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Creativity Calling

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the December issue of Creativity Calling!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season...warm, peace-filled and loving moments with friends and loved ones. I also hope that you are reflecting on your many blessings and successes of the past year.

To help us take inventory and assess the directions we want to take in the coming year, our CCA coaches come bearing gifts. Karen offers compelling reasons to spend quiet, reflective moments looking at where we've been in the past before moving ahead. Some creative folks find it difficult to set goals (or to make decisions) at any time of the year and Lynn gives us an excellent technique to overcome this challenge. Bonnie suggests we incorporate a useful habit into our new year, one that has the power to assist us in living a more joyful and centered life.

Congratulations to Mary O'Gara, the newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach! Many thanks to Mary for sharing several sparkling insights from her journey in coach training!

Please take a peek at, (within this newsletter), the upcoming events list and then take advantage of these opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Anniversaries are for celebrating, and 2015 is going to be an especially fun year as the CCA celebrates giving a decade of service to artists, creative folks, creativity coaches and creative work worldwide! There is so much to celebrate!

Lastly, be certain to place on your calendar the details (time and call-in numbers) for the CCA's January 13, 2015 Transformational Tuesday Interview. I will interview live, Starla J. King, on how to "Cultivate a Creative 2015". Since goal setting can be challenging for creatives, let's set ourselves up for success from the start. Join us on this free call...our gift to you, our newsletter subscribers.

Do you have a creative soul on your holiday list? Why not inspire him/her with copies of the CCA's Inspiring Creativity anthology book or Success Stories E-book? With no wrapping or shipping on your part, one or both books can be purchased today by clicking on links within this newsletter! Let's be the spark that lights someone's creativity year round! Also, while creating your 2015 intentions and goals, do consider including a gift for yourself--a creativity coach who can assist you in turning your dreams into reality! Our website provides a generous listing of talented and caring coaches who would love to support you.

Please continue to write us with your questions and areas of interest--we love your input! And DO feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues!

Joy to you and Joy to our world!

Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association

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Reflections: Looking back...going forward
By Karen Sjoholm

Sugaring: Tapping into our CreativityCycles of life... beginnings... endings... the year turns. Intentionally reflecting on the close of a year is a valuable practice when we desire to move into the New Year with clarity of purpose.

The root of "reflect"is reflexio--the act of bending back.We turn away from the forward moving energy of our days and shine the light of our consciousness back onto on the past year. Self-reflection is a way of listening deeply to both the passionate and subtle currents of life that we have experienced.

In Navajo creation stories, all life forms transition through a series of worlds in a state of continual transformation. Always, there is a small seed of energy that is a harbinger of the beautiful world coming next. This energy accompanies the move from one world to another
and begins the process that is vital for new growth.

What heart-felt essence do you long to bring forward from your past year? This simple meditative practice will help you reflect on, visualize, and manifest that power.

Take a few moments of quiet. Find a position you are comfortable in--sitting or lying down. Gently close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Lightly follow your breath as it rises and falls. Bring your attention to your heart area and focus on all the love you have offered and received during the past year.

Ask your heart to show you what to bring into the new year. Is there an image, phrase, sound, gesture, or feeling that shimmers to you like a beckoning light? Dance it. Paint it. Sing it. Write it down. Make it visible to yourself so you never lose sight of the vital, enduring spirit that will grow, nourish, and sustain you in the coming year.

~ Karen Sjoholm is an artist, educator, and creativity coach (almost completed with CCA certification) with twenty years of experience guiding intrepid explorers through the creative process for both personal and professional development. karen.sjoholm@gmail.com and www.karensjoholm.com.

Ready to P.O.P.P.?
By Lynn Wyvill

When we think of creative blocks, what usually comes to mind are those awful moments when we sit at the computer, easel, or sketchbook and nothing comes. Our brains are barren, and the void seems to grow bigger and deeper with each passing minute.

But there's another kind of creative block that doesn't get quite as much attention. I call it P.O.P.P--Plethora of Possibilities Paralysis.

Does this sound familiar?

"I could do this. No, this one instead. No.This one is better. No. Oh, oh, I know! No. Wait."

