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Creativity Calling

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the August issue of Creativity Calling!

Here we are in the last month of the season already. As a youth, I used to roll my eyes at the constant quipping of "Time flies!" by the older generation, but now that I reside in that demographic, I certainly get it!

How do we learn to effortlessly move forward with our weeks, months, seasons--our lives, without resistance or blockages in our creativity? Do you think living more fully in the present helps remedy the quickened pace of passing time? Perhaps. I know I can't think of a better way to enjoy this month than simply being more aware of "now" as it is happening. How about you? Where do you find yourself at this stage in your life?

For me, my highest truth and greatest joys are always found in the present. My best memories are usually of those times when I was fully present, and so, today's experiences will create future joys or be found lacking. Boy, I'm philosophical today, eh?

Well, please allow us to add some interesting and inspiring perspectives from the CCA's wonderful creativity coaches. This month, David suggests truly embracing the changing of the seasons for renewed energy and creative inspiration. Kate shares her thoughts on how "the state of grace" is obtained through living in the moment and how this benefits us. Barbara offers reasons why being centered in who we are is far more important and meaningful than succumbing to trends that come and go. A special congratulations to Kathy Shalhoub, our newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach, who lives in Dubai, UAE! Kathy extols the benefits of risk taking and letting the world "see" one's uniqueness. She is walking the talk in becoming the CCA's first certified coach in Dubai!

If you have a moment, check out the websites of the coaches who contributed articles by clicking on their links, or by going to www.creativitycoachingassociation.com. Within our "find a coach" directory, you'll find their coaching profiles, along with information on scores of other CCA member coaches. Each one would love to assist you in your creative growth!

As always, we encourage you to forward this newsletter to friends, family and colleagues. We covet your feedback, so keep sending the CCA your feedback and suggestions.

Enjoy your self!


Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association

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Sugaring: Tapping into our CreativitySeasonal Energy
By David Smith

Each June, we look forward to seeing our summer neighbors, an older couple who are like second parents to us. We greet each other with long hugs anticipating the blissful weeks ahead. But we don't have to wait long before Bob puts on a sour expression and grumbles that as soon as summer arrives, it's already passing us by. Playing the grumpy old man is his annual joke, and we respond with our annual chuckle and our annual "Oh, now, Bob... But like all humor, Bob's joke contains an element of truth, in this case, a timeless nugget of spiritual wisdom:

Change is inevitable. Embrace it.

CCA enjoys membership all over the world, so wherever you are reading this, you are anticipating a change of season next month. Here in the north, we are measuring out the last days of summer. Soon, our lives will fill up again with a purposeful schedule of meetings to attend and events to join. In the southern hemisphere, you are anticipating the promise of spring and the relative ease of summer living. But wherever creative people find themselves, the change of season stirs up new energy.

Sometimes the season brings a bit more free time to recommit to a project that has lain dormant awhile. Sometimes the season brings the possibilities of renewing relationships and reconnecting with a wealth of resources that stimulate and support our projects. Whatever seasonal change is on the way, no doubt you already feel the winds of change within you. Have you noticed yet? If you take a quiet moment, can you sense the rustling of leaves in your interior landscape?

Change is inevitable, and embracing change means flowing with the renewed energy that change brings into our lives. So, let's allow the new season to move our creativity forward. They say that if we ask, the universe will respond. If we hold our creative projects forward in our thinking, the coming season is certain to respond by sending endless possibilities on new breezes. Embrace the change, and let your new seasonal energy stir you to sweep more creativity into your life.

~ David Smith, M.Ed. coaches writers, artists and other creatives through Creativity Smith, his on-line coaching practice. He is a CCA certified creativity coach, a published and award-winning playwright and has also written for children's television. David can be contacted at david@creativitysmith.com or www.creativitysmith.com.

Opening to Grace
By Kate Longmaid

Grace exists in the present moment. It resides in the space where we lose ourselves in the creative process, at the intersection of presence and flow. Through grace we have a glimpse of timelessness, a fleeting reprieve from our sense of mortality. We exist neither in the past nor the future, but in the now.

We experience grace when we open our hearts to love. We encounter grace in the beauty of nature. We discover grace when we embrace faith in something larger than ourselves. So, too, we can experience grace when we engage in the creative process.

How can we cultivate grace in our day-to-day creative work and lives? We can honor and nurture our creativity by engaging in work that we love, practicing it on a regular basis, and making it a priority in our lives. We can create conditions conducive to flow, the state of being fully immersed and engaged in an activity that feels both challenging and deeply satisfying. We can look for continual opportunities to grow and evolve. We can eliminate distractions and find space that allows us to work without interruption. We can relinquish expectations, let go of our inner critic, and focus on the process not the outcome.

