An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Early Childhood Educators Finding the Flow

Color of Women Teacher Jo Laurie has boldy introduced Intentional Creativity in a training with Early Childhood Educators!

Jo’s workshop took place in Parkes, New South Wales, in the center of Australia.  Jo deftly explains how the two worlds of Intentional Creativity and teaching bridge together,”through practicing Intentional Creativity, we gain access to the magic of Mindfulness and Intention for ourselves, and the children we educate.”

Attendees connected through the sharing of a red thread ritual, exploring gratitude and intentions for their individual creative art pieces.

Content for the program included the framework of how left and right brain learnings weave together for greater access to information and understanding. Jo expanded upon this through a guided meditation, inviting the women to envision walking down a path, where they entered a room on the left (brain) with angular shapes etc, and a room on the right(brain) with soft flowing shapes etc, returning along the path of Intentional Creativity – intention, mindfulness, focus, imagination, language, symbol, and creativity.

 Jo Laurie is so grateful to be out there doing the dance of Intentional Creativity! Attend a Workshop, Meditation, Women’s Circle or Retreat with Jo or find out more by visiting the Intentional Creativity Teachers site here.

An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Life After Loss

Ilona Lantos recently completed fellow Color of Woman Teacher Catt Geller’s, Teach the Teacher Cosmic Smash Book training. Originally from Hungary, Ilona now resides in Virginia.
As a member of her local artist community Ilona held her first workshop at the Gallery Clarendon using this Smash booking process. Everyone really enjoyed this process and their creations. “I fell in love with the texture, the creative freedom and finding beauty in what might look ugly. I came up with the idea of the Petite Smash Book using a tiny notebook and innovative painting media and techniques to create a cute little companion to process topics and issues as a daily routine.”

I always held art and self-expression close to my heart but with a lock on it.
Ilona describes how the creative process sparked her own healing as a “warrior mamma” after her son Chris died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 12. At a painting workshop for bereaved parents, “colors became live in front of my eyes”. Ilona continued painting, and found Shiloh Sophia’s Intentional Creativity method along the way, becoming a Color of Woman Teacher in 2017.  Ilona founded the Chris Lantos Foundation to help kids and their families on the pediatric cancer journey. The foundation has granted 185 iPads to kids and hospitals. Kids with this type of illness spend numerous hours, days, weeks, sometimes months in hospitals and clinics and at home in isolation and an iPad can help them to connect with the world.



Playing with paints unlocked my creativity
“Both the Color of Woman Training and Cosmic Smash book programs have contributed to my life tremendously. I am confident that for me this journey is the way to healing my grief. My journey has been similar to many of the brave women who dare to pick up the paint brush. I have always loved art and it has been part of my personal and professional life in the form of photography and digital art creation and teaching. Having taught and tutored kids and adults in English and Hungarian languages, art, computer graphics, and music for about 40 years, I am a teacher at heart.”
Ilona Lantos
View Ilona’s Art and upcoming In-Person/Online Classes and Workshops at Mindful Art Creations


An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Maria Do Rosario Souza

Intentional Creativity has its first Red Thread Circle in Brazil!



Maria Do Rosario Souza gathered with a small wonderful group of friends for an afternoon workshop, Painting the Future.  Colorful flags were created following the steps of Intentional Creativity, and inspired by the prayer flags of Buddhism.

“Our intention while creating was to create a container for our highest aspirations, helping us focus on co-creating the future. It inspired me very much, because it’s something that anyone can do in a couple of hours  I enjoyed every minute and had great feedback from our group. Thank you Shiloh for supporting my dreams!”





I had the access to the Red Thread Circle some years ago, through the Red Thread Cafe Classroom Facebook group and had the idea of sharing it, and finally had this opportunity now. A group of friends had been curious about my painting process. Submitting my application for the 2019 Color of Woman Teacher program was the push that I was waiting for! It all came together, to put out the invitation to do this workshop.


