Welcome to the February issue of Creativity Calling!
With winter still blasting much of the northern USA with subzero weather, it feels good to dedicate this issue of the newsletter to a topic promising us warmth of mind, body and soul: opening ourselves to greater love (individual and collective) and unlimited creativity.
I asked our CCA Creativity Coaches to write on a facet of love and creativity, but...not necessarily romantic love, as often that leaves many with a smaller view of self versus one of abundance and unlimited potential.
We hope these articles fill you with a greater sense of your uniqueness, inspiring you to grow. Consider them a love offering--from us to you. Barbara Cole invites each of us to recognize our individuality and allow ourselves to more fully blossom. Dominique offers a simple, yet powerful "purification process" for assessing and letting go of things. And Barbara Martin offers us tips and tools for rekindling love for our creative selves.
Congratulations to Eileen Brady Nelson, our newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach! Eileen shares one of her favorite rituals for beginning a new year. You may want to follow her lead and create your own "treasure map" for 2015! Imagine your delight, when at year's end you have "miraculously" reached and manifested many of your goals and dreams. Name it and claim it?
Loving self is not selfish. It is selfless. When we love and appreciate ourselves, we have more to give to the world. What could happen if each of us made a conscious intention (commitment) to give and receive love at every moment? What lovely changes might our world see? Change begins with "me" and is worthy of my attention and time. Here's to "living" a life of love and creativity each and every day!
Be sure to check out the upcoming Creativity Coaching Extravaganza, hosted by Eric Maisel on March 27-29 at the Rowe Center in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. http://rowecenter.org/events.php?event=348. Come and join us!
Feel free to share this newsletter with others and, please, keep sending us those ideas for future newsletter topics. We love your input and suggestions!
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Emerge and Flourish
By Barbara Millman Cole
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~ Anaïs Nin
Each bud is irrefutably singular. Within its firmly wound, baby-soft petals, it protects an inner beauty yet unknown. A silent, inner presence awaits release. Quietly, inconspicuously, and often in the early darkness of dawn, delicate petals stir and begin their seemingly effortless task of opening to the coming sun. Like our biological counterparts, we artists are creative buds, on the verge.
A patch of tulips, sprung forth at winter's end, have now shot up in the recent downpour, and their stems reach tall toward the light. Though the air is still chill from night frost, they grow at a steady rate, seeking the warmth of resilient rays that shower down upon their delicate forms. From their tips, buds slowly emerge, nascent bodies developing at each individual's pace. One has burst forth more quickly than its siblings. Not yet noon, its petals are spread to the brightness of the day. Another has begun its overture, its dainty petals ever so slightly opened while a third timidly peeks out, testing the possibilities. Others remain securely closed, not yet ready to unlock their gifts.
Similar to these tulips, we creative beings, though intensely curious by the brightness of that orb, must and will progress at our own individual pace. When and how we allow our petals to unfold and reveal our unique flowers is determined by our own inner sensibilities. But no matter how expeditious, no matter how cacophonous, no matter how ostentatious or timorous we may be, our bloom is inevitable. And we must prepare ourselves to blossom, or wither.
Do not remain closed, for you will only diminish. Unfold your petals to the full brilliance of your energy-imbued cultivator. Release your innermost ardent ideas, fervent beliefs, and passionate creative expressions.
Dawn is come. Time is now. Burgeoning is upon us. Dare we hazard a manifestation? Shall we risk a blossoming? Yes, yes! But how will we unfurl ourselves before such great incandescence?
Test the chill air, embrace the warm rays, enter the sudden downpours, and seek out all immeasurable possibilities. With vigor, steadfastness, fortitude, resilience, honesty, and joy, we will absorb every inspired, imaginative, innovative illumination, and we will flower radiantly.
Move past your verge. Emerge. And flourish.
~ 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. email@example.com
Applying the Love Filter: A Purification Process
By Dominique Chlup
Do you know the month of February is named for Februa, the Roman Festival of purification? I don't know about you, but I love the idea of using the last official month of winter to pause and ask, "What in my life needs purification?"
As creative individuals, it is worth reflecting and asking if there is anything we can cleanse and remove to allow for our highest levels of creativity to emerge. For instance, what creative possibilities emerge from removing our limiting beliefs, clearing clutter, or disengaging from activities that no longer serve us?
One of the simplest ways I've discovered to implement the purification process is to apply the "Love Filter." The process is simple. You ask, "Am I loving this? Is it loving me?" For example, if each time you sit down to create, the limiting belief arises, "Creative work has to be hard." Ask, "Am I loving this thought? Is it loving me?" If the answer is "no," insert a new loving belief-"What I used to think was hard is now effortless."
In terms of clutter, what in your creative life is it time to let go of? Has your studio become disorganized or overrun with items you seldom use? Apply the Love Filter. Ask, "Do I love this item? When I touch, see, or use it, does it make me feel loved?" Anything that doesn't evoke feelings of love-out it goes as a part of the purification process.
The Love Filter is also powerful to apply to activities. For each activity in your day, ask, "Am I loving this activity? Is it loving me?" If it is, great, figure out how to do more of it. If the activity doesn't love you--for example, it is draining you of your energy--figure out how to take a break from it or move on from it entirely.
