United Nations CSW video* arts and culture + Livestream Saturday + Free Workshop in NY

We cannot turn from suffering. We just need to find new ways to be with it, creative ways, in which we can nurture ourselves while we nurture others.

 

Dear Creative Being,

I am writing you from snowy New York and wanted to share from the Red Thread Cafe here….

In the photo here you can see I wore my classic Muse clothes – sequined cowgirl hat, roses and faux fur lol. Gotta keep it fresh and fun especially when working with such intense topics, as the status of women. Being myself is KEY for me to BE WITH what is there.

Someone asked me if what I was wearing was in the traditional dress of my country 🙂 We had a good laugh and I told them yes, Cosmic Cowgirls land. I LOVE seeing the women in traditional attire from around the world – the women from Africa are dressed in so many shimmering garments – the most beautiful attire I have ever seen – and yes, with sooooo many sequins and embroidered roses. They often comment on my hat, and I say – we have to keep shining and sparkling while we do this work – they usually laugh and it is a sweet woman to woman moment across the chasm between us that usually exists. There is an unspoken connection here – as most of the women and men you see in this neighborhood of the UN are HERE on behalf of women – something sacred passes between us as the streets and cafe’s fill with those who serve others with their life work. A smiling into healing between all of us. For this two weeks of the year, those who serve women and girls are here and it feels SO AMAZING like being held in a cosmic colorful embrace.

Since I am here I have events you can join – you and your Muse would like to join me via livestream from New York for events inspired by my visit to the United Nations for the Commission on the Status of Women, including Frida Kahlo Stream & or The Frida Adventure Weekend with Emily Grieves (open to men and women) + free Intentional Creativity workshop Re-Visioning at the UN on the 21st working with your business from the heart of the feminine. You can check them all out here http://events.intentionalcreativityfoundation.org/newyork2017/

For years, tending to suffering has been a part of my work in the world – how to nurture others while nurturing myself. Coming here is a part of that for me – being a space and a place where I can bring creativity to those who serve others. Hence why the red thread – instead of talking about my work and service in the world, which I am truly so proud of – I shared something they can share with their communities, the red thread. This kind of offering both nurtures those I long to serve, as well as my own community of red thread, AND myself. When we have that braid of self, immediate community and those we serve that we do not even know – then there is a vitality that comes through that so many can feel.

I was so grateful to the handful of Cosmic Cowgirls and Red Thread Cafe women that showed up to support in person – how happy this makes me to know we are truly connected. We are also here recording interviews with Season Two of Power Creatives TV – very exciting to know such potent voices and minds.

You can watch a video of Monday’s panel that I had the gift of moderating with WUNRN on Arts and Culture with a amazing women creatives, Lois Herman of WUNRN with distinguished speakers, Lys Anzia of WNN, Noorjahan Akbar of Free Women Writers from Afganistan, Shiela Katzman of Ten Lanterns and Rosjke Hasseldin. Jonathan recorded thankfully- the lighting and quality isn’t awesome but it is here and you can tune in.Go to my FB page UNCSW here for video – we did a red thread circle with 50 people passing a basket of red thread…

May your day be blessed. May you feel the spirit of connection flowing between all of us and earth. May remember your own unique piece of the red thread truly, deeply, matters.

p.s. The poem I wrote is at the bottom of this email. Also if you are inspired to share the video you can do that right from the FB page – and we would love that.


Upcoming East Coast Adventures

March 21: United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in NYC
~ free Intentional Creativity workshop Re-Visioning Public Welcome!

March 16: Book Signings/Poetry Readings in Connecticut and NY ~ request the details

Saturday March 18 – Book signing in NY – LOCATION TBA 7:30pm(changed from Friday)

March 18/19: Frida Painting & Adventure Weekend NYC ~ Join in person at The Art Studio NY

March 18 WATCH and PAINT livestream/watch later


UNITED NATIONS CSW +
Poetry Readings & Book Signings

 

 SEE THE EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS 


FRIDA ~ In Studio or Livestream!

