Can ‘Healing’ Make Us Too Tame?

Does our version of healing, tame us into submission?

Is our desire for domesticity, over-riding our call to the wild?

How can maintaining originality help us
navigate the rough terrain of life with innovation?

Is our potential for pleasure, and even bliss,
being forced into the background in the name of moderation?

“Learning to See in the Light” 2010 by Shiloh Sophia

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BECOMING TOO TAME and FEARING THE WILD SELF


To summon the inner outlaws
won’t take extraordinary measures
for they are always listening at the gates
waiting to break free, break in, break out
 
Once they hear your voice respond
to the cries from inside, they won’t stop asking
Give them a pen, a paintbrush, a bell, a drum
a slim volume of verse or an invitation to tea
 
Don’t expect niceties, though words will be said
Don’t expect apologies or exhortations
Give them some room to expand into being
They carry medicine for our too-tame-times
 
Those who have been accused before
Who clamor within for a position at the front
Will soon enough be enchanting you
Stories from the edge of time will be spoken
 
So if your inner outlaws are bending your ear…
Listen up…Listen in…

Shiloh Sophia

Dear Ones,

I am writing today to explore an idea about healing that has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. As you likely know, I work with a lot of women, so I hear a lot of stories. 25 years of stories. What I find is that so many of us need an invitation to get more free, more self expressed, less apologetic and have more access to our intuition.

I don’t find a lot of women who are too big for their britches, think they are ‘all that’, have ideas way too out of the box, or that are just too wild for words. I don’t see much of inflated egos actually. I see us becoming more and more conservative as we seek to survive in our current paradigm. Trimming the edges and the hedges to be more invisible, call less attention to ourselves, and to not invite further attack, the ‘you don’t see me’ posture. There are good reasons for that, and I too have an invisible cape as needed.

The challenge is, hiding has become habit. Even when we don’t need to hide anymore, like in our women’s circle or a place we feel safe, many of us still keep most of our colors under wraps. Or when we are at the canvas or at the drum or at the writing desk, we STILL don’t self express in our own personal space. We aren’t free in ourselves. Ouch. Not free in front of others is one thing, not free in our own soul space is what I am exploring here.

Let’s be clear, we have done a lot of healing to get our sh*t together and I applaud us for that. But something is bugging me… I wonder, if aspects of that healing have left us thinking that a good life means that nothing is out of place? Nothing wobbles, nothing worthwhile is in the shadows, and that novelty and curiosity are optional and occasional.

Have we put the great mystery out with the compost?

What’s up? What’s down? What’s coming through for you?

Certainly this silencing of the wild self is not in all cases, all the time. And it is not just my personal experience I am speaking to – but what I see and hear a lot. And certainly continued healing is needed, but after the initial healing journey, where is the invitation to dance with shoes off, hair flying, heart out and colors flying? I am suggesting that after the ‘return home’ from any quest and some cleaning up of our messes – there is something to be considered about our own authentic self expression and the role that plays in healing as a whole, in living out our healing in our day to day lives.

I am concerned that some of our healing practices may result in curbing our wildness too much. Our desire for the ‘ever illusive balance’ may be dimming the spectrum of our eccentricities. Clipping the wild wings that long for freedom. Trimming up our jagged edges where the magic resides. Dulling the colors of our inner landscape. Fogging out the vibrancy and calling it normalcy.

Originality lives within each of us, but is often only celebrated by those who are ‘talented’ in expressing their originality. The rest of us may be seeking conformity in a desire to fit in, be loved, and survive. We may be dumbing down our own original voice as an act of self preservation. Yet that original voice may soon insist on an audience. It may come out in ways you do not expect. This part of you, may turn on you (as the critic) or turn on someone else (blaming others for your being unhappy). If we are lucky or perhaps clever, the inner outlaws will arrive on our doorstep laden with possibilities we didn’t dare consider.

Each person must define for themselves what healing looks like. We know this. Yet authoring this awareness needs further curation. We don’t learn early enough that our journey is very unique to our own being, and that discovering it for ourselves may be essential. One size does not fit all. What if nurturing these untamable parts of ourselves is part of the key to staying alive? What if ‘staying weird’ is part of the medicine? Just how weird, may be the question…just how wild is allowable?

Our contexts demand the adjusting of wildness in children, almost from the beginning. We wonder if the child is ‘socializing well’ and define for them what we think that means. Meanwhile, the inner world of the child often goes neglected after ‘imagination’ turns to homework. Should the backpacks of children become so heavy so soon after the crayons are put away in the kitchen drawer and the art is removed from the fridge? Too often, this transition is NOT well narrated.

We lose access to the hidden domains too soon. It may be a long time before we get back “in”. Yet the desire to return will always be with us, because vivid imagination lives on in us, even if we aren’t making use of it, in the way that we could.

