Note from the Editor, Shiloh Sophia
Dear Red Thread Nation Readers,
It is always a delight when a Color of Woman Class completes and the leaders begin to emerge with their creations into the world. This article was taken from a personal note to me, by recent Color of Woman 2014 Graduate from South Africa, Carol Mahinda. I was so inspired by her insight, process and paintings that I asked her if I could share it with you.
The following article shows the depth of inquiry possible in the Intentional Creativity Movement. With great joy I give you, Carol
The Fearful Voice is replaced by the Voice of Deep Truth
A Journey of self discovery through committing Art
Johannesburg, South Africa
Who is the one viewing the visual screen?
As the Talis-woman in my painting emerges and the Muse speaks – who is doing the viewing?
This was my inquiry, and for days I sat and pondered and tossed and turned in my mind, in my body and in my spirit. I knew there was a revelation here, and it was calling for me to dive deeper. I wanted to settle for the intellectual words that explained it, but part of me (my muse) could not let me. There was a need to understand this beyond the place of my mind. I was on a journey of self discovery through the Color of Woman School. I knew I was going to learn how to paint. I also knew this was a vision quest. Never did I imagine this path would also bring me to a place of questioning the very foundation of my being-ness, and it did!
During this nine month quest, I discovered the power of creating form in order to shift story. The art of working with both the right and left brain in order to live and create from a place of harmony was revealed to me. I also explored a new and powerful way of bringing ideas and passions into form by working with the alchemical consciousness!
It was almost unbelievable to come to realize that the Muse comes from within me and that she is me.
As I painted my Muse, I often felt like I was having an out of body experience! At first a voice emerged, filled with deep, deep wisdom and knowing. The kind that you don’t question. You just know because it resonates. I sat for hours amazed and in awe of her and her insights! She and I are one. I wondered where the heck she has been for decades!? Who had drowned her voice and buried her? Initially, I struggled with her power and her overwhelming truths and after many a wrestling night, I embraced her and am totally in love with her! She cannot be stiffled or intimidated. I am having more and more situations where someone looks at me with, What the f**k did you just say?! I smile fearlessly AND without any feelings of bravado or regret, just smiling as a gap filler between one conversation and another. I made space and observed her for two months and she was and still is consistent. She’s a keeper, she’s here to stay. I love her so deeply.
Then, as I paused for a breather, we began our journey with the Talis-woman. This was in every sense an out of body experience. I journeyed far and wide, in the place of in-between worlds. This is where I met her, a beautiful being to behold. I thought to myself, she is nothing like me, I could not recognize her in my past at all, yet her strength and power were so familiar, and in that sense I knew her. She is so full of earthly and celestial wisdom. Really there are no words to describe her yet as she is still emerging. She brought gifts of revelations and clarity around the content of my soul work and continues to inform me daily. If I am anything like what she is presenting, then this is definitely a rebirth!
During this cycle, there was deep integration and release happening. I experienced moments of hyperventilation, excruciating panic attacks that felt like heart attacks! They were deep excavations that were manifesting so powerfully on my physical body. I even had body weight drop as she came through. The wisdom was that the weight was representing some stories from the past that I had let go! This was just phenomenal because I wasn’t even trying!! I couldn’t imagine what else is to come!
The Voice and the Being were now in synch and truly aligned. The fearful voice seemed to be drowning in the distance. I have deep compassion for it, but absolutely no desire to rescue it. I can still hear it if I listen deeply but it doesn’t feel threatening, nor value adding. As a way to honor the journey that has brought me here, it feels like I have created a space, like a storeroom or a container for those past stories that the fearful voice represents. I also noticed there was even room for that bubbly child like feeling of joy and wonder. I have no past recollection of true joy. Now, I am having episodes of bubbly euphoric moments where I just feel joyful, with really no obvious trigger it. Sometimes I am triggered into joy by a cup of coffee or a salad, or by a color I mix on my pallet – that has no name! It’s insane and I love it! This too is becoming more frequent and lasting longer.