March 18 & 19 at The Art Studio New York

INSPIRED NARRATIVE PAINTING WEEKEND

Create a narrative self portrait inspired by the style of Frida Kahlo

Painting & Adventures in NYC, visit the Museum of Modern Art, Empire State Building + lunch out together and sketching. See Frida Kahlo’s paintings in the flesh!

RSVP HERE (space is limited)

Can’t join in person? Paint with us via LIVESTREAM on March 18!


Visionary Work

 

The work of a visionary is

to know the past, dream the future

and take action in the present.

 

We create a path where there are no paths

lay groundwork where no ground lay.

We see behind the veil of impossible/possible

and we do not let our fear stop us.

 

We do not follow the agenda

or the status quo or those “in the know”. No.

Our way is uncharted territory

At the gateway where the worlds meet

 

The work of a visionary is

to know the past, dream the future

and take powerful action in the present.

 

May LOVE be at the CENTER of all CHOICES

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 CreativityŠ, 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

Making art is more than intention, it is about communicating with the self

Artist Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Artist and teacher Shiloh Sophia McCloud paints on the floor of her studio near Santa Rosa, California, U.S. Image: Jonathan Lewis

Part of this article were previously published in WNN http://womennewsnetwork.net/2013/05/07/making-art-communicating-with-the-self/

In the global upsurge of world creatives finding their way to the camera, the canvas, the clay pots as a means of not only creating art but of healing themselves and the world, women are creating art as a tool for personal and collective transformation. Women, regardless of income, heritage, or geography are intentionally seeking an experience with art-making as a way to recover from a history of violence, trauma and broken lives.

The impact of hardship for women worldwide often causes both men and women to silence ourselves as we no longer speak of what has happened to us or how it feels. Over time this impact continues to harm us and our choices unless we can find a way to express ourselves, to transform and release the damaging images we hold inside us. Often, the most damaged image for women is the one too many women hold of themselves.

In a step toward creating a better life as we ‘dream our world’, we must first make use of intentional creativity. This means we have to literally create around our intention. Making art in this way is not about being talented, gifted or artistic. It’s not predicated on someone identifying themselves as an artist, or even feeling creative. This way of working comes from the therapeutic art realm and is all about establishing communication with ourselves.

Knowing how to articulate what we think and feel is a journey toward recovery for ourselves and everyone else in our world.

Let’s look at humanity

To create a context for how art has shaped and informed humanity, let’s look at the significance of how art objects, artifacts, throughout history document the culture of a people, their textiles, agriculture, geography, family life and spiritual traditions. Art is a record of knowledge, culture and meaning sent down through the ages through image, symbol, song, dance, poetry, recipes and stories.

If artists do not create, how will we know who we were 100, 1000, 10,000 years from now? What would we know of Egypt’s advanced spirituality and geometry without the Sphinx or Pyramids? Or the Maya without their great codices? Or early Christianity culture without icons? Buddhism without the Buddhas? The art of humanity is the very thing which helps us to understand the history of who we are and who we have been

Studying our creations from the past gives us the opportunity to explore the global mistakes we’ve made together as part of humanity. With a new chance to mourn the loss of disappearing cultures as we ‘hopefully’ choose to become co-creators of a new sustainable future.

We must be free to express ourselves because it is from that place of authenticity inside of each of us that we will build a future worth living. We think of freedom of expression as an essential human right from which all the other rights are drawn.

Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democratic rights and freedoms,” says the Human Rights Education Association, which provides an online resource to promote understanding, attitudes and actions to protect human rights, and to foster the development of peaceable, free and just communities.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 59(I) stating, “Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and…the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated,” in its very first session in 1946, before any human rights declarations or treaties had been adopted.

The right to self expression through freedom of information is what we usually talk about, yet few of us really think about our human rights. The right to understand and know how to access self expression is a human right.

So, what do we truly think and feel? Art-making can be a direct path to knowing one’s self as we express the knowledge of who we are – instead of just accepting, or resisting, the ideas of our dominant ‘over-culture’. Experts agree governments and the powers-that-be have often found it too dangerous for us to think for ourselves.