I’m an educator, researcher of Brazilian culture, especially Native groups and Brazilian Popular Culture. I have a degree on Graphic Design and started to paint canvases in 2002, but Intentional Creativity gave me the right tools to progress. Find me and my art on my Facebook page, Maria Flor



An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Finding Joy in the Chaos

Amanda Abreu shines her light in this beautiful example of how Intentional Creativity empowers us to stay centered and supported, as life events are experienced in all shapes and sizes. Amanda’s keen ability to stay mindful and attuned to her intuition in trying times, demonstrates the very framework of Intentional Creativity in motion. Holding space for members of her community as a teacher, while witnessing and honoring her own feelings, truly brings home both the theme of her workshop, Muse the True You and her aptly named website, Find Joy in the Chaos.


Amanda, while finishing her final weeks of Color of Woman Teacher training, recently lead a 2-day workshop, Muse the True You, an Intentional Creativity journey behind the masks we wear, to discover our truest selves.

“When women discover who they truly are on the inside, they become comfortable in their own skin and love themselves deeply. They come to know how they want to show up in the world.Throughout our journey into womanhood, we often aren’t taught how to become fully integrated, authentic female beings. During this process, students navigate old stories and gain access to new information. Becoming reacquainted with the woman who lies dormant within, awakened to your truest potential.”




Held on two consecutive Sundays, the flow of the 2 class days, and Amanda’s resilience were tested, when gas explosions in the area called for immediate evacuations. Pregnant and with her husband and two young children in tow, compounded the individual stress and chaos of being thrown into such a sudden life event. Returning to the house after several days, electricity was turned on, but no hot water, heat or gas, yet Amanda carried on with the workshop as scheduled.


“I told the women during the workshop that the evacuation really helped me tie into the theme of the workshop. I had been having a really hard time with being displaced and not having access to our home. Everyone kept telling me to be grateful, it could have been worse. And I told the ladies that leaning into the theme of the workshop, and in being my authentic self, it was ok if I wasn’t 100% positive.  I had a right to be imperfect and have meltdowns and be “too much” when I needed to be. I didn’t need to fix myself because other people thought I had the wrong perception.



Ultimately, gathering together to paint with them, it showed me I didn’t have to be perfect for them either! I didn’t have any refreshments or even tea to offer them. It was pretty bare bones. I also didn’t get to plan out my thoughts for the day, like I did the first time, and all of that was okay. I was legitimately doing the work alongside them, as Shiloh says, and IC gave me the courage that I was enough just as I was. No masks, no preparation. And it was a beautiful feeling.”

Find Amanda’s musings and upcoming class information at


A Creature of This Planet

Annette Wagner
Mountain View, CA

I drove up to the land on Friday morning. By the land, I mean Terra Sophia, the land where my mentor Sue Hoya Sellars lived up in the Anderson Valley. A gorgeous, peaceful 20 acres of hills and valley, trees and clouds. Rain and winds were predicted for Friday and Saturday, possibly even thunderstorms.

raindrops in puff ballsI wasn’t entirely sure why I had decided to come up here. My partner was out of town; my daughter off for the weekend. Perhaps thats why my brain offered up this idea of heading out of town for a short retreat off the grid? Or perhaps there was something under all of that?

Regardless, when I got up to the land, I was still wondering why I had driven three and half hours to spend two days by myself. I got out of the car and unloaded, put on my hiking boots, and then went for a walk on the land to say hello. I wandered – almost as if I needed to find something to do.

It took some time for me to settle – finally I  laid down on the earth, closed my eyes, and then sighed deeply. Maybe I don’t need a reason to come here. Maybe I don’t need to find something to do.

Maybe it’s ok to just be present…

To the song of the wind in the trees.
To the sound of the ravens cawing.
To touch the seed heads on grasses dancing in the wind with abandon.
To the feel of the earth crumbling in my fingers.
To watch the dark clouds rolling past the tops of the trees.

Ya think?

raindrops in spiderwebI wandered, sketched, laid on the earth, made myself some dinner. Slowly slowing down bit by bit by bit. Stopping to take touch little yellow flowers. To notice rain drops on whiskered balls of fuzz. Until I just stood still on the earth breathing in the essence of stillness letting it fill me up.

I put out food for the deer and one came by while I ate my dinner. We shared a glance and each went back to our sustenance. I could feel the sentience of the land and how it welcomed me. Letting me drift about until I settled.

