Am I Still Holding My Piece of the Red Thread?

 Alien Skin Rock - Annette Wagner

An alien skin over your own
Hiding you from the world
Keeping your secrets safe
To walk in your own skin
Let your heart sing
Be you, only you
And you will loved.

I’ve not written for a while because life took me off on another tangent. One that felt like I was being derailed, distracted, and pulled away from my work, my piece of the red thread.

My wonderful, beautiful, creative daughter had a very rocky start to high school. Anxiety. Stress headaches. Tears. Anger. Overwhelm. It took weeks to figure out what was going on. It’s been very hard for her and very hard for me. To watch someone I love who has all this potential and brilliance flounder and sink into a miasma where she is entirely stalled out in her life….it rips up my heart big time.

I’ve run through the gamut of mom guilt trips: feeling hugely responsible, frustrated because I can’t just fix it, annoyed at the way it derailed her, wondering how I contributed, wondering how I missed this pattern in her all these years, feeling helpless, annoyed at how western medical just wants to hand a 14 year old drugs, annoyed at her father for his genetic contribution. You name it, I’ve been walking it.

All through this, I asked, What is wanted? I wanted an intention to guide my energy and my heart. I had a trip planned to Idaho and Montana for a week in the midst of this and I went because I needed the break, to step away for a bit. And so, there on the side of a river one day, my intention emerged:

To support my daughter in learning how and moving through transformation.

If you’ve read my blog you know that I know this transformation stuff. Its what I teach and what I paint. I’ve been through major change in my own life. But my hesitation, and I did have one, about engaging in what I teach with my child was because I felt I was too close. Yet spirit made it clear that this was what I was to do. Relief and clarity are mine – I’ve felt like I now have a light shining on my path forward.

I came home and went to work supporting her, talking to her therapist, putting routine and boundaries in place, and generally just being there with her to laugh and cry and keep taking one step after the other. I have not worked on my art updating my site or finishing watercolors and greeting cards or creating videos for online classes or any of the other projects I have on my list to get done. Part of me has been beating myself up about that. Feeling like I am not doing my work.

So what do those of us who work in the Intentional Creativity movement do when we feel like this? We ask. And so, I asked,

Am I still holding my piece of the red thread?


The answer surprised me but perhaps will not surprise you. The answer included letting me know that doing all that work to get my art out into the world is important – but it has its own time and path. And right now I AM doing my work. I AM holding my piece of the red thread. 

Being there with my daughter as she walks this path IS doing MY work in the world right now in this present moment. Its about loving my daughter in all the ways she needs so she has the opportunity to heal herself so she can live her life fully and with love and happiness. Tears as I write this…

I needed to hear this. I needed to recalibrate myself with my own inner purpose, with my own piece of the red thread. Recalibration comes in many ways and I am grateful whether it comes with rocks or rose petals strewn down my path so long as I know which direction to walk in. 




Handful of rocks - Annette Wagner

~ ~ ~

Annette-intentional-sketching-with-bookAnnette Wagner, M.A., is a Visionary Artist, Color of Woman Intentional Creativity teacher (many thanks to Ms. Shiloh for her teachings!), and Art Doctor.  She paints Contemporary Symbolism and watercolor sumi-e paintings. She works extensively with metaphor, symbol, and color. She is the Managing Editor of the Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine and staff at Shiloh Sophia Studios

Annette studied with American Master painter Sue Hoya Sellars and has a Masters in Women’s Spirituality  from Sofia University. Her background includes over 25 years of hi-tech experience including 21 patents. She is owned by her dancing daughter, two cat beings, the man of her heart, and her Muse. You can view her artwork and read more about Annette at:

Facade and rocks photos by Annette Wagner, 2016. Headshot of Annette by C. Kalinski. 

