Christchurch, NZ, our response – open me please

Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary, use words – St. Francis

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.

Rosie MacCarthy and Kerry Lee

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

Many trees of this nature of all different kinds are popping up around the world in our community – Witness Tree, San Diego, California, Shakti Rising, 2017
Shiloh Sophia and Kerry Lee at Wisdom 2.0 in February 2017

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:

Thank you in advance for your presence in our community. We are so grateful for any support you can give – prayers and good thoughts included. 

with gratitude,

The Intentional Creativity Foundation

On the left, Rosie in 2015 during the Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training, visiting from NZ, photo by Brunehilde Yvrande.

On the right, Dr. Mary McCrystal, Kerry Lee and Shiloh in 2017, teaching during the Red Thread Guide.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2019

MUSEA : Intentional Creativity Foundation

75 Fremont Dr. Sonoma, CA 95476 888 385-6866 [email protected]

www.intentionalcreativityfoundation.org

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.


Kerry Lee, Artist and IC Teacher: KerryLeeArt.com

Rosie MacCarthy, Artist and IC Teacher: RosieMac.nz

Please direct all inquiries to [email protected]

Key Sponsors

Christchurch City Council (CCC) Enliven Places Program
SPARK Foundation
Resene 
Placemakers

Key Supporters

Allright? Campaign
Christchurch Central Business Associatio
Naylor Love
Life in Vacant Spaces
The Intentional Creativity Foundation

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.

Here is how you do it: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZZKCT58U9KP88&source=url

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

Your Advocate in all things.


www.intentionalcreativityfoundation.org

[email protected]

888-385-6866

75 Fremont Drive: Sonoma CA 95476

A Trip to the UN: Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on the Native Hope site.

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.

Alexis facepainting and chatting with Native children preparing for a local powwow in Chamberlain, SD.

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.

“We don’t think art is something just for those who are gifted or creative, but is a way for all beings to access their own stories, ideas, beliefs and healing pathways,” says Shiloh Sophia, one of the Founders of the Intentional Creativity Foundation.

Healing Trauma Through Creativity 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.



An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Voz del Respeto

Emily Grieves – Teotihuacan, Mexico

In January, I had the extraordinary opportunity of collaborating on the creation of a mural with international muralist Benjamin Swatez. He visited Teotihuacan with a group that came to experience the energies and wisdom teachings held within the indigenous tradition of the 2000 year old pyramids and surrounding archaeological site.

The leaders of the group had asked me to suggest a place in the area to create a mural beneficial to the local community. Despite some initial doubts, I chose to see this as a beautiful opportunity for me to learn from an expert, a great artist, and to stretch beyond my own artistic limitations. I presented the idea to the principal where my son Marco attends, “Escuela Ignacio Manuel Altamirano” in the village of San Sebastian Xolalpa. She loved the idea, with a request to include an anti-vandalism message in the theme of the mural. The village, especially its schools, has seen a surge in vandalism and graffiti recently, so this message, which became, The Voice of Respect, seemed perfect.

I asked the principal to select about 20 kids, but not just the “good” students. Given the theme, it seemed especially important to include the kids who are the “problem” students, the ones who are overlooked and never chosen for something special, the kids who are perhaps most likely to commit acts of vandalism down the line. She chose the children accordingly, two or three from each grade, 1st through 6th

While on the way to Mexico from a project in Uganda, Benjamin had sent me a list of supplies to gather. This consisted of 1 gallon of white latex house paint, 2 liters of black, 1 liter each of red, blue, yellow, green and magenta. From my studio, I collected brushes, red oxide acrylic paint, jars, a bucket, masking tape and plastic drop cloth.

Upon arrival, my mother-in-law walked him over to my house, and when I opened the door to meet him, all my worries fell away. It was like meeting an old friend! He came into my studio and we immediately started pouring through books and magazines of Teotihuacano murals and symbols. We talked about the history and mythology and mystery of the images created by the ancestral masters of the pyramids, and how important it was for the children here today to understand and respect their own heritage. Then we began brainstorming the visual elements we wanted to include in our mural and sketching the basic composition. It was a true collaboration that flowed easily and effortlessly.

The principal gave us the thumbs up on our design, and we begin plotting it out on the wall with charcoal using a small digital projector. The projector was brilliant – it fit in the palm of a hand, had about 2 hours of battery life, and connected to a phone. We took pictures of the drawings on the phone and projected them on a much larger scale onto the wall and traced the lines in charcoal and then with black paint. 

It was an epic task to complete in just a few hours. Benjamin also painted a large-scale face of a beautiful little girl in his trademark realist style at lightning speed. I was fascinated to see how quickly he worked. By the time the kids came out to help us at 1 p.m., we had our lines, we had paint mixed into cups for them, and we had marked a dot of color in each space so that the kids could essentially “paint by number.” The American adults from the visiting spiritual group that had initiated the project joined us shortly thereafter, coming straight from the pyramids to the school to help. 