By the time I woke up the next morning, I was grounded into the earth. I went for a long walk down to the creek through all the scrub and branches and downed trees. Hunted for wildflowers and had a conversation with a lizard. Dodged rain showers and sat in the transient sunshine. I was in connection with all the creatures and beings around me and it felt right and good and healing.

fairy wingI needed to ground deeply and so the land had called me to come to her. To stand on her earth. To open my heart and feel the connection that is always there in my heart come to the forefront. To remind me that first and foremost I am also a creature of this planet in all her glory. That the human world is only one aspect of living and sometimes not a very important one despite its roar and demands and tugs.

By the time I left this morning, I was at peace. I packed the car and fed the ravens and deer. Then I knelt down and put my hands on the earth to thank her for nurturing me. And there, next to my hand was a fairy wing covered with dew.

Magic does happen






Annette-intentional-sketching with book

Annette Wagner, M.A., is an Intentional Creativity Teacher, Color of Woman Teacher Training Art Doctor, and a working artist. She paints Contemporary Symbolism paintings as well as watercolors and sumi-e drawings out in the wilds of the earth. She is the Managing Editor of the Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine and staff at Shiloh Sophia Studios.

Annette studied with American Master painter, Sue Hoya Sellars, and has a masters degree in Women’s Spirituality from Sofia University. Her background includes over 25 years of hi-tech experience and 21 patents. She is owned by her dancing daughter, two cat beings, the man of her heart, and her Muse. Learn more and view her artwork at: Follow her almost daily inspirational posts on Facebook.

Red Threads of Self Compassion

Kate Langlois
San Francisco, CA

I’m on the edge. I’m on the edge of becoming more of my real self. Maybe you are too? That place where parts of us, the truest parts tugs at us, nudges us,  with such persistence, that we can no longer ignore it. A time when the resonance of our higher calling is no longer content to sit on the sidelines waiting to be called into the game of life.

Mindfulness helps our mind turn to what has often been hidden in plain sight. So I’ve been slowing down and listening, really listening with full presence to this energy.  As I get closer, my ‘aha!’ moment is truly, that it is more of a returning. That my essence of who I am here to be has always been within. This is not to say that all of my external endeavors and searching is in vain, or without it’s own purpose. Rather that at my center, this full potential seed so to speak already contains all of the necessary information.

The Gift Within

The Gift Within

Is the True Essence of YOU hidden?

What if this full expression of ourselves, our true frequency, our soul vibration,  has been with you all along, just hidden? Our energy  field can easily become littered with old and daily resonances from a myriad of life events, expectations from others, traumas and health issues. Similar to gunky stuff clogging up plumbing pipes, if not cleared can affect the full stream potential flow of our light. Some of us may have been shut down to a mere trickle!

We don’t always enter into this world with all of the conditions that allow us to thrive. As children, too often our parents, teachers or peers were critical, or judgmental of us. Or perhaps we felt we had to dim our light of our uniqueness to to be safe or to fit in. Our true frequency, the expansive vibration of our essence began to contract. But that was then and this is now. Now we get to choose to stay small or re-member who we are here to be!

What if  YOU could take one step towards embodying more of your true ESSENCE right now?

Intentional Creativity™ is a tool that enables you to take that step. The adaptability of Intentional Creativity is that it lends itself to any part of your life needed. It is a powerful method that self-empowers, helping you identify our destination and gain the momentum to cross over from the old to the new, from the past to the future. It is about attuning to mindfulness, listening to your intuition, creating powerful image that holds the space for intention and allows space to receive new information.

As our conscious mind is preoccupied with the creative process, our subconscious is freed up to provide us with information otherwise inaccessible. Shiloh Sophia McCloud

What if you treated your own Self as your most beloved person? Together with Self Compassion, this method is a gentle healing salve bringing shifts to old patterns where your inner critic has been stuck in patterns of self-bullying, criticisms, self judgements.

The Edge of Becoming

The Edge of Becoming

Loving yourself is healing the world~Jaymie Gerard

Instead of waiting until things settle down, it’s helpful to use the Intentional Creativity™ method in the midst of the chaos. This process supports and informs us as we move through our painting providing insight into our life situations. Inviting love and acceptance to replace disappointment or judgement about ourselves.

