What is Muse Medicine? First of all it is story. Our own personal story that need to shift or heal, making space for new possibilities How do we do we do that? We alchemize the old story, transform it into the energy of potential. Then we bring it into form via the emergence of the inner Muse.
In my recent Muse Medicine class, we examined our limiting stories, alchemizing them into potentiality through writing and painting! The class was filmed by a student at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida and will be part of her senior thesis on art and healing.
We all introduced ourselves within the Red Thread Circle and each person received a piece of red thread as a symbol of connection. The Filmmaker decided to join the class, while her partner filmed. I led inquiry prompts for the painting process, which were to name the story they needed to heal in one word, and their favorite fairy tale. We tied off our red thread around our wrists and moved to the painting room.
We used the idea of alchemy to change the ‘lead’ of their old story into the ‘gold’ of a new one. Creating an ‘alchemical soup’ we sprayed our paper with water and painted 3 colors. Then we activated it by shooting a golden arrow into it using gold paint. Next I talked about Bezoars, an idea I borrowed from Jenafer Joy. Bezoars are a sort of knot of old energy we want to dissolve, creating space for something new. Un-writing our old story into our bubbling alchemical soup did the trick, and as we stirred these in with our magic wand paint brushes, they disappeared making way for transformation!
As our paper dried, I invited them to write, imagining a fairy tale, a possible new story in which they were the heroine potentially filled with witches and ogres, princes and villains.
When we gathered, I asked them to choose one scene from the story to illustrate. It could be done in the Muse and her symbols style or using a simple figure or figures and necessary environment. I demonstrated a 20 line face and a simple full figure. Then were off and painting! I guided them in several loose painting steps and color application. Finally I gave them the option of glazing or not, since time was short. They chose to put their paintings under the veil of glaze after I demonstrated. After the glaze, we added final color and highlights and biophoton highlights and other embellishment. We paused and received the Muse Message (Medicine) in our journals.
We took our paintings and writings to a closing circle and shared portions of our stories (optional, but everyone did), the titles of our painting, and the name of our Muse. This was so powerful. We needed to go for the Kleenex! Even those who had dealt with the same stories before found new levels of healing. Even I, who didn’t dare to go deeply into the process, found surprise insight during the writing which brought chuckles and profound depth and insight into my story and my identity.
Afterward the participants were slow to leave as they continued to share. The Filmmaker told me how complete she felt the process was and how deeply she was affected. She will take what was filmed and other material and create a full length feature for her dissertation. She hopes to share it on our local public access TV station and in the Sarasota International Film Festival.
My love of making and teaching art burned deeply inside, from the time I decorated the stairwell in our home with grease pencil at age 3, to majoring in Art Education at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. In 2015 my path led me to Shiloh Sophia and Intentional Creativity.
Now I continue to explore the landscape of inner space in both its individual and its transpersonal nature as well as continue in the ministry of teaching others to awaken to their own creativity through sharing the Intentional Creativity Philosophy in classes held at Expressive Arts Florida in Sarasota, FL and other venues.
He couldn’t focus. He bounced around the room engaging anyone who would pay attention. But his bouncing and words were challenging in tone and tinted with violence, not welcoming. It’s the only way he knows how to communicate.
Many children walk through the classroom door each morning as victims of neglect and violence. The levels to which they experience this range from five year olds having to heat up their own 7-Eleven burrito for dinner to actual un-welcomed and undeserved physical contact.
In many schools teachers are frontline first responders each and every morning of their lives. I retired from such a school this past year. It is heartbreaking, stressful, and exhausting work, but deep down I knew I was making a difference.
Struggling to find answers, school administration make choices that seem like the magic pill, but seldom deliver. Teachers are caught between curriculum and programs that do not come close to meeting the direct needs of the children they teach.
I stepped away from this a few months ago and into a new way of reaching children that changes how they think. As a Red Thread Guide I can now offer ways of helping children move from the fight, flee, or freeze response of the brain to the heart space where wisdom resides.
He ignored my call to sit on the floor in a circle. Most of the rest of the class eagerly gathered, minus a few who waited to see what he was going to do.
Red Thread circles offer a way to connect. It is story, something children understand deeply and love. So I told them about myself and my intentional creativity painting and my red thread circles and the little girl from their very own school who wears a red beaded bracelet from her grandmother in Poland given to her when she was born to keep her safe.
The boys settled together on the floor, half listening, half conducting their own business in an attempt to draw our attention to them.
