The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the September issue of Creativity Calling!
Hope everyone is having a smooth transition into the new season. For me, Autumn is the best--it even feels like the beginning of a new year more so than new year's day. I love carving out a new schedule with lots of new things to learn and enjoy.
This month our coaches' articles have some light and lively perspectives for kicking off a new season's energy. They encourage us to look more closely at the life we are choosing and how to open up to more productivity, joy and fun!
I'm always sharing that awareness of self is power and Kris shares excellent questions in order for us to look more deeply at the "creative seasons" of our lives. John gives us fresh thoughts on choosing our individual learning styles and how important patience is in the scheme of it all. Lynn declares permission for us all in not being so serious all of the time--easier said than done, for many. And lastly, Shaqe, CCA's newest certified creativity coach, gives us an inside look at how she successfully uses the imagination for unlocking our creative potential. Great stuff!
We're grateful for your readership and love your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Start a New Season
By Kris Reichart-Anderson
Recently, Bev Down asked me to write an article for this newsletter "to inspire folks starting the new season?" I immediately flashed to images of big yellow school buses, bright orange pumpkins and rolling hills of that fabulous natural phenomena called Fall Foliage. It's the norm in the area of the country where Bev lives (Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY) and I had the opportunity to see years ago.
But it's not the norm in West Texas where I live. We really don't have a Fall season here. For me, the new season means slightly lower temperatures and time to plant my garden with lettuce and peppers. Spinach, tomatoes and beets go in later. We don't have an Autumn to speak of and very little that could be called Winter.
And the Creativity Coaching Association is an international group with members and readers in Australia and New Zealand. For those folks, it's the beginning of spring, is it not?
So, I had the quandary of deciding which season to focus on. Then I realized that as creative folks, we all have seasons related to our creative life. Some are obvious, like the season of a symphony orchestra. Others may not be so noticeable. So I challenge you to consider what are the seasons that surround your creative work? Do you have three creative seasons in a calendar year or five? Maybe a preparation time or ramp-up time, a completion time, say when the show is hung or the film finished and then a down time before starting again. Or is your creative life one of revolving deadlines? Have you ever considered that your creative calendar may start in November or even May? What would your own creative calendar look like? What seasons would it have? Think back over the last few years. Do you have more going on at one time of year compared to others? Recognizing the seasons in your creative life is one more way to enhance your creative time. It will be well worth the time spent looking more intently at what your creative calendar looks like.
~ Kris Reichart-Anderson is a Certified Creativity Coach living in West Texas. Visit Kris at her blog, http://leapingnet.blogspot.com/or e-mail her at email@example.com
Patiently Sow--Trust in the Harvest
By John MacDonald
If you were to ask successful artists to list the most important qualities that are needed in order to create to our full potential, patience would surely be near the top of every list. And nowhere is the ability to remain patient so necessary as in the slow maturing of our skills. Whether we require skills of drawing, writing, painting, or composing, the time needed for them to reach an adequate level of expertise is measured in years. The proverbial 10,000 hours of work is not an exaggeration. Being willing to work diligently, year after year, requires a great deal of patience, particularly in regard to our individual rate and style of learning.
Each of us is on a unique trajectory of growth. What we learn, how we learn, and when we're ready to learn will differ among us. Sometimes we're ready for the information offered by a teacher and sometimes we're not. And sometimes the information offered by one teacher will be incomprehensible to us yet the identical information by another will click only because it's given to us in a different way. We need to become aware of our specific learning styles while simultaneously exposing ourselves to as many different and varied ways and opportunities of learning as possible. Because we can never foresee the moment when we'll be ready and open to a teaching that will lead to dramatic growth, we should expose ourselves to new information constantly. We should never stop learning. So read books, attend workshops and lectures, and watch videos. Discover your learning style and dedicate yourself to learning. Create your work diligently, measure it against what you're learning, and patiently trust that the moment will come when new information will make perfect sense. Having exposed yourself to a new teaching or concept, it will remain within you. And when you're ready for it, it will take root in you and flourish.
