Creativity Impact Survey – Results are in!

Earlier this year the Intentional Creativity Foundation took on an expansive research project where we surveyed over 500 people within the creativity community and we were amazed at the results!

Here are a few statistics to share with you that express the need and impact of being connected to our personal creativity in our daily lives.

Practice and Compassion

93% said they experience creativity as a mindfulness practice
89% said they include creativity as a part of their spiritual practice
89% felt a sense of connection with the Divine (as they define it)
86% felt that their creative practice positively impacted those closest to them.
92% feel that creativity influences their compassion for themselves
90% said they experienced compassion for others near them through creativity
83% experienced compassion for others they did not know through stories they heard
80% said they would suggest creative process to others who experience depression

Self Expression and Well Being

87%+ consider themselves self expressed as compared to before they were creating
86% said they have experienced breakthroughs and aha’s during painting
77% said they choose painting specifically to work through a chosen breakthrough
90 % said they have experienced a shift in their default thinking
88% said they experienced a shift in their personal story through creating with intention
89% said they bring insights into their life discovered while painting
85 % said they experienced an expanded sense of self
79% noticed an ease of physical symptoms while creating
93% experience creating as a relief/break that benefits their overall well being
90% have experienced a shift in recurring emotional pain through creative process
90% said that creativity helped them maintain a healthy outlook

Of those surveyed, 42% said they had experienced sexual abuse, 72% said they
experienced verbal abuse, 24% said they had worked with disease, 49% said
they experienced back pain. 65% said they have experienced depression.


For a list of Intentional Creativity Resources to use in situations of trauma, tragedy or natural disaster, go here.

Shares from Graduates = Hot off the Press!

HOT off the press!!
Color of Woman Graduate and Teacher, Amber Bonnici, did a Facebook live in the Red Thread Cafe Classroom this week. Here are some AMAZING shares from past Graduates in response to the FB live video about what called them to the Training, how it has impacted their lives and how they are USING IC to serve and receive abundance for their sacred work. 

Applications due Monday 11/20 for those called to join our 2018 Teacher Training

*****

I graduated from the Color of Woman training in 2013 and once I found it I felt like I had found my home – my tribe! That I had never found before, and maybe even didn’t realize I needed to find. 

This training has been life changing for me in so many ways…. Just months after graduating I won a “President’s Trip” from my corporate job to New Zealand and ended up teaching two sold out classes in Christchurch, New Zealand with another Intentional Creativity teacher who lives in Australia. 

From there it’s been a beautiful journey, I left my corporate job that didn’t fit and was making me ill (well before retirement time, not necessarily recommended but I knew I could make this my full time path) and became a full time teacher in Jan. 2015, less than two years later. Since then I do what I love to make my way in this world and round out my offerings with Intentional Creativity Workshops, Painting Parties with a Purpose, Essential Oil Classes, Wedding & Life Celebration Officiating and recently Color Analysis based on hue, value and chroma of my client’s eye, skin and hair color – a mix of art and science. Kerry Lee is a transformational catalyst in community.

~ Kerry Lee, kerryleeart.com

 

The Color of Woman Training changed the direction of my life. I graduated in 2013 & have since taught up to 100 workshops for young girls & women in my local community, nationally & internationally with ongoing retreats in Greece & Bali. I have also plunged into my ultimate dream of pursuing a career as a professional contemporary Australian artist. COW taught me to take what lives in inside, outside. Forever grateful. Say YES! 

~ Jassy Watson, earthcirclestudios.com (Jassy will be leading a Color of Woman training this year in Australia).

 

Color of Woman is so powerful and stretches you! I am a graduate of the class of 2015, and it was an incredible experience. Our IC community is amazing, and wonderfully supportive. I’m an “only child,” and have sought SiStars of choice all my adult life; I’ve found so many, connected by the Red Thread!

Are you “Shakin’ in your Boots??” Maybe it’s time to apply!! 
I’m also happy to chat with anyone considering applying for 2018! I’ve served as support for both 2016 & 2017 classes, and am so impressed with the SiStarhood. I live, offer coaching, teach IC and hold monthly Red Thread Circles in Oregon’s Willamette valley.

