An Eye On Intentional Creativity:: Woven Devotion and the Handmade Art of Life

Emily K. Grieves, Teotihuacan, Mexico

I am racing to gather my thoughts for you before the words fall away. I have just returned home from a week in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I co-facilitated the “Awaken the Great Mother Within” journey, and I am so filled with images and impressions, colors and sensations, that I wonder how I can gather them all to share with you. I will begin by saying that Oaxaca is a blessed land, a rich fertile land, a land of art and an innate creativity that seems to grow from the soil itself like corn for tortillas or agave for mezcal. It is a powerful but sweet energetic vortex. The people are noble, proud indigenous people who dignify their roots, their traditions, their languages, their beliefs, their ecology, their culture and their artwork. I have never seen a people so peacefully and lovingly present and grounded in their identity. The lilting sounds of Zapotec sing through the market place as braided women in embroidered aprons and woven huipil dresses sell their creations and negotiate their wares.

 As we sat in our opening circle for the journey, and the women who had gathered shared stories of their lives and what had called them to journey to Oaxaca to explore their connection with the “Mother” (physical, real, earthly, imagined, divine), I listened to my own story. I heard myself say that I struggle with the discipline of a practice. I have trouble keeping up with a regular way of maintaining my devotion. All my best efforts to pray the rosary or to meditate or to chant mantras end up falling by the wayside after a few days or weeks. Even as those words fell from my mouth, I realized the frequency with which I call a deep circle of women together to pray and explore Life and the Divine Mother. Every three months or so, I create a journey or retreat like this, and I realized that this is my practice. This is my body of work as an artist. This is my way of keeping my connection alive, of reconnecting, of cultivating my devotion and fulfilling the Mother’s mandate for me, the mission She has given me – to live in Her embrace and to help other women find their way home into Her arms.

 We entered into the dark underground chambers of the 2000 year old Zapotec temples at Mitla. Mitla was created as a representation of the Underworld, where the Lord and Lady of Mictlan ruled over death and the afterlife. I had never been to Mitla before, and my co-facilitator had told me that one of the chambers was tomblike and had a dark heavy energy that was hard to shake. As I entered the tunnel leading to the chamber, I was struck by the fetid odor and the pressure of the air. My friend was choking on her breath, and whispered “isn’t it so heavy, like death?” I felt into the energy and while it took me a moment to put my finger on it, I suddenly had a sense of recognition and certainty. This was the energy of birth. This was the stain of amniotic fluid, blood, labor pain, tears, piss and shit, placenta, the pushing of life through a dark passageway toward a point of light. The energy of birth and death are essentially the same. I looked at the symbols carved into stone all around me on the walls. They were all symbols of water. Water, the stuff of life. We are born into it. And when we die, water flows in the tears that are shed for us.

The ancient peoples of Mesoamerica seem to have universally held the belief that death is but a birth into the next life. They often buried their dead in the fetal position. They buried babies and small children in clay pots as if returning them to the womb. Symbols abound representing the death gateway as a birth gateway. When we emerged from the “tomb” chamber at Mitla back into the blasting sunlight, we moved to another set of downward stairs that led into another chamber in the middle of which rose a great pillar of rounded stone known as the “Column of Life.” This was a place that held an energy of joy and light, almost ecstatic as it rippled across my skin. I realized that this column of life was a phallus, rounded at the tip as if penetrating the vulva of the subterranean chamber itself, entering into the Earth herself and inseminating the spark of new growth, a new life. I felt as if the cosmic ovum choosing cosmic sperm could be each one of us taking part in a greater whole. The integrity of life depends on our choosing, on our saying yes to life. Ultimately it doesn’t matter on what side of the life/death coin our experience falls, but rather on our answer to the question that always is: are you saying yes?

 After our visit to Mitla, we visited a natural wonder of petrified waterfalls called Hierve El Agua. If our excursion at Mitla took us into the Underworld, Hierve El Agua took us into the Upper World, into celestial realms, but with the continued experience of water as the primary symbol and reminder of life. Imagine waterfalls that have flowed laden with minerals for millions of years, slowly calcifying into hard rock formations that look like boiling water. Imagine this place honored as sacred in pre-Hispanic times. Imagine that at the top of the cascade, rivulets of water still bubble through cracks in the hard surface, pooling and flowing in a million year old urge to birth from the inside of a dark Earth into the Light. I stood in soft water at the ledge where a vast expanse of valley and mountain opened before me and felt the sky hold me at the meeting place.

  One of the highlights of our visit to Oaxaca was a journey to Teotitlan del Valle, a village famous for its indigenous rug weavers. We had the opportunity to visit the home of one of its most illustrious families who have maintained the art form throughout generations. They still make all their own natural dyes.

They still card and spin the wool by hand, and labor for months over a single rug woven with an understanding of the meaning of each symbol. Learning about the plants, flowers, minerals, and insects that gift their color to the dyes and watching the working of the shuttle through the loom made me realize that the people here on this land literally weave the Middle World, our experience in this physical reality, into being. They stand at the passageway from the Underworld to the Upper world, and make their existence by hand, investing their time and labor and expertise and knowledge into the tapestry of life … not just for themselves, but for all of us. They live a life of careful attention.