Our imagination can help us heal from trauma. As we know, the impact of trauma goes everywhere in us (mind, body, spirit, field, story), so trying to heal it through talking, energy work, or body work without those being somehow linked, is a long road. We do our best to link modalities, to find the thread. Imagination can help us link the modalities and create a context for the journey. The one who is capable of telling the healing story needs nurturing, and that one is often hidden from view and is connected with the wildest part of who we are.

I believe each soul has their own information. I know that access to that information is often hidden for much of our lives. I hold dear the experience that gaining access to that hidden, albeit often swampy terrain, can be life saving. I am also aware that some of us can get stuck there and not be able to come back out easily. Yet it is TIME for us to try harder and work smarter to link up the modalities in fresh ways AND invite the realm of imagination to play the key role. Trauma lands everywhere in us, but so does our imagination permeate everywhere in us. Yet we have to ‘ask and engage’ with that imagination for it to turn on.

How can we keep accessing the richness, the fertile darkness, the unexplored, the usefulness of the hard stories in the past, the light from the wound? I believe healing the imagination is one of the pure links to healing trauma that can keep the channel open to wildness. Yet this way of working with ourselves and others must be chosen. This awareness, to value the wild, is not a default and no longer obvious to many of our systems and structures. The Indigenous communities on earth have always known this, according to the mythologies we learn from them.

I feel like one of my essential and beloved invitations is the call to the wild that has gone dormant. The invitation is to come home to our innate creativity. The re-awakening of the edges that both cut and define. The summoning to the slumbering poet, artist, singer, storyteller, actor, chef, jeweler, potter, visionary. The makers I call! Yet all are makers.

Many of our mood drugs turn down the volume on the circumference of our deep seeing. Much of our ‘programming’ enhances the dream of ‘keeping up’ as primary. Some days, when the seeing of this paradigm weighs on my psyche, it all feels very enforced. This severing of our original voice, inner knowing and seeing. Is it a systematized, organized enforced reality? (This moving towards beige.)

I know it is not everywhere. Not all the time. But enough to make me wonder and ask. How do we maintain the wetlands of consciousness in the healing journey? How do we honor the badlands of our stories?

One of the hopes for recovery for the sleeping self, is to include all that has happened, to make it relevant and even useful to our current story. Not to make it go away, be dissolved or so transformed to the point we can no longer recognize the teachings. We need to honor the part of us which is resistant to domesticity and compliance. Note that I do not suggest that bad things ‘had’ to happen. Yet they just do happen, don’t they? We make what we will make of it.

Innovation, authenticity and resiliency are functions of a healthy imagination. I want to pay closer attention to the link between imagination and true well-being. Not a tamed version of ourselves that fits into societal structures. This means, that one of our collective assignments is to cultivate communities where there is enough space for the unplanned, imperfectly glorious spontaneous wild card.

When we first encounter this often hidden part of ourselves, crazy and messy and loud may be the most visible parts. Give us some time to see what may exist just beyond the initial outbursts. Give the wild ones a little more space within yourself and circles. There will be plenty of time for boundaries and protocol once the intelligence of rewilding has rejoined itself into the presence of being. Who knows how long this will take? No one. We just know without the wild ones, our circle of chairs soon ends up in squared, neat ordered rows.

True selves in hiding can become unruly. They do act out. Over time, we are taken out by them, and our addictions, or we stuff them down. We may even promise a return one day, but that day rarely comes.

Courage is called for. This is that call. From my heart to yours, creativity is the act that will forge the pathway to the inner world that waits. Maybe you have heard the cries from there before…Maybe you even answered and now you guide others to listen…

If you do not have a creative space in your home for you, your children or your grandchildren, please make one.

As for pleasure, and even bliss, engaging in one’s own creative flow can be one of the most satisfying experiences in our lives. For me, creating is pure presence, embodied access, when I feel the very most me. Feeling good can be a rare experience for many of us. So when transformation and feeling good are linked, that’s a really good thing.

When we become too tame, we naturally fear the wild self. When the wild self is too far underground or behind lock and key, we may find ourselves very disconnected. The wild self seeks consciousness at every crossroads. This is one of those crossroads collectively and individually. Let’s continue to do the work of waking up.

By wild self I mean the person who is sovereign. Who thinks for themselves, has cognitive awareness, is able to access their inner world, knows largely what they think and feel. A person who can break free of systems and is willing to not follow popular thought when it doesn’t feel right for them. You define your wild self for yourself, that is pretty wild right there.

#intentionalcreativity

Feel free to Share. Comment. Suggest. Inquire. Here

The most important part of this whole Red Thread Letter is right here – to ask you the questions….

  1. Has your healing journey made YOU too tame and in what ways?
    What about others you know? Children? Lovers?
  2. Where did this story resonate or dissonate? And do you know why?
  3. Is there an ‘inner outlaw’ trying to get out?
  4. Is there a form of self expression calling to your wild self?
  5. Do you have some wisdom or story to offer on this topic?

