The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the December issue of Creativity Calling!
This month our coaches bring forth an abundance of articles presenting fresh and positive perspectives—gifts for you and our world during these challenging days.
Embracing changes in our thinking is always a great starting point. When an inspiring idea resonates within us, we must step forward to take action, letting old beliefs that don't serve us well fall away and instead, replacing them with new habits that propel us in the direction of being the person we are meant to be.
Do know: each CCA creativity coach is here to support and empower you in accomplishing your goals and creative dreams! There will never be another you. You are unique. And so, I encourage each of us to be "present" this season, to allow others and ourselves to give the gift of abundant love and creativity. You are a gift and the hope for a better world!
Continue to write us with your questions and areas of interest—we love your input!
With Holiday Cheer,
Beverly Down, President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
Gifts of the Season
by Diane Eastham
Winter arrived early this year here where I live in Canada. Snow began falling mid-November and hasn't stopped since. As the light faded and the days grayed, the economic news proved just as challenging. Fortunately, the great pleasures in life remain close to hand for all of us. The simplest things remind us what holds true in our lives. Whatever the climate, our creativity is an ever-renewable source of joy and inspiration,as are the people, places and things we cherish.
This season, when I am in need of peace, I will look no further than my own garden. The still-green rhododendron leaves peaking out from under the blanket of snow hold a promise: even as the earth rests, it prepares for growth. I can allow myself to honour this timeless wisdom, understanding my creativity cycles as the seasons do. I will appreciate the gift of each day I have been given, walking out in the wind and snow, knowing that being anchored in my creative practice shelters me from adversity, just as the deeply-rooted rhododendrons are sheltered by the fence protecting them from winter's icy blast.
And this season, I will take pleasure in my family and friends—the relationships that sustain me and the people I love best. I will exercise my creative energies on their behalf, taking the concrete steps to tell them what they mean to me, to let them know I am aware I have allowed myself to be swept away from them in the whirlwind of everyday tasks. This season, with its cold, short days and longer nights, I will honor and appreciate the people I care about, and visit in person wherever possible. Each gift I give will be an expression of my creativity and a token of my abiding affection. I will remember the value in a gift of time—perhaps an offer to babysit, or take an elderly person shopping—tucked in a small box and gift-wrapped in hand-painted paper, something to honor both giver and recipient.
And finally, this season, I will give myself the gift of time to do some reflective journaling about my own creative practice. I will think about the path I have traveled this past year, appreciating all it has brought me. And I will allow myself to dream just a little about where I'd like to venture next.
~ Diane Eastham brings many years of experience to her work as a Creativity Coach,Writer, Educator and Mentor - www.dianeeastham.com
Painting A Bigger Self-Picture
by John MacDonald
In the early 1900s, the railroads were king. They ignored the development of the automobile because they believed they were in the railroad business. They were wrong. They were in the transportation business. And the new highway system nearly destroyed them.
Are you, too, hurting your creative self by blindly adhering to self-images and labels? Are you ignoring a bigger and better picture?
Everyone creates self-labels. We're biologically hardwired to do it. It's normal. Labels give us security and a sense of control. They shape our identity and give us a place in society. They describe what we do. But far too often they can become rigid walls that determine what we do. They can limit our ability to discover new ways of working, scare us away from exploring something new and unknown, and blind us to a larger, more creative worldview. An artist wedded to the concept of himself as a "portrait painter" may be reluctant to move beyond that media and subject matter simply because he has invested so much of his sense of identity in that label.
For labels to serve rather than limit us, it's vital that we come to know them. Dig into the darkness of yourself with the light of self-awareness:
1. List the phrases you use to describe yourself and your work.
2. Consider each phrase. Ask yourself how you would feel, act, and create if you let go of that label. Pay particular attention to your body—if you feel physical tension or an uncomfortable emotional reaction when you imagine yourself moving beyond a specific label, it's likely that label is an important part of your sense of identity. Don't criticize yourself for that fact, simply note it: this label is very important to you.
3. After finding your most cherished labels, expand them. For instance, if you're a "traditional oil landscape painter," can you begin thinking of yourself as an "oil painter," or just a "painter?" If you can enlarge your self-image, perhaps you'll be more open to painting abstractly, or working in acrylics or even nontraditional materials. Then imagine how much more your world would open up if you settled on "visual artist" as your label?