They live a life of intention. They honor the magic in their work and understand the privilege of alchemy. They live a life of devotion to the tradition that binds them to the elements of the Earth. They pulled strings of white yarn from a metal pot of sickly greenish-yellow liquid with a big two-pronged wooden fork, telling me that the dye was indigo, from a plant grown on the Isthmus. With the glee of little boys, they told me to watch carefully, that as soon as the air hits the yarn, an oxidation process would begin to affect the dye. I noticed a color change, as the yellow turned to green, the green to turquoise, and the turquoise then began to darken and take on bluish hues. In a matter of just a couple of magical minutes, the color settled into the beautiful rich dark blue we know as indigo.

 All things come full circle. I had dreamed the idea of painting on shawls, called rebozos, months beforehand for this circle of women in inquiry of the Mother. The rebozo is a quintessentially female garment. It is a multi-faceted garment that accompanies women throughout their entire life – it rocks babies, carries children, warms the shoulders in winter, covers the hair at mass, and wraps the masks of the dead. It is useful and beautiful and inextricably linked with femininity. The first time I wrapped one around my shoulders many years ago, I immediately felt like a goddess, and I felt like my female ancestors must have felt, sitting around the fire telling stories or stitching the hem of a dress or moving the soup in the pot. I felt a connection to the ancient world, to traditions that had been forgotten, and the shawl was there for my remembering. I felt like Mary. I felt Biblical, as if I could sit in an olive grove and hear my sisters talk of God. I felt indigenous, as if my Celtic and Germanic foremothers whispered into the weft of the fibers across centuries of tilling the soil and brewing herbs into medicine that I was one of them. I was of the Earth.

 As I dreamed the painting of rebozos into reality, I thought of Mari, an indigenous Nahuatl-speaking woman from Atla, Puebla, who I had bought some blouses from a few years ago. She makes gorgeous hand-embroidered blouses from natural woven muslin and come down from her village to sell them around the pyramids here. I remembered her having some lovely rebozos, too, thinking their simple cream color would provide the perfect blank “canvas” for our painting project. I imagined that if the women gathering for the journey could paint an image or symbols of the Mother on a rebozo, then wrap it around their shoulders, it would feel like the Mother Herself was enfolding them in an embrace. I hadn’t seen Mari in a long time, but as soon as I thought of her, it was as if I conjured her up by magic and she soon crossed my path. I ordered a bunch of rebozos without embroidery from her, just woven natural cotton with the hand-knotted fringe, and she had them ready a month later.

 As soon as I had the rebozos, I started playing around with painting them to see if the project would work with my group. I quickly realized how difficult of a task it would be. The open weave and natural cotton absorbed too much paint, in spite of the special textile paint I had gotten. Painting an image of the Mother would be beyond technically challenging for beginners as I myself struggled as a seasoned painter with decades of experience. I dreamed back into the idea that had sparked the project and remembered that what was important was the sensation of being held by the Mother when we wrapped the rebozo around our shoulders. I realized that if the shawl was a color other than white, then it would be easier to make intentional marks and symbols representing the Mother as we experienced Her presence.

I decided to dye the rebozos indigo, a process that took me weeks. I felt the rebozos should be blue as this color is so often associated with the Divine Mother’s mantle, visible in painting after painting of Mary in particular. In the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, her dress is red to represent the earth, and her mantle is blue as symbolic of the heavens. We seek all our lives for connection between heaven and earth, and I felt that indigo blue rebozos would help us bring that connection a little closer. This was long before I ever imagined that I would see the actual process of natural indigo dye in Teotitlan. I bought indigo dye at the fabric store and carefully dyed each rebozo individually, boiling big pots of water, rinsing the starch out of the fabric that Mari had used to keep the fabric crisp and smooth. I stirred the dye and moved the bubbles. When I finally pulled each rebozo from the indigo water to rinse and hang them, I was horrified that the hand-knotted fringe had become a tangled mess. I worked for a long time to slowly and carefully unravel the tangles on each garment. Once the freshly-dyed rebozos were dry, I painstakingly ironed them as best I could.

 As I reflected on the entire process of creation, from Mari’s efforts of weaving and my work to dye and iron and prepare them, then the work of the gathering women to paint them, I was reminded of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ writing on the handmade life. “The handcrafted life is very much like this. It takes a lifetime to accomplish. It emerges from a small and infinitely exquisite piecing together of one’s inner and outer lives, these being crafted, played, woven together every day, every week, every month, come summer, come winter, the same. The overall magnificence takes many years. It cannot be fast-forwarded. So, when there is a hunger in the psyche because not enough love or nourishment is forthcoming from the outer world, then there is a temptation to seize at things that might relieve some of the suffering. But the shortcut, the easy way, always falls apart. Then one returns to the handmade life. One has to pick it up painfully, and piece it back together, holding the overall pattern in one’s mind, but working patiently, piece by piece.”

 The day before we were to paint the rebozos in the garden of our host casa in Oaxaca, I was out exploring the city. I tried to withdraw money from an ATM, but the bank system didn’t work. As I walked the streets hunting for another bank, synchronicity led me to see a sign on a building ahead of me. It was the Museum of Oaxacan Painters advertising an exhibit called “Arte Empoderando a las Mujeres” – “Art Empowering Women.” For 23 pesos, I had to see what it was all about. My jaw dropped to the floor when I climbed the marble staircase and peered into a gallery of 100 rebozos, all painted by women with images of women’s experience, of women’s life. The dreaming thread that led me to the painting of rebozos in Oaxaca had woven us into a common tapestry of life and of the land, a Mother who welcomed us all into the colorful folds of Her shawl. I sent my circle of women to see the show for inspiration right before we painted our own rebozos. We gathered then at rented table under the bougainvillea blossoms and meditated deep into the sensation of the Mother’s arms wrapped around us. Each woman painted her symbols quietly onto the indigo fabric, listening to the singing birds nestling around the terrace, pulling needle and thread into simple embroidered shapes of stars and roses, moons and suns, and even the words “Amor.” We sat by candlelight that evening, hugging our shawls close and feeling loved.