~ Nadya King, http://ladyharper.com/

 

I graduated from Color of Woman in 2015 and I started teaching the month the training started. I was able to pay for the training with the classes I taught during that year. It all started when I painted my Legend. Her main message while I was painting was “keep showing up, keep showing up, I will show you how, just show up in front of me”. I listened and I keep listening. COW is deeply transformational. It woke me up to the courage to step out and share my gifts of comfort, peace, compassion, empowerment, and inspiration. It strengthened me to do things I wasn’t comfortable with. Now, I have my private practice in Traverse City, MI. I never thought I’d teach in English being french Canadian… I thought I wasn’t good enough in English to teach. COW made me open enough to listen what other people would tell me… that my accent was charming. So I decided to embrace my charm ;)and teach anyways. I found out that, when I show up no matter what, it inspires women to step out of their comfort zone and show up also. In March of this year I moved to my own studio where I teach classes and privately coach my beloveds. One of them even did the Color of Woman training and graduated this year. She had many breakthroughs during our time together that led her to that decision. She totally stepped out of her comfort zone and showed up. I don’t know how many times women had breakthroughs during a workshop that kept rippling for many weeks and months after. Just last week, another client called me to celebrate two experiences she had where she was able to show up as her authentic self because of our work together. Witnessing women breathe again, remember who they are and step into their power is extremely rewarding and I thank Shiloh Sophia for having showed up to share this powerful work! 
 
~ Evelyne Verret, http://www.coachevelyne.com/

 

Color of Woman positively changed my life. I graduated in 2014 and totally reinvigorated my self-expression and creativity, released deep grief, made very special connections and lifelong friendships, learned to live a bigger creative and intentional life, discovered my voice and a method to bundle with other healing arts modalities for teaching and supporting the betterment of humankind (yes, it’s that powerful)! Thank you Shiloh, I’m happy to share more, please feel free to connect with me. 

~ Jennifer Bowers, https://jenniferbowers.com/

 

I’m a 2016 graduate of Color of Woman and it has been absolutely life changing!!! I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. The creative processes that are taught within the program now inform each and every aspect of my life and I’m not sure how I managed pre-Color of Woman. 

I remember initially being concerned about the cost and then once I was in the program and realized how full it was and that it was worth every single penny! I loved the Color of Woman training and the beautiful community and support which has developed from it. If you’re considering it just go for it…take the leap and know that it will change your life too.

~ Jackie Deblasio, http://jackiedeblasio.com/

 

I am a COW 2014 graduate and it totally changed my life! I met amazing women…and new best friends. I absolutely loved Shiloh’s brilliant teachings and Mary McDonald’s (StellaMac’s) biz wisdom! I now use Intentional Creativity to teach Healing the Healer workshops to social workers to support them to heal secondary traumatic stress and rejuvenate. (And to explore play with creative expression!). 

I’ve taught 100s of social workers and youth in the foster system. I work with three Regional Academies in California and UCDavis, teaching groups from 10 to 100+ people! I just brought IC to Soul Camp as well. COW is a powerful, transformative course and method. I highly recommend it!!!!! If you are curious and want to see how I’ve used the method in work and life you can check out my website. Sending you oodles of love!!!!

~ Rachel Bavis, www.rachelbavis.com.

 

Hey there everyone! I’m a 2016 graduate and it’s been an amazing transformative process for me as I continue on my entrepreneurial path after escaping the corporate world in 2013. I’m incorporating the intentional creativity approach into my experiential learning with horses workshops in France and it’s a beautiful and powerful addition that participants love to discover. I’m more alive and connected than I’ve been since my childhood. 

~ Lorraine Tilbury, https://premium.lorrainetilbury.com/

 

I’ve often likened Color of Woman to a college for women. The Intentional Creativity certification one can gain from going through the program is as rigorous and thoughtful as any other advanced degree. I feel qualified to make this comparison, as I was a doctoral candidate in a PhD program for Cognitive Psychology. 

The Color of Woman course work is so thoughtfully and lovingly organized so as to lead you on a journey into understanding your soul work. I believe this to be a life long missive, but Color of Woman can serve as your launching pad, and also help you work through or out of patterns that are not serving you or your loved ones. 