Just as the Red Thread is a symbol of our connection to one another, we can similarly use the red thread as a tool to re-weave connection and compassion within our own selves. Using these virtual red threads of self compassion, each part of us that we beat ourselves up about, is allowed to be witnessed, held and then released as we awaken to them. One visual I use to help shift from self-bullying to self-compassion, is to imagine wrapping up each of those parts in red thread. Maybe you even mentally rock them, sing them a lullaby or a feel good song!  This sort of attention allows each part to shift the vibration from pain towards joy, melding our Inner Critic back into our Muse, allowing our true essence to SHINE!

Want to learn more? I invite you to take a 15 minute dose of Intentional Creativity and play along in my video.


Article originally published in Red Thread Nation.

FullSizeRenderKate Langlois~At the heart of my images I’m investigating our interconnectedness, compassion and the expansiveness of Love.  I am listening deeply for the beauty of our world, to my dreams and adventures.  The canvas holds these stories gathered, explored and reimagined with all my senses co-conspirators for what wants to show up.  I consider myself a Visionary Artist and part of the Contemporary Symbolism movement, a Storyteller.

Compelled to express stories with a social conscience, and explorations of the heart. My paintings are created as a meditation and connection to the sufferings of the world while envisioning healing and beauty.  Paint becoming the threads that weave these together, rising up from the unknown realms into form.

I began creating art in Vermont in the 1980’s and have been an artist in San Francisco, CA for over 25 years. I am honored to have studied with renowned artists Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Sue Hoya Sellars in Healdsburg, CA. I am a Certified Color of Woman Teacher,  using the Intentional Creativity ™ painting method for teaching self-empowerment, healing and transformation through creativity. Learn more about Kate &  upcoming Course information at

A Red Thread Runs Through It

Kerry Lee
Benicia, California


has a dream to live

a story to tell

a song to sing

a dance to dance

a poem to share

a healing journey

a medicinal remedy

a love story

a teaching to offer

a mountain to move

a gift of wild wisdom

a plan of action

a desire to express

a painting to paint

a vision to live

a legend to unfold

Everyone…especially you

holds a piece of the red thread.

~Invocation from Tea with the Midnight Muse by Maestra Shiloh Sophia

Kerry Lee 1

This story begins in November 2013 at the Color of Women Graduation in Healdsburg, CA. During the several day celebration, I stepped into a dream vision and set an intention I had been thinking about for a long time with an out loud fearless declaration to the entire graduating class, alumni, and teachers who were there. I declared that if I won a sales performance award trip which I was in the running for through my corporate job, I would be going to Christchurch, New Zealand. And since my dream was to become an Intentional Creativity Teacher who taught and traveled internationally, I stated that my intention was to teach in New Zealand, if I won the trip. I had no idea how that might be possible but declared it and let go.

A Chinese legend says that those who are supposed to meet are connected by an invisible red thread since before birth

Just a few minutes later my classmate Denise Daffara, who had flown in from Australia came up to me and said her Mum lived in New Zealand, she’d love to visit her and would I be interested in collaborating. Would I be interested in collaborating?!! Seriously? I had no idea how this was going to be possible and the first stepping-stone was put in place with that question.

Not long after setting my intention, I received the incredible news that I had won the trip!  Denise shared my story with her childhood friend Vicky Eastwood, who is a nursing friend with Rosie McCarthy both from Christchurch. Vicky came for coffee with Rosie, saw her art and suggested that she should connect with Denise on Facebook. Rosie did just that, found out our dream and intentions and took the ball and ran with it. Red Thread connection in action! She found a place for us to teach, the largest independently operated art store on the South Island, The Drawing Room. She worked with the owner and his staff to coordinate all of the details including providing supplies, rearranging the store and doing the marketing. They were excited to have us be there. Denise and I just needed to create the content and marketing materials. Amazing.

