Change coming from the inside.
Inside of our hearts and souls.
Inside the establishments and institutions.
Inside the goals for the future.
The intersection of art and healing cannot be overlooked at this time of the great wheel turning. We have a world of people hurting without access to the tools to powerfully express it and transform it.
We need ways for those who are serving to be able to do their own work, easily and powerfully so they are feeling empowered and inspired to work on behalf of those they serve. As we know, secondary traumatic stress and fatigue is rampant among those who serve in our institutions – what are the ways we can lift them up so they can continue to do the work they felt called to when they embarked on a career of service? We, as a community of educators are bringing in the power of Intentional Creativity™.
As a part of the vision for the United Nations SDG30, Sustainable Development Goals, we are seeing how we can do our part to work towards some of the goals through providing education to those who are working on delivering the goals – change has to happen with those offering the services to establish trust and connection with those who are in need. Creativity, consciously applied is one of the ways we are working towards contributing to the goals like this that that serve women and girls worldwide.
In particular, our community wants to be a part of Goal 4, as stated in the SDG30: “Ensure inclusive and equitable equality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” (Reference) We can do this. We have to do this, and educators like Rachel Bavis give us hope for what is possible when we bring our gifts into the arena of heart based service.
A great example of this happening ‘on the ground’ in our own community is Rachel Bavis, a 2014 Color of Woman graduate. She is a lawyer in the social work system, who at one time thought she had put her law work behind her to pursue life as an artist and teacher. However, in her love, goodness and vision, she has returned to work with those she once served in a law capacity – but now she serves them with art in her work with Heal the Healer.
Rachel is a powerful force in the world for transformation IN the establishment. She had recently been approved as a trainer through San Diego State University’s Public Child Welfare Training Academy and the Bay Area Academy – which collectively support and provide training for child welfare agencies in seventeen counties in California. Thus far, she has provided her training to more than 100 child welfare workers in the system with many more to come.
Our global community of Intentional Creativity™ is very proud of her, and excited to see what emerges with her work with both the social work providers as well as the clients they serve in the welfare and child welfare system. Change is happening from the inside and the ripple out is evident in her results.
Last week Rachel returned to the Color of Woman School with our 2015 graduates – sharing her Heal the Healer process with us so that others could bring her way of working with ICM into the establishments and clients we serve.
Feeling so very blessed to be a part of this great work unfolding and coming full circle with the legacy of this kind of work.
Thinking of course, and grateful for, our roots in the New Deal art, with Lenore Thomas Straus, the mentor or our mentor, Sue Hoya, bringing images of healing and the feminine, to the New Deal art with the Roosevelt administration. The legacy continues in us, who continue to ask the question Straus posed about how art shapes the one who makes it, and changes us from the inside.
~ Shiloh Sophia
On November 5, 2015, one year after I graduated, I had the pleasure of teaching my Healing the Healer Red Thread Session to the Color of Woman™ 2015 graduates. I loved it so much! I’m in my happy place painting with these wonderfully talented peeps who want to bring Intentional Creativity™ into the world.
Next…I’ll bring the teachings back to my other beautiful peeps…(not the marshmallow kind!).
Those other peeps are the social workers, therapists, and other helping professionals who work to protect children and youth from abuse and neglect. From the emotionally taxing work they do, they experience symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, including illness, nightmares, sadness, and anxiety, to name a few. After taking my Healing the Healer IC™ workshop, they expressed feeling relaxed, calm, peaceful, rejuvenated, and energized. As one social worker participant beautifully explained, After taking ‘Healing the Healer’ I have renewed enthusiasm for work, hope in the process, the journey, and the desire to share this energizing, renewing process with others, especially the teens with whom we work. After this training, the Agency ordered a workshop for their youth, who found it to be “fun”, “cool”, “creative” and “exciting”, and helped them to relieve stress. One teen explained, This is an art class that will help you express yourself, for who you are. The workshops are offered in California directly with me and in the counties served by the Public Child Welfare Training Academy or Bay Area Academy organizations. PCWTA class description
Secondary Trauma is an occupational hazard for child welfare workers who are exposed to survivors of traumatic events as part of their everyday work. Helping staff establish coping strategies can reduce staff burnout and turnover. Rachel Bavis’ Healing The Healer workshop offers child welfare social workers a therapeutic, interactive environment to address and develop such coping skills. As a deputy director for Children and Family Services. I believe Ms. Bavis has a unique approach- focusing on creativity and mindfulness to help staff develop tools to remain emotionally healthy. Her prior experience as an attorney working in the juvenile system gives her an empathic perspective in understanding the traumatic nature of the stressors in our work. I highly recommend this training opportunity as many of our staff have attended and returned to work with a renewed enthusiasm and passion for their work. Ms. Bavis is an outstanding and dynamic facilitator and her workshop is not to be missed! – Dr Joanne Munro, Deputy Director, OC Children and Family Services
Thank you Lenore Thomas Strauss, Sue Hoya Sellars, Shiloh Sophia, Mary MacDonald and Jenafer Owen for creating and nurturing the Color of Woman & Intentional Creativity Method™ as it transforms and heals in the most wondrous of ways! Kudos and thanks also to the other 2013 & 2014 grads who offered their beautiful teachings the same day…Heidi Sequoia Moondancer, Kerry Lee Hedrick Laird, Dominique Peters and Elizabeth Gibbons…the room was filled with xoxoxxos and good juju.
Studying with Shiloh awakened the dormant artist in me and I became a certified Color of Woman Teacher and Intentional Creativity coach. I believe we are all creative artists. My art embraces the Divine Feminine, often with whimsical, symbolic animals who bring messages, protection, and playfulness. Using acrylics, charcoal, colored pencils, and pen, I love playing with bold colors and have a strong, graphic style, influenced by those artists I love, like O’Keeffe, Klimt, Kahlo, and Shiloh Sophia. I create with the intention to heal children and families, and–by bringing healing images into the world—the earth and all beings. I have a Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications with a minor in Studio Art from Hunter College, City University of New York.