Feeling Free to Express

With the rise of today’s technology our freedom to express ourselves is changing drastically. It’s now happening to all of us in ways that are both beneficial and devastating.

In a thousand years will an I-Phone indicate the truth of an ancient people? Can we finally get how Venus of Willendorf describes her own people from 24,000-22,000 BCE?

According to UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, between 15 and 76 percent of women throughout the world will be targeted today under physical and sexual violence during their lifetime. It’s no surprise that many global women are trying to work through personal and ancestral experiences by actively seeking channels to improve their lives. When a woman gains the language of her own story through art she has a new ability to transform how the story affects her life and her choices.

Paintings are stories captured in image. They reflect emotional, physical and spiritual experience – especially for those who aren’t trained in the arts. Trained artists can manipulate image to their desires. While those just beginning have access to images that are often serve as vehicles of transformation, because they are untrained, the images are raw, truthful and revealing. The artist themselves becomes the hero of their own story.

Art has the capacity to give us the tools to reinvent our own images. It also helps us build a framework to see our stories differently as we put them to use in our lives. Past pain becomes future strength. Even the most challenging experiences can be put into the service of reinventing ourselves, and working with others who have had similar experiences.

Transition, Transformation, and Transcendence: What Intentional Creativity Did For My Life-Sumaiyah Yates

Shades of Color

Shades of Color

Like many of us, a heart-wrenching situation in my life brought me to the realization that I was not living the life I intended to live, that I was being a puppet in someone else’s show rather than being the director of my own life. It caused me to realize that I lived my life for everyone else — for my husband, for my child/children, for my job… I was “happy” because I was bending over backwards ensuring their happiness. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except when you allow it to consume you, you lose your Self. When you allow your being in the service of others to be your complete and total life with no regard for Self ever. That’s what I had done…

I found that the act of creating beautiful scrapbook pages was helping me to release past baggage and heal.

I also was in turmoil in my spiritual life. From the age of 8 years old I challenged the belief system I was raised in. I tried throughout my life to embrace the teachings and to see the beauty that those teaching me saw, but it just was not to be. I had left Christianity and embraced a more Eastern path, but that too left me seeking more and not being fulfilled. I immersed myself into a creative outlet — scrapbooking — which began my process and my path to becoming an artist and creative being.

Fast-forward a few years and I found Shiloh Sophia McCloud and her Red Madonna community and work. For a solid year I ran from her paintings and teachings. Her work was calling me — screaming my name — telling me to come and be healed and become a healer. Yet I kept running. I was confused and scared. I knew that I had found exactly what my heart had been bleeding for, yet the realization of this frightened me beyond imagination. I was frozen. Stuck. Held still in the spot that had become so familiar to me. My comfort zone that brought me little comfort…

Shortly before finding Shiloh, I transitioned from a “scrapbooker” to a mixed media artist. I embraced mixed media because there was so much more I could do on the page. Meeting Shiloh was the next step: moving from the page onto the canvas and painting. Making a larger splash of beauty and healing on the Universe.  I hadn’t painted before a day in my life. This was totally new. Nor had I taken any formal art classes other than those mandatory during 12 years of elementary, middle, and high school.  

I was  finally at the point where I wasn’t going to let my shortcomings be a roadblock for me.

Reflection of my Soul

Reflection of my Soul

I ended up taking Shiloh’s 2013 Great Work Retreat. In addition to the healing that I experienced during this retreat, I also realized what it is that I have been called to do as my work in this world. Yep – it included creativity. I would be using my talents to show others how art can be used to heal themselves and to understand by healing themselves the world is healed! Next stop: Color of Woman Teacher Training…only I wasn’t quite aware of that yet. Not only was the cost of the training class prohibitive for me — I’m the sole income earner in my household — but I had never painted before. I wasn’t sure I would be able to be successful in a training program that required copious painting. Shiloh ensured me that I could do it — not only financially but the painting part.