 On my final morning in Oaxaca, I visited a church down the street. I walked into a hand-carved ornately adorned sanctuary, bathed in gold and light. A woman patiently worked on restoring relief sculptures and columns high on a scaffolding to the left. I turned to the right into a chapel that called me and found myself standing in front of the Virgin of the Rosary. A shaft of sunlight beamed through a side window, illuminating my hands as I raised them in reflection of the Virgin’s hands, delicately holding Her mysterious circle of beads. Every time I stray from devotional practice, I find my way back to Her. She calls me back into Her devotion and reminds me that the rosary is not about how diligently or how frequently I say specific words of prayer to Her. The rosary is the circle of Her heart. The rosary is the pillar of light that runs from Underworld to Heaven, wrapping our Earth into a round embrace. The rosary is the circle of women that I called to remind myself, to remember collectively, that we are Her daughters. The rosary is the circle of birth, life, death and rebirth that is Her greatest gift to us. The rosary is an art form, a thread of color, a woven tapestry, a prayer spun on our every heartbeat and beyond. My rosary, my body of work, my devotion, my art, is to connect to Life, to be in and of its Creation.

I receive the knowing

that I am part of all things in this world.

My direction is toward the doorway

in between all things. My experience is to allow

myself to stand in certainty

in that doorway between worlds,

to be as present as I can. The doorway

is a gate to dreaming the in between.

How do I stand there firmly? I am a pillar.

A pillar of light. I consume the darkness.

The shadow is my meal. I offer the plate

served with soil and worms and gravel and clay.

I offer the dish of divine compost into the fields.

May they grow ripe corn, glittering like citrine

on the stalks. May the leaves lie cupped like hands

against the shaft, holding nourishment

to the light. May we walk together with eyes

open to the gleam of sky above, sun raining

kernels of light into our cells. May our cells open

like embryos to the insemination of life

into our souls. I stand on the brink of skyward

shores, leaping into vast landscapes of Sierra Madre

mountains, my mountains that have bound me

to the heavens all my life. But here they have sprung

waters for millions of years that run laden

with minerals, turning flow to stone, so that I may walk

on water in my final days. I am doing this not

only for myself but for you, for your mother, and all

the mothers who came before us. Mother, may you

feel the healing I am becoming. I remember

the time before the land formed, before

the ancestors walked upon it, and I remember

the end, when all was released back into water

and fire and powder of earth, dissolving into air.

The end is at the beginning. I have always said, death

is a birth, the passage the same, the rush of water, the pressing

of matter, the bursting of breath. There is air at the end.

Respiration. Inspiration. Spirit.

Nothing and All.

Copyright 2019 Emily K. Grieves

As of 2004, Emily K. Grieves makes her home in Teotihuacan, Mexico, where she has painted murals at the Dreaming House Spiritual Retreat Center and has created a body of artwork influenced fy the cosmological imagery left in the ancient murals and by her relationship with her Muse and the Divine Feminine. In 2014, she opened her studio, Taller de Arte  El Refugio, in Teotihuacan.

Emily is a certified Intentional Creativity Teacher in the Color of Woman Method developed by Shiloh Sophia. She is a member of the Intentional Creativity Guild, an international organization that promotes intuitive artistic expression as a way to make positive change in the world. Visit her at www.EmilyKGrievesArt.com


Showing Up – Take Your Art to the Festival!

I wanted to write you today to encourage you to go to art shows, and apply to art shows in person and online. This message is for my students, but is good for all artists too. Go to art shows and festivals to SEE what other artists are making and what they are doing – learn – and also purchase their art to support the arts. It is a great experience.

Apply to online shows – this isn’t about whether you get famous or sell work, it is about prepping and learning how to show. How to participate and build your CV. To learn to promote. To go beyond your comfort zone.

My entire career and my first truly successful month at 30 years old was due to art festivals on street corners and big festivals. The interaction is so valuable and the mailing list!!! To follow up with each person is so powerful and MANY of the people who signed up from art shows ended up purchasing for years to come.

Don’t be too proud for the cafe or the street corner. I would wear stretchy pants, and my hats and arrive as early as possible. Set everything up, with support, then put a long table cloth over the table a blanket and pillow underneath so I could rest a bit before the fanfare. AH the good old days!

My booth in contrast to the other booths was so colorful it was always a show-stopper. It takes time and resources to get yourself going if you are going to do actual walls etc, but a 6 foot folding table and easels is a great way to start and get excited.

Don’t wait for the market to come to you -– bring yourself to the market!!

As MUSEA : Intentional Creativity Foundation, we will be doing juried shows soon and it is very exciting to learn the process – for something I have participated in most of my art career.

I say, not to be too proud, but at the same time, choose where to assert your value. I am often invited to ‘decorate’ an event. But no, that isn’t the context I show up in. The language I choose is the featured artist for the event. I request signage, a complimentary vendor table, and to be added to the website. I request to be introduced at the opening of the event so people can see me and talk to me.

I am including a few links to learn about shows. The process teaches you so much. There is a lot to sort through. For artists, just keep show up.

https://www.callsforartists.com/

https://www.artshow.com/juriedshows/

Red Thread Circles for Children: Wisdom Keeper

He couldn’t focus. He bounced around the room engaging anyone who would pay attention. But his bouncing and words were challenging in tone and tinted with violence, not welcoming. It’s the only way he knows how to communicate.