I strongly believe in the work that is done here, and have witnessed first hand other’s transformations as a reader for women who participated in the current class. If anyone has additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the Color of Woman graduate you feel you resonate with most. I think I can state unanimously that we all feel called to serve, maybe in different ways, but helping you on your path to being you as you can be. 

~ JP Kim, https://www.theworldofjpkim.com/

 

My first encounter with Shiloh Sophia was through her paintings online about 10 years ago. I was drawn to the feminine power and emotion they reveal, and followed her work, eventually participating in an online class with her on Mary Magdalene. it was a method of painting I had never experienced, both intuitive and expressive, more about the process than the finished piece. In 2015, I applied to Color of Woman and was accepted into this training, which has become both a pivotal movement in my iife as well as one of the most important developments in my education and career. I found a community of women dedicated to healing, learning, teaching, coaching, and witnessing the message of Intentional Creativity in the world, an international group of intelligent, creative, educated and devoted facilitators with a mission to change the way things work in the world. Through workshops, classes, circles, and activism, I believe we are making a difference in healing old stories, revealing deep truths, and transforming lives into passion and purpose. I use these methods of journaling and painting to move through my own fears, emotions, and struggles as well as teaching others how to dive deeply into their own dark and tangled places. The red thread connections I make weave a rich and wonderful tapestry that is the wonder of the life I have travelled since that auspicious discovery a decade ago. I highly encourage anyone who wants to delve into a colorful quest into the cosmic stardust to consider this training as a portal of transformation.

~ Hobby Parent, www.hobbyparent.com

 

I met Shiloh in Dec. 2013 and my life has never been the same. I joined the Red Madonna year long circle in 2014 and was accepted into the 2015 COW class, which I completed as a Intentional Creativity coach and Color of Woman Teacher. The experience has been life changing to say the least. I have transformed many “old stories” into the authentic Truth and can now say I am an artist, teacher, mentor, sister and someone who is learning what I am here to cause and create in the world. I now have my own art paintings up in a business called Sacred Money Studio and Prosperity Pie shop (since April 2106), where I also sell prints and cards as well as my original paintings. This has brought me into contact with many people I would not have otherwise met and who tell me how the images speak to their hearts and souls. This body of work that Shiloh offers us, does just that…connects us to something deeper within ourselves and gives us a vehicle to do transformative healing and empowerment. I have co-lead workshops with other COW teachers and assisted at their workshops as well…and continue to offer classes and one on one mentoring…I love witnessing my Beloveds discover a deeper truth and a reconnection to heir own creative soul. I am continuing to work on own my webpage (gypsyheartstudio.com) and grow my business skills, as well as spend time in my studio being with my Muse… I am so so grateful to Shiloh, Mary McDonald, Jonathan, Sarah, Jennifer, Carman, Amber and all the teachers and friends and sisterhood that I am now connected to. This work is so profound, transforming and so needed in the world right now……I know my soul assignment is serving the Divine and showing up to share my hope and Light in the world for others…… I know today that I am “good enough” and the world needs what we have to offer…..thank you, thank you.

~ Olivia Oso

 

I am a COW 2012 Graduate. This program is life changing, the expanded experience of self discovery and ongoing community is one that is ever deepening. Thru the years after the coursework, I continue to engage with our Circle as well as developing my steady painting practice, selling my art and engaging in one on one mentoring. Intentional Creativity empowers the evolution of my work and original voice in the world.

 ~ Kendall Sarah Scott​, https://visionarywomanstudioarts.com/
red_thread_single

Shares from Color of Woman 2017 Graduates

 

Sophie & Oprah

As The Color of Woman training ends, a way that I thought I may let myself be in 20 years is emerging now. If you know there are parts of you that want to come out and you are scared of what might happen, do the Color of Woman training, the container will midwife you and your deepest desires. 

~ Sofie Pirkle, www.badassbodywork.com

 

 

 

 

Before Color of Woman I was lost—I felt like a soldier without a mission, with seemingly no purpose. No, I had Purpose, but I didn’t know what to do next to move it forward. Two years of waiting and I still hadn’t found clarity on my Next Move. I finally just ASKED what I was to do and got the Answer, “Sign up for Color of Woman!” Cardinal feathers floated down out of the sky at that moment! I was lost, but now I’m found. Amazing Grace.

