The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the November issue of Creativity Calling!
During November many of us focus on things and people for which we are thankful. Appropriate, since that was Abraham Lincoln's intention when he set aside Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
I hear many express strong opinions, however, about the hoopla surrounding the entire holiday season. Personally, during this time of the year--for many decades now, I've placed a conscious focus on what I want to see increase and expand in my life. I'm always grateful for the focus a holiday can bring, and it warms my heart to know others also are expressing increased gratitude this month. I'm grateful for every new day...for the opportunity to bring even more joy into my life.
In this month's newsletter we share with you a delicious cornucopia of articles. Our CCA coaches zero in on the joys of bringing your creativity to the forefront of your life, consequently honoring yourself and others. Gioya takes us on a stroll through our individual and collective creative seasons. Kris offers suggestions for staying true to our creative selves while keeping up with daily responsibilities. I share a few thoughts on the power and importance, on a daily basis, of acknowledging the gratitude we feel in our lives.
Lastly, BIG congratulations to Donaleen Saul, the newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach, who hails from British Columbia, Canada! Thanks to Donaleen for sharing her timeless message that we are never too old to become our true self.
On behalf of the CCA, I send heartfelt gratitude to you, our readers. Thank you for subscribing to Creativity Calling! Please continue to send us your feedback and suggestions. As always, feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.
With much love & thankfulness!
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
The Seasons of Creativity
By Gioya McRae
I think creativity has seasons. The winter is when ideas hibernate. Cocooned in a warm home, they morph from ripened apples into a holiday cobbler of creative pursuits. We allow our minds to relax and slip into the aromas of holiday kitchens. Periodically, we scribble a crumb of an idea on a convenient paper towel or brown bag.
The spring allows the imagination to take a stroll around the neighborhood, absorbing the fresh air and sweet smell of crocus, enhancing its nuances. We shake off the chill of winter and clean our closets. We pull out forgotten sheer floral curtains, along with repressed creative ideas that just need a little sprucing up. We shake them out in the warming air and breathe new life into old projects. We make pungent lemonades to awaken our creative palates.
In the summer sun, concepts mature into full-grown creations that are off and running through our souls, bursting from us in uncontrollable spurts like dandelions. Our creative processes fully bloom. We invite our neighbors to come to our well-crafted barbeque and indulge in the elements of our tastiest new ideas.
Autumn settles our psyches as we harvest old ideas and germinate new ones to start the cycle again. These new beginnings are like comfort food to our souls. We put away our summer thoughts and revel in the memory of how we shared our talents with friends and family. What originality can we bring next time? What new seasonings will we mix into our next events? What chutney of inspirations will we offer in the future?
Whatever the seasons bring, believe that we will always have something special to offer...the gift of our creative soul.
Recipe for Creativity
1 Cup of Your Essence
2 Tablespoons of Faith
1 Teaspoon of Courage
Mix ingredients in an alabaster bowl. Infuse batter with a love of your craft. Allow your family to lick the spoon and comment on your talents. Cover the bowl and allow mixture to rise. Resist urges to tamper with perfection. Pour your batter into a bake pan along with your heart and soul. Allow to bake until a heavenly aroma fills your home. Share your creation with as many people as you can reach. Enjoy!
~ ©2013 Gioya McRae, CCA Certified Creativity Coach, founded Mocha Mind Communications: Coaching for Write-Brained People. She coaches people in writing and self-publishing. http://mochamind.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The Airplane Principle
By Kris Reichart-Anderson
Are you flying this holiday season? Then listen closely to the flight attendant. "Place oxygen mask on yourself first, before assisting others." This is the airplane principle.
As a coach, I have heard many variations on this theme: "I don't have time to be creative because I have responsibilities to my family." I get that. We all have responsibilities to our families. We must put food on the table, wipe runny noses, and take aging parents to doctors' appointments. We also have a responsibility to be true to ourselves. When we use our families as an excuse not to follow our heart's desire, we are doing a disservice to them and to ourselves.
But when our children are small or have special needs or our parents are aging and need support, finding the time to create, becomes one more task on an already overwhelming to-do list, one that's easy to ignore. "Place oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting others." When we take the time to be creative, however, we return to our families with more energy, and a fresh attitude.
So how do we find time in our crazy, jam-packed schedule?
First, we ask for help. Since we are competent adults, often others don't realize that we need help unless we come right out and say it. Don't sugarcoat it. Be specific. Do you need someone to take Dad to his Thursday appointment? Do you need help with grocery shopping or laundry? If you are a caregiver for a family member, do you need respite care?
Second, delegate. Just because we've always done it this way may not be the right way now. Carpool the kids to school or sports practice. Swap play dates with another Mom. Farm out your current responsibilities. Can your teenagers start cooking dinner, for example? No, they don't cook as well as you, but they'll never learn if they don't try. Maybe hiring a cleaning or lawn service is the answer.
Third, reduce. Serving cereal and milk for dinner or using paper plates one or two nights a week won't bring child protective custody screaming to your door. Nor will not having your children in activities every day of the week mark you as a bad parent. Ask your children if they had to give up one activity, what would it be. Their answer may surprise you.
