The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the August issue of Creativity Calling!
I hope this month has been relaxing, adventurous, nourishing and fun for you. I've loved spending my month of August being a "tourist" in my own little upstate New York resort town of Lake George, and in the surrounding regions of the six million acres that comprise the Adirondack State Park.
Having just passed through the "dog days of summer", many folks are already beginning to turn their gaze towards amping up their energy for fall's new schedules. How is life feeling for you as you begin to shift your energy and creative focus?
This month, our CCA creativity coaches provide interesting articles to help us make this shift. Deb suggests that we use our play of imagination to keep a little summertime fun with us year round. Steve offers us some practical steps for moving through negative thinking that can rob our joy and derail creativity. And Paula shares insights on seeing our lives through new lenses.
I truly believe, when we change our thinking, we change our lives. As we move into fall, do you have a list of goals - of dreams? What beneficial shifts in thinking, then, can you implement that will bring those goals and desires to you? We can direct our steps in the upcoming season - as fully conscious creators - versus letting life happen to us by chance. The choice is always ours.
Lastly, please join us for the September 6 Transformational Tuesday interview, as I speak with certified creativity coach, Kris Reichart-Anderson on the topic, "Being an Artist in a Small Town." You'll find all the details within this newsletter.
We appreciate your readership and always love your feedback and suggestions.
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Using Summer Fun All Year Long
by Deborah Briggs
It was sunset. The sand, still warm from a long hot day, played against the early evening chill. The last precious trip to the beach before school begins was a ritual in our family. Fire pits, smoke wafting, soft gooey marshmallows and dripping chocolate squished between graham crackers added a tasty treat as the shadows lengthened and the stories began. Some old favorites, some new, each child took a turn sharing, savoring every detail as if banking the embers for winter.
Here we are years later and the fun of summer time still gives way to the schedules of fall and winter. Far past the first burst of passion ignited by the muse, there is a need for a more sustained energy to move through all the phases of creativity. Solving the challenges of a reluctant canvas, marketing via the world wide web or taking your shy self into the new gallery. So many questions! Learning how to keep fueled with enthusiasm is key to enjoying and finishing projects.
So how do you keep worries from squeezing off the lifeline of the muse? The play of imagination is a powerful tool. Even knee-knocking anxiety can become a syncopated melody when you are the conductor. The goal is to shift energy. The trick is to have a little fun with your creativity. Maybe you can tune into the rhythm in the pounding of your anxiety. Use that fabulous imagination of yours to stretch it like clay, or squeeze it into a tiny little A Flat and stick it on the end of coat hanger to gently stir the embers of the muse. By the time you have finished the play of imagination your nervous system has calmed down and you are back in the flow!
Keep the joy of summer time alive all year long. Fuel your creative process with fun today!
~ Deborah Briggs, Ph.D., LMFT, is a Depth Coach who enjoys helping creative people make the most out of their life in the arts. Managing anxiety and other pesky emotions in an imaginative way adds an element of fun. Using play to remove roadblocks to vitality and problem-solving is a very creative process! For more information e-mail email@example.com.
Moving Past Negativity
by Steve Harper
Does this happen to you? You're working on a project and you think: "This will never work. I'm not (smart, talented, influential) enough to do this. It's hopeless." Then you take up some distraction and fritter away your time. Sound familiar?
I'll admit that it happens to me. As I commit to upping the game of my life in all my creative disciplines, those negative voices still show up. After all, we live in the midst of negativity. Take a look at the tabloids or reality TV. The more we throw around words like "perfect" and "flawless" we set ourselves up for comparisons. The truth is, nothing is perfect - but in the same way - nothing is all bad. Even the worst experience has within it, the possibility of something hopeful at the edge of it. I'm not suggesting you smile when it's time to cry. But I know we can move through the darker spaces, feelings and thoughts, and find the lighter spaces. It's possible, but we have to be willing.
What do we do when the negativity shows up? Try these four steps:
First, pay attention to the thought. Noticing the negative thought occurring is a key step. Take note.
