[NEWS RELEASE] Untamed Heart: An Exploration of Intentional Creativity

[NEWS RELEASE] NEW Book featuring
Intentional Creativity Artists:
UNTAMED HEART

Untamed Heart introduces the concept of Intentional Creativity®; a movement in which all creative acts begin with intention. Intentional Creativity is about transforming old stories into new stories that fill us with passion and joy. It is the collaborative creation of fifteen Intentional Creativity Teachers including the founder of the Intentional Creativity movement, Shiloh Sophia. Each teacher shares their own story, paintings and a practice or exercise for the reader to work with as a way of exploring the realm of Intentional Creativity for themselves.

55 pages – full color in book form, PDF or e-book. Created by Cosmic Cowgirls, Ink.

All proceeds go towards the creation of the book. Let’s support women artists in print!

Authors include Sofia Dalbasa, Annette Wagner, Jessica Bowman, Sumaiyah Dymonz Yates, Kate Langlois, Susan Rossi, Jacqueline Hiew, Mai-Lan Thi Pham, Havi Brysk Mandell, Jennifer Mayol, Wendy Ward, Gurukiren Khalsa, Kendall Sarah Scott, Olyvya (Foussier) Van Eeden and Shiloh Sophia.

  PURCHASE HERE 

Intentional Creativity at Burning Man

I had the honor of leading an Intentional Creativity activity at the Burning Man art festival in fall of 2016. I don’t know how many of you have been to Burning Man – I myself had only learned of its existence a few years ago, as I ogled stunning photographs of large-scale art installations in an extremely isolated, expansive desert landscape.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Burning Man, it began in 1986 as a gathering around a bonfire on Baker Beach in San Francisco, and has now become a MUCH larger gathering – more than 80,000 people come together in the “pop-up” Black Rock City location in the Nevada desert 110 miles north of Reno, Nevada.

Radical self-acceptance, Radical Inclusion, and Leave No Trace

are the three of several major principles of Burning Man: accept yourself completely, accept the way others are, and leave no trace of your presence once the festival is over. The focus is on art primarily with tons of music. There is lots of partying and very little sleep, while camping in a VERY harsh desert environment: blistering heat during the day, near freezing temperatures at night, with dust storms occurring briefly nearly every day, coating everything you own – everything! with a fine layer of white dust.

The activity I lead was called “Cosmic Cowgirl Affirmation Cards”, and took place in a room at the base of the Man – the effigy that is the symbol of the entire festival. The focus of the session was on transforming the negative stories we’re told from childhood – you’re disorganized, you’re bossy, you’re too talkative – into positive affirmations, such as you can focus on many different things at once, you know how to take command & get things done, you have the gift of eloquence.

By realizing these stories are projected onto us by other people,
we begin to understand that these stories are not who we are.

And what better venue to focus on self-acceptance than here, at the foot of the Man in the heart of the Burning Man festival, where radical self-acceptance is one of the key elements of the entire Burning Man experience?

I was impressed how a few pieces of paper, some sharpies, a table, and the Intentional Creativity approach was enough to create a mind-opening, sacred experience for at least one participant: a very well-dressed, dapper gentleman somewhat older than the average age range of the typical Burner, as the participants of Burning Man are called.

After a Red Thread ceremony in which we remind each other how we’re all connected by a common link, a red thread bringing us to this moment where we are destined to meet each other, the activity begins by listing all the negative statements, the stories we are told over and over again: you are so impatient, you’re too slow….etc. The well-dressed gentleman had quite a long list, taking a bit more time than the other participants to write them all down.

The next step in the activity is to take each negative story and rephrase it in a positive light on a card kept for future use. The negative statements were then taken to one of the fire pits scattered around Black Rock City and ritually burnt. As the dapper gentleman ticked off each negative story on his list and replaced it with a positive statement, it was like watching a small crack in a cloudy sky growing bigger and bigger, letting more and more sunlight pour through the opening…. which demonstrates how Intentional Creativity can be done with a very simple process and only a small amount of materials and still bring very powerful insights.

I’m grateful to the teachings of Shiloh Sophia McCloud Lewis and the support of her husband Jonathan Lewis which resulted in my offering of this beautiful gift and process during Burning Man. The festival’s credo is Leave No Trace – and indeed, no physical trace remains of the city of more than 80,000 people and its art installations. But the invisible impact of attending Burning Man can be profound, and I’m honored to have contributed my small grain of sand, thanks to Intentional Creativity and its Cosmic Cowgirls.

~ ~ ~

Lorraine TilburyDr. Lorraine Tilbury is a visionary artist, horsewoman and teacher, helping gifted youth, women and professionals connect to their true calling. She had many wild childhood dreams and is fulfilling them now: she’s a multilingual veterinarian, living in a 16th-century renovated priory in the beautiful Loire Valley region, surrounded by her family and her animal companions.

Lorraine works with a herd of horses who are guides in her workshop experiences. She is a regular contributor to BBC Capital’s online magazine, with speaking engagements from India to Arizona, with Paris in between. Lorraine is developing a body or art work while working with the method of Intentional Creativity©, a powerful way to focus projects and life plans through creative expression.

Lorraine works with journal techniques like sketching, collage, scrapbook, and painting to guide you on your way to personal & professional success. The horses may whisper in your ear to guide you as well!

Lorraine’s art has been described as inspirational and whimsical – a reflection of the way she lives her life, by connecting to her Inner Self through her creations. She brings into form the wisdom of her Soul in a way that showcases the fertility of her imagination.

Multimedia is Lorraine’s playground to translate into symbol the information she receives. She loves to add bits of mixed media to her creations: string, feathers, cardboard, paper, yarn….and glitter! It took Lorraine 45 years to figure out that she could really live her dreams – now she’s helping others learn to do the same.  www.lorrainetilbury.com

 

Am I Still Holding My Piece of the Red Thread?