We included a typical Teotihuacana figure in the mural with a “noble speech” symbol coming from her mouth and holding an aerosol paint can directed at a huge eye, to convey this idea that respectful expression, vision and creation lies at the center of a unified harmonious community.

Benjamin speaks Spanish so he introduced himself to the kids (and their parents who had come to watch), and I gave them a brief motivational talk about the theme of the mural – about the vandalism problem and how reconnecting to their ancestral roots and taking pride in their heritage can help the youth learn to express themselves creatively in a way that is positive, beneficial and beautiful in their community.

The hour and a half with the kids was wild, exciting, and chaotic, as we had kids of all ages and in any given second I had a little boy or girl tugging at my apron asking me for more paint or a new color. I was relieved when our time was up just to take a breather but also in love with what the kids had so earnestly painted. We had a lovely surprise then – the parents of the kids who had participated had prepared a meal for us! They invited us all into the school yard where they had set up tables and they served us a typical regional meal of chicken mixiotes, rice and beans, with the intention that we “break bread” with the kids. So beautiful. Luc, a friend and colleague of Benjamin’s on his “Goodness Tour,” a global community mural and music mission, shared some songs with the group, and both Benjamin and I had the opportunity to talk in more depth to the kids and parents about the message of the mural.

When the meal wrapped up and the kids went home, Benjamin and I stayed to continue working on the mural. There was a huge amount of work to be done still, and time was running short. We spent much of the rest of the afternoon making adjustments to the areas that the kids had painted. In their enthusiasm, they had covered over many of the outlines we had marked and made their own unique, albeit abstract, creation out of our carefully plotted corn. We chose what to keep and what to adjust, and the end result has some crooked but clear corn stalks made by the kids. We painted until late that day.

I love the metaphor of the crooked corn stalk symbol – like a child’s life, it may have gone astray but righted itself again into alignment and positive growth toward the light of the sun!

The following day, Tuesday, we both arrived early in the morning, knowing that we had to paint like the wind to wrap it all up that day, as Benjamin had a flight to catch at 5 pm. I have never painted so fast in my life. We battled with the rough uneven surface of the wall, trying to get clean lines and clarity in all of the bumps in the porous surface. There were moments when I struggled with technical things, how to portray a shadow correctly, or a hand, and Benjamin never hesitated to take a moment to help me, in spite of the time pressure. In fact, he remained calm and tranquil throughout our hasty painting, never letting on if he was stressed or nervous, never losing his patience. His friend Kosar, an Iranian woman and immigrant to the U.S., helped us out with retouching lines all day, which was a huge support.  My son Marco also stayed for hours after school each day to help out with the lines and retouching. Benjamin reminded me frequently to go stand across the street to get a better perspective on our work. So funny, because I often tell my own students this in the studio, to stand back from the canvas for a better view, but I forgot all about that sage advice with the huge scale of the mural. 

We added in the title of the mural “Voz del Respeto” – “Voice of Respect” and signed it with our names and the name of the group that dreamed the project into being – High Vibe Tribe. We painted right up to the very moment that Benjamin had to go hop in a taxi to get to the airport. He literally went running down the street with the longer of the ladders we had used, hoisted on his shoulder like a true soldier of Intentional Creativity, to deliver it back to its lender before racing to the airport. I stayed at the school with my son plodding along on the finishing touches till late. On Wednesday, I felt rather lonely without Benjamin as I returned for a final day of completing the mural. This involved cleaning up any more lines and details, applying some final symbols to the sky, filling in some uneven color, and finally, applying a coat of sealant to the entire mural to protect it from the elements, the sun, and from potential graffiti from anyone who might not have understood the message – we hope that never turns out to be the case, but we wanted to protect it nonetheless. 

It was fascinating throughout the painting process to be so fully in the public eye, with many members of the community stopping to observe us and ask questions. It was a beautiful opportunity to share intentional creativity and the importance of teaching especially children and young people that there is a way for them to find outlets for expression that are grounded in respect and honor of their own history and cultural heritage. Creative expression can allow them to make positive contributions to their community, beautifying their village, raising consciousness, and unifying the people. The very final touch on the mural was a little banner honoring the children themselves and their participation. It is my prayer that those kids see the mural in ten or twenty years and remember how they are a part of “Voz del Respeto.” 

Emily K. Grieves received a BFA degree in art from the University of Montana in 1993, followed by study of art history in Berlin, Germany, as a Fulbright scholar. She lived in San Francisco, California, for 10 years where she began exploring symbolism, mythology, and ritual in her artwork, drawing inspiration from the celebrations and mysteries of life. She has been a practitioner of shamanic healing and hands-on energy work since 1997. 

