A Brave Calling: Will you dare to answer YES when it comes knocking?

I can’t believe the day is here where I get to teach my very first 13 Step playshop. I am filled with fear, some anxiousness as well as excitement and joy. Teaching a painting process is totally new to me and it’s pretty intimidating when your teacher/leader makes it looks so seamless and easy. I had to remind myself, a few times, that I have something here to offer that is uniquely mine and to not compare myself to our brilliant teacher Shiloh Sophia or some of my very talented artist sisters that I traveled alongside with on this quest called Color of Woman.

My 2 day creativity retreat sold out weeks before the actual unfolding. I was so excited and this excitement continued to fuel me until well after the retreat. I personally invited a handful of people with whom I wanted to share this inaugural voyage with. A few of them extended invites to their friends. I was blessed to share the weekend ten wild brave women.

This teaching experience is critical and pivotal in this quest as it invites you to the edge and I believe we grow when we play with our edges. Teaching the 13 step process is very different than painting as an initiate who is unfolding and blossoming in her quest. You are invited to be present for your Beloved as well as letting go of attachment and judgements. I recommend creating a framework to guide your retreat and to keep you on track but please don’t get attached to it because the energy of the group may direct you in a different way. This requires deep self trust in you, in your abilities, and deep listening to your Beloveds and to the voice of your Muse.

Trusting your Muse in this unfolding is critical for she is mighty, brilliant and very resourceful.

Over and over again, I was in awe of what unfolded throughout the weekend. Each and everyone of my Beloveds blossomed throughout the weekend. I watched them come in with trepidation and leave with their painting of newly found Succulent Wild Selves accompanied by huge smiles on their faces. Some of the miracles unfolding during the weekend included: the releasing of 5 years of intense grief and sadness, a stronger connection to their inner voice, a rekindling with their inner child, and a re-connection with their artist self. It brought them tremendous joy to be witnessed by their beautiful sisters and myself.

Dear Ones, please, please DO NOT underestimate the power of the red thread ceremony!

We began with this beautiful ritual and ended our retreat in ceremony. As a result, my Beloveds dove in deep right from the beginning and each experienced some form of transformation throughout the weekend, including me. I had no idea what they would happen, but what they experienced blew the doors wide open in my heart. The weekend left me feeling like I was high! It took a few days to come down from the planet of sacred painting and transformation.

This creative retreat confirmed in unsuspected ways my gifts as a teacher. I have known forever in my heart I am a teacher. What I didn’t realize I’d be asked to let go of what I thought I was so I could open up to a new way of being in the world and teaching. To be honest, it takes time to adjust. Up until this quest, I had never imagined myself as teacher of creativity but now I can only imagine teaching Intentional Creativity®.

I stood in my courage and bravery and answered the call when it came knocking on my door. What will you choose to do when it comes knocking on your door? This potent magical, transformational process breathes new life into you and your life as well as that of your Beloveds. It all begins with a YES and a deep desire to serve love in all of it shapes and colours.

~~~

Diane Merpaw: Intentional Creativity Teacher, Goddess Coach extraordinaire with a deep love and desire to inspire and empower women to heal and transform their heart wounds into the most succulent and delicious love affair of their life; that with themselves.

Visit Diane at www.dianemerpaw.com.

 

Creativity at Work: Creativity in School Administration

Creativity is a mindset that allows us
to work our way through the world
in the most positive way possible,
both in our personal and professional lives.
~ Jessica Bowman

 

Jessica Bowman, Associate Superintendent / School Principal, Siskiyou Union High School District, and Certified Intentional Creativity® Teacher shared with me that the creativity research she did while writing her PhD dissertation had a large impact on how she views the world. Through her creativity practice she experiences life in a more positive way with humor and positivity to what could be a pretty stressful work assignment. She believes that without a creativity practice she would be suffering tremendously.

Jessica manages five programs and two high schools and has implemented creative activities in staff meetings that focus on the positive. When the teachers’ concepts of creativity shift, it creates a better learning environment for the students. It also gives an opportunity to relax and breathe.

Stress is especially high at the district office so Jessica’s top priority for staff is self-care with the concepts of creativity research and brain function. Self-care activities and intentional conversation about the environment they would like to work in have created improvement. She’s implemented experiences in meditation, coloring book images and even brought bubbles to work to bring levity to a situation and stimulate conversation.