Second, take action by thinking something else. Throw a positive thought or affirmation into the mix. Envision the most abundant outcome of your project. Take a look at your progress. Connect to the joy and excitement that inspired you in the first place. Breathe that in.
Third, set a timer and go back to work. Even five minutes of work is better than none. And after moving ahead on your project...
Take the fourth and final step: find a way to celebrate and reward yourself.
Negative thinking will rarely produce a positive outcome. So make it your business to turn that around as frequently as you can. Is it easy? Of course not. Will you do it perfectly? No - perfect doesn't exist. But nevertheless, commit to doing it. In my experience, looking at life in a positive way is a necessary part of moving ahead creatively and personally.
~ Steve Harper helps creative people design sustainable lives through his company Your Creative Life. A proud member of the CCA, he's a graduate of Yale, the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard and The Juilliard Playwriting program. www.yourcreativelife.com
New Perspectives, New Work
by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia
Recently, my husband and I rearranged some rugs and furniture. Those simple changes made the room feel different, just like on the TV shows where an interior re-designer creates a totally new look for a room just by rearranging furniture and using accessories available somewhere in the house.
It reminded me of lying on my back, as a child, on my bed, hanging my head over the edge so that my view was upside down. Pretending that the ceiling was the floor and the floor was the ceiling - as if I was Alice, fallen down my own rabbit hole - turned my room and everything in it into my own personal Wonderland. What was that shiny, mushroom-shaped object in the center of my "floor"? Was it the Caterpillar's mushroom? Where had he gone?
How do we achieve that upside down state, that moment of new perspectives and insights for our creative work?
First, stop moving. Oh what a challenge. Even while healing from a broken leg this past winter, I still rushed from deadline to deadline. I stopped moving physically, but I didn't stop moving mentally because of previous work-related commitments. But, if we want to see in a new way, we have to move into that place of inner - as well as outer - stillness.
Second, surrender to your current creative experience, especially if you are feeling blocked, or the work is feeling flat or stale, or if you are getting rejection after rejection. We can't get new perspectives if we refuse to see that we need them.
Third, move into the mindset and see with the eyes of a child, where everything is possible, all things are new and interesting, and the questions constantly on our lips are, "Why?" and "What if?" Why does the prince always rescue the princess? What if it's the other way around?
If you want to inject new energy into your creative work - and into your life - then stop moving, surrender to the experience, and ask all those pesky questions no one else will ask. Be willing to be suspended upside down.
Yes, it's a head rush, but then, so is the new work.
~ Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, www.diviningthemuse.com, is a Story Muse and Dream Coach, dream coach for the Country Special edition of People Magazine, and author of the award-winning Weaving a Woman's Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Creativity Coaching Certification Program for 2011
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.
Join Us On September 6th!
CCA's "Transformational Tuesday" free tele-call:
Being an Artist in a Small Town
Join Bev Down, CEO of the Creativity Coaching Association, as she speaks with CCA certified coach, Kris Reichart-Anderson, on how she has created success as an artist living in a small town. Kris points out," It's easy to make ridicule the lack of creative opportunities of small towns and rural communities but many of us call the middle of nowhere home. After living in a small West Texas town for almost fourteen years, I have grown as an artist and writer and want to share what I have learned." Some of the areas we'll discuss are:
- How does an artist build community and network in a small community?
- What resources are available for artists, writers and performers in a small town?
- Why is it important to create a niche?
- How is it beneficial for a creative person to live in a small isolated community?
Kris Reichart-Anderson is an artist, writer and certified creativity coach living in Del Rio, a small West Texas town. She jokingly tells people that she lives one hundred and fifty miles from anything, an Interstate, shopping malls and many of the creative outlets that most of us take for granted. http://leapingnet.blogspot.com/
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
To join us on September 6, 2011 @ 1:00 PM, EDT
Dial-in Number: 1-218-936-4141; Participant Access Code: 8673879#
See you there!
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.
- 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 80 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in nearly 100 different specialties.
Find a coach here.
Shop the CCA Creativity Marketplace!
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CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book
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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 August 2011 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.