An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Life After Loss

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.”
Ilona Lantos
View Ilona’s Art and upcoming In-Person/Online Classes and Workshops at Mindful Art Creations

 

An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Maria Do Rosario Souza

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

 

 

An Eye on Intentional Creativity:: Finding Joy in the Chaos

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 own skin 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.”

Find Amanda’s musings and upcoming class information at www.findjoyinthechaos.com

 

[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 

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

Holding onto Hope-Kate Langlois

Prayer Knots

Lately I feel too much

the mother of all sighs

heaves its weighted breath

outward from my chest

leaving my body

raw and weeping

eluded by solace

I nudge my site inward

in search of

beauty

excerpt- Feeling too much

Kate Langlois 2014

Tonight I’m tying prayer knots into red thread for the students in Nigeria who were kidnapped. It is said that an invisible red thread that connects us. That whenever we feel alone, in need connection and support, a tug on our piece of it reaches out to our greater circle in the world. I’m casting out this invisible thread to each of these girls that they keep feeling connected, keep up their hope of rescue.

The girls and their families who in seeking an education and something better, perhaps unwittingly ended up risking their lives. It’s a massive tragedy and one that I hope is not soon to be swept under the media rug and silenced. Marches, protests, petitions, prayers, and yes, even painting is happening as we as a world community attempt to take action and process the horror.

Singing Mother-Earth's Healing

Singing Mother-Earth’s Healing

For the past couple of years, using Intentional Creativity, I’ve been pouring my thoughts and prayers into the layers of paint canvases. I feel a yearning to share voices of the unheard and the unseen, bringing a sense of beauty through symbols to their images as a sort of healing salve. Many are women and children, victims of social injustices most of us scarcely can imagine.

Taking Human Rights issues to the canvas is what I care deeply about. My paintings are a prayer for all beings. A reoccurring symbol is the earth and often angels beings pregnant with or holding the earth. I am calling out to them to come and heal us all. My Singing Mother theme is inspired by the painted clay figures of the same name, created by renowned artist Helen Cordero of the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico.

I feel all people are part of my greater circle of family, my earth family. Mothers, Sisters, daughters, children, brothers, fathers and sons, all part of this planet all connected. Too often we  focus on our differences, the things that separate, the faults. I prefer instead to focus on the wholeness, similarities and connections.  As the Hopi elders and others have said, we are dreaming our world into existence. I try and envision the outcome as existing now. This is also a theory in the study of Quantum Physics. That if we can shift our thinking from one of ‘one day’  to one of it already happening in the present, it may be possible to bring about the change more quickly. It’s not easy to do and it’s an ongoing attempt to hold this vision for sure. There’s no guarantee it can or will happen, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I have great hope.

I believe in the unseen energetic connection that flows between us all.  That our thoughts and feelings affect one another and our planet in ways we can hardly comprehend.  So if this group earth consciousness does exist, what will it take for us to reach a catalytic shift if we all place out intention on healing all beings on our earth? What small step can each of us take? Is it painting our prayers, writing a poem, volunteering with children or at a shelter? Perhaps you place your intention into your knitting or while cooking dinner for your family. Bringing intention into form as we move through our day to day lives, right in the thick of the chaos we strive to keep together. By tuning in to the greater world view and refusing to lay down our piece of the red thread, we become part of the healing foundation,  part of the song of healing for our planet and for each other.

I had never heard of musician Jennifer Berezan before going to a production of Song for All Beings, a Celebration of Lovingkindness last fall as part of our first annual Color of Woman Alumni gathering. Her music, a beautiful prayer, was accompanied by an array of singers against video imagery of extinct or endangered animals and nature. Hilarious skits in the midst of the heartbreak where a woman learned about unconditional love from her dog and another where falling down and getting up became one move. You fall down, you get up. One move. Wouldn’t that be great instead of falling down and staying down? A-Me-2013_edited-1 I invite you to explore with myself and any one of the Color of Women Teachers, creative pathways to healing, shifting parts of our lives where we are stuck or in need of transformation. Let’s make it one move together to get back up and running towards that which we love. Kate Langlois is a Visionary Artist and Color or Woman Teacher creating paintings  using Intentional Creativity. Her the style of the Contemporary Symbolism Movement. Kate’s JOY is in painting with women and girls to spark their own unique creative paths. Kate’s images give voice to her own journey and to women throughout the world in the shadows, without pathways for such expressions. Her paintings are a celebration of all women, and connection to the mystery beyond the physical world we all play in. All artwork © 2014 Kate Langlois

Trusting in the Mystery by Kate Langlois

 

Soulkind

Soulkind

 The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery. Anais Nin

My friend Havi spoke recently about ‘learning to trust in the mystery’.  This says a lot for me, because even though I do love a good mystery, when one shows up in our own life, we often start demanding answers.  We want control over the situation, to be the one taking the wheel and setting the course. Letting go of control can sound scary, yet it doesn’t mean letting go of self-effort or that chaos is going to take over if we relax a little bit. We’re just choosing to look at the mystery from a slightly different angle.