Serving Those Who Serve – United Nations


CSW59: Recharging Our Work as Global Advocates

(UN Council of the Status of Women – 59th Session)

Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Fatigue

Serving Those Who Serve

March 10, 6:15pm United Nations Church Center

The United Nations: Church Center for the United Nations – International Chapel 777 United Nations Plaza, New York New York

Host, moderator and sponsor Lys Anzia: Founder & Human Rights Journalist, 
 WNN – Women News Network

Many people who have worked in the field of international human rights and humanitarian efforts have witnessed first-hand, and second-hand, some of the most difficult global traumas experienced by women and children. Because of this advocates, journalists, NGO workers and activists can find themselves suffering from forms of Secondary Traumatic Stress and Fatigue (STS). Research shows STS burn-out can stop our ability to work. It can be transformed if the right steps are taken. This year at UNCSW59 in New York, 20 years following the ‘Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995’, attendees from over 100 separate countries will reaffirm their commitment to equal rights & human dignity for all women and children who have suffered. As we reach beyond the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action it’s now time to “serve the server.” Join an international panel that will highlight how to reduce STS through interactive sharing, insight and resources.


Svetlana Bachevanova: Documentary photojournalist dedicated to global social justice, Publisher of FotoEvidence

Jessica Buchleitner: WNN Human Rights Journalist & Global women’s advocate, Author of The 50 Women Book Anthology Series

Cecilia Lipp: Attorney & Executive Director of International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law, Former Program Manager for Survivors International UCSF Trauma Recovery Center

Shiloh Sophia McCloud: Founder of the Intentional Creativity Movement, Author, Global Educator focusing on art as a path of healing from trauma to transformation for women & girls through the Red Thread.

David Stuart: Former Executive Director of Disarmament Action Network, FotoEvidence Managing Editor

Elahe Amani: Peace Mediator/Activist with Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB) Special Speaker on Iranian women in prisons at UN Human Rights Council Geneva, WNN – Women News Network reporter on Iran, and Chair for Global Circles at WIN – Women’s Intercultural Network.

Follow Shiloh’s Journey to the United Nations and participate in Peace!


In defense of Frida Kahlo and the Healing Power of Paintbrushes

Emily Grieves
Teotihuacan, Mexico

Have you ever had a conversation that made you come to the conclusion that you would do everything to defend the value of what you do?

I had one of those conversations recently. It was actually a brief conversation, but one that has left me pondering what I do, and the value of it, for days.

I had just visited Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul house in Coyoacan, an artsy colonial old neighborhood in the South of Mexico City, with some family members. We each moved through the house, where she was born and raised and later lived for many years with Diego Rivera and which has been turned into a museum, at our own pace.  Some of us read the signs more thoroughly than others, each of us taking in the items on display in our own way and in accord with our own tastes and varying knowledge of her history. The house is filled with, to me, fascinating objects. Aside from all the original beautiful everyday household items (her kitchen is from heaven!) there are many original paintings, photographs and documents that reveal myriad aspects of how Frida and Diego lived. There are her dresses, jewelry, plaster and leather corsets and back braces, her Revlon nail polish, her prosthetic leg with a red Chinese silk shoe and jingle bells on it!

Emily Grieves Casa Azul

I lingered for a long time in her studio, as I have on the several previous occasions when I’ve visited, taking in the energy of her creative space, her easel with a wheelchair parked in front of it, her brushes (she had brushes made out of feathers!), her pigments, her crinkled tubes of paint (as if she had tried to squeeze out every last drop), her box of pastels, her glitter collection (for real, she had glitter!).  I took in the soft midday light that fell diffused and tepid through the window panes, and thought, really, it’s not such good light for painting, but it’s an awful lot like the light in my house, the light that falls across my canvas, and I felt that pang of connection with someone who died many decades ago but who continues to be a larger-than-life ALIVE presence for so many people, female artists in particular, around the world.