 Alien Skin Rock - Annette Wagner

Facade.
An alien skin over your own
Hiding you from the world
Keeping your secrets safe
To walk in your own skin
Let your heart sing
Be you, only you
And you will loved.

I’ve not written for a while because life took me off on another tangent. One that felt like I was being derailed, distracted, and pulled away from my work, my piece of the red thread.

My wonderful, beautiful, creative daughter had a very rocky start to high school. Anxiety. Stress headaches. Tears. Anger. Overwhelm. It took weeks to figure out what was going on. It’s been very hard for her and very hard for me. To watch someone I love who has all this potential and brilliance flounder and sink into a miasma where she is entirely stalled out in her life….it rips up my heart big time.

I’ve run through the gamut of mom guilt trips: feeling hugely responsible, frustrated because I can’t just fix it, annoyed at the way it derailed her, wondering how I contributed, wondering how I missed this pattern in her all these years, feeling helpless, annoyed at how western medical just wants to hand a 14 year old drugs, annoyed at her father for his genetic contribution. You name it, I’ve been walking it.

All through this, I asked, What is wanted? I wanted an intention to guide my energy and my heart. I had a trip planned to Idaho and Montana for a week in the midst of this and I went because I needed the break, to step away for a bit. And so, there on the side of a river one day, my intention emerged:

To support my daughter in learning how and moving through transformation.

If you’ve read my blog you know that I know this transformation stuff. Its what I teach and what I paint. I’ve been through major change in my own life. But my hesitation, and I did have one, about engaging in what I teach with my child was because I felt I was too close. Yet spirit made it clear that this was what I was to do. Relief and clarity are mine – I’ve felt like I now have a light shining on my path forward.

I came home and went to work supporting her, talking to her therapist, putting routine and boundaries in place, and generally just being there with her to laugh and cry and keep taking one step after the other. I have not worked on my art updating my site or finishing watercolors and greeting cards or creating videos for online classes or any of the other projects I have on my list to get done. Part of me has been beating myself up about that. Feeling like I am not doing my work.

So what do those of us who work in the Intentional Creativity movement do when we feel like this? We ask. And so, I asked,

Am I still holding my piece of the red thread?

YES.

The answer surprised me but perhaps will not surprise you. The answer included letting me know that doing all that work to get my art out into the world is important – but it has its own time and path. And right now I AM doing my work. I AM holding my piece of the red thread. 

Being there with my daughter as she walks this path IS doing MY work in the world right now in this present moment. Its about loving my daughter in all the ways she needs so she has the opportunity to heal herself so she can live her life fully and with love and happiness. Tears as I write this…

I needed to hear this. I needed to recalibrate myself with my own inner purpose, with my own piece of the red thread. Recalibration comes in many ways and I am grateful whether it comes with rocks or rose petals strewn down my path so long as I know which direction to walk in. 

 

 

 

Handful of rocks - Annette Wagner

~ ~ ~

Annette-intentional-sketching-with-bookAnnette Wagner, M.A., is a Visionary Artist, Color of Woman Intentional Creativity teacher (many thanks to Ms. Shiloh for her teachings!), and Art Doctor.  She paints Contemporary Symbolism and watercolor sumi-e paintings. She works extensively with metaphor, symbol, and color. She is the Managing Editor of the Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine and staff at Shiloh Sophia Studios

Annette studied with American Master painter Sue Hoya Sellars and has a Masters in Women’s Spirituality  from Sofia University. Her background includes over 25 years of hi-tech experience including 21 patents. She is owned by her dancing daughter, two cat beings, the man of her heart, and her Muse. You can view her artwork and read more about Annette at: www.annettewagnerart.com

Facade and rocks photos by Annette Wagner, 2016. Headshot of Annette by C. Kalinski. 

A Creature of This Planet

Annette Wagner
Mountain View, CA

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

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

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

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

Maybe it’s ok to just be present…

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

Ya think?

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

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

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

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

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

Magic does happen
~Annette

 

 

 

 

 

Annette-intentional-sketching with book

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

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

Red Threads of Self Compassion

Kate Langlois
San Francisco, CA

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

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

The Gift Within

The Gift Within

Is the True Essence of YOU hidden?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Edge of Becoming

The Edge of Becoming

Loving yourself is healing the world~Jaymie Gerard

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

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

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

 

Article originally published in Red Thread Nation.

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

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

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

Serving Those Who Serve – United Nations

press_rel

CSW59: Recharging Our Work as Global Advocates


(UN Council of the Status of Women – 59th Session)

Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Fatigue

Serving Those Who Serve

March 10, 6:15pm United Nations Church Center

The United Nations: Church Center for the United Nations – International Chapel 777 United Nations Plaza, New York New York

Host, moderator and sponsor Lys Anzia: Founder & Human Rights Journalist, 
 WNN – Women News Network

Many people who have worked in the field of international human rights and humanitarian efforts have witnessed first-hand, and second-hand, some of the most difficult global traumas experienced by women and children. Because of this advocates, journalists, NGO workers and activists can find themselves suffering from forms of Secondary Traumatic Stress and Fatigue (STS). Research shows STS burn-out can stop our ability to work. It can be transformed if the right steps are taken. This year at UNCSW59 in New York, 20 years following the ‘Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995’, attendees from over 100 separate countries will reaffirm their commitment to equal rights & human dignity for all women and children who have suffered. As we reach beyond the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action it’s now time to “serve the server.” Join an international panel that will highlight how to reduce STS through interactive sharing, insight and resources.

