I’m so happy to introduce you to my friend, Jill Allison Bryan. She shares about her own creative journey AND she has created a most inspiring event that honors and benefits women.
Tell us a little about yourself and your passion for creativity.
My name is Jill Allison Bryan. I’m a singer/songwriter, writer, creativity coach, and founder of Creative Oasis Coaching. Creativity has always played an important role in my life, bringing me joy and fulfillment. Since childhood I’ve had a passion for making music, writing, and performing.
There was a point several years ago though, when I’d lost touch with that passion. In searching for a way to bring it back into my life, I learned about creativity coaching. I was so lucky to find and work with Jill Badonsky who introduced me to Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, which offers a totally unique set of tools and techniques combined with a compassionate coaching structure. It works very well for rebellious creative types dealing with procrastination, perfectionism, overwhelm, and self-sabotage.
While working (and playing) with Jill as my coach, I created the time and space to bring music back into my life. I began playing piano, singing, writing new songs, performing and finally recording my debut solo CD, Dancing in Limbo, which will be released in less than two weeks.
I also found a new mid-life career when Jill suggested that I would make an excellent creativity coach myself. I accepted the challenge, went through the extensive training course and earned my certification as a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.
I then began my own practice—Creative Oasis Coaching and have been happily sharing this amazingly effective form of coaching ever since. I love helping people create the time and space in their lives for creative satisfaction and personal fulfillment. (At 45, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!)
How did you invite your creativity to come out and play? Are there any tips you’d like to share?
There’s no question that the one-one-one coaching I did with Jill allowed me to incorporate creativity into my life on a daily basis. It was truly life changing. I’m a big believer in the coaching relationship, whether it be with a personal trainer, a business coach or writing coach, etc… I think most of us benefit greatly from that kind of one-on-one attention and accountability.
A similarly supportive technique you can use with a friend or colleague is parallel time. You simply set a date and an agreed upon amount of time. Then you check-in via phone call or email and quickly share what you’ll be doing such as writing, making art, organizing—whatever you’d like to spend time with—and then you hang up and begin.
The idea is that for the next 30 minutes (or whatever amount of time you’ve agreed upon) you will both focus solely on this one project. That means no answering the phone, checking e-mail, doing laundry, suddenly finding the need to clean out your fridge and freezer—all the things that can so often keep us from our creative pursuits.
After the allotted time is up (it usually flies by!) you call back for a quick check-in, and it’s up to you whether or not to continue on, but at the very least, you’ve experienced a solid block of time devoted to something that brings you joy and creative fulfillment.
My clients love this technique, as do I. It’s an easy way to schedule time for ourselves and hold that time and space since we’re showing up for someone else as well.
You have a wonderful event coming up soon called Infinite Possibility—A Night of Music, Art and Women Helping Women. What was the inspiration for this event?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve finally recorded my first solo CD, Dancing in Limbo. As I brainstormed ways to celebrate its release, I wanted to do something outside the box, something other than just play a gig at a bar. When I hit upon the idea of incorporating art and turning the event into a fundraiser, everything just fell into place. Infinite Possibility is the name of one of my songs on the CD and its message is that if we allow ourselves to dream big and give ourselves the chance to follow our hearts, then the possibilities are truly infinite for what we can create and achieve.
I love the idea of artists using your songs as inspiration for their artwork. Tell us more about how this idea was born.
I happen to be blessed with an inordinate amount of friends who are talented artists. I’ve always thought it would be cool to somehow combine my music with art. As a way to incorporate art into my event, I asked 13 of my artist friends if they would create and donate an original piece of artwork inspired by one of the 13 songs on my CD for a silent auction.
Even with their full lives and busy schedules, these women enthusiastically agreed to participate. It was beautiful serendipity that I’m a female singer/songwriter, all of the artists are women and the charity that I chose to benefit was Women for Women International.
All the proceeds from this event go to Women for Women International. Why did you select this organization?
Women for Women International helps women in war-torn countries around the globe rebuild their lives. Over the past couple of years, I have sponsored a woman in the Congo and in the Sudan. A $27 per month commitment provides each of these women with access to education, health programs, and the support she needs to learn how to create a better life for herself and her family. The 12-month program offers life-changing opportunities for these women, and it’s been my experience, for the sponsors as well.
When I received my first hand-written letter from Elise all the way from the Congo, it was a very powerful moment. Our connection became so real to me. It crossed continents and any other boundaries. We were simply two women with families that we love, doing the best we can for them and ourselves. I’m honored and humbled to share a connection with these brave women who use every ounce of strength and hope they have to work hard to create a better life for their family and themselves.
I’m very hopeful that the Infinite Possibility event will introduce a multitude of people to Women for Women International and that more and more women will have an opportunity to be sponsored. To learn more, please visit http://www.womenforwomen.org.
Do you have any suggestions for women wanting to use their art and/or creativity to be of service in the world?
If you have even an inkling that you want to use your art, or music, or creativity of any variety to do some much needed good in the world—go for it! Don’t let inexperience stop you. I surely haven’t.
When I first conjured up the idea of Infinite Possibility, I was so focused on the lovely idea of women coming together to use art and music to raise awareness and money for a charity, that I didn’t even give a thought to all of the details and logistics that producing an event like this demands.
I’ve never done anything remotely like this before, but I truly believe that since it all came from an honest intention to use creativity to help others, things have just fallen into place. People have stepped up to volunteer their time and talents. Wonderful sponsors have donated money and goods. We now have a raffle prize package that’s worth more than $1,000 that we’re offering the night of the event.
It’ been amazing. Through the Web site for Infinite Possibilities, and the YouTube channel with videos of me and the artists, people around the globe know about our event and support it. I’ve had women in other states who won’t be able to attend the event still purchase tickets and sponsorships to lend their support. It’s just wonderful.
To me, that’s the Infinite Possibility, the ripple effect of good that’s going out into the world. Silky, I’m delighted that you offered this opportunity to share Infinite Possibilities with your friends, fans and followers. I’m so thrilled that you will get to attend. Thank you so much!
Much appreciation goes to you Jill! I highly encourage anyone reading this post to visit the YouTube Channel and watch the illuminating videos on the artists who are contributing to Infinite Possibility. There are so many talented women who share about their creative process.I will be dancing my way to this wonderful event with bells on.
A Night of Music, Art, and Women Helping Women
Saturday, March 27, 2010
1202 N. Industrial Bvld. (a.k.a. Riverfront)
Dallas, Texas 75207
Ticket packages begin at $25