For the first time I feel confident knowing that I have stepped/tapped into another dimension and new spiral of deep truth and this time it feels so authentic. In a sense I feel like I am welcoming challenges so that I can consciously apply my new-found self. Knowing that I can choose, through Intentional Creativity, to determine the outcome somewhat. Knowing whatever happens is what is meant to happen once I have done my part. I am seriously falling in love with me!! There is even a suggestion of a name change or adaptation and I am saying YES! My Muse is going to be known by a different name – so energetically different. So through this painting process I met my Muse AND I witnessed this new being, Talis-woman emerging. My full body, senses and all were resonating, it felt orgasmic! Up to this point, I was cruising!
Who is it that is the witness and knower of these truths?
With this new inquiry, a new spiral had began. On this journey, I’d discovered that an inquiry is an invitation to journey deeper. So with the above inquiry, I knew there was more. What came through was the emergence of a new presence. A presence, because it did not feel like a being nor a voice as such. It was just a presence of the one observing, witnessing, and documenting.
Following through on an inquiry, thought and intention opens a space for creating new form. This kind of attention is what causes the pattern of an electron to change as we gaze at it. I realized by paying attention to every choice I make with the conscious attention that comes with inquiry, I can then create what I really desire. I can witness my emotions, thoughts, desires and in the moment consciously choose how to create a new reality. I can choose which thoughts to energize by giving them attention and which ones to simply notice and let pass by.
The key is in choosing to pause, observe and have a conversation around the thought.
I had understood the part about witnessing and the part about creating with intention, but I hadn’t quite grasped how the two combined together are able to bring about the change, or transformations, or new reality. So, now I am the one seeing and the one causing and also the one being.
This is what makes one’s work sacred, because everything is created with such deliberate intention, such care and awareness. Everything has such personal meaning because it has been birthed from ones own inquiry and tea with the muse. This is how ones work and life become a sacred journey. There is no separation between me and my work as we become one. There is only one life, one sacred journey. If all my responsibilities are approached in this meaningful way, then everything aligns, is synchronized and is sacred. I love it!
I really want to express my deep gratitude to Shiloh Sophia McCloud, my beloved teacher. Shiloh is the founder of the Color of Woman School and has worked with and taught thousands of women around the globe. She is also the founder of the Intentional Creativity Movement. What she teaches is profound, unprecedented, a journey for every woman. I now see, I really see, how much you have put into every offering you have given us, every word you speak, everything you do….I weep with this realization. Thank you for sharing your very heart with the world. I now have a road map and a shining example, a basket full of tools that really work. Thank you.
Carol Mahinda is a Visionary Artist, Intentional Creativity Coach, Color of Woman Teacher, Writer, Teacher, Author, Speaker and Poet. Her Art Studio, Alchemical Rose, is both her altar and inspiration for women to find language for their deepest passions. Her desire is to see the end of suffering and oppression of women. Carol believes that it is time for the Woman to Arise and Shine in all her Glory and is happy to collaborate with others who believe the same. When not at work, she is a doting mother to her three adorable children.
Having experienced the profound impact of creativity, sisterhood and community, Carol now shares these gifts with others through her diverse projects and organizations. The mission of ARISE is activism through art and to inspiring others to speak up against the oppression of women. MOLO SISI or Sisterhood, offers mentorship, while acting as a web of connection for women across Africa. Inspired by the resilience of women who have overcome adversity, Carol will soon be launching an online channel, EVERY WOMAN HAS A STORY, to highlight these extraordinary lives turned into legends. She hopes to encourage other women to live legendary lives in spite of their story. Inspired by her own daughter, ROCKING MY MOON is a program developed by Carol for girls as they come into womanhood. TABASAMU is her prison outreach program for women whose mission is to rebuild and restore the broken walls. Carol will soon be releasing her first book, a healing journal and workbook, that will support these women in their transformation. She truly believes in healing and transformation through art and her hope is to share this behind the prison doors.