DadsNews   January, 2008    Volume 4, Number 1

Ken Mossman, MFA, CPCC, PCC              518.580.0550

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In this issue:

  1. Greetings!



Geez, it's been a while, eh?

When I stepped away from writing about 6 months ago, I can't say as I was planning on staying away for so long! Thanks for your patience and for keeping your virtual door open. It's good to be back!

Creative sparks have been happening in abundance, flying around the house in the form of music. In the same week back in September of last year, one new half-size violin and one new electric guitar crossed our threshold. (You can probably figure out which belongs to whom...) Read this month's feature, "The Guitar Returns" to find out more...

Speaking of creative sparks, Cai and I found our pace at the Jersey Shore back in August, pouring our best efforts into several very large sand castles and a couple of even larger sand-dragons. I'll be writing about that adventure in an upcoming issue - until then, enjoy the picture below - and send your vibes out for more snow for the skiers among us. (I have it on authority that Summer will, in fact, come back. So there's no rush...)

Oh, a couple more things to mention: first, I have limited Relationship Coaching slots open for couples and/or business partnerships. I'll be putting up a Relationship Coaching page or two on the Cirrus website in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, contact me if you'd like to know more. Second, I've got a 1 or 2 openings in the one-on-one coaching department, so if it's time for you - or you know someone who's as much fun as you are and is looking for a great coach, drop me a note. My gratitude to you in advance.



As always, if you enjoy what you read, please pass this along and tell others about DadsNews. Thanks!

The Guardian

Cai and his beach buddy...

"The Guitar Returns"

Somewhere between six and seven months ago I fell into a deep hole. Not a literal hole, mind you, and not such a bad hole to fall into...

Goodness, I even wrote about it.

I'm still down there, and it doesn't bother me one bit.

About a year or so back I began to widen my focus from "just" Fathers to include what I refer to as "Creative Cliff-Jumpers." I took a close look at the clients that were coming my way, turned over a few rocks, pulled out my handy dandy flashlight and discovered that there were indeed a handful of threads that connected the folks I was working with.

They all had creative dreams pulling at them. Not only were their dreams sticky, they were banging on the door loudly and at all hours of the day and night. Like a mess o' wide-awake playful puppies crowded in a shallow box, they - the creative bits - wanted out!

Being the generally accommodating, welcoming sort, I figured, "What the hey... They're cute and probably almost house-broken - or not. Let's let 'em out!"

And thus, Dear Reader, countless creative beasties have been let loose from their bonds and have set to sprinkling their magic upon metaphorical carpets, lawns and fire hydrants 'round the globe.

Oh c'mon! Admit it, you just couldn't pay enough for a sentence like that last one!

The strangest things began to happen. Clients I'd been working with for ages began talking about their urges to make art or play music. Guys who live their daylight hours in power suits expressed a strange desire to write poetry or play with clay. It was like being on the set of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," only instead of pods, there were truck-loads of pianos, pads, pens, paints and other messy stuff.

And over here in my little corner of Gansevoort, NY, the omnipresent guitar - which somehow had a litter of it's own - (Twins: an electric and an travel-sized acoustic-electric. Mother and babies are healthy and happy, thank you for asking...) kept calling to me. "Strum and pick... Keep us company... Turn us up louder!"

Since I hadn't bothered to have myself tied to the nearest mast, I had no choice but to answer the Siren call...

Okay, I'm lying. I went actively looking for the Sirens. And though my family might argue that I dashed not my ship, but rather my head on the rocks, they would also tell you that I'm improving and that some of what comes out of my guitar is actually musical.

Back in mid-November I was flying home from a work assignment, travel guitar in-hand. I was booked on a small plane (really, really small - like 18 seats made out of sharp aluminum tubes with thin leatherette stretched over them and cockpit curtains instead of a door...) with a dozen other adventurers heading to Albany. As I boarded I asked the captain/navigator/climate control technician - "Warm enough back there for ya..?" - flight attendant/baggage handler/doorman if it would be alright to stow my guitar in the "closet" (a tight nook created by two bulkheads, one side of the fuselage and a mesh net "door")for the duration of our flight. "Sure. Knock yourself out," he said with a friendly smile.

As we taxi (loudly) out to the runway, the fellow sitting next to me, whom we shall refer to as "Greg" because that's his name, strikes up a conversation with me about all things guitar. Turns out he lives a couple blocks down the street from us, "plays out" locally once or twice a month, and gathers with friends every chance he has to make music. To make a long story short, I've found a place to go to unleash my new-found sonic creativity with several other middle-aged rockers.

Fun is a very, very good thing...

Why am I telling you all this?

A couple of reasons. I never really thought of myself as having either musical talent. Frankly, I didn't think I had "the ear," whatever that means. I held music as an inaccessible, esoteric language that anyone could listen to and enjoy, but only a select few could make. I discovered that most of my opinions about music were based on the beliefs of my inner 9 or 10 year-old, who still equates music with the frustrations of lugging around a trombone that he had little interest in learning.

The other thing is that there isn't any angst or struggle for me around music as a creative pathway. It's just fun! Geez... I have two degrees in fine arts. I have diplomas that prove the connection between suffering and creativity!

Or so parts of me thought...

Needless to say, I'm re-thinking my approach to creative expression. I'm laughing at how, yet again, I find myself teaching that which I most need to learn.

And just in case you were asleep a paragraph or so back, I'm having way big fun with all of it. My, what kind of an example am I setting for my son?



Harnessing the Power of Experiential Learning
Creating Training that - No Kidding - Sticks

Ever work with groups? Want to? Tom Courry and I will be presenting three days of our unique brand of experiential madness in the Boston Area April 11-13, 2008. Visit Tom's the Next Level site for particulars and registration.

Behind the Curtain
Creating Magic by Bridging Experiential Training with Coaching

A fun four-part teleclass for anyone who wants to bring their team or group training and coaching to the next level.

Each class will give you fresh ideas for experiential activities, coaching and different approaches to debriefing you can use with groups and teams. You'll also learn about selecting activities to suit specific situations, how to “play with playing," how to use consequences to teach real-world lessons, and much more.

Next class begins February 26, 2008. Visit the The Next Level website for more information...

"I can never make up my mind if I'm happy being a flute player, or if I wish I were Eric Clapton."

Ian Anderson

More cool stuff is available at the Cirrus Leadership website!

Next issue of DadsNews: See you in February!.
Until then, "Fun" and "Easy" might be quite useful...

DadsNews ©2008, Kenneth Mossman, MFA, CPCC, PCC,  Cirrus Leadership®
Use and distribution permitted and encouraged, providing attribution is... well, attributed!