The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the August issue of Creativity Calling!
This month I've heard several folks say they're a bit anxious. I'm not surprised because we can all relate. One's entire being responds when growing inner panic whispers (or shouts) things like, "Summer is almost over and you still have so many things you need/want to do!"
During these instances, I've found it helpful to pause and take a few deep breaths. I ask myself, "What is it that I most want to create?" I truly believe that each and every moment I have the opportunity to choose what will make me most happy. I am constantly re- creating myself and that is meant to be a joyful experience. That's why it is called recreation. We can have some fun with this, can't we?
This month our Creativity Coaches offer up great ideas for how we can stay in the present moment by utilizing the powerful tools of gratitude and play. Each of us can determine to make the time to give thanks often and tap into our inner joy through playfulness. How do we perceive our precious time on this earth? Each of us has own our unique way of shining our light and of honoring ourselves. When we honor ourselves, we give others permission and inspiration to do the same!
After reading the newsletter, take a few minutes and check out the websites of our August contributing coaches (website links found at the end of each article). Also, in this month's newsletter you'll find a link to the CCA's first Creativity Coaching E-book. It's a delightful, beneficial read offering rare insights into how Creativity Coaching partnerships are transforming lives.
Please continue to write us with your questions and areas of interest—we love your input!
Beverly Down, President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
Encouraging Joy and Relief With the Smallest Step
by Quinn McDonald
The 3 x 5 index cards are always in my purse. They are in a tidy handmade Tyvek folder, blank cards on one side, written-on cards on the other. A colorful elastic holds the small folder closed and the cards in place. The cards are important—they carry moments of relief and joy also known as gratitude.
Why do I carry them? Because I need them. When life comes at you in a steady stream bumping over a rocky path, carrying gratitude in a convenient way to be ready for it. The cards are a reminder to pay attention, to be ready to see the shred of hope that eases pain, the glimmer of humor that lightens a burden.
Carrying a gratitude journal prepares you to be grateful. When you write down an incident, thought, or deed, you record a piece of good news and prepare yourself to wait for the next one. More aware, you notice and experience more gratitude. You can't start using a gratitude journal without becoming more aware and consequently more grateful.
Why the loose cards? I date each one, and during a quiet moment in the week, I'll sort through the cards and see which days were filled with moments of awareness and which were not. I can see if there is a place, a time, a person who generates that joy. That's the place I want to be. That's the person I want to spend time with.
If there is a day with no gratitude entries, I'll check the calendar and see what was going on that day. The simple act of carrying a way to record gratitude makes you more aware and ready to reach for gratitude. It's an interesting point from which to view the world and your life.
~Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach, writer and business trainer. See her business work at QuinnCreative.com and her art at raw-art-journals.com
What's the Point of Play?
by John MacDonald
Most of us have had the experience of struggling with a problem and being told by another to "just play with it." That simple expression hides a profound truth about the importance of play.
We all know the importance of work. Working creatively often requires us to engage in goal-driven and focused activities that uses the mind and its ability to judge and analyze. But far too often that's all we do—think and work. We are a society so obsessed with the work ethic that we have become suspicious of any activity that makes us feel happy. We've forgotten that work created without play is often soulless, grim, and hard. Particularly because of our cultural bias towards work, we need to be able to play. Play balances work.
Play provides a space in which creativity thrives. Creativity flourishes when we're on our edge, out of our comfort zone and out of our spheres of knowledge. But being in the unknown frightens us. We react to this fear in two ways: we identify with it and freeze or flee, or we accept our discomfort and engage the unknown. The most effective way to embrace the unknown is through play. Why? Because play takes us out of ourselves, out of our habitual patterns of judging ourselves and others, and out of our automatically triggered scripts of negative thinking. When we're truly playing, we're suspending all judgment of our work and ourselves. We are in a space free of right and wrong, good or bad. There is a lightness and a joy in our activity.
Which brings us to the most important reason for play—joy. If we scratch the surface of any of our creative blocks, we'll find fear. Fear is the foundation on which stands all of the ways we resist creating to our potential. But play is rooted in joy—and joy and fear are incompatible. When we're filled with the joy of playing, there's no room for fear. It is in the state of play that we learn the truth about fear and discover that we can live with it and manage it. And as we become more accustomed to playing fearlessly, we can begin working fearlessly.
Try it. The next time fear is becoming a problem in your work, just play with it.
~John MacDonald is a freelance illustrator, painter, and certified creativity coach, who specializes in working with visual artists and particularly around issues of anxiety and fear. To learn more, visit www.thecreativewell.com © 2009
by Karen I-Kemper
The Time Traveler's Wife opens in theatres this mid-August. The movie based on the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger is the story of a young couple's courtship. The telling of their relationship is shared in disjointed yet poignant moments flipping back and forth through their lives as if tossing through the pages of an old journal. The time traveler does what he must do bouncing in between the experiences and memories of his life and meaning, past and future in the weaving of the tale.
We cannot be much different than the heroic time traveler of Niffenegger's captivating novel. Though I have never stepped into the inventive time machine once envisioned by Jules Verne, I have been thwarted by dark backward glances into my past and also soothed by snippets of joyfulness that were playful or telling-moments of connectedness in which I could years later, traveling into my future recognize, "Oh, this is what that meant". I could follow the threads, the story lines, and finally see meaningfulness with enough time. How Niffenegger's traveler differs perhaps, is that he is living everyday consciously aware of his experience. Adeptly aware of the challenge of befriending Time. And Choice. If I could revisit a moment from my own history, which would it be?
I recently learned that the ancient Greeks had two words for describing Time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos being the structured and linear sense of time; Kairos being spontaneous, fluid, mysterious and surprising. Kairos then, the measurement of time experienced by artists, writers, musicians—the time in which one can be lost. It is nice to know we have options.
Which time will I choose today? Which moments will I relive or review? How will I project my desired visions into the future? Today I hold minutes and hours in my hands. Chronos, Kairos, which? If I am to befriend Time and choose wisely how do I change my impression of its hold on my every day?
Whether you appreciate reading or watching movies, here are some forays into the elusive search for our good friend Time. Give yourself the pleasure of a minute. OK, starting from...now.
Movies: The Final Countdown, Back to the Future, The Butterfly Effect, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, The Time Machine.
Books: The Time Traveler's Wife, Kafka on the Shore by Murakami, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
~Karen I-Kemper is a certified creativity coach and therapist for over 20 years. She attempts to think, share, and make art daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes
Beginning October 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.
New CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book is here!
Forward by Gail McMeekin, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
Author of The Power of Positive Choices and Boost Your Creativity, Productivity, and Profits in 21 Steps
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed 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 70 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.
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 email@example.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 2009 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.