The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the June issue of Creativity Calling! This month we're exploring some prevalent obstacles and challenges facing creative souls and artists of all disciplines. For without a doubt, artists share a host of common challenges in bringing forth creative expression.
At an early age, my son, Heath, put it best with a brilliant observation. He said, "You know, mom, people are really all the same...just in different ways."
Enjoy gleaning through this month's issue of Creativity Calling. Allow the light shared by these creativity coaches—from their wisdom and life experiences—to shine on any inner saboteurs that may be barriers in your life, barriers preventing you from becoming the creator you are meant to be.
And, as always, don't hesitate to let us know of any special areas you would like to see addressed in future newsletters. We love your input!
All the Best,
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
Extreme Makeover for your Inner Critic
by Kathleen Gilday
Our inner critic can be a real beast. Not to mention sneaky, clever and a real creativity crusher. It stops us from the deep, meaningful work we know we are capable of doing. It holds us back from being our true selves and hits us in our most vulnerable place—where our creative spirit lives. It's time to fight back!
Don't you wish there was a way to makeover your mind and eliminate that negative self talk? My version of an Extreme Makeover for your Inner Critic can help.
How about a Tummy Tuck? Let's go straight to the gut. No, not that extra padding where you store second helpings, I'm talking about that deep inner space where you store instincts. On a regular basis it speaks to you. Are you listening? Most likely, you'd rather squash the messages it sends. After all, your gut tells you what's really eating you. And that might be hard to swallow, I know, but let's think about it. It's your gut that warns you when something isn't right. It tells you what ideas still linger even though you don't follow through on them. Your gut tells you what desires you are suppressing and what talents you know you have but aren't using.
Now hold up. Be aware that there is a big difference between your gut and your inner critic. It's the difference between fat and protein. One clogs; the other provides energy. If the voice you hear isn't helping you— it's most likely your critic.
Get rid of the critic by firming up your gut. How do you do that? The best way to strengthen your gut—your true voice—is to really listen. But, what do we do instead? We clean, organize, overeat, call a friend, go shopping, stay late at work, and do anything to avoid it.
Here are my tips for a tummy transformation. First, take a scalpel to at least one of the things you do to silence your gut. Don't answer that call, for example. Make time alone instead; go for a walk, go for a drive, go to bed early—alone. Finally, ask the question, "What's my gut really telling me?" Wait for an answer. Cut out the pretending. Listen, instead.
Kathleen Gilday is a life lover, beach seeker and all around creative soul. Her coaching practice, Write Into Your Life, provides support and inspiration for all level writers with workshops, coaching, and retreats by the sea. She resides in New Hampshire with her husband and three teenagers.
For more makeover mania and other creative tips, visit www.writeintoyourlife.com
Be catalytic, not just a-mused
by Liz Massey
We artists spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen— for checks to arrive, for grant competitions to be announced, for contracts to be finalized, and above all, for ideas for our projects to come to us.
It seems as if there are at least two lenses through which creative people view inspiration. One of the more time-honored views is based in the ancient Greek tradition of the Muses, the nine sister-goddesses who presided over song, poetry and the arts and sciences. As illustrated hilariously in the 1999 movie The Muse, starring Sharon Stone and Albert Brooks, this view holds that inspiration is found by currying favor with the muses. Much effort is spent on finding the right place, posture, person, etc., that will open the floodgates of the creative mind and spark That Great Idea
many of us hope to be blessed with.
As useful as the inspiration-from-without model is, there's another way to approach idea-gathering. In the world of chemistry, there's the concept of the catalyst, which is an agent that facilitates a reaction under circumstances that would otherwise be considered less than fruitful or speeds up the pace of a change or action.
If we view our creative soul as a catalyst, our relationship to ideas, and to the very "stuff" of our everyday lives, shifts. Deciding to behave in a creatively catalytic manner means we are in charge of attending to our moment-to-moment existence in order to harvest ideas that become worthy projects.
This brand of mindfulness isn't always easy—if creativity has not heretofore provided a vehicle for re-manufacturing our sorrow, pain or anger, we may experience all sorts of new, uncomfortable ideas! However, allowing every part of our lives, including our laundry lists, home-improvement projects and fights with our spouse, to be catalyzed by our creativity yields a greater appreciation of the present moment as a space in which to create. And since the ideas that come this way come from all of our being, they often turn out to be richer, deeper, and more fully realized.
When the muse visits you, rejoice. But if you make a promise to yourself to act as a catalyst, you may very well experience a creative chemistry beyond your wildest imagination.
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.
When you Create, Start from Where you Are
by Dave Storer
The above seems obvious: "How could I possibly start from anywhere else?"
But often we have a hard time admitting to the reality of where we are now as creators.
If we invest a significant part of our ego in our creative identity, then we may feel we should be a lot better at it right now than, possibly, we are. When we do sit down to create, we expect—maybe even need—what comes out to be wonderful. And if it isn't, we go into crisis mode and we question our identities as creators. Doubt starts to grow like an evil mushroom in some dark damp place in our heart. And we stop creating.
Many of us seem to have an unexamined belief that we either are an artist/writer/actor etc. or we aren't. And the only way to find out whether we are is to create Just One Thing. If that one thing is awful, then we aren't the real deal and we have to quit. If it's great (or at least very good), and especially if someone in a position of authority (a teacher or editor or gallery owner, etc.) says it's good, then we are the real deal and we get to be the creator we always dreamed of being.
There is, I have to admit, some value to this sort of a test. We all do vary as to how good we are at certain tasks. Past experiences and genetic predispositions will contribute to how well we do certain things. And it makes real sense to go into an art that we're already very good at, especially an art we may be showing special talent for. It will be easier for us.
But still, don't confuse who you are (as a creator) with where you are in the process of becoming a creator. Let me make this very clear: Creators are Not Born, We are Made. Made by creating. A lot of creating.
The essential truth is that you and I are creators right now in all our glory as well as all our current limitations. Start here, start now. Create from where you are.
As a creativity coach, Dave Storer focuses on helping writers and other creators establish effective and satisfying creative practices. Check his site, www.thecreativitycatalyst.com
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
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. "
- 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.
Congratulations to Gloria Nelson, CCA's newest Certified Creativity Coach
The Creativity Coaching Association is pleased to recognize Gloria Nelson as a recently certified creativity coach. As a visionary, Gloria is energized and excited to be associated with this organization of creative change agents. She actively practices being the creative change she wants to see in the world. She is passionate about supporting creative development in others.
Her philosophy strongly incorporates a belief that through creativity we can have an impact for good in world. Gloria believes when we are born a creative light enters the world. She works with individuals to help them shine their creative light brightly.
Gloria's practice of creativity coaching blends a mindful, heartfelt, and practical approach that enables people to reconnect to their personal creative aspirations in a fulfilling, fun, and focused way.
In addition to personal creativity coaching, as owner of Creative Play Date™ since May, 2006, Gloria shares creative insight and fun through hosting creative play dates for groups of people in her local area.
Gloria fulfills her creative expression through playing the piano, painting, collage, writing and public speaking. She synthesizes learning from many diverse sources. As an avid reader of non-fiction subjects, ranging from creativity, organization development, spirituality and myth to name a few, Gloria broadens her knowledge. Through many years of studying and practicing Tarot along with several years of participation with a dream group, Gloria enriches her intuition and inspiration in order to benefit her clients.
Gloria Nelson is based in Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains in the USA. You may reach her via email at email@example.com or via her website www.creativeplaydate.com . She is available to work with clients via phone, e-mail, or in person. She is also available to speak about aspects for creativity for your organization.
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the June 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information.