Jessica finds these activities have an impact on how team members treat each other. They became more respectful of each other, more aware of how others were feeling and why things are done the way each person does them, i.e. personality types, different definitions for words that are commonly used, i.e., what does the word “respect” mean to each person, or “a job well done”? These conversations allow communication to find common ground to operate from and give people space to be more patient with each other. They also discovered an awareness that they had choices they didn’t think they had, i.e. what the work environment looked like. They now know they have a choice and are heard.

Jessica has discovered creativity is a vehicle for transformation and has observed this on a personal level and believes creativity can transform work for the better on an organizational level as well by:

  • Improving the work environment.
  • Strengthening teamwork.
  • Having the ability to see the challenge of the world around us with a different lens, a brain shift occurs.
  • Noticing how each of us goes through a self-analysis process for a problem and how it can be the same or different for different people. The ability to have a self-analysis process comes from a pause from the rush of the daily grind.
  • The ripple effect of benefiting one person at a time which eventually leads to a cultural shift.

Some of Jessica’s favorite resources include Shiloh Sophia McCloud’s Intentional Creativity Method and the books “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, and Creativity by Matthew Fox. In addition, she resonates with the research in creativity generated by Frank Barron, Professor at UC Santa Cruz, Alphonso Montouri, Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Shelley Carson, Professor at Harvard University. Her intention with using these sources is to shift educators into a deeper connection with themselves; a place where they hear their own truth and make internal connections for clarity, purpose, and personal worth in order to create a more productive and positive work environment. This, of course, makes a much better learning environment for children.

You can reach Jessica at [email protected] if you would like to learn more about her personal creative practices.

 

~ ~ ~

Kerry Lee, a 25 year Benicia resident, is a Certified Intentional Creativity® Teacher and Coach, officiates creative ceremonies and weddings, leads group workshops, experiential retreats, mobile social painting parties, customized corporate team building and corporate social responsibility events. Find her at KerryLeeArt.com

When Intentional Creativity Spills Over and Colors Your Life Happy

I am a Color of Woman graduate of 2012. My process of unfolding within Intentional Creativity® has been profound and spellbinding, and of course, absolutely unexpected.

I thought I would start teaching and designing websites for myself; instead what has emerged is a design for my dream life so much better than what I could ever have thought up myself. Let’s start at the beginning:

I had seen Shiloh’s paintings in the backdrop of my mind’s eye for many years and greatly admired them. Two years before starting my Color of Woman training, a friend invited me to a fundraiser for African girls presented by Alice Walker. Shiloh had donated a gorgeous painting and her flyers were on display. I brought one back with me to Mexico promising myself that if I ever moved back to the states I would do everything to take a course with Shiloh.

It was a “heart-deep” wish, but I couldn’t see how I would be able to do it. I kept checking in on her website and one day I saw a message about Color of Woman training and the possibility of a scholarship. I stretched out my hand and started writing on the first thing at hand, a torn-off restaurant paper tablecloth. I got accepted and was awarded a scholarship. This was clearly meant to be!

My Phone interview with Shiloh was mesmerizing. At the time we were living in southern Mexico in one of the most violent states of the country. We were what the media likes to refer to as “victims” of the war on drugs and related violence.( I strongly reject this term, on the grounds that NOBODY should triumph over the spirit of families shouldering the pain of a nation, by labeling them as victims.) Between going to marches, searching for missing persons and living in an atmosphere surrounded by the images of unimaginable human degradation, I started Color of Woman training.

It went surprisingly well on my first painting, Queen of my own heart, once I stopped over-thinking the process. On the second or third painting the feelings changed. I was stuck and the more I painted, the more I had symbols come up which I didn’t want to look at. The pivotal point came when I had to look at the fact that “my Lady” was crying big unstoppable tears into a river. I was also reading more and more of the forum discussions and one day it hit me: almost every one of the ladies in the group were facing pain, loss, sadness and challenge, and they were FEARLESS in confronting and painting their way through it with grace.

