Welcome to the March issue of Creativity Calling!
Although the calendar says Spring has arrived, we aren't seeing it in many areas of the USA--for instance, at my locale in Lake George, New York.
And so, I planned a great escape to Virginia Beach, Virginia last week to experience some warmth and set my gaze upon some green grass and flowers. The high 60's and low 70's felt divine; of course, upon my return home the five-foot snow drifts were still there to greet me!
However, at this point, we all know the snow is short-lived; the promise of Spring already has sprouted a harvest of anticipation within us. I am, personally, enjoying setting new intentions for getting out and about in all kinds of new creative endeavors. What about you? Do you see seasonal changes as a time for re-creating and re-aligning your life? What in life makes your heart flutter? What in life brings you stress that you are ready to release? It's a wise investment of time to occasionally pause, feel our heart's desires and set our intentions to move in that direction.
Speaking of intentions, we have thought provoking, encouraging articles written by our CCA creativity coaches this month. John suggests we look closer in examining how mindfulness affects the creative work we do. Melissa asks us to take another look at how we daydream to explore the creative potential possible by embracing this valuable practice. Nellie gives us tips and tools for achieving more visibility by successfully sharing our creative passions out in the world. And lastly, Gabrielle Roux, the first CCA certified creativity coach in Switzerland, shares her personal and professional journey in putting creativity at the center of her life.
I hope you'll glean through this newsletter to unearth that which speaks to you and stimulates your inner creative. Enjoy!
We're grateful for your readership and love your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.
With love & success,
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Are We Creating or Just Cranking Out?
By John MacDonald
During a discussion period at a meditation retreat that I once attended, one of the participants stood up and proudly announced that he had been practicing for 19 years. After a brief silence, the retreat facilitator gently pointed out that such a record was largely meaningless, for it could represent nothing more than one year of true learning followed by 18 years of mindless repetition. This story, and its lesson, often comes to mind when I hear of artists setting ambitious goals of productivity for themselves: painters determined to create 100 paintings in one year or a musician attempting to compose an entire album in a month. While setting such goals is admirable and working intensely to meet them can result in much learning, the question always remains: is the quality of the attention while working on each piece taking a back seat to the mere number of pieces produced? Is the point to create and learn or just crank things out?
If we wish to grow as artists in our technical abilities and in the depth and breadth of our expression, then the quality of our attention when working will always be more important than the mere number of works we produce. More learning, and meaning, can be derived from a single piece in which we are fully and passionately engaged than in a thousand pieces which we simply crank out, mindlessly and repetitively. In other words, an artist who works mindfully will always learn more and develop her skills more quickly than an artist who produces much more work but does so without being fully engage in the process.
This is very good news for those artists who don't have the luxury of working full time at their art, for those who, because of outside responsibilities, are limited to working evenings or weekends. So-called Sunday Painters can become very good painters indeed if they spend each working session mindfully, attentively, and with curiosity and courage. And for those of us who work full time at our art, it's a warning that the quality of our art will wither away if we become complacent. Paying attention matters.
~ John MacDonald has been a full-time freelance illustrator and painter for over 30 years. A member of the Creativity Coaches Association and a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, he lives and works in Williamstown, Massachusetts. www.jmacdonald.com
Will Your Next Daydream Cause an Uproar?
By Melissa Rosatti
When I asked award-winning composer Missy Mazzoli if she dreams of music in her sleep, she responded, "no, I don't." But then with great enthusiasm, she went on to say she most definitely "daydreams about music." The flow of daydreams are as important to her as her disciplined practice of writing music every morning, running, and meditation.
Daydreaming occurs in the those moments when you are not paying attention to the task at hand, for example, sorting your shoebox of 2013 tax receipts or vacuuming the living room. While we all daydream, we might not appreciate the creative potential of allowing our thoughts to frolic or dawdle along. We're living in a world where anything that gives the appearance of "wasting time" is the worst possible reflection on our character. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In Mazzoli's case, she was browsing a Boston bookstore when she came across The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt. In the late 19th Century, Eberhardt, 23, shed her aristocratic trappings, disguised herself as a man, and wandered the Sahara Desert on horseback--alone. Then, at the age of 27, she died in a flash flood, leaving behind suitors, admirers, and vehement detractors.
"What would it be like to live her life?" This simple question fed Mazzoli's daydreams about Eberhardt. Several years later, Song from the Uproar:The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt debuted on stage as a multimedia chamber opera before a sold-out audience in New York. The opera's 15 songs transformed both Eberhardt's story and Mazzoli's career. "It is the biggest project I've ever done," Mazzoli said.