Emily Grieves casa azul

From Frida’s studio you move directly to her “Day Bedroom” which has her famous bed in it, the one her mother had made for her after her accident that has a mirror under the canopy so she could look straight up and paint self-portraits. Her bronze death mask lies on the bedspread wrapped in a shawl, as if to make her presence in the bed all the more real and palpable. The next room, the “Night Bedroom,” is filled with old medical paraphernalia, and you can imagine her screaming in pain to her sister to inject her with more morphine as she declined to her final days. Her ashes are in a pre-Hispanic urn on a small table in the Night Bedroom, and my son stood before it and prayed for her. I half-jokingly said, “I don’t think she’s around anymore. She’s long gone.” I thought about her famous quote, “I hope the exit is joyful, and I hope never to return.” She is gone, and yet she isn’t. She is more present than ever, not just in the energy of the place and her things, but in the way she has grown in popularity since her death as she has been recognized not only as an artist, but as a personality, identity, cook, poet, thinker, dreamer, social mover and shaker, fashion designer, creator, iconic figure representing a time period, a nation, a people, a gender, and extrapolating her iconography beyond any of those categories. She has come to represent all those who have ever sought to express themselves from the inside out.

Emily Grieves

Later in the day, after my son and his cousin had enjoyed decorating Frida paper dolls with fabric scraps, ribbons and beads, after we’d had a cup of coffee in the museum garden, after we’d taken funny photos posing as Frida and Diego outside the dress exhibit, after we were home …

Sometimes an opposing perspective can help us validate that which we stand for.

I had a conversation with a person who had not been on the day’s excursion, and the subject of Frida came up.  He made a comment that he thought that Frida was no more an artist than he was a doctor (he’s not;  in other words, he felt that she wasn’t an artist at all and that she wasn’t even remotely qualified to call herself one) and that she had just ridden to fame on Diego’s coat tails … that she had no technical skill and that the only master in the relationship was Diego…  that she was just a big show and had gained fame only by garishly displaying her personal dramas.  I was quite taken aback by such a strong opinion that was so opposed to the enjoyment I’d experienced that day reveling in her energy and her spirit so evident in her house.

I responded to this negative commentary initially with some important points about the history of Frida’s life and work as I was aware of them, and then decided better to just simply change the subject rather than engage in an argument.  However, the conversation has been gnawing at me …. Why?  Because I consider Frida Kahlo to be the grand matriarch of the art movement within which I work.  This person’s criticism of Frida’s artwork felt in some way like an indirect criticism of my own artwork.  As my mind has chewed on this negative onslaught toward Frida Kahlo, I have to respond that she actually had a quite a lot of technical skill. Considering that she never had formal art education but was entirely self-taught, painting with major physical limitations, her work has a very high level of technical skill. But unlike many artists, creating a technically adept painting was not the outcome she was after in her work. Technical skill simply supported the path to what was so obviously her true mission, which was to express her inner world, to use artwork and creativity as a way to intentionally and consciously work through her thoughts and feelings. I don’t think she could help it, actually. I think if she hadn’t had her artwork, she probably would have gone crazy from her suffering.

Emily Grieves Fridas Glitter

Frida stated about her artwork, I don’t paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

That her reality included a unique perspective and way of viewing the world is undeniable.  I believe that she was able to view the world as much more than just the typical physical reality so many people perceive, and that is the only reality some “technically skilled” artists are able to portray.  She opened the door to the possibility that dreams and nightmares can actually become your reality depending on your choosing. Using intentional creativity as her method to process both her physical and emotional pain certainly gave her a unique perspective on the suffering of the world in general, one that shows in her artwork and one that I believe makes her work so universally understandable. At the same time, she never let her understanding of suffering limit her in any way in experiencing life.  To the contrary, she used it as a springboard to live life to its fullest, making every moment a creative act.

By opening the quality of one’s perception and accessing other realities through creative acts, one has the power to choose a new experience in life.

