Red Thread Circles for Children: Wisdom Keeper

He couldn’t focus. He bounced around the room engaging anyone who would pay attention. But his bouncing and words were challenging in tone and tinted with violence, not welcoming. It’s the only way he knows how to communicate.

Many children walk through the classroom door each morning as victims of neglect and violence. The levels to which they experience this range from five year olds having to heat up their own 7-Eleven burrito for dinner to actual un-welcomed and undeserved physical contact.

In many schools teachers are frontline first responders each and every morning of their lives. I retired from such a school this past year. It is heartbreaking, stressful, and exhausting work, but deep down I knew I was making a difference.

Struggling to find answers, school administration make choices that seem like the magic pill, but seldom deliver. Teachers are caught between curriculum and programs that do not come close to meeting the direct needs of the children they teach.

I stepped away from this a few months ago and into a new way of reaching children that changes how they think. As a Red Thread Guide I can now offer ways of helping children move from the fight, flee, or freeze response of the brain to the heart space where wisdom resides.

He ignored my call to sit on the floor in a circle. Most of the rest of the class eagerly gathered, minus a few who waited to see what he was going to do.

Red Thread circles offer a way to connect. It is story, something children understand deeply and love. So I told them about myself and my intentional creativity painting and my red thread circles and the little girl from their very own school who wears a red beaded bracelet from her grandmother in Poland given to her when she was born to keep her safe.

The boys settled together on the floor, half listening, half conducting their own business in an attempt to draw our attention to them.

I continued with talk about the brain and the amygdala. Something they are familiar with as part of their social/behavioral program they do to combat bullying. But then I talked about the heart and how the heart holds wisdom. It is the heart that really tells us what to do. I drew a picture of an anatomical heart on a large piece of chart paper and called it The Wisdom Keeper.

The whole class was listening. Even the boys.

We talked about how the heart leads our brain to make better decisions. Instead of hitting or arguing, the heart can give us a better way. But we need to learn how to listen to it. After all, it is the loving part of ourselves we forget to listen to.

In the Red Thread circles we weave a ball of red thread around our wrist passing it to the next person until we are all connected. In an elementary school that is not a safe option. Restroom needs, wiggly bodies, and emergencies are a priority.

Instead, I use my singing bowl. Having been trained in a mindful practice at this school where I taught, I have lots of tools in my tool box. So instead of wrapping the thread around their wrists, the students get to ring the bowl. I explain how to hold it or place it on the floor to get a nice sound. After they ring it they answer a simple inquiry question.

He LOVED ringing the bowl. So did his friends. It was enough to keep them engaged until it was time to go to lunch.

This is just the beginning of the red thread circle. We can inquire about many things: what do we love about ourselves, what do we love to do, etc. We listen to others who have similar stories to our own. We realize we are not alone and, yet, we are special, and that we are only responsible for the piece we hold. Yes. They got that part.

In this particular classroom we followed up with an Intentional Creativity® activity using the supplies they had in their room to draw our Wisdom Keeper. That voice inside our hearts that is always there to give us love and kind words.

He and his friends drew amazing Wisdom Keepers and were able to share with the group what their keeper told them about how wonderful they are and how much they are loved.

There are always tears from the adults listening.

Children are very open and honest. The are also very brave and I learn a lot from them.

~ Lexanne Leonard, Red Thread Guide

Learn more about becoming a certified Red Thread Guide


Two friends. Two IC Teachers. One Palace of the Soul. One Month in May.

This is one of those wonderful what-if situations come true! While Artist and IC Teacher Elizabeth Gibbons, the Bejeweled Baroness, is sojourning in Hawaii during the month of May, IC Teacher and Artist Kerry Lee is taking care of the Palace of the Soul in San Francisco, CA!

Both being Intentional Creativity teachers and CC and having collaborated together a couple of times at the Palace of The Soul – and being friends, it was a pretty easy YES for both of them to this arrangement. Kerry’s business is primarily mobile, her daughter is grown, and her pets have passed on, so she is free to go where her mantra of Ease, Fun and Prosperity leads her!

Here is what she has lined up for the month of May:

I currently live in a quiet Bay Area waterside (Carquinez Strait) bungalow with lots of open space where the only commute noise is the geese each morning going from their night place (wherever that is) to their day place (wherever that is). I’m not a city girl. So living in SF for a month is a perfect change of scenery and experience – I’m already inspired with the idea of staying at Elizabeth’s beautiful, larger, art-museum-like home.

