In 2018 our teacher, Shiloh Sophia revived the medieval practice of gathering those who have developed proficiency in an art of trade, into a guild of Journeywomen. Our preparation includes the yearlong Color of Woman Teacher training in Intentional Creativity, completing our thesis, and creating our initiate book summarizing assignments and offerings we’ve given. There are now over 250 Guild members worldwide. Check our Directory for someone near you!
Nearly 20 Guild Gals currently live in Oregon and Southern Washington, and several of us met for the first time in classes, at graduation, during travels, or in an in-person gathering. In November, I invited the local gals to a gathering at the studio in MECA Gallery, McMinnville Center for the Arts. We set it for the afternoon, and Jan from Southern Washington, 3 hours away, chose to stay overnight!
While we use red thread in circles when gathering with students and beloveds in our broader community, we use a Purple Thread of Leadership when meeting with other Guild members. I’ve shared purple thread with several SiStars as they traveled through Oregon, weaving strands of connection. It is always a delight when we gather, and this was no exception!
We shared chocolate and tea, warmth and SiStarhood. Our Muses must have consulted, as our the colors we wore were delightfully coordinated! We passed the thread, shared insights from our year and dreams for the future. We planned to share a Metacognitive drawing practice, (Uma is taking the Motherboard Training), but after our check-in round we just kept talking! We talked, laughed, commiserated, until we finally said our find goodbyes, with a stronger sense of connection and sisterhood.
We’ve made plans to meet again quarterly, likely in Portland or Olympia. Each time we’re together, in person or virtually, the connections strengthen, We’re just a thread away…
I used the purple yarn from this and other circles with my Guild SiStars to crochet this little cuff bracelet. It’s both decorative and a wonderful reminder I can just give a tug, and the support and love from my sisters is on the other end!
It is with great joy that we share Virginia Masson’s up and coming December 2019 opening of the Great Lakes Center for Intentional Creativity, the mid-west affiliate for Global Musea – Intentional Creativity Foundation.
The Musea collective is a curated gathering of unique voices committed to telling stories that inform, educate, and uplift our collective evolution in continually emergent way. The stories are told through diverse mediums including but not limited to image, language, object and sound – all experienced by our senses. We create with respect to the ancestors and hope for our descendants. Founded by Shiloh Sophia McCloud, the Collective reaches up to 15,000 people globally every month, with both free and paid offerings, as well as representing women in the arts at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
We hope you will dive in or simply dip a toe into our whimsical workshops and heart-opening Red Thread Circles. Our vision is to re-ignite the creative fire in each of its beloved clientele, offering tools and support to find their own voice and rediscover their innate creativity. Our beautiful Great Lakes-inspired space will also be open for community gatherings and events hosted by like-minded teachers, holistic practitioners and non-profit social support groups.
The space is a part of the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Cooperative (PARC), a non-profit that supports artists of all disciplines, environmental groups, experimental kitchens and is completely focused on bringing the arts to the surrounding community. Tenants include the Michigan Philharmonic, Friends of the Rouge, Bees in the D, Center for Creative Studies, glass blowers, potters, opera, dance and theater groups and several visual artist’s collaboratives.
I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey, and most importantly, I want to thank Bernie… he is the reason I believe this has become a reality. In life and in death, he has given me the courage to step off the cliff and trust that my wings can carry me. And it doesn’t hurt to know his angel wings are lifting me too. Don’t wait, life is short, live it now.
Virginia Masson is a wonder-filled artist and Intentional Creativity teacher specializing in guiding transformational change using the enchanting method of Intentional Creativity.
I hope you will follow the journey of creation as the Great Lakes Center for Intentional Creativitybecomes a reality and consider joining in one of our soul-expanding workshops, or connect with your beloved community at a heart opening Red Thread circle.
The fine art group exhibit LAYERS featuring members of the Women’s Caucus for Art, Peninsula Chapter, will be on display at the Los Altos Hills Town Hall from September 2019 through March 2020. The expression of this exhibit proves that works of art have many layers: layers of interpretation, meaning, emotion and sometimes layers of color and materials. The women who create these works have underlying layers of understanding that are revealed in the process.