PANELISTS

Svetlana Bachevanova: Documentary photojournalist dedicated to global social justice, Publisher of FotoEvidence

Jessica Buchleitner: WNN Human Rights Journalist & Global women’s advocate, Author of The 50 Women Book Anthology Series

Cecilia Lipp: Attorney & Executive Director of International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law, Former Program Manager for Survivors International UCSF Trauma Recovery Center

Shiloh Sophia McCloud: Founder of the Intentional Creativity Movement, Author, Global Educator focusing on art as a path of healing from trauma to transformation for women & girls through the Red Thread.

David Stuart: Former Executive Director of Disarmament Action Network, FotoEvidence Managing Editor

Elahe Amani: Peace Mediator/Activist with Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB) Special Speaker on Iranian women in prisons at UN Human Rights Council Geneva, WNN – Women News Network reporter on Iran, and Chair for Global Circles at WIN – Women’s Intercultural Network.

Follow Shiloh’s Journey to the United Nations and participate in Peace!

peace1

Trusting in the Mystery by Kate Langlois

 

Soulkind

Soulkind

 The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery. Anais Nin

My friend Havi spoke recently about ‘learning to trust in the mystery’.  This says a lot for me, because even though I do love a good mystery, when one shows up in our own life, we often start demanding answers.  We want control over the situation, to be the one taking the wheel and setting the course. Letting go of control can sound scary, yet it doesn’t mean letting go of self-effort or that chaos is going to take over if we relax a little bit. We’re just choosing to look at the mystery from a slightly different angle.

I may not trust Mystery, but I can learn to live with it

Trusting in the mystery means we might just have to sit back for a little while or even a long while and wait to see what’s going to show up. While we’re in this waiting cycle, we may just decide we don’t even need to trust it, so much as learn to live with it.

I often think that Mystery and wonder must walk hand in hand. It’s WONDER that allows me to peer inquisitively into the face of life’s mysteries. Wonder makes the waiting more of an adventure, more of a game. And if it’s a game, it better mean we’re having fun too!

Wonder diffuses fear

Recently I said yes to an invitation to teach at an alumni gathering with our Color of Women Teachers. I said yes before I even knew what I was going to teach.  Instant mystery right? AND I brought it upon myself too.

A couple of years ago I most certainly would have shrunk back into the shadows instead. Even if I had said yes, my perfectionist self would me laboring meticulously over every tiny step in preparation. I would rehearse what I would say. For much of my life I had the effects of ‘stage fright’ if I spoke in front of a group of people to give a speech or a talk about something. My throat would constrict and my voice would miter out meekly in shaky mouse-like squeeks and I’d be on the verge of tears, completely forgetting what I was talking about. Though it was seemingly beyond my control, I felt nothing short of pathetic and ridiculous for not being able to come across as a strong and confident speaker.

So how was it I could say yes to teaching to my peers no less? Because through the work of Intentional Creativity I’ve created a new pattern in my response to the situation. The wires have literally been restrung into new pathways in my being. These days more often than not, I can lean into the mystery instead of running from it. Events in our lives whether they be traumatic or blissful, leave a mark on us. Our whole body embodies these events, often showing up in after-affects we may not recognize at first. If we can discover these threads from our past, we can take hold of them in the present and reweave them into beautiful new dreams as we fly boldly ahead into our futures.

Message to Myself

Message to Myself

The work of a Visionary is to know the past, dream the future and take powerful action in the present. Shiloh Sophia McCloud

The’ taking action’ piece means making a mark on a paper or a canvas without waiting for the right moment to come or inspiration to strike. For example, for me that big old boulder in the road trying to block my way is sometimes appears as whole pile of boulders surrounding me from all sides and reaching far up into the sky. Sound familiar? Well the time is past when we shrug our shoulders giving in, giving up. There is a recipe for change, ingredients of Creativity are our magical tools for clearing the way. Yes it probably will be scary-anything that involves involve facing our self usually is. Isn’t it time you peeled back the layers the world has thrown over you, tried to protect you with? Who would you be if you finally rose up to the challenge of being who you really dreamed of being instead of who others expected you to be? It may seem like a solitary journey, but I can tell you it is not. It’s one of amazing connections, synchronicity and even joy. And maybe, just maybe it’s the only thing that’s going to finally save you.

Intentional Creativity

Intentional Creativity

How to dissolve fear? 

Ingredients

You showing up as your Creative Self~an intention~a dream~ ~paint~paintbrush~canvas~pen and paper

  Dare yourself to play with Intentional Creativity &  invite in more of what you want for your life.  Put less attention on what is not working. By engaging in Creative Play with INTENTION and ACTION we literally become the antidote for what ails us and even for each other.

Kate Langlois 2013

Kate Langlois is a Visionary Artist and Color or Woman Teacher creating paintings  using Intentional Creativity. Her the style of the Contemporary Symbolism Movement. Kate’s JOY is in painting with women and girls to spark their own unique creative paths. Kate’s images give voice to her own journey and to women throughout the world in the shadows, without pathways for such expressions. Her paintings are a celebration of all women, and connection to the mystery beyond the physical world we all play in.

All artwork © 2013 Kate Langlois

What is Intentional Creativity? A Red Thread Letter

Is there a love story or a war story happening in you?
The Red Thead Cafe Letters Headers
This is the un-plugged version and should not be viewed without a word of caution: Silliness and swearing may occur.

A Seaweed Love Story –
the jumbledeydup story and the future possibility story meet on the beach.




Is there a story that needs to be released or transformed with you?
There always is for me and the women I work with – so we play with story and how it lives in us all the time with painting using intentional creativity.

Recently, while at the beach I found myself playing with seaweed. Yep. My Muse picked up these two differently shaped pieces and they started to talk to each other. No it is not boredom – it is absolute muse-infused ridiculousness. So I pulled out my trusty Mac and hit record. I had been thinking about how to capture this concept about how story lives in us to share with my Color of Woman graduate teachers.