~ Kathy Smith, www.goddesseyesstudio.com

 

What an incredible experience, one filled with such richness on so many levels. By far the best thing I have ever invested in, in my life. You are one incredible teacher and I am deeply grateful for your courage and bravery to create this life changing quest for women worldwide. I am so deeply honoured to be standing here in this circle of amazing women who dared to travel this journey alongside me this past year. Congratulations to each and every one of them. 

~ Diane Merpaw, www.dianemerpaw.com

Diane Merpaw Painting

Taliswoman, Anna, The Weaver of Feminine Arts by Diane Merpaw

 

terre-busseI just finished a 9 month dive into myself – a Vision Quest really – using color, story and dance (and lots of tears, self doubt and all out tantrums). I am proud to announce that I am now a Certified Intentional Creativity Teacher.  I joyously join a long lineage of amazing women who teach and heal using creativity as our chosen method to heal the self, community, and the world.  I know there are many ways to do this good healing work, but to do it with paint and creativity is pretty mind blowing!

Intentional Creativity is a way to heal and transform ourselves and old stories using creativity.  We intentionally go within and mine for gold and release that which no longer serves us. I personally have let go of some long held beliefs and stories that have held me back for years.

I believed I was broken inside, because of abuse that happened when I was a child. I have carried that with me all my life.  I called it that “yucky” feeling that was always with me.  The one that would awaken me in the middle of the night and fill me with shame and fear. The one that held me back from flying like I knew I could fly.

Using Intentional Creativity, I intentionally went inside, looked at the old fear and painted it onto the canvas in front of me.  I pulled that old story and belief from my cells, my bones.  I painted it onto the canvas.  I literally painted that crap out of my body! I transformed it on the canvas! I made space in my body for a new story to emerge! I changed my story!

In gratitude to a beautiful lineage of teachers.

Shiloh Sophia –  Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training

~ Terre Busse, http://www.cerridwynstudio.com/

Terre Busse Muse Painting

Muse by Terre Busse

 

“My creativity on all levels is heightened. My sense of spirituality is easily accessed and expressed where it wasn’t before. Confidence in my abilities has grown, no fear to try or speak out to change an injustice.”

~ Michaelanne Gephardt

Legend, Nali, Guardian of Nature’s Heart by Michaelanne Gephardt

 

“Be courageous and do it! This was one of the most interesting internal journeys I ever did. I learned a lot about and made friends with myself. I am more confident in my painting. I use intentional creativity to problem solve and to ask questions. I became more connected to myself and my life and more interested in both. And I now have contact with my internal guidance system which might easily be the most important outcome of the program.”

~ Corrina Jaeger

Corrina JaegerCorrina Painting
Legend by Corrina Jaeger


Learn more About Color of Woman training HERE

 

Leaning into Tragedy – Learning Loving Resilience when Social Media is the Messenger

What do we do when tragedy strikes?
How do we not become over-whelmed and numb?
Is there anything we can do?
Do you have a process for navigating?

Yesterday after hearing the news about the Texas church massacre I was of course devastated. Since the time of Standing Rock I feel there has barely been a moment where I haven’t felt like I was tracking disaster using online media as my news source. It can be exhausting. I am sharing some of the things I do to help me not turn away from suffering, and yet protect myself so I can stay strong. I wanted to post – praying for you – thinking of you – but it felt like I had done that so many times. What else could I do. So I wrote this post.

Yesterday, right before the news hit, I thought: What would my life look like without being connected to social media? I would find things out eventually but it would be later – and I wouldn’t be able to respond quickly to those I have been called to serve at least at this time. Responding is part of my work. We are the antidote. And where I can, teaching how to navigate the tough terrain of being awake during such challenging times.