One of the artists in this exhibit is our very own Annette Wagner. Annette is an IC Teacher as well as one of our Art Doctors in the Color of Woman Training. She teaches Earth Prayers – a mix of Intentional Creativity with the ink practice of sumi-e. Sue Hoya Sellars first put a sumi-e brush in her hands and she continued to deepen this thread by working with Taiwan artist May Shei. Annette has three paintings in the show, two of which are from her Grandmother Ocean series.
The artists’ reception, free and open to the public, will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm at Town Hall, featuring live music by Rebecca and Gary Lee Parks. Refreshments and wine will be available.
An art walk-and-talk tour of the exhibit, also free and open to the public, will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Town Hall.
Los Altos Hills Town Hall 26379 Fremont Road Los Altos Hills, CA, 94022
Welcome to A Cup of Tea with the Universe, a video blog by Intentional Creativity Coach Svetlana Pritzker with creative collaborator Alexandra Isaievych. Their visual journeys guide individuals on living actively, while involved in the universal flow of co-creation. This episode is about finding the freedom in the splashes of paint and the importance of intentional layers within the creative process.
Svetlana describes how the weaving of Intentional Creativity Art and Coaching reveals a direct link to the Cosmic DNA code, a Personal Cosmology hidden within. Students receive both the language for communicating with and about it, as well as practical applications for the creative expansion within every dimension of their life.
Discover more of their incredible video blogs and classes www.insightfulcolor.com
An incredible three-day Group Show show featuring Intentional Creativity Teachers and Artists, was held at Mirada ART, a gorgeous gallery space in Half Moon Bay, California.
Color of Woman Teachers, Neesa Mills and Jane Sanguinetti curated their show as a way to introduce their local community to both their Intentional Creativity paintings and Art as Medicine classes.
To complete their group, the two then invited Color of Woman Teacher Erica Starks, long-time Intentional Creativity student Paige Sawyer, and local student Karenna Lynn. Neesa shares that Karenna, an accomplished painter, is loving the personally transformative approach taught in our classes.
Creating everything as a team was a wonderful experience. The event was a huge success, with streams of people moving through over the weekend, both invited guests as well as public viewers. Visitors appeared to truly enjoy the powerful and integrated show. We grew the interest for our Art as Medicine classes due to the positive response to the transformative work we showed.
Check out more art and class offerings from Neesa Ginger Mills, Jane Sanguinetti and Erica Starks in the Intentional Creativity Foundation’s Teacher Listings
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.
He couldn’t focus. He bounced around the room engaging anyone who would pay attention. But his bouncing and words were challenging in tone and tinted with violence, not welcoming. It’s the only way he knows how to communicate.
Many children walk through the classroom door each morning as victims of neglect and violence. The levels to which they experience this range from five year olds having to heat up their own 7-Eleven burrito for dinner to actual un-welcomed and undeserved physical contact.
In many schools teachers are frontline first responders each and every morning of their lives. I retired from such a school this past year. It is heartbreaking, stressful, and exhausting work, but deep down I knew I was making a difference.
Struggling to find answers, school administration make choices that seem like the magic pill, but seldom deliver. Teachers are caught between curriculum and programs that do not come close to meeting the direct needs of the children they teach.
I stepped away from this a few months ago and into a new way of reaching children that changes how they think. As a Red Thread Guide I can now offer ways of helping children move from the fight, flee, or freeze response of the brain to the heart space where wisdom resides.
He ignored my call to sit on the floor in a circle. Most of the rest of the class eagerly gathered, minus a few who waited to see what he was going to do.
Red Thread circles offer a way to connect. It is story, something children understand deeply and love. So I told them about myself and my intentional creativity painting and my red thread circles and the little girl from their very own school who wears a red beaded bracelet from her grandmother in Poland given to her when she was born to keep her safe.