Somehow it brought home to me, that my sadness, my pain was not of greater value, than anybody else’s. Many people have been through incredible challenge and shoulder it with such grace and strength it illuminates you to observe them. I found the Color of Woman group to be filled with many such strong and inspiring women. Being able to follow the journeys and inquires of these strong and fearless souls in such a supportive and intimate setting was priceless.

At the time I was working as a language arts and yoga teacher and continued my studies and inquiries into how to use IC in that kind of setting. Our living situation during the time was very stressful as I became more and more concerned with the physical integrity of my family.

At this time I signed up for Red Madonna and went into a year long in-depth inquiry around my faith, beliefs and it’s place in the world. This was not always a smooth ride as I am a Sikh by religion and Red Madonna is geared towards a more Christian out look. The year I participated, we were also being instructed by Havi Brysk Mandell, a wonderful teacher, painter and therapist who shares the mysteries of the Jewish faith splendidly.

My COW and best friend, Gurukiren, and I had long discussions on points of faith and worship all through the Madonna year. I was often surprised myself, at the strength of my feelings around my faith. It was a year of painting and redefining the points of religion. The last painting of the cycle is the painting of mine with which I have most resonated.

Our living situation was becoming more and more unsustainable. The daily level of violence coupled with growing social unrest was taking a heavy toll. One day I had one of those thunderbolt realizations: This was no longer acceptable. Here comes the miracle: shortly after this we got a phone call out of the blue offering us a job in India at an international boarding school. It is located in Amritsar which is the holiest place of pilgrimage for the Sikh Religion. Something like the Vatican for Sikhs!

I usually teach a visioning workshop once a year around New Year’s. We are a small school with students from twenty different countries. My daughter is now fully bilingual and both my husband and I have challenging and deeply satisfying jobs. We get long summer holidays which we have been blessed to spend in Sweden and Greece, both places where I grew up as a child. I feel convinced that it’s our blessing to be here living this life, and it’s the work of intentional creativity, which has deepened and refined my process to give place to the magic, which allows us to live a life even better than the one I could ever have dreamed up for myself!

I am ready and excited to continue working in the red thread circle which why I am in IMAGINE this year. Can’t wait to see what magic will be unleashed through this process!

What I learned through being in circle with the IC sisterhood:

  • Everybody suffers
  • My pain is not of a higher importance than other people’s pain
  • Joy is an act of conscious resistance
  • Seek silent witnesses in other dimensions
  • Examine your faith inside and out and sculpt it into an offering for your soul
  • Trust the process

~ Gurukirin Khalsa, Color of Woman Teacher

 

Intentional Creativity 7 Step Process for use during natural disaster recovery

Let’s stay connected to what matters the most.

 

This process is here to use and adapt for those recovery or crisis from natural disasters. It can be done personally, yet is written from the perspective of someone guiding the experience.


SCROLL DOWN TO RE
AD PROCESS

If desired you can print out a PDF HERE and share as many as you would like.

If you are part of the Northern California Fires and seek support from women – join us here

We invite you to share the process with others using this link: Share The Elements HERE.


THE ELEMENTS

An Intentional Creativity 7 Step Process for those impacted by natural disasters related to Fire, Water, Earth, Air

This Intentional Creativity® process is designed to support individuals in coping with losses from natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. Our hope is that this tool will help those impacted by such events enter into recovery, integrate the trauma and transform their experience and also provide a tool of service for those who desire to support. This process can also be modified for personal use.

We are focusing on the power of imagination to help change energy and move out of survival and into an experience of their participation and co-creative capacity to know how they feel and to do something about it.

We wanted to offer a process that was simple and effective that used a small quantity of materials. In our community of Intentional Creativity we use red thread, but you can use ribbon, string or fabric of any color.  If you can afford to, provide a journal and pens that you can leave with them at the end. If you have a table, great, if not, make sure you have a hard surface for them to work on like a clip board or journal. You will go through the process with them, working at the same time. You can also do it one-on-one or in a group. Some parts of it could be over a phone or video stream.

Remember that everyone processes trauma in their own way, in their own time. When doing any healing processes, meet the individuals where they are. They may not yet be able to write about their feelings or experiences, there may be some things that feel overwhelming. Be present with them, holding space and witnessing but not probing. Be gentle with eye contact. Let them participate according to what feels safe to them and adjust as needed. You can do this at a shelter, café, home, office, street side, park and some parts of it can be done over a phone or online streaming like zoom/skype.