Let’s let one another have our own experience, shall we? Sometimes when I share these posts about ways to respond, people write me back and tell me I should focus on gun laws and petitions and other aspects of the work at hand. Let me be clear here – it is not that I don’t take action in the world. Rather, I don’t expect my community to do what I am doing – so my choices are personal. Not everything I do personally is a teaching or offering for my community. One of the things I have to do is to stay focused on how I can support and empower the circles I have called. My sacred assignment is clear. Each of us must choose what each of us must do. What is right for me may not be what is right for you.

Resiliency actions are just as needed as activist actions. To be a peacemaker I must first have peace within myself. From there, I can take informed action.

I hope you will take the action of sharing this – it IS helping as people are already using it to open hearts and set boundaries. You can either share the post, OR you can copy and paste – feel free to also download the images.

Yours in loving kindness and presence,

~ Shiloh Sophia

 

Please feel free to share the Facebook post and image.

This practice is an exploration in how to not turn away from suffering happening ‘to others’ in ‘other locations’. Clearly if it is in our family and town, that is a whole other thing and responses and actions are different. This is for things where we may not be near in proximity but we have learned the hard news and are often feeling helpless.

In time, if we can choose not to be helpless but helpful, we will actually experience greater resilience, but first we must feel. From the space of being able to ‘be with’ what is, we can then discover how to show up without either being numb or a savior. This is an invitation to choose to consciously engage with how we lean into tragedy. This is not intended to simplify grief, but rather give us a chance to practice and learn as we continue in this great unfolding.

All of us process information differently and each of us has to choose how to moderate the news of what is happening in our sweet world. It is hard to avoid while on Social Media – so this post is focused on that aspect of the unavoidable.

Note – This post is not about lobbying or contacting your government for change – that comes AFTER you process your initial shock. By managing your experience consciously – you *may* then have more space and information to take informed action. Use what is useful for you or modify. (We will continue to edit as more useful information comes forward)

Feel free to share.

1. Awareness: You see the thing announced – Allow yourself to feel what you feel – knowing there is more to come. Following that first wave of what is natural to you to feel, consider pausing and breathing – before doing a full search online. Just get the headline confirmed so you have the information available. Be with what happened in your awareness.

2. Self Care #1: Pray how you pray, meditate or breathe – do your thing that you do to get grounded. Connect with your own source, strengthen up your own connection, move slowly. It will all still be there in a few minutes so you don’t need to rush. Get yourself as ready as you can to know more. Remember the only appropriate action is the one that is right for you right now.

Then read what you need to read to be informed – but don’t read tons of things if you can help it. Find your own trusted news source for these kinds of happenings and go there as opposed to frantically searching. This may not be on social media.

3. Community: Reach out to loved ones you know are close to what has happened, gently, and without a need for immediate response since they are likely being bombarded right now with inquiries. Be present without being invasive. And whatever you do – try your hardest not to tell anyone in that proximity what they should do – example – hurricane: you should leave etc. Let the person make their own decision – if you have a story to tell that might help, tell it.

4. Connect: Connect through your heart with those who are harmed or in harms way. Perhaps in this connection with those hurting, allow in more space to feel what you are feeling. Shock moves into grief. Compassion is powerful. Let tears come. Don’t fight the anger or sorrow for a time – let your experience be your experience. Feeling something that didn’t happen to you directly is an experience of LOVE.

Send your love – as if you can see it going right to the location and those impacted. Keep that love flowing as long as you feel you can. Put it on your altar in some way. Those of us who paint, write, dance etc. – include it in our work.

5. Self Care #2: Just because others are in worse shape doesn’t mean you don’t have your own experience. You do – and if you don’t let yourself have it because you are comparing, you will have to deal with it more later.

Intentional Creativity® through journaling and or drawing could help here in any part of this process to move energy and receive insight into how you really feel.

Gently, choose, if you are called, to not to let this experience ‘stay’ in your body but rather move through you – even see it ‘moving’ through. Choose consciously to try to not let this experience trigger and then compound existing trauma. This will not always be possible. That’s why this is a practice. Keep your mindful attention on your breathe. Following, your self management in how you relate with this, you may be more prepared to take empowered actions.

6. Mindful Posting: MOST important following your self care is how you can contribute. This part is up to you and your posting patterns and ways and spiritual tradition. Connect with your intelligent heart so you are coming from the most helpful compassionate place for you and others. Think how what you post will impact others, out of respect.

