The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the October issue of Creativity Calling!
As we near the end of October and witness changes in nature, it's curious to me how climate change can mirror internal and external shifts in our daily lives. The weather turns colder outside and intuitively we know it's time to stoke up the fires that warm our hearts--as well as our bodies.
This is a perfect time for reflection, a time to ask: What is it that inspires me the most? What is it that truly makes my heart sing? What fills me with joy and brings a smile to my face at the mere thought of it?
This month our CCA creativity coaches want to assist us with paying closer attention to new inspirations and/or rekindling buried ideas and fanning those creative fires into external blazes! Nellie shares insights for focusing on small details for creative stimulation. Starla shares four tangible steps we can take when we find our creative energy depleted. Then Jocelyn suggests creating a "rainy day box" as a means of collecting ideas for future harvesting. And last, but certainly not least, a huge congratulations to Nanette Saylor, the newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach, who shares her journey of creative self-discovery and path to creativity coaching.
Thank you for subscribing to Creativity Calling. We appreciate you! Feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends and colleagues. And, continue to write us with your questions and areas of interest, as we love your input!
Love and creative success!
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
By Nellie Jacobs
This summer, my 7 year old grandson Charlie asked to use my cell phone camera. Seizing the sudden opportunity for a lesson in creativity, I gladly handed him the phone. When he proudly shared his long shot of his swing/slide set, I praised it and then suggested he try again, this time thinking about a point of interest. Curious, he asked what that meant. Keeping the explanation simple, I suggested, "Look at something from a different angle than usual, go really close, and make it interesting." He took those words to heart, and I was blown away by the result. He then moved around the backyard, taking one incredibly detailed and well designed close-up after another of flowers, weeds, birds on branches, all kinds of inanimate objects, and his siblings in action.
Paying attention to small details all around us helps us to see so much more, thereby stimulating our creative minds into entirely new directions.
Last fall, along with tens of thousands of people worldwide, I took a free online Creativity course offered by Stanford University. It was an eye-opener, literally. One of our assignments was to pay attention to and compare details of a myriad of stores: the design of their storefronts, window treatments, product displays, music, decor, staff and customer behavior, etc. That exercise absolutely honed my perceptions in general about retail, design, marketing, purpose, and social behavior.
Another time, during a country weekend nature photography workshop, we participants were asked to concentrate on close up shots in the forest we were exploring in the rain. That exercise changed our view of the bigger world. While still concentrating on the various elements of design, breaking down the large picture into the microcosmic details of rocks, water, flora and fauna was a thrilling and transformational experience.
Years ago, I had a superb writing teacher whose ">" mark in the margin beside a passage of our submitted work made us better writers. That mark indicated the need to go deeper in our descriptions, to express a scene or sensation more explicitly. She meant for us to break the big picture (or story) into smaller elements, to use all of our senses, to notice and share small details.
We learned the deeper we go into our experiences and the more we pay attention to close-ups, the more wondrously creative are the results.
~ Creativity consultant and artist Nellie Jacobs is also author of Making Opportunity Knock and the newly updated Grading the Teacher. Visit her website at www.ignitingimagination.com
When the Inspiration Fades
By Starla J. King
There are delicious days when it feels as though we could ride that wave of creative inspiration forever: confidence is high, ideas flow effortlessly, our work turns out beautifully, and we remember why we stick to the discipline of our creative practices day after day.
And then there are those disheartening days when it seems our creative fire is barely smoldering: our ideas feel stale, our motivation has left the building, and the most we produce from our angst is another huge dose of resistance.
What can we do when we're out of creative juice, yet the deadlines loom?
What can we do when inspiration seems impossible, yet creating is a essential prescription for our emotional health?
- Change your language. We often talk about needing to push through a block, or break down our resistance in order to get inspired. We use terms of war, fighting, and great effort. What if instead we say things like dance with, facilitate, and allow our creative energy? Can you feel the difference? Subtle, but oh so powerful.
- Open your heart. Inspiration is much more than our intellect, yet we often try to think our way into creative mode. Give your mind a rest for a few minutes (aka "get out of your own way") while you engage in an activity that touches your heart: take a walk, touch nature, listen to a song you love, engage with others' art that moves you, etc. When your heart opens, your mind follows--give it a chance!