And that's what we end up doing. Waiting. Then waiting some more until, ultimately, we do nothing.


We worry we will choose the wrong idea, and the project will be a disaster. An idea looks promising, but we're not exactly sure what to do with it. There's the guilty "I should" projects versus the "I want" projects. We're afraid to take a risk, to fail.

FEAR marches in and takes over!

So what can we do?

Well, there's always allowing chance to decide. Throw a dart at your list. Close your eyes, point at your list. Wherever your dart or finger lands is your next project. Cut the list into strips and draw one from a basket.

Then there's the more scientific approach. You could choose a project that is easy or small to get you going. Maybe there is one that would give you the most creative satisfaction or seems to be the most interesting to you.

Is there one that doesn't seem like as big a risk?

Perhaps, begin with the one that you can't get off your mind. If it's a big or difficult project, break it into smaller steps. Do step one and see how it goes. Sometimes that's enough to get started and carry you through.

I've suffered from P.O.P.P. myself. I've tried all these techniques.
But my favorite one is taking a walk in the fresh air. That's when ideas float across my brain like the clouds in a summer sky. My mind is refreshed, and I'm relaxed. Moving my feet helps me sort through my plethora of possibilities and overcome my mental paralysis. It works every time.

~ Lynn Wyvill, a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, has finally finished the first draft of her book of essays about nature and is editing and rewriting--a lot. Contact her at lwyvill@comcast.net


Meditation Matters... Get Quiet to Get Going
By Bonnie Perry

How can taking time out to sit still rather than jump right into the day enable me to have a more productive day? Shouldn't I get going rather than stop and be still? What simple practice can help me live a more meaningful and successful creative life?

The start of a new year brings a natural desire to set new practices in motion, and mediation or simply quiet time plays a key role in the creative life. It may seem logical to jump right into the activities of the day, but investing time in getting still--getting centered--sets a foundation for the day. It is a form of listening in to our own internal wisdom as well as messages from the Universe.

There are no right or wrong ways of doing this. Sometimes the word "meditation" brings expectations, but simply sitting still is the important act. Here are a few things I have found very helpful in my practice of "quiet time." First, find a comfortable chair in a quiet setting. Having a designated place makes a difference. Rituals such as reading a daily meditation book and lighting a candle or incense help the busy mind shift gears, set the tone and establish a pattern that helps the body, mind and spirit settle in. Creating an altar or something that is enjoyable to look at can also add to the experience.

Be patient. Know that the mind tends to wander. If you find yourself in the business of the day, bring yourself back by focusing upon your breath. Don't resist or judge. Very gently bring yourself back. It's OK. Just begin again. Keep a pad of paper at hand. You can jot down that "to do" list that is stuck in your mind as a way of getting back to quiet. Ideas or words may come flooding in--inspiration. Capture them!

Taking even five or ten minutes at the start of each day is an investment in your creative life that pays off immensely. Quiet is a powerful state that takes joyful practice

~ Bonnie Perry is a Creativity Coach (nearly finished in CCA certification), a writer, glass artist, hypnotherapist and Mid-wife of Possibilities. Her passion is the Spiritual Dimension of Creativity. She has a Master's Degree in Transpersonal Studies with a focus in Creativity. She can be reached at baperry444@gmail.com. Her website is: www.awakeningwisdomandwimsey.com

Congratulations to Mary O'Gara,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

The Power of the Small
By Mary O'Gara

In high school, I expected creative ideas to strike like bolts of lightning. There I'd be, with a clean sheet of paper in the typewriter and my fingers poised over the keyboard--and boing--the great novel would happen--or I'd be at the piano--and boing--or point my camera--boing!

Fortunately, photojournalism happened. I learned to notice details and, eventually, to appreciate the importance of small insightful pings. A ping is as good as a boing, if you greet it with respect and without judgment.

Over the years, my best creative work has grown out of the pings. I've learned to handle each ping as gently as I would a fresh-picked peach.

Notice. Pay attention to the small insights, whether it's the precise colors and shades of a sunbeam or the way a baby touches a puppy. What do you hear in the gap between spoken words and unspoken meanings? Or see at dusk that no one else notices?

Savor. Record it. Hold it without judgment until you can taste and consider it over time.