Inform the artists it is our job to weave
our golden and red threads~Maestra Shiloh Sophia

Before I go on, a little back-story. When Denise and I agree we should collaborate we discussed what were the intentions for each of us. I had no idea how we’d market the workshop, find students, supplies and especially a place to teach. I was ok with it being spontaneous and in a park. I just wanted the photographs so I could call myself an International Teacher. Denise however, said she wanted to make enough money to pay for her trip. That felt big. But big dreams are the best…

Fast forward, the workshop sold out in less than two days. With 18 students! Paul, the store owner asked if we’d be open to a second workshop the next day and we decided why not?! We both had the time and much of the effort would already have been done. And that workshop sold out in two days! Wow. As very new graduates this was very exciting.

Kerry and Denise with collaborative teaching paintings

Kerry and Denise with collaborative teaching paintings

The workshops went very smoothly. Denise and I shared a canvas combining our muses and we had energy to spare afterwards. With help from Rosie, Paul, his store manager Prue, and their team, they did an excellent job at having everything ready to go. Including a home-made high tea for the class each day courtesy of Prue. We donated our two combined paintings to a women’s’ shelter and each went on our own way enjoying New Zealand. My daughter Rosie, who also assisted us during the workshop, and I stayed with Rosie McCarthy who treated us like royalty; cooking us delicious meals and even lending her car for a week to tour so I could save money towards my dream of quitting my corporate job and teaching full-time.

Fast forward again to November 2015. Rosie McCarthy had decided to become a Color of Woman teacher and was in California to graduate, this time staying with me. During the graduation activities I was to give a pictorial presentation about my past year, my first year out of that corporate job and into teaching full time. Right before it was my turn, one of the new graduates pulled me aside and introduced herself, Tracey Buist-Eastwick. She had been in the second workshop in Christchurch with Rosie.

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in~Leonard Cohen

When I asked Tracey what sparked her to take the teacher training we both recalled the exact moment. In the opening Red Thread Circle a woman who may have been of native Maori descent had tears and said she was there to heal. All of her hair was gone. Denise and I were such newbies and it was powerful and a bit intimidating to see she had hopes we could help. By following the step-by-step Color of Woman Method and what we had been taught, and wow did we.

At one point the woman was lost and feeling stuck. Her painting was beautiful yet very dark with a dark skinned woman nearly hidden behind what looked like curly bushes. I simply stood next to her for a short while and gave her guidance on adding highlights to the face – so super simple and so powerful. As the face lit up so did the woman. It was so amazing. Everything changed in that moment. You’ll see her in the group photo in the front row with a big smile and her fist in the air, ready to fight and heal.

And the intentions Denise and I set? I got my photographs and we both were able to pay for our trips with the proceeds. The mystery of the unknown and the gifts walking this path can bring are magical.

In gratitude to all who are a part of this story,

Kerry Lee

Kerry Lee will be embarking on a Vision Your Dream 2016 Road Tour,  from Portland to San Francisco in January 2016 to celebrate her one year anniversary of leaving her corporate job that no longer fit.
Find out about her workshops and her 2016 Calendar offering at
Let 2016 be the year your dreams come true with 12 simple steps to help you along the way
Kerry Lee Calendar





Denise Daffara offers online workshops and original mini paintings created in her studio in Mountain Creek, Queensland Australia.

Healing The Healer with Intentional Creativity

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


Rachel Bavis
Aptos, California

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!).

Healing the Healer1 Rachel Bavis

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

HtH Paintings Collage

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.

My Art is Me

Sahar Joya
Toronto, Canada

I was born as a refugee in Pakistan. When we immigrated to Canada, my parents divorced leaving my mother to tend to 8 children on her own in a completely new society and way of life. This challenge marked great places of suffering inside me, but those places of pain also led me to seek out visions of beauty, of love, and of justice and harmony.

During the summer of 2012, I was experiencing a time of self-recovery. I began exploring through creativity a new sense of identity, one that came from healing and wholeness and empowerment.  I became certified as a life coach and registered SustainED360 as a business with a vision in my heart. That vision was to create empowerment educational programs, especially for those who would be considered marginalized and underprivileged, coming from challenging places and histories like the ones I came from.