When we begin the purification process, removing the things that no longer serve us, it's like a fist that has been held too tight unfurling to receive new creative possibilities and awakenings just in time for spring.
~ Dr. Dominique Chlup is an Artist, Writer, and Creativity Coach completing her CCA Certification. She is President, Owner, and Chief Creative Officer of Inspiring the Creative Within™, LLC. She welcomes connecting with all creative types through email firstname.lastname@example.org and at inspiringthecreativewithin.com
Keep the Love Alive
By Barbara Martin
Feel like the burning hot love affair with your creativity is... over? Are you working long and so hard with disappointing results, your effort and talent go unrecognized, there's no validation, and your work is terrible? Is your creative spark wavering?
All the same, that deep, smoldering urge for creative self expression never quite goes away. To deny its voice is heart-breaking.
Could we make it easy on ourselves and allow the creative flow to explode unimpeded and free? How do we maintain that searing hot energy to fuel our creative process so we dream, create, produce and keep loving the work?
You have your own creativity 'love potion' for staying energized yet relaxed, focused yet open to the possibilities, willing to keep trying, to venture into the unknown and make something new. Do you know what works for you?
Maybe some of these: Replicate what worked well in the past--if you've paid attention to what conditions trigger your best work. Spice it up and try something new and different, if you feel all "been there, done that" and bored. Try chummy noodling/doodling/puttering, if you are intimidated by the blank void of the fresh new canvas or page. Try moving your body by walking or swimming or dancing or drumming to let your busy mind rest into the physical motion. Try a starting ritual and a continuing mantra, knowing that we must face starting (and stopping) over and over again.
Find comfort in the significance of ritual moments and repetitive tasks, the mundane aspects of working steadily. Imbue that work with meaning all your own. Know that showing up over and over again allows us to work through each piece in its own time. Today's effort need not be perfect because tomorrow we will be back again, because small bits add up and quantity begets quality--and because love takes true commitment.
A sustainable creative life means knowing when to refuel and when to use the blowtorch and fan the flames into an inferno. And knowing when to bank the fire and rest. After all, we are not robots. This is the rhythm of a creative life well lived, a life where we respect and honor our creativity, and yes, love our creative selves.
~ Barbara Martin
is a CCA certified creativity coach, writer and artist. Barbara@BarbaraMartinArt.com
Congratulations to Eileen Brady Nelson,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
Rituals: Making a Treasure Map
By Eileen Brady Nelson
Every January, I begin the year with a much-anticipated ritual. On the first day of the New Year or as close to that date as possible, I create a sacred space in front of a roaring fire to make a Treasure Map for the upcoming year. We cozy up in front of the fire with notebooks, large pieces of paper, and surround ourselves with all our favorite art materials. For the past several years my husband has joined in and the results have been magical.
We give ourselves at least an hour, sometimes longer, to write, draw and visualize our deepest desires for the future in the form of a Treasure Map, a term coined by Shakti Gawain in her book, Creative Visualization.
My practice involves a few simple affirmations and a short meditation. I do my best to let go and allow my unconscious mind to emerge through drawing and collage. Non-verbal communication doesn't appeal to everyone, but I have had surprising results.
If I am facilitating a group I encourage participants to write Shakti's affirmation on their map before they begin. Her words are powerful and always set a positive tone for the exercise: "This or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned." (Pg.149, Creative Visualizations) A Treasure Map is a great meditative tool that can be used for any part of your life that needs extra attention and positive energy. What we think about, we become, so we may as well think positive thoughts.
This year I had no idea what I wanted to concentrate on. I had faith in the process and when I put pencil to paper, I started drawing a beach scene, with a woman enjoying being in the ocean and walking on the beach. My Treasure Map, it turned out, was all about visualizing good heath, and a full recovery from a knee operation that was still unresolved. My map was full of fun and colorful details of a woman thirty pounds lighter than me wearing a bikini, and playing with great joy. The Treasure Map helps us project our best selves and allows a deeper consciousness to express itself through the playful process of art making.
I forgot about my Treasure Map from New Year's Day until I arrived less than 3 weeks later on the beach I had envisioned. I had not been planning a vacation when I made the map, and the way it came about was very mysterious. I read about a last minute destination on a Monday, and we were in paradise by Saturday!
I don't know why I was so surprised at my amazing good fortune since almost all the Treasure Maps I have made, have had similar results. I once drew in detail a new photography studio above my garage, and less than 2 years later I was standing in it.
Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain is one of those books that I keep on my bookshelf close at hand. It never fails to help foster a creative "pick-me-up."
~ Eileen Brady Nelson is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, with a coaching practice in the Hudson Valley, New York. As the founder of Hudson River Creativity Lab, she collaborates with other creatives and leads workshops in creativity and photography. Contact Eileen at email@example.com or visit her website, www.hudsonrivercreativitylab.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 March...
"Creativity Coaching Extravaganza"
This live event (March 27-29, 2015) is being held at the Rowe Center in MA and is hosted by Dr. 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 April...
"Catch The Creativity Wave"
A one day CCA live tele-seminar on Friday, April 17, 2015 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 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!
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Life is not about finding yourself...
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~ 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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Engage the New Year with Creativity!
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 February 2015 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.