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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends

Welcome to the December issue of Creativity Calling. Each issue is designed to inspire and support your creative work.

With December's plethora of holiday activities, it can be a bit too easy to put our creative projects on hold. Here's to staying in the "present" and enjoying the fullness of our being!

December is the month when we say farewell to the old, to the past year, and hello to a new year. In January all is new and we eagerly embrace fresh new beginnings. Yet there is no better time than December —than today—to reflect on our creative endeavors and purposefully determine where we want to go in 2008.

I know you'll enjoy this month's articles, including the thoughtful "Christmas" poem entitled, "Friends", that's within the newsletter. The poem was sent to me recently by a 93-year-old friend. It may not be politically correct, or more aptly stated, religiously correct to be speaking of Christmas, but I would think the unknown author wouldn't mind if we substituted the words "well wishes" in order to honor the traditions each of us observes in remembering those whom we love. I also tucked in a second favorite "unknown author" poem. My feeling when I see the phrase "unknown author" is that the poem belongs to us all.

Do remember to Celebrate You during this busy, festive season and be good to yourself!

We appreciate your readership and always love your feedback and suggestions.

Many Blessings!
Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association

Creativity in the "present" tense: A gift guide for making art all year long

wrapped presentsBy Liz Massey

One of the great challenges for most of us during this month of winter holidays is finding the perfect present for everyone on our list. Even with electronic wish lists, online shopping and good old-fashioned hint-dropping, giving gifts that matter to our loved ones can remain an elusive goal.

However, figuring out what gifts to give your own artistic soul this holiday season need not be complicated. Here are five sets of self-gift "prescriptions" for resolving situations that frequently stifle the creative impulse.

1. Starved for time?
Shift your focus from thinking about your project as a whole to how you will build it during a series of micro-sessions lasting 10 to 30 minutes a piece. If family responsibilities are eating into your creative time, invite them to join you in your endeavors—as models, apprentices or collaborators.

2. No space in which to create?
De-clutter the house by holding the mother of all eBay sales. Or devise a mobile workstation for creativity on the go. Consider bartering with friends for access to specialized art space (like a darkroom or a dance studio).

3. Out of ideas?
Fertilize your subconscious by watching thought-provoking television shows and movies. Pay attention to your dreams. Make art with children. Buy an inexpensive journal or sketch book and record your observations everywhere you go.

4. On a skill plateau?
If your level of technical ability is holding you back, pick a project that excites you so much it compels you to stretch yourself. Start a blog documenting your learning process. Convene a group of fellow artists to share skills and learn from each other.

5. Not consistent in your art-making?
Practice the fundamentals of your discipline daily and commit to incremental progress. Discover what elements of your routine facilitate the percolation and expression of creative ideas and make sure you do them every day.

As you can see, the primary gift that we artists can give ourselves at this time of year is permission. Permission to make creating a priority, to feed our artistic wellsprings, and to structure our life in such a way that creativity is a natural consequence, instead of an afterthought.

Liz Massey is a professional editor and creativity coach whose coaching practice, Creative Liberty, is located in the Phoenix metropolitan area. For more information, see her business profile.

Time for Year End Inventory
By Kathleen Gilday

December is such a packed month. We're often so busy with holiday happenings that we don't get the chance to think about it as a significant month for year end reflection. No sooner do we clang the champagne glasses on New Year's then we're making resolutions for 2008. We've missed a few steps in between. Try these tips to make the most of the year end.

  • Refresh your memory about the past year. Browse through your calendars and date books and take notice of all that you've done over the year. What was your most productive season? Your greatest accomplishment? What events made a significant difference in your life? Did you take that special class to enhance your creative life and well being?
  • Ask inventory questions: How much time and money did you spend 'stocking shelves' or filling your life with the things you need? Did you spend the time necessary on your art? What didn't you use or served no purpose for you? Whatever creative field you are in, take stock of what you have on your shelves, your studio or in your portfolio.
  • Reflect on the major changes. Did you experience growth in any areas of your art? Did you discover any new paths or opportunities to expand your art? Come up with at least three things you learned about yourself in the past year.
  • Simplify your life by getting rid of what didn't work and working on what matters. Pretend 2008 can only be entered through a doorway, a tight doorway where you can bring the absolute essentials. What are you bringing? What can't you live without? When it comes to your art, focus on what really matters and start the New Year on what you truly want to create.

