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Creativity Calling

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the July issue of Creativity Calling!

A warm and special welcome to all who are newly subscribed to our newsletter! We hope the newsletter assists you with connecting and following the lead of your creative self. When we choose freedom and expansion, we allow inspiration and creativity to enter.

In glancing at my calendar, a joyful smile surfaces as I recall the fun events of this first month of our 2016 summer season. Life is good! For me, July speaks of freedom and choices, an area that excites me! Embracing a life of conscious creating frees us from status quo thinking and we can choose circumstances that bring positive outcomes.

As the publisher and editor of the Creativity Coaching Association's newsletter for nearly 10 years, I am grateful for the opportunity to each month share with you uplifting, inspiring creative perspectives. I'm especially happy to be sharing this month's newsletter with you, as our CCA coaches have risen to the occasion, presenting new ideas regarding the freedom of choice.

Barbara asks us to consider the responsibilities that we artists have, alongside our creative freedoms. Starla speaks to the self-awareness needed in choosing our own best creative practices, and the courage it takes to follow through with them. Bonnie suggests we try tweaking or re-phrasing common questions we ask ourselves...for clarity in making choices. Jana gives us a new way of looking at creative list making, where choices are abundant and unlimited in scope. And, Tom shares some of the lessons he has learned in his creative journey; we send congratulations to Tom, the newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach!

I hope you are able to take a few minutes to kick back and enjoy this month's mini journey in expanding our freedoms of choice!

Thank for your readership and we love your feedback. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.

All the very best!


Beverly Down

Beverly Down
President & CEO
Creativity Coaching Association

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July 2016 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Freedom is a Privilege and a Trust, By Barbara Millman Cole
  • Choose Your Own Creative Path, By Starla J. King
  • Move from the Head to the Heart, By Bonnie Perry
  • The Creative Life List, By Jana Van der Veer
  • Congratulations to Tom Murray, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach! Creativity and Spirituality, By Tom Murray
  • New CCA Creativity Coaching Certification Courses Start in August!
  • Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches

Freedom is a Privilege and a Trust
By Barbara Millman Cole

Ever think about our most basic right to express ourselves? Our "freedom", guaranteed us as U.S. citizens, offers unique, unfettered opportunities to produce works that have the ability to create change. Freedom is our precious privilege.

But our constitutional right is also an awesome trust. What we do, what we say, what we project matters. How do we fully take advantage of our freedom of expression in responsible ways?

Before putting our names to works that have the power to persuade minds and possibly inspire action, we must be certain of our resolve. We should know that the message we imbue in our art is based in a reality we have researched and understand and know in our hearts to be valid. As artists presenting critics, reflections, or hopes through our work, we must educate ourselves before we commit to a cause, or we may find our messages misconstrued.

Though integral in the creation of art, passion alone is insufficient to create a meaningful message. The mind must fully engage in the development of a belief made manifest and shared through art. For if that belief is half-baked, because the artist is uninformed or insincere, the meaning will be indiscernible and the message becomes muddled. Willful ignorant passion in this time of abundant, available information is irresponsible and may lead an audience to confused or unintentional conclusions. We want our messages to resonate, motivate, and inspire. Clear, knowledgeable, passionate foundations help us succeed in our intent.

How free we as artists are to do whatever we choose with our mediums to contribute powerful, impressionable impacts on our own communities must be in balance with how responsibly we take that freedom. Blessed to live in a country where we are privileged to speak our minds without repressive repercussion, we will exercise our freedom to express our views to the fullest, because we can and we must. But we must also be conscientious in how we use our hard-fought, unequalled freedom to reveal our truths. With clarity of mind and passionate spirit, our meaningful contributions are endless.

~ 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 to the CCA's Creativity Coaching Success Stories, she can be reached at bmillmancole@sbcglobal.net. ©2016 All rights reserved.

Choose Your Own Creative Path
By Starla J. King

I recently watched a BBC News interview of an unusual composer, Alma Deutscher, an 11-year-old girl premiering her first full-length opera in Vienna this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Epg1XLlyWE

We might expect that Alma finds her inspiration by following the methods of the greatest composers, but I dare say she did not find this methodology in a book or some famous composer's historic personal notebooks:

"I have a skipping rope, which actually I don't skip with it," she tells her interviewer. "I just wave it around as I tell stories in my head. And then sometimes a melody just pops into my head. And so that's how I get my tunes."

I can imagine that would work delightfully for an 11-year-old, but maybe not so well for many others!

Beethoven, for example, started his day at dawn with a cup of coffee made with exactly sixty beans (yes, he counted them), working until early afternoon.

Strauss preferred to rise at 8, have a bath and breakfast (three eggs, tea, and jam), take a walk, then work on and off from 10am to 7pm.

Liszt got up at 4am to attend church, followed by coffee and some rolls before work...and smoking and drinking throughout the day.

Stravinsky worked from 9am - 1pm, alone, in his studio with the windows always closed.*

You see, there's no Great Artists Checklist for How To Create. Instead, we each have the freedom to tailor our own creative practice to our unique ways of working.

Again, we can learn from Alma's example, as she responds to being likened to Mozart, "Um, well, I actually think that if I was again just a little Mozart, then it would be a little boring because I would just write exactly what Mozart had written before. I think I would prefer to be a little Alma."

  • When is your most creative time of day? Create then.
  • Where do you create best? Go there.
  • What is your most natural way to create? Use it.
May we each be so bold as to follow our own creative path.

*Source: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey

~ Starla J. King is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, writing coach, creative and technical writer and editor. Her "Wide Awake" books focus on the personal power of everyday awareness. http://outwriteliving.com.