The boys settled together on the floor, half listening, half conducting their own business in an attempt to draw our attention to them.
I continued with talk about the brain and the amygdala. Something they are familiar with as part of their social/behavioral program they do to combat bullying. But then I talked about the heart and how the heart holds wisdom. It is the heart that really tells us what to do. I drew a picture of an anatomical heart on a large piece of chart paper and called it The Wisdom Keeper.
The whole class was listening. Even the boys.
We talked about how the heart leads our brain to make better decisions. Instead of hitting or arguing, the heart can give us a better way. But we need to learn how to listen to it. After all, it is the loving part of ourselves we forget to listen to.
In the Red Thread circles we weave a ball of red thread around our wrist passing it to the next person until we are all connected. In an elementary school that is not a safe option. Restroom needs, wiggly bodies, and emergencies are a priority.
Instead, I use my singing bowl. Having been trained in a mindful practice at this school where I taught, I have lots of tools in my tool box. So instead of wrapping the thread around their wrists, the students get to ring the bowl. I explain how to hold it or place it on the floor to get a nice sound. After they ring it they answer a simple inquiry question.
He LOVED ringing the bowl. So did his friends. It was enough to keep them engaged until it was time to go to lunch.
This is just the beginning of the red thread circle. We can inquire about many things: what do we love about ourselves, what do we love to do, etc. We listen to others who have similar stories to our own. We realize we are not alone and, yet, we are special, and that we are only responsible for the piece we hold. Yes. They got that part.
In this particular classroom we followed up with an Intentional Creativity® activity using the supplies they had in their room to draw our Wisdom Keeper. That voice inside our hearts that is always there to give us love and kind words.
He and his friends drew amazing Wisdom Keepers and were able to share with the group what their keeper told them about how wonderful they are and how much they are loved.
There are always tears from the adults listening.
Children are very open and honest. The are also very brave and I learn a lot from them.
Message from Co-Founder, Shiloh Sophia about Art, Christchurch and what you can do to support two artists on the ground…painting night and day on a mural of intention, healing and community. Plus a letter from Jonathan McCloud to the community.
Thank you for pausing with me to give awareness and honor to the 50 lives lost in Christchurch, NZ. I know you have so many things you are working on and focusing on and sending love and resources to. I know I do. So thank you for your time to check this out. In just a day of returning from New York I find myself in a community in crisis. Not every person, not in every way. But it is big, feels like a mountain of pain.
I wanted to let you know in advance, this letter has typos. It is not the polished request of a seasoned NGO – but the immediate response to a need. So forgive the typos and thank you to Annette, Kate, Sarah and Jonathan for responding asap to my call for action, now.
There is a lot going on. We have community members with partners dying. Family members in health crisis with test after test and no results to back up what they are feeling. Local community without resources to make ends meet. Global community with children in the hospital. Many of us feeling sick and not sure why. Our waiter for lunch needing counsel on how to talk to his mother in law about the child coming into their life. What I learned that breaks my heart at UNCSW about women and girls. Then there is the whale that washed up with 100 lbs. of plastic inside that I can’t get out of my mind…and then…you face it everyday.
My direct community are on the ground in New Zealand making art in the midst of the country’s first terrible senseless shooting. Something the US is quite familiar with unfortunately. They are making a grove of trees…you can read about it below. For a few years I have been making ‘marks’ in my paintings for the lost, and this week my community, teachers of my Intentional Creativity method are there, making marks for the lost lives on the Grove of Intention – painted murals designed to support and uplift the community.
Like I said, I know you have a lot you can focus on and because you are connected with me and Intentional Creativity, I am asking you to focus on this. Are these women going to survive this experience? Of course. And do I want to show them how important art is in the middle of crisis – and how much it matters to us, I sure do. Can I personally fork out the cash to cover what they need right now, yes I could, even after a financially taxing trip to NY for two weeks on a mission which we personally finance. I am trying new things with the mindfulness of our NGO status – I am asking you to work with me to make sure these artists on the ground not only feel our support energetically but through our resources. We want to cover their materials and food for the project. Do that here now to show your support. $5 or $10 or as much as you are called to.