I may not trust Mystery, but I can learn to live with it

Trusting in the mystery means we might just have to sit back for a little while or even a long while and wait to see what’s going to show up. While we’re in this waiting cycle, we may just decide we don’t even need to trust it, so much as learn to live with it.

I often think that Mystery and wonder must walk hand in hand. It’s WONDER that allows me to peer inquisitively into the face of life’s mysteries. Wonder makes the waiting more of an adventure, more of a game. And if it’s a game, it better mean we’re having fun too!

Wonder diffuses fear

Recently I said yes to an invitation to teach at an alumni gathering with our Color of Women Teachers. I said yes before I even knew what I was going to teach.  Instant mystery right? AND I brought it upon myself too.

A couple of years ago I most certainly would have shrunk back into the shadows instead. Even if I had said yes, my perfectionist self would me laboring meticulously over every tiny step in preparation. I would rehearse what I would say. For much of my life I had the effects of ‘stage fright’ if I spoke in front of a group of people to give a speech or a talk about something. My throat would constrict and my voice would miter out meekly in shaky mouse-like squeeks and I’d be on the verge of tears, completely forgetting what I was talking about. Though it was seemingly beyond my control, I felt nothing short of pathetic and ridiculous for not being able to come across as a strong and confident speaker.

So how was it I could say yes to teaching to my peers no less? Because through the work of Intentional Creativity I’ve created a new pattern in my response to the situation. The wires have literally been restrung into new pathways in my being. These days more often than not, I can lean into the mystery instead of running from it. Events in our lives whether they be traumatic or blissful, leave a mark on us. Our whole body embodies these events, often showing up in after-affects we may not recognize at first. If we can discover these threads from our past, we can take hold of them in the present and reweave them into beautiful new dreams as we fly boldly ahead into our futures.

Message to Myself

Message to Myself

The work of a Visionary is to know the past, dream the future and take powerful action in the present. Shiloh Sophia McCloud

The’ taking action’ piece means making a mark on a paper or a canvas without waiting for the right moment to come or inspiration to strike. For example, for me that big old boulder in the road trying to block my way is sometimes appears as whole pile of boulders surrounding me from all sides and reaching far up into the sky. Sound familiar? Well the time is past when we shrug our shoulders giving in, giving up. There is a recipe for change, ingredients of Creativity are our magical tools for clearing the way. Yes it probably will be scary-anything that involves involve facing our self usually is. Isn’t it time you peeled back the layers the world has thrown over you, tried to protect you with? Who would you be if you finally rose up to the challenge of being who you really dreamed of being instead of who others expected you to be? It may seem like a solitary journey, but I can tell you it is not. It’s one of amazing connections, synchronicity and even joy. And maybe, just maybe it’s the only thing that’s going to finally save you.

Intentional Creativity

Intentional Creativity

How to dissolve fear? 

Ingredients

You showing up as your Creative Self~an intention~a dream~ ~paint~paintbrush~canvas~pen and paper

  Dare yourself to play with Intentional Creativity &  invite in more of what you want for your life.  Put less attention on what is not working. By engaging in Creative Play with INTENTION and ACTION we literally become the antidote for what ails us and even for each other.

Kate Langlois 2013

Kate Langlois is a Visionary Artist and Color or Woman Teacher creating paintings  using Intentional Creativity. Her the style of the Contemporary Symbolism Movement. Kate’s JOY is in painting with women and girls to spark their own unique creative paths. Kate’s images give voice to her own journey and to women throughout the world in the shadows, without pathways for such expressions. Her paintings are a celebration of all women, and connection to the mystery beyond the physical world we all play in.

All artwork © 2013 Kate Langlois

Perfection’s Illusion by Kate Langlois

Perfection's Illusion

Perfection’s Illusion

Brush in one hand, pen in another I wield

My tools forging image and word to shine

Out in the world in full light of sun

No quiet content in the folds of slumber deep

But in the billboards of broken hearts and cities

Where stores rewritten, re-imagined

Fill the empty vacuums of wilted hearts

and tongues

Excerpt No Quiet Content 2012 Kate Langlois

A show-down with my own behavior? Yes, I had one.