As of 2004, she makes her home in Teotihuacan, Mexico, where she has painted murals at the Dreaming House spiritual retreat center and has created a body of artwork influenced by the cosmological imagery left in the ancient pyramids and by her relationship with her Muse and the Divine FeminineIn 2014, she opened her studio Taller de Arte El Refugio, in Teotihuacan.

Emily is a certified Intentional Creativity Teacher in the Color of Woman Method developed by Shiloh Sophia. She is also a member of the Intentional Creativity Guild, an international organization that promotes intuitive artistic expression as a way to make positive change in the world. Visit her at www.EmilyKGrievesArt.com



An Eye On Intentional Creativity:: Belonging

Olivia Oso shares her teaching journey of remembering our innate beauty and wisdom.

We gathered together in Eugene for the Sacred Tree Workshop and had an amazing time together. In the beginning of this painting process, all the elements where brought in to create the background. I asked the group to consciously listen to how each force lives within, earth, air, water and fire. A mark for a seed was added, representing the beginning of each person’s inner Tree of Life. We brought in the unavoidable tragedy line, as well as consciously acknowledging all the blessings and triumphs of our lives as well. A symbol to the Indigenous nature we EACH carry in own lineage and/or from the place where WE now live was added. 

 I brought in ritual each day using Palo Santo, sage and rose quartz, with each participant receiving a gift of their own stick of Palo Santo along with a journal. I offered other oils from the plant nations to bless their canvases, lavender, cedar, and sage. Each person was also invited to bring a symbol of their sacred intention and we created a community altar together.

My teachings involved information from the different spiritual traditions and I shared different perspectives as they connected to what it represented for them personally. I also used the symbol and parts of the Tree as aspects of our own body such as, roots,  truck, core, branches, leaves, flowers, inviting inquiry into what they represented in their own lives. Poetry was also used along the way.

In a guided visualization, I took them down into the roots of the tree to the core of Mother earth and up their spine with the chakra points, to a connection with Her, a woman who was a spiritual presence for them. 

When I illustrated my Composition, I was guided to bring both the Feminine form and the Tree of Life. Attendees could choose whatever they wished or were guided to do, specifically a tree or a Being, along with the Sacred Tree.  

Over the course of 2 1⁄2 days, my Beloveds were so wonderful to be with. As feelings of fear, grief, being stuck or blocked and being terrified were expressed, in spite of these emotions, there was such trust and openness to the process. As a facilitator of the Intentional Creativity process, It was a wonderful gift and blessing to witness the break-downs, breakthroughs, aha moments, celebration and expression of Creativity. It is always so amazing to remember why I do this work. It makes such a difference in the world. We all got to witness as the energy of the group shifted, as things got released, new stories created and joy expressed.

My passion is to guide others toward their inherent gifts in creative process. I love witnessing the Beauty of the earth in all Her many forms. I facilitate workshops and classes using Intentional Creativity in Portland, OR and beyond.

Find out about Olivia’s upcoming workshops and art at www.gypsyheartstudio.com

An Eye On Intentional Creativity:: The Empress Within

The Empress symbolizes humankind’s ability to extend and receive love.

A beautiful day spent with amazing women. Oh, how I love when women gather, good things happen. We had it all… laugher, story, heart tears, wisdom, homemade soup, gluten-free cake, painting, painting and more painting!

Using Intentional Creativity, we spent the day painting and exploring our personal Empress, who represents Love with Wisdom. In the Tarot, the year 2019 is the year of the Empress. She symbolizes humankind’s ability to extend and receive love. She is Demeter, the Earth Mother and Venus, the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Creative Power. We layered our paintings with personal symbols, planted seeds of desires, acknowledged and bowed to the story of our past, and envisioned and moved in the direction of our Empress.

The Empress knows the importance of, as Shiloh often says, giving from our overflow. She is a benevolent leader. She is feminine, sensual and passion. She is the creative spark, and to me a beautiful balance of the right and left brain, with the action to bring her ideas and desires to fruition.

As a teacher, I felt more freedom when I let go of the internal expectation of having to be the expert on the empress, and it was even more magical. I still held the space and held each woman, but inside I was able to let go of inner thoughts that I had to know it all. Instead I shared with the group WHY I was interested in the Empress. Just as the tarot has other symbols on each card, students explored symbols important to their own lives. I led them on a visualization thru the underworld gathering their gifts and knowings, then up to the upper world and eventually to their own throne on the mountain top surrounded with pomegranate and blooming flowers.

I loved how the women supported one another. It was a beautiful class. At the end I had each woman introduce their empress to each other. I wanted to cry from the wisdom they shared and I felt such deep love for myself knowing that I was brave enough to create and hold this space for these women to explore their inner Empress.