There is a longer more coherent version of the “Moving A Story Teaching” video below the – What is Intentional Creativity Teaching.
For close to twenty years I have worked in the arts in my own creative practice and in the lives of thousands of women who have a desire to heal themselves, and heal others, and, find sparkle and play in the healing journey.
Most healing starts with a story.
The story of what happened and what we made it mean.

Sharing this with you is a part of my story and how this movement got moving. This is my ministry – to share intentional creating with those who have a desire to heal, and transform their stories into legends.
What is The Intentional Creativity Movement?
by Shiloh Sophia
There is a movement moving through our world right now with a vision of healing. A movement where the individual and their story can be transformed from the inside out – not from an outside source or external medicine/healer. This transformation happens by the choice of the one telling the story in the first place. The one who is at cause for changing it in a way that works for the creation of their lives. Through choosing to create with intention, we become empowerd to be the author of our future.
We are a tribe of creative beings causing our own movement in art and image that is created with intention. I have worked in this creative technology for close to twenty years and thousands of women have participated in this work through making their own images and stories. A gathering is happening… the image of the feminine is changing in our own hands. A movement can happen when a quantum mass of people begin to gather and create around a specific theme or vision. Here is a little offering about the story of Intentional Creativity as taught in the Color of Woman and in the revolutionary educational work of Cosmic Cowgirls University.

It all begins with a story, just like everything does.

I believe that story lives in image inside of our memory banks. So when we experience trauma or beauty, that story ‘lives’ there and can be replayed by us – by choice, and also not by choice. The ways in which memories rise for us are often out of control and we form negative thought patterns around these loops which, over time, get even more ingrained in us. Like a groove that we keep falling into even though, at some subconscious level, we know the groove is there. Knowing it is there doesn’t do much to change how it operates in us – though, yes, getting it conscious helps, but there is more to be done if we are to transform how our stories live in us. Trauma can get stored not only in the spirit memory, but also in the body memory and it becomes patterned into us in ways that we have very little control over. There are ways to gain some control, as well as some participation in our stories and that is what intentional creativity is about.

For the stories to change we have to change how they live inside of us, how they are stored and how we relate to them. Working with our wounds through therapeutic tools is powerful and healing and has given a voice to the unspeakable stories. However, many of the stories – which are related to differently than before simply by witnessing and sharing them out loud – don’t change in us that much in the way they operate and, also, our stories don’t change their domination over us just by getting them conscious. A lot of the grooves of how our old stories work are connected with how our brains work. We can learn to work with our brains to heal our stories and by repatterning and yet there is still so much will and mind needed to truly change the patterned grooves. That is why so many powerful healing remedies which are based on body, breath, art and heart work have come to rise to bring us new information about how we function as humans, and how we can heal.

How do we change how the story lives in us?

We can change how our stories live in us. That is what intentional creativity is about – first we get the story conscious and then we ‘move’ how it lives in us. To do this we need to change our relationship to the story physically, spiritually and through ‘form.’ (Yes, the creation of form in the physical universe.) The memory was created through witnessing and experiencing a form based incident – it was physical. So to change how it ended up ‘storing’ itself inside of us, we need to have access to all three levels:
  • Physical Body Memory – meaning our own body form and where the story is lodged physically.
  • Spirit Memory – meaning the way the story lives inside of our spirit.
  • Creation Memory – meaning associating a new story in the physical and spirit world regarding that story.
The actual space and time continuum where the incident occurred, where the story ‘happened’, is what the brain and body use as their mechanism to form and inform their existing patterns. Again, we have very little ‘choice’ as to where and how the experience lives in us. Our victory is that we survived. How to get the story changed and adjusted in the physical and spiritual realms is often our missing piece in healing story. Over time, as we work with each core story and how it has harmed and helped us along, we can create an overall wholeness experience, a conscious reweaving of the fabric of who we are. When we work with intentional creativity, the individual gets access to the stories that have shaped them and to their beliefs and they can begin to ‘narrate’ in the future how story lives in them and how an incident is stored up and handled by the body-mind-spirit connection. But, they also get to go back and deal with each of the primary stories of hurt and breakthrough so that they can more intimately work with the wounds, which often become tools for transformation in the authoring of their future.

Image is the key to transforming how we view ourselves

Image is the way to change the story. But, not just image that yousee though that is a part of it. If a woman experiences a physical assault, images of women victims will trigger her own wound – this we know. If she sees an image of a woman of power, she can gather strength from that image to rise from her own story. But this only takes her so far. She can create an entirely integrated archetypal image of her own self image, through working with the image of the feminine, which she creates from within instead of continual external reference points.

How this began in a therapist’s office
In the beginning of my career as an artist I studied with Artist Sue Hoya Sellars exploring the long hidden and lost images of the feminine. Following my first art show, I began to work with a female therapist who worked at a mental health agency. She asked me to photo copy images of my drawings so that she could share them with her clients who had experienced sexual abuse and other kinds of trauma. She said that there were no image references for them to use to ‘heal’ their images of themselves as wounded women. I transferred the images I drew of positive, feminine, empowered, whole, holy women onto stones and she would lend out the stones to the women clients so that they could look at the image and, in some cases, place the stone onto their body or heart. This was just the beginning of a movement that has now spanned close to twenty years of working with women to heal how they experience themselves.

After much urging from her, Aletheia Mystea, I created my first Coloring Book, Color of Woman Journal, and the therapists went wild. I could not keep the copies in stock. I had painted and signed each cover so it was personal from me and off they went to do their work. (At the time I didn’t know that ‘coloring’ could break a psychotic loop.) The books are now used in lockdown facilities for women in the psyche ward as it helps them to stop the pattern they get into that they cannot get out of themselves. In addition, it helps them to increase their ability to memorize. I began to wonder if they colored in a breast or a hip with ‘love’ for themselves were they memorizing a new relationship to that part of them?