Many children walk through the classroom door each morning as victims of neglect and violence. The levels to which they experience this range from five year olds having to heat up their own 7-Eleven burrito for dinner to actual un-welcomed and undeserved physical contact.

In many schools teachers are frontline first responders each and every morning of their lives. I retired from such a school this past year. It is heartbreaking, stressful, and exhausting work, but deep down I knew I was making a difference.

Struggling to find answers, school administration make choices that seem like the magic pill, but seldom deliver. Teachers are caught between curriculum and programs that do not come close to meeting the direct needs of the children they teach.

I stepped away from this a few months ago and into a new way of reaching children that changes how they think. As a Red Thread Guide I can now offer ways of helping children move from the fight, flee, or freeze response of the brain to the heart space where wisdom resides.

He ignored my call to sit on the floor in a circle. Most of the rest of the class eagerly gathered, minus a few who waited to see what he was going to do.

Red Thread circles offer a way to connect. It is story, something children understand deeply and love. So I told them about myself and my intentional creativity painting and my red thread circles and the little girl from their very own school who wears a red beaded bracelet from her grandmother in Poland given to her when she was born to keep her safe.

The boys settled together on the floor, half listening, half conducting their own business in an attempt to draw our attention to them.

I continued with talk about the brain and the amygdala. Something they are familiar with as part of their social/behavioral program they do to combat bullying. But then I talked about the heart and how the heart holds wisdom. It is the heart that really tells us what to do. I drew a picture of an anatomical heart on a large piece of chart paper and called it The Wisdom Keeper.

The whole class was listening. Even the boys.

We talked about how the heart leads our brain to make better decisions. Instead of hitting or arguing, the heart can give us a better way. But we need to learn how to listen to it. After all, it is the loving part of ourselves we forget to listen to.

In the Red Thread circles we weave a ball of red thread around our wrist passing it to the next person until we are all connected. In an elementary school that is not a safe option. Restroom needs, wiggly bodies, and emergencies are a priority.

Instead, I use my singing bowl. Having been trained in a mindful practice at this school where I taught, I have lots of tools in my tool box. So instead of wrapping the thread around their wrists, the students get to ring the bowl. I explain how to hold it or place it on the floor to get a nice sound. After they ring it they answer a simple inquiry question.

He LOVED ringing the bowl. So did his friends. It was enough to keep them engaged until it was time to go to lunch.

This is just the beginning of the red thread circle. We can inquire about many things: what do we love about ourselves, what do we love to do, etc. We listen to others who have similar stories to our own. We realize we are not alone and, yet, we are special, and that we are only responsible for the piece we hold. Yes. They got that part.

In this particular classroom we followed up with an Intentional Creativity® activity using the supplies they had in their room to draw our Wisdom Keeper. That voice inside our hearts that is always there to give us love and kind words.

He and his friends drew amazing Wisdom Keepers and were able to share with the group what their keeper told them about how wonderful they are and how much they are loved.

There are always tears from the adults listening.

Children are very open and honest. The are also very brave and I learn a lot from them.

~ Lexanne Leonard, Red Thread Guide

Learn more about becoming a certified Red Thread Guide


Christchurch, NZ, our response – open me please

Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary, use words – St. Francis

Message from Co-Founder, Shiloh Sophia about Art, Christchurch and what you can do to support two artists on the ground…painting night and day on a mural of intention, healing and community. Plus a letter from Jonathan McCloud to the community.

Thank you for pausing with me to give awareness and honor to the 50 lives lost in Christchurch, NZ. I know you have so many things you are working on and focusing on and sending love and resources to. I know I do. So thank you for your time to check this out. In just a day of returning from New York I find myself in a community in crisis. Not every person, not in every way. But it is big, feels like a mountain of pain.

I wanted to let you know in advance, this letter has typos. It is not the polished request of a seasoned NGO – but the immediate response to a need. So forgive the typos and thank you to Annette, Kate, Sarah and Jonathan for responding asap to my call for action, now. 

There is a lot going on. We have community members with partners dying. Family members in health crisis with test after test and no results to back up what they are feeling. Local community without resources to make ends meet. Global community with children in the hospital. Many of us feeling sick and not sure why. Our waiter for lunch needing counsel on how to talk to his mother in law about the child coming into their life. What I learned that breaks my heart at UNCSW about women and girls. Then there is the whale that washed up with 100 lbs. of plastic inside that I can’t get out of my mind…and then…you face it everyday. 

My direct community are on the ground in New Zealand making art in the midst of the country’s first terrible senseless shooting. Something the US is quite familiar with unfortunately. They are making a grove of trees…you can read about it below. For a few years I have been making ‘marks’ in my paintings for the lost, and this week my community, teachers of my Intentional Creativity method are there, making marks for the lost lives on the Grove of Intention – painted murals designed to support and uplift the community.

Like I said, I know you have a lot you can focus on and because you are connected with me and Intentional Creativity, I am asking you to focus on this. Are these women going to survive this experience? Of course. And do I want to show them how important art is in the middle of crisis – and how much it matters to us, I sure do. Can I personally fork out the cash to cover what they need right now, yes I could, even after a financially taxing trip to NY for two weeks on a mission which we personally finance. I am trying new things with the mindfulness of our NGO status – I am asking you to work with me to make sure these artists on the ground not only feel our support energetically but through our resources. We want to cover their materials and food for the project. Do that here now to show your support. $5 or $10 or as much as you are called to. 