Cultivating grace is not without risk. We must risk showing up for our creative work. We must risk encountering aspects of self and/or experience, previously repressed or disavowed, in the service of the work. We must risk giving voice to our story, expressing our deepest truths, sharing our unique vision. We must trust the process and allow it to unfold, riding the inevitable waves of doubt, being open to unexpected discoveries.

At these moments, if we are fortunate, we have the experience of flow. We tap into something deeper than ourselves, the current that flows through all of us and connects us to the whole of creation. We experience the boundlessness of our creative reservoir. We open ourselves to grace.

~ Kate Longmaid, Ph.D. is a psychologist, CCA certified creativity coach, and visual artist who helps people lead more creative, fulfilling, and vibrant lives. You can visit her web sites at www.katelongmaidphd.com and www.katelongmaid.com. You can reach Kate at kate@katelongmaidphd.com.

Meaning Matters: Trends are Mere Details
By Barbara Millman Cole

As artists, we think about what's trending in our world. We wonder if we must change our work to "fit" into the latest fashionable idea. Perhaps we are seeing it backwards. Why not ask ourselves how what's trending 'fits' into our work?

If vibrant colors are trending and we prefer muted, subtle shades, do we compromise our sensibilities to accommodate the momentary flash, or do we continue along our own, familiar road? The answer is to continue to explore our spirit and mind for unique expressions of what we want our art to convey, to ourselves and to our audiences. Will adding vibrant color change our message? Maybe, maybe not. Try it and see. Stick with the heart of your work, adding in the trends to discover if they enhance your art. Art is experimentation after all.

Trends don't make a piece of art valuable. The heart and soul an artist puts into making the art is what brings value to the dance, painting, song, or play. Meaning matters. When we become aware of our mind, body, and spirit working in tandem, we create from a center of trust and clarity. We create from the heart, the place of emotion and soul that matters most in art. While details enhance the artist's thought, the artist's thought gives focus to the details. Trends are mere details.

Vampires, zombies, or teenage romances are pieces of the puzzle, the puzzle put together by the wit and wisdom of its creator, the artist. So, if vampires are all the rage, give some aspect of vampirism a role in your expressive work and see how it augments the piece. Perhaps zombies will bring balance. In "Warm Bodies", a love story about teenagers discovering who they are, even zombies are able to express love everlasting in a modern "Romeo and Juliet" way. Who saw that coming?

Going outside the comfort zone is what artists do. Trends come and go. Artists use them as tools to enrich their particular work. Rather than ignore trends, explore them and incorporate them into your own unique way of seeing the world.

~ Barbara Millman Cole is an award winning author of Short Literary Fiction, editor, and creativity coach, who helps writers delve deep to discover their true meaning. Understand why you create so you know what to create. ─ bmillmancole@sbcglobal.net.


Congratulations to Kathy Shalhoub,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

In Search of the Purple Cow
By Kathy Shalhoub

One of the scariest, bravest most courageous things we've ever done is to take the road of creativity over the more conventional road. So far, well done!

But what do you do to stay there?

Many of us 'creatives' start out taking one or two great (and terrifying) risks that differentiate us from the sea of sameness we seem to be surrounded by. We make brave decisions, we leave corporate jobs behind, we write up our own job descriptions and we create the lives that we long to live.

Then we get comfortable.

We try not to shake things up too much, we avoid criticism, we play it safe, and we seek only praise from our world.

If you've read Seth Godin's Purple Cow, you'll know that the rules of success have changed already, and if we don't keep standing out, we're going to blend it to the background and at best, ride a dying wave. Godin says, 'the best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed." And what kind of creative person yearns to go unnoticed?

Standing out, though, brings up a new issue.

Risk. The risk of creatively crashing and burning in a spectacular public explosion, spraying experimental debris and the shrapnel of vulnerability everywhere.

My biggest challenge at the moment is being remarkable, stepping out of the background and getting noticed. Taking a risk no matter the consequences, because not taking a risk is just as bad as failing. I'm searching to be that Purple Cow, to be and do things differently.

What about you? Where are you getting complacent? And where can you take a big fat risk, and be remarkable?

~ Kathy Shalhoub is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, a Certified Co-active Life Coach, and an award-winning author with a PhD in Marine Optics in her history. You can reach her at hello@kathyshalhoub.com

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 100 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in over 100 different specialties.

Find a coach here.

New CCA Coaching
Certification Courses
Starting Soon!

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.


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Follow Your Creative Urges!

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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the August 2014 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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