- Do just one. Sometimes inspiration simply isn't there and you're out of time... so it's time to wake up your creative energy by taking action. Sometimes all we can do is just one, and that's OK: one word, one dance step, one brush stroke, one photograph, one tiny smidgen of a remotely possible new idea. Do just one. Then do just one more. And repeat.
- Keep showing up. Chances are that by this step you'll be feeling inspiration nudging you again, but even if you don't, keep showing up so you'll be ready when inspiration arrives. Bring your tools, bring your intentions and receptivity, bring your heart, and keep showing up.
Your inspiration awaits!
~ Starla J. King is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, writing coach, creativity consultant, and writer. You can reach her at email@example.com and outwriteliving.com
Harvesting Your Creative Ideas
By Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Autumn is here and the leaves are falling from the trees. The time is right to reconsider our creative endeavors especially those we've allowed to brew in the back of our minds.
When I was a child, I used to keep a box and fill it with ideas. I called it my rainy day box and didn't realize at the time how important this box would later be to me. It is the one source of inspiration I return to over and over again.
Every so often I go through my rainy day box and search through the scraps of random paper I've scribbled on and see what inspiration falls to mind. Sometimes I find that one missing ingredient to a short story I've been working on for awhile.
Other times I find an idea I've forgotten about and now have a better idea of how to approach it. Then, there are times when I'm able to see how three separate ideas I've jotted down over time and shoved in my box are really all interconnected.
This, I've discovered, is the magic behind harvesting.
Now I encourage folks to come up with their own version of a rainy day box to serve them as a place to return and harvest ideas that they've written down and planted, maybe even unknowingly, in their subconscious mind.
A few ways to harvest your ideas:
- Create an idea log. Like a journal, this is a place to write a list of your ideas. Go through your idea log once a week or month and see if something emerges more fully realized for you in this process.
- Treasure hunt through past, unfinished projects. Is there anything there you can harvest or rebirth into something new? Does it feel like you can approach the idea more fully now than before? What's changed for you?
- Start now and jot down a list of all the ideas you've had, but have yet to fully explore. Spend time sitting with them and brainstorming to see if there's one or more that peaks your interest for developing into reality.
~ Jocelyn Paige Kelly is a CCA 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: realizingyourcreativelife.com/blog.html.
Congratulations to Nanette Saylor,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
My Answer is Always Love
By Nanette Saylor
I was first introduced to the work of Leo Buscaglia, the author of the classic titled simply Love, at the age of 19. The blossoming of my truest knowing began there, but the ignition of that flame smoldered untended for 25 years as I pursued a career.
My career in hospitality would quickly become all consuming. The child bursting with creative energy, who effortlessly mastered most forms of art-making, grew into an adult who made life decisions that left no room for anything but exhaustive work. That joy-filled child became a women with no answer to the questions "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?".
Seeking answers I found comfort in writing and creating from "scrap", and my story of creative recovery began. Now, proud to call myself a "recovering stress junkie", I see clearly that my journey brought me purposely to this state of awareness so that I may serve as a beacon and support for others. If I could find my way back to the joy of living through creating then maybe others could, too.
I have been blessed with the evolution of a gift. It is the gift of love for all things and all people without judgment and it connects me to the universal life force that I know as my creative essence. It is what led me to Creativity Coaching.
My purpose is to be LOVE in all that I am and all that I do and to engage everyone in the pure joy of creative self-discovery.
Love is joy.
Joy is creativity.
Creativity is love.
So when I ask myself the question, "What actions will I take to anchor this intention to be LOVE?" the answer I receive is clear...
Speak boldly about the value of creative self-discovery.
Speak powerfully about the value of support.
Speak with passion about coaching, connection and community and tell the stories of the profound transformation possible.
Be loud if you must.
Find a way to reach those waiting to hear this message of hope.
Tell them "You are Enough."
Share this conversation,
knowing that the circles of connection are limitless.
And always remember, no matter what the question,
the answer is always love.
~ Nanette Saylor, CCA Certified Creativity Coach, founded Wise Well Women and is the new Director at Trash to Treasure Creative Reuse Center in Ft. Lauderdale. She inspires everyone to courageously explore all life's possibilities. www.wisewellwomen.com
New CCA Coaching Certification Course Starts in October 2013!
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.
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Get in the Creative Flow with this Book!
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 October 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 email@example.com for information.