The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the May issue of Creativity Calling!
This month's newsletter articles remind me of a tenet of philosophers throughout the ages: "know thyself", they've said, each time highlighting the role self-awareness plays in fulfilling our highest potential.
I love the simplicity and lightness of the messages in May's newsletter and the emphasis on this topic. The Creativity Coaching Association's Catherine, Steve, Brecia and Darby encourage us to assess our perceptions about creativity and about living creatively. How do we define ourselves as artists? Are we willing to embrace play as an integral part of creativity? To what extent do we honor our own unique energy rhythms and flow?
Spring is a wonderful season to nurture our own creative growth. I marvel at how "little things" in life, including small shifts in thinking, can usher in monumental change!
Be on the lookout for an email later this month sharing all the details concerning the CCA's Fall 2010 Creativity Conference (to be held October 15-17, 2010 in Lake George, New York). The conference, Creativity: Let it be Life, is a celebration and opportunity to grow our creativity. We hope you will join us!
Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues. And as always, if you have comments or suggestions for future newsletter topics, we want to hear from you. Keep sending that great feedback!
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
By Catherine Mellinger
I am about to propose a radical idea. What if we suggested to our creative friends, associates and clients to do less art? Take more time off from doing creative work? What if, we all took a break; for a day, a week, a month, even a year. What would happen?
I've recently been coming across many people in both my personal and professional worlds who don't feel they are doing enough as artists; they aren't where they want to be, they want more for themselves and feel they are lazy, disconnected artists who will never perform, have a show, or write a song again. Usually I can come up with something grounded and supported to offer; something from my coaching tool kit, from my instinctual reservoirs that will get them back on their feet and working. Yet lately I've been finding a different urge surfacing. I found myself wanting to tell them "don't do anything".
I decided to take on the same suggestion for myself to see first hand what that might feel like. What I found was a full-face confrontation with one nasty little question; if I am not creating artwork, can I call myself an artist? If I don't make time for my studio, the shame is overwhelming. I begin to feel I am losing some part of my footing or standing, that I have to create something, anything to keep myself feeling like a productive artist. I become so tied to the notion of production as a necessity to identity that I disconnect from something much stronger and more self-empowering. I disconnect from the sheer knowledge of being, in every cell, an artist.
This is precisely what I feel we need to challenge in ourselves. Let's all suggest to other creatives to do less, and to come to face the part of themselves that is REALLY the artist. Let's help them discover that the work does not own us or make us, but that we are artists because we are artists, period. No questions asked because it just is. I feel that connecting to this is the strongest connection we can offer, and one that will be the most beneficial for us all.
~ Catherine Mellinger is a mixed media artist, facilitator, curator , creativity coach and student of Expressive Arts Therapy currently living and playing in Toronto, Canada. She can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com.
Planting Seeds: 3 Ways To Start Something New
By Steve Harper
I'm not a natural when it comes to planting, but nevertheless I feel the energy of spring: the urge to make new things happen and the desire to plant seeds. Bottom line, I'm not much of a gardener, but planting seeds is, in my experience, much simpler than growing things. I can let go of the outcome: the ultimate size of the plant or how much it will flower, and I can focus on the act of putting that small seed in the dirt, covering it over and giving it water. The same is true in my life: a simple act is all it takes to start something new. Below are three examples. Try one and see what happens!
Call long lost friends: Picking up the phone, sending a text, an email or mailing a card to someone is a fantastic way to renew a connection. You never know where connections might lead. I've found new jobs, ideas, and great books through friends. Reach out to someone you haven't seen in a while and you're likely to find a fresh perspective and surprising opportunities.
Institute a dance break: How often have you found yourself stuck and challenged after concentrating fiercely on a project? I've learned to put the work down and walk away. But why walk away when you can dance? Next time you're stuck, put on your iPod or your stereo (or the radio for that matter) and start moving. Focus on shaking, shimmying and two-stepping. Invent moves you never knew you had. Chances are when you get back to work, you'll have an entirely different mindset.
Attend a random seminar: If you love to learn, like I do, the chance to study something new can be exhilarating. Find a community center, recreation hall or adult education program near you. Go to a seminar or workshop on nutrition, history, skateboarding or cartooning. Expand your thinking about another culture or learn about an art form you've only heard about. You never know where the inspiration will take you.
