Creativity at Work: Creativity in School Administration

Creativity is a mindset that allows us
to work our way through the world
in the most positive way possible,
both in our personal and professional lives.
~ Jessica Bowman

 

Jessica Bowman, Associate Superintendent / School Principal, Siskiyou Union High School District, and Certified Intentional Creativity® Teacher shared with me that the creativity research she did while writing her PhD dissertation had a large impact on how she views the world. Through her creativity practice she experiences life in a more positive way with humor and positivity to what could be a pretty stressful work assignment. She believes that without a creativity practice she would be suffering tremendously.

Jessica manages five programs and two high schools and has implemented creative activities in staff meetings that focus on the positive. When the teachers’ concepts of creativity shift, it creates a better learning environment for the students. It also gives an opportunity to relax and breathe.

Stress is especially high at the district office so Jessica’s top priority for staff is self-care with the concepts of creativity research and brain function. Self-care activities and intentional conversation about the environment they would like to work in have created improvement. She’s implemented experiences in meditation, coloring book images and even brought bubbles to work to bring levity to a situation and stimulate conversation.

Jessica finds these activities have an impact on how team members treat each other. They became more respectful of each other, more aware of how others were feeling and why things are done the way each person does them, i.e. personality types, different definitions for words that are commonly used, i.e., what does the word “respect” mean to each person, or “a job well done”? These conversations allow communication to find common ground to operate from and give people space to be more patient with each other. They also discovered an awareness that they had choices they didn’t think they had, i.e. what the work environment looked like. They now know they have a choice and are heard.

Jessica has discovered creativity is a vehicle for transformation and has observed this on a personal level and believes creativity can transform work for the better on an organizational level as well by:

  • Improving the work environment.
  • Strengthening teamwork.
  • Having the ability to see the challenge of the world around us with a different lens, a brain shift occurs.
  • Noticing how each of us goes through a self-analysis process for a problem and how it can be the same or different for different people. The ability to have a self-analysis process comes from a pause from the rush of the daily grind.
  • The ripple effect of benefiting one person at a time which eventually leads to a cultural shift.

Some of Jessica’s favorite resources include Shiloh Sophia McCloud’s Intentional Creativity Method and the books “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, and Creativity by Matthew Fox. In addition, she resonates with the research in creativity generated by Frank Barron, Professor at UC Santa Cruz, Alphonso Montouri, Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Shelley Carson, Professor at Harvard University. Her intention with using these sources is to shift educators into a deeper connection with themselves; a place where they hear their own truth and make internal connections for clarity, purpose, and personal worth in order to create a more productive and positive work environment. This, of course, makes a much better learning environment for children.

You can reach Jessica at [email protected] if you would like to learn more about her personal creative practices.

 

~ ~ ~

Kerry Lee, a 25 year Benicia resident, is a Certified Intentional Creativity® Teacher and Coach, officiates creative ceremonies and weddings, leads group workshops, experiential retreats, mobile social painting parties, customized corporate team building and corporate social responsibility events. Find her at KerryLeeArt.com

10 Minute Intentional Creativity Process

Dear Ones,

I send you greetings and invite you into presence and community.

There is a lot going on the world right now. Whether you are a sensitive or not – you can feel some part of it and it could be causing fear, concern, restlessness, betrayal, anger and the list goes on.

Let’s create resilience through creativity – which is what called us into this circle in the first place. Creativity.

As you know, it is important to let ourselves feel what we feel, see what we see and know what we know – YET – it is also important to move it ‘out’ of our physical body so it doesn’t get trapped and create the resulting other experiences which could range from anxiety to irritation to depression. You can move it out or dissolve it by choice. If it can move, it will.

As this world unfolds, each of us has our part, our piece of the red thread, and so we want to be ‘fit’ enough to manage that. Self care for the mind and heart involves some language usage because we are currently experiencing what we are experiencing in the realm of story. So story can help us move it.

I wanted to just create an opening here – since we do consider ourselves a global circle woven with red threads, to acknowledge the happening that is happening. (This is not intended as therapy.) Here is a simple Intentional Creativity Process you can do to move some energy and become conscious about your co-creative capacity.

Clearing Stuck Feelings

Materials: 3 Pieces of Paper and Pens 

1. Intention (to move energy, get clear, tend the self, etc.)
Write your intention. Doodle a bit to get the energy flowing.

2. Discover what is causing the most angst or discomfort through journaling with big looping words. Might need more pages! ‘Draw’ the feeling inside you. What is the shape of that feeling. By drawing it, intend to MOVE it or free it.

3. Clear: Request out loud, of yourself, to create a clearing in your consciousness, to be an open space you personally are in charge of tending. Write a letter ‘from’ that clarity to yourself. Draw an open shape representing this feeling and image. This open shape will a reference poin you can return to in your mind.

Moving story is more potent when image is used, as well as process. Let’s be at cause for creating our own internal spaces and tending them.

The images above is not my image, but this is a good one that can be used if you want to take it further. If you want to comment on some or any of this process please do so here.

Big love, and lots of pens and paper from the Red Thread Cafe,

For more Resiliency Resources go HERE.

Avatar, Master of Inquiry

Avatar by Svetlana (Lana) Pritzker, 2017

The Master of Inquiry, Hexagram 63


Destined to live in the infinite quest,

She is a present day Avicenna.

Expanding throughout the multi-realm,

Her mind is an inquiring antenna.

She follows the guidance of her inner authority.

High standard in all matters is her priority.

When under pressure, she is not pushing beyond,

Allowing her guts to sense and respond.

She lives in synergy with her surroundings.