I continued with talk about the brain and the amygdala. Something they are familiar with as part of their social/behavioral program they do to combat bullying. But then I talked about the heart and how the heart holds wisdom. It is the heart that really tells us what to do. I drew a picture of an anatomical heart on a large piece of chart paper and called it The Wisdom Keeper.
The whole class was listening. Even the boys.
We talked about how the heart leads our brain to make better decisions. Instead of hitting or arguing, the heart can give us a better way. But we need to learn how to listen to it. After all, it is the loving part of ourselves we forget to listen to.
In the Red Thread circles we weave a ball of red thread around our wrist passing it to the next person until we are all connected. In an elementary school that is not a safe option. Restroom needs, wiggly bodies, and emergencies are a priority.
Instead, I use my singing bowl. Having been trained in a mindful practice at this school where I taught, I have lots of tools in my tool box. So instead of wrapping the thread around their wrists, the students get to ring the bowl. I explain how to hold it or place it on the floor to get a nice sound. After they ring it they answer a simple inquiry question.
He LOVED ringing the bowl. So did his friends. It was enough to keep them engaged until it was time to go to lunch.
This is just the beginning of the red thread circle. We can inquire about many things: what do we love about ourselves, what do we love to do, etc. We listen to others who have similar stories to our own. We realize we are not alone and, yet, we are special, and that we are only responsible for the piece we hold. Yes. They got that part.
In this particular classroom we followed up with an Intentional Creativity® activity using the supplies they had in their room to draw our Wisdom Keeper. That voice inside our hearts that is always there to give us love and kind words.
He and his friends drew amazing Wisdom Keepers and were able to share with the group what their keeper told them about how wonderful they are and how much they are loved.
There are always tears from the adults listening.
Children are very open and honest. The are also very brave and I learn a lot from them.
Most of my Red Thread Cafe times with my Muse and my husband Jonathan for the past few months have been focusing on this one topic, the Critic and the Muse. The riddles, the science, what others have taught about it, why it is so compelling, why more change isn’t happening and really asking myself deep questions about it in relationship to my work. Because if we can’t get access to the critic, it is very challenging to hear our true inner voice.
I keep thinking I have a solution, but in truth that solution takes time, because it requires rewiring the brain. But I am going to give it a try.
For most of my adult life, I have been working with women and the exploration of their self expression. I have gained insight and understanding into the actual ‘function’ of how we speak to ourselves through witnessing thousands in their creative process, and trying out new ideas.
Through the years and the research I have arrived at some pretty interesting conclusions. And many of them are not what is widely taught about how the critic works. Because to understand and transform how it works, you need to dive into a bit of brain science and come eye to eye with the dominatrix of the prefrontal cortex.
The transformation self help culture we live in today is rich with many potent teachings that have guided us along our path regarding finding our true voice, living out our authentic self, and even the expression of the soul. You may discover one thing is working for a while and then find yourself seeking another solution. We can be impulsive transformation addicts looking for a fix. I am no exception. Yet there is one thing that ROCKED my world and changed everything, and it was very surprising! I will share some of that with you here.
I am not a fan of speaking to the pain point to make a point. Yet for the sake of this particular conversation, articulating the phenomena could be helpful. It is in NOT being able to see our default settings, programmed into the brain, that can make it so harmful. We begin with getting it conscious. Let’s take a look.
Self confidence and self doubt continue to plague us even after an awakening! Many of us, even after we come to terms with our life as it is, still secretly nurse ideas of our version of having it all. We are sold the idea that we can have it all and if we aren’t experiencing that, something must be wrong with us. And so begins the endless loop of self-doubt and criticism which infects every single relationship we have.
We may find ourselves wondering – Where is the pot of gold, the dream life, the perfect mate, the fountain of youth, the treasure chest, or even the magic bullet to stop all the bad thoughts? What is wrong with me that I don’t have it? And in the same moment, feeling like we don’t deserve it, aren’t worthy or are too ashamed to reach. This isn’t a new monologue and you aren’t alone. Yet the paradox of ‘wanting’ coupled with feeling ‘not worthy of having’ facilitates a life culture of disillusionment and dissatisfaction. We try to convince ourselves why we should be so grateful, and we are, so what’s up?
All of our relationships with every area of our life, love, money, family, work are impacted by HOW WE SPEAK TO OURSELVES and HOW WE SEE OURSELVES. When this one essential relationship is healed, everything else is informed. Who is speaking to you, from within you and how? You already know this. I am talking about your relationship to your ‘hidden inner self’. I call it hidden for an obvious reason, in that you can’t really ‘see’ this self and to make matters more challenging, most of us can’t ‘hear’ this self. Does it even exist?