It is said that in her life, she showed her friends primarily her happy bright side, the Frida who loved to throw parties and to socialize, probably innately understanding from an early age that harping on her pain and suffering publicly wouldn’t gain her much friendship and popularity.  She said “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” Knowing that she lived a turbulent life , particularly the unstable but deep passions of her relationship with Diego, is probably more knowledge gained in modern times from films and books made about her, than was likely such common knowledge about her during her lifetime, so it is unfair to say that she gained fame by playing up her dramas.  While she had some 30 surgeries during her life, she had very few exhibits (and only one in Mexico which she attended from her bed shortly before her death), so it is unfair to say that she rode Diego’s coattails to fame.  Her fame as both an artist and an icon largely came posthumously, as modern audiences, and I’d dare to say women in particular, came to discover the intimacy of her vision and our ability to relate to it.

Frida KahloHow many of us women have looked into the mirror and seen our own image at times as dreadful, torn and frayed, our core a broken column seemingly beyond repair?

What if we were to re-imagine as Frida did and use Intentional Creativity to help us see differently, to see ourselves as whole and healed?

What if we chose to look again into the mirror and to see our image as a woman growing from the earth framed by dark foliage and vines and wild animals peering back at us from our own eyes?  Then to look once again at our reflection and to see the compassionate all-embracing mother of us all living as a spark within? How many of us have seen our own duality?  Our inner twin selves, she who plays by society’s rules and expectations and she who defies them, she who loves and she who loathes, she who dreams and she who follows, she who feels divided and cut apart at the core and she who has hope still? How many of us have bled out from our internal doubts and battles, and then pieced ourselves back together again?  Frida’s images speak to all the parts of us, the good, the bad and the ugly.  She offers us a reflection in her paintings, one that inspires us to our own work of using creative process to see the truth of ourselves revealed.

The simplest inspiration offered by Frida in her life is that she painted and wrote privately with no real attachment to whether or not it would ever be seen by others. While she always valued the sale of a painting, she made her paintings for herself as her own healing.  Whatever confronted her in life, whether public or private, she took it to the canvas, to the paper, to the paint, to work it out.  There is no more powerful way to heal than to give your healing form and color, to make it real, palpable and permanent. This is precisely the way I’ve always made art and the way in which I was taught in my Intentional Creativity Movement teacher certification course by Shiloh Sophia McCloud of Cosmic Cowgirls University and Red Thread Nation – this is the way of creating that I’ve discovered really helps people and makes an impact in their lives.

Since Frida Kahlo opened the possibility for women to express themselves in this way, through the decades of rapidly unfolding creative expression in general in our world, and through Shiloh’s lineage that was passed down to her via Sue Hoya Sellars, I give all my gratitude for the Intentional Creativity Movement and for the fact that I, as a woman working in Mexico in 2015, can teach intentional creativity to local village women who have never been to Frida’s house just 40 miles away.  I consider Frida Kahlo to be the grand matriarch instigator of the Intentional Creativity Movement, and I thank her for having the guts in her era to do what she had to do to express herself the way she did and for leaving such a rich legacy to inspire future generations of women around the world to look deep inside themselves and to pull out their darkest shadows and their brightest light from their interior worlds and to paint it all out on the canvas. I give thanks to Frida for blazing such a brilliant trail of symbols and surreal soulscapes and magical realities – in doing so, she has given me my most powerful tools today for myself and for offering women a true path to transformation and healing – a paintbrush and a jar of glitter.  I’ll defend the value of paintbrushes and glitter until the day I die.

Images: photos of  Museo Frida Kahlo taken by Emily K. Grieves in Mexico City.