Your donation is tax deductible. That is why we created an NGO – to support the arts. This is that call to action. You can get a tax deduction and 100 percent goes directly to the artists. We are sending funds in advance and will reconcile post funding. We have already sent funds, will you join us here?
The project was funded by NZ – but the budget has run out and is taking way longer to complete due to weather, tragedy, and sadly, graffiti. Imagine during this crisis, to have your art in process, defaced. Sigh. So much to learn as humans huh?
Here are these wonderful women, whom I have known for over 5 years – and worked with over and over in serving our community. Rosie Mac, Kerry Lee, we love you.
It is my first work day after two weeks in New York at UNCSW and I have all kinds of things to share with you but that has to wait, Kerry, Rosie and Christchuch come first today.
Please take the time to learn why the Grove of Intention matters to all of us and to a country in crisis. Art doesn’t save the world, but it does help save our minds and hearts when we don’t know where to turn.
~ Shiloh Sophia
I am so sorry this happened during this horrific experience. My heart, time and resources go with you…
A message from the Intentional Creativity Foundation:
Intentional Creativity Teachers, Kerry Lee and Rosie Mac, are currently working on ‘The Grove of Intention’ project in Christchurch New Zealand, where the mass shooting took place just last week.
As you can imagine, creating something like this at a time filled with so much sorrow and devastation is important healing work. Kerry and Rosie are doing all they can to bring public awareness to this project and are asking for any support we can give.
We are including the press release here with more information. If inspired, there is a link for you to donate financial resources, which will support the completion of this project in time for the unveiling Saturday March 23, 2019: 12 – 3pm at 145 Westpac Lane in Christchurch. ALL ARE WELCOME and there will be interactive activities with the Grove of Intention trees.
If you are able to share the press release with media contacts or on social media, here are the links:
Donate NOW to cover resources for our IC Member artists on the ground in NZ – all donations will go 100% to the artist’s cause, and are tax-deductible. Give what you can, even $5 as each donation is connected to exponential energy. Let’s let Kerry Lee and Rosie Mac KNOW we are behind them.
The Grove of Intention ~ A Healing Place for Contemplation, Connection & Community, Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand: The Grove of Intention, an experiential mural for healing, contemplation, connection, and community is being created in Christchurch Central. The 8’ x 75’ project is a collaboration between two women and two communities from the United States and New Zealand coming together to bring transformational beauty.
The image design was inspired by Gustave Klimt’s style of the Tree of Life. Shiloh Sophia McCloud was sparked by the spiral design as the foundation for the Witness Tree at Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, CA in which thousands participated. Kerry Lee was part of the project and documented it on her blog here. Starting with the first tree of this kind in our community created in 2010 at Self Love Day in which many created leaves with their intentions and wishes. So many trees all over the world!
Artist Kerry Lee took the project to the next level with her 12’x16’ The Intention Tree mural at the First Street Artist’s Alley in Napa, California. Following these actions, this work became a part of Christchurch’s Enliven Places Programme because of Rosie Mac and her involvement with Intentional Creativity and her own community.
Originally designed as a way to spark conversation, the mural soon became a healing balm for the recent tragedy, the first mass shooting in New Zealand. The project was designed by two Intentional Creativity Teachers, Kerry Lee of California and Rosie McCarthy of Christchurch. The mural is an interactive work of art consisting of seven symbolic and metaphoric golden trees.
Each tree has a theme and a related inquiry including:
The Wish Tree What is one big wish you have for yourself
The Peace Tree What is one wish you have for the world
The Wellbeing Tree What nourishes your soul?
The Connection Tree Where in Christchurch is your favourite place to be in conversation?
The Witness Tree How do you help improve the world?
The Wisdom Tree What is something you know for sure?
The Gratitude Tree What are you grateful for?