Please note that creativity, because it is often uncomfortable, can cause more discomfort at first, but stay with it, and this anxiety is like a crucible that can transform into calm. We send you all blessings for the journey ahead and for those you choose to gather.

Shiloh Sophia
Co-Founder of Intentional Creativity

 



Introduction to the Elements

7 Step Intentional Creativity Process

 

Provide an overview of the process and agree with your guest/s how long this process is going to take. A half hour to several hours depending on what space you have. You can also just do one part of the process.

Introduce the overall idea as if it is a prayer or blessing on the energy you are carrying. Something like: “This is an invitation to become present and embodied during difficult times, and to integrate what has happened.” Based on what you are dealing with, this invitation can change to what feels appropriate. After each process, invite them to share if they want to, or not. *You demonstrate sharing and vulnerability, but with strength. You are the place of compassion.

Materials:  red thread, 4 pieces of paper, pens (not sharpies), scissors

Set the materials out in a sacred manner. As if it is a small simple altar. For each exercise, use both sides of the paper. For the free-write side, consider drawing a simple border of containment: one line going all the way around, choose a different style of border for each page.

1. INTENTION: Have everyone state their intention for the experience as they receive the Red Thread. The intention for you as the leader can be something like: To hold space and witness for [the element you are working with]. Your guest may be uncomfortable with sharing in the beginning, so you can just ask them to share what they are noticing or present to. Each person shares their intention and receives a part of the thread to keep with them or put on their wrist. Tie it on for them with tenderness.

2. ACKNOWLEDGE: Invite your guest to free write on the first piece of paper about the part of the experience that feels most impacting for them right now. Loss, fear, anxiety, stress, unknown, anger, isolation, panic, etc. You can provide a few choices if they seem to be drawing a blank.

3. ACTIVATE: Invite in the element connected with the situation. Free doodle drawing that includes elemental event (ie. fire, flood, earthquake, etc.) on the other side of the paper. Give a demo so they can see what that element looks like.

Share about the element in such a way to diffuse the fear around it, so that we come to a space where fire is not evil, the earth is not punishing us, the water is not raging against us. Be mindful of your thoughts on how you contextualize this idea. You don’t want to negate their experience but guide them into their own empowered ideas about it.

If appropriate, this can be a good time to share about the healing aspects of the element being worked with – and/or to bring in any/all of the other elements. OR you can ask them what each element represents for them inviting a positive representation. As the leader, you are making an effort to help neutralize the element and activate the positive energy of it.

Possible interpretation: Fire: Transformation, Will and Change ~ Earth: Home and Grounding ~ Water: Renewal and Cleansing ~ Air: Breathe and Communication.

4. SAFETY: Acknowledge current situation on the second piece of paper, this is done with some gravity from you and perhaps a contextualization of the current environment.

Ask a few questions about where they are experiencing now: Are you safe? Are you with loved ones? Do you have what you need for the next day? Focus on right now and put these inquiries into context with where you are during the process. Of course, if they are at a shelter be sensitive to that, distinct from if they are in an office, or a home.  Free write on this topic and acknowledge what feels true. Grief and gratitude do dance together and work better in tandem when acknowledged.  i.e. glad to be alive, yet filled with fear. Acknowledge that the paradox is normal. People often have a hard time reconciling the two things, but they can exist side by side and can be healing.

Turn the paper over and draw a feeling of safety, even if that safety is temporary (give demo if guiding), perhaps with circles or tracing their hands or a symbol of their choosing. Circles that intersect are good here. The act of asking them to draw a feeling stretches the imagination to a new place, and while uncomfortable, is often calming.

If you are called, use body movement to integrate drawing/painting and accompanying feeling of safety into physical body – ie sweeping motions, swinging arms, big wide movements, embody the elements.

5. CONNECTIONS: Create blessings and prayers for the community on the third piece of paper. Rip or cut the paper into smaller pieces, and write prayers or blessings or wishes for others. This step acknowledges that others are having the same experience and is a move towards broader consciousness and compassion. Getting out of our own story and moving our gaze towards others is necessary for healing. Service can be one of the most transformational aspects of working within a tragedy.