Emily GrievesEmily Grieves received a BFA degree in art from the University of Montana in 1993, followed by study of art history in Berlin, Germany, as a Fulbright scholar. She lived in San Francisco, California, for 10 years where she began exploring symbology, mythology, and ritual in her artwork. She has been a practitioner of shamanic healing and hands-on energy work for over 17 years. As of 2004, she makes her home in Teotihuacan, Mexico, where she guides groups into the powerful energies of the pyramids, has painted murals at the Dreaming House spiritual retreat center and has created a body of artwork influenced by the cosmological imagery left in the 2000 year old pyramids. Emily is a certified coach and teacher in the Intentional Creativity Movement developed by Shiloh Sophia McCloud.  She founded Taller de Arte El Refugio, an art studio in Teotihuacan, where she offer painting classes to local women and girls and provides them with a much-needed place of refuge, relaxation, and creative expression. In her art and healing, it is Emily’s intention to create portals to the sacred and to open hearts. You can view her artwork and get more information about the journeys and workshops she offers at

Painting for Earth's Healing

Jassy Watson
Queensland, Australia

I approach using art as a potent tool for healing the planet and as a platform for raising awareness of important environmental and ecological issues that all of humanity is currently faced with.

The Earth is my Sister

The Earth is my Sister


All forms of art have the potential to be tools for healing. I believe that through the creative process the healing of both self and the planet and our relationship to it can be transformed.

Why? Because when creative work is approached from a place of passion and purpose and art is brought to life with intention, great shifts can occur. Not only for the artist, but also for the viewer. I believe wholeheartedly that I can approach the canvas and paint intentionally to heal the earth and deepen my connection to it, and in doing so inspire others to deepen and honour a connection to the earth creatively.

There are many contemporary artists who are agents of environmental change and who are using their creative gifts and talents to build awareness and provoke thought through their work and process. Many artists, such as myself are working with transformative approaches and processes towards a new vision that is ecological and participates with the living cycles of nature. Many topics are approached such as oceans, climate change, water quality, recycling, water purification, natural disasters, de-forestation, endangered species and more.

Take the words of Nigerian painter Jerry Buhari: Today the talk of the world is about an endangered Earth. One often wonders how much of the talk is backed with genuine concern and the will to take positive steps. But it should not surprise the world that artists are in the forefront of the discussion on the environment.

Artists today are finding all sorts of inventive ways to call attention to the problems facing our environment, as corporate greed and profit impose destruction on our planet. While each artist works very differently and explores diverse territories, they share awareness about the critical loss of natural resources and a desire to save the planet from human destruction.

Shallow by Ann Rosenthal

Shallow by Ann Rosenthal

Eco-feminist artist Ann T. Rosenthal and activist artist Steffi Domike have been collaborating on environmental installations for years. Their wall installation, Watermark: Wood, Coal, Oil, Gas (2011) consists of four panels that illustrate an evolutionary timeline of energy resources—wood, coal, oil and natural gas.

Dominique Mazeau is a poet and artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has made an exquisite journal of poems and drawings of cleaning up the Rio Grande River over many years. She has made sculptures from the trash and she teaches school children about the river with her poems and her art.

There are many more Eco-feminist and Environmentalist/Activist artists such as Charla Puryear and Helene Aylon using their art to raise awareness of ecological issues. These few examples alone demonstrate that art, in its myriad of forms, has the capacity to effect positive change on the earth and its environments.

Artists are catalysts for change, and this “change” takes place when we feel deeply for a precious cause. I feel deeply for the earth and I feel that it is largely humanity’s disconnection from the earth and from the earth as mother that has contributed to the current state of not only the health of the earth body, but also the health of our bodies.

My most recent online offering, Painting Gaia, with guest teacher Glenys Livingstone, author of Pagain Cosmology : Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion, is  a nine-week e-Journey aimed at deepening and honouring earth connection and creative expression. The course is essentially about connecting back to nature physically and connecting to the wisdom of the earth through painting a powerful image of Gaia – the primordial Great Mother; earth and the cosmos Herself. I imagine that a world filled with new images of earth as mother, inspired by those of the ancient past, has the power to insight deep change. Effectively, it is a renewal, a remembering and a re-imagining that is necessary if we want this earth to provide and nurture the generations to come.

I am using my art as a healing force to heal the earth. Making art with intent to heal.  As we heal ourselves we heal the Earth, and as we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves. I am Painting for the EARTh.