Plant a seed, even if you don't have a green thumb. It only takes one simple act to start something new.
~ Steve Harper is a creativity coach as well as a writer, actor and teacher. He is dedicated to helping people show up fully in their creative gifts. http://yourcreativelife.net
Warming Up Our Creative Wonder
By Brecia Kralovic-Logan
Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Let the air tickle your arms. Wiggle your toes in the grass or sand. It's May, a great month to warm up your creative wonder.
When we were kids our work was to have fun, and play. It was our job to ask questions, search, and sift, in order to shed light on the wonders of our world. Now as adults, wondering about the who, what, where, when and how of our creative endeavors can be a powerful tool that moves us forward toward our goals.
Wondering how to warm up your sense of wonder? Try this:
* Go outside and play. Being outside and adopting a playful attitude helps us to relax and allow our natural wisdom to bubble up. You may just want to sit and listen to a bird song or you may opt for making mud pies! Either way, opening your senses outdoors and becoming fully aware of the natural world will fuel your creative wonder.
* Create an imaginary friend. This powerful tool can help you to dialogue with your inner voices. Imagine a curious visitor from outer-space who doesn't know anything about the creative activity that you are currently pursuing? Try having a conversation with your imaginary friend and listen carefully to what comes up in your interaction.
* Be curious. With an open and relaxed attitude, this can be your greatest tool for warming up your sense of wonder and bringing awareness to your creative process. Let your curiosity guide you as you wonder about your creative life. Different than asking a specific direct question, wondering about things in an open ended way allows your mind, heart and soul to play with ideas.
Wondering could look something like this:
- I wonder who I would ask for...
- I wonder what would happen if I change...
- I wonder when I will finish...
- I wonder where I can better use my...
- I wonder how I define...
We can tap into the natural, joyous, curiosity of childhood and use our innate sense of wonder to fuel our creative lives. I wonder how you will incorporate playfulness, imagination, curiosity, and open awareness into your creative life today?
~Brecia Kralovic-Logan is a fiber artist and creativity coach in Santa Barbara, CA. She can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.breciacreative.com
CCA Creativity Coaching Certification Program
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.
Congratulations to Darby Dizard,
CCA's newest Certified Creativity Coach!
By Darby Dizard
The old adage, Time flies when you're having fun, is apt when we are thinking about creativity. When we are lost in concentration, a small disruption will cause us to look at the clock and realize that three hours have past, but it felt like ten minutes. This is the concept of flow. Flow is essentially a peak experience of concentration.
We all want to attract flow when we are working. But, what about the instances when we are stuck and minutes feel like eternity or we are so pressed for time that we can't think straight. What can we do to help ourselves out of these predictable situations?
I recommend developing a unique relationship to time. One way to begin this process is to do some personal detective work. What are your daily rhythms? Morning person? Night owl? Do you have a notion of when you have your most energetic hours? Do you experience a slump at any particular time of the day? Try noticing and documenting your rhythms in your day book for a week to see if you can detect patterns connected to specific times. If you know when you work most efficiently and with ease, that time slot will likely to be where your important work will flourish. Conversely, times of lower energy can also be put to good use such as office maintenance or household tasks.
After creating your own time rhythm flow chart, take a look at your week in a different way. How does the writing project work with your energy rhythms? Is this a planning morning or a revising afternoon? When is the best time for phone calls? Can you bundle all of your errands for maximum gas savings and time efficiency?
I also try to make a game of seeing how long it takes to do repetitive chores. I use a kitchen timer to see if the dishes really only take 15 minutes. Should I do the dishes right after dinner or will it be easier to get it done while I am making coffee and breakfast in the morning? The fifteen minute experiment can be a real eye opener. Just sit down and write for fifteen minutes and I guarantee you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Discovering our time rhythms connects us to flow, which will enhance our productivity, momentum and allows us to have more time to create.
~ Darby Dizard is a certified creativity coach, professional singer, actress, composer and writer of prose, lyrics and librettos. An ASCAP award-winning songwriter, she resides in New York, NY. You can reach Darby at email@example.com or through her website at www.darbydizard.com
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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. "
- just starting out in exploring your creative desires?
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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 May 2010 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 email@example.com for information.