The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the May issue of Creativity Calling!
This time of year in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York (where I live) is absolutely intoxicating. Fresh green leaves, fiddle heads unfurling to ferns, fragrant blossoming bushes and fruit trees, and colorful flowers galore. It's inspiring!
Last weekend I attended a tulip festival displaying 140 varieties and over 100,000 bulbs in every color imaginable - all basking in the spring sunlight. Truly, it was a sight to see. Spring finally IS here!
Likewise, our CCA coaches are feeling inspired to share with us tips, tools and techniques on how to begin anew with new or dormant creative ideas and follow through with them until they are in full bloom.
Barbara encourages us to take the tiniest creative idea seedlings and nurture them until they yield something tangible. This is a challenge we experience again and again, isn't it? Perseverance. Jill provides practical information for building a proactive "Creativity First Aid Kit" and starts us out with some useful "bandaids" and "ointments." Have you ever found yourself sidetracked and had to return to the baseline of your creative desires and goals? Nanette gives us some tools for making a smooth transition back into alignment. Lastly, our newest CCA certified coach, Jocelyn, shares some of the ups and downs along her creative life's journey.
Our hope is that this month's articles provide you with the inspiration to truly honor your creativity for the gift that it is, and also that you understand this: the gift of creativity is not a gift if it is not received, opened and cultivated. Could you benefit from some additional support, encouragement and accountability in your creative life? If so, do take a peek at our database filled with talented creativity coaches who would love to serve you!
We encourage you to forward this newsletter to friends, family and colleagues. And we covet your feedback, so keep sending the CCA your feedback and suggestions.
Enjoy your self!
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Spring: Finding the Courage to Begin
By Barbara Martin
Whatever our creative speciality, we occasionally hesitate to begin something new. The pause is natural when we feel we lack skill or knowledge, or when we are reluctant to pick up and pursue unfamiliar threads. But everything new begins somewhere. So why not here, why not now?
Spring, after all, is the season of possibility and potential, when the the daffodils and tulips and lilacs burst forth. Just as the sprouting acorn holds an entire oak tree within, our creative ideas contain their fruition within. It may be in the form of potential or possibility, but it is there.
A creative idea might be a bare glimmer or perhaps it gleams bright as a hard gold nugget in a miner's sieve. Or it rises up fully fledged and takes flight as we cling tight for the wild--but imaginary--ride. Regardless of how a creative idea surfaces, it remains imaginary unless we do something solid with it. It is always up to us to make the nascent idea become real.
How do we do that? By taking action.
If the idea seems overwhelming in depth and/or breadth, take just a small step towards it. A series of small steps, taken one after another, will lead us there.
If the idea seems slight and ethereal, take just a gentle, small step towards it. A series of small steps, taken one after another, will bring the idea into focus.
The creative process begins with an idea and builds on itself. Just like every spring season progresses with a unique rhythm, the forward momentum of a creative project unfolds in its own sequence and at its own pace. So although we may not immediately recognize the tangible progress at each incremental step, ultimately there is an overall process moving forward one foot at a time.
Some years spring happens in fits and starts, other years it bursts open in one big juicy, explosive riot. Either way, the roots dig deep, the sap rises, buds push forth and foliage eventually emerges to be followed by flowers and fruit as the possibilities and potential of the season become real.
Creative ideas will move inexorably forward, too, just as long as we persistently take those small but concrete steps. Quick, slow or in between. Making it real. One foot after another.
Which creative idea are you stepping bravely forward with this spring?
~ Barbara Martin is a certified creativity coach, Right Brain Business Plan facilitator, professional mixed media artist and published writer. She currently gardens near Portland, OR. Contact: Barbara@RightBrainClub.com or facebook.com/BarbaraMartinArt.
Creativity First Aid Kit
By Jill Jones
As we pursue our creative goals we are bound to trip and fall. That's when it comes in handy to have a "creativity first aid kit."
Keep a first aid idea handbook.
Pick a snazzy journal to collect ideas or compile them electronically. Collect snippets of conversations for opening lines to kick-start writing, acquire photographs of architecture to inspire abstract sculptures or new fabric designs, create lists of sumptuous words to jump-start a poem, a song or a dramatic reading. The intent is to continuously collect enticing tidbits to use in any medium whenever creativity falters.
These are the "band-aids" to stop the bleeding of doubts and to restore creative impulses. Feeling blocked? Just use your idea handbook to create practice exercises to loosen up.
For visual artists--use images, photos, or words to prompt small warm-up paintings, such as 15 minutes of rapid application of paint on 10" X 10" canvasses to express words such as: 'ethereal,' 'vivacity,' 'euphoria'.