If you want to comment on my Artist FB page, I do read all the comments on posts like this 🙂 Comment here

Thinking of you. Truly. Lovingly. Holding you, and all of us, in my prayers.

P.S. Looking back I can see that this inquiry was a huge part of my choice to call women’s community as Cosmic Cowgirls – women who incorporate both/and.



From our research in the Intentional Creativity Foundation with over 500 participants about their experience with creativity:

93% experience creativity as a mindfulness practice

89% include creativity as a part of their spiritual practice

89% felt a sense of connection with the Divine

86% felt that their creative practice positively impacted those closest to them

92% feel that creativity influences their compassion for themselves

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

87% consider themselves self expressed as compared to before they were creating

86% said they have experienced breakthroughs and aha’s during creating

90% said they have experienced a shift in their default thinking

89% bring insights into their life discovered in creating

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


“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”

— Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Please note : My email is changing soon to [email protected], so if you can add that to your address book. We will also begin to communicate more as MUSEA : Intentional Creativity in the coming months. More on that soon…

My Teacher…this painting is astonishing…

“Paint like you have all the time in the world”

~ Sue Hoya Sellars

‘Centaur Becoming’ painted by Sue Hoya Sellars
for my sister, Shannon Cinnamon McCloud

This painting, to me, is astonishing. Just take a moment to pause and look at it. The expression on the horse’s face, the hills, the mist, the hands, the extension of the hair… the untold story of my sister and her red roan…

Dear Ones,

April 20 was the 83rd birthday of my teacher and the mother of my heart, Sue Hoya Sellars. She has been gone from this dimension since 2014, yet remains in my cosmic soul dimension as a constant presence.

I want to share her with you a bit today because Intentional Creativity, my sacred work in the world, is alive because of her and what she taught me. Sue and my mother were best friends, and shared the same week for their birthday. In the last Red Thread Letter I shared about my mom, and in this one I am sharing about Sue. I wish to honor them the best I can, as I honor the origin of their arrival on earth.

When I think about the gifts she gave me, it is beyond imagining. The grief appears unmovable, a part of who I am now. I used to want it to go away, but now I know this is what love really feels like. To love someone so profoundly, and to experience the loss of them from this known life, is the bittersweet gift. I feel she lives on in another place in the great mystery. If I believe she came to find me….then I can believe that one day I will go to find her again. Somehow.

What’s more, is that one person could have such a profound impact in the life of another, to the degree that without her I KNOW that I would not have chosen this life path. I KNOW I would not be teaching painting the way I do. I KNOW I would not have created Intentional Creativity. BECAUSE the information she gave me informed all of these choices so powerfully, that they are forged from her energy and intelligence. As if her ways of knowing built the matrix upon which I stretched my own awareness like a canvas ready for the brush. Sue built the frame, the container. My mother Caron wove the canvas, the context. I bring my own content, yet fully informed by the two of them. I am so grateful.

To try to speak to it, feels futile. Like trying to describe the magnificence of a forest. Impossible. I bow in great thanks to the Creator of all, for Sue coming into my family in the years before I was born…and staying so close to us for so long.

I give thanks to her teacher, Lenore Thomas Straus, who gave Sue what she gave to me, that I give to all of the women I serve with Intentional Creativity.

Happy Birthday my great teacher, American Master Painter, Sue Hoya Sellars 1936-2014.

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A few quotes from Sue that I love…

“We are all cooling sacks of stars”

“Paint like you have all the time in the world”

“Pay attention to what is happening at the end of your brush”

“We are standing in the cosmos”

“Who lives in here?”

~ Sue Hoya Sellars

An invitation to give thanks…And so one of my reasons for writing to you today is with an invitation. An invitation to reach out to someone who has taught you…someone who has guided you…shown you the path…and to thank them. Living or not…who comes to mind?

How about a letter, phone, text, speaking to the stars. There are so many more things I wish I had gotten to say to her. I feel I speak to her, apologizing for certain things over and over…and giving thanks for certain things as they arise…a continual dialogue that is part of the grief journey – an ongoing reconciliation. If your teacher, guide or mentor is living…why not give a shout out or do a social media post.


This weekend I got to deliver a message, on Jesus and the Women in His life at Woodside Village Church. It was wonderful to be serving with my friend Rev. Pastor Ama Zenya again. For many years we worked together at the First Congregational Church of Oakland. We also hung an art show there of my paintings of Mama Mary and Jesus and the Magdalene. I got to see new and old friends, and meet women who work with me online that I might never get to meet otherwise. #showingup

So dear one….if you read this far, thank you for your care, for your listening time, and your presence in my life. The red thread of connection continues to weave us.

With great heart,

p.s. My email is changing soon to [email protected], so if you can add that to your address book. We will also begin to communicate more as MUSEA : Intentional Creativity in the coming months. More on that soon – I just like to give myself a long lead time on important projects…

Tree of Transformation ~ The Evolution of my Body of Work through Intentional Creativity®

Tree of Transformation Painting and Story

Dear Ones,

I wanted to share this writing with you today in honor of my Mama’s birthday. She loves trees so it seems just right. It arose as a response to one of the Intentional Creativity Teachers asking me to share the ‘structure’ of our work. I tried to say it in normal words, but it just failed. I feel I could keep editing and refining this for hours…but here it is in draft form. A story told. A body of work.

