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Creativity Calling

Welcome to the May/June issue of Creativity Calling!

Springtime is in full bloom here in the Northeastern USA, and for me, this season, more than any other, dramatically exemplifies growth and moving forward in life.

Beauty and inspiration is everywhere! One of our major goals with the CCA newsletter is to expand and enhance your creativity. No matter where you are at present, we are here to assist you in becoming more aware and conscious of your creative life...to increase your desire and motivation so you can glide more fully into your inherent creative potential. For we know that potential is always there for us, although at times we block it.

I want this growth for you, personally, and for what you have to share with the world. Enjoy this month's uplifting articles from our CCA coaches, who share plenty of ideas we can put into motion.

Barbara Martin starts us off with a refreshing "Spring Tonic" intended to turn up the volume for our ever-present creative selves. David Smith poses an interesting query, suggesting we take a look at the core of our creative vitality in our future projects. Carrie Worthington challenges us to look at how we define ourselves as creatives and gives strategies for shifting our perceptions when needed. Kate Arms shares her thoughts on cultivating, growing and nurturing our creativity in a consistent and forward manner. Additionally, we congratulate and celebrate Kate (from Canada) for her accomplishment in becoming the CCA's newest certified creativity coach! Lots of good reading here; give yourself a break and enjoy!

Finally, I'd like to remind you that an excellent way to commit to growing your creativity is by hiring a CCA Creativity Coach: CCA's coach database to help you plan and bring your dreams to fruition. Never underestimate the power of having a professional coach in your corner providing authentic encouragement, support and gentle accountability----we all deserve that!

We're grateful for your readership and feedback. As always, feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.

Enjoy your self!


Beverly Down

Beverly Down
President & CEO
Creativity Coaching Association

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In this issue:

  • Spring Tonic for Creativity ~ by Barbara Martin
  • Creating from the Heartwood ~ by David Smith
  • Creative Persona ~ by Carrie Worthington
  • Congratulations to Kate Arms,
    CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
  • Three Practices to Nurture Creativity At Any Time ~ by Kate Arms
  • New CCA Creativity Coaching
  • Certification Courses Start Soon!
  • Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches

Spring Tonic for Creativity
By Barbara Martin

Your creativity is ever present, whether roaring, purring nicely or sulking silently in the corner. How do we keep creativity flowing and available on demand?

Aliveness is the key to jump-starting creativity. Creativity thrives with steady use, and feeds on the new, the fresh, the different, the tingle of discovery.

When you use your creativity regularly, it keeps itself strong, just like a muscle. But what if you've over exerted, or had a spell of inactivity? What if your creativity is temperamental? Or requires summoning by spells and magic potions? Or needs a tune-up?

Here are some simple home remedies to try out for setting your creativity in motion and keeping it there with high energy and spirits to match.

First off, cover the basic inputs. Offer daily doses of entertainment: colorful sights, sweet music, maybe a parade---passersby will do. Nourish routinely with fine foodstuffs---your favorite flavors plus vitamin rich vegetables and a slurpy fruit or two. Daily exercise: an easy stroll, a bike ride, a Frisbee toss.

Indulge in occasional field trips: hit the dance floor, wander through a peculiar museum, visit the herpetology exhibit at the zoo. Why not gamify your everyday errands by "hunting" for curious sidewalk markings, architectural oddities, or unusual color combinations....

Say yes to variety! Collect new noises, new flavors, new vistas. Head out with a new friend, join a new interest group, hop on a different bus and explore a new neighborhood.

What better season for noticing what's new and fresh all around you? From natural flora and fauna to style trends, even the stars in the sky seem to be moving! The more you focus on this heady energy, the more bounce in your own step, too. Be open to appreciating the large and small wonders all around us, free for the taking. Bite into crisp parsley or bask in sunshine, wiggle your feet on the bare ground and watch the clouds go by. Help yourself to generous doses of awe and delight----and feel your creativity rising.

Now for the kicker. Unplug from the virtual reality of the computer, pull out the earbuds, put down your smartphone----and go outside. There's a whole big world out there to enjoy in real life, with all your senses awake and alive.

Notice how your creativity is now bursting with excitement and free flowing ideas. And remember it was there inside you all along.

~ Barbara Martin is an artist, writer and CCA Certified Creativity Coach. Find her at BarbaraMartinArt.com or Barbara Martin Art on Facebook.

Creating from the Heartwood
By David Smith

Next to the foundation of our home, a single maple leaf has pushed its way up out of an indistinct glop of icky muck. The indistinct soil is actually an arch of root from an enormous tree that was cut down last year ON THE OTHER SIDE OF OUR HOUSE. But now this distant, severed root has pushed up a single leaf with the intention of starting another tree. And because spring is a season abounding with metaphors for creativity, I'll suggest one in this root.

But first a question: How do we create? Do we write from the beginning, starting at the top left corner of the page?" Do we paint by sketching the whole scene first? Do we direct a play or dance by starting at the performer's entrance?