For writers--use ideas, photos, or scribblings as prompts for 15 minute stream of consciousness writing, like turning a magazine headshot into a one page impromptu written portrait.
Keep resources, such as encouraging books, available. Use these to stop the infection of negative thoughts and provide positive antidotes. Open to any page and start following the exercises and insights.
Some of the resources in my kit include:
- Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
Just as you would apply antibiotic ointment or salve, remember to apply creativity coaching wisdom liberally.
Keep things in perspective. Just because you've encountered
glitches doesn't mean everything has failed. Improve what isn't working, move
forward with what works well and realize its all part of the process.
Keep your sense of humor alive and well. Find a light touch with your slip-
ups. Laugh and work through challenges with a happier heart.
And remember the healing power of comfort. Reach for the soft tattered shirt, pause for deep breathing, a gentle stroll or a blissful nap, and indulge in comfort foods (occasionally) when you need a boost. The creative healing powers of dark chocolate are legendary in my first aid kit!
~ Jill Jones specializes in creative challenges of artists and writers. Her essays and art have been published in Kaleidoscope: Ideas and Projects to Spark Your Creativity. Her websites: www.coachthearts.com and www.brainwavesart.com.
A Reset Button Called Mindfulness
By Nanette Saylor
Wow! The whirlwind of Winter has turned to Spring, Spring is quickly making way for Summer and I've barely had time to take a breath. Where did the time go?
More poignantly, am I being who I say I want to be, living a life of clarity, serenity and success?
Can you fellow Creative Souls appreciate my plight? Are you frustrated, exhausted and disconnected from pushing yourself past your limits?
Truth be told, even we who have stepped into seeking enlightenment through our creative process can fall into the trap of repeating old patterns and hanging on to old identities.
When that happens, it's time to reset our baseline, and the best way to do it is simply to return to a state of mindfulness. The good news is that a mindfulness practice is really easy to re-activate, takes very little time and has immediate positive outcomes.
Mindfulness = awareness. That's all.
When we are being mindful we focus attention on our thoughts, actions and motivations in the present moment, in a purposeful and deliberate way and without judgment.
We begin by simply stepping back to witness ourselves and the people and things around us.
We breathe deeply, slowly, and with intention.
We consciously shift to observing sights, sounds, and smells, taking in nature's beauty and delighting in the wonder of it all.
We notice tension, stress and anxiety and gently let it go.
We hear our Inner Critic, acknowledge him or her, and move on without limitations.
We release all judgment of self and others and accept that we are uniquely perfect just as we are.
These mindful observations are intended only to change our relationship and attitude towards our thoughts. The moment we acknowledge our intention to increase our awareness we have created the shift. We have pushed the reset button.
Clarity, serenity and success have returned, and all is well.
~ Nanette Saylor, a gifted speaker, writer, and creativity coach, is the founder of Wise Well Women. She inspires entrepreneurial women to courageously explore all life's possibilities. www.wisewellwomen.com
Congratulations to Jocelyn Paige Kelly, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
The Journey of Realizing My Own Creative Life
By Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Five years ago I went through a massive creative block.
Up until that time I had always been highly creative and very productive. I wrote short stories and poems all the time and was in the process of writing a novel. And then, it was like everything started to fade away.
I felt lost. I honestly didn't feel I'd ever create anything ever again.
Of course, and thankfully, I was wrong.
It took time to really understand what had happened. If there's one thing I've learned since then and through this certification program is that sometimes our creativity shifts. It's great when we're thriving because it's visible to us. But, when it shifts out of thriving to surviving, it does so out of necessity and becomes invisible.
We can't always see how we use creativity. When people say they aren't creative, I do not believe this to be true. They just haven't opened up to how it's different for them or how it's shifted over time.
I believe that creativity has a unique rhythm for each individual, one that can have dramatic hills and valleys for people during stressful life events. This is why I incorporate wellness and stress management techniques in my particular style of creativity coaching. My background in clinical hypnotherapy and NLP has helped me develop techniques and scripts that focus on specific issues with creative expression.
When we learn to embrace the flow of our creativity with self-compassion, patience, and gratitude, we develop a foundation of resilience that can steer us through life even if we feel that we're lost.
All we need to be creative is to believe in ourselves. Especially in our darkest hours.
~ Jocelyn Paige Kelly is a certified creativity coach who understands the vulnerable relationship between creativity and wellness. Her passion and joy in life is in helping others realize their creative life by understanding their own creative rhythm. Visit her blog for tips on creativity and wellness:http://realizingyourcreativelife.com/blog.html.
CCA's 2013 Coaching Certification Courses
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
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.
Shop the CCA Creativity Marketplace!
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CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book
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Let your Creativity Soar in these Pages!
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information.