Your donation is tax deductible. That is why we created an NGO – to support the arts. This is that call to action. You can get a tax deduction and 100 percent goes directly to the artists. We are sending funds in advance and will reconcile post funding. We have already sent funds, will you join us here?

The project was funded by NZ – but the budget has run out and is taking way longer to complete due to weather, tragedy, and sadly, graffiti. Imagine during this crisis, to have your art in process, defaced. Sigh. So much to learn as humans huh?

Here are these wonderful women, whom I have known for over 5 years – and worked with over and over in serving our community. Rosie Mac, Kerry Lee, we love you.

Rosie MacCarthy and Kerry Lee

It is my first work day after two weeks in New York at UNCSW and I have all kinds of things to share with you but that has to wait, Kerry, Rosie and Christchuch come first today.

Please take the time to learn why the Grove of Intention matters to all of us and to a country in crisis. Art doesn’t save the world, but it does help save our minds and hearts when we don’t know where to turn.

~ Shiloh Sophia

Many trees of this nature of all different kinds are popping up around the world in our community – Witness Tree, San Diego, California, Shakti Rising, 2017
Shiloh Sophia and Kerry Lee at Wisdom 2.0 in February 2017

I am so sorry this happened during this horrific experience. My heart, time and resources go with you…


A message from the Intentional Creativity Foundation:

Intentional Creativity Teachers, Kerry Lee and Rosie Mac, are currently working on ‘The Grove of Intention’ project in Christchurch New Zealand, where the mass shooting took place just last week. 

As you can imagine, creating something like this at a time filled with so much sorrow and devastation is important healing work. Kerry and Rosie are doing all they can to bring public awareness to this project and are asking for any support we can give. 

We are including the press release here with more information. If inspired, there is a link for you to donate financial resources, which will support the completion of this project in time for the unveiling Saturday March 23, 2019: 12 – 3pm at 145 Westpac Lane in Christchurch. ALL ARE WELCOME and there will be interactive activities with the Grove of Intention trees. 

If you are able to share the press release with media contacts or on social media, here are the links:

Thank you in advance for your presence in our community. We are so grateful for any support you can give – prayers and good thoughts included. 

with gratitude,

The Intentional Creativity Foundation

On the left, Rosie in 2015 during the Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training, visiting from NZ, photo by Brunehilde Yvrande.

On the right, Dr. Mary McCrystal, Kerry Lee and Shiloh in 2017, teaching during the Red Thread Guide.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2019

MUSEA : Intentional Creativity Foundation

75 Fremont Dr. Sonoma, CA 95476 888 385-6866 [email protected]

www.intentionalcreativityfoundation.org

The Grove of Intention ~ A Healing Place for Contemplation, Connection & Community, Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand: The Grove of Intention, an experiential mural for healing, contemplation, connection, and community is being created in Christchurch Central. The 8’ x 75’ project is a collaboration between two women and two communities from the United States and New Zealand coming together to bring transformational beauty. 

The image design was inspired by Gustave Klimt’s style of the Tree of Life. Shiloh Sophia McCloud was sparked by the spiral design as the foundation for the Witness Tree at Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, CA in which thousands participated. Kerry Lee was part of the project and documented it on her blog here. Starting with the first tree of this kind in our community created in 2010 at Self Love Day in which many created leaves with their intentions and wishes. So many trees all over the world! 

Artist Kerry Lee took the project to the next level with her 12’x16’ The Intention Tree mural at the First Street Artist’s Alley in Napa, California. Following these actions, this work became a part of Christchurch’s Enliven Places Programme because of Rosie Mac and her involvement with Intentional Creativity and her own community.

Originally designed as a way to spark conversation, the mural soon became a healing balm for the recent tragedy, the first mass shooting in New Zealand. The project was designed by two Intentional Creativity Teachers, Kerry Lee of California and Rosie McCarthy of Christchurch. The mural is an interactive work of art consisting of seven symbolic and metaphoric golden trees. 

Each tree has a theme and a related inquiry including:

The Wish Tree
What is one big wish you have for yourself

The Peace Tree
What is one wish you have for the world

The Wellbeing Tree
What nourishes your soul?

The Connection Tree 
Where in Christchurch is your favourite place to be in conversation?

The Witness Tree
How do you help improve the world?

The Wisdom Tree
What is something you know for sure?

The Gratitude Tree
What are you grateful for?

Unique Contemporary Symbolism at the base of each tree ties into the overall themes including simple whimsical houses symbolizing connection, triple spirals representing balance, triangles symbolizing change and circles representing humanity and our oneness and more. Native New Zealand birds grace the branches and the general public’s responses to each tree’s inquiry are painted on the branches for viewers to recognize our commonalities and encourage conversation. Given the tragedy, the artists are adding white thumbprints to The Connection Tree representing each person who lost their life.

The Artists were minutes from going to work on the mural, located in between the two shooting locations, when they received notice of the attack. They continued to paint the three week project on the days following the shootings.

Kerry Lee states: “An indescribable dark cloud of sadness and silence has come over this beautiful city. I have become very familiar with the sights and sounds of Westpac Lane where the mural is coming into form. Right now there are few people and few of the background sounds of humans going about life. And those who do come by seem to be extra present for others. As an American, where shootings are not unusual, however certainly not the norm it feels like New Zealand has had a major cultural shock. Much like 9/11 was in the US. And yet from this horrific experience I am also getting to witness the deep and broad love the Kiwis have for each other and for all.”