Nurture. Play with your ping, bathe it with curiosity. What if? And if I used it there? What if I mingled it with this other idea?

Archive. Save the pings forever. They'll take form in your work when you've accumulated the right experience to go with them. It's like finding a rare piece of silk and keeping it until you design a dress or hearing a drumbeat that inspires a dance after a decade.

Some of my best pings were things I discovered in the process of my own creative work. I return to a work in progress and notice something I don't remember putting there. And as often as not, that something matters--maybe more than the material I included consciously.

Along the way, I've had boing moments. Most of them were the result of pings.

And one other thing: I strive to do one thing every day that I didn't know I could do the day before. That daily small act of courage seems to open my heart to pings and, eventually, to the bigger boings and opportunities that become a creative lifestyle.

~ Mary O'Gara is a CCA certified creativity coach, life coach and an award-winning poet, short fiction writer and columnist. Mary is especially interested in how creativity develops after age 50. You can reach her at maryogara@gmail.com and www.maryogara.com.

Special CCA Events for
2015--Save These Dates!

To celebrate the Creativity Coaching Association's first decade of service to Creativity Coaching and to Creativity For All, we have several events scheduled and more being planned!


* In January...
"Cultivating a Creative 2015"
We will kick off the new year with a Transformational Tuesday Interview on January 13, 2015. Join Bev Down, CEO & President of the CCA, as she speaks with Starla J. King, about goal setting for creatives. Goal setting can be a controversial topic for creative professionals, as much of our meaningful work comes through spontaneity and inspiration.

Starla shares that what is needed is a way to set goals that work with our creative personalities, taking into consideration the unique challenges of creative work, and providing the spark needed to enjoyably turn ideas into reality.

This will undoubtedly be a lively discussion on how to create the future state we dream of for our creative work in 2015--with enough structure to guide us, and enough flexibility to free us. This is a "free" tele-call and the CCA's gift to you --the call in number and pass code will be shared shared next month.

Starla J. King is a CCA certified creativity coach and writing coach at www.OutWriteLiving.com She is the author of the book WIDE AWAKE: EVERY DAY. Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living.

To join us on January 13, 2015 @ 12:00 PM, EST
Dial-in Number: 1-626-677-3000; Participant Access Code: 8673879# (follow prompts)


* In February...
"Catch The Creativity Wave"
A one day CCA live tele-seminar on Friday, February 20, 2014 devoted to the creative gifts, talents and genius that lie within and belong to us all. Hosted by Beverly Down, CCA President, this special day will be spent with a bounty of our top CCA Creativity Coach Professionals who will inspire and motivate you in creating your best work in the year to come... and beyond. Save this date--more details will follow soon.


* In March...
"Creativity Coaching Extravaganza"
This live event (March 27-29, 2015) is being held at the Rowe Center in MA and is hosted by Eric Maisel, a prominent creativity coaching pioneer and author of many popular books on the subject of creativity and for artists.

Eric writes: "If you are a creativity coach, this is the place to meet your peers, make new friends, and learn the ins and outs of the profession of creativity coaching. If you're a therapist or life coach, this is place to learn about creativity coaching. And if you're an artist-writer, painter, actor, musician, etc.-this is the place to learn some super important principles about how to create deeply and regularly and how to maintain a creative life. Come on over!

Beverly Down, president of the Creativity Coaching Association, will also be there to chat about the association and answer questions. We'll have a lovely Friday get-together with hors d'oeuvres by the fire in the comfy lodge, dinner in the lodge's charming dining room, and a first gathering that Friday evening. Then a weekend of fun and information!"

Mark your calendars: http://rowecenter.org/events.php?event=348


* In the Fall of 2015...
CCA Creativity Coaching Conference & Celebration
Join us as we celebrate the first decade plus of the Creativity Coaching Association!

This will be the third live International gathering for the CCA. Plans are underway, and stay tuned for details as they are confirmed!

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 nearly 100 different specialties.

Find a coach here.

New CCA Coaching
Certification Courses
Beginning In January 2015!

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.


Shop the CCA Creativity Marketplace!

Click here to learn more

Breathe in Creativity!

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 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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