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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the December issue of Creativity Calling!

At this time of year we can find ourselves spread thin with activity, gatherings and long to-do lists. It's easy to slip into over doing and out of the present moment, affecting our creative lives.

What are some pro-active steps I can take to more fully enjoy the moment and be optimally productive? So glad you asked, because this month our CCA coaches are bearing "just what I wanted" gifts that you can open--right now!

Melissa reminds us that learning to receive graciously completes the cycle of giving and deepens our connection with others. We all know that being "present" is the greatest present and reminders are helpful. Lynn offers us four tips for unblocking our creative energy whenever we find ourselves stuck and spinning our wheels. Jill gives us a positive viewpoint and tools for regaining solid footing when we find ourselves sliding and slipping into negative thinking. Lots of sparkling insights are included this month ... gifts you can use year-round. A special congratulations to Starla J. King, the newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach! Starla shares how her nonstandard life journey led her to creativity coaching. We're featuring Wide Awake, Every Day:Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living, her newly published book, in this month's newsletter.

Do you have a creative soul on your holiday list? Within this newsletter you'll find many creative gifts and product offerings from CCA coaches. With no wrapping or shipping on your part, you can give the spark that ignites the creativity of those you hold dear.

And last, but not least, consider giving yourself the gift of working with a CCA creativity coach. Make 2014 your best year! Take a few minutes and glean through the CCA's database of talented coaches; each coach is eager to support you and your creative dreams. The world wants and needs your contribution!

On behalf of the CCA, I send gratitude and joy to you, our readers. From our hearts to yours, we send you the warmest wishes for a happy, love-filled holiday season and a spectacular new year!

As always, we love your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues!

With Holiday Cheer,


Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association

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painting tools'Tis the Season to Receive Compliments with Gratitude

By Melissa Rosati

I've always liked Matthew Fox's definition of creativity as one's energetic state dancing on the edge of chaos. For many, flow is more satisfying than the end result. The book, the painting, the performance, pass from our control of the creative process into the full control of the audience. Each reader or viewer owns her interpretation of our creative nakedness.  

At a recent opening of a photographer's show, I noticed that when a guest paid a compliment on an image, the photographer would look away, say 'thanks,' and in the same breath bring up a flaw or regret she had while shooting the subject.

In our every day lives, we do the same thing without realizing it. For example, at a holiday party, someone complimented me on making a dessert. Instead of "thank you," I prattled on about how I worried the cake appeared too flat because I forgot the baking powder. There was an awkward silence between the guest and myself. She walked away.

Like the photographer, I was being a reactor. Reactors are never fully present. The reactor's attention is trained on their internal chorus of saboteurs: "you screwed up," "you're a fake," "you don't deserve this." But when we react, we are not only insulting ourselves, we are insulting the person who paid us the compliment in the first place. Dismissing a compliment rejects the giver's offer of connection with us.

Noticing our reactions is the first step to reframing them. Gratitude, the quality of being thankful, supports us in our readiness to be fully present to receive compliments and return the kindness with a simple "thank you."

But there is one more thing. Eye contact.

The eyes are the windows of the soul, as Shakespeare reminds us in his sonnets and plays. Eye contact demonstrates our confidence, respect, and genuine interest in the other person.

The holidays are in full swing. It is the season of giving. Practice the gift of receiving compliments on your creative work and our your everyday acts of creativity.

See gratitude in the eyes of others and say 'thank you.'

~ Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC, is a CCA member based in New York City. You can contact her at www.melissascoachingstudio.com

ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZZ, ZZiiiiiZZZZ

By Lynn Wyvill

As I write this, cold winter temperatures have arrived, and some areas have had snow. If you drive in the white stuff, you've probably experienced the frustration of being stuck. Car wheels spin with that maddening ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZ ZZiiiiiZZZZ. The wheels go round and round, but we are going nowhere.

We all know the tricks to use when we're stuck in the snow--kitty litter, sand, traction mats, and gentle rocking back and forth.

But what do we do when we're stuck creatively, when the wheels of our brains go ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZ ZZiiiiiZZZZ, but our work is going nowhere?  

Suggestions for setting our creative selves free are everywhere. You probably have some favorites, but if yours aren't working, you need new ones, or a reminder, here are four tips that I find particularly helpful.

Move your body
There's something about moving our bodies that kick starts the brain cells to start moving, too. Take a walk, dance, do some yoga. Loosen up the body, and the brain will limber up as well.   

Unburden your brain
Your brain may feel like the vast wasteland, or it may be running around in circles like squirrels chasing each other. Grab a journal or a scrap of paper and dump everything on the page. I do this first thing in the morning or right before bedtime.  Put anything and everything that pops into your head on the paper. After about three pages, the tiny seed of an idea usually starts to emerge from hiding. And if it doesn't, at least I've cleared out the clutter. 

Shake it up
If you write, paint. If you paint, cook. Whatever you do, do something completely different for a little while. Look at something new, or something familiar with fresh eyes. You'll gain another perspective and boost energy, while your brain makes some new connections.

Eat a peanut butter sandwich and take a nap
Bet you've never seen that tip before!  Comfort food that's good for you and some rest.  Ahhhh!   