In support of community healing the unveiling of The Grove will take place on Saturday March 23, 2019 from noon until 3pm at 145 Westpac Lane in Christchurch. All are welcomed to participate.

“It is our hope that The Grove of Intention will provide a place where love and compassion for each other can continue long after the memorial flowers at the Botanical Garden are gone.” ~ IC Teacher and Artist Kerry Lee

“One of the primary features of Intentional Creativity” says Shiloh McCloud, Co-Founder, ”is that it gives us a capacity to respond to what is happening all around us, providing resiliency and enough hope to keep going. Instead of just thinking about what is happening, we are actually doing something about it to benefit others and manage our own experience. Thousands of us around the world are standing with Kerry Lee, Rosie Mac and the whole of New Zealand. We aren’t new to this kind of tragedy in the United States, and in response our creative community, in addition to activism on gun laws, began to add marks and dots and prints into our paintings to honor those whose lives were lost.”

Will you be a part of supporting the project? 

Due to rain, sun too hot to paint on mural, graffiti and schedule changes, the project and the creators could use a boost in resources. Contributions are appreciated and can be sent here.

The unveiling will be on Saturday, March 23, noon until 3pm. Learn more on Facebook and Instagram @ The Grove of Intention.


Kerry Lee, Artist and IC Teacher: KerryLeeArt.com

Rosie MacCarthy, Artist and IC Teacher: RosieMac.nz

Please direct all inquiries to [email protected]

Key Sponsors

Christchurch City Council (CCC) Enliven Places Program
SPARK Foundation
Resene 
Placemakers

Key Supporters

Allright? Campaign
Christchurch Central Business Associatio
Naylor Love
Life in Vacant Spaces
The Intentional Creativity Foundation

Rosie and Kerry have also been supported by a small village of people in Christchurch helping to complete the mural due to being hampered by the weather and, of course, the shootings last Friday when the city was in lockdown.


About the Intentional Creativity Foundation: The Intentional Creativity Foundation is a community dedicated to creativity, connection, conversation, collaboration and change. We come from different geographies and genealogies. We seek to discover what makes us the same in the most basic ways and how we can be a part of something larger than ourselves while not lose sight of our individual visions. The Foundation is a place where we choose to participate in defining and developing a culture of heart and creativity – and how that has the capacity to transform our stories. The Intentional Creativity Foundation, Inc. is a Federally (USA) and State (California) recognized 501(c)3 organization.


Message from Jonathan McCloud to the IC Guild – This is our internal call but thought we would share it with you too….

Recipe for Love and a Call to Action. Not now…. RIGHT NOW.

What is it then, that we really do? Teach a class, move some energy, perhaps?

Watch as the eyes of a woman, a veteran, an elder, a girl, maybe even a son… a human being wells with tears when they stand face to face with the story of truth that comes from within themselves as they move a stump of charcoal or pencil across a page.

This magic of a method that you all know and love and live, it’s our way. You said it. You professed it. It’s here to knock on your imagination of the day when it would arrive. Hello.

Our team is in need. Now. Rosie McCarthy braved the good fight and got a grant from her government to bring Kerry Lee to New Zealand to bring the message of Intentional Creativity and hope and peace and healing to a country tossed by the might of Earth and respectfully, softly healing with love and kindness towards one another.

There are stressors in life that catalyze, through fear, the best and/or the worst in us. Let us not focus on the event, nor the actor. Let us focus on what it is that we, The Intentional Creative Foundation and you, it’s heart and soul bring to this moment, this lifetime of every soul, voice and hand.

Be a part of this solution. For us, by us, and by our own hands. The same way it was when you stood before that canvas on the first day of LEGEND. This is you. This is Us. We are caring for our own and in the process, loving in forgiveness the entire being that makes this humankind.

Let’s give these ladies, daring in the face of this adversity, at the front face of where creativity can and will heal, the ‘green stone of love’ as they say. Mighty in our connectedness, you stood for this, stand for it now. This is the Guild.

Here is how you do it: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZZKCT58U9KP88&source=url

Every bit goes directly to them as an Earmarked Donation to the ICF. We will make sure that you get full acknowledgment from the ICF, Inc. for your tax deductible contribution for this identifiable member(s) benefit from YOUR own Guild.

Have I told you today, how much I love you?
Jonathan McCloud

Your Advocate in all things.


www.intentionalcreativityfoundation.org

[email protected]

888-385-6866

75 Fremont Drive: Sonoma CA 95476

A Trip to the UN: Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on the Native Hope site.

It’s not every day that you get to share your story with one of the world’s most powerful organizations and add your voice to the global conversation.

On March 12th, 2019, Alexis Estes Woksape Ole Winyan (Seeks Knowledge) of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, a member of the Native Hope team, was able to contribute her voice at the 63rd annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) alongside Carmen Baraka and Shiloh Sophia of Intentional Creativity.

The topic of the presentation? The healing power of art and storytelling in the context of intergenerational trauma.

Here’s how this incredible event came together.

Meet Alexis, One of Native Hope’s Valued Team 

Alexis Estes Woksape Ole Winyan (Seeks Knowledge) is a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, which is part of the Oceti Sakowin that includes the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people.

Alexis attended the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated with a B.A. in Indigenous Liberal Studies and a minor in Studio Arts. She encountered Native Hope last year and became involved in our mission of healing through storytelling. Alexis was a natural fit for the Native Hope team, bringing her love of art and her passion and knowledge about the history of indigenous people to her work as a community builder and a social media advocate through the Native Hope platform.