Terre Cerridwyn Busse brings Intentional Creativity to women in her community of Davis, CA. Find more about Terre’s classes at www.Twigsandtwilight.com.


United Nations : Join us virtually or in NY

The stories we are telling in our lives is part of what runs our lives. So let’s learn to tell a story of healing.

We are returning to the United Nations for the 6th time to bring Intentional Creativity to the table. This year, we are bringing Native American women with us to share their ways of telling and talking story, educate on the often missed status of Native Women in the United States and share the power of Intentional Creativity.

Many of us who serve, find ourselves traveling all over the world looking for those most in need to support with our time and resources. How about here at home, for those who live in the United States, the Native women are asking for our attention to be brought close to home. We have a serious need here to focus on.

Will you join us?

Herstory is being made as we speak…

How this connects to my path is shared below…

~ Shiloh Sophia

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is coming up in March!

Our Intentional Creativity community is headed back to New York for our 6th year and you are invited to join us one way or another – online or in person.

Please take the time to read this message, it’s important….

If you can join us for our free event at UNCSW or our longer workshop – HURRAY! And if you can’t, we are still inviting you to ‘join us virtually’. Below, learn how you can be a part of it from afar…and most of all…

WORK WITH US TO BRING NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN’S VOICES TO THE TABLE AT UNCSW by being a Support Sponsor

The HERSTORY PROJECT

Hosted by MUSEA : Intentional Creativity Foundation with Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud. In collaboration with Carmen Baraka : Spirit Warrior and Denise Wreden and Alexis Estes of Native Hope

2 Ways to Participate in Person:

Join us for a 5-Day NY Workshop March 8.9.10.11.12 to experience HERSTORY and celebrate women artists who have come before us – including seeing the museum shows together for Frida Kahlo and Hilma Af Klint. Our time will also include Post Trauma Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story.

Attend our FREE UNCSW Event open to the public: Post Trauma Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story. March 12, 10:30am – 12pm 4 W 43rd Street, Aqua Room – no need to RSVP – come join us. If you want join us for ritual and lunch following, then please register here to hold your spot.

Participate from AFAR

Support us virtually by being a Support Sponsor to bring the voice of Native American women in our community to the table. This is VERY important for reasons you can learn about below.

You can share with your friends on FB

Our healing begins with storytelling. And that’s why we tell stories.
~ quote from the Native Hope website

Watch this wonderful video about their work here.

We are SO excited to partner with Alexis Estes Woksape Ole Winyan (Seeks Knowledge), Donor Care and Social Media at Native Hope, who will be joining us: www.nativehope.org. Consider being a part of bringing her work as a storyteller and painter to the UN.

Carmen Baraka, Spirit Warrior, will be joining us for the second time to share about the reality of Native American women and children in the United States. She will also lead ceremony and circle along with her partner in life and ceremony, Denise Wreden.

The last time we were there, the participants admitted to being shocked to learn about the status with Native Women in the United States. They said they didn’t know – well we are coming to tell them.

“We stand firm in our commitment to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression. In addition to being an integral part of the protected human right to freedom of expression, artistic and creative expression is critical to the human spirit, the development of vibrant cultures, and the functioning of democratic societies. Artistic expression connects us all, transcending borders and barriers.”

~ This quote has come from a joint statement made by 57 State Members at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and delivered by Ambassador Janis Karklins, the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations on September 18, 2015.

Sponsoring a Native Youth and Elders to attend UNCSW63:

This is our first Intentional Creativity Foundation sponsorship invitation for CSW since we began traveling to the UN in 2013.

All donations will go towards financing bringing a Native youth, elder, and staff from our Intentional Creativity Team, to the United Nations with us to share their stories and teach about story. This includes airfare, lodging and meals for three women (around 10k in total costs). Once those expenses are covered, remaining funds will go 100% towards the media sharing we are preparing for you.

Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud cover their own expenses and finance all aspects of the trip from personal funds each year. This is the first time we are saying, would you like to be a part of making it happen?

We’ve received requests from our community asking how you can be involved, even if you can’t come in person.

This is how…

BECOME A SUPPORT DONOR

The minimum donation is $55. You can also purchase more than one sponsorship in another woman’s name and/or honor, and we will reach out to confirm her name. Simply change the quantity from ‘1’ to the number of sponsorships you want to purchase to 2 or 3 or more.

For questions or large sum donations, you can contact Sarah Mardell, [email protected].

We will be creating a video documentary from our UN experience focused on Intentional Creativity and storytelling.

Support sponsors will be listed in our documentary credits by name or business.

The Intentional Creativity Foundation, Inc. is a fully recognized 501(c)3 Charitable Organization in the United States. Your donations will be earmarked for UNCSW and are tax deductible.