How making our own image is healing

Further on down the road I began to be ‘asked’ by moms to teach their daughters. I began to see the results of working with a feminine image that they created themselves – regardless of whether it was perfect or pretty – because they identified with it as being ‘them’ and their self image began to shift. Over time, and thousands of books and students later, I studied the trends and patterns that I witnessed in my students both online and in person and discovered what I consider to be breakthroughs in the arena of how image is a profound tool for healing and reshaping ourselves. We have known this for a very long time and still, in some ways, we are still at the forefront of just how powerful this can be in the recovery process. When we are hurt our image of ourselves is altered and it is a long road, as anyone in the self help or healing worlds knows, from I don’t feel good enough or I am ashamed of my body, to I feel like myself or I am well or even, I am in love with who I am. This long, long road, through intentional creativity can become a journey of a lifetime – an awakening to what is possible for our lives and who we are. This is why I started the Color of Woman Teacher Training and we are now in our fourth year!

So if making our ‘own images’ can help us change the internal image of how we view ourselves within, might that change how we relate to negative external images and how we let those images inform our view of ourselves and what we purchase and what relationships we have and how we treat our body and how we walk in the room and take up space? All of these things are based on images we have seen and the things we experience visually and physically. As beings of ‘sight’ our perception of who we are is informed greatly by what we ‘see’ out there which shapes how we ‘see’ internally and then how we see ourselves. But we have largely been bystanders as to how this “seeing” works. We have very little clue, no matter how smart or enlightened we are, about how we structure this human design to receive informational stimulus from outside of us and how we let that inform our internal experience of ourselves – which informs all of our choices. Our story of ourselves, who we experience ourselves AS, is what creates our life – if we don’t believe we deserve love we allow ourselves to suffer with less love. If we believe we deserve to be loved, we will continue to look until that feeling in us matches an experience of that.

Many of the images of the feminine are representative of women that we do not identify with and yet, since those are the icons of ‘what to be,’ our chance of knowing how to shift that is rather intellectual – and most of us do not succeed in not comparing ourselves to other women. In addition, the images of the feminine that existed for the past 50,000 years have often been hidden from our view and for many years we didn’t even know that there were images of the Goddess previous to the past 5,000 or so years. The movement of the ‘divine feminine’ has gone a long way in helping us to see ourselves as included in the creation. Even though we give birth we still needed to SEE the images of the Goddess to see that we are life-giving enough to identify with it as powerful part of who we are.

These soul-full findings are why I began to really teach this work to other women, and to teach them to teach it to themselves and other women through the Color of Woman. This work lights up my soul fire and from that space of passionate action my own life dream is being fulfilled. When I was just starting out on this journey it was my ‘piece of the red thread’ to transform the way the feminine is viewed in my lifetime. I had NO idea at the age of 23 how that could or would become possible, but now I know.
Here is the video I made where I share about how a story moves in us and how it lives inside of our brains.


How does making our own image change how we see ourselves?

There are several things that happen when a woman begins to create her own images. First, remember that almost all of us created when we were little children. Crayon and paper were not just given to those who showed a propensity for creativity, they were given to all children. So, at some core level, there is an understanding deep in the culture of our people that little people should experience drawing, which we do long before written language. Drawing is our first language beyond sight and sound that we make ourselves that is not really in response to anything external – we are not drawing a house out there, rather we are making scribbles on a paper, however incomprehensible in the beginning – it is our own language.
I have worked with children and asked their parents to let me do their first drawing class when it was time for them to move beyond the marks on paper stage – I take their little hand and draw a circle over and over and then they do it, over and over, and their experience of having control from within begins with that connection point. This occurs differently than having them draw something outside of themselves where they can notice it is not really ‘like that.’ Teaching internal referencing can be profoundly powerful for the development of the individual child and human of any age. Teaching them how to lead with the right brain instead of the left as the origin of a particular action could go a long way towards keeping tiny soul fires lit throughout a lifetime.

To step out of the over-culture that dominates our lives internally and externally what is needed first, just like healing, is to consciously choose to explore our story about how we have been living and operating inside of our lives. Then, we begin the change through intentional creating that brings us across the abyss to what and who we could become.

Is this just spiritual stuff or is it more than that?

We all know that the right brain and left brain function at different levels and capacities. Most of us are left brain dominant with some right brain sprinkled in. To change that, and include more of the flow and image and color and light and insight of the right brain, we have to choose it consciously. The left brain thinks nothing of using the right brain in service to the desire of the left to make shape into form that makes sense and fits the boxes it needs to in order to sustain structure. The right brain, however, doesn’t always know it needs to connect to the left brain to make its thoughts and dreams manifest – hence why it is so hard to change our patterns even though we so desire it and also how hard it is to create a life that reflects who we are. The right brain needs to learn how to include the gifts of the left, but to employ that we have to consciously choose how to use the right brain – to ask it to employ the left brain gifts in service to its dreams instead of just the dominant other way around. It is helpful to think of the voice inside of us when thinking about right and left and to imagine that the critic lives in the left hemisphere and the muse dwells in the right. When the Muse is given the power to employ the left, the choices and results are different and often more balanced with the soul desire and sustainability of that human.

There is a lot of nueroscientific backing to these thoughts, connected with how the brain works and functions so that we can study it and talk about it. Most of all, that we have the capacity to learn how it functions just enough to participate in how we see and think and therefore act upon our lives. Through giving image and language of our own story we begin to understand what role we might have in the work of authoring our own future instead of just being at the effect of a life happening “to us.”

Working with art to transform our stories involves a process not dissimilar to transference. It is helpful in this case to think about a talisman – the creator of the talisman is literally ‘transferring’ their energy INTO the physical object. When something is transferred, there is an open space in the psyche.