I had long been engaged in leadership roles in my community in Toronto since I was 14. I realized there were things that felt like they were missing from these programs. Inside I felt broken and that was never addressed.  At that time I withdrew from Teacher’s college for the second time, because there were too many assumptions and many unaddressed inquires that we just weren’t having. How were we to educate young children when we ourselves had not addressed our own issues or healed our own wounds?

What if instead of the place of intense suffering informing our choices, thoughts and decisions, we could come from a new informed place?

This inquiry continued when I began holding workshops on leadership and self empowerment and ‘being the change’ in the world.  I experienced an internal struggle. While focused on trying to have integrity,  I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for longer than 2 minutes. My inner critic would scream hateful words of resentment, anger, shame, guilt, and down right abuse!


Waking up to this inner pattern caused me to draft a new vision and pathway for myself.  I wanted to become a life coach, to support young people and adults in transforming their relationship to themselves, coming from a place of self love in all their choices and decisions. I wanted to teach, which I drafted outlines for was a Girl’s Empowerment summer camp program, which became a reality as you can see in the images here. I wanted girls and women to relate to themselves from a place of self-love, which now is articulated as the voice of the Queen of Their Hearts, or their Muse, as is taught in the Intentional Creativity Movement. Flash forward to Summer of 2015, and it came to life in a most magnificent way! I became a certified Color of Woman Teacher and Intentional Creativity Coach with Shiloh Sophia McCloud. This achievement together with my past resources, healings, teachings and tools, leaves me feeling empowered and prepared to harvest the work of my dreams!

Sahar Joya

One of the things we share as Intentional Creativity educators is to document the progress, because then we can see the shifts that have occurred. The places we have journeyed to, through and from! I love looking back to having this evidence to show the participants as well the transformation they just went through. Many began this process and course with fears that they were not creative, or that they couldn’t paint and felt a lot of anxiety and excitement which is totally normal when jumping on one of these rides! It is one of my greatest joys to witness and to support my beloveds because there is usually immense breakthrough waiting just on the other side!




Sahar Joya

This girl started out proclaiming that she is not creative. In the middle of the program she developed her own color, called “Fashinista Pink” and WAS ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH HER WORK and her creativity!

Another young girl was afraid of the process of losing what she already had drawn on her canvas. Part of the practice of Intentional Creativity is to go through the edge of risk and to feel it through art to find our way around it hopefully when faced with it in real life. For her, the dilemma was what if she lost this and couldn’t get back anything prettier since this was one of her best pieces she had ever drawn. She moaned, groaned and finally slowly followed the next step to spray down water on the charcoal and lose what she had. And later one she admitted to me that she actually loved that she did that even though it was hard because she was able to find even more by letting it go and trusting to work out the new. She also had many other deep breakthroughs and accessing deep wisdom from the Queen of Her heart that helped her express emotions and stories that were long held inside and needed space to be expressed and witnessed which we did in our final circle sharing.

In exploring the Queen of their Hearts, some of these girls had developed more intimate and closer friendships with one another. On the first day of camp many of the girls expressed the sadness of not having many friends who were girls and hoping to make some during this experience. It was so wonderful to see them trusting one another to work on each other’s canvases and to find connection and sisterhood through the process!

Sahar Joya3Camp leaders who were mentors also allowed themselves into a full meditative exploration during this painting process. As you can see this is such a self portrait depiction and to make that connection without conscious intention was even more powerful to see. I showed her this picture so she could see the mirror she was creating through. To see ourselves positioned as the queen of our hearts is one of the most powerful teachings I feel all young girls and women must engage with and come from in their lives, so that we can counter-act many of the gender based issues of violence, disempowerment,

I am so grateful for the wisdom of these girls, for their participation, deep love and for this work that gives me tools to share my message and gifts with those I am meant to be working with. My hope and vision is to see this method be expanded within the education system and to inform our teachers and educators all of the world about these processes and possibilities. I am now in my Masters of Education program, hoping to somehow find my own piece and my way of making this bigger vision and dream happen.