Finally, share. If you can't find the time to be creative alone, invite everyone. Turn off the electronics and have everyone draw, write, sing. Start a new tradition. Model what is important to you.
And as you breathe in your oxygen, then turn and assist others.
~ Kris Reichart-Anderson is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach living in West Texas. Contact Kris at email@example.com or visit Kris at her blog, The Leaping Net. http://leapingnet.blogspot.com/
Cultivating Our Attitude of Gratitude
By Bev Down
We are not thankful because we have a wonderful life...we have a wonderful life Because we are thankful.~ Bev Down
When we feel grateful, we set into motion the powerful Law of Attraction (also called the Law of Resonance, Law of Increase, or Law of Vibration) which states, That which is like unto itself will be drawn. When we are in gratitude, we become magnets for our good--we attract love and move beyond our intellect. What is good for us will automatically be best for others as well...
An Exercise: I call this exercise Five acknowledgements a day brings positive things my way! It is very simple: just acknowledge yourself for five things that you felt good about each day before you go to bed. Keep a pen and paper by your bed and list them if you want, or just recount them in your mind before dozing off. I believe this is a wonderful way to grow our self-appreciation. Sometimes it seems that people are only too eager to point out what is "wrong" in life. They walk around grumbling with a dark cloud over their head like Eeyore, the pessimistic little donkey in the Winnie the Pooh series. We get what we think about the most. So start collecting evidence that your life works and acknowledge it each day!
A Tool: Another good idea is to begin your day with gratitude. It sure feels better than dragging your behind into the kitchen for coffee and immediately jumping right into your things-to-do list. I made up a laminated "shower card" that I hang in my shower to remind me to start my morning on a positive note. So instead of thinking about yesterday or what I've got to do today while I am beginning a fresh new day, I am intentionally programing myself with positive thoughts. I've actually made up hundreds of these shower cards through the years to give as gifts. Here's what I write on them:
I am positive. I am confident. I radiate good things. I am magnetic to my highest good and it is magnetic to me. I am one with all that is. The power that created the Universe is in me and I direct it. I like who I am. I am grateful for my wonderful life--for everyone and everything in it. And so it is!
~ Bev Down is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach. The above article is a short excerpt from Self-Appreciation: How to Star in Your Own Life, © 2005 by Bev Down. You can find the entire article, along with 21 other great essays by our creativity coaches in the CCA's book, Inspiring Creativity. As you read on, you'll find a special offer for this book within this newsletter.
Congratulations to Donaleen Saul, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
Powered by Joy
By Donaleen Saul
Today, I proudly hung my newly framed CCA Certified Creativity Coach diploma on the office wall of my home, which is nestled next to the rainforest of Bowen Island, a short ferry ride from Vancouver, BC, Canada.
My interest in pursuing this profession began more than ten years ago when I was teaching a Creative Process course at the Vancouver Film School and became aware of Eric Maisel's work. I thought creativity coaching would be a great credential and skill set to inform my teaching and consulting work.
That's all true, but my decision to enroll in the CCA program had more to do with the heart than with career concerns. Seeing my enormously creative younger brother and other gifted friends giving up on their creative dreams in midlife sparked my passion to provide support and inspiration to people who feel they're too old and it's too late.
I can sometimes be one of them, and so I was and continue to be my steadiest client! While I've had a successful career as a writer/editor/script consultant, and it's work that I enjoy, my first passion was singing. I sang before I talked, I won prizes in music festivals, my uberstrict music-loving Grade 5 teacher forgave my unremarkable Social Studies grade by uncharacteristically declaring, "You're going to be a singer. You don't need to know Social Studies."
Ironically, I began my professional life as a Junior High Social Studies teacher before heading for the exit four years later and joining the film industry, a more interesting and rewarding career avenue. Derailed by circumstances, eroded by fear and neglect, any thought of a singing career had long since expired.
But my passion for singing refused to be denied. In my late 50s, I began taking singing lessons, I joined a gospel choir, I even worked up the courage to sing a blues song, aptly titled, In My Girlish Days at a concert that coincided with my 65th birthday. A feisty woman of my age came up to me afterwards and said, I want to be you."
Me too! It's the "you" we all want to be. The "you" who pursues what brings us joy, without any concern about career or cash or recognition. The "you" who discovers that doing what we love fuels all aspects of our lives.
What creative endeavor brings you joy? If you don't know, sit with that question for a few days and see what arises. Maybe it's something that you left behind when you "grew up." Whatever it is, I suggest you reclaim it and begin doing it again - in whatever way you can. Age is irrelevant. Creativity is our birthright. Joy knows no bounds.
As for me, I'm going to go sing now!
~ Donaleen Saul is a writer/editor, script consultant, CCA Certified Creativity Coach, WSFS certified feng shui practitioner, and uncloseted chanteuse living on Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.donaleensaul.com
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Life is not about finding yourself...
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~ E.W. Wilcox
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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.
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the November 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.