My image above,  The Earth is my Sister, is the demonstration painting from my Painting Gaia Course. She represents abundance and is symbolic of a journey through the five elements, earth, air, fire, water and the ether. The cosmos has been left to show Gaia’s origins. The snake in the tree and the pomegranate, not only ancient symbols of Gaia and the Goddess, but symbolic of my place and my direct surroundings. The bees, birds and butterfly symbolise fertility and the flourishing of new life, but also contain deeper meanings relating to the many symbolic neolithic Minoan representations of the bee and bird goddesses and the ancient feminine symbol of the Labrys (Double Axe) as butterfly.  Her title is inspired by a prayer I have recited daily after attending Carol Christ’s,  Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete

This Earth is my sister
I love her daily grace
Her silent daring
And how loved I am.
How we admire this strength in each other
All that we have lost
All that we have found
We are stunned by this beauty,
And I do not forget
What She is to me
And what I am to Her.

Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature – The Roaring Inside Her

Jassy Watson

Jassy Watson

Jassy Watson, who lives on the sub-tropical coast of Queensland Australia, is a Mother of four, passionate organic gardener, Intuitive/Visionary & Community Artist, Teacher, Intentional Creativity Coach and a student of Ancient History and Religion at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the Creatress of Goddesses Garden, Studio & Gallery; a school for the Sacred Creative Arts. Jassy teaches regular painting workshops in person, nationally and internationally, and online based around themes that explore myth, history, earth connection and the Goddess. Regular creative events and presentations are also held that have included visits from international scholars, artists and musicians. Jassy’s next online e-Journey, ‘Painting Gaia’ opens again on Friday February 13th, 2015. You can see the details and register HERE.

The Fearful Voice is replaced by the Voice of Deep Truth



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

Carol Mahinda
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!

Legendary Self (Legend)

Legendary Self (Legend)

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!

Black Madonna

Black Madonna

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

Carol Mahinda

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.  



Swimming in Happiness and Wonder by Lys Anzia

Connected to the Mothership by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

The question that is being asked is this: How do we stay PRESENT to the vast suffering in the world and also stay inside a world that allows us to experience ‘guilt free’ happiness and wonder? Yes… it’s a paradox that can be understood by something that takes much practice.

The key is this: Everyone out there who is suffering this moment… this very moment… depends deeply on those who are swimming in happiness and wonder. Why are they depending on us in this way? Because happiness can, whether we believe it or not, be felt close-up and long distance. It is contagious. I know this first hand. It can lift all of us (including ourselves). Yes… why?… Because all our connections are supra-REAL.

“As unfathomable as it sounds, repeatable experiments reveal that quantum connections between two particles can persist even if the two particles are on opposite sides of the universe,” said an article on this on the site for the TV show NOVA

Physicist David Bohm talked about the Quantum state of ‘in-between’ that can be found between the minute moments of our immediate past and our current present. This is that magical space where most children live inside themselves; where music can be heard by a musician; where artists create art and where Shiloh’s fantastic theories on INTENTIONAL CREATIVITY exists. David Bohm did say….

“With the darkness perception is not possible”

Even though we want to focus on joy it is soooo very important for us not to deny (or ignore) world suffering. Why?…Because is is important for all artists to not lessen perception, but to enlarge perception. By knowing where suffering exists on the earth, we can send messages of love to those who are trapped in moments of time that are very hard. In the context of eternity a message can go forward from us that shares this special and personal message: All suffering is temporary. Blindness and hardship too are temporary. Love surrounds all of us this very moment.

In all the work I’ve done globally (as a news journalist) I have seen numerous women, who have suffered severely and in unimaginable ways, lift themselves up to dance, sing, laugh, live.

So… keep your doors open. Keep your eyes open. Do not be afraid to see our beloved world. This is the source of all creativity!