When we create with intention we are making: Talismans

Talisman comes from the root word in Greek teleo which means “To Consecrate.” The meaning of it has to do with the person who makes it, charging it with powers, blessings and/or healings through choice. They are charging it up, in essence, with prayers, hopes and dreams. Legend has it that the more specific one is with what they put into the creation of the ‘thing’ – the form – the more direct the response is from the Divine. So often it is used in manifestation, calling in or awakening that which we choose to bring to our attention. The process can create an opening in us. Then we have access to information that we did not have before. Just as significant as that is the concept of transference. That we could MOVE a mind-body-spirit based story ONTO a physical surface (canvas) with the intention of changing how that story image lives in us. Finally, there is some psychic space around the gripping patterned synapses that have been living within us for so long.

The making of Talisman/Taliswoman is different than making an idol of something as we are not worshipping what we made or confusing the thing with the divine. The act of making it itself is what makes the opening happen in the universe for the information, the in-form-ation, to come through and is what brings our awareness into alignment and harmony with what it is we are choosing to focus on. It is not uncommon in the act of creation, whether that be a song or a dance or a painting or a sculpture or a soup or a garden or a necklace, for us to receive information, be in-formed by the process because we are focusing and paying attention with our deep listening. In anticipation we seek to be informed.

Over only the past 3 years close to 80 women are graduates of thisColor of Woman training. I never dreamed that this could be possible – that I would be sharing this most exquisite of gifts with women worldwide and teaching them how to bring healing to other women through the transformation of personal image. The feminine rises as each woman inhabits her own fullness – and all of us benefit.

Bringing our intention to the canvas

This kind of working is called Intentional Creativity and asks that you bring your story to the canvas and into the paint strokes. Layer by layer, a call and response begins with the canvas and what lies just beyond the physical realm into the mystical. We always begin a painting with an overarching intention. Then each step is a revelation in both consciousness and in design that creates the breakthrough (they just begin to happen there in the subconscious without effort.)
The effort becomes the act of creating and is driven from another place within us that we all have – the desire to express ourselves, to be seen and heard and loved, to belong to ourselves and to each other. When we create we are often creating from this place whether we know it or not. The choice to create with intention sets our brain into the track to access and employ memory and longing but we don’t then have to dominate the breakthrough – it happens organically by being carried by the original intention coupled with the creative actions that are based ultimately in movement, since we are moving when we add paint to a canvas.
Connecting your intention is like finding a clear signal on a radio that is tuned to a specific frequency that opens channels to the subconscious and unconscious that we are ready to deal with. The layers of consciousness then yield up into the creative process that which needs to be worked with next. Layer by layer new space is created. Once the story is transferred to canvas it lives inside of us differently – the way it used to operate is now dis-lodged and we can consciously choose what to do to work with the space we have now cleared up inside of our internal story pattern.

What is fascinating is that creating art is always good for us – but whether or not it is truly healing (because our brain and body choose to engage in that healing process), is through one specific thing… Our choice to engage ourselves in a conscious act of creating, instead of just creating. Many artists don’t experience their art as healing, although many would call it cathartic or life saving. Still, the capacity to use it as a tool to know oneself is dependent on one’s intention to do so – that is why we call it intentional creativity.

My own origin of intentional creativity began with a day in the studio of the Master Artist, Sue Hoya Sellars. I was wedging clay and complaining about how hard it was, how many bubbles and stones there were and how my hands were hurting. She is a chop-wood-and-carry-water teacher so we had spent a long time digging that clay and mixing it to make our own. I simply wanted to throw a pot, not make clay out of the mountain.
As I complained, without looking up from stirring her tea she replied, “You have to put your intention into what you are doing.”
She then asked me, “What is it that you truly care about?”
I said, “I care about ending violence against women and children.”
She said, “Put THAT desire into the clay as you wedge.”
My whole life changed in that moment. I was set upon my path at the age of 23 catalyzed from that moment after a lifetime of my mother teaching me how to choose how I view the world and what my experience of it would be. And so I was trained and ready to have that thought about putting my intention into my work transforming not only how I worked, but how it felt to work. And that not only changed the outcome of what was created, it changed the purpose that thing held and what its vibration was.

The image above is from my very first art show in 1995, a combination of illustration, acrylic transfer and photographs of trees, clouds and roses that I took – this very image was one of the first three images that TRANSFORMED my entire view of myself, and do I dare say, THE UNIVERSE? And, Her.

And so this is how this movement moves, one woman at a time. Through putting the tools of creation into her very hands.
In a world ravaged by war, and an all out attack on women and children each of us must choose how we will respond to ‘what is’ and how we will navigate the terrain of being called life. Making art and offering it as healing to others is the way I choose to respond. I respond in beauty. I choose to hold my piece of the red thread and to be a blessing to those I am called to serve. This is my story and the one I am creating.
What story are you creating or calling in? What is ready to brought forth from within you?
Signed in A Red Thread of Hope. They say that those who are supposed to meet are connected by an invisible red thread since before birth….and so we meet…and meet again.
Interesting Image
If you want to learn how to paint using the Color of Woman Method there is most likely a teacher or a workshop happening in your area – check the tabs above for dates and offerings.
Interesting Image

The Song of Tough Angels

Patty Melnice of Tough Angels joined our community a few years ago, and when I saw her website and what she was up to I was profoundly moved by her work. I love hearing the stories of all the good work being done by all of these amazing service based organizations, but when it is one woman on a mission I have to say I get fired up. Patty and I have been keeping in touch as time moves along and her vision of working in Africa makes me hold onto that red thread of hope. The song of tough angels like Patty is hope, and it gives us all hope when we hear her story, and the story of the women and children she serves.