One idea is to tie them together on red thread like a prayer rope or string. If in community, this can be a group process OR have them wrap red threads around the messages and hand them to others. Depending on the location you are in, the messages can be hung up/showcased in the space and more messages can be added. That way the person you are guiding has a job to invite others. These prayers, blessings, messages can also be gathered in a bowl with strips of paper instead of tied.

 6. AFFIRMATION: On the fourth piece of paper, invite them to write an affirmation of how they will choose to show up and stay centered during this time.  Although it may be too soon on their path for a true claiming – practicing this gives a sense of power. Invite them to keep this piece in their pocket, in their bra, in your purse, and remember it when they get scared – to read it.  On the other sides they could create a connection from their past to their future – with them being in the present moment – like a bridge, or a journey.

7. SHARING: Consider inviting them to share a variation of this project with another person in need. You can guide it, change it and use it to work with others who are experiencing trauma. You can even give them a handout with this process and empower them to move into being the guide.

With the paper they have, they can tie it into a scroll with thread, and or fold it up and keep or, or let it go.

Blessings for the journey ahead. Thank you for being willing to hold space for those in need.

NOTE: Working with trauma can be very sensitive and complex. If you don’t feel experienced or comfortable, keep the process more general and just enough for them to receive some comfort and empowerment. A little love through Intentional Creativity goes a long way.  People can and will be triggered but we cannot let that keep us from sharing.


Basic process created by Shiloh Sophia, with input and ideas and editing from members of the Intentional Creativity Guild.

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

The Great Question: Intentional Creativity and Personal Inquiry

Art spans human history, from prelinguistic cave dweller to postmodern city dweller, and stands as witness to an ongoing creative process, an evolution of worldviews, a historic unfolding vision of nature, humanity, cosmos, and consciousness itself.  Every work of art embodies the vision of its creator and self. Every work of art embodies the vision of its creator and reveals a facet of the collective mind. Artists offer the world the pain and beauty of their soul as a gift to open the eyes and heal the collective. (Alex Grey, 1998)

As I continue down the winding path of creative inquiry which is constantly opening doors and provoking lines of questioning all demanding my attention I have a flashback from my master’s program in Women’s Spirituality to courses titled Organic Inquiry taught by Dianne Jenett, Ph.D, and Art as Sacred Practice taught by the Reverend Shiloh McCloud and I can suddenly see that seeds were planted some time ago bringing me to the exact right space at the exact right time. 

The mysteries of creativity and a connection to the earth and all of Her inhabitants, all that deserve reverence and awe, is for me, the foundation of Intentional Creativity and I see that creative inquiry is perhaps one of the many beautiful branches that have flowered in my own process of knowing who I am over time. It resonates in me and feels like a sense of synchronicity. Research, inquiry, learning, and knowing that is actually about wonder, passion, hope and conviviality, and of the sacred is of utmost interest and perhaps these missing components from so many aspects of our lives for so many of us are more remarkable than we can truly understand. 

In the process of engaging in deep inquiry and using art as another way of knowing, it is helpful to recognize the impact of the cycle of life on our creative endeavors.  Alphonso Montuori, a college professor specializing in creativity, discusses the need for an incubation period that may very well be uncomfortable. This reminds me of a similar discussion initiated by the esteemed author and teacher, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes who compares this incubation time with what she calls the time needed for regeneration and that perhaps an author doesn’t really experience “writer’s block” but really is in need of time to recover, regenerate or incubate.  Dr. Estes refers to this cycle as the Abuende – like the cycle of life.  Personally, the synchronicities are attention worthy as I often feel the pressure to ‘get things done’. I have found this incubation period to be absolutely critical and I now make space to let things ‘percolate’ before I come to a plan of action.

Over the years, using the colorful and multi-faceted threads of the sacred, threads of Intentional Creativity, and threads of deep personal and academic inquiry (as if they were different) to weave a tapestry sprinkled with the sparkles of women’s circles and wonderful friends has been deeply gratifying and healing. 

In my experience, the inquiry approach to art making
cultivates intuition by creating a relationship with one’s muse,
one’s inner and true voice,
and helps the artist to acknowledge feelings
that may be difficult to articulate. 