Today I am sharing part of my story with you and why this work and the Native American thread is so important to me. I would be honored if you would take the time to have tea with me for this Red Thread Letter.

When I arrive at the United Nations and see those 180+ member flags fluttering in the wind – my heart flutters. It isn’t that I think we are going to make some huge difference, but rather, that we DO have a voice at that table. Bringing art and storytelling to the UN has become one of my most cherished trips and experiences. I learn so much each time and I become re-inspired about our work with Intentional Creativity.

Jonathan and I are thrilled to be going to New York again for our 6th year supporting the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. It is such a JOY and gift to attend this event and be part of such important work happening in the world for women, girls and creativity. Many who have attended our gathering come to show us their red thread from the year before…and after our events, people say – they are so glad we are here because we provide some of the ‘positive’ stories and images.

There’s a spoken and unspoken connection when I’m there – as most of the women and men you see in the neighborhood of the UN are there on behalf of women. Something sacred passes between us as the streets and cafe’s filled with those who serve others with their life work. A smiling into healing between all of us. It feels SO AMAZING like being held in a cosmic colorful embrace. And the ‘outfits’ of the global women make me so happy!

I’ll never forget when I was first invited back in 2013 by United Nations Report Network and one of my mentors, Lois Herman, to speak and share my work through art and image and poetry – and to participate in powerful global conversations about issues affecting women. I wanted to share how creativity can be used as a healing modality for girls and women, post-trauma. THAT was a huge moment for me, like a full circle effect of the work I’ve been doing my entire life – a dream come true for seeds planted long ago in how I was raised.

For my presentation, I knew I wanted to share our community instead of just my work. I knew that one woman sharing her story wasn’t capable of demonstrating what was possible, so I chose to share the work of my students, over 40+ Color of Woman Graduates. My presentation was very well received and shared before thousands who were gathered in person and online – an epic moment of YAHOOO!

Here I am shaking in my boots and also very proud of the women of Intentional Creativity…

Here we are in 2016, when Spirit Warrior, Carmen Baraka smudged the United Nations Member Flags, asking for an apology for Native Peoples of the territory that is now known as the United States. You can read the article here. Suffice to say, there’s never a dull moment when the Cosmic Cowgirls are in town!

Healing the scars with our Native American sisters, brothers and this land is part of my personal path.

With everything happening in our sweet sad country I can’t help but look at the old wounds and crimes. We are built on the bones of occupation, colonization, slavery, racism and massacre. We know this. If we do not apologize in a proper manner, following the lead of Australia and Canada, to the first nations people of this territory…can we truly heal?

In a personal relationship, if an offense has been committed in the past, even if we think we are ‘moved on’ it just festers and it will come back; it is the natural cycle. Not like karma, but like nature. The buried toxicity will come out of our pores, and out of the earth pores, and out of the energy pores and be woven into DNA. This is like that.

We have a past relationship wound that needs healing. There is no moving on because how we started with our invasion here is STILL GOING ON THROUGH FOCUSED attacks on the Native Americans of this land and the land itself. ((((TEARS))))) How can it be that a nation as ‘developed’ as ours is not tending to this reality?

If we don’t heal the wound with the Native Americans of this land we will not have healing in this land. Let’s heal. This is my stand.

And if we do not have healing in this land, at least each one of us can take responsibility for healing our own relationships with the earth and each other. With a focused intent, not on feigned inclusion and looking good kinds of diversity. I am talking about relationships where there is something at stake between you, and the native peoples of the geography in which we are living.

In my heart of hearts, every time a crime happens here, this is where my thoughts go – we can’t heal if we won’t heal the past. The treatment of the children and families crossing the border is an extension and perpetuation of the exact same behavior that got us here in the first place.

It is not lost on me that guns were introduced by the foreigners to the Native peoples and now it is guns by common broken citizens that are showing us who we have allowed ourselves to become. We are in a cycle here, let us NOT miss this. Other kinds of senseless violence stir us and our hearts – but the gun kind has a maddening impact – the senselessness – even the lack of clear motive baffles us. We can’t understand this – but then how can we if we don’t even know where we LIVE. These ‘shooters’ are human beings showing us how sick we are. I pray for them and their families too. Will we just judge them as crazy and malicious instead of looking to the patterns they are revealing through their violence?

If a child in a family grew up to to be violent would we not first look to the parents and siblings for evidence, or reason? Think of the United States as a family who crushed another family and then tried to act like we had rights to do so. Why are we not looking to the roots of the violence here in the US? I know many are, but I am talking about your average every day American wanting to find the reason and change it within themselves and their country. When we look, we will find first the Native Americans closely followed by the enslavement of other peoples. And the never to be missed violence against women in any and all cultures, settings and time frames of the past 5000 or so years.