Patty and I have been speaking about how to collaborate more in the future – to share the work the Red Thread Nation and our tribeswomen of Cosmic Cowgirls and Color of Woman are doing with bringing self expression into the world. With technology advances and increased access to platforms in Africa, Patty and I talked about being able to bring creative processes of healing through video. This is in the works… Let me share Patty with you… ~Shiloh Sophia

My decision to quit my job as a visual stylist for a luxury retailer . . . to put my belongings in storage . . . to walk away from my home . . . to venture into the unknown and travel alone to South Africa, followed a divorce after 24 years of marriage. My life had to be about something bigger than my divorce, and I couldn’t think of a better way to move through the heartache than to be of service to others. I never dreamed however, that it would change the course of my life so completely. Moreover, I never dreamed my actions would have a ripple effect that would reach further than I ever imagined possible.

After spending six months, independently volunteering in Africa rescuing children that had been raped, I returned to the US driven by a voracious passion for aiding and assisting women and children of violence. I don’t know why I’ve been chosen to do this work, but I do know there are far too many synchronies to deny my life’s purpose. After my experience, I was determined to incite awareness as step one to begin the process of transformation and healing for women and children far less fortunate than ourselves. Surprisingly, along the route, what I discovered was so much more about myself. I found I had the courage to walk away from my comfortable lifestyle in order to dedicate my life to humanitarian efforts. I have recently founded my own non-profit organization, Tough Angels, Inc.

I am determined!

Rescuing children that had been brutally raped and the rate at which it occurred was an incomprehensible experience that I didn’t know I was equipped to handle. I assure you however, I found so much more there than tragedy. I came to know and love these wonderful, strong, forgiving and grateful people that became my teachers.

It would be impossible to illustrate with any accuracy the depths of adversity and hardship that is experienced in this culture. To give you a thumbnail sketch of what I encountered, the youngest rape case, though not uncommon, was a 4-month old baby that died from her injuries. From point of rescue, to the final court proceedings of each case, I worked with the child victims, the police, Child Protective Services, the hospitals, and the judicial system to address what is now an epidemic problem in Africa. The final case I was involved in only days before I left the continent, was an 11-year old girl; stabbed, raped and left for dead on the side of a road after her perpetrator rolled a huge bolder on top of her tiny body. The brave little girl clung to her life and was able to give us the details necessary to track down the rapist. The police officers and I searched for days through the impoverished hills of the countryside for the rapist. High speed chases, guns firing, and attack dogs still did not deter this man. Each day the little girl clung to her life. In the end we did catch him and in the end, she lost her life – oddly within minutes of his capture. Did she fight to stay alive until he was arrested? I always believed she did.

South Africa claims the #1 spot in the world for rapes of women and children and HIV infections. Many of these tragedies can be blamed on a tribal myth that exists within the poverty-stricken communities that believe purification and a cure for AIDS can be attained through sexual intercourse with a virgin child. The work required around education, prevention, and the reporting of the abuse in order to undo this myth is believed by some, insurmountable. I however, believe that by empowering the women to have a voice, to stand for justice, and to refuse to accept this as a way of life for themselves and their children is the way to bring about change. Women rising up . . . this is new for them!

I worked closely with the Zulu people and one woman in particular, named Lady Fair, became my benchmark for grace, gratitude and generosity. Lady Fair is a single Mom supporting her family of 5, in addition to 11 orphans that she has taken in off the streets. She receives no financial help for the orphans and she once told me that if she had 2 potatoes, God would want her to give one away to help others. Lady Fair lived in a tiny tin shack with dirt floors, no running water or electricity. She never complained, nor did she ever ask for help. When I became aware of her circumstances, I knew I could not leave the continent without helping her. I had no idea what that looked like or how I was going to accomplish it but I was determined to create a warmer, safer place for her and the children. Without financial means of my own to achieve this, I pawned my wedding ring and with the help of friends was able to secure land and build Lady Fair a house. She now lives in a home with a secure foundation, and running water for the first time in her life.

That being such a cathartic experience for myself, I started “The Wedding Ring Project” as my first campaign to raise funds to return and build a safe house in the Kwa Zulu Natal region of South Africa. Others can do the same and donate their broken, unused, or repurposed jewelry to Tough Angels, Inc.

I remain in touch with Lady Fair as I’m certain I will until my final breath. She is my sister. She recently told me that she had been in a deep dark hole all her life and many people had stopped by to look at her in the hole. She stated that the change occurred because I believed in her, and the difference being, I got down in the hole with her to help her out. I did not do anything extraordinary. I saw a need and stepped up . . . the same as anyone with a heart would’ve done. The real story is in what Lady Fair has done as a result of being given a chance. We were recently in contact, at which time she told me she had a surprise for me. Within days, I received a letter from an attorney in S. Africa with an attached proposal for a safe house Lady Fair wants to build and facilitate. Can you hear me screaming with excitement and joy?! Her dream was to run her own safe house for children awaiting placement in adoption or foster care once they had been rescued from rape. The name for her proposed site is Ngiwelise, which loosely translated means “crossing over the bridge but remembering where you came from and turning around to help others cross over too.”

Contained in the proposal is the outline of who the safe house will accept and assist. In addition to the children awaiting placement, Lady Fair will care for children of teenage mothers during the day, with the stipulation that the moms attend school. That is where the healing begins and change begins to take place. One by one, life improves and it begins to have a ripple effect. We can all be part of the solution to make a difference! It doesn’t require going to a developing country and volunteering for 6 months, but it does beg us to get involved. Spread awareness. Brainstorm ways to bring about change. We are all in this together.

I keep this photo handy. When I first arrived, I remember riding in the backseat of a police car with this little girl on our way to the hospital for her forensic exam. It was about 1:00AM and the night air was blowing through the opened windows of the rickety police car. She trembled in my arms with her head resting on my heart for the entire ride. We couldn’t speak each other’s language but I wrapped her in all the love and protection I possibly could. Months later, right as I was getting ready to leave, I was at an orphanage and didn’t even recognize her until she came running to me with open arms. She is my “hope” talisman and my reminder that we can heal . . . her body was indeed raped, but as you can see, her spirit was not.