Blessings on your day. Get a cuppa’ tea and enjoy. If you have been curious about our work this will shed some light…

Tree of Transformation

The Evolution of my Body of Work through Intentional Creativity®

By Shiloh Sophia

I dreamed a seed of hope…

The seed of hope growing within my 23 year old self was encoded with a prayer to end violence against women and girls. To change the face of the feminine image in popular culture in my lifetime. To gather community in an act of revolution that would last beyond my generation. To awaken the sleeping to rise into consciousness through a culture of creativity. Living these prayers is my sacred assignment, my devotion, and my ministry.

The original seed arose out of a context of creative content that came from the wild wisdom shared with me through my mother, Caron McCloud. She is the Poet Mother, my birth mother, and the most beautiful person I have ever encountered. She taught me context, content, curriculum, and container as my vocabulary. The Painter Mother, Sue Hoya Sellars, came into our lives before I was born, adding her unique cosmic framework and imagery to the context of my family. She is the mother of my heart. Sue also brought the gifts shared by her teacher, Lenore Thomas Straus. Their work, their love, their art and writing informed who I became, as did all the women in my family. (1970-1993)

I was created to create, so my own art making and writing grew as I grew. A glowing warmth nurtured the seed as I shared what I was learning. With time, the seed that arose from my desire was planted in good compost in good ground with great love. When the seed sprouted and broke ground we named her Color of Woman. I felt the power rising from the sprout. A potential was making itself known. I followed the call from the city to the mountain to dream freely. There I found language and image for what was growing. I studied the medicine from the two mothers as a form of healing for myself and others through painting and poetry, pottery and prophecy. (1993-1995)

The sprout grew towards the sky and the story roots hung out in rich soil keeping company with creatures often hidden from light and sight. The sprout reached up tall and focused, tender leaves mingled with the dew and the stars. A connection between heaven and earth lives in all trees. Through books, circles and classes I shared what I knew about the the emergent tree and the the information that was coming through. The women who gathered affirmed what they saw, felt, and created in the presence of the shared tree wisdom.

The little tree came to be tended by many gardeners. Especially my family, Eden McCloud, Shannon McCloud, Janet Seaforth and Bridget McBride. And the musician who sang the love for the me and the tree for 16 years. The women who gathered declared themselves Cosmic Cowgirls. Then along came the Muses who would stay with us from the beginning until now, Elizabeth Gibbons, Mary MacDonald and Jenafer Owen. There were many others who came and went, too many to name in this telling. Some stayed and played and told stories. We held fast to the red thread of connection between all us. We enjoyed such good company and lots of dancing! Spirit Warrior, Carmen Baraka chanted for us and we are certain the grandmothers heard our call. (1995-2004)

We came to know the soil through working it. We asked questions of the ground and spoke into it, and wove poetry between the sparkling particles. We called that ground Intentional Creativity and knew that the tree sprout we originally called Color of Woman grew in a good place. Awareness of “where” something grows creates context. This kind of soil is located all over the world; yet many do not know how to find it. This is part of our work, to let the others know about the context of the ground beneath their feet.The Cosmic Cowgirls are fond of saying we have our head in the stars and our feet on the earth. We began to tell the legend of the tree and the ground far and near. Many came to learn and discover their own ground. Claiming the language for what we experienced would become one of our primary creations. Developing paintings that told our story would be at the heart of our evolution. As time went on, those roots spread throughout the earth and the young sturdy tree became stronger and taller and lovelier. We were all so grateful to see the trunk so strong. (2005-2009)

With our attention the tree grew many branches. We began to understand that the tree held the information for the collective, not just a few of us. Self expression would become the way we understood and intuited the content that was arising. We curated conscious community and celebration!

The women who studied the tree and the ground became Intentional Creativity Teachers. The branches that move out from the center are the teachings and are tended by women once they graduate, and become the Intentional Creativity Guild. The branches together, with the leaves, are the canopy that create the keepers of the collective wisdom. We make shade and beauty and color and light for each other and our Beloveds. (2010-2012)

I remained a primary gardener, but tending the tree was a great work as the borders of the garden expanded. I entered into joyous union with another gardener who knew about permaculture and how to work the soil in new ways: Jonathan. He made it possible to share the harvest with many who could not come directly to the birthplace of the tree. We went quantum and the stars were happy with our leap into the cosmos. His sacred assignment is to “carry the medicine” on the Mothership.
(2012-Ongoing)

To you, those of you who are graduates, the Intentional Creativity Guild, I say,

“You are a bright bird, coming from your own land with your own information. You joined us for an initiation. You came to preen your brightly colored feathers and develop your wingspan and flight pattern. You had to test your winged eye in good company with those who see between the worlds. You came to find your voice and chirp or cluck or sing along with the other birds. You came to bask in the shade and to sit in the light. Your wingspan grows strong and you know you can fly wherever you want. In time, you will fly off to your own tree and plant your own garden. Some of you come back to sit in the shade and share our company for a while. For others, this tree is home. We all know it is big enough for everyone to gather around. In community is a humble belonging. Some of us who are bright birds, also become gardeners.”