Her feet don’t wander but follow her heart.

She  paints a big picture without doubting,

Thoroughly enjoying her boundless art.

Choosing integrity in each moment,

Not judging, but learning what’s best while assessing.

She is inventive, proficient, cogent,

Truthful and generous as she gives you her blessing.

 

~ Svetlana Pritzker,

~~~

Svetlana (Lana) Pritzker, Founder of New Human Energetics, Author, Visionary Artist, Medical Intuitive, Human Design Coach

Svetlana is member of the Intentional Creativity Guild, an international organization that promotes creativity as a sacred practice and a path of personal development and contribution. Incorporating ancient metaphysical wisdom, Taoist energy cultivation and modern discoveries, Svetlana’s current work represents an alchemical blend of transmissions and Intentional Creativity processes that intensify your ability to access and harness the primordial energy of creation and channel your life force energy for material manifestation of your biggest ideas and dreams. Visit Svetlana at www.facebook.com/LanaPritzker

When Intentional Creativity Spills Over and Colors Your Life Happy

I am a Color of Woman graduate of 2012. My process of unfolding within Intentional Creativity® has been profound and spellbinding, and of course, absolutely unexpected.

I thought I would start teaching and designing websites for myself; instead what has emerged is a design for my dream life so much better than what I could ever have thought up myself. Let’s start at the beginning:

I had seen Shiloh’s paintings in the backdrop of my mind’s eye for many years and greatly admired them. Two years before starting my Color of Woman training, a friend invited me to a fundraiser for African girls presented by Alice Walker. Shiloh had donated a gorgeous painting and her flyers were on display. I brought one back with me to Mexico promising myself that if I ever moved back to the states I would do everything to take a course with Shiloh.

It was a “heart-deep” wish, but I couldn’t see how I would be able to do it. I kept checking in on her website and one day I saw a message about Color of Woman training and the possibility of a scholarship. I stretched out my hand and started writing on the first thing at hand, a torn-off restaurant paper tablecloth. I got accepted and was awarded a scholarship. This was clearly meant to be!

My Phone interview with Shiloh was mesmerizing. At the time we were living in southern Mexico in one of the most violent states of the country. We were what the media likes to refer to as “victims” of the war on drugs and related violence.( I strongly reject this term, on the grounds that NOBODY should triumph over the spirit of families shouldering the pain of a nation, by labeling them as victims.) Between going to marches, searching for missing persons and living in an atmosphere surrounded by the images of unimaginable human degradation, I started Color of Woman training.

It went surprisingly well on my first painting, Queen of my own heart, once I stopped over-thinking the process. On the second or third painting the feelings changed. I was stuck and the more I painted, the more I had symbols come up which I didn’t want to look at. The pivotal point came when I had to look at the fact that “my Lady” was crying big unstoppable tears into a river. I was also reading more and more of the forum discussions and one day it hit me: almost every one of the ladies in the group were facing pain, loss, sadness and challenge, and they were FEARLESS in confronting and painting their way through it with grace.

Somehow it brought home to me, that my sadness, my pain was not of greater value, than anybody else’s. Many people have been through incredible challenge and shoulder it with such grace and strength it illuminates you to observe them. I found the Color of Woman group to be filled with many such strong and inspiring women. Being able to follow the journeys and inquires of these strong and fearless souls in such a supportive and intimate setting was priceless.

At the time I was working as a language arts and yoga teacher and continued my studies and inquiries into how to use IC in that kind of setting. Our living situation during the time was very stressful as I became more and more concerned with the physical integrity of my family.

At this time I signed up for Red Madonna and went into a year long in-depth inquiry around my faith, beliefs and it’s place in the world. This was not always a smooth ride as I am a Sikh by religion and Red Madonna is geared towards a more Christian out look. The year I participated, we were also being instructed by Havi Brysk Mandell, a wonderful teacher, painter and therapist who shares the mysteries of the Jewish faith splendidly.

My COW and best friend, Gurukiren, and I had long discussions on points of faith and worship all through the Madonna year. I was often surprised myself, at the strength of my feelings around my faith. It was a year of painting and redefining the points of religion. The last painting of the cycle is the painting of mine with which I have most resonated.

Our living situation was becoming more and more unsustainable. The daily level of violence coupled with growing social unrest was taking a heavy toll. One day I had one of those thunderbolt realizations: This was no longer acceptable. Here comes the miracle: shortly after this we got a phone call out of the blue offering us a job in India at an international boarding school. It is located in Amritsar which is the holiest place of pilgrimage for the Sikh Religion. Something like the Vatican for Sikhs!

I usually teach a visioning workshop once a year around New Year’s. We are a small school with students from twenty different countries. My daughter is now fully bilingual and both my husband and I have challenging and deeply satisfying jobs. We get long summer holidays which we have been blessed to spend in Sweden and Greece, both places where I grew up as a child. I feel convinced that it’s our blessing to be here living this life, and it’s the work of intentional creativity, which has deepened and refined my process to give place to the magic, which allows us to live a life even better than the one I could ever have dreamed up for myself!

I am ready and excited to continue working in the red thread circle which why I am in IMAGINE this year. Can’t wait to see what magic will be unleashed through this process!

What I learned through being in circle with the IC sisterhood:

  • Everybody suffers
  • My pain is not of a higher importance than other people’s pain
  • Joy is an act of conscious resistance
  • Seek silent witnesses in other dimensions
  • Examine your faith inside and out and sculpt it into an offering for your soul
  • Trust the process

~ Gurukirin Khalsa, Color of Woman Teacher

 

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