Shiloh helped me see that by opening to the process,  it in itself,  not solely in painting, does beauty manifest itself.

So, I embarked. I enrolled and worked through the Color of Woman training course, finishing the required work as well as all of the enrichment activities on time. Just 10 months after taking the first step which helped me to figure out my great work, I became a 2013 Certified Color of Woman Teacher and Certified Intentional Creativity Coach. I had arrived — at the beginning…

Yes, I am at the beginning of MY journey as a trained helper and healer.

During my time in Color of Woman training, I opened an art gallery and dedicated it to the positive image of women. It is a Gallery and studio combined: 1,000 square feet of commercial space whose walls hold the paintings from my heart to the world, where other artists’ work will grace the space and infuse positive imagery into the Gallery, where I hold Color of Woman painting classes and journal workshops, where I will launch Transcendental WINGS: Women Intent on Nurturing the Goddess pSyche…

Self Unity

Self Unity

My work as a Certified Color of Woman Teacher involves bringing the healing power of art and intentional creativity to the masses, with a specific eye on women of color. I find in my experience that women of color often know of the goodness of intentional creativity, intuitive painting, and other forms of healing through art.  They may not always take the next steps, exploring how instituting a creative practice in their lives causes healing and creates beauty and healing for others. I unfortunately witness my sisters running out for retail therapy in order to heal their wounds rather than doing something proactively for themselves that will last a lot longer than that momentary elation for the Michael Kors bag they’ve just purchased.

Right now, in this moment, I am on fire for birthing Transcendental WINGS. I am in deep creation mode for this women’s group which will use visual journaling as the key vehicle in transcending from what was to what is. Through the Color of Woman Method and deep work in our journals we will remove ourselves from being stuck still in the past, allowing what was to be guiding us, to a transcendence into the present moment with knowledge and wisdom of what we are causing and creating for our future.

My art speaks to what can be… Remember: I am an uneducated being in the realm of art. No formal art training whatsoever. No drawing classes, no painting classes, not even an art appreciation class. A total newbie to the world and profession of art, yet I have an art gallery that is a year old this month and I proudly claim the title ARTIST!  Rather than wallow in what my life was serving me, I transformed Self — I transcended — into what I want life to be for me. My paintings are portals of possibility. They show my progression from never painting a stroke in my life, to painting for my life. They are a testament to my sisters in the struggle that YES! YOU CAN HAVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS!!

Did I plot and plan my life out to be an artist?

Did I go to school with the focus on living out my years holding Gallery openings and cocktail parties for other artists?

Is my current full-time job in line with a career and life surrounded with artworks?

Absolutely not.

Does it matter that this wasn’t my plan over the last nearly 48 years?

Does it matter that I hold a job which I love that isn’t in the art arena?

Does it matter that it appears that I live two separate lives — a work life of technology and a personal life of art?

Absolutely not.

The full-time job finances what’s needed for the full-time life of an artist. I’m not a “starving artist” and can afford my passion as well as my Gallery. It is a means to an end — an end that I choose rather than one that’s chosen for me because of my circumstances. I get to retire from that position in about 10 years time and turn my full attention to my artist side while pulling in a nice steady retirement check, yet again avoiding the “starving artist” persona without sacrificing my art. I get to build the Gallery and the studio workshops and Transcendental WINGS in such a manner that it is authentic and a loving offering rather than a push to bring in adequate income to cover the

You MUST guide your own life! You cannot allow your life to guide you. YOU are the Artist! Take hold of the reigns and even if you need to make a complete 360 degree turn to get to the life you desire, than do it!

She Who Is Strength

She Who Is Strength

Figure out how you can add CREATIVITY into your daily routine in order to design the life of your dreams.

YOU have the paintbrush and a blank canvas.

Start now, start today with the first stroke of the color of your choice.

Come join me in Transcendental WINGS and allow me to show you how to manipulate your life into the expression of Self that you choose rather than have life manipulate you. Cut your puppet strings today!