With our songs and our company we bloom. When there is abundance, we share those flowers and fruits. We cannot pick everything. The harvest, should the tree choose to give one, is the offering of our gifts to our Beloveds. The philanthropy of the Intentional Creativity Foundation is an offering of our own abundance and this offering is a gentle gathering over time. This offering is measured with focus on the health of the tree, and the ground from which it grows. Not designed for speed or production – but the long term vision. (2017)

When have become a healthy enough tree, we can name our own garden. The garden is yet another context besides the ground or the tree, the larger framework in which it is all happening. Each awareness expands the context in which we understand ourselves. Naming is bestowing a power of knowledge upon a being. We named the garden, MUSEA, meaning many muses and many museums. This is a quantum garden that supports this tree and many other trees. The wind sends her seeds airborne to other gardens, where other life rises. (2018)

Many have asked for a map to the garden and discovered the magical Red Thread Cafe just past the garden gate. As our tree and our garden has flourished it has become known further and further afield. Many people come to see what is growing here and to sit in the garden a while. As we bask in the beauty of our magnificent tree, we see red thread tied to her branches with messages which flutter in the wind. They float intentions, placed by many souls and circles. Souls we know, and by others we haven’t met. When tragedies or blessings happen, we reach out and pull on those threads. Some of us become Red Thread Guides and call the circles.

As she has matured, our tree called Color of Woman has become known as a Tree of Transformation where the creatives in the land come to learn. We love our tree with an incredible might! The trees which are grown from our one tree will be so many different kinds of trees! Each bird and every gardener chooses her own garden space, and tends her own trees. Yet, we still gather here at the original Tree of Transformation. (Now)

Our Lineage of Intentional Creativity ancestors shines on us from the sun and the cosmos. Their prayer for us to thrive as creative beings resonates in our bones and our homes. Finally we know truly that we are stardust as we splash our canvas with the awareness and memory that this knowing brings. Flowing around us are the rivers of life that nourish us. The loving water from forever ago has been moving toward us for such a long time.

When you feel the call, you will find us, leaning up against a great tree of transformation, grown from intention and love in action. You may also find us dancing a jig in the garden, under the broad branches when the moon is full and yellow gold. Or at the salon by the sea, speaking the philosophy of muses. You will find our sketchbooks are in our hands, taking note of the universe and our easels are sprinkled throughout the world with our images and stories.

The Tree is magic and is wherever we are, the tree and garden is. The one contains the many and the many contain the one. Seeds are like that. The Tree is everywhere we are. We love the company of the others who know the story of the Tree of Transformation. We have our own stories, and then we also have our together stories. The Tree of Transformation is a together story. You are welcome here, we are glad you found us, and that we found you along the red thread.Me? Oh, I am just one of the gardeners. Come sit awhile…I will make us some tea harvested from tiny flowers that grow at roots of the Tree of Transformation sweetened with honey from the bees in our abundant garden.

I share this story today as a record of where the philosophy, ethos and practice of Intentional Creativity came from. I share it on my mother’s 82nd birthday. This writing also reflects the organic nature of our emergent business structure. April 25, 2019


Happy Birthday Mama Cloud! Our community loves you SOOOOOOOOO MUCH and we are so very grateful that YOU were born!

My mama is so brilliant, so beautiful and so encouraging. Her love for me made it possible for me to grow as a woman and an artist. I am so grateful to be her daughter.

Showing Up – Take Your Art to the Festival!

I wanted to write you today to encourage you to go to art shows, and apply to art shows in person and online. This message is for my students, but is good for all artists too. Go to art shows and festivals to SEE what other artists are making and what they are doing – learn – and also purchase their art to support the arts. It is a great experience.

Apply to online shows – this isn’t about whether you get famous or sell work, it is about prepping and learning how to show. How to participate and build your CV. To learn to promote. To go beyond your comfort zone.

My entire career and my first truly successful month at 30 years old was due to art festivals on street corners and big festivals. The interaction is so valuable and the mailing list!!! To follow up with each person is so powerful and MANY of the people who signed up from art shows ended up purchasing for years to come.

Don’t be too proud for the cafe or the street corner. I would wear stretchy pants, and my hats and arrive as early as possible. Set everything up, with support, then put a long table cloth over the table a blanket and pillow underneath so I could rest a bit before the fanfare. AH the good old days!

