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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the August issue of Creativity Calling!

We've received several requests lately asking our coaches to address the special challenges many face over the summer months—that of keeping one's creative focus. So this month we have some light-hearted articles from which we hope you'll not only glean helpful tips but that you'll just plain old enjoy.

Fall is approaching and I'm excited to share we currently have oodles of creative people from 18 different states and 3 Canadian provinces registered to attend CCA's first Creativity Conference on October 4-5, 2008 in Lake George, New York. Writers, singers, visual artists, dancers, performers, creative entrepreneurs ...

I'd like you to imagine being immersed in a sea of like-minded creative spirits, all coming together specifically to learn, grow, play and network. The place is Lake George, New York and the event is Creativity: Let It Be Life—The 1st Annual International Creativity Conference sponsored by the Creativity Coaching Association! Have you reserved your seat? Creativity coaches Paula, Elizabeth and Diane—this month's newsletter contributors—will all be there along with so many others. Plan now to fill your creative well! For all the details, go to www.creativityconference2008.com

One last note, if you have a significant other (or family) that could use a weekend get-away, bring them with you because the same weekend as the CCA creativity conference, Lake George also has a great music festival slated—www.lakegeorgebluesblast.zoomshare.com, and the community includes lots of fun play areas for kids during events too. Along with the beauty of fall in the Adirondack Mountains, the stage is set for a magical time!

Please continue to write us with your questions and areas of interest—we love your input!

All the best,
Beverly Down

Beverly Down, President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association

The Muses vs. the Sirensmatisse

by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia

Writing at my laptop, I look out the window at my backyard and see several overgrown flowerbeds.

"Go out and weed," urges a Siren in my ear.

"Don't listen! Deadlines loom! And you want to work on that paranormal romance, especially that scene with the hunky hero."

"Stuff it, Muse. C'mon outside, Paula..."

Sigh! In my studio, I have a ringside seat to the Sirens versus the Muses.

You know the Sirens—luscious, lovely, hypnotic singers that lure sailors to destruction on the rocks—and artists from their studios

Once, they challenged their sisters, the Muses, to a singing contest—and lost, and were thereby stripped of their wings. But Sirens just don't give up. I'm sure you hear them in your creative space singing about play and pleasure, about fun and reward.

Muses sing about those tempting things too. Okay, they sing about work, commitment, and solitude. But they sing about fun and those other things, too...Right?

Hey, doesn't it feel like play when we are in the flow of our creativity? Like whooping up and down in the roller coaster, with our hair blown back in our faces, and our breath caught in our lungs? And when we get to the end, don't we feel a sense of accomplishment and reward? A "Whew! I made it!" feeling that is so powerful that when we get out of the coaster we feel like our feet barely touch the earth?

To repeat that ride and to help your Muses win their battle with the Sirens, create a ritual that invites the Muses into your creative space and drowns out the luring voices of the Sirens. Play your favorite music, light candles or incense, plug in a fountain, as a signal to your Muses that you are ready and waiting.

To ensure the Sirens' silence, bribe, er... promise them beforehand to periodically take a break to play—to treat yourself with a piece (or two) of dark chocolate, to talk to a friend, or to spend time in the garden. Then be satisfied if they hum softly.

As for me, I wrote this piece, so the score in my studio is: Muse 1, Sirens 0. But the day is young yet...

Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, award-winning author of Weaving a Woman's Life, uses dreams, myths, and the tarot to help others weave a creative life www.weavingthedream.com.

Summertime... and the Livin' is Easy?
by Elizabeth Downes, MA

Gili Air pool view
Summertime is one of Mother Nature's finest seasons. She bursts forth with beauty and abundance reminding us that creativity is a vital part of The Plan. While summer is a favorite time of the year, for lots of Creatives, it does reek havoc with our productivity. What's the deal?

For Creatives, one of the greatest stressors of summer can be a constantly changing schedule. Predictable creativity is enhanced by a predictable schedule. Summer, however, invites us to kick up our heels and play. It invites us to vacation. School's out, kids are home—let's do something NOW! So, what's the plan for continuing The Plan?

Firstly, have a plan. Prime your creative pump by the tried and true methods that keep you on track. One example would be to re-commit your goals to paper. Keep a daily log by your bed and jot down what you accomplished today and what you intend to accomplish tomorrow. Review this intention when you wake up in the morning. This simple practice will help you stay focused, and writing goals down on paper really does affect the outcome.

Secondly, gear down, remain flexible, and enjoy yourself. This is also referred to as, "going with the flow," "what you resist persists," or the ever-favorite, "Hey, relax man, it's summer." Make a decision to enjoy each and every day.Stop and literally smell the roses, they're gorgeous! Gratitude will put a smile on your face and lighten your spirit.

Finally, work your plan. Okay, this is where the gloves come off. Make a commitment to accomplish your goals. You may find yourself getting up earlier or staying up later, putting your kids with a sitter, or working shorter hours, but you must make it happen. You will find yourself less frustrated and able to keep a positive state of mind if you will plan your work and work your plan. Summer-on, Dude!

Elizabeth Downes, MA, is a Creativity Coach who assists clients ready to discover and develop their unique, artistic voice—and share it with the world. You can reach her at Eadownes@gmail.com Or see her CCA business profile.

Celebrating the Small Steps
by Diane Eastham

SunEver have one of those days, when you'd like to do something creative but don't have a lot of time or energy? Consider keeping a list of creativity-related activities that interest you and choose a small task from it... you know, those things you would like to do, that keep losing out to the bigger priorities in life.

For me this weekend, that meant sorting through my paint bin. I removed and cleaned out the empties, putting them out for recycling, then made a list of colors I need and taped it to the bin. My shopping list is ready the next time the paints go on sale and I won't waste any more time searching for a bottle that actually contains paint. This was just the right task to get me back on track after teaching a week-long art class that left me pleasantly tired and needing to put my studio back in order. I felt very satisfied crossing it off my list and that revived my creative energy.

Clearing out the clutter, cleaning and repairing the tools of our craft, eliminating what no longer works...these tasks are not nearly as dramatic as finishing a piece, performing a new work, or opening a new show. Nevertheless they are important steps in the creative process, just as much to be honored and celebrated as the more dramatic ones.

So next time you are in the mood to be creative and just want something small to work on, consult your list. Then check out that website, contact someone who's work inspires you, watch a DVD related to your work, sharpen your tools, go browsing in that great new shop. Every creative step we complete, however small, paves the way for the next one. Let us recognize the unsung tasks we accomplish each day as part of our dedication to our creative process. It's these steps that light the way to our larger endeavors and keep us on track as we journey towards them.

Diane Eastham brings many years of experience to her work as a Creativity Coach, Writer, Educator and Mentor — www.dianeeastham.com.

New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes Beginning in September 2008!

"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.

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 over 50 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in nearly 100 different specialties.

Read this Book and Get Motivated

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.

Special Offer: $12.75 + $6.00 Shipping = $18.75 (Note: This offer is good only for copies to be mailed within the United States. It does not apply to copies to be mailed to Canada or overseas. If you live outside the United States, please email rickbenzel@msn.com to find out how much your postage costs will be.)

Click here to purchase a copy now.

Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the August 2008 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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