If you would like to chat with me or get to know more about my story and how I am using the Color of Woman and intentional creativity to assist women in transcending the platform they’re stuck on and moving into their dream life, you can reach me through the following avenues:

E-mail: [email protected]

Artist Website: www.Simply-Sumaiyah.com

Gallery Website: www.Soulful-Emergence.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/simply.sumaiyah & http://www.facebook.com/Soulful.Emergence.Art.Gallery

Twitter: @SoulfulEmergence

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110234642259812948596/110234642259812948596/posts

Project Revision – Have you signed yet?

revsion

A Grateful Perspective on Creativity by Wendy C. Hassel aka Weaver

 

Renewal

Renewal

In the midst of overwhelm, I sat. I moved gently to and fro upon my porch swing, gifted to me many years ago.  Closing my eyes heightened my hearing.  The drone of the insects singing their summer songs, and the calling and bantering of the birds, as they trumpeted the approaching evening, back and forth across the meadow, captivated me.  Opening my eyes after awhile, I was  greeted with the golden glow of the setting sun, bathing all it touched with warmth and promise.  The very air seemed to pause as the magical dusting of dancing pollen ignited everything, as well as the child within me, and the artist that was straining to capture this moment. I remember smiling…I remember the feel of the curving of my lips…my breath moving easier.  I turned back around in my swing, and caught my reflection in the window, startling me. The reflected woman looking back at me was serene, wearing a small smile, that promised whimsy, along with croning wisdom.

Tuning in to our inner realm reveals perhaps what we knew all along…

I find it so very interesting that perspective will shift and morph, depending on what lens we move with it.  When I find myself suddenly in a place of fatigue, orneriness and/or doubt, I believe it’s heightened by viewing what I am dealing with, when looking thru the lens of my inner critic. This critic often delights in shaking me up, thus skewing my perspective, and subsequently, interfering in my desire to create! She croons to me at times, insidiously lulling me into despair…and I find myself starting to “play cards” with her.  You know the card game “War”…that can go on and on and on and on…and it eventually becomes apparent that this is simply not fun?  So, after grappling with said despair for awhile, and sitting on that sun drenched porch swing, and sinking into that birdsong, and soaking in the joyous cacophony of the insects, hawk announced itself, screaming defiance.  Reminding me that hawk encourages change, and upon opening my eyes, and locking gazes with my reflection, the change needed, and soul felt desire…was gratitude.

Storyboard

Storyboard

“Look to this day for it is life,

in its brief course lie all

the realities and truths of existence,

the joy of growth, the glory of action,

the splendor of beauty…

today well lived makes every

yesterday a memory of happiness

and every tomorrow a vision of hope,

look well, therefore, to this day…”

(ancient Sanskrit proverb)

When looking and living through the lens of gratitude, it allows an opening of our hearts and an opening of our souls. This gentling perspective allows our creative self to rise up, and wield that pen or paintbrush, or that camera, or in the preparing and blessing of our meals, our gardens, or for those that garden for us…that guitar, flute or drum that has been silent can now burst into joyful  expression…the care in how we touch our children, family, friends and lovers….the new uncovered well of patience for our co-workers, the cashiers we interact with, the drivers on the roads, even the red lights that allow us to slow down.  Most especially, the patience we can have with ourselves.  Embracing gratitude and expressing our inherent creativity, can help us move, with grace and ease, as we experience life in its myriad twisting turning pathways.

 

Close up of 'Changes'

Close up of ‘Changes’

When we bring into form through creativity that which arises from the song of our inner voice is nothing short of magic…

Our individual muses long to be heard, acknowledged and applauded.  Sometimes it can take time, which  may be needed to tempt, cajole, coax and woo that brilliant being forth.  When we do, and gaze through our muses eyes, and dance our pens or paintbrushes with gratitude and joy, our previously skewed perspective on life erupts in laughter, or even a quiet sigh, and we can feel whole, and holy, as we then become a conduit for the Divine to move through us and imprint love, or beauty, or peace…healing us.  As we heal and continue to create in whatever we are drawn to do, a light is released, drawing others to ourselves, or our creations…thus stirring curiosity, or an “aha” moment.  How grateful then, and thankful can we be, to be given the privilege of sharing on such a personal level? Behold this intense earth journey we all share, and again be thankful for the opportunity to witness one another as we grow into our creative selves.