My booth in contrast to the other booths was so colorful it was always a show-stopper. It takes time and resources to get yourself going if you are going to do actual walls etc, but a 6 foot folding table and easels is a great way to start and get excited.

Don’t wait for the market to come to you -– bring yourself to the market!!

As MUSEA : Intentional Creativity Foundation, we will be doing juried shows soon and it is very exciting to learn the process – for something I have participated in most of my art career.

I say, not to be too proud, but at the same time, choose where to assert your value. I am often invited to ‘decorate’ an event. But no, that isn’t the context I show up in. The language I choose is the featured artist for the event. I request signage, a complimentary vendor table, and to be added to the website. I request to be introduced at the opening of the event so people can see me and talk to me.

I am including a few links to learn about shows. The process teaches you so much. There is a lot to sort through. For artists, just keep show up.

https://www.callsforartists.com/

https://www.artshow.com/juriedshows/

Seduce the Muse and Tame Your Inner Critic ::: Free Virtual Mini-Workshop

Dance with the Paradox

One day you will go to look for something
you did not know was lost
There will be an urgency to the intangibility,
a restlessness will stir your sleep

When you are finally ready to listen
to what isn’t being spoken
you begin to hear it and feel the pulse
A call is heard from the deepest chambers

You will spend the rest of your days
Learning to discern this call
from all the others in your mind and life
This is the call from soul

At times you may wonder
why it took you so long
You may feel regret, disappointment
or even desperation

At other times you may feel in love
The romance you have been waiting for
is within reach,
irony dissolves into enchantment

The sacred relationship
where you are seen and heard,
yes, the one you imagined you deserved,
and doubted you could ever find, is here

You are invited to a dance of seeming paradox
A space and place between the worlds where
the critic and the muse are holding a party and
you are invited, they have called your name

Will you answer?

Shiloh Sophia

Off the Map, Shiloh Sophia, 2018


Join me for an experiential video event that will change the way
you have been thinking about your inner voice within one hour!

FREE MINI-WORKSHOP HERE


Dear One,

Most of my Red Thread Cafe times with my Muse and my husband Jonathan for the past few months have been focusing on this one topic, the Critic and the Muse. The riddles, the science, what others have taught about it, why it is so compelling, why more change isn’t happening and really asking myself deep questions about it in relationship to my work. Because if we can’t get access to the critic, it is very challenging to hear our true inner voice.

I keep thinking I have a solution, but in truth that solution takes time, because it requires rewiring the brain. But I am going to give it a try.

For most of my adult life, I have been working with women and the exploration of their self expression. I have gained insight and understanding into the actual ‘function’ of how we speak to ourselves through witnessing thousands in their creative process, and trying out new ideas.

Through the years and the research I have arrived at some pretty interesting conclusions. And many of them are not what is widely taught about how the critic works. Because to understand and transform how it works, you need to dive into a bit of brain science and come eye to eye with the dominatrix of the prefrontal cortex.

The transformation self help culture we live in today is rich with many potent teachings that have guided us along our path regarding finding our true voice, living out our authentic self, and even the expression of the soul. You may discover one thing is working for a while and then find yourself seeking another solution. We can be impulsive transformation addicts looking for a fix. I am no exception. Yet there is one thing that ROCKED my world and changed everything, and it was very surprising! I will share some of that with you here.

I am not a fan of speaking to the pain point to make a point. Yet for the sake of this particular conversation, articulating the phenomena could be helpful. It is in NOT being able to see our default settings, programmed into the brain, that can make it so harmful. We begin with getting it conscious. Let’s take a look.

Self confidence and self doubt continue to plague us even after an awakening! Many of us, even after we come to terms with our life as it is, still secretly nurse ideas of our version of having it all. We are sold the idea that we can have it all and if we aren’t experiencing that, something must be wrong with us. And so begins the endless loop of self-doubt and criticism which infects every single relationship we have.

We may find ourselves wondering – Where is the pot of gold, the dream life, the perfect mate, the fountain of youth, the treasure chest, or even the magic bullet to stop all the bad thoughts? What is wrong with me that I don’t have it? And in the same moment, feeling like we don’t deserve it, aren’t worthy or are too ashamed to reach. This isn’t a new monologue and you aren’t alone. Yet the paradox of ‘wanting’ coupled with feeling ‘not worthy of having’ facilitates a life culture of disillusionment and dissatisfaction. We try to convince ourselves why we should be so grateful, and we are, so what’s up?

All of our relationships with every area of our life, love, money, family, work are impacted by HOW WE SPEAK TO OURSELVES and HOW WE SEE OURSELVES. When this one essential relationship is healed, everything else is informed. Who is speaking to you, from within you and how? You already know this. I am talking about your relationship to your ‘hidden inner self’. I call it hidden for an obvious reason, in that you can’t really ‘see’ this self and to make matters more challenging, most of us can’t ‘hear’ this self. Does it even exist?

Rumi says:

“The day is coming when I fly off

but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes?

What is the soul?”

