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Creativity Calling

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the August issue of Creativity Calling!

I hope you've had a memorable month, filled with adventure and kickback time. Depending on what part of the world we live in, the change of seasons has a distinct impact on our daily lives. Whether taking on daily challenges or preparing for future transitions, time for rest and reflection is a gift we can all give ourselves.

Seasonally I ask myself, "What is it that I most want to create at this time?" The answer(s) to that question changes. For me, the words "change" and "creativity" are synonymous. Is this true for you?

Always...always...I give myself time to reflect on this question and my responses to it. Occasionally I'll just turn in for the night; with a pen and tablet on my nightstand and this question in my thoughts, I'm ready to record any inner messages delivered in the morning. Ask and we will receive! I love living a conscious life and would not want to live any other way!

This month, coaches at the CCA share helpful insights you can use to "prime the well" for your self-reflection. David gives us a sweet story regarding the importance of being present and spontaneous day-by-day to deliver our best creative gifts to our world! Barbara offers great reasoning for taking additional time for research and reflection before diving into our creative projects. Kris suggests a beneficial perspective to combat the occasional "doldrums" that come up for many creative thinkers. We congratulate Nefeli Soteriouo for becoming the CCA's newest certified creativity coach! Nefeli shares insights gleaned along her path to becoming a more authentic person, while simultaneously moving forward on her creative journey.

So, relax and take some time for reflection. Enjoy this month's articles---our gift to 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!

With love & success,


Beverly Down

Beverly Down
President & CEO
Creativity Coaching Association

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August 2016 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • John's Tattoos, By David Smith
  • Reveal, Reflect, Reimagine, By Barbara Millman Cole
  • Exploring the Other, By Kris Reichart-Anderson
  • Congratulations to Nefeli SoteriouCCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach! Looking Within, By Nefeli Soteriou
  • New CCA Creativity Coaching Certification Courses Starting Soon!
  • Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches

John's Tattoos
By David Smith

At a writers' conference two summers ago, one young man stood out strongly to me. Honestly, he was beautiful---tall, athletic, with soft dark eyes and shiny black hair to his shoulders. But something about him seemed dangerous---each of his arms was tattooed with a large word in ornate script that started on his forearm, ran up over his considerable bicep, and disappeared under his tight-fitting polo shirt. The whole impression was that he could be Bernardo, gang leader of the Sharks from "West Side Story".

Eventually I could read his right arm: "Butterfly". But no matter how surreptitiously I tried to study his left arm, I couldn't make out the words tattooed there.

I soon found John to be not dangerous at all, but extremely approachable---a teacher and a sensitive poet. Finally on the last day, I set aside my New England reserve and asked him about his tattoos.

He told me that the right arm did indeed read "Butterfly" and that the left arm read "Olive Tree". These commemorated his grandfather and served as reminders of the old man's wisdom. The butterfly, his grandfather taught, lives only briefly, but its life is bright, colorful, magical. An olive tree may grow seventy-five years before it bears fruit. These two together should guide our lives. We should live our brief days full of bright energy while realizing that what we do today will have influence on those who come long after us.

I've never checked the botanical truth about olive trees, and I don't care. I love the grandfather's story, and I am pleased to pass it on as advice for creativity.
Let's approach our projects guided by the butterfly with spontaneous enthusiasm and passion---excited by the inexplicable promptings of our being and following wherever they lead. But let's also be guided by the olive tree to understand our work in the larger context of time. Let's not require that what we do today should have immediate results beyond being true to ourselves. Let's release any need to be praised and rewarded by others. And let's also release the fear of being judged by others. These two together---the need for praise and the fear of judgement kill creativity every time.

Guided by the butterfly and the olive tree, our work will sparkle with today's spontaneity as a gift to a future.

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

Reveal, Reflect, Reimagine
By Barbara Millman Cole

Artists reveal truths, reflect history, and reimagine human motivations and desires.

Our choice of subject, tenor of mood, and boldness of message are boundless. As such, how do we decide what to reveal, how to reflect, and whether to reimage; how do we approach the process to sort, condense, make malleable then shape subjects anew?

Pick a problem. Find a phenomenon. Investigate an idea. What sparks your interest? Inspect it from multiple angles. Delve deeper into reasons for working with this aspect of your environment. What made you look? By itself, what makes it work? How does it fit, interact, or exist in its environs? Educate yourself until you know the subject inside out; knowledge gives you power to create art that resonates.

Well-thought-out art reveals something forgotten, reflects something perhaps unseen, and reimagines something in ways heretofore unimaginable. Unique visions paired with deep devotion and dedicated determination form an artist's foundation to achieve memorable, impactful art.