~ 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
By Lynn Wyvill
"You're so silly," we say as we grin at a child who is playing, making up stories and acting them out, and delighting in his or her goofiness.
"Don't be silly," we admonish adults, as we dismiss whatever they are saying or doing.
Why do the "Be Silly" privileges get revoked as we grow older? Why do kids get to have all the fun?
Adults are encouraged to play a bit now and then, but just a bit. Let's not go overboard here or, heaven forbid, get out of control! It seems we, as adults, must first get, or give ourselves permission to be silly. And that permission seems to be a very big deal and mighty hard to come by.
I taught a creativity workshop where I used upbeat music as a warm-up, encouraging participants, all adults, to move and dance in whatever way the music spoke to them. Panicked looks were exchanged, feet shuffled, arms fluttered gingerly by their sides. They were shut down by the three "Ss" - stiff, stilted, stifled!
When I stopped the music, I asked them how they felt. Awkward, uncomfortable and silly were the answers. One woman said she wanted to dance around the room, but didn't because no one else did. No one wanted to risk looking silly.
When I repeated the exercise later, people loosened up a bit more, but they still didn't look free from the fear of being silly.
What would silly look and feel like for you?
How about rolling down a grassy hill on purpose? Dancing to the music in your head no matter what tune may or may not be playing? Acting out nursery rhymes? Finger painting? Making up a story that makes no sense, but makes you laugh deep and loud?
So here it is.
For all of us, so serious, responsible adults who follow rules and do what is expected of us, you are hereby given permission to go BE SILLY. Not a little silly, but a whole lotta, lotta silly. Have a sillylicious time being sillyific!
~ Lynn Wyvill is a Certified Creativity Coach recently gave herself permission to BE SILLY again, breaking a long-held habit of being way too serious way too often. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Shaqe Kalaj,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
Imagining New Pathways
by Shaqe Kalaj (pronounced shacha call-eye)
So what's the importance of the imagination in creativity coaching? As "The Imagination CoachTM" and a creativity consultant, I am a catalyst in imagining new pathways to higher potential. And as an artist, teaching artist, and now a new certified creativity coach, I have utilized a practice of re-invention.
As "The Imagination Coach" implies, I use the imagination in my coaching and consulting practice to unlock human potential, sometimes releasing us from old narratives that have never worked, and opening up whole new parts of ourselves that are more true to who we actually are. As you consider your own creativity practice, it's more than just overcoming blocks, but activating a practice that embraces freedom moment to moment.
I work as a coach on a one-to-one basis collaborating with artists of all stages and with professionals in many different fields who want to understand and use the creative process. Many of the people I work with want higher modes of creativity while managing some of the difficult sides to creativity, like anxiety, fear, and skill limitations. As a consultant I guide organizations, businesses, schools, and universities in utilizing their staff in maximizing individual and group potential.
Often times in coaching we may focus too much on a deficiency or a block and not enough on the whole person. In my coaching practice I focus on the micro and the macro simultaneously. Therefore I developed a holistic approach using 7 key coaching concepts that are essential when dealing with the creative process. Through the use of the 7 concepts, natural rhythms evolve and authenticity
1.) Coaching for the creative process
2.) Imagination coaching
3.) Existential coaching
4.) Conceptual thinking coaching
5.) Transformative coaching
6.) Health & well being coaching
7.) Entrepreneurial coaching
Using my holistic approach, this is what my client "Cathy" wrote to me after one month's worth of sessions was complete: "Don't know how - don't know why, but after the coaching, I'm creating like crazy after a long spate of being in a rut."
~ Shaqe Kalaj, The Imagination CoachTM, is a creativity coach and consultant, a working artist, and a teaching artist. She is based in the Hudson Valley in New York and can be reached at email@example.com.
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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.
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.
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Read this book and get Inspired!
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 September 2012 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.