Now, it is your turn. Allow daydreaming to be your own private, experimental sound stage for people, places, things, and experiences.
Tips for Working with Daydreams
- Pay attention. When your mind wanders, where do your thoughts go?
- Notice the emotional and sensory quality of these thoughts.
- If a big idea comes up several times, ask the question, "what would it be like?" Play with the answers.
Live the creative life you imagine.
~ Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC, is a CCA member based in New York City. You can contact her at www.melissascoachingstudio.com
By Nellie Jacobs
It's one thing to be chomping at the bit, ready-finally-to inspire and change the world; it's quite another to let the world know you exist. These days, with a bit of imagination anyone engaged in the creativity field is in a terrific position to promote themselves and their creative passion. Countless platforms and websites offer simple tools to help you grow your network and achieve your goals.
If you haven't already done so, for very little time, money and research, you can start a blog or send out an e-newsletter to your network. (If it's too difficult to maintain regular postings, invite guests to contribute articles, or offer to write your own for other people's blogs.) Pitch editors of traditional or online publications with an idea for a regular daily, weekly or monthly column. (Have some samples ready for submission). Consider writing and self-publishing a short e-book that might, for instance, offer a step-by-step guide to your insights, experiences, or expertise. Speaking of specialties, prepare a course to teach in-person or online. Initiate and lead supportive groups. Post comments and share links on social media. Conduct interviews of creative individuals on a podcast series-or offer yourself as a well-informed talk show guest.
Creativity has become the buzz word used in ads, articles and media headlines around the world. The trick is to produce a 'hook' for a press release that will lead to a feature story. Plan events relating to current events or holidays. Identify a pressing public concern, its creative solution-and then act on it. As example, after internationally renowned creativity specialist Marci Segal read a 2001 newspaper banner that said creativity was in crisis, she was moved to establish World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 (Leonardo da Vinci's birthday) to 21. Through networking and media coverage, WCIW is now celebrated in more than 40 countries worldwide!
Here's an idea to promote creativity AND yourself immediately. Use WCIW as a newsworthy reason to go out into the community to encourage individuals and groups to do something special to celebrate creativity. Approach businesses, schools, recreation centers, clubs, and public institutions to establish partnerships or guide creative projects. For great ideas, explore http://worldcreativity.wordpress.com. Add to the list!
~ Nellie Jacobs is a Canadian award-winning artist and best-selling author whose creative initiatives-incorporating all the above suggestions-have been featured for decades by major national, regional and local media across the country. For more about Nellie's books, artwork, workshops and upcoming events, visit her website at http://www.ignitingimagination.com
Congratulations to Gabrielle Roux,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
By Gabrielle Roux
Up until the age of ten, creativity was alive in me. Then I changed school and my life evolved around being good at school, sports and doing my chores. After finishing school, I studied Pharmacy and my studies left me very little time for other things but during my preregistration year, I had Thursday afternoons off. Time and freedom, what luck....and creativity raised its head straight away. Together with a friend I enrolled into an art class. It was exhilarating, exciting and I felt very brave, like a real adventurer.
When I moved to Berlin, I enrolled into an evening class, but going to art school seemed so much out of my reach, I didn't even look at the building. Later, when I lived in Ireland, I continued with classes. I improved, but it always was such an inner struggle, because even though I yearned to paint, I somehow felt that there was a taboo and by painting, I continued to cross the line. Then the Universe gave me a push. There was a small college, where I lived and it offered a preliminary art course, but people also went there just for individual classes and I envied them. I went there, to the office, for information and 5 minutes later came out stunned, having signed up for the full program.
One year later, I successfully graduated the preliminary course, then applied and got accepted into art school. The process I went through in the following years, was deeply touching, challenging and also rewarding. My third year was extremely difficult, to an extent that I couldn't find the way forward anymore and nearly dropped out of college. I was heartbroken, when I came across some books on creativity and coaching. The books helped me to better understand the creative process--my emotions calmed, I pulled myself together and here I was, back on track. Also, the seed was now planted, that after my graduation in the fourth year, I will become a creativity coach.
And here I am--my own creative journey continues, as I keep on learning and developing. I've found that in creativity coaching all my passions have come together. Creativity once more is at the center of my life.
Matisse said: "Creativity takes courage", and I am grateful that I found the courage to be the badger and never let go.
~ Gabrielle Roux is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach who coaches "all creatives and creatives to be" through her online coaching practice.
Find her on www.pearlcreativitycoaching.com or contact her under roux_gabrIelle@yahoo.com.
New CCA Coaching
Starting in April!
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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Spring Forth With Creativity!
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the March 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information.