Welcome to the April issue of Creativity Calling!
Finally, winter and the snow are gone, and here in upstate New York--home base for the CCA--we can see the ground again. How I love springtime! The air is delightfully warm and everywhere, every day, nature celebrates as new life bursts forth in bright, intense color.
Regardless of when Spring arrives where you live, we want to dedicate this newsletter issue to cultivating new growth, bringing in fresh perspectives, and setting powerful intentions for the awakening of new creative energies. The first step is making the decision to change, and every person possesses that power--the power to change his/her mind. Change your mind, and you change your life!
This month, our CCA member coaches share tools and techniques to inspire and assist you with stepping into your creative greatness. Shaqe tees us up for creative growth through taking inventory of certain conditions that will optimally support us. Jill gives tools and techniques for capturing our creative ideas, so that our creative flow is going strong year-round, and Kris shares a few ideas for spring cleaning that help to make space and benefit our creative lives. Congratulations go out to Janice Reynolds, the CCA's newest certified creativity coach! You'll enjoy reading her story, including what motivated her to become a creativity coach.
Since we all are hardwired to seek personal growth experiences, why not give yourself a gift--the gift of a creativity coach? Imagine how the added support, encouragement and gentle accountability could assist you in moving forward with your creative dreams? Check out the CCA's database of stellar creativity coaches; each one would love to serve you!
We hope this newsletter provides a bit of fresh air and inspiration for you!
Feel free to share it with others and as always, don't hesitate to contact us with topics you'd like to see featured in future newsletters. We love your input and suggestions!
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Creating the Right Conditions for Creative Flow
By Shaqe Kalaj
When we think of creating we think about the tools and materials we use. If you are a visual artist you think about your paints and brushes. If you are a musician you think about having the right kind of guitar to affect the sound in a room. Your materials play a big factor in what you create and how you create.
However, there is something more important than your materials in affecting creative production. It is creating the right conditions for creativity to naturally open up. By supporting the right conditions you will find that ideas and production will surface more easily. You will find that resistance to creating is lessened.
You are probably curious what these conditions are and how do you create them. I must preface that it's important not to isolate one condition and just focus on one. The reason is that you need to create several conditions in order for creativity to flow easier. Also, as you change and evolve, these conditions will have to change and evolve.
There are five conditions that you can start to explore using:
- working incrementally
Space can be thought of in two ways: your physical space and your mental space. Support is the internal and external reinforcements you create. Inspiration is the objects or experiences that allow you to get going. Time is an essential ingredient in order for you to get things going. Instead of doing things in big chunks, think of working incrementally; you will find that you accomplish more and feel more relaxed because of this good habit.
Instead of focusing heavily on your materials as the source of your creativity, seek out forming the right conditions so that your creativity flows and grows. You will find that you will have easier access. Just keep in mind that you want to build enough options to choose from as you move through the different seasons of creating.
~ Shaqe (pronounced shacha) is an artist/coach/educator. You can reach her at www.artandideasgallery.com or www.mentoringyourcreativity.com or email@example.com.
By Jill Jones
Periods of creativity ebb and flow, making it imperative to capitalize on the fertile periods and build opportunities for moving past the slumps. Key to the process is preserving ideas that flow freely during creativity booms.
- Capture ALL the ideas your fertile mind is generating when in a flow. Don't stop to censor or critique ideas.
- Create an appealing system tailored to your preferences to organize ideas and inspiration.
- When in a slump retrieve your ideas and put them into action even if you aren't feeling inspired.
If you are 'old school' like me, you will enjoy capturing ideas in visual journals or other hold-in-your-hand formats. The act of writing/sketching/diagramming is a creative exercise by itself. This provides tangible satisfaction and adds fuel to the creative process. A simple method for retrieving ideas is to reserve pages upfront as a table of contents. Number pages as you go and list a short synopsis with the page number in the front.
Ideas can be captured on simple materials such as post-it notes, index cards, in moleskin notebooks, sketchpads, and journals, or on larger formats like rolls of paper posted on the wall or blackboards/whiteboards. Use whatever materials and methods excite your imagination. Go for bold and colorful.
If you are technologically-oriented capture and organize ideas into digital formats. Organize photographs in digital albums and use apps on tablets and phones to create images and lists. There are hundreds of websites and apps to organize and share information, so check out the capabilities of Pinterest, Evernote, OmniFocus and voice-to-text technology like Dragon Dictation for starters.