If you are called, post a prayer or action or insight or inquiry on social media or the best online link to the information. Saying what you feel is part of your own story of connection to others. Following the initial news, if you are strong enough to provide support, do that. If you need support, ask for it and be specific with your needs.

Many also use common trending hashtags to show solidarity and to be able to find the others who are working with the same thing.

We are the antidote when we choose.
Imagine if those of us who are the love senders stopped
because we thought it wouldn’t work?

7. Gratitude and Sharing: Count your own blessings. Go find someone near to you and give them some love. Let yourself feel love and keep the energy flowing.

 

Artist Shiloh Sophia
with supportive ideas from the collective.
Intentional Creativity Foundation

Sparked by Texas Church Massacre

 

Intentional Creativity 7 Step Process for use during natural disaster recovery

Let’s stay connected to what matters the most.

 

This process is here to use and adapt for those recovery or crisis from natural disasters. It can be done personally, yet is written from the perspective of someone guiding the experience.


SCROLL DOWN TO RE
AD PROCESS

If desired you can print out a PDF HERE and share as many as you would like.

If you are part of the Northern California Fires and seek support from women – join us here

We invite you to share the process with others using this link: Share The Elements HERE.


THE ELEMENTS

An Intentional Creativity 7 Step Process for those impacted by natural disasters related to Fire, Water, Earth, Air

This Intentional Creativity® process is designed to support individuals in coping with losses from natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. Our hope is that this tool will help those impacted by such events enter into recovery, integrate the trauma and transform their experience and also provide a tool of service for those who desire to support. This process can also be modified for personal use.

We are focusing on the power of imagination to help change energy and move out of survival and into an experience of their participation and co-creative capacity to know how they feel and to do something about it.

We wanted to offer a process that was simple and effective that used a small quantity of materials. In our community of Intentional Creativity we use red thread, but you can use ribbon, string or fabric of any color.  If you can afford to, provide a journal and pens that you can leave with them at the end. If you have a table, great, if not, make sure you have a hard surface for them to work on like a clip board or journal. You will go through the process with them, working at the same time. You can also do it one-on-one or in a group. Some parts of it could be over a phone or video stream.

Remember that everyone processes trauma in their own way, in their own time. When doing any healing processes, meet the individuals where they are. They may not yet be able to write about their feelings or experiences, there may be some things that feel overwhelming. Be present with them, holding space and witnessing but not probing. Be gentle with eye contact. Let them participate according to what feels safe to them and adjust as needed. You can do this at a shelter, café, home, office, street side, park and some parts of it can be done over a phone or online streaming like zoom/skype.

Please note that creativity, because it is often uncomfortable, can cause more discomfort at first, but stay with it, and this anxiety is like a crucible that can transform into calm. We send you all blessings for the journey ahead and for those you choose to gather.

Shiloh Sophia
Co-Founder of Intentional Creativity

 



Introduction to the Elements

7 Step Intentional Creativity Process

 

Provide an overview of the process and agree with your guest/s how long this process is going to take. A half hour to several hours depending on what space you have. You can also just do one part of the process.

Introduce the overall idea as if it is a prayer or blessing on the energy you are carrying. Something like: “This is an invitation to become present and embodied during difficult times, and to integrate what has happened.” Based on what you are dealing with, this invitation can change to what feels appropriate. After each process, invite them to share if they want to, or not. *You demonstrate sharing and vulnerability, but with strength. You are the place of compassion.

Materials:  red thread, 4 pieces of paper, pens (not sharpies), scissors

Set the materials out in a sacred manner. As if it is a small simple altar. For each exercise, use both sides of the paper. For the free-write side, consider drawing a simple border of containment: one line going all the way around, choose a different style of border for each page.

1. INTENTION: Have everyone state their intention for the experience as they receive the Red Thread. The intention for you as the leader can be something like: To hold space and witness for [the element you are working with]. Your guest may be uncomfortable with sharing in the beginning, so you can just ask them to share what they are noticing or present to. Each person shares their intention and receives a part of the thread to keep with them or put on their wrist. Tie it on for them with tenderness.

