent publication, Inspiring Creativity: An Anthology of Powerful Insights and Practical Ideas to Guide You to Successful Creating, is among the best reads you can find in the creativity field. 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.

And if that is not enough, buy the book today off this special offer, and you will receive a FR*EE 15-minute coaching session by phone with one of the coaches from the book (from among several who are making themselves available for this offer). We simply set up a time for you to call after you have purchased the book and you will be entitled to a 15-minute introductory session in which you can discuss your creative endeavor, and any blocks or impediments you have to your work. You will then receive deep feedback from the coach to assist you in taking steps toward creative fulfillment success.

To peruse the Table of Contents and download a FR*EE sample chapter, go to www.cca-press.com.

Special Offer: $14.95 + $5.00 Shipping = FR*EE Coaching

Click here to send an email for details on purchasing the book and obtaining your FR*EE coaching session

Thank You for Your Time and Attention

This is the end of the October 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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