Have you ever caught yourself stuck in a moment, in a pattern you seem to have cycled through before?  Sometimes we barely witness it in a conscious manner and instead trudge along unaware of a way to move out of it in an intentional way. Imagine this time though; what if you were awakened with a heightened awareness of this pattern’s existence.

Then what?

 If do we recognize a pattern we want to change, what are the tools to help us do that? Most of us aren’t exactly raised with such specific instruction by our parents or teachers. Mainly we’re just banking on sheer willpower to try and change right?

Recently I found myself in a show-down of sorts with my own behavior and became determined to drop my façade of an old story. My story was about admitting I wasn’t perfect. That no way, no how could I continue to maintain the premise that I could keep all ‘my stuff’ together. Yeah, okay, I knew that I wasn’t perfect. I knew I didn’t have everything all neatly organized and picture-perfect,  but on some level I was still putting on the front that I was.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything,

That’s how the light gets in.

-Leonard Cohen

Honestly it sometimes takes us finally getting pissed off at our patterns big time to break out and make a change. So come on-grab a shovel! There’s weightlessness, spaces that open up when we unload the adhesions that don’t actually resonate with us!

Moths (Hope) on my Mind

Moths (Hope) on my Mind

Aah hold up, first the vehicle!  Intentional Creativity, brought into my toolbox by none other than Shiloh Sophia McCloud, is my transport for roughing this terrain.  So this time, instead of spinning my wheels, I remind myself to delve into this transformative tool.  In this way I’m holding up my imaginary spyglass to both myself and the world around me.

If I don’t like what I see, I ask for what is needed and change the lens, adjust the course.

Seeing and thinking about things (such as being stuck in a pattern),  is only one layer. So we add multi-dimensionality to the spectrum  to start dreaming our ideal outcome into form with paint, personal symbols and words.  Information is revealed to us over time.

Self Care

Self Care

My perspective is then tweaked in how I view these messy parts of my life. The outcome is often nothing less than powerful and life-shifting. One thing I discovered was that refocusing on Self Care was definitely needed!

Consider the process as an extraction of sorts from our inner world to the outer world in form and color. Moving through this life with this awareness that we can steer our way through obstacles where in the past we may have been stuck, empowers and inspires, lifting us up to perspectives previously unimagined.

A few days ago I sat in the garden pulling up some weeds. Gardening, hand (& feet) to earth is one of the most calming acts to me. It allows for the space to invite in new thoughts and ideas; questions too. What came up for me was that I actually wouldn’t enjoy the garden as much without those wild, untamed, ‘messy’ parts.

Self-Portrait-Embracing the Messy

Always leave a corner of the garden overgrown and wild. That’s where the fairies live.

-Maria Doglio (my mama)

How can centerdness and messiness inform eachother?
They do. It is a weave.

Undeniably, those wild parts of the garden are fraught with mystery and creative fire. They provide structure and foundation for the more visibly ‘orderly’ areas which wouldn’t be as such without these intensely fierce and rambling spaces.  Standing in my center peering into the borders of my life, into ‘the messy’, I’m letting my centeredness and the messy inform each other. This back and forth weaving is forging a stronger me.

So yes, I’ve unwittingly found myself back again in my center seeing my same life with renewed vision. It’s true! Right smack dab in the midst of life’s mess, I’m learning to see sparks of luster in the frayed ends of imperfection that is my life. How can this be? We all know, or so we tell ourselves that everything must be in order. Keep up appearances and all that, striving for some semblance of unreachable perfection. Perfection outlined by ‘others’. Well at long last I can say ‘no thank you very much’ and I’m off to dance in the weeds with the fairies!

Lighting the Way

From here I getting to unfurl my wings a bit more and witness a ME that seems to always have been there just waiting for me to return.  And after all, if we don’t keep spinning the giant wheel of perspective to try a new angle on for size, the alternative just might find us stuck in one that doesn’t suit us terribly well.

Okay so the pieces of my life don’t match up quite as seamlessly as I once thought they should. Instead, I’m seeing that the quirky imperfection fits me just fine.  As I Embrace the Messy I’m discovering I truly do like it that way.

And you? Are you ready to see the beauty in the midst of your imperfect life and embrace the messy? What would it mean for you to embrace the messy in your own life right where you are?

.

Kate Langlois 2013

Kate Langlois is a Visionary Artist and Color or Woman Teacher creating paintings in the style of the Contemporary Symbolism Movement. Her JOY is in painting with women and girls to spark their own unique creative paths. Kate’s images give voice to her own journey and to women throughout the world in the shadows, without pathways for such expressions. Her paintings are a celebration of all women, and connection to the mystery beyond the physical world we all play in.

Photo by Gina Fong

All artwork © 2013 Kate Langlois

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