A funny thing happened while I was writing this. An acronym revealed itself in my tip list--MUSE!  Finally, she showed up.  No more ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZZ, ZZiiiiiZZZZ! My creative wheels are moving and taking me places. Hope you're moving again, too.  

~ Lynn Wyvill, a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, is a writer who is working on a book of essays about nature.  Contact her at lwyvill@comcast.net

Getting Lost to be Found

By Jill Jones

Finding ourselves on solid footing can require first getting lost. 
Being lost to a passion, a cause, a hobby, or project frees us from our weaknesses, faults, and endless self criticism and allows us to explore meaningful and productive avenues. As we forage deeper we elevate our mood and gain a sense of purpose.

"Getting lost" can be as simple or complex as we chose. 

  • Artists can get lost in a color--exploring the nuances between ruby red, blood red, and heirloom tomato red. 
  • Musicians can get lost creating haunting compositions using different combinations of just three notes. 
  • Writers can get lost researching feral cats, Peruvian cacao and the amazing life-cycle of Cicadas for the backdrop of a story.  Dig deep to land nuggets of information to make the pages sing.

There is also beauty in getting lost to mundane tasks. Many highly inventive individuals swear by the repetitive power of woodworking, playing scales, or peeling and chopping ingredients for dinner. When lost in a repetitive task we can ignore the background chatter and free the creative mind to wander unfettered through new territory.

During the moments we are lost in activity we lose track of time, forget minor aches and pains, and accomplish significant work that minutes before was a struggle to contemplate. The mind has the capacity to override anxiety, doubts, fears, and internal critics when focused on something beyond itself. The world expands before us when we are lost to a greater endeavor and we ultimately make advances that previously seemed out of our reach.

In the spirit of getting lost, consider these quick and easy ideas:

  • Spend time at your local library searching reference books for unusual topics.
  • Scan a dictionary and jot down words that are unfamiliar and tantalizingly appealing.
  • Scour specialized magazines on topics foreign to you and find new information to explore in great detail. 
  • And also literally get lost. Take different routes to places you frequently go like the market, the office, the gym or a shopping center.
  • Explore new neighborhoods or plan a day trip to someplace you've never been. 

See the world with new eyes and fan the flames of passion in your brain. Go!--get lost to be found.

~ Jill Jones is a visual artist, writer and CCA certified creativity coach at www.coachthearts.com or JillKJones@sbcglobal.net

Congratulations to Starla J. King, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

Certifiably Creative

By Starla J. King

Creative work is not standard. Nor are we who devote ourselves to creative work.

I used to fight that fact. I wanted, I thought, to match the high-production, climb-the-corporate-ladder, go-until-you-burn-out energy that our culture applauds. I pushed against my naturally uneven energy cycles, committed my brain to corporate work, appreciated the income, and tried to shush my discontent. 

My usual feeling of being unsettled and out-of-sorts when I didn't get the space and time to create grew stronger and stronger... so I made the leap and started a landscape design business.

Even as I soaked my soul in sunshine, creative work, and plants, I struggled. I believed that I was somehow inferior because what I really wanted to do was make sense of my inner and outer world and express those discoveries in a way that might connect with others.

Then one day about 6 years ago, I had my first conversation with a life and business coach, and heard the words "... you are creative, resourceful, and whole.  There's nothing to fix here, just enhancing, a calling forth of your own wisdom." 

Something opened in me that day. As I began to consider that my way of working and living might be just as valid as the mainstream approach, the "I want to be a coach" seed was planted. 

I experienced deep transformation through that coaching relationship, yet I still longed for creativity-specific support. I knew I couldn't be the only creative person who needed specialized support, so I dove into CCA's Creativity Coaching Certification program, and immediately felt as though I'd come home.

Those qualities and perspectives that I fought against? They are the threads of creativity running through me, facilitating my deepest creative work, including my coaching.

Uneven energy cycles? That's your creative rhythm.

One less layer of emotional skin (as writer Dani Shapiro describes it)? That's your creative access.

Preoccupation with the details of life and the need to dig deeper, explore, and be amazed? That's your creative lifeline.

Feeling as though you'll burst if you don't express the intense feelings you experience regularly? That's your creative fire, the divine discomfort of a creative soul. 

Yes, we're nonstandard, and that's exactly why we are called to create.

~ Starla J. King is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, writing coach, and author of "Wide Awake. Every Day. Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living."  You can reach her through http://outwriteliving.com

New CCA Coaching Certification Courses Start January 9, 2014!

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

Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living

by Starla J. King 

Each page offers us a haven for reflection and ripening, a refuge where you can see and hear yourself clearly - that precious nook where creativity is born. ~ Ushi Patel: Poet, Designer.

WIDE AWAKE. EVERY DAY by Starla J. King offers 365 short readings that will turn awareness into a loyal and creative friend, every day of the year. Gentle, do-able action steps end each reading and bring the day's inspiration into enlightening focus. Summary quotes are at hand with on-the-go food for thought. This book is a powerful, practical resource for creative people ready to deepen their creative work and expand their awareness. You'll find yourself here--in a whole new way.  

Available through http://outwriteliving.com/new-book-wide-awake-every-day/ or Amazon.com.

CCA eBook

CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book

Click here to learn more

Jump Start your Creativity with this Book!

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.

Our Price: $ 12.75
List Price: $14.95
S & H: $6.00

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 December 2013 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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