Alexis facepainting and chatting with Native children preparing for a local powwow in Chamberlain, SD.

Since joining the team, Alexis has used her gifts to serve the community, tribe, and indigenous people everywhere. She has represented the indigenous perspective in task force meetings about human trafficking, run mural painting activities and workshops that use Native symbolism to create public art, run in the Dakota 38 Memorial Relay, and spends her time working with the rest of the Native Hope team to advance the goal of sharing stories and encouraging healing for all Native Americans.

The Trip to New York and the United Nations

Alexis was approached by Shiloh Sophia of the Intentional Creativity Foundation and invited to be a contributing voice at a UN presentation entitled “Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story.”

It was a mutual supporter, Marilyn M., who introduced Intentional Creativity to Native Hope. Marilyn noticed the similar goals of the two organizations, including the capacity for healing that storytelling brings. It is our supporters, people like Marilyn, that are helping create these powerful alliances to spread a message of healing! 

The presentation was sponsored and hosted by the Intentional Creativity Foundation, an organization whose vision is to make creativity accessible and to educate about the importance of creativity in the development of the human being. Alexis joined Carmen Baraka and Shiloh Sophia of the Intentional Creativity Guild in order to address the relationship between healing and art.

“We don’t think art is something just for those who are gifted or creative, but is a way for all beings to access their own stories, ideas, beliefs and healing pathways,” says Shiloh Sophia, one of the Founders of the Intentional Creativity Foundation.

Healing Trauma Through Creativity and Art 

In her presentation, Alexis shared her story of reclaiming her cultural identity as a Lakota woman and overcoming intergenerational trauma. Her creative practices of mural painting, screen-printing, and yoga allowed her to find her voice during her search for identity, and she shared about how creative practices may help heal others.

We are grateful for Alexis’ strong voice and story and grateful that she had the opportunity to share her story in a major public forum like the UNCSW.

In a day when many Native American youth are faced with overcoming intergenerational trauma and the trauma of addiction, abuse, poverty, or discrimination, it is important to spread stories and methods of healing.

We’ve shared other stories of young Native artists like Jatonne and Dennis who are using art and story and music to process their story and come to terms with what it means to be a Native American in today’s world.

When one person rises up and speaks out their journey of healing, they offer a helping hand to those who are behind them on the journey or just beginning. We all have a duty and an opportunity to believe there is hope and to speak the hope that is in our hearts into the world.



Seduce the Muse and Tame Your Inner Critic ::: Free Virtual Mini-Workshop

Dance with the Paradox

One day you will go to look for something
you did not know was lost
There will be an urgency to the intangibility,
a restlessness will stir your sleep

When you are finally ready to listen
to what isn’t being spoken
you begin to hear it and feel the pulse
A call is heard from the deepest chambers

You will spend the rest of your days
Learning to discern this call
from all the others in your mind and life
This is the call from soul

At times you may wonder
why it took you so long
You may feel regret, disappointment
or even desperation

At other times you may feel in love
The romance you have been waiting for
is within reach,
irony dissolves into enchantment

The sacred relationship
where you are seen and heard,
yes, the one you imagined you deserved,
and doubted you could ever find, is here

You are invited to a dance of seeming paradox
A space and place between the worlds where
the critic and the muse are holding a party and
you are invited, they have called your name

Will you answer?

Shiloh Sophia

Off the Map, Shiloh Sophia, 2018


Join me for an experiential video event that will change the way
you have been thinking about your inner voice within one hour!

FREE MINI-WORKSHOP HERE


Dear One,

Most of my Red Thread Cafe times with my Muse and my husband Jonathan for the past few months have been focusing on this one topic, the Critic and the Muse. The riddles, the science, what others have taught about it, why it is so compelling, why more change isn’t happening and really asking myself deep questions about it in relationship to my work. Because if we can’t get access to the critic, it is very challenging to hear our true inner voice.

I keep thinking I have a solution, but in truth that solution takes time, because it requires rewiring the brain. But I am going to give it a try.

For most of my adult life, I have been working with women and the exploration of their self expression. I have gained insight and understanding into the actual ‘function’ of how we speak to ourselves through witnessing thousands in their creative process, and trying out new ideas.

Through the years and the research I have arrived at some pretty interesting conclusions. And many of them are not what is widely taught about how the critic works. Because to understand and transform how it works, you need to dive into a bit of brain science and come eye to eye with the dominatrix of the prefrontal cortex.

The transformation self help culture we live in today is rich with many potent teachings that have guided us along our path regarding finding our true voice, living out our authentic self, and even the expression of the soul. You may discover one thing is working for a while and then find yourself seeking another solution. We can be impulsive transformation addicts looking for a fix. I am no exception. Yet there is one thing that ROCKED my world and changed everything, and it was very surprising! I will share some of that with you here.

I am not a fan of speaking to the pain point to make a point. Yet for the sake of this particular conversation, articulating the phenomena could be helpful. It is in NOT being able to see our default settings, programmed into the brain, that can make it so harmful. We begin with getting it conscious. Let’s take a look.

Self confidence and self doubt continue to plague us even after an awakening! Many of us, even after we come to terms with our life as it is, still secretly nurse ideas of our version of having it all. We are sold the idea that we can have it all and if we aren’t experiencing that, something must be wrong with us. And so begins the endless loop of self-doubt and criticism which infects every single relationship we have.