I have found that a relationship with the Divine is nurtured, aside, inside or outside of religious parameters, and the canvas itself become an enchanted gateway with the brush as a magic wand allowing one’s pain  to be transferred so she doesn’t have to bear the weight any longer.

The whirlwind of these experiences are thought provoking, incredibly interesting, and are laying the groundwork for a complete replacement of the current lens in which I am working. The impact on my ability to deal with the incredible stressors of my profession is positive and the opportunity for personal growth is limitless. 

I’m finding my understanding of what it means to be creative has changed so much and I’m focused on putting all pieces into place even though I know it is much more important to access women’s wisdom and let things unfold in due time. Of course, I also know this will never happen as my inquiry about creativity is going to continue to unfold generating more lines of questioning, more subject areas, and many more observations to inquire about. 

Painting: Taliswoman: Symbols of Synchronicity by Jessica Bowman

References

Montuori, A. (2008). The joy of inquiry. Journal of Transformative Education, 6 (1), 8 -27

Montuori, A. (2012). Creative inquiry: Confronting the challenges of scholarship in the 21st century.  Futures, 44 (2012) 64070.

Clements, J., Ettling, D., Jenett, D., Shields, L. (1999) Organic Inquiry: If Research Were Sacred. Self Published.

McCloud, S. ShilohSophiaStudios.com

 ~ ~ ~

Jessica Bowman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology, a Master’s Degree in Women’s Spirituality and Creative Expression as well as California Single Subject Teaching Credentials in Social Science and English and Administrative Service Credentials.  She is an Associate Superintendent for a rural high school district focusing on support for underrepresented students. Jessica is also an artist, healer, and seeker.  She is a doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies researching Social Justice and the application of Goddess Consciousness as a Women’s Leadership Model. For more information on some of her work please see www.creativityandthedivinefeminine.com and www.magicalapothecary.com


Cantos of Reclamation

The Making of a Painting

 

Cantos of Reclamation

She is the quickening

Standing at the threshold of now

She doesn’t perform alchemy

She is the embodied alchemical process

She doesn’t need to create legacy by design

She IS the legacy, as it reveals itself

She certainly isn’t waiting to be discovered

The Lady has already discovered herself!

She is not persuaded by readings of the almost future

That hold prophecies of prescribed delivery or doom

She carries the codes of the tree of life in her blood

She prays to be ready to receive the fullness of the teachings

She need not constantly seek to heal what is wounded

She carries holy wholeness in her unbroken soul

With supple shimmer, she slips out of stories worn old

Gliding from hidden worlds into the joy of pure presence

She is woven of the ‘matter’ of mysterious darkness

A daughter of Wisdom, whose radiance never ceases

She is at the intersection where light enters the prism

Surrendering unnecessary struggle, heralding an age of beauty

Her true lover is not her opposite, nor her reflection,

What they are, who they are, is still being in-formed

She is one of the many messengers of the ancient future

First re-membering, and then creating with intention

She is a shelter for the sacred, a call to action for the lost

The revealing of an archetype from the celestial eclipse

Her creativity, marks out the atlas of possibility

Dissolving duality, tending to reclamation and refuge

Where paths meet she takes her stand, a vesica piscis view

weaving technology and biology as stardust methodology

She knows from whence the gifts come, from the Creator,

She chooses the narrow path of the one called The Way

The lineage she carries is carried by all people

Yet often lays hidden under suppression of consciousness

She calls a council to gather, Mystics, Poets, Painters, Cantors,

Scientists, Dancers, Wisdom Keepers and Christos Seekers

As an initiation they reclaim language, image, code, seed and sound

A new mythos is revealed, already carried in the codex of the soul

Together they explore the intersections that have divided us

Offering up a view of generosity, prosperity and justice

She shrugs off continual apology for self and projections from others

With acceptance and forgiveness for self and others, she emerges

She steps out of systems of any kind that do not support life

Simultaneously stepping into structures of divine design

She is the scribe and curator of her own becoming

Guided by her call to the ministry of refuge and reclamation

She accepts with gravity, her responsibility to the great unfolding

Nurturing herself, she discovers the nurturing for those she serves

Her unreasonable prayer is a song for the wellness of all

An offering of love, comfort and an invitation to the quickening

She hopes that this reading may be a Blessing for you,

as it has been for Her, in the writing and the revelation.

