Trust the Process.

Last Week I had the opportunity to teach Cosmic Smash Booking at Shakti Rising in a small setting in San Diego. It is a recovery home serving over 800 women each year through woman-centered leadership development, community-based educational services and our holistic recovery program. Thank you Shiloh…

It was as always glorious and wonderful and fun and liberating for both them and me. It was a 5 hour round trip and I did it as service to my community.

However, what I want to tell you is what I witnessed and the power of IC that I have seen before but never quite like this. In the class were two trained social workers witnessing Cosmic Smash Booking for the first time.

One woman attended who is not part of the living-in community. She made her pretty book, we started to write our thoughts regarding grounding ourselves, which eventually we would cover and use color on followed by an image, usually hands and sometimes feet.

At the end of her writing she got very upset and starting crying and would not stop. At first I thought Oh! S**t!  There are two trained women in here what should I do?

However, as always,I hear Shiloh’s voice: trust the process. I noticed she had written only on one side of the page. I put my hand lightly on her arm, breathed in air for both of us, and asked her if she could just take that pencil she had written with and draw a line across the page…that’s it…just draw a line between the pages.

She mustered the courage and did it. I witnessed her come off the ceiling by herself and just continue to draw lines across the page. Eventually she calmed down and made a joke.

She said, “well,I guess I’m not going to able to do that unsupervised.” We all laughed.

I drove home humbled ….

~ Catt Z

(cosmicsmashbooking.com)

 

Pulling Stories out of our Bones

I just finished a 9 month dive into myself – a Vision Quest really – using color, story and dance (and lots of tears, self doubt and all out tantrums).

I am proud to announce that I am now a Certified Intentional Creativity Teacher. I joyously join a long lineage of amazing women who teach and heal using creativity as our chosen method to heal the self, community, and the world.

I know there are many ways to do this good healing work, but to do it with paint and creativity is pretty mind blowing!

Intentional Creativity is a way to heal and transform ourselves and old stories using creativity. We intentionally go within and mine for gold and release that which no longer serves us. I personally have let go of some long held beliefs and stories that have held me back for years.

I believed I was broken inside, because of abuse that happened when I was a child. I have carried that with me all my life. I called it that “yucky” feeling. The one that awakened me in the middle of the night and filled me with shame and fear. The one holding me back from flying like I knew I could fly.

Using Intentional Creativity, I intentionally went inside, looked at the old fear and painted it onto the canvas in front of me. I pulled that old story and belief from my cells, my bones. I literally painted that crap out of my body. I transformed it on the canvas and made space in my body for a new story to emerge.

I changed my story!

In gratitude to a beautiful lineage of teachers.

~ ~ ~

 

Terre Cerridwyn Busse: I am a teacher, an artist, a mother of teenagers and a woman who fell in love with a river (ask me about the South Fork of the Yuba).

I paint, I dance, I make up stories. Sometimes I do them all at the same time and truth be told, my best work is when I am doing them all at the same time.

I paint with intention. I believe that painting with intention, we can heal and move stuck hurts and energy out of our body. I believe we can change our lives on the canvas. We can create space in our hearts and souls to attain the dreams we desire through paint, intention, story, color and symbol. Come visist me at Cerridwynstudio.com

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.

 

Leaning into Tragedy – Learning Loving Resilience when Social Media is the Messenger

What do we do when tragedy strikes?
How do we not become over-whelmed and numb?
Is there anything we can do?
Do you have a process for navigating?

Yesterday after hearing the news about the Texas church massacre I was of course devastated. Since the time of Standing Rock I feel there has barely been a moment where I haven’t felt like I was tracking disaster using online media as my news source. It can be exhausting. I am sharing some of the things I do to help me not turn away from suffering, and yet protect myself so I can stay strong. I wanted to post – praying for you – thinking of you – but it felt like I had done that so many times. What else could I do. So I wrote this post.

Yesterday, right before the news hit, I thought: What would my life look like without being connected to social media? I would find things out eventually but it would be later – and I wouldn’t be able to respond quickly to those I have been called to serve at least at this time. Responding is part of my work. We are the antidote. And where I can, teaching how to navigate the tough terrain of being awake during such challenging times.

Let’s let one another have our own experience, shall we? Sometimes when I share these posts about ways to respond, people write me back and tell me I should focus on gun laws and petitions and other aspects of the work at hand. Let me be clear here – it is not that I don’t take action in the world. Rather, I don’t expect my community to do what I am doing – so my choices are personal. Not everything I do personally is a teaching or offering for my community. One of the things I have to do is to stay focused on how I can support and empower the circles I have called. My sacred assignment is clear. Each of us must choose what each of us must do. What is right for me may not be what is right for you.

Resiliency actions are just as needed as activist actions. To be a peacemaker I must first have peace within myself. From there, I can take informed action.

I hope you will take the action of sharing this – it IS helping as people are already using it to open hearts and set boundaries. You can either share the post, OR you can copy and paste – feel free to also download the images.

Yours in loving kindness and presence,

~ Shiloh Sophia

 

Please feel free to share the Facebook post and image.

This practice is an exploration in how to not turn away from suffering happening ‘to others’ in ‘other locations’. Clearly if it is in our family and town, that is a whole other thing and responses and actions are different. This is for things where we may not be near in proximity but we have learned the hard news and are often feeling helpless.