Our teacher Shiloh teaches that when we work with our ideas through the processes of Intentional Creativity, the space and distance between our beloveds and our visions collapse, bringing it into form much faster. I know that for me, as I do this work with the people I serve, I am moved to a different place. We all go on the journey together, moving from one place to the next. Our shifts become captured in image, in words and in memory.  The transformations occur also on the cellular level, mapping new neuropathways from patterns and routines that no longer serve us. There is no other way I would want to teach anymore that does not incorporate the teachings of Intentional Creativity and our Color of Woman training, which truly is one of the most revolutionary systems on Earth right now. I don’t say this because I am a Color of Woman teacher, but because the work speaks for itself!

If you are interested in bringing Intentional Creativity to your schools or to your organizations, I recommend you check out the Red Thread Nation listings and reach out to one of us! These experiences are always remarkable and create great impacts because of the cutting edge technologies that inform our practices, as well as the heart and passion of the educators and community!

sahar Joya headshotSahar Joya is an Intentional Creativity Teacher and Coach, a visionary artist, student and educator in service of creating and administering a kind of pedagogical practice that helps us find our connection to our selves, to one another and to our histories at large, while also being at the edge of the creative aspect of the universe in re-creating new ways of life and togetherness that promote a sustainable paradigm infused by love, justice and inquiry of being with the Great Mystery. She currently is pursuing her Masters degree in Education in Toronto, while working on her piece of the Red thread, the place in the whole that she is responsible for tending to. She facilitates workshops for youths and adults, and also provides one on one workshops and mentorship opportunities. She is also working on putting together a compilation of a body of work to express her findings so far in her journey, and to also explore important questions relevant to change makers in our world.



Intentional Creativity with Portable Murals

Eileen Nash
San Francisco Bay Area, California

A portable mural is one created on canvas or paper that can be rolled up and travel wherever it needs to be taken.   Murals tell a story using images and sometimes words.  A mural is an effective and powerful tool of communication with conscious and unconscious impact. They are a statement to humanity’s need to express story with conscious and unconscious symbols.  Murals capture a snapshot of an intention, an enquiry or a moment in time. Consider the first known murals, cave drawings dating back to 30,000 BC or Egyptian tomb depictions, Italian frescoes or lively contemporary street art seen around the world today.

A mural is a bridge to the community. The artists communicate with the people; meetings are held to discuss the issues. The result is a reflection – a mirror of that community. Susan Cervantes

Eileen Nash Portable Mural

To create this piece I led a group of 20 people gathered for a team building workshop for an oncology pharmaceutical company. The mural’s main image represents the theme of women with ovarian cancer and those partaking in global clinical trials for treatment.  Using the Intentional Creativity process, internal thoughts and intentions from the group were able to shift, the mural becoming a place to explore healing and new possibilities through form.

Everyone contributed to ideas for symbols as part of the overarching theme.  My only rule was to remind people to leave their inner critic at the door. I found that once one person started to engage, others followed.  After rough sketches, placement  on the mural was decided as a group. This mutable process brought forth and allowed the mural imagery to coalesce. The story in image began to take shape and participants then began painting in the symbols with color.

This collaborative process twined individual and shared strengths, talents and goals.  Perceptions of separateness within the group began to fall away as symbols came into form. Seeing their shared vision take shape, images representing qualities they had to offer and wished to experience within the greater team, created not only new connections but a bridge to a new story.

Eileen Nash
Eileen Nash

Eileen’s vision is to guide people in consciously experiencing their authentic selves to embrace or actively transform their perceptions of their inner and outer realities. This is accomplished utilizing your mind combined with different mediums such as acrylic paints, watercolors and collage. Intentional Creativity engagement with Art changes us and how we perceive our world. Eileen’s Paintbrush Café is a virtual place where people come to encounter their inner treasure and place it into a creative container.

Eileen is based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she has lived since 1983. Always a creative, her artskills were developed and honed through Color of Woman training created by Shiloh Sophia McCloud in 2013. She is a certified Color of Woman Teacher and Intentional Creativity Coach. Eileen has a bachelors degree as a Registered Nurse, working many years at UCSF and has owned her own consulting business since 2000 providing Clinical Operations support in development of new drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.

To learn more about Eileen’s work with Intentional Creativity visit the Facebook page Paintbrushcafe or visit