Greetings Fellow Creatives,
January 26th, 2018, would have been my mother's 66th birthday, and we could not be happier to have launched the new CCA website on her special day. The Creativity Coaching Association was my mother's joy and passion. She loved supporting people expand into their full creative potential. It has been just over a year since she passed and my partner Koral and I, along with the entire CCA Team have been working diligently to forward the Association while maintaining my mother's vision. We asked some of our team members to share a tribute to Bev. May their words enlighten you all to the magic and profound impact my mother inspired. I am committed to upholding her legacy, and I thank you all from the depths of my heart for being a part of the future of the Creativity Coaching Association. I believe there is only greatness to come. May we create it to be so.
All my love,
Heath A. Down
A tribute to Bev
by Dominique T. Chlup
Bev Down possessed the innate qualities of a woman whom you just wanted to be around. One of her most fantastic qualities was she knew how to prompt the guiding of inner growth quietly and with no attachment to outcome. Even when she had the answers, she beautifully let the wisdom of her students serve as the authority in the room. She came to teach me how to do the same with my coaching clients.
I was one of Bev’s last students she certified in the CCA program, which means I had the distinct privilege of being in frequent contact with her during the fall of 2016 as I finished up the reading course and supervised coaching under her wise tutelage.
She taught me one of my biggest life lessons. During a supervised coaching call, she was sharing a deeply personal story from her childhood. And in her wise words she summarized, “If we come here to grow our souls and if forgiveness is a lesson to learn, then someone has to do something really bad to you. Bad things will keep happening again and again until you truly learn how to forgive.”
Wow! Like a window that had been opened so the light could flood in, I suddenly saw so many of my life’s experiences in a new, richer, more insightful way. As a part of my creativity coach training, I had been reading the exquisite words of poet Mark Nepo who wrote, “It hurts to be carved by experience.” Bev was giving me a place to ground those hurtful experiences. She was teaching me the lesson of “Breathe it all in. Love it all out.”
And so I did. I learned to “still myself rather than ‘steel’ myself” as Julia Cameron describes it. I learned to be still with myself and most importantly with my clients. I no longer worried I had to rush to provide all the answers (not an easy feat for a Harvard trained professor).
I applied the same method to my creative work. A breath, a pause, a thirty-second delay to welcome it all in and then filter it through the lens of love has changed how I approach life and my creativity. It has given me the space not just to have a focus but also to have a heart focus—a focused intention that is filtered through the lens of love for my creative work. It awakens the inner muse while hushing my inner critic. It is a way to be gentle with myself and to honor as Karen Drucker sings, “…I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go.”
Bev’s passing on January 14, 2017 was the first of five devastating losses I experienced last year, four of them occurring within the space of eight weeks as the year slipped into fall and approached its own end. The losses included the death of my father, a man who dreamed me into existence and who I simply adored beyond measure. I could not wait to turn the page on the calendar and enter a new year. And here we are at the start of a new year and my heart is slowly healing. I have a sense that those of us who knew and loved Bev are growing around the absence caused by her loss. I wish for us peace in time honoring our process. And I can hear Bev’s voice reminding me that the Course in Miracles teaches us we have to find the joy in joyless places. She had me write about that very topic in the last CCA newsletter she ever published. And so Bev, I end this tribute by thanking you for all you were and all you continue to be for your life is a ripple affecting eternity. And for that reason alone, we will always be able to celebrate you with all the words for joy.
Boundless Energy and a Tireless Spirit
by Rob Fortier
A woman of boundless energy and a tireless spirit- that’s how I would describe Bev Down. From the moment I first spoke with her, I knew she was going to have a big impact on my life.
During the time I was doing my supervised coaching with Bev as part of the CCA certification program, I broke up with my partner of 12 years. On a call soon after, I ended up spilling my guts to her about the situation. Bev listened and helped me come up with a few ways to navigate the situation while trying to keep my business and my certification moving forward. I am deeply grateful for her guidance during that difficult time, not only as a coach but as a friend as well.
She was a wonderful creative being, and her wisdom and can-do attitude were infectious. She was caring, fierce, funny and amazingly intuitive, and I am honored to have known her.
Thank you, Bev, for your guidance and tough-love, and for helping me to shape my own coaching practice. I hope I can make you proud as a new member of the CCA teaching staff, and help to carry on your vision and your work so that creatives will continue to benefit from your knowledge for years to come.
I heard Bev say many times that she thought that the CCA logo looked like a wave, and she would talk about “riding the wave of creativity.” I’m riding it, Bev, for as far and as long as I can. Thank you for always reminding me just how important that wave is to the world.
The CCA is dedicated to enhancing and supporting the work of all kinds of artists through connection with and training of certified professional creativity coaches.