In time, if we can choose not to be helpless but helpful, we will actually experience greater resilience, but first we must feel. From the space of being able to ‘be with’ what is, we can then discover how to show up without either being numb or a savior. This is an invitation to choose to consciously engage with how we lean into tragedy. This is not intended to simplify grief, but rather give us a chance to practice and learn as we continue in this great unfolding.

All of us process information differently and each of us has to choose how to moderate the news of what is happening in our sweet world. It is hard to avoid while on Social Media – so this post is focused on that aspect of the unavoidable.

Note – This post is not about lobbying or contacting your government for change – that comes AFTER you process your initial shock. By managing your experience consciously – you *may* then have more space and information to take informed action. Use what is useful for you or modify. (We will continue to edit as more useful information comes forward)

Feel free to share.

1. Awareness: You see the thing announced – Allow yourself to feel what you feel – knowing there is more to come. Following that first wave of what is natural to you to feel, consider pausing and breathing – before doing a full search online. Just get the headline confirmed so you have the information available. Be with what happened in your awareness.

2. Self Care #1: Pray how you pray, meditate or breathe – do your thing that you do to get grounded. Connect with your own source, strengthen up your own connection, move slowly. It will all still be there in a few minutes so you don’t need to rush. Get yourself as ready as you can to know more. Remember the only appropriate action is the one that is right for you right now.

Then read what you need to read to be informed – but don’t read tons of things if you can help it. Find your own trusted news source for these kinds of happenings and go there as opposed to frantically searching. This may not be on social media.

3. Community: Reach out to loved ones you know are close to what has happened, gently, and without a need for immediate response since they are likely being bombarded right now with inquiries. Be present without being invasive. And whatever you do – try your hardest not to tell anyone in that proximity what they should do – example – hurricane: you should leave etc. Let the person make their own decision – if you have a story to tell that might help, tell it.

4. Connect: Connect through your heart with those who are harmed or in harms way. Perhaps in this connection with those hurting, allow in more space to feel what you are feeling. Shock moves into grief. Compassion is powerful. Let tears come. Don’t fight the anger or sorrow for a time – let your experience be your experience. Feeling something that didn’t happen to you directly is an experience of LOVE.

Send your love – as if you can see it going right to the location and those impacted. Keep that love flowing as long as you feel you can. Put it on your altar in some way. Those of us who paint, write, dance etc. – include it in our work.

5. Self Care #2: Just because others are in worse shape doesn’t mean you don’t have your own experience. You do – and if you don’t let yourself have it because you are comparing, you will have to deal with it more later.

Intentional Creativity® through journaling and or drawing could help here in any part of this process to move energy and receive insight into how you really feel.

Gently, choose, if you are called, to not to let this experience ‘stay’ in your body but rather move through you – even see it ‘moving’ through. Choose consciously to try to not let this experience trigger and then compound existing trauma. This will not always be possible. That’s why this is a practice. Keep your mindful attention on your breathe. Following, your self management in how you relate with this, you may be more prepared to take empowered actions.

6. Mindful Posting: MOST important following your self care is how you can contribute. This part is up to you and your posting patterns and ways and spiritual tradition. Connect with your intelligent heart so you are coming from the most helpful compassionate place for you and others. Think how what you post will impact others, out of respect.

If you are called, post a prayer or action or insight or inquiry on social media or the best online link to the information. Saying what you feel is part of your own story of connection to others. Following the initial news, if you are strong enough to provide support, do that. If you need support, ask for it and be specific with your needs.

Many also use common trending hashtags to show solidarity and to be able to find the others who are working with the same thing.

We are the antidote when we choose.
Imagine if those of us who are the love senders stopped
because we thought it wouldn’t work?

7. Gratitude and Sharing: Count your own blessings. Go find someone near to you and give them some love. Let yourself feel love and keep the energy flowing.

 

Artist Shiloh Sophia
with supportive ideas from the collective.
Intentional Creativity Foundation

Sparked by Texas Church Massacre

 

Personal Transformation

Jennifer Bowers
Yosemite National Park vicinity, CA

 

Teaching the Intentional Creativity Method has become my joy. I love to witness personal transformation as it occurs for each student, with each brush stroke and intentional step. The insights received,  allowing for a deepening of understanding and expression.

Danielle and her Muse

Danielle and her Muse

Several years ago, I found myself stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed – struggling to overcome deep grief from the loss of my sister while trying to maintain a business and family. From this struggle, I learned the importance of radical self-care.  By finding ways to become centered, I was able to give more fully to others and not end up depleted. Intentionally treating my body, spirit and mind with love, care and honor, I saw how dramatically I could change my life for the better. During this time, my self-care routine turned from an extreme sport to an essential part of living a healthy, happy, and productive life!

Seeing the positive shift self-care brought to my life, I dove enthusiastically into studying the healing arts including aromatherapy, holistic health and creative expression. My training brought me to many of the world’s greatest teachers in these areas, and I now share these life-changing gifts with women who want to explore their stories, and create space to live with more joy and greater ease.

Jennifer Bowers

As a Color of Woman Method Teacher and Intentional Creativity Coach, I innovatively blend the healing arts to empower people to feel healthy, happy, and beautiful. I’m grateful to be able to guide other women to increase access to their inner wisdom through communicating with their senses.

 

I offer individual sessions, group workshops, and retreats in California.
Come visit me here for more information-www.jenniferbowers.com

 

 

 

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