As creatives, we are given, by the Divine, the ability to transcend, experience and express form.  Form in whatever matter we are moving through or within.  Form rising from our creative imagination,  form rising through emotional release, or form, very simply rising from the joy in the process of creating.  When we are in that place and space of creating, we become vulnerable, like a child, and through this vulnerability, we dance with the very Creator.

Allow gratitude to infuse your being.  Listen to and honor your muse, your own divine spark. Release the CREATIVE within you, that we may touch others on a soul level.  For we too, are the Makers. So I invite you to please: MAKE express, RELEASE, share and DELIGHT . Growing further into your unique creative self.

Possibilities

Possibilities

In closing I wish to breathe a heart filled prayer for you and yours:

“May the blessing of light be on you-

light without and light within.

May the blessed sunlight shine on you

and warm your heart

till it glows like a great peat fire”

(an old Celtic blessing)

Wendy Hassel

Wendy C. Hassel, aka Weaver, is a joyful weaver of words, images, life experiences & observations. Graduating from the inaugural class of the  Color of Woman Teacher Training taught by Shiloh Sophia McCloud has sparked her desire to share…

The seasons of my life have all offered up deep learnings along with creative yearnings. The maiden and mother seasons of my life brought forth creation, birthing and nurturing my four glorious children.  Even then, amongst the sticky kisses and exuberant hugs, below the surface of utter exhaustion, my dreams were still there…quietly simmering and shimmering patiently, as I was doing important work, mothering my babes…occasionally stealing time for some sort of stitching; needle and thread, crochet hooks and knitting needles…or creating small alters of the treasures that the children found outside.

I know now, that there was beauty and creativity bestowed in the meals prepared and shared, in the harvested foods that I washed for freezing, or cooked for canning.  My energy, my essence was given in the making.

Embracing the crone season of my life, I become reflective.  I look back and sift thru memories, recognizing the karmic value in each rich experience.  Even through the most excruciating pain of loss, I eventually rose again to joy…with the deep knowing that I can move forward.  From this wealth of experience, I have been given the gift of empathy and thru this well of empathy, can connect with others on a deeper level…that place beneath the surface that we wear in this world.

It is from here, that the artist arises, that I come forth, at first so tentatively and hesitating…and  I gaze and dream ahead. How nice to look forward and within, instead of backwards and within. It is from this place again, that my muse, my legendary weaver and my spirit guides come together, singing songs of celebration every time I write, every time I paint, every time I look upon my creations with delight.

I’ll be painting, writing and sharing from this heartsong, instilling all I do with my own unique energy and essence.  I offer classes, exploring intentional creative expression, and delight in the sharing of this heart/soul enriching practice.

All Artwork 2012-2013 by Wendy C. Hassel

www.indigomusings.com and http://wendy-hassel.fineartamerica.com

 

Gifted with Visionarieness by Leslie Nolan

Lola

Lola

Visionarieness

Who knew there was a noun for what we naturally have?

What I love knowing about this definition of the word ‘Visionarieness’ is that this is something that we all share in common… ‘Having been marked by foresight and imagination’. We of visionarieness share an enthusiasm, a pure idealism and power of vision.

Definition of Vi¡sion¡ar¡y

1. Given to or characterized by fanciful, not presently workable, or unpractical ideas, views, or schemes: a visionary enthusiast. Of the nature of a vision: illusory, incapable of being realized or achieved: utopian, existing only in imagination.

2. Given to likely see or are concerned with seeing visions.

3. Belonging to or seen in a visions. Relating to, or characterized by visions or the power of vision. Having or marked by foresight and imagination <visionary leader> <a visionary invention>

4. Unreal; imaginary: disposed to reverie or imaginings: dreamy

5. Purely idealistic or speculative; impractical; unrealizable: a visionary scheme.

Synonym- impractical, impracticable, fancied, illusory, chimerical,  unrealistic.