Move from the Head to the Heart
The Real Question---How do you want to feel?
By Bonnie Perry

Have you been stuck with that question: "What do I want to do?" circling through over and over? That question is often a great tool in goal setting and gaining focus, but not always. Maybe there are too many things on that list or too many things that feel equally weighted. Choosing is a delicate activity.

Many creators are multi-talented or have several project ideas floating around. For example, I can write poetry and non-fiction. I can make glass art and create using textiles. Colored pens, and paint also call to me. I feel the irrepressible urge to have something emerge, but what is it that will bring me what I am seeking?

Let's shift the perspective from the head to the heart by changing the question. I sit quietly with the question: "How do I want to feel?" Focusing on the feeling that I'm after can unlock what is true for me in the moment.

Here are the steps:

  • Sit quietly and gently breathe
  • Let go of the question "What do I want to do?" Picture it simply floating away.
  • Focus on the feeling you desire. Ask the question: "How do I want to feel
  • Get quiet and feel that feeling intensely
  • Write down the activities that could cultivate that feeling
  • Choose an activity from this list
Maybe it's a sense of accomplishment. In that case, I choose something that I can finish relatively quickly. Perhaps I want to feel the nuances of words and connect with nature to feel grounded. Aha! I'll take a walk down to the creek, sit on a rock and write poetry.

Moving from the head to the heart can inform all creative activities. Give it a try!

~ Bonnie Perry, M.A. is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist, Integrated Imagery Past-Life Regressionist and a Mid-Wife of Possibilities. She splits her time between her home on Cape Cod Massachusetts and Sedona, Arizona. Contact Bonnie at baperry444@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.bonnieperry.net

The Creative Life List
By Jana Van der Veer

The idea of Life Lists, or Bucket Lists, have grown in popularity in recent years---but have you considered creating a Creative Life List? This list focuses specifically on creative goals you have, either for a specific area you work in or in broader terms.

If it's for a specific area of creative endeavor, making this list helps to clarify goals and define what success really means to you. What is your ultimate dream? For writers, it might mean winning a major award, and being on the New York Times Bestseller List. You might have intermediate goals, such as getting an agent, or getting published, or finishing an MFA. For actors, it might mean an Academy Award, or gaining enough points to get an Equity card. For visual artists, it might mean a piece in a major museum, or a gallery showing, or even just taking your first painting class. These kinds of Creative Life Lists start with the big dream, and drill down from there, to the smaller steps necessary to accomplish a goal.

If you like the idea of an all-encompassing Creative Life List, it's time to get juicy! What have you always wanted to do? These, too, can go from the big and far away to the small and local: Go to the Louvre, or take an art tour of Italy? Learn pottery from an artist in Japan? See a Broadway show? Photograph a hot-air balloon festival? Take singing lessons? Perform in community theater (or make costumes/props/sets?)? Learn to bake a perfect pie? Sew a quilt? Try stand-up comedy?

A combination of these two lists also works well, as a great way to expand creativity, fill the well and enhance your main area of creative work by exploring others. The main thing is that without a list, and a plan of action, many of these will remain dreams and wishes. By writing them down, you start your mind thinking about how to make them happen. By making time for them, you enrich your life enormously. So get a notebook, and start writing.

~ Jana Van der Veer is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She specializes in helping writers build habits to increase productivity and burst through blocks at www.janavanderveer.com.

Congratulations to Tom Murray,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

Creativity and Spirituality
By Tom Murray

For me, creativity and spirituality have a lot in common. Namely, both are processes in which one finds meaning and purpose. When we lack avenues for creativity and spiritual expression, one's life becomes stagnant and meaningless. Yet, our innate desire for creative and spiritual expression remain.

In 2011, my wife pursued divorce. I soon moved out and into a one-bedroom apartment. Soon after, I awoke from a dream during which I sat at the foot of the bed, painting the bottom of my foot with a highlighter. These images of foot of the bed and highlighting the
sole of my foot contained important messages from my unconscious. Essentially, embedded in the dream were metaphors: highlighting my sole became emphasizing my soul; sitting at the foot of the bed became the
seat of the soul. This dream represented an overdue shift in consciousness in which I was invited to focus my life elsewhere-towards my creative and spiritual reemergence.

For more than a decade prior, I, like many people, allowed life to carry me along without much thought about how I am an active participant who possesses dreams, wants and desires. In many regards, the creative, right brain child, teenager, and young adult that I once was atrophied under the weight of life. Certainly, a lot contributed to this, pursuit of a PhD and a subsequent career in academia, to name a few.

Since my divorce and that memorable dream, I moved towards rediscovering creativity. In particular, improvisation classes were exactly what I needed to learn how to play again. More, improv classes provided a container for me to develop important creativity skills, such as developing trust, authenticity, surrendering to the moment, as well as the importance of quieting the inner critic. With this increase in my creativity flow, I dabbled in other creative expressions, including taking voice lessons and performing again, focusing my personal and professional development on creativity (e.g., Creativity Coaching Association training) and spirituality.

Lloyd Reeb wrote, From Success to Significance: When the Pursuit of Success Isn't Enough. This aptly sums up my life experience whereby my 20s and 30s were about achievement and professional acclaim and recognition. Now that I'm entering my 40s, I much more interested in significance, a place where my "deepest passions intersect with my greatest abilities." Thus, my attention, now, is towards finding meaning and purpose in my life through creativity and spirituality.

~ Tom Murray is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach. He currently directs Counseling Services at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he provides coaching and counseling services to performing student-artists from around the world. Contact Tom at murrayt@uncsa.edu or visit his website at http://www.uncsa.edu/faculty-staff/thomas-murray.aspx.

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.


Shop the CCA Creativity Marketplace!

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book coverCelebrate 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 July 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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