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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the November issue of Creativity Calling!

I want to begin by expressing my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the CCA community. What a wonderfully talented, creative group! This includes you, our newsletter subscribers, as well as instructors of CCA training courses, administrative helpers, the CCA's awesome array of member creativity coaches and others.

It truly is my honor, joy and privilege to serve all who are a part of the Creativity Coaching Association!

This month, our CCA coaches have dished up a tasty offering of articles. Steve gives us a simple tool for accessing our gratitude anytime, anywhere. John invites us to look at our creative endeavors through a new lens. Susan (our first certified creativity coach in Finland!) shares with us her creative path for arriving at this important designation. And, as a gift from me to you, I've tucked in one of my favorite poems, which I hope encourages you to acknowledge - to give thanks - to "Your Self" along your own personal creative journey.

And, finally, consider clearing your slate and joining us November 15 for a fascinating Transformational Tuesday interview, where I'll be speaking with certified creativity coach, Consuelo Meux on the topic, "The Imposter Syndrome". You'll find all the details within this newsletter.

Feel free to share this newsletter with others and do keep sending us your ideas for future newsletter topics. We love your input and suggestions!

In gratitude,


Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association

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painting toolsCultivate Gratitude: Three steps to appreciation

 by Steve Harper

Good things are happening. Can you feel it?

This is the month of Thanksgiving, when we lean into gratitude. But I believe good things are always happening. Even in the midst of challenges and tragedy, in my experience, there is something to be grateful for. I know this first-hand, having moved through some very rough circumstances including the death of loved ones. In those moments there are still things to appreciate: the sunrise, a kind word from a friend, a decent meal.

If there's something to celebrate, something to be joyful about in each moment, then locating those "somethings" can enhance your creative work and the quality of your day-to-day life. If you're not finding those things - perhaps you could use some help in cultivating gratitude in your life.

Here's a simple process to put yourself in the space of joy about what you are, what you have or what you do. There are three steps.

1) Identify something good that you have, have done or seen. It could be something small or large, but get clear about it. Choose one thing.

2) Close your eyes and see it from all angles (if it's concrete) or feel it (if it's a feeling or a sensation). Allow enough time to take in the object or the emotion. Let yourself sit with it. Know that whatever it is, it's yours.

3) Finally, keeping your eyes closed, affirm how fortunate you are to have whatever you have: however small, however large. Repeat to yourself: "I'm so happy to have this." Say this until you believe it. Say this until you understand it to be true.

Open your eyes. Let the resulting energy enhance your life.

~ Steve Harper helps creative people design sustainable lives through his company Your Creative Life. A member of the CCA, a graduate of Yale, the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard and The Juilliard Playwriting program, Steve currently writes for the television show Covert Affairs. www.yourcreativelife.com

Who said it's supposed to be easy?

By John MacDonald 

From the moment we begin making art, we are confronted with the challenge of mastering our craft. And although we know the journey is long and unavoidable, we often wish we could bypass the hard work and somehow magically acquire the needed knowledge and skills. We wish, in essence, that it would be EASY. Even artists with years of experience can fall prey to the fantasy that as soon as we master this technique or acquire that ability, it will finally become easier. The truth is, if we're honestly living the life of an artist and constantly striving to grow, we understand that learning takes place only on our edge, where we often struggle and fail. And that's not easy. It's not meant to be.

Some artists never stop growing. They are always on their edge, working hard to expand the knowledge of their craft and the depth of their art. And some artists taste a bit of success or mastery, stop growing, sit back, and crank out the same old stuff year after year. What drives artists who never stop growing, who are willing to resist the siren song of the "easy" and continue to work hard year after year?  One ingredient may be their biologically hard-wired personality; another may be their upbringing. But there's one crucial element that all share: they are passionately committed to what they are doing--it's meaningful! For these artists, the discomfort they feel as they push themselves to grow is less than the discomfort they would experience doing meaningless work. Creating authentic art is more important than their comfort. When we do work that is deeply meaningful to us, it doesn't feel like work.        