This story has duplicated itself over and over, having been to Hawaii and Corsica – two places that are occupied not unlike the US is occupied – you can feel the rumblings beneath your feet.

Who are we as a country has to begin with who we are as individuals since leadership right now doesn’t seem to represent most of those I know…(and if it does represent you, you too are welcome with the rest of us to keep waking up and taking action.)

Now I know that this conquering, raping and pillaging has happened all over the world since the beginning of time. Take over, crush the people before you and take their stuff. And I hate it. I don’t care if it has been happening since the first dawn of creation, we are done done done with this kind of power over mentality and reality. We are all suffering. Even those who would allow it, are suffering. Jesus says to forgive them when they know not what they do. But what about those who do? I will work on forgiving them too, but first, I ask forgiveness of my sisters and brothers of this territory in which I live.

“I am so sorry. I am standing watch with you to protect this earth. Please forgive me and my ancestors. I am seeing the ways of our ancestors and the harm it has caused you and continues to. Let’s move forward together. This is a start. I am here to learn from you.”

We keep trying to address these injustices through marches, lobbying, gathering, policy, social media, protests and on we go but there is a bigger force than that behind, that this barely touches. This is where the despair comes in and we feel like we aren’t making a difference. We have to show up and FEEL the solidarity and caring and bring as much change as we can to keep showing up to these things.

Yet I also know that the ENERGY and collective memory of the connection with the first peoples needs our attention. This is not just a policy fix, but a mending in the energy field of this planet. The Native teachings KNOW about energy and how it works. SO KEEP SHOWING UP. BUT also know that each one of us can, first in our own soul, apologize and FEEL this sorrow move through you like a rushing river. And become aware even a little bit, about what is happening to our people of the United States. I know it is a big ask and big for me too. This is my start.

Don’t know how to say I am sorry authentically? First say it to the air. Say it to the ground. Say it to the water. Say it to the trees. Say it to the creatures. Say it to the sun and stars. Say it to your sisters and brothers who are Native Americans. FEEL IT. Don’t know any? Go find ways to contribute without taking over their stuff. Ask yourself why you don’t have those connections. Don’t go with an idea to save anyone: They don’t need saving. They don’t need us foreigners: We Need Them. Ask for counsel on how to proceed. Don’t posture or feign or beg. Just be yourself in how you actually feel.

I was smudged before I was baptized. Since my early twenties Native American teachers have showed up, literally on my path, in my path and taught me. Saw me. And I am so grateful beyond measure. Gabby. Choquoush. Anton. Tonantzin. Carmen. Thank you. My teacher Sue was also part Blackfoot. My Grandmother Eden said we were part Cherokee but it doesn’t show in the DNA. So I am here as a foreigner and requesting conscious forgiveness. And conscious collaboration on behalf of our earth and peoples.

I also know my ancestors were fleeing persecution and domination where they came from. I am sad that they could not, would not, be a part of co-inhabiting this land in a beautiful way. I am sorry for them too. When I do this work in the spiritual realm through writing, prayer, painting and circle, I also speak to those in my family line who have gone before me. It isn’t that I am angry with them. It also isn’t that in my apology I think I am healing all the past. Or that saying sorry is going to do it. I know it won’t but I know it is a start, forgiveness is always a starting place for transformation. It changes the one asking, for one thing. Changes your heart and humbles you and makes you more supple. Mostly it is about acknowledging the past and creating a different future where conquering is no longer an option. I have spoken.

What is an apology if it can’t be heard and felt and is not backed up by action to protect and preserve and change our ways? http://indianlaw.org/node/529

Repairing these individual relationships with consciousness is how we will survive these times. Start somewhere. Start with prayer, even if you don’t know how.

This is my personal experience offered up. You have your own experience. Speak that. Have corrections? I will make them. I am not supposing to get this right but to be part of the story. But in trying to get it right and be politically correct with the to date stuff, many of us are being silent.

Inspired to comment?  Come on over to my Artist FB Page.

“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence” – Mourning Dove Salish

Jonathan and I during our United Nations visit 2013

Here is the slideshow I shared during my 2013 presentation ~ The Soul Fire Collection comprised of works from 42 Color of Woman Graduates in 2011 and 2012. A testament that healing and transformation is possible through Intentional Creativity.


NEW YORK HERSTORY EVENT DETAILS & REGISTRATION

BE A SUPPORT SPONSOR HERE


When I travel to the United Nations, I LOVE being in person with those of you who can make the journey, including members of the Intentional Creativity Guild and Cosmic Cowgirls. This gathering makes us feel so proud and see the bigger picture of our work.

Each year we host an event or two in New York, where we can be in circle together and connect red threads and this is how we often finance the journey. This year’s workshop, starting on International Women’s day, has a focus of HERSTORY ~ looking together at our own stories, the stories of the pioneers of the women’s movement, and to women painters that we consider ‘intentional creatives’ – in that they told stories intentionally with their paintings and coded them with personal mythology.