Don't let December whiz by without taking some time for yourself and your own personal reflection. Put away the holiday to-do lists and take a gingerbread spiced latte break just for you. Ask yourself, where have I been and where do I want to go in 2008?

Kathleen Gilday is a certified Creativity Coach and freelance writer who resides in New Hampshire. Her coaching practice www.writeintoyourlife.com provides support and inspiration for all level writers.


Author Unknown

We have a list of folks we know, all written in a book,
And each year at Christmas time, we go and take a look.
And that is when we realize that these names are a part
not of the book they're written in, but of our very heart.

For each name stands for someone who has crossed our path sometime
And in that meeting they've become the "rhythm of the rhyme".
And while it sounds fantastic for us to make this claim,
We really feel we are composed of each remembered name.

And while you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has shaped our lives more than you can think.
For once you've met somebody, the years cannot erase
the memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.

So never think our Christmas card is just a mere routine
of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between.
For when we send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
it's because you're on the list of folks that we're indebted to.

For you're part of the total of the many folks we've met, and you happen to be one of those we prefer not to forget.
And whether we have known you for many years or few,
in some way you have had a part in shaping things we do.

Every year when Christmas comes we realize anew
The biggest gift that life can give is knowing folks like you!!!

Tap into Our Database of Creativity CoachesCCA logo

Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. " --Mark Twain

Are you:
  • just starting out in exploring your creative desires?
  • a working artist who is stuck on a creative project?
  • looking for something new to juice up your creative work?
  • going into midlife and feeling that now is finally the time to do the art you always wanted to do?
  • already a known artist but interested in taking your success to the next level?

For any of these situations, why not hire a creativity coach? Check out our database of nearly 50 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in nearly 100 different specialties.

Celebrate You

Angel ornament

~Author Unknown

You are worth celebrating
You are worth everything - You are unique
In all the world there is only one
with your talent - experience and gifts
God created only one you
You have unlimited potential
to love - to care -to create - to grow - to sacrifice
if you believe in yourself
It doesn't matter your age - color
or whether your parents loved you or not
maybe they wanted to but couldn't
Let that go - It belongs to the past
You belong to the now
It doesn't matter what you have been
the wrong you've done - the mistakes you've made
the people you've hurt
You are forgiven - You are accepted - You are okay
You are loved - in spite of everything
So love yourself and flourish the seeds within you

Celebrate You

Begin now - Start anew
Give yourself a new birth - today
You are you and that is all you need to be You are temporary - here today - gone tomorrow
But today - today can be a new beginning a new thing - a new life
You cannot deserve this new life
It is given freely
This is the miracle called God
So celebrate the miracle and
Celebrate You

Special Book Offer

book coverIf you have not yet purchased your own copy of Inspiring Creativity, why not take advantage of this special offer today? An anthology of 22 powerful essays by professional creativity coaches, the book will get your creative juices flowing and make you feel more confident, excited, and ready to tackle your creative work.

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New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes
Beginning Soon!

"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time" --T.S.Eliot

If you've been thinking about becoming a creativity coach, or adding creativity coaching to your existing life coaching, consulting, or therapy practice, we invite you to explore CCA's Certification Program. Our program includes a variety of basic and advanced coaching courses that can be done online or through telecourses in a reasonable period of time. The knowledge and skills you will develop in this program will serve your own work and open up opportunities for you to professionally coach others.

For details, please visit our Certification Program web page for a full explanation of the courses offered and requirements.

Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the December 2007 issue. Send us an email and let us know your thoughts and suggestions.

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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