The primary concept is finding fun, easily retrievable ways to capture inspiration and ideas when they are flowing hot and fast, when your synapses are on fire. You may not be able to act on the ideas right away, but recording them in a simple format that appeals to you will prove extremely beneficial when you run into a fallow period. When your creative well is running dry nothing is better than pulling out a journal of inspiring doodles and sketches or to fire up the laptop loaded with juicy first lines for stories from your idea files. The act of turning the page or touching the keyboard can prime the pump and get you back into the creative flow.
~ Jill Jones is a creativity coach, artist and writer at JillKJones@sbcglobal.net, view websites at www.coachthearts.com and www.brainwavesart.com
If your Mind is Cluttered, Clean your House
By Kris Reichart-Anderson
Do you ever have those days when your creative energy is low? I was in that position a few years ago and my friend Jen told me "If your mind is cluttered; clean your house." Jen's a wise woman so I listened. I did some cleaning in my studio and I was back on track. Perhaps it can work for you, too. Simply put, cleaning is something you have control over. You decide what and how much to clean and while your hands are busy, your mind is able to regroup. So, how do you clean for creativity?
Tidy up. Look at your workspace. Look just at the space that you actually use. Now, put things back in their proper place. Dust thoroughly. Rearrange things. Put a flower in a vase or a piece of mint in a jar. Sometimes that's all it takes.
Deep clean. Other times, tidying up isn't enough. Take a day and open closets and drawers. Pull out boxes and bins and go through everything. Toss what doesn't serve you. That inkle loom you haven't used since 1998 would be welcomed by a local art center. Twelve copies of Poet's Market, seriously? Recycle. Having the tools of your art in your hands can spark ideas. That fabric, you didn't know what do to do with two years ago, tells you it's a beautiful blouse when you hold it up to the light. You come across a random story idea written on a napkin, and three hours later, it's a book proposal.
Declutter your life. Do you really need to be on six committees? Could you combine your art and your volunteer work? Could you contribute a painting to a charity auction? Write a grant for a community group? Organize a benefit concert? Your friend who doesn't take your art seriously, you know the one, "You can do that anytime. Let's go to lunch." Can you tell him no the next time he calls? Your family member who puts down what you do? How can you limit your time with them? Can you beg off a family gathering? Or bring a supportive friend?
So, now, you have some suggestions for cleaning creatively....hoping an idea or two can help to make new space in your life.
~ Kris Reichart-Anderson is a certified creativity coach living in Del Rio, Texas. Contact Kris at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://leapingnet.blogspot.com/.
Janice M. Reynolds
Congratulations to Janice M. Reynolds,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
The Next Adventure
By Janice M. Reynolds
I recently turned sixty. At this point in life I see myself looking both forward in time to what I will do next and backwards to the lessons learned from my past. I am looking forward to starting a new adventure as a creativity coach. While I am excited about it, I am also feeling that tiny bit of fear and trepidation that is only natural when one starts a new endeavor. One thing about being older is that you possess the knowledge that this fear will not last and a little courage allows you the freedom to try new things without knowing how they will turn out.
Looking back to my youth I realize that even though I was always interested in art, it was only a lack of courage that prevented me from devoting more of my life to my passion. This lack of courage also kept my art small and not as expressive as I would have liked. I have found it is always easier to be courageous when someone is watching your back; standing behind you and urging you on. This is what a good coach is meant to do. It would have been nice to have a coach when I was young. I would have gained more confidence in my art at an earlier point in time.
Looking forward to the future, I hope to serve this purpose for other artists. I intend to be the type of coach that I would have wanted when I was younger: someone who is able to encourage without interfering and someone who has the courage to communicate observations without judgment.
A few years ago I was not even aware that there were creativity coaches. I am glad that I found the Creativity Coaching Association. This is a valuable field. I regard being the sentinel watching the backs of others to be an honorable position. I want to encourage others in their artistic pursuits.
~ Janice M. Reynolds is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, an award winning visual artist, a wife and a C.P.A. You can reach her at email@example.com.
New CCA Coaching
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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CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book
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Permission to Create Given!
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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how much your postage costs will be.)
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the April 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 email@example.com for information.