The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the November issue of
During the month of November as Americans
celebrate Thanksgiving many of us are asked,
"What are you most grateful, or thankful, for?"
Personally, I'm thankful for the ability and
privilege I have to make choices. Each day I
can choose how to express myself creatively
and fashion a meaningful life filled with
joy. And isn't that something we all deserve?
What is it that you most want to create in
your life? It's there for you. Do you believe
It's a joy for me to work as a creativity
coach and with the creative, caring coaches
who belong to the Creativity Coaching
Association. I know you'll enjoy some of the
great tips shared in this month's
newslettertips for tapping into your
Know that we are thankful for you…our
readers. Have a great holiday and remember
to keep sending CCA your feedback and suggestions.
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
Give thanks, get ideas
An artistic "gratitude check" can stir creativity
By Liz Massey
We're only a few weeks away from what I consider one of America's most misunderstood holidaysThanksgiving Day. We know the popular cultural ingredients for a successful celebration: turkey, football and parades. But what exactly are we celebrating?
Gratitude. Thanksgiving is just a fancy, old-fashioned word for gratitude. As the days grow shorter and cooler, it's the perfect time to appreciate the year's "harvest" of emotional, social, physical, mental and spiritual assets, whether those assets were provided to us or were generated by our own efforts. Appreciative explorations can be particularly useful for artists. Try performing this gratitude check this month and see how it affects your creative momentum.
- Describe in writing one of your artistic "peak experiences"perhaps a moment when you felt completely "in flow" with a project, or the moment you completed a significant, satisfying piece of work.Now, look for the root causes of your success. What did you do to make this happen? If others played a part, how did you engage their help? Be detailed in your answer.Repeat this exercise using several other creative peak experiences.You're now ready to map your positive core, that part of you that represents reliable strengths, enthusiasms and skills. To find your positive core, look for patterns between phrases, themes or concepts you use to describe your peak experiences.
- After discovering your positive core, you may choose to represent it in a more visual way, by creating a mind-map, a cartoon, a collage, etc. Or you may want to express your new insights through soundperhaps creating an audio journal entry or penning a song to crystallize the learning for you.
Flexing our appreciative muscles until they have grown strong can lift us through creative doldrums and can encourage us to see the glass of our creative world as half-full, rather than half-empty. It's easier to dream of better creative days ahead when we ground those dreams in a history of remembered positive achievements and a vision of all the good things we are carrying forward with us.
Liz Massey is a professional editor and creativity coach whose coaching practice, Creative Liberty, is located in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Tap into your Creative Abundance
By Dave Storer
I love the image of a cornucopia of creativityfrom nothing grows a burgeoning horn of plenty pouring forth an exotic jumble of all our creations. That would make a heck of a centerpiece.
And I know it's possible; we all are capable of an amazing creative profusion.How can we make it a reality this Thanksgiving season?
Step One: Totally immerse yourself in what you love. A recent newspaper article recounts how Joni Mitchell got past a ten-year music-making block. She said she stopped watching television all the time and spent six months listening to "everything that ever gave me a major buzz" from classical music, to rock and jazz and folk. Do as Joni did and simply immerse yourself in what you love. This feeds your creative side. And what you feed grows bigger. And it will grow until something simply has to burst forth.
Joni Mitchell says she was at her cottage on the coast of British Columbia one evening. "I could see the Pacific Ocean rolling in, a blue heron flying overhead, seals sprawling in the kelp, wild roses blooming." The moment so inspired her, she went right inside and started creating a new piece that she came to call "One Night Last Summer."
Step Two: Be ready for just such a spark as Joni describeda thought, feeling, or ideaa deep crystallization that makes you go, "Yes!" It doesn't have to be a huge, dramatic thing, just an internal "yes" that makes you want to go immediately to your notebook or sketch pad or piano.
Step Three: is to build on that initial "yes" as they do in improvisational theatre: Say to yourself, "Yes, and?" What's next? What new thing grows from what's come before? At this point, there are no mistakes because there is no "No." There is "Yes" and there is "and?"
In improv, rule number one is "Do not deny the other person." If the first person says, "I am a tree," the second person is prohibited from saying, "No, you're not, you're a republican." The issue isn't whether that's funny or not. The issue is that denying kills creativity. The more you are able to keep negative judgments out of the first stages of your process, the more you will unleash your creative cornucopia.It's absolutely in your power.
Dave Storer is a certified creativity coach who focuses on helping writers and other creators establish effective and satisfying creative practices. Check his site, www.thecreativitycatalyst.com Don't forget the "the"!
Making Space for Going Deeper
By Catherine Mellinger
Winter is an invitation. It is an invitation to go deeper, to take what the summer and fall have brought forth in our lives and hibernate with them. It is an invitation to create a nurturing environment for us to rest and rejuvenate, let thoughts settle, let inspiration deepen.
Thus, we must prepare our dens and create a safe space in which we can go deeper. In doing so, we create an environment in which our ground can become fertile to spring forth blossoms of inspiration and action in the spring.
How can we make space? Here are a few ideas to consider. . .
Clean up and organize. . .
- Look at the space in which you work or rest; your home or studio. What can be put away or discarded? Get rid of things that do not inspire you or have not been used over the year, as these things merely clutter our surroundings.
- Start a new journal or treat yourself to some new boxes in which you can put thoughts of future projects, thoughts on existing projects, dreams and aspirations.
Check for drains. . .
- Are there people or projects that are draining you? Write them down and ask yourself if you can let them go or simply take a break from them. Be aware of what is taking away your energy.
Choose your "cubs" . . .
- Ask yourself what 2-3 projects deserve your attention; deserve to be nurtured during the winter season.
Be vocal . . .
- Allow those close to you to know that you are making space for yourself. Ask for their support and help.
Nurture yourself . . .
- Stay warm, eat well, take walks and take notes of what you are feeling or experiencing as the world around you chills.
- Discover the things that bring you joy in moments of stillness. The icicles on windows, a memory of a past winter, the warmth of a mug of hot chocolate.
Most importantly, give yourself permission! We are beings of our surroundings, so if the earth is taking her rest, going under her blanket, then so can we! Indulge in you this winter. Fertilize the ground for the blossoms that wait to be kissed by the sun in the spring.
Catherine Mellinger is a visual artist and creativity coach to visual artists. She resides in Toronto, Canada. She can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. " --Mark Twain
- 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 Karen I-Kemper, New CCA Certified Coach
An Occupational therapist for more than twenty years, Karen was able to interview clients and used creative media to aid finding solutions.
" My experiences taught me the following:
- Creative people who are not creating feel incomplete.
- Planned risks can lead to exceptional creative growth.
- Keeping balance fluid in your life can create renewable fertile ground.
"I wanted to reach a larger audience. Becoming a Creativity Coach gave me the chance to alert people to something greater inside themselves." Well versed in a variety of visual arts media and excited about the written word, Karen uses bookbinding and visual journaling, while educating clients about the creative process. She believes that creatives are usually not given enough encouragement and guidance. Karen makes this a priority with her clients. "Understanding one's own relationship with emotions, goal setting, and intrinsic motivators can make a huge difference." Karen has noted that her coaches can experience a breakthrough quickly and "then the fun begins!".
"My intention as a Coach is to shine a light on what might normally be seen as ordinaryto observe how in daily life we express ourselves and our creativity. Once you do this, every choice we make is potentially a creative one. Whether you don a colorful pair of socks , invent a new menu with leftovers, or innovate change at the office, creativity is about choice." What will you choose today?
Karen I-Kemper can be reached at 631 828-2487 or at email@example.com
Special Book Offer
If 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
"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 November 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.