The writing of one’s own Cantos of Reclamation

can be a ritual towards the awakening.

Join me at the council of the sacred?

We will be there, waiting and ready to dance!

Shiloh Sophia

Cantos of Reclamation by Shiloh Sophia, 2017

Inspired to share this image and writing, go here

This painting is what I have been working on during this Eclipse cycle, completed just now. And the writing, got me up out of bed after a rough night of not very much sleep. When I did finally sleep, dreamed I was writing a letter to the Intentional Creativity Guild – as we had a big gathering at Terra Sophia and we were arriving at night by caravan.

This painting, Cantos of Reclamation, will be a book cover. It was created to honor the feminine evolution – creating an image of the ancient and the future of our work. The image was sparked in response to the inquiry – what is the new feminine evolutionary? Inspired by the book by that title, featuring many women writers by Flower of Life Press. There is still a bit to do to get the painting and writing just right, but she wanted to be revealed today. So here she is.

Another time I will tell you about more of the symbolism of light and dark – of honeycomb and binary computer code – and my reasons. The two colored eyes are to represent women of many colors. Light and Dark and in between and the integration. Embracing the paradox. Suffice to say I prayed during the entire painting for our planet and for women everywhere to wake up and stand up and speak up. Thank you for witnessing it.

And yes, people are already asking, prints will be available in the Fall with the release of the book, more on that soon….

yours in red thread,
Shiloh Sophia

Founder of the Intentional Creativity Movement

Announcement: Intentional Creativity Foundation, a Charitable Non-Profit Organization

Intentional creativity is ancient and belongs to all beings.

Creating with intentional symbolism to communicate and tell story has happened all over the world by all peoples in every medium. From the Red Hand Cave paintings of Aboriginal peoples of Australia, to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Egyptian glyph and myths, Russian icons coded with teachings, Shaman’s drums painted with personal medicine in Asia and Scandinavia, skin story tattoos of the Hawaiian Islands, Native American beadwork, baskets and garments, Hebrew temples and altars, marks on Mexican pottery, African symbols for death and rebirth in paintings. The references are truly everywhere, in both spiritual ritual contexts, as well as in food recipes, the design of gardens, books of poetry, and sacred architecture. All people make forms with specific intent. We get to be a part of the great unfolding of the story of earth through imagery and language with mindfulness.

Today, the legacy of art making with mindful intention, continues in conscious communities, including the Intentional Creativity movement, where tens of thousands of women creating alchemical images of the feminine and bringing their stories to the canvas for healing, transformation and liberation. This is a story worth telling, a legend to be a part of, and the weave of the future we together are creating. Women empowered to serve themselves, their families and communities.

What will future people say about who we are, when they see our creations in 1,000 years? What will they say we focused on, loved and cared for? What will they say we stood for or against? Who will our art show us to be, as a people? Artists have always told the story of humanity in matter based creations – what part of the story are you choosing to tell?

At the Intentional Creativity Foundation, our focus group has been working on the development, philosophy and access to the emergent discipline of creativity for the past twenty-five years. Yet our specific lineage of study goes back to the 1930ies during the Roosevelt administration’s call to artists during the New Deal. This work has been passed from hand to hand for over 80 years as each of us learns the power of putting intention to use, while being conscious of what we are creating, how it feels, and what we discover during and after the process.

By 2018 there will be close to 200 Intentional Creativity Guild Members who are graduates of our Intentional Creativity Training, around the world bringing this technology to the people they serve. We know that all beings are creative, and that the kind of creativity we are offering isn’t based in talent, but a desire to be awake to one’s self and one’s own path. From there, we can answer the call.

May we be of service to awakening consciousness through intentional creativity.

~ Shiloh Sophia
Co-Founder, Intentional Creativity Foundation

It is with a grateful heart that I officially announce that the Intentional Creativity Foundation, our not-for-profit is active, approved, online and ready to rock. Thank you Jonathan Lewis for believing in the vision and making it happen and being the Co-Founder of the foundation. Thank you to all Color of Woman staff and graduates for 8 years of training. Thank you to Cosmic Cowgirls for being the community we first explored this in with depth in circles. Thank you to those who made it possible through their teachings, Sue Sellars, Lenore Thomas Straus, Caron McCloud. Thank you to all of you along Red Thread.