Antonyms-practical. 

— vi·sion·ar·i·ness noun Origin: 1640–50; vision + ary

Vision

Vision

We are the ones who have Vision
There is something disconcerting about parts of the definition of ‘visionary’. Especially when it is relates to, ‘impractical, fancied, illusory, chimerical, unrealistic.’ The definition bothers me. As a trained designer, I have been taught that everything that we see… including people and nature has been created by one who has VISION. The idea first thought of seen in our mind, then toiled over to be brought out into the world.

Starting with the Divine Creator and the process of creativity, a birth-rite, handed down to and through us as humans on our spiritual journey.

 Being schooled was the place for practicing the expression of turning our visions from the inside-out. While in school it seems that visualizing forming a mental image of an idea or picture is the on-going practice of teaching our hands to catch up with our head.

After honing this skill for years, many methods are raised to help in this process: Meditation; yoga; body movement/sports; dreaming; sketching and painting all help us to visualize. Manifesting the vision into our artworks, our lives, and the shape of our creative practice.

So the synonym implies that a visionary is ‘impractical,” saying we are ‘incapable of being realized’, is simply untrue.

Perhaps the definition should SHIFT:

New Definition of Vi¡sion¡ar¡y

1.  A visionary enthusiast given to or characterized by fanciful, ideas, views, or schemes:. Of the nature of a vision: capable of being realized or achieved: utopian, existing first in imagination then manifesting out into reality

2. Given to able or likely to see or be concerned with seeing visions.

3. Belonging to or seen in a visions. Relating to, or characterized by visions or the power of vision. Having or marked by foresight and imagination <visionary leader> <a visionary invention>

4. Real; imaginary: disposed to reverie or imaginings: sacred and dreamy

5. Intentional Creator, pure, idealistic, practical; realizable: a visionary.
Manifestor, making vision into reality

Antonyms- impractical.

Leslie NolanWhen we vision, we enter our own inner world. Sometimes we are in new spaces, entering territory unknown to our conscious mind. It is a path leading to understanding, tapping into a place deep within, that opens up cosmologies and worlds that are both uninhibited and free, and where there is some uncharted territory.

I noticed in these definitions that the origin of the word ‘visions + ary’ was dated in 1640. Women Visionaries had ecstatic prophecy in Seventeenth-century England. More than two-thirds of the visionary women were Quakers. Feminist scholarship infused with their view of modern religion gave a fresh perspective to the visions. Fertile ideological and spirituality blossomed everywhere in the wreckage of long-established belief systems during this time of political turmoil.

Some visionaries are considered modern day prophets as the visionaries of Medjugorje, who have been seeing and prophesying the ‘secrets’ given by The Divine Mother. And likewise earlier visionary medieval woman of mystical theology: Hildegard von Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg and Julian of Norwich, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Teresa of Avila, Angela of Foligno, Marguerite Porete played a role in their historical, cultural and political context. The role of physicality and the senses in mysticism are entwined with the theological content of their writings and methodologies.

Earlier still throughout history and across cultures, shamans were the visionary wounded healers. First, they used their visionary ability to heal their own sickness and deal with their own near-death experiences. The individual’s energies were outwardly oriented and directed toward the community so that the trance and visionary journey served as a medium of communication between the supernatural or non-ordinary reality and the community. The shaman and the audience were integral parts of the visionary journey, and the ‘ecstasy’ ended if the connection was severed.

Similarly, as Color of Woman School graduates, we are interested in serving our community with our innate ‘Visionarieness’… offering our gifts out into the world.

The Third Eye as Visionary Center

The gateway to intuition and psychic sensitivity is the sixth Chakra is located in the center of your forehead. Learning to look at the world through your third eye and tuning into your psychic potential opens you to a deeper level of mystical, and intuitive wisdom. This literally expands your vision, helping you to see the many-layered meaning of everything in your world.