Without our inner voice and vision being aligned, much of the transformation work doesn’t even make sense for long lasting integrated change. Without this sacred partnership as the framework for curating your future, your story keeps reverting to an earlier default setting. Now you would think once you know about this self and begin to listen to it, that everything would be different, and perhaps for a while it is different. But something still isn’t working quite right. No matter how many times you do your affirmations, try to meditate, get on the mat to stretch and be kind to your neighbors, you find yourself being mean to yourself in the same old ways, with the same old stories and limiting beliefs. Now you can hear your critic even louder since you are listening to your inner space – and could it be that the critic has even upped his/her game? Yes, the ‘critic’ is highly intelligent.

So what’s going on? So why isn’t it working? How does it work? Is there a method of approaching how to deepen this relationship with our inner voice that is more consistent? This is what we are going to explore in our upcoming mini-workshop: Seduce Your Muse and Tame Your Inner Critic, but let’s explore a little more now.

The dominant culture enforces a paradigm of ‘head’ and ‘thinking’ so much so, that most of us think that is where we live and have our identity. The rebels, revolutionaries, and dissidents like us have stepped out of that constraint, we know we are more than we appear. With the developments of quantum physics, consciousness and neuroscience, we are getting closer. We have moved out of just thinking we are a mind and body. But there is more, so much more, that seems to remain just out of reach. We hear something, often a cry for help from deep within, but we don’t know how to truly answer with our whole life. How do you get IN to find out? This is where Intentional Creativity comes in and where metacognitive drawing is one of the ways we can retrain our brains in relationship to how we speak to ourselves.

Clearly each person must discover this access to the voice and vision of the soul for themselves. No one else can really teach it or grant us access. Yet. There is a first step that can be revealed. A clear first step that in my 25 years of teaching has made the most difference in the lives of those I serve. So obvious and yet so hidden, it is almost like a riddle to solve. You can learn more about it in the free mini-workshop, as well as in my upcoming 7 week online class, The Dance of the Critic and the Muse. I will also be sharing more about the neuroscience aspect in the upcoming Red Thread Letters.

I know you have a lot of choices for what you read and how you spend your time. So I just want to say, thank you for taking this time with me. I am honored to be a part of your Red Thread Cafe as we explore this awesome universe within, and all around us.

Sending blessings along the red thread…

COMMENT ON ARTIST SHILOH SOPHIA

P.S. If you are willing to share my free mini-workshop with your community I would be so grateful, truly. You can share it a couple of ways.

If you would like to do a mailing to your circle, you can just email Sarah and she can get you set up.

If you want to share with the link, you can copy and paste this one: https://shiftnetwork.isrefer.com/go/smSS/a18983/

If you would like to share from my Artist Shiloh Sophia facebook page, you can find my post about it here

I have been working on articulating the inner workings of the soul voice and how it connects with the concepts of the critic and the muse for so many years, this is the first time I will be sharing it outside of the Color of Woman Teacher Training.


Seduce the Muse and
Tame Your Inner Critic Mini-Workshop

Join me on Saturday, January 26

During our time together you will discover

  • How the inner critic has been with you since childhood and
    why most of your attempts to break free are doomed to fail
  • A powerful tool you can use to seduce your critic into being your ally
  • Where the Muse hides — and how to invite her out
  • How to listen to the Muse and hear what she’s been wanting to tell you
  • Experiential practices to awaken your self-expression
  • How unleashing your creativity can help you rewire your brain

Come have virtual tea with me!


The Dance of the Critic
and the Muse

February 14 Online for 7 Weeks

A 7 Week Step Initiation Into the Voice and Vision of Your Soul

Coming Soon! Registration isn’t open quite yet! I have a 7 Week online class coming up called The Dance of the Critic and the Muse, and guess what? For once it isn’t painting, I am working with pen and paper! We will be experiencing and illustrating 7 gates of initiation. This isn’t about talent with drawing, but we will be moving the pen with what I call ‘metacognitive drawing’. I have been working on this class for months, but really my whole life! This technology is sacred to me because it impacts all of our lives in such deeply profound ways – and it is truly time to transcend the constraints of that critic and fall in love with the muse!

I am collaborating with a local yet global education and evolution community, the Shift Network to bring this message to our mutual communities. They are located in Petaluma and many of my friends past and present are on that team there. I was delighted to be invited and to share quantum space with this spicy topic.

Save the date and we will follow up with registration!



Colorful Scars : Free Intentional Creativity Class

We have long worn our scars
on the inside, hidden within ourselves

Doing our best to hide, to not allow
them show up on the outside

We didn’t want to be exposed,
judged, blamed and not believed

Our souls bear the marks
of re-membering what was lost

We have been shaped, girdled, silenced,
fragmented and shamed into looking good

It may be hard to speak out in a culture
where it is popular to believe you caused your own harm

If you have carried the thought that you,
Dear precious soul, have caused your own harm…

This is an invitation to lay it down for good
and to release your grip on self blame

Self blame cloaked as responsibility
has done more damage then we can imagine

Do you see how believing that you called it upon yourself,
can keep you from speaking?