Image by Sue Hoya Sellars

Quote on painting says –
“We must move into the future, creating it as we go.
We have been placed on the edge of history too long now.
We have always been here.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

  PURCHASE HERE 

The Witness Tree at TEDX Berkeley 2017

The theme of TEDX Berkeley this year was Constellate and they had an amazing group of speakers. (Check out this post about the conference.) Part of our Intentional Creativity tribe participated in the event on Saturday, April 15th by bringing the Witness Tree to TEDX. Kerry Lee, Tina Greene, Annette Wagner, and Andrea Christiansen were there to lead people through the process and witness them placing their leaves on the tree.

The Witness Tree

What is the Witness Tree?

The Witness Tree Project is an invitation to engage
in collaborate Intentional Creativity.

Attendees at the event were invited to engage in Intentional Creativity with the inquiry of: What are you here to cause and create? and then asked to articulate their unique piece, their wishes, dreams or ideas in a few words. They declared this intention by writing it on a paper leaf and gluing it onto the Witness Tree.

Annette and Andrea at our table.

Annette and Tina witnessing folks stating what they are here to cause and create.

After each leaf was firmly in place on the tree a Guild member, a colorfully dressed artist representing the global Intentional Creativity Guild of teachers, asked the participant one at a time, without the pomp and circumstance of a large crowd or line of people, to state their declaration out loud.

For many this was unexpected. We saw eyes grow large, big gulps of air swallowed, and slow smiles emerge as the participant recognized a part of declaring was giving their voice to their wish, idea or dream. Some were quick and ready, and some wanted to come back later after thinking about it.

Some were there searching for exactly what they are here on earth to cause and create, and some were focused, sure and on a mission. For many, tears welled in their eyes and courage had to be summoned before being able to speak their truths out loud. All felt something had shifted after being witnessed, and many told a story to go with their part. Hugs and gratitude came easily.

Kerry Lee with composer Darrin Cching

We encouraged each participant to remember that if we each held our own piece, simply what they had written on their leaf, all the meaningful declarations would amount to something much greater. Especially as action followed in the coming hours, days, weeks and months. Many came back to “visit” or share their leaves with others as the event progressed.

As so many teachers say, we learned from this event too. What stood out for me was:

  • Everyone has a cause even if they don’t know exactly what it is yet. And those who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone will find it.

  • Everyone wants to be heard, to be witnessed, and to have an authentic moment of human-to-human connection. With a stranger seems even more powerful. And to know they make a difference just being who they are.

  • Creativity can be simple, and with intention it’s power still surprises and inspires me even after years of witnessing this.
  • Attendees were a broad cross-section of students, Berkeley-ites, companies, musicians, activists and more. It was very special to see how many folks were willing to join in with us and declare their cause out loud.

Creativity at work indeed. Claim. Declare. Witness. Simple yet so very powerful. Imagine if – everyone held their piece, their leaf and then acted upon with intention.
What would happen for the greater good of all?

If you are having an event and would like to have the Witness Tree there, contact Kerry Lee for more details.

~ ~ ~

Kerry Lee uses her gifts as an intuitive artist to create custom celebrations and ceremony, including The Witness Tree and The Wish Tree for weddings, anniversaries, birthday, retirement and life celebrations. She is a Certified Intentional Creativity Teacher® and a transformational catalyst guiding her clients and students through a sacred process of self discovery, connection and bonding. She teaches how intention can enhance intuition, wisdom, communication, community and joy. You’ll find Kerry Lee at KerryLeeArt.com

 

 

Annette Wagner is a working artist, creativity coach and Intentional Creativity teacher. She creates Earth Prayers, a form of Intentional Sketching, which she sends out into the world on an almost daily basis. Her intention is to heal our connection to the earth and to share that with others so they can experience that healing connection for themselves. You can follow her on Facebook or Tumblr or visit her at AnnetteWagnerArt.com to purchase an earth prayer of your very own.

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