Lys Anzia

Lys Anzia

WNN – Women News Network founder Lys Anzia believes strongly in the power of women to transform the world. She is an award-winning playwright, (2007), a Pushcart Prize nominee (2010) and a most recently a returning panelist that speaks each year at the United Nations on media, activism and human rights. Anzia was also the first woman on the programming board for Colorado Public TV Channel12 KBDI in Denver, CO (US).

Painting Gaia with Jassy Watson

Deepening and Honouring your Connection to the Earth Creatively



A 9 week e-Journey with Visionary Artist, Intentional Creativity Coach, Teacher and Earth Lover Jassy Watson with Guest Teacher, Scholar and Author Glenys Livingstone. Starts November 1st.

In this course you will engage in introspective, soulful, creative and nature connecting activities where you can explore, discover, experience and interact with the beauty and wisdom of Gaia, within and without.

Using the intuitive and transformative step-by-step Colour of Woman Method and through Intentional Creativity you will bring Gaia’s profound, powerful, loving and expansive energies into physical being.

Jassy Watson

Jassy Watson

It is crucial for us now, more than ever, to renew our connection with Mother Earth, not only to heal the planet but ourselves.

I invite you on a Gaian Journey Within, to Connect, Create and Take Action.

More Info HERE

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


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

Tuning In ~by Susan Rossi


“When the soul wishes to experience something she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image.”  ~ Meister Eckhart

Guardian of the Dream Gate

Guardian of the Dream Gate

I have known for 7 months that I would be writing this article for about manifestation for Red Thread Nation.  I filed that knowledge away until a month ago, when I received an email reminding me about the deadlines for submitting a draft, then finalizing the article for publication.  It’s no surprise that I completely forgot that the deadline was looming so close.  So, my attention, still turned elsewhere, invited the idea of authoring this piece into the fringes of my awareness, knowing that soon I would turn my full attention to it. And then everything I picked up to read, every podcast I played in the month of December, contained information about the manifest and the unmanifest.  Manifestation at work!

And it worked even though I had not actively been focusing my energy on calling in information that would help me with this article. I have long believed that the life force, the creative intelligence permeating everything that is, responds to our energy and the manner and direction in which we focus it.  But, I did not sit down and focus on this data, all these opinions, all the guidance that showed up.  I simply had a peripheral awareness that the concept of “manifestation” and I were going to be involved with each other.  Grateful, yes, I was!  But also curious – does our ability to bring into what we need into form include those things we are not fully engaged with in the present time?  Does manifestation work us even when we are not actively working it? Does manifestation work us even when we are not actively working it

Over at the Red Madonna LINK HERE, we are beginning a year-long exploration in poetry Joseph's Wheeland painted image of the Medicine Wheel and the sacred energies that live in each direction. Our teachings are called Matrix of the Red Madonna.” And, and of course, a matrix is something out of which something else is created or emerges. As I started sinking into the cosmology for this Red Madonna journey, what showed up for me was an image of the manifest contained within and emerging from everything that is unmanifest and not yet in form. That infinite formless inchoate chaos containing the pool of all potential possibility is always there, ready to come into form. Like TV channels or radio stations, the waves are always broadcasting and the possibilities are always available, but we don’t hear them until we tune our dials (giving my age away here), our focus, to them specifically. We call a specific wave to us, listen for it, receive it, and experience it reaching us, then see the pictures or forms it creates in the world we inhabit.

“Imagination lays the track for the reality train to follow.” ~ Caroline Casey


K-Heart on Your Dial

K-Heart on Your Dial

And here’s the place where we can stumble, as I discovered with the manifestation readings that showed up for me in December: even though I was not consciously tuning to them, they found me anyway. So, what is below the surface of my conscious imagination is also tuning into frequencies, even though I’m not consciously turning the dial. I am also tuning to stations I might not want to listen to. The programs in the old stories that inhabit my unconscious, the way I speak, even in jest, the belief systems I learned from my family, in school, from friends growing up all of these are auto tuning all the time. And the stations that broadcast on these frequencies can limit my ability to tune to new frequencies and to listen with the Ear in the Heart.