The dominant culture keeps this idea in place
we know better, and can release ourselves

We have already turned our wounds
into teachings for ourselves and others

Are you ready to let go of this part
of the wounding you carry? Is it time?

When scars are only on the inside
they can take a long time to heal

We can choose to integrate, be witnessed,
be informed and take action

The colorful side of all of these stories
is that the scars are no longer only on the inside

Witness by compassionate hearts
brings color to the shadows which house the wounds

The light emitting from our colorful scars
illuminates the path for those coming after us

A warrior mark, a reminder, a tattoo
of teachings and stories to tell

We won’t forget, yet neither will we
be jailed by the past any longer

To those who would harm, we pray this colorful light
Reaches them too, so they may think again and heal

The freedom to self express is a basic
human right, and we claim this right for ourselves

We won’t proclaim the bright side
We will not dwell in the shadow side either

We see, claim and are authors of the colorful side
We have become She of the Colorful Scar

Signed with a hope for
re-membering our wholeness,

Shiloh Sophia, October 2018

 

 

FREE COMMUNITY CLASS & RED THREAD CIRCLE ONLINE

SHARE & COMMENT ON ARTIST SHILOH SOPHIA FB PAGE

You are invited to join the Intentional Creativity Community for a free online class and Red Thread Circle on October 21. Can’t join us that day? The videos are yours to keep and download so you can do it in your own time. We will have a completing call in November so you have time to do the process. You will be supported by Intentional Creativity Guild members.

Let’s gather together in solidarity across the world to cause our own healing to move to the next level…bringing healing into our own hands…

How much power do we really have to set ourselves free?

More than we think, I feel. Yet there is often a process if the feeling is to really create a change. It is more than just thinking about it. You have do actually do something more than in the mind. Ritual, creativity, movement, a circle….something to mark the change.

 

 

 

Dear Ones, 

I have been thinking of you, and of all of us – and especially right now my sisters in the US who have been so impacted by the recent happenings. I don’t think I need to spell it out – regardless of what you think about it – it was traumatizing for most of us it seems. I could feel it and see it in ways I haven’t for a while. Like wow – where do we live? I looked at the images of the people involved ands sent them love – all of them. All of them. And I felt I had to DO SOMETHING to serve – hence Colorful Scars – a class for us as a community. I asked what I could do? I had already painted the painting above – and so it was clear – colorful scars it would be. Claiming our wounds and bringing beauty to them. Covering them in grace – not hiding – but lifting up.

I try to be mindful of sharing spiritual beliefs without assumptive behaviours which are so often rampant. Even just – ‘everything happens for a reason’ is a rampant spiritual belief gone unchecked that a lot of us don’t agree with. Including me. So in this cycle I am writing to you with permission to set yourself free from the way you have been carrying what has happened to you.

I share this writing and class for those who still think they are to blame for their abuse. This is FOR YOU. For us to heal.

With respect to those in the sisterhood that truly believe they agreed to their own harm at the level of soul, I hear you. And. What is true for you might be true for you. Yet I might add, do not assume it is also true for everyone else. This teaching is too common and in my view, assumptive and often unconscious.

Now, having worked with so many women I am a stand for freedom from self blame – and the idea that we caused our own harm as part of our path or soul agreement. Not that there aren’t times we have put ourselves in danger and harm’s way. Each story has it’s own arc of blame and shame.

I stand for a story where no woman blames herself for being harmed in ANY scenario.

I woke up this morning with the collective grief pouring through me. I thought, is there a bright side? And of course, the bright side is that the stories are being told and that hopefully those who do the harming will think again instead of become even more aggressive, which is often the case. Yet, bright side, felt too optimistic. Shadow side is obviously playing itself out before our eyes in the US and many other places. But the colorful side, is also here. Finding our freedom from suppression and silence – finding self expression. Why is this important – because if we are self expressed, we won’t bottle up the energy and turn it on ourselves.

Expressing it lets it out – and in that, changes it as it moves from within to the page/canvas/dance floor. We will talk more about this in the Colorful Scarsclass. Consider calling women together to gather with in person for this event in your home, studios or office. Consider hosting a red thread circle. The videos will be yours to keep and download but it woudl be wonderful to spend the day together on October 21 doing the work.

Thinking of you and however you process what you are feeling. Let us walk this road together in the best way we can. I am about to lead a Red Thread Circle in the morning mist and will be thinking of you and including you with us.

 

 

 

Colorful Scars: Free Intentional Creativity Class

Hosted by the Intentional Creativity Foundation

Taught by Shiloh Sophia
with support from the IC Guild

Free class for women to express

and begin to heal hidden stories

Sunday October 21st or watch later

RSVP FOR FREE

 

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 www.findjoyinthechaos.com

 

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

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

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