You can join us for the full 5 day workshop. Festivities begin on March 8 and complete with a celebration luncheon following our event at UNCSW on the afternoon of March 12. The workshop also includes journey’s to explore the work of women artist’s Frida Kahlo and Hilma Af Klint at museums – how cool that these shows are in NY right now!

Or, just join us on the 12th for the free event at UNCSW. You can choose to register to attend the luncheon afterwards ($45) or just come to the talk/circle at 10:30

And…if you’re inspired to support our journey…please do. Be a part of making this happen with us.

All details to join us or sponsor can be found here.

May you feel the spirit of connection flowing between all of us. May you remember your own unique piece of the red thread truly, deeply, matters. That which is YOURS to cause and create.

with gratitude for work I love, with people I love…


There is an uprising of creative beings happening

We confirm what people already know –

there is relief from suffering through creative acts.

We are a witness to the power of circle, beauty and story

as an antidote to negative self images

and the suffering caused in our lives

when we don’t believe in ourselves and who we are.”

~ Shiloh Sophia during her first visit to the United Nations, 2013


An Eye On Intentional Creativity:: Body Embrace

What is a story you’ve held onto, that is no longer serving you about your body and beauty?

With this potent question came Ally Markotich’s vision to introduce an Intentional Creativity process to a community of intergenerational women. So it was, that this powerful group of women came together for Ally’s Body Embrace Workshop. Attendees ranged in age from 14 to over 60, including a mother and daughter, all ready and hungry to explore their narratives around body & beauty.

“I gave permission for people not to filter themselves and to be as honest as they needed to be.”

Each person wrote an intention to hold for themselves, and the level of sharing during the circle was intimate and deep. 

This work is about the process, not the end result.

Ally explains, how part of her job as a Color of Woman Teacher is to help guide students to recognize the voices of the Muse and the Inner Critic. Activating the voice of the Muse, helps diminish the voice of the inner critic.

A gallery style walk in closing, allowed each person the space to speak powerfully about their creations and what they were awakened to after connecting deeply with themselves through this work.

Find Ally Markotich’s Classes and Art at https://soulkindling.com

I feel incredibly honored to be doing this work in the world. I’m very grateful to be able to share Intentional Creativity in the community where I live. I firmly believe this is revolutionary and very needed for all the weight people carry.

I offer a creative spark of word and image where beauty is noticed, space is honored and inquiries are asked. Join me on my quest to live with loving intention!

An Eye On Intentional Creativity:: Finding the Flow

Color of Woman Teacher in-training, Milagros Suriano-Rivera, held her first Tea with the Muse Workshop with her daughter-in-law and her mom in San Antonio, Texas. Inspired by Shiloh Sophia McCloud’s Unleashed Feminine Flow exercise, the steps weave together intention-setting and paint to hone in on taking action towards that which we are passionate about. Milagros shares, “I just love talking about Intentional Creativity and how women respond when I explain how it works. I can attest to the magic and opportunities that present themselves for me and others. I witness the universe responding to me, when I show up and let my Muse show up as she desires.”

An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Our Black Madonna, Protector of Charlottesville

We are woven out of the fabric of Her robes,
and she embroiders us like millions of fibers of light
and glowing threads into the stars on her cloak.
We are always intertwined, and She gives birth to our true spiritual essence 
~Hobby Parent

Just over a year ago, I began a journey in painting called The Black Madonna Pilgrimage. This study was centered around the indigenous images of the Black Madonna, inspired by her legends throughout the world, teachings about her, and music dedicated to her. Stories and her traditions throughout the world were part of the curriculum, having been passed from generation to generation, some hidden in mystery and others changed in history.

For 33 days we held a container through an online circle listening for her message to each of us. Our paintings expressed the unfolding of our relationship with the Black Madonna in a process of discovery. We explored the symbols of her image throughout the world, and were guided on a sacred pilgrimage of the heart as we heard her voice within us. Sue Monk Kidd wrote of a Black Madonna her in book, The Secret Life of Bees, as well as her memoir, Traveling with Pomegranates. It was a journey in seeking the Divine Feminine for each of us as well.

As I began this painting of Mary, a churning of turmoil and violence arrived in our city of Charlottesville, VA. I wrote these words on my canvas as I listened to headlines of racial strife and civil unrest erupting in the streets of the small college town where I listen to music on Fridays, eat lunch with colleagues on the Downtown Mall, and raised my children. As the day progressed, the chaos increased, and I tearfully painted 19 prayers in red for the people who were injured in the clash of white nationalists and counter protesters on the streets of this historical place I’ve called home for many years. More trauma and an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” ensued as the hours passed, and the progress of the painting captured my impressions of the happenings that day.