How large can you make your labels? How far can you stretch the boundary of your identity? Imagine saying simply, "I'm someone who creates." Wouldn't that be freeing? Wouldn't that feel wonderful?
~ John MacDonald is a freelance illustrator, painter, and creativity coach, who specializes in working with visual artists and particularly around issues of anxiety andfear. His website is www.thecreativewell.com © 2008
Listening As Artists of Our Live
by Elizabeth Clontz
The zing of creativity enlivens my body, my being. I love its flow into me as inspiration, its flow forth from me as creation—whether as a poem, an illustration, a song, deep listening, or a gathering.
My life becomes my largest, most glorious work of art. I take all the energies in my life playing with them as I might words, paint, or clay.
Keeping this channel clear is of utmost importance. I believe energy as a whole desires to flow to a greater space of expansion and well-being.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight as a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin
I first saw this quote on a greeting card years ago while undergoing some especially strong attention-mongering growing pains in my life.
Stress and discomfort in life call for our consideration. They are clues that some aspect of our lives needs our care in order to shift to a place of greater blossoming.
My spirit had been whispering to me to make some changes.
"No. Wanh. I don't wanna. It's ___________" [insert your excuses of choice: too hard, too scary, etc...]
I didn't make the adjustments. Resistance led to more stuck energy. Life felt harder. I felt more and more out of sorts. My spirit, my body, my life, spoke louder and louder in an attempt to get my attention. By the time I saw the quote on the card, they were screaming at me. My lifeforce was depleted, siphoned away by rebellious inner struggle.
This journey started with my intuition gently calling for me to make a little shift in my life here, a little tweak there; to surrender, to listen. To follow inspired action. To step further into the blossoming on my higher path.
Winter itself invites introspection: going within to listen beneath all the layers of fear and distractions; peeling away internal and external messages covering the whisperings of the still, small voice; breathing; ferreting out the tidings of any high-pitched hollers; listening for revelation; gathering comfort-bestowing supports for taking inspired action.
We are all called to places of greater and greater blossoming.
I decided that I can live life from a place of fear or from a place of love, gentleness, and joy.
Which feels better to you?
What is your still, small voice whispering (or screaming) today?
~ As a creativity coach Elizabeth Clontz companions creatives in diving deep to explore and live from the dance of their authentic self, the Divine, their joy, and the creative process. Her website is www.wyldavia.com
New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes Begining in 2009
Life is not about finding yourself...
Life is about Creating yourself. " ~ E.W. Wilcox
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.
By Elizabeth Downes
For most of us in the United States, this time of year involves celebrations including giving and receiving. It's a time to review and renew. It's a season full of symbols and, presents. Yippee!
This year, why not imbue the term "Season's Greetings" with an additional, creative meaning? You could begin a new Season of Creativity and Greet it with a few gift possibilities from yourself, to yourself. You and your clients may fall in love with the results.
First, you could give yourself a new, upgraded toolkit, designed for the Creative you are today. Hmmm, what do you now need? What will advance your skills? What will motivate and assist you to define and further your Creative Purpose?
Secondly, what do you want to accomplish in this creative season? How about gifting yourself with a Vision Board to clarify your goals? What will yours look like and where will you hang it so you will see it on a daily basis? What pictures will you put on your vision board that represents who you are now, where you want to go with your creativity, and how it will be expressed during this productive season? Don't be shy, cut those pictures out of magazines and newspapers, grab those headlines and get your dreams visible!
Yeah, Yeah, So What? (Grinch Alert!) So what? When your heart hears the voice of your talent, unique in its interpretations, it knows there will never be another one like it in all time. Your Creativity deserves to be experienced. When your heart sees that others also need your art to help them symbolize meaning in their own lives, your heART will grow and grow and grow. Season's Greetings!
~ Elizabeth Downes, MA is a Coach U graduate, ICF member and Certified Creativity Coach. She specializes in assisting clients to bring forth and communicate their unique artistic purpose.You can reach her at Eadownes@gmail.com Or see her CCA business profile.
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 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
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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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the December 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information.