“The day is coming when I fly off
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes?
What is the soul?”
Without our inner voice and vision being aligned, much of the transformation work doesn’t even make sense for long lasting integrated change. Without this sacred partnership as the framework for curating your future, your story keeps reverting to an earlier default setting. Now you would think once you know about this self and begin to listen to it, that everything would be different, and perhaps for a while it is different. But something still isn’t working quite right. No matter how many times you do your affirmations, try to meditate, get on the mat to stretch and be kind to your neighbors, you find yourself being mean to yourself in the same old ways, with the same old stories and limiting beliefs. Now you can hear your critic even louder since you are listening to your inner space – and could it be that the critic has even upped his/her game? Yes, the ‘critic’ is highly intelligent.
So what’s going on? So why isn’t it working? How does it work? Is there a method of approaching how to deepen this relationship with our inner voice that is more consistent? This is what we are going to explore in our upcoming mini-workshop: Seduce Your Muse and Tame Your Inner Critic, but let’s explore a little more now.
The dominant culture enforces a paradigm of ‘head’ and ‘thinking’ so much so, that most of us think that is where we live and have our identity. The rebels, revolutionaries, and dissidents like us have stepped out of that constraint, we know we are more than we appear. With the developments of quantum physics, consciousness and neuroscience, we are getting closer. We have moved out of just thinking we are a mind and body. But there is more, so much more, that seems to remain just out of reach. We hear something, often a cry for help from deep within, but we don’t know how to truly answer with our whole life. How do you get IN to find out? This is where Intentional Creativity comes in and where metacognitive drawing is one of the ways we can retrain our brains in relationship to how we speak to ourselves.
Clearly each person must discover this access to the voice and vision of the soul for themselves. No one else can really teach it or grant us access. Yet. There is a first step that can be revealed. A clear first step that in my 25 years of teaching has made the most difference in the lives of those I serve. So obvious and yet so hidden, it is almost like a riddle to solve. You can learn more about it in the free mini-workshop, as well as in my upcoming 7 week online class, The Dance of the Critic and the Muse. I will also be sharing more about the neuroscience aspect in the upcoming Red Thread Letters.
I know you have a lot of choices for what you read and how you spend your time. So I just want to say, thank you for taking this time with me. I am honored to be a part of your Red Thread Cafe as we explore this awesome universe within, and all around us.
If you would like to share from my Artist Shiloh Sophia facebook page, you can find my post about it here
I have been working on articulating the inner workings of the soul voice and how it connects with the concepts of the critic and the muse for so many years, this is the first time I will be sharing it outside of the Color of Woman Teacher Training.
Seduce the Muse and Tame Your Inner Critic Mini-Workshop
Join me on Saturday, January 26
During our time together you will discover
How the inner critic has been with you since childhood and why most of your attempts to break free are doomed to fail
A powerful tool you can use to seduce your critic into being your ally
Where the Muse hides — and how to invite her out
How to listen to the Muse and hear what she’s been wanting to tell you
Experiential practices to awaken your self-expression
How unleashing your creativity can help you rewire your brain
A 7 Week Step Initiation Into the Voice and Vision of Your Soul
Coming Soon! Registration isn’t open quite yet! I have a 7 Week online class coming up called The Dance of the Critic and the Muse, and guess what? For once it isn’t painting, I am working with pen and paper! We will be experiencing and illustrating 7 gates of initiation. This isn’t about talent with drawing, but we will be moving the pen with what I call ‘metacognitive drawing’. I have been working on this class for months, but really my whole life! This technology is sacred to me because it impacts all of our lives in such deeply profound ways – and it is truly time to transcend the constraints of that critic and fall in love with the muse!
I am collaborating with a local yet global education and evolution community, the Shift Network to bring this message to our mutual communities. They are located in Petaluma and many of my friends past and present are on that team there. I was delighted to be invited and to share quantum space with this spicy topic.
Save the date and we will follow up with registration!
Ilona Lantos recently completed fellow Color of Woman Teacher Catt Geller’s, Teach the Teacher Cosmic Smash Book training. Originally from Hungary, Ilona now resides in Virginia.
As a member of her local artist community Ilona held her first workshop at the Gallery Clarendon using this Smash booking process. Everyone really enjoyed this process and their creations. “I fell in love with the texture, the creative freedom and finding beauty in what might look ugly. I came up with the idea of the Petite Smash Book using a tiny notebook and innovative painting media and techniques to create a cute little companion to process topics and issues as a daily routine.”
I always held art and self-expression close to my heart but with a lock on it.