I'm going to suggest that, like the maple root, we start where the life is strongest. What if we start the story or poem at the point of greatest interest, the painting with the detail that first captured our attention, the performance at the point of greatest tension... and let the rest of the piece find its sense of truth from there?

Like the vital heart of that severed root, the force that will birth a new tree, our story, painting, performance has a generative core that inspired us to start our project and that will give meaning to whatever follows.

If allowed to flourish, the root would become an awesome force. Can you imagine the stunning sight---a tree that over the years had crumpled the side of a house and destroyed the foundation and forced the people out and let the squirrels and mice in and shown pathetic human endeavor its proper place in the grand scheme of things? I mean, wouldn't you stop to take a photo, paint a picture, write a poem, conceive a May newsletter article based on the image of such an unexpected tree?

And why? Because the tree was not obedient to the rules, but stirred to being from the liveliest heartwood without regard to its final form - intent only on pushing out a single broad leaf and letting the rest follow as it would.

Let's start our creations in the heartwood of our inspiration allowing the final form to force its way into being as a statement of its own truth and our own creative vitality.

~ 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 http://www.creativitysmith.com.

Creative Persona
By Carrie Worthington

Creatives who navigate the world develop a Creative Persona that might open industry doors, allow access to certain circles, or provide a level of local or national celebrity.

However, sometimes outer perceptions start to conflict with inner creative image or desire. As a painter who now wants to sculpt, a corporate power player who needs to write, or an entrepreneur who dreams of a photographic year in China.... A misalignment between inner and outer personas can cause resentment, discontent and possibly depression.

Here are some Strategies to help when the first inklings of misalignment arise.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Words! Take notice of the words that are on your mental loop. Find the positive in your current situation. Look for your strengths and circumstances to be grateful for. This doesn't mean that you won't still be moving towards more inner/outer alignment, but it does mean you can be happier while you are doing it! Negative words breed negative feelings.

  2. Be Brave! If you feel boxed into your Creative Identity, it becomes easy to dwell on all the elements you don't like. In that state, it can become increasingly difficult to pin down exactly what you would rather be doing! By being brave and open to new experiences and activities, you can tune in to what makes you happy, so you can strive for more of that.

  3. Be Playful! Having Creative Hobbies can take a lot of the pressure off of making Creative Identity Changes. Being playful and trying out new creative avenues under the title of "Hobby" provides the innate understanding that hobbies are fun, experimental and do not dictate a level of expertise. Use that to your advantage with yourself and others while you adjust, plan and grow!

  4. Remember the Butterfly! Nature is so wise! When change is required, the caterpillar creates a cocoon and leaves the rest of the world out of it! Protect yourself at the beginning of your new interest. Outside approval is not what stirred your creative heart. Keeping your creative agenda private early on makes it easier to hear your true creative voice.

"Identity cannot be found or fabricated but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go."
~ Doug Cooper, Outside In

~ Carrie Worthington is an Artist, Presenter, Instructor and CCA Member working towards CCA Creativity Coaching Certification. Visit her website at www.myartfulpursuits.com.

Congratulations to Kate Arms,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

Three Practices to Nurture Creativity At Any Time

By Kate Arms

Creativity is using ideas and imagination to create something. Nurturing creativity involves stimulating oneself to keep playful exploration of ideas alive, consistently making things, and caring for your creative instrument. Spending 15 minutes doing something in each of these areas 4-7 times a week will keep your creative juices flowing and your body ready to make whatever it is you choose. Think of it as your daily creativity warm-up.

Play and Imagination
To cultivate play and imagination, engage in a creative activity with media that are not your usual working media. If you are a dancer, colour; if you are a singer, dance; if you are a musician, sketch something; if you are a visual artist, dance or improvise a song. Give yourself 15 minutes to play and permission to be bad. Do not expect yourself to finish a project.

Making Things
If there is a project you are working on, use this time to work on it. Everything that is part of the process from idea generation to getting the work into the hands of your audience counts, including research, mind-mapping, calling a potential gallery connection, story-boarding, sketching, and revising. If you are between projects, find something you can make in your life: knit a few rows of a scarf, bake cookies, write a letter to a friend, hang a picture, paint a fence, or take a small series of pictures. Just 15 minutes a few times a week will remind your muse that you produce and are worthy of ideas.

Care for Your Instrument
No matter what media you work in, the instrument of your creative genius is your body. You need your brain for ideas and your hands for implementation. In addition to your basic physical needs for sleep, nutrition, and exercise, creativity requires deeply relaxing down time and practice focusing on one thing at a time. Identify what is truly relaxing for you and commit to making that a regular part of your week, and make time to be actively mindful or meditate.

Cultivating these habits will keep your creativity consistently alive.

~ Kate Arms is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, a writing coach, a leadership and business development coach and an actor, director, and writer. Her book Unblock: Writing Prompts for Works in Progress is available from SignalFireCoaching.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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Exercise Your Creativity!

book coverIf 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 publisher@creativitycoachingassociation.com 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 May/June 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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