Hindus believe that this area, known as the ‘Agna’, is the very portal through which all experience is channeled.  Some forms of Tantric meditation focus on diverting the life force or kundalini energy that starts at the base of the spine and flows up through the body to the top of the head towards this area.  The third eye is believed to be such a powerful and potent area that it is traditionally adorned as part of religious celebrations with small dots of color, called Bindhis.  Red is often used, as this is the color of Shakti, or feminine power, and symbolizes love. Sometimes a yellow mark is added alongside as yellow is linked to mental activity.

This powerful chakra can switch from ordinary vision to being able to see the whole dance of creation in an instant. Cultivating these centers in, and outside of our body as a way to express ourselves and align with our highest vision, is a way to access something that is invisible and give it form. When we see through this chakra and are divinely inspired, it opens up a oneness with the cosmos, empowering our lives as creative person.

Our highest level of creativity is to align ourselves and express it.

Accessing something that is invisible and giving it form, connect with our energy centers, so that we can align everything to our highest vision.  Visionarieness helps us wake up and see the work and how we can take our wisdom to overcome any difficulties in life, outside of the cycles that trap us. Transcending the experience with our power to emanate and manifest universal thoughts through our vision, creating our realities through our thoughts and inner visions.

Insight occurs when you go into the unknown.

You can learn how to navigate it intuitively.  Flowing with the energy of this intuition, you begin to trust life more. Trusting that the people that you meet, and trusting that you can move into the direction of where you need to move into for growth.

A new paradigm

New experience of the future can be created where humankind will claim his own existence in harmony with nature and human kind. The access is possible, to experience something new, through the subtle power of our focused thought. It is necessary to desire it, to believe in it and to begin creating the visualization within ourselves.

This must be cared for and nourished with the deep sense of gratitude and joy of the dream as already fulfilled. Subtle powerful channels of communication that work in harmony with universal laws, we receive important messages are reaching us from within. This treasure is something personal that also reaches a universal level. It is a joy of something you have worked for your whole life, now is the time of our fulfillment. At this point of evolution on this planet, mentally physically and spiritual create our lives in the flow of creation. Those that are leading will be going into the new paradigm, the time of fulfillment and create something that is totally new.

Here are some things for you to consider regarding your own visionarieness

How can relating to myself as visionary enable my process?

How can I align and shift my vision to my true creative purpose?

How can your intentional creative practice inspire a shared vision of the heart?

About Leslie Nolan

Leslie Nolan is an artist by heart, designer by trade and teacher by design. As a entrepreneur and leader, Leslie’s has created “The Venus Transits Creativity Workshops for Woman.©” Teaching Intentional Creativity for individuals, groups and businesses devoted to guiding and shining a light for those traveling on the path of creativity, creating a life and business that is fully expressed. Leslie’s paintings are a visual diary; they articulate her emotions, concepts, and perceptions, using color as a source of vision and form as point of reference. Using complementary colors, creating vibrating intensities that evoke vitality. This color expression, reinforced by her graphics foundation, creates a potent marriage where color, symbol and design are vehicles for her wild internal visions. These visions contain imagery of a spiritual, allegorical nature, expressing a creative and controlling force of energy, either by means of a symbolic figure, The Divine Mother or a focal action, revealing truth on human existence.

LeslieLumi

Leslie lives with her husband Ken in Renee in Wall Township. A talented household, they plan to build a pole barn studio near the vegetable garden to continue to nurture creativity in themselves and their community. She serves as a Big Sister with Big Brother’s Big Sister’s of Monmouth and Middlesex counties since 2008. She is available for corporate and educational brain-storming, team-building, and private art coaching and workshops

For more information, about Leslie Nolan’s art or workshops-[email protected] or thevenustransits.com

References
1. Visionary Women: Ecstatic Prophecy in Seventeenth-century England by Phyllis Mack

2. Shamanism: A Cross-Cultural Study of Beliefs and Practices   By Gary Edson

3. Third Eye Chakra:   by Michele Knight

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