I’ll be offering two Painting Parties with a Purpose. All of the paintings have intention and symbolism in the spirit of Contemporary Symbolism and Intentional Creativity. The Dragonfly, to honor a beloved who has passed on (which I will be painting in honor of Elizabeth’s Mom & CC Mary Landor) and a second Mermaid Tales with fun and light painting and mermaid lore and quotes, ie “I was a mermaid in a previous life”.

I will also be offering two half day Intentional Creativity workshops – Soulful Wisdom Cards; Transforming Limiting Beliefs into Empowering New Stories and a Kerry Lee original, The Balance Tree, a watercolor painted tree of clarity and action for the future you desire. Each part of the tree and surrounding landscape has symbolic meaning.

And on Memorial Weekend I’ll be offering Huna: Paint Your Inner-Guide Portrait, An Intentional Creativity Weekend Workshop. Over a Friday Eve, Saturday and Sunday we’ll create a symbolic portrait of our own Inner Guides. Participants can expect to find their own innate inner wisdom, truth and guidance based on the seven principals of Hawaii’s Huna philosophy.

In addition I’m a “Experience Host” with Airbnb and plan to offer private 90 minute and 3 hour Intentional Creativity coaching sessions as well as one of my unique special offerings, Personalized Color Analysis – Where art and science come together to determine your perfect personal color palette based on skin, hair and eye color. Usually I offer this is group settings but for the month of May will be offering private sessions at reduced group pricing.

And, this weekend, I’m participating in Benicia’s Open Studios this weekend with over 90 participating artists where I’ll be featuring my new Mindfulness Meditation Paintings along with other artworks, starting at $25.

None of my events require prior experience, however seasoned artists are welcome to add their own creative style.

 

~ Kerry Lee, the Palace of the Soul, San Francisco, CA

kerryleeart.com

Regional News: Bahrain

I am living as an expatriate in Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf.

In June,  I publicly announced my offerings for Intentional Creativity Workshops on the island. I have held some private sessions and workshops from my home studio as well as at a local Aikido and Yoga studio where I was asked to offer classes and Red Thread Sessions.

March was a very busy time. I was invited to share IC in a mini-workshop and have my own booth at a Wellness Day, and to present a teaser at a fashion show for a fashion academy. I had around 100 people doing the first few steps of a 13 step workshop together. They visioned, set an intention and created an opening.

Below are a few photos from the fashion event, from my booth and also from some students creating paintings in my studio.

~ Rien Cassidy   (www.riencassidy.com)

 

Students painting.

Paintings from a workshop.

Creating Portals of Opening

At the fashion event…

Trust the Process.

Last Week I had the opportunity to teach Cosmic Smash Booking at Shakti Rising in a small setting in San Diego. It is a recovery home serving over 800 women each year through woman-centered leadership development, community-based educational services and our holistic recovery program. Thank you Shiloh…

It was as always glorious and wonderful and fun and liberating for both them and me. It was a 5 hour round trip and I did it as service to my community.

However, what I want to tell you is what I witnessed and the power of IC that I have seen before but never quite like this. In the class were two trained social workers witnessing Cosmic Smash Booking for the first time.

One woman attended who is not part of the living-in community. She made her pretty book, we started to write our thoughts regarding grounding ourselves, which eventually we would cover and use color on followed by an image, usually hands and sometimes feet.

At the end of her writing she got very upset and starting crying and would not stop. At first I thought Oh! S**t!  There are two trained women in here what should I do?

However, as always,I hear Shiloh’s voice: trust the process. I noticed she had written only on one side of the page. I put my hand lightly on her arm, breathed in air for both of us, and asked her if she could just take that pencil she had written with and draw a line across the page…that’s it…just draw a line between the pages.

She mustered the courage and did it. I witnessed her come off the ceiling by herself and just continue to draw lines across the page. Eventually she calmed down and made a joke.

She said, “well,I guess I’m not going to able to do that unsupervised.” We all laughed.

I drove home humbled ….

~ Catt Z

(cosmicsmashbooking.com)

 

Fierce, Fabulous and Feminine

 

NEWS RELEASE: Osceola Arts – Art in Public Places at Kissimmee City Hall presents Central Florida artist Phyllis “Pannet” Taylor. Ms.Taylor loves to draw the human face and believes that a story lies behind the eyes of every person. A facilitator of Intentional Creativity, Ms. Taylor introduces drawing and painting as an alternative method of creative expression for teens and women who have experienced various types of abuse.