We need to let go of the fantasy that art-making should be easy. Exhilarating, yes. Frequently frustrating, of course. But easy, no. And there's no better way to wake up from that fantasy than to find work that is deeply, richly, and enticingly meaningful.   

~ John MacDonald has been a full-time freelance illustrator and painter for over 30 years. A member of the Creativity Coaches Association and a Certified Creativity Coach, he lives and works in Williamstown, Massachusetts. www.jmacdonald.com

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life

~ Derek Walcott

Congratulations to Susan Huotari, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

Finding My Way
By Susan Huotari

I had graduated from my life coach's training program, and was considering a coaching specialization. I didn't want to executive coach. Watching Tilda Swinton, in the movie Michael Clayton, act out techniques I had learned from our corporate executive coach, had left me cold. I looked for coaching inspiration. Only a couple of times did I crack my heavy and tiny typed Art Therapy books open. I didn't want to increase my eyeglass prescription. I browsed Jungian Psychology, and I was carving a path through Carolyn Myss's books, without seeing much light. And then, during a life coaching session, I experienced the Sandplay Therapy method. Aha! I love engaging my hands with my creative mind in play.

I googled creativity, and stumbled across Eric Maisel's books and the Creativity Coaching Association website. My curiosity got the best of me so I did the CCA reading program, to get grounded in the creativity domain before my classes began. Creativity revealed through Twyla Tharp, John Daido Loori, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. By employing Tharp's "reading fat" (ex. not only reading a novel, but reading related texts), I discovered a new favorite, Elizabeth Lesser's "The Seeker's Guide".

How do I describe what I have learned? Eric's classes traverse his books. Beverly shares wise insights. Sharon navigates marketing trenches with grace. Looking back, I realize that what I love most about the CCA training is the opportunity to interact with my classmates, especially on class assignments. I feel that the CCA enables us to continuously build our creative coaching practices together in unique and creative ways, and we can draw strength from each other, and from our instructors who support us. Through my coaching clients, I learned not to forget my strengths and experience. My creativity coaching niche will be to help business owners who want to master their innovation process to deliver successful consumer products. Finishing my CCA accreditation is recognition of me being a creativity coach, and brings responsibility to continuously evolve within the CCA community. 

~ Susan Huotari, M.A. Design, B.A. Psych. As a creative coach, I employ inspiring, playful and productive tools to help you channel your strengths into actions and goals so you enjoy and excel at delivering them, and you fully integrate your creative being authentically into your life.  You can reach Susan at huotari.susan@me.com

Join Us On November 15th! CCA's "Transformational Tuesday" free tele-call:

The Imposter Syndrome

Join Bev Down, CEO of the Creativity Coaching Association, as she interviews CCA certified coach, Consuelo Meux regarding the Imposter Syndrome. In general, The Imposter Syndrome says that despite evidence of their abilities, many bright, capable people hold the belief that they somehow managed to fool others into thinking they are smarter and more competent than they really are. Instead of experiencing an inner sense of competence or success, they attribute their achievements to luck, charm, computer error, and other external factors. Unable to internalize or feel deserving of their success, they live with a deep sense of being unauthentic and the fear that they will be found out.

Consuelo Meux, Ph.D, is a Certified Creativity Coach and Board Certified Life and Health Coach (CHC) with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).   Her coaching projects include her websites at Leaders' Lifestyle and the National Association of Christian Women in Business.  She can be reached through her website,  www.consuelomeux.com

To join us on November 15th, 2011 @ 2:00 PM, ET
Dial-in Number: 1-218-936-4141; Participant Access Code: 8673879# 

New CCA Certification Courses Starting October 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.

Tap into Our Database of Creativity CoachesCCA Logo

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

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 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!

Click here to learn more

CCA eBook

CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book

Click here to learn more

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.

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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 publisher@creativitycoachingassociation.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 November 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 join@creativitycoachingassociation.com for information.

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