From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the children and women I serve, we thank you.

Patricia Melnice, Tough Angels

How does art save lives? A public television interview with Susan Rossi

 

~ Editor’s Note from Shiloh Sophia: I would like to introduce you to Susan Rossi, friend, artist, co-teacher and a leader in the Red Thread Nation. Susan is a graduate of the Color of Woman Method and I so appreciate her approach to the work we are doing. Her experience in the therapeutic arts, as well as her rich history with Shamanism gives her an understanding and a language for what is possible in understanding how to use art to “save lives”. 

I invited Susan to share her recent interview with Cindy O’Connor from East Brunswick public television in this talk, Passion With Purpose. I hope you enjoy this interview with Susan and hearing more about her approach to the methodology and how it has woven with her existing practice. I had the pleasure of painting with Susan this weekend and in each exchange with this powerful healing woman, I felt a surge of gratitude to be understood. That the truly deep and profound messaging that comes through the painting process would even work with someone who is as ‘clued in’, so to speak as Susan Rossi. She knows her stuff. She has been doing this kind of work her whole life, and she herself says that this work can save lives, can offer, Passion with Purpose. When we create with intention – it is indeed, passionate. Meet Susan from Flying to the Heart.

 

flying_to_the_heart qoh
 

I have been a shamanic practitioner for close to 20 years, working with the BIG questions that people have – how to heal from emotional and physical traumas, how to find meaning in life, and how to be of service. Answering these questions through shamanic ritual and ceremony has shifted my life into a creation that feels full of goodness. Then, in 2011, I walked through a portal into a whole new dimension when I fell down the rabbit hole into Shiloh McCloud’s Leading a Legendary Life on-line painting class.

Through this work, I have become a Revolutionary Woman.  For the most part I am a peace loving, go-with-the-flow sort, let’s just see what happens and let things take their course. Now, I’m all fired-up, heart blazing with a mission to save lives and compost wounds to life-giving seeds with a drums, rattles and a paintbrush. My paintings were part of presentation given by Shiloh Sophia McCloud at the 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Shiloh presented paintings created by women of the Red Thread Nation, a tribe of visionary creatives who believe that Art Saves Lives.

See the images of 42 women artists as seen at the U.N. here

As a teacher and shamanic practitioner, I have been looking for a way to open the door of possibility for clients, of finding a new story to tell. The images in the UN slideshow line the passageway into a new way of working, joining the ancient traditions of image making as a path to soul and the shamanic methods of journeying into places beyond ordinary reality.

In this strange new land, I found that making art is a creative spiritual practice. My shamanic work brought up images, symbols and stories that held transformation, but I had never before birthed these powerful elements in “ordinary” reality. They remained in “non-ordinary” reality, rich with power and meaning, but never took on physical form. By painting them, but giving them presence in ordinary reality, I brought these images – holding my own inner wisdom – into sacred space onto the canvas. Looking at these images shimmering in paint, I feel the power that they hold for me and the teachings they impart. They are my connection with and my entry into the great transcendent wisdom that lives in all of us.

Lineage Pollination - in process

Lineage Pollination – in process

My inner critic had a lot to say about this process when I first started. The Critic nattered on about lack of creative ability, wasting time and all those catchy things that Critics say to hook us into stopping before we enter into the Dangerous Territory where there are no maps to Comfortville and Safety City. The Critic does not hold sway in these places, and NEVER want us to go there. Slowly, a new totem arose – The Muse, she who guides me into exploring what it feels like to bring my soulwork images to life, to bring Beauty (with a capital B) into being. And she doesn’t always mean what’s pretty to look at, because we go into the Dangerous Territory of the Shadow sometimes, where the only way out is through. The Beauty lives in the transformation of the old stories – the ones that trap me into places I don’t want to be – into Healing Stories of Infinite Potential Possibilities held in the container of the images they create themselves.

Amelia Moonlight Muse

Moonlight Muse by Susan Rossi

In this work, we understand that the Muse lives in the Right Brain, the place of imagery, metaphor and poetry – the link to our unconscious, our knowingness, our bright wisdom and radiance, the part of us that is always whole and undamaged. So my passion about the shamanic work I do with clients now includes a new purpose – to guide them on the way into their own brilliance and knowingness, the part of them that knows what needs to happen in order to invite transformation to the dance of Life. When they look at what they create on paper and canvas, the portal swings open to a new way of seeing, of perceiving the richness in their stories. I call this sacred practice of creation Soul Work Lab, the next step in the shamanic guidance they seek. It feels like a leap forward in the work I love – being a Wake-Up Artist and Guide to the Way In.

Susan Rossi

I am a Practitioner of Shamanic Arts, a Wake-Up Artist and a Guide to the Way-In at Flying to the Heart. I work with Soul-full People seeking to creatively travel the sacred path into the Heart of What Matters Most. My core belief is that each of us holds inside the seeds of creativity, healing and transformation. My passion is helping clients and students discover how to nurture roots, fruits and blossoms in the garden of possibilities, to align with their unique purpose and calling, and to shine their own brilliance and beauty in the world. I use traditional shamanic techniques as well as the process of intentional creativity to guide clients to bring healing stories and symbols into form through shamanic journeying and art as a creative spiritual practice.

This journey is not for the faint of heart. It requires the willingness to look deeply at what might seem impossible or frightening to change. It calls up the courage to paint the images of connection and write the healing stories that reshape lives, relationships, families and communities. It is my privilege to be a guide through the portal of creativity on this journey to joy, transformation and healing.

www.flyingtotheheart.com

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