Unique Contemporary Symbolism at the base of each tree ties into the overall themes including simple whimsical houses symbolizing connection, triple spirals representing balance, triangles symbolizing change and circles representing humanity and our oneness and more. Native New Zealand birds grace the branches and the general public’s responses to each tree’s inquiry are painted on the branches for viewers to recognize our commonalities and encourage conversation. Given the tragedy, the artists are adding white thumbprints to The Connection Tree representing each person who lost their life.
The Artists were minutes from going to work on the mural, located in between the two shooting locations, when they received notice of the attack. They continued to paint the three week project on the days following the shootings.
Kerry Lee states: “An indescribable dark cloud of sadness and silence has come over this beautiful city. I have become very familiar with the sights and sounds of Westpac Lane where the mural is coming into form. Right now there are few people and few of the background sounds of humans going about life. And those who do come by seem to be extra present for others. As an American, where shootings are not unusual, however certainly not the norm it feels like New Zealand has had a major cultural shock. Much like 9/11 was in the US. And yet from this horrific experience I am also getting to witness the deep and broad love the Kiwis have for each other and for all.”
In support of community healing the unveiling of The Grove will take place on Saturday March 23, 2019 from noon until 3pm at 145 Westpac Lane in Christchurch. All are welcomed to participate.
“It is our hope that The Grove of Intention will provide a place where love and compassion for each other can continue long after the memorial flowers at the Botanical Garden are gone.” ~ IC Teacher and Artist Kerry Lee
“One of the primary features of Intentional Creativity” says Shiloh McCloud, Co-Founder, ”is that it gives us a capacity to respond to what is happening all around us, providing resiliency and enough hope to keep going. Instead of just thinking about what is happening, we are actually doing something about it to benefit others and manage our own experience. Thousands of us around the world are standing with Kerry Lee, Rosie Mac and the whole of New Zealand. We aren’t new to this kind of tragedy in the United States, and in response our creative community, in addition to activism on gun laws, began to add marks and dots and prints into our paintings to honor those whose lives were lost.”
Will you be a part of supporting the project?
Due to rain, sun too hot to paint on mural, graffiti and schedule changes, the project and the creators could use a boost in resources. Contributions are appreciated and can be sent here.
The unveiling will be on Saturday, March 23, noon until 3pm. Learn more on Facebook and Instagram @ The Grove of Intention.
Rosie and Kerry have also been supported by a small village of people in Christchurch helping to complete the mural due to being hampered by the weather and, of course, the shootings last Friday when the city was in lockdown.
About the Intentional Creativity Foundation:The Intentional Creativity Foundation is a community dedicated to creativity, connection, conversation, collaboration and change. We come from different geographies and genealogies. We seek to discover what makes us the same in the most basic ways and how we can be a part of something larger than ourselves while not lose sight of our individual visions. The Foundation is a place where we choose to participate in defining and developing a culture of heart and creativity – and how that has the capacity to transform our stories. The Intentional Creativity Foundation, Inc. is a Federally (USA) and State (California) recognized 501(c)3 organization.
Message from Jonathan McCloud to the IC Guild – This is our internal call but thought we would share it with you too….
Recipe for Love and a Call to Action. Not now…. RIGHT NOW.
What is it then, that we really do? Teach a class, move some energy, perhaps?
Watch as the eyes of a woman, a veteran, an elder, a girl, maybe even a son… a human being wells with tears when they stand face to face with the story of truth that comes from within themselves as they move a stump of charcoal or pencil across a page.
This magic of a method that you all know and love and live, it’s our way. You said it. You professed it. It’s here to knock on your imagination of the day when it would arrive. Hello.
Our team is in need. Now. Rosie McCarthy braved the good fight and got a grant from her government to bring Kerry Lee to New Zealand to bring the message of Intentional Creativity and hope and peace and healing to a country tossed by the might of Earth and respectfully, softly healing with love and kindness towards one another.