We may find ourselves wondering – Where is the pot of gold, the dream life, the perfect mate, the fountain of youth, the treasure chest, or even the magic bullet to stop all the bad thoughts? What is wrong with me that I don’t have it? And in the same moment, feeling like we don’t deserve it, aren’t worthy or are too ashamed to reach. This isn’t a new monologue and you aren’t alone. Yet the paradox of ‘wanting’ coupled with feeling ‘not worthy of having’ facilitates a life culture of disillusionment and dissatisfaction. We try to convince ourselves why we should be so grateful, and we are, so what’s up?

All of our relationships with every area of our life, love, money, family, work are impacted by HOW WE SPEAK TO OURSELVES and HOW WE SEE OURSELVES. When this one essential relationship is healed, everything else is informed. Who is speaking to you, from within you and how? You already know this. I am talking about your relationship to your ‘hidden inner self’. I call it hidden for an obvious reason, in that you can’t really ‘see’ this self and to make matters more challenging, most of us can’t ‘hear’ this self. Does it even exist?

Rumi says:

“The day is coming when I fly off

but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes?

What is the soul?”

Without our inner voice and vision being aligned, much of the transformation work doesn’t even make sense for long lasting integrated change. Without this sacred partnership as the framework for curating your future, your story keeps reverting to an earlier default setting. Now you would think once you know about this self and begin to listen to it, that everything would be different, and perhaps for a while it is different. But something still isn’t working quite right. No matter how many times you do your affirmations, try to meditate, get on the mat to stretch and be kind to your neighbors, you find yourself being mean to yourself in the same old ways, with the same old stories and limiting beliefs. Now you can hear your critic even louder since you are listening to your inner space – and could it be that the critic has even upped his/her game? Yes, the ‘critic’ is highly intelligent.

So what’s going on? So why isn’t it working? How does it work? Is there a method of approaching how to deepen this relationship with our inner voice that is more consistent? This is what we are going to explore in our upcoming mini-workshop: Seduce Your Muse and Tame Your Inner Critic, but let’s explore a little more now.

The dominant culture enforces a paradigm of ‘head’ and ‘thinking’ so much so, that most of us think that is where we live and have our identity. The rebels, revolutionaries, and dissidents like us have stepped out of that constraint, we know we are more than we appear. With the developments of quantum physics, consciousness and neuroscience, we are getting closer. We have moved out of just thinking we are a mind and body. But there is more, so much more, that seems to remain just out of reach. We hear something, often a cry for help from deep within, but we don’t know how to truly answer with our whole life. How do you get IN to find out? This is where Intentional Creativity comes in and where metacognitive drawing is one of the ways we can retrain our brains in relationship to how we speak to ourselves.

Clearly each person must discover this access to the voice and vision of the soul for themselves. No one else can really teach it or grant us access. Yet. There is a first step that can be revealed. A clear first step that in my 25 years of teaching has made the most difference in the lives of those I serve. So obvious and yet so hidden, it is almost like a riddle to solve. You can learn more about it in the free mini-workshop, as well as in my upcoming 7 week online class, The Dance of the Critic and the Muse. I will also be sharing more about the neuroscience aspect in the upcoming Red Thread Letters.

I know you have a lot of choices for what you read and how you spend your time. So I just want to say, thank you for taking this time with me. I am honored to be a part of your Red Thread Cafe as we explore this awesome universe within, and all around us.

Sending blessings along the red thread…

COMMENT ON ARTIST SHILOH SOPHIA

P.S. If you are willing to share my free mini-workshop with your community I would be so grateful, truly. You can share it a couple of ways.

If you would like to do a mailing to your circle, you can just email Sarah and she can get you set up.

If you want to share with the link, you can copy and paste this one: https://shiftnetwork.isrefer.com/go/smSS/a18983/

If you would like to share from my Artist Shiloh Sophia facebook page, you can find my post about it here

I have been working on articulating the inner workings of the soul voice and how it connects with the concepts of the critic and the muse for so many years, this is the first time I will be sharing it outside of the Color of Woman Teacher Training.


Seduce the Muse and
Tame Your Inner Critic Mini-Workshop

Join me on Saturday, January 26

During our time together you will discover

  • How the inner critic has been with you since childhood and
    why most of your attempts to break free are doomed to fail
  • A powerful tool you can use to seduce your critic into being your ally
  • Where the Muse hides — and how to invite her out
  • How to listen to the Muse and hear what she’s been wanting to tell you
  • Experiential practices to awaken your self-expression
  • How unleashing your creativity can help you rewire your brain

Come have virtual tea with me!


The Dance of the Critic
and the Muse

February 14 Online for 7 Weeks

A 7 Week Step Initiation Into the Voice and Vision of Your Soul

Coming Soon! Registration isn’t open quite yet! I have a 7 Week online class coming up called The Dance of the Critic and the Muse, and guess what? For once it isn’t painting, I am working with pen and paper! We will be experiencing and illustrating 7 gates of initiation. This isn’t about talent with drawing, but we will be moving the pen with what I call ‘metacognitive drawing’. I have been working on this class for months, but really my whole life! This technology is sacred to me because it impacts all of our lives in such deeply profound ways – and it is truly time to transcend the constraints of that critic and fall in love with the muse!

I am collaborating with a local yet global education and evolution community, the Shift Network to bring this message to our mutual communities. They are located in Petaluma and many of my friends past and present are on that team there. I was delighted to be invited and to share quantum space with this spicy topic.

Save the date and we will follow up with registration!



Celebrating the Members of Our Intentional Creativity Team

WIP from Red Madonna: Wisdom’s Table

I want to celebrate a