The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the September issue of Creativity Calling!
Here in the United States, for many of us, September heralds change—changes in our weather, landscapes and activities. It's back to school time!
As we restructure our lives from season to season, each of us can choose to say "Yes" to changes and in doing so, more fully embrace our creative selves! One thing I've found helpful through the years is scheduling a chunk of "me" time for an inventory and some honest self-assessment at the beginning of each new season.
I've tucked one of my favorite poems, "The Comfort Zone", into the newsletter this month. The author is unknown but he/she describes a place creative folks recognize!
The goal of this newsletter is to support and inspire your creative work. Personally, I can hardly wait to read the newsletter articles written by CCA's creativity coaches each month. I hope they speak to your life and work as well!
As always, if you have comments or suggestions for future newsletter topics, we want your input. Keep sending us that great feedback!
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
Free Fallin'—Are you resisting the fall season?
By Kathleen Gilday
Some of us hang onto summer with all our might. Clinging to our flip flops, wearing shorts until Columbus Day, we resist giving up the warmth of the summer. It is, after all, as much a state of mind as it is a season.
Summer allows us to fill our creative wells with salty trips to the beach, smoky ribs on the grill, and wind swept boat rides. Now it's time to brace ourselves—or rather, embrace ourselves for a new season. As that back-to-school attitude descends, don't be like the kindergarten kid, kicking and screaming.
Instead, open yourself up to change ( isn't that what it's all about anyway?) and try these tips:
- Go back-to-school shopping (even if you're not going back) : What do you need for your art? How about a new set of paintbrushes or a colorful journal? Refresh your supplies and at the very least, treat yourself to a new pad of stick-it notes, just for fun.
- Reunite with your favorite classmates (OK, they don't have to be classmates) : Get in touch with friends who support—or inspire—your creative life. Better yet, make a new creative friend. Go visit that fabric store, talk to the lady in the bead shop, or sign up for that dance class.
- What did you do over summer vacation? Remember that writing prompt? Try it for real. Write about your experiences.
Translate your summer into your art. Is there a seascape watercolor in you? Or a summer romance novel waiting to be written? Capture your summer experiences into your art.
- Don't forget recess: A quick fifteen minute escape outdoors might be just the trick to rejuvenate your senses.
So, feel free to keep your seashells on your desk, but be willing to invite the fall season into your life. With it comes the beautiful colors of change. Let yourself be a part of it. 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
You are a Well-Spring of Creativity
By Beth Barany
Call it free writing, splash writing, flash writing, brain dumping, or brainstorming. Or warming up, letting it all hang out. It does not matter what you call it. What matters is that it works for any kind of artist. It frees up the mind and the hand, and prepares you for the work ahead.
The act of free writing or sketching generates ideas, emotions, thoughts, feelings and images that tug at your heart and rouse you to laugh, cry, shout, or sing. And to vision. Though you may not know why you need to write or draw, or what your thoughts will morph into, as a first step, it is the act of writing, or putting color on the page, that is important.
The power of this kind of fast and loose work is that it generates a positive YES into your mind and soul.
Name the Unnamable
Free writing, free-form movement, and doodling says YES to your subconscious, and YES to pouring forth and naming what was before unnamable, primarily your feelings, fears, hopes and dreams, and mental pictures. So you can name, examine, share and release.
The Well Overflows
Free-form creating says YES to your infinite well-spring of creativity because every time, and I mean every time, you say YES to your infinite well-spring of creativity—by writing down a line, a word, a phrase, drawing a face, gesturing a movement—you're telling your subconscious to send you MORE.
The more you allow your creative ideas to flow, and the more you act on the creative thoughts and images by recording them as they arrive, the more they will zoom into your mind, pouring out of you like a crashing waterfall at high spring, fat with the snow melt.
Free up Brain Space
Contrary to the niggling worry that you are wasting your time, your freedom at the flash creating stage actually releases the static of worry. Because you're clearing out the debris in the closet of your mind, you can better hear your intuition and creative mind whenever it shows up.
Lastly, free-form creating, whether on the page or in three-dimensions, feels good. Otherwise why do it? Besides that, it's fun! Fun to move pen across paper, fingers across keyboard, or ink across canvas.
It is part of the care and feeding of your soul. You are taking care of yourself. Congratulations!
Beth Barany is a book coach and creativity coach for writers in Oakland, California. www.bethbarany.com
The Comfort Zone
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I couldn't fail.
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The same four walls and busy work were really more like jail.
I longed, so much, to do the things I'd never done before;
But I stayed inside my "comfort zone" and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much
I said I didn't care for things like diamond rings and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone:
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath and stepped outside to let the change begin!
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone good-bye and closed and locked the door.
If you are in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Greet your future with a smile, success is there for you!!
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 Dave Storer, CCA's newest Certified Coach!
So many of us are dying to create, but we just don't. I know how hard it is to be a thwarted creator.
Studying to be a creativity coach through CCA, I've learned so much. All my jammed up passion and purpose and creative enthusiasm have exploded into meaningful creative work.
It's an incredible feeling and I want to share it. I'll start right now. Here is the one "secret" that has helped me more than anything else:
—Do anything and everything you can to get into the present moment. That is where our creativity lives and grows. Most of the time we are somewhere else—obsessively replaying past events or worrying about the future.
Remember this: the present is always available to us.
Stop reading right now and start sensing what's around you. Take in the sounds. Really see what is in your field of vision. What can you smell? What are you feeling—both on the surface and inside?
Now, bring yourself to your creative work.
But of course, that's when the anxieties emerge. We may start telling ourselves: "This is no good . . . It's was a terrible idea . . . I'm a bad writer . . . I hate myself." And then, to relieve this stress, we back away from a full and present engagement with the creative process. Maybe we return to a much less stressful activity like planning, which is often little more than a fantasy substitute for real creating, or maybe we compulsively reread and copy edit what we've already written.
There is only one way to deal with this: Come back into the creative moment.
Your work won't bite you. The dangers are over-stated. Our anxieties are like Oz behind the curtain—huge, scary effects blinding us to the old, weak, and vulnerable causes behind them.
Come again into the creative moment. That's where the work gets done and our joy unfolds.
That's what my coaching is about: I help my clients clear away what may seem like daunting obstacles to get deeper and deeper into the creative moment, unthwart themselves and become the creator they've always dreamed of being.
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. Don't forget the "the"!
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
Beginning in September 2007!
"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.