Listening with the Ear in the Heart

Listening with the Ear in the Heart

Consider that we humans are not solid, even though we certainly feel that way. Under a microscope, we are space and atoms, representing patterns and frequencies. We are energy that has taken a particular form, a specific form dreamed by God, some mystics would say. Our energetic frequencies call in frequencies that resonate with ours we receive the broadcasts from the stations were tuned to. To a certain degree, we can modulate those frequencies by excavating some of the unconscious story patterns we hold, then examining them in the light and shifting them. We change the channel. We also hold resonances of the stories we know about it, but have not successfully shifted yet. Until we shift the frequency of these patterns, we continue to resonate the old energy to tune to the same station and receive those broadcasts we no longer like.

You create by becoming
the person whose life includes

your creations. They shape you
as you shape them.

The relationship between you
is the ecology of creation.

~Hiro Boga

 Changing the channel is not as easy as pushing a button on the remote (or turning the dial, if you are my age). Shifting frequency involves catching the resonance we send out and replacing it with new images, new words, new patterns. This requires work, self examination, looking at what might feel unpleasant or painful or shameful. In our Intentional Creativity work at Red Thread Nation, we stand at our easels or sit at our writing benches and let that mucky stuff release through paint and ink and become compost, rich soil for new growth. This is how we shift frequencies. Our creative work, our canvas and paper, holds the old patterns so we don’t have to anymore.

We can create interference by a focus that is hard, rather than soft.  If there’s static on the station we’ve selected, it doesn’t help to turn up the volume and leave the dial where it is.  All we get for our efforts is louder static.   But if we gently move the dial, fine tuning the reception, allowing it to be at the place where the message is most clear, we are more likely to tune to a bandwidth resonating with the truth of our larger Selves. Just as conditions have to be right for manifestation to occur, allowing what we are seeking to appear in form.

Then we change the channel, tune into the new stations, and shift happens.

Start by asking the question, What am I ready to shift in my life?

Find out more about using Intentional Creativity to help you along your way on Susan’s website

Susan Rossi

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner of Shamanic Arts, Wake-Up Artist and Guide to the Way In at Flying to the Heart. She works with people seeking to creatively travel the sacred path into the Heart of What Matters Most.  Her core belief is that each of us holds inside the seeds of creativity, healing and transformation. Each of us holds a sacred story wanting expression. Her passion is helping clients and students discover how to nurture themselves in the garden of possibilities, to align with their unique purpose and calling, and to shine their own brilliance and beauty in the world.  She uses traditional and contemporary shamanic work and the process of intentional creativity with clients to bring transformation, healing stories and symbols into their lives.

This journey is not for the faint of heart.  It requires the willingness to  look deeply at what can seem impossible or frightening to change. It calls up the courage to paint the images of connection and write the healing stories that reshape lives, relationships, families and communities. Setting out on the journey awakens the ability to author the future we want to create. It is Susan’s privilege to be your creative collaborator and guide.

Susan is a passionate long-time explorer of mystery and metaphor and the relationship between mind, body and spirit.  She has a shamanic practice working with clients, students and apprentices, and has studied with Sandra Ingerman, Betsy Bergstrom, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and indigenous healers, teachers and mystics for 20 years. She has explored painting, poetry and musecraft with Visionary Artist Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Poet Caron McCloud and is a certified teacher of the Color of Woman Method.  She is a hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, reflexologist and yoga teacher.

Susan can be contacted through her website or at [email protected]

Artwork above © by Susan Rossi-Guardian of the Dream Gate; Tuned to K-Heart on Your Dial; Listening with the Ear in the Heart.  Artwork by Joseph Rael: The Mother of Time. In the collection of Susan Rossi


Trusting in the Mystery by Kate Langlois




 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? 


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