Phyllis “Pannet” Taylor’s artwork
February 1st – 28th at Kissimmee City Hall, Florida

Phyllis’ words:
Various life experiences gave me a yearning to teach art where creativity was integral to the self- healing process. We are innately creative beings though many came to believe they were not creative. During a traumatic & abusive period in my life I could not create as my internal critic was so severe little survived. I felt as if I was no longer a creative being.

I began drawing, even writing, with my non dominant hand to create art as it freed me from my internal critic allowing me to express my anger, rage and sometimes my hopelessness. I experimented, discovered and learned new methods and mediums to use. I had fun, I played and I created again! The more I was able to express myself creatively the freer I became emotionally and artistically, incorporating portraits into my abstracted paintings. My life crisis was the catalyst for transforming my chaos into bliss whereby creating art became the energy for my moving into healing and better emotional health.

I volunteered with an organization that helped abused women get a Fresh Start and I was asked to teach art workshops. Through my Xpress YourSELF workshops I found I could help others in their healing process by teaching them to focus their intentions on what they wanted to let go and begin to grow in their lives at that moment. By acknowledging, accepting and activating their innate creativity the women expressed their emotions visually rather than continue to hold them inside.

These past several years I have been intentionally allowing myself to focus on creating art that comes from deep within my heart and as I move into the third quarter of my life I am dedicated and determined to teaching Intentional Creativity® classes and workshops, in person and online, to reach as many people as I can to encourage them to develop their innate creativity. I want to share this feeling of freedom and wholeness with others, women in particular, many who’ve been abused, hurt or wounded and may still be holding the pain inside themselves. Visually channeling the pain is just one way of helping to heal the hurts and close the wounds.

Creating art is always good – but whether or not it is truly healing depends on you choosing to engage your brain and body in the healing process. It is your choice to engage yourself in the conscious act of creating. Some people don’t experience their art as healing although they may call it cathartic or life-saving. However,the capacity to use art as a tool to know oneself is dependent on one’s intention to do so. This is Intentional Creativity®. Through the teaching of Intentional Creativity® I intend to share my past, with it’s pain and it’s healing journey, with others by showing them how they can release their hurts visually and use image to change their stories. Acknowledgment and acceptance of their creativity and actively putting their feelings as marks onto paper or canvas is another way to authentically express their stories and to re-imagine themselves.

 

Visit Phyllis at Pannet Art Studios.

 

Pulling Stories out of our Bones

I 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. The one that awakened me in the middle of the night and filled me with shame and fear. The one holding 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 literally painted that crap out of my body. I transformed it on the canvas and made space in my body for a new story to emerge.

I changed my story!

In gratitude to a beautiful lineage of teachers.

~ ~ ~

 

Terre Cerridwyn Busse: I am a teacher, an artist, a mother of teenagers and a woman who fell in love with a river (ask me about the South Fork of the Yuba).

I paint, I dance, I make up stories. Sometimes I do them all at the same time and truth be told, my best work is when I am doing them all at the same time.

I paint with intention. I believe that painting with intention, we can heal and move stuck hurts and energy out of our body. I believe we can change our lives on the canvas. We can create space in our hearts and souls to attain the dreams we desire through paint, intention, story, color and symbol. Come visist me at Cerridwynstudio.com

SPECIAL RELEASE: The Legendary Women Gallery Show 2018 of Guild Members

“Shaping one’s own story is the making of revolution. A story becoming a legend means we open the door to the land of the imaginal narrative. To see things in new ways we need to invite new seeing and self expression. We don’t just rely on reason and what we know to shape the story we want to live into. Or at least we don’t any more.

Legends aren’t born. They are made. With rigor and shimmer and in our case with big paintbrushes, dance moves and poetry. Legends are hand crafted from the stories of the soul. Set free from the cages of the past. Default settings and dead old stories keep us bound. The over-culture and dominant paradigm want us to buy into their story, often invisible but palpable. We say, no thanks.

Awakened ones become a danger to what is acceptable and we become willing to be unacceptable. Once we are free from our cages of conformity we may never fit back in again. And this is a good thing.

Stepping into one’s own legend is a chosen rights of passage that gives one access to what is possible. And along the way, a good time can be found by all!

I don’t know about ya’ll but I think wild awake women is a really good idea.”

Shiloh Sophia
Co-Curator, Intentional Creativity Foundation


For Special Release: The Legendary Women Gallery Show 2018 of Guild Members features the work of both experienced and beginning painters based on the work they created in our signature Cosmic Cowgirl Course: LEGEND.

LEGEND has been running for over 10 consecutive years with hundreds of students. An Intentional Creativity journey designed to lead you into the heart of your personal story with an invitation to transform your life into a LEGEND. The process is focused in image and word and each artist gaining access to her internal voice.