As Africa is experiencing an awakening, South African, Loyiso Mkize, has created Kwezi to uplift youth by telling a coming-of-age-while-discovering-heritage story in modern comic book form. This graphic designer is bridging cultures, in Zulu and Xhosa languages, by honoring African countries' heritages through a medium that captures the imagination of youth to help them feel connected and enthusiastic about their origins while discovering beauty in neighboring cultures. Through superheroes, youth experience messages of acceptance and embracing of differences and see their own likenesses in positive leaders.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of Hamilton, uses modern musical forms to reframe the story of our country's beginnings in ways that connect modern day citizens with the spirit of our revolutionary ancestors. Its youthful, robust beat attracts all ages and shares messages of perseverance, resolve, devotion, loyalty, unity, and freedom in today's language, all through retelling the life of an American founding father.

Both artists incorporate modern mediums to reveal old stories for today's audiences that reflect back upon the original, but are reimagined to impart relevant, current messages of hope and resilience.

~ Barbara Millman Cole is an award winning author of Short Literary Fiction, content editor, and creativity coach, who helps writers delve deep to discover their true meaning. Contributing author of Creativity Coaching Success Stories, she can be reached at bmillmancole@sbcglobal.net. ©2016 All rights reserved.

Exploring the Other
By Kris Reichart-Anderson

Doldrums, we all experience them. Call them the dog days of summer or the muddy time before spring really starts. Or it could be the time when a project is finally wrapping up or before the next project shows itself.

The question is how to move forward when the doldrums come?

We've all heard the expression, think outside the box, right? Well, may I suggest thinking outside the Studio and exploring the Other?

Step one: Think about who you are. How do you express your creativity? How do you finish the sentence "I am a ____." What does your elevator speech/short description of yourself sound like? Say it out loud.

Step two: What are other forms of your creativity? There are so many forms of creativity. Think of the number of types and styles and ways to paint, for example. There's oil, watercolor, acrylic, spray paint, brushes, knives, rags, just for starters. If your creativity is a coin, then what is the other side of the coin? How can you flip that coin? What is the Other?

Step three: Find the Other. Here are a few examples. If you do fine pen and ink drawings, go downtown to visit the city's murals. If you are a classical violinist, go hear a steel drum band. What if you write torrid romance novels? Go to the tables in the local library with a stack of children's picture books.

Step four: Explore the Other. Look at the basic elements in the Other, the same ones you use. Be a student again. Remember all the words that your first teachers used. Words like line, form shape, tone, tempo, beat, setting, plot are all there in the Other. Find them. You may have to look a bit. They may not be obvious to you, at first, just like they were not apparent in your early lessons. Do a little research. Talk to the band during their break. Ask the librarian questions. People are generally very happy to share their love of their creativity.

After you've opened yourself to learning about the Other, go back to your studio and look at your work with a fresh perspective. Remember why you chose that side of the coin in the beginning. Say out loud, "I am a _____." Now, back to work.

~ Kris Reichart-Anderson is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach in Texas. You can reach Kris at kris.reichartanderson@gmail.com

Congratulations to Nefeli Soteriou
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach

Looking Within
By Nefeli Soteriou

The journey of learning about my true self has been one of the most invaluable acts of self-love for me. Initially my path towards self awareness was unclear. From my early childhood, various belief systems pointed out how my life should be mastered. I formed habits that were influenced by those systems of thought, whether they derived from my culture, tradition, or from the company I kept. When others' thoughts became my own habits, a false sense of self emerged. This made it challenging to find and express my true voice.

Finding my own authentic self and accepting it as is, with all the good, bad and ugly, was elemental to my development. Sometimes an unexpected curveball became a catalyst to examine more closely what no longer served me, to break free, and move into new meaningful directions.

Each of us can learn more about our true selves by looking within. Here is an exercise I use, whenever I feel it is appropriate. Feel free to practice it, should you find fit:

Take some time to spend in a quiet place indoors, or sitting on a favorite bench at your local park, or even at the coffee shop you love. Go to a place that gives you pleasure and helps you to focus. Take a notepad and a pencil with you, nothing else. When you have arrived there and are comfortable, you can indulge your senses with the music of your preference (if you like), and a meditative prayer that soothes you. Once you have reached a state of relaxation, then ask and answer the following questions:

  • What parts of my true self did I feel I had to conceal in my childhood?
  • Where am I feeling confined in my current relationships?
  • What parts of myself am I not expressing?

  • Finally, answer one last question:
  • What are five small action steps I can take today, or this week, or this month, to truly hone my authentic self?

~ Nefeli Soteriou is an independent filmmaker and CCA certified creativity coach. She helps sensitive people and artists at heart in issues of creativity, motivation and maximizing their potential.You can reach Nefeli at soteriounefeli@gmail.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 nearly 100 different specialties.

Find a coach here.

New CCA Creativity Coaching
Certification Courses Start 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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book coverChallenge Your Creativity!

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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the August 2016 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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