2. ACKNOWLEDGE: Invite your guest to free write on the first piece of paper about the part of the experience that feels most impacting for them right now. Loss, fear, anxiety, stress, unknown, anger, isolation, panic, etc. You can provide a few choices if they seem to be drawing a blank.

3. ACTIVATE: Invite in the element connected with the situation. Free doodle drawing that includes elemental event (ie. fire, flood, earthquake, etc.) on the other side of the paper. Give a demo so they can see what that element looks like.

Share about the element in such a way to diffuse the fear around it, so that we come to a space where fire is not evil, the earth is not punishing us, the water is not raging against us. Be mindful of your thoughts on how you contextualize this idea. You don’t want to negate their experience but guide them into their own empowered ideas about it.

If appropriate, this can be a good time to share about the healing aspects of the element being worked with – and/or to bring in any/all of the other elements. OR you can ask them what each element represents for them inviting a positive representation. As the leader, you are making an effort to help neutralize the element and activate the positive energy of it.

Possible interpretation: Fire: Transformation, Will and Change ~ Earth: Home and Grounding ~ Water: Renewal and Cleansing ~ Air: Breathe and Communication.

4. SAFETY: Acknowledge current situation on the second piece of paper, this is done with some gravity from you and perhaps a contextualization of the current environment.

Ask a few questions about where they are experiencing now: Are you safe? Are you with loved ones? Do you have what you need for the next day? Focus on right now and put these inquiries into context with where you are during the process. Of course, if they are at a shelter be sensitive to that, distinct from if they are in an office, or a home.  Free write on this topic and acknowledge what feels true. Grief and gratitude do dance together and work better in tandem when acknowledged.  i.e. glad to be alive, yet filled with fear. Acknowledge that the paradox is normal. People often have a hard time reconciling the two things, but they can exist side by side and can be healing.

Turn the paper over and draw a feeling of safety, even if that safety is temporary (give demo if guiding), perhaps with circles or tracing their hands or a symbol of their choosing. Circles that intersect are good here. The act of asking them to draw a feeling stretches the imagination to a new place, and while uncomfortable, is often calming.

If you are called, use body movement to integrate drawing/painting and accompanying feeling of safety into physical body – ie sweeping motions, swinging arms, big wide movements, embody the elements.

5. CONNECTIONS: Create blessings and prayers for the community on the third piece of paper. Rip or cut the paper into smaller pieces, and write prayers or blessings or wishes for others. This step acknowledges that others are having the same experience and is a move towards broader consciousness and compassion. Getting out of our own story and moving our gaze towards others is necessary for healing. Service can be one of the most transformational aspects of working within a tragedy.

One idea is to tie them together on red thread like a prayer rope or string. If in community, this can be a group process OR have them wrap red threads around the messages and hand them to others. Depending on the location you are in, the messages can be hung up/showcased in the space and more messages can be added. That way the person you are guiding has a job to invite others. These prayers, blessings, messages can also be gathered in a bowl with strips of paper instead of tied.

 6. AFFIRMATION: On the fourth piece of paper, invite them to write an affirmation of how they will choose to show up and stay centered during this time.  Although it may be too soon on their path for a true claiming – practicing this gives a sense of power. Invite them to keep this piece in their pocket, in their bra, in your purse, and remember it when they get scared – to read it.  On the other sides they could create a connection from their past to their future – with them being in the present moment – like a bridge, or a journey.

7. SHARING: Consider inviting them to share a variation of this project with another person in need. You can guide it, change it and use it to work with others who are experiencing trauma. You can even give them a handout with this process and empower them to move into being the guide.

With the paper they have, they can tie it into a scroll with thread, and or fold it up and keep or, or let it go.

Blessings for the journey ahead. Thank you for being willing to hold space for those in need.

NOTE: Working with trauma can be very sensitive and complex. If you don’t feel experienced or comfortable, keep the process more general and just enough for them to receive some comfort and empowerment. A little love through Intentional Creativity goes a long way.  People can and will be triggered but we cannot let that keep us from sharing.


Basic process created by Shiloh Sophia, with input and ideas and editing from members of the Intentional Creativity Guild.

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

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