 I was not a brave person in so many ways. I was not prepared to be present in a situation of that magnitude. My heart went out to the people much more valorous than I, who showed up and were witness to what was happening. My activism was expressed on my canvas, in the brush strokes that held the prayers for those who came to represent their beliefs and values, as well as those whose hearts were filled with anger and rage.

In reading and research, I found words by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author and activist: The Black Mother lights the treasure forward from the dark… dark that others might call chaos…And further, to strengthen ourselves to push back in ways within our reach… …that Our People, Our Nations on Earth Be Not Divided, Rather Be United.

So I continued to paint. Symbols of my spiritual journey, a line in connection to Infinite Wisdom, marks representing the Divine Feminine, and more prayers. Processing what was happening in our town, our country, our future. I painted more prayers in white for healing, love and compassion, and the grace to be able live in diverse harmony. And one, in reverence to the memory of Heather Heyer, who lost her life in the chaos. The days and weeks passed. I would paint for hours on some days and other days, my painting languished. I would look at the strokes and feel a sense of loss, of change.

She wanted to be a composite of color and light, symbolic of diversity and connection.

This method of painting I’ve studied is called Intentional Creativity, developed and taught by my teacher and mentor, Shiloh Sophia. There are many steps associated in this process, each layer a representation of the conversation between spirit and mind, painting and writing. As I write words on the canvas or in my journal, I listen to what comes up in my thoughts, and then I use paint, color and brush strokes to represent what I have pondered. It is a dance between Divine Intelligence through my consciousness to the brush onto the painting. A process of being mindful, listening to what shows up, and paying attention to the brush as it moves through me onto the canvas.

The next impression I received was a medicine wheel. A symbol in ancient cultures of balance and harmony. Contemporary representations of the medicine wheel emphasize the quest for harmony and balance, both within ourselves and with all communities and creatures on earth. The wheel also symbolizes a graphic reminder that change is inevitable, that development is a life process, and completing a circle of wholeness is a goal worthy of our attention. It seemed to be an answer to the many prayers and intentions that I had painted onto this canvas, for myself and for our community. And then the shape of the Madonna wanted to appear. I saw her image filling the circle and began to make the sacred marks that would bring her into presence. I’ve painted faces over the past few years, learning to shape the nose, brows, lips, neck, hair, and eyes, and her lines began to take form. More than that, her expression began to develop as I worked. It was a surprise and I was curious as the color and lines revealed her presence. The medicine wheel became a circle of light illuminating her from behind. Her spirit became more apparent as I progressed and she began to come to life. I typically don’t paint images in a realistic way, my interpretations tend to be more abstract and symbolic. But she wanted her expression to represent the sadness, the pain the Charlottesville community experienced in August of 2017 and the aftermath of changes that followed.

She wanted to be a composite of color and light, symbolic of diversity and connection. A blue eyed woman of color. My intention was to be mindful of the strength she embodied, her vulnerability in this madness, and the pain that has continued to divide people from fear, long held beliefs, and the misuse of power, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, heaven, and intelligence. She was making her presence and intent in protecting the people Charlottesville with wisdom and loyalty in response to the negative media surrounding the events that happened. Her message was also telling me that she wanted to hold all the people, ones were injured, as well as ones who spread violence and separation, those who were harmed, the ones who stayed home, and especially, the woman and men who died. And I listened to her voice, painted all who came, with differing intentions, who she holds in her embrace.

This process has motivated me to use my art for social justice and positive activism. In addition, I am very honored and humbled to have Marianne Williamson share my painting, Black Madonna of Charlottesville, on Instagram!

Hobby Parent is an artist, Intentional Creativity Coach and Teacher. She lives and works in her home & studio West of Charlottesville, Virginia, in view of her beloved Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoying nature and its vast sources of artistic inspiration. She works in acrylics, watercolor and mixed media, as well as graphic design. She began painting, drawing and illustrating in high school, although she has been an artist for as long as she can remember.

Reprinted with permission from Hobby Parent at https://creativesouljuice.wordpress.com/

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

Dance with the Paradox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will you answer?

Shiloh Sophia

Off the Map, Shiloh Sophia, 2018


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

FREE MINI-WORKSHOP HERE


Dear One,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rumi says:

“The day is coming when I fly off

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

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes?

What is the soul?”

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

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

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

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

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

Sending blessings along the red thread…

COMMENT ON ARTIST SHILOH SOPHIA

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

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

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

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

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


Seduce the Muse and
Tame Your Inner Critic Mini-Workshop

Join me on Saturday, January 26

During our time together you will discover

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

Come have virtual tea with me!


The Dance of the Critic
and the Muse

February 14 Online for 7 Weeks

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

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

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

Save the date and we will follow up with registration!



Loading...
X