Ilona describes how the creative process sparked her own healing as a “warrior mamma” after her son Chris died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 12. At a painting workshop for bereaved parents, “colors became live in front of my eyes”. Ilona continued painting, and found Shiloh Sophia’s Intentional Creativity method along the way, becoming a Color of Woman Teacher in 2017. Ilona founded the Chris Lantos Foundation to help kids and their families on the pediatric cancer journey. The foundation has granted 185 iPads to kids and hospitals. Kids with this type of illness spend numerous hours, days, weeks, sometimes months in hospitals and clinics and at home in isolation and an iPad can help them to connect with the world.
Playing with paints unlocked my creativity
“Both the Color of Woman Training and Cosmic Smash book programs have contributed to my life tremendously. I am confident that for me this journey is the way to healing my grief. My journey has been similar to many of the brave women who dare to pick up the paint brush. I have always loved art and it has been part of my personal and professional life in the form of photography and digital art creation and teaching. Having taught and tutored kids and adults in English and Hungarian languages, art, computer graphics, and music for about 40 years, I am a teacher at heart.”
Intentional Creativity has its first Red Thread Circle in Brazil!
Maria Do Rosario Souza gathered with a small wonderful group of friends for an afternoon workshop, Painting the Future. Colorful flags were created following the steps of Intentional Creativity, and inspired by the prayer flags of Buddhism.
“Our intention while creating was to create a container for our highest aspirations, helping us focus on co-creating the future. It inspired me very much, because it’s something that anyone can do in a couple of hours I enjoyed every minute and had great feedback from our group. Thank you Shiloh for supporting my dreams!”
I had the access to the Red Thread Circle some years ago, through the Red Thread Cafe Classroom Facebook group and had the idea of sharing it, and finally had this opportunity now. A group of friends had been curious about my painting process. Submitting my application for the 2019 Color of Woman Teacher program was the push that I was waiting for! It all came together, to put out the invitation to do this workshop.
I’m an educator, researcher of Brazilian culture, especially Native groups and Brazilian Popular Culture. I have a degree on Graphic Design and started to paint canvases in 2002, but Intentional Creativity gave me the right tools to progress. Find me and my art on my Facebook page, Maria Flor
Amanda Abreu shines her light in this beautiful example of how Intentional Creativity empowers us to stay centered and supported, as life events are experienced in all shapes and sizes. Amanda’s keen ability to stay mindful and attuned to her intuition in trying times, demonstrates the very framework of Intentional Creativity in motion. Holding space for members of her community as a teacher, while witnessing and honoring her own feelings, truly brings home both the theme of her workshop, Muse the True You and her aptly named website, Find Joy in the Chaos.
Amanda, while finishing her final weeks of Color of Woman Teacher training, recently lead a 2-day workshop, Muse the True You, an Intentional Creativity journey behind the masks we wear, to discover our truest selves.
“When women discover who they truly are on the inside, they become comfortable in their ownskin and love themselves deeply. They come to know how they want to show up in the world.Throughout our journey into womanhood, we often aren’t taught how to become fully integrated, authentic female beings. During this process, students navigate old stories and gain access to new information. Becoming reacquainted with the woman who lies dormant within, awakened to your truest potential.”
Held on two consecutive Sundays, the flow of the 2 class days, and Amanda’s resilience were tested, when gas explosions in the area called for immediate evacuations. Pregnant and with her husband and two young children in tow, compounded the individual stress and chaos of being thrown into such a sudden life event. Returning to the house after several days, electricity was turned on, but no hot water, heat or gas, yet Amanda carried on with the workshop as scheduled.
“I told the women during the workshop that the evacuation really helped me tie into the theme of the workshop. I had been having a really hard time with being displaced and not having access to our home. Everyone kept telling me to be grateful, it could have been worse. And I told the ladies that leaning into the theme of the workshop, and in being my authentic self, it was ok if I wasn’t 100% positive. I had a right to be imperfect and have meltdowns and be “too much” when I needed to be. I didn’t need to fix myself because other people thought I had the wrong perception.
Ultimately, gathering together to paint with them, it showed me I didn’t have to be perfect for them either! I didn’t have any refreshments or even tea to offer them. It was pretty bare bones. I also didn’t get to plan out my thoughts for the day, like I did the first time, and all of that was okay. I was legitimately doing the work alongside them, as Shiloh says, and IC gave me the courage that I was enough just as I was. No masks, no preparation. And it was a beautiful feeling.”