This experience is life changing for how women view themselves, their relationships and their worldview. Plus, it is a a lot of fun, and yes, slightly dangerous to pre-existing frameworks. Most of us have an experience of our voice, as we have been speaking to ourselves from the time we were born, through needs and wants, and eventually thoughts, desires and stories. For many of us however, that voice goes off the tracks and can become an enemy, known as the critic. In the work of LEGEND we transform that paradigm and establish a new relationship with the one within. When we experience an integration with the voice that speaks within us, we can be instantly changed and connected with intuition and being in new and powerful ways.

It is with joy and excitement for the work of women artists who are members of the Intentional Creativity Guild that we present this show.

Get a cup of tea and a journal, pause and just allow yourself to sink into the stories each woman tells through her LEGENDARY SELF.

The LEGENDARY SELF is a combination of fact, fiction, stardust and poetry layered with symbol, code, icon, and hidden doors of meaning specific to each woman’s journey. Most women say they go to a place within their soul that they have never visited before – but once there will never lose access.

This show is made possible through the Intentional Creativity Foundation.

Shiloh Sophia, Curator
Co-Curator, Kendall Scott

To find one of these women near you visit:
http://www.intentionalcreativity.org/guild-members

 

A Brave Calling: Will you dare to answer YES when it comes knocking?

I can’t believe the day is here where I get to teach my very first 13 Step playshop. I am filled with fear, some anxiousness as well as excitement and joy. Teaching a painting process is totally new to me and it’s pretty intimidating when your teacher/leader makes it looks so seamless and easy. I had to remind myself, a few times, that I have something here to offer that is uniquely mine and to not compare myself to our brilliant teacher Shiloh Sophia or some of my very talented artist sisters that I traveled alongside with on this quest called Color of Woman.

My 2 day creativity retreat sold out weeks before the actual unfolding. I was so excited and this excitement continued to fuel me until well after the retreat. I personally invited a handful of people with whom I wanted to share this inaugural voyage with. A few of them extended invites to their friends. I was blessed to share the weekend ten wild brave women.

This teaching experience is critical and pivotal in this quest as it invites you to the edge and I believe we grow when we play with our edges. Teaching the 13 step process is very different than painting as an initiate who is unfolding and blossoming in her quest. You are invited to be present for your Beloved as well as letting go of attachment and judgements. I recommend creating a framework to guide your retreat and to keep you on track but please don’t get attached to it because the energy of the group may direct you in a different way. This requires deep self trust in you, in your abilities, and deep listening to your Beloveds and to the voice of your Muse.

Trusting your Muse in this unfolding is critical for she is mighty, brilliant and very resourceful.

Over and over again, I was in awe of what unfolded throughout the weekend. Each and everyone of my Beloveds blossomed throughout the weekend. I watched them come in with trepidation and leave with their painting of newly found Succulent Wild Selves accompanied by huge smiles on their faces. Some of the miracles unfolding during the weekend included: the releasing of 5 years of intense grief and sadness, a stronger connection to their inner voice, a rekindling with their inner child, and a re-connection with their artist self. It brought them tremendous joy to be witnessed by their beautiful sisters and myself.

Dear Ones, please, please DO NOT underestimate the power of the red thread ceremony!

We began with this beautiful ritual and ended our retreat in ceremony. As a result, my Beloveds dove in deep right from the beginning and each experienced some form of transformation throughout the weekend, including me. I had no idea what they would happen, but what they experienced blew the doors wide open in my heart. The weekend left me feeling like I was high! It took a few days to come down from the planet of sacred painting and transformation.

This creative retreat confirmed in unsuspected ways my gifts as a teacher. I have known forever in my heart I am a teacher. What I didn’t realize I’d be asked to let go of what I thought I was so I could open up to a new way of being in the world and teaching. To be honest, it takes time to adjust. Up until this quest, I had never imagined myself as teacher of creativity but now I can only imagine teaching Intentional Creativity®.

I stood in my courage and bravery and answered the call when it came knocking on my door. What will you choose to do when it comes knocking on your door? This potent magical, transformational process breathes new life into you and your life as well as that of your Beloveds. It all begins with a YES and a deep desire to serve love in all of it shapes and colours.

~~~

Diane Merpaw: Intentional Creativity Teacher, Goddess Coach extraordinaire with a deep love and desire to inspire and empower women to heal and transform their heart wounds into the most succulent and delicious love affair of their life; that with themselves.

Visit Diane at www.dianemerpaw.com.

 

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

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

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