There are stressors in life that catalyze, through fear, the best and/or the worst in us. Let us not focus on the event, nor the actor. Let us focus on what it is that we, The Intentional Creative Foundation and you, it’s heart and soul bring to this moment, this lifetime of every soul, voice and hand.
Be a part of this solution. For us, by us, and by our own hands. The same way it was when you stood before that canvas on the first day of LEGEND. This is you. This is Us. We are caring for our own and in the process, loving in forgiveness the entire being that makes this humankind.
Let’s give these ladies, daring in the face of this adversity, at the front face of where creativity can and will heal, the ‘green stone of love’ as they say. Mighty in our connectedness, you stood for this, stand for it now. This is the Guild.
Every bit goes directly to them as an Earmarked Donation to the ICF. We will make sure that you get full acknowledgment from the ICF, Inc. for your tax deductible contribution for this identifiable member(s) benefit from YOUR own Guild.
Have I told you today, how much I love you? Jonathan McCloud
It’s not every day that you get to share your story with one of the world’s most powerful organizations and add your voice to the global conversation.
On March 12th, 2019, Alexis Estes Woksape Ole Winyan (Seeks Knowledge) of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, a member of the Native Hope team, was able to contribute her voice at the 63rd annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) alongside Carmen Baraka and Shiloh Sophia of Intentional Creativity.
The topic of the presentation? The healing power of art and storytelling in the context of intergenerational trauma.
Here’s how this incredible event came together.
Meet Alexis, One of Native Hope’s Valued Team
Alexis Estes Woksape Ole Winyan (Seeks Knowledge) is a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, which is part of the Oceti Sakowin that includes the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people.
Alexis attended the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated with a B.A. in Indigenous Liberal Studies and a minor in Studio Arts. She encountered Native Hope last year and became involved in our mission of healing through storytelling. Alexis was a natural fit for the Native Hope team, bringing her love of art and her passion and knowledge about the history of indigenous people to her work as a community builder and a social media advocate through the Native Hope platform.
Since joining the team, Alexis has used her gifts to serve the community, tribe, and indigenous people everywhere. She has represented the indigenous perspective in task force meetings about human trafficking, run mural painting activities and workshops that use Native symbolism to create public art, run in the Dakota 38 Memorial Relay, and spends her time working with the rest of the Native Hope team to advance the goal of sharing stories and encouraging healing for all Native Americans.
The Trip to New York and the United Nations
Alexis was approached by Shiloh Sophia of the Intentional Creativity Foundation and invited to be a contributing voice at a UN presentation entitled “Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story.”
It was a mutual supporter, Marilyn M., who introduced Intentional Creativity to Native Hope. Marilyn noticed the similar goals of the two organizations, including the capacity for healing that storytelling brings. It is our supporters, people like Marilyn, that are helping create these powerful alliances to spread a message of healing!
The presentation was sponsored and hosted by the Intentional Creativity Foundation, an organization whose vision is to make creativity accessible and to educate about the importance of creativity in the development of the human being. Alexis joined Carmen Baraka and Shiloh Sophia of the Intentional Creativity Guild in order to address the relationship between healing and art.
In her presentation, Alexis shared her story of reclaiming her cultural identity as a Lakota woman and overcoming intergenerational trauma. Her creative practices of mural painting, screen-printing, and yoga allowed her to find her voice during her search for identity, and she shared about how creative practices may help heal others.
We are grateful for Alexis’ strong voice and story and grateful that she had the opportunity to share her story in a major public forum like the UNCSW.
In a day when many Native American youth are faced with overcoming intergenerational trauma and the trauma of addiction, abuse, poverty, or discrimination, it is important to spread stories and methods of healing.
We’ve shared other stories of young Native artists like Jatonne and Dennis who are using art and story and music to process their story and come to terms with what it means to be a Native American in today’s world.
When one person rises up and speaks out their journey of healing, they offer a helping hand to those who are behind them on the journey or just beginning. We all have a duty and an opportunity to believe there is hope and to speak the hope that is in our hearts into the world.
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?
“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.
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
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!