A great time was had by all at the global launch of ‘Apothecary medicine painting’ hosted in the Hawkesbury by Energy Medicine Institute, a place where ancient wisdom meets modern day science. Apothecary is a step by step process of using art to heal and transform tragedies into remedies, for both individuals and communities.
The moment you arrived at Apothecary you were met with drumming, by Hands Heart & Feet from the Blue Mountains, introducing sound as medicine. Raw food creator Vicki Cook, walked us through the four directions of the medicine wheel exploring raw food as medicine. Elise Heyward from Timeless Tea walked us through the five elements of the medicine wheel exploring tea, as medicine. We had Giving Back as Medicine. Tribal News, EMIs not for profit-Cambodian Project, Nary Style: a gift from the heart of Cambodia, selling 200 silk scarves with each scarf educating a child for 1 month.
WomanSong sang us into the room, and to our seats, where the fabulous Chris Paine, MC for this event, lead the official proceedings. Chris was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her devotion to serving local government and the Hawkesbury community earlier this year. We had the honour of Stacey Jane Etal delivering the welcome to country. Susan TemplemanMP then officially opened the global launch of Apothecary, a new healing modality.
Apothecary creators Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud came all the way from Sonoma, California for the event. Shiloh is one of the top 10 selling artists in the US, her online business supports 25,000 women globally each month. Her husband Jonathan is an integral part of creating Apothecary. His passion is changing the D in PTSD to discomfort. We had the pleasure of having Michelle from the Australian Resource Centre 4 PTSD (ARC4PTSD), who said “Apothecary is a combination of art, vision, then sprinkle some self-belief and mindfulness, taking imagery and self-exploration to a whole new level.”
EMI Founder & CEO Lou Reed said “We had 50 of our community leaders in the room experiencing medicine painting, the feedback was overwhelming. People who had been working with other modalities for years and had little or no success were transforming their tragedies into remedies in just two days. The healing didn’t stop there, one of our beloveds worked with the intention to heal a family relationship that had been strained for years, two days after the event the person called and reached out.”
We are so grateful to Shiloh & Jonathan for not only allowing us to run the global launch of Apothecary in the Hawkesbury, but for Shiloh donating her painting to Tribal News where we raised over $10,000 for Tribal News, a not for profit resourcing women to change their community stories and Jonathan for donating his painting to ARC4PTSD to raise funds for their cause.
We are excited to work with ACR4PTSD and other organisations who are focused on healing through expressive arts. If you would like to know more about Apothecary contact us at [email protected].
Reprinted with permission from Energy Medicine Institute, Sydney, Australia.
This is one of those wonderful what-if situations come true! While Artist and IC Teacher Elizabeth Gibbons, the Bejeweled Baroness, is sojourning in Hawaii during the month of May, IC Teacher and Artist Kerry Lee is taking care of the Palace of the Soul in San Francisco, CA!
Both being Intentional Creativity teachers and CC and having collaborated together a couple of times at the Palace of The Soul – and being friends, it was a pretty easy YES for both of them to this arrangement. Kerry’s business is primarily mobile, her daughter is grown, and her pets have passed on, so she is free to go where her mantra of Ease, Fun and Prosperity leads her!
Here is what she has lined up for the month of May:
I currently live in a quiet Bay Area waterside (Carquinez Strait) bungalow with lots of open space where the only commute noise is the geese each morning going from their night place (wherever that is) to their day place (wherever that is). I’m not a city girl. So living in SF for a month is a perfect change of scenery and experience – I’m already inspired with the idea of staying at Elizabeth’s beautiful, larger, art-museum-like home.
I’ll be offering two Painting Parties with a Purpose. All of the paintings have intention and symbolism in the spirit of Contemporary Symbolism and Intentional Creativity. The Dragonfly, to honor a beloved who has passed on (which I will be painting in honor of Elizabeth’s Mom & CC Mary Landor) and a second Mermaid Tales with fun and light painting and mermaid lore and quotes, ie “I was a mermaid in a previous life”.
In addition I’m a “Experience Host” with Airbnb and plan to offer private 90 minute and 3 hour Intentional Creativity coaching sessions as well as one of my unique special offerings, Personalized Color Analysis – Where art and science come together to determine your perfect personal color palette based on skin, hair and eye color. Usually I offer this is group settings but for the month of May will be offering private sessions at reduced group pricing.
And, this weekend, I’m participating in Benicia’s Open Studios this weekend with over 90 participating artists where I’ll be featuring my new Mindfulness Meditation Paintings along with other artworks, starting at $25.
None of my events require prior experience, however seasoned artists are welcome to add their own creative style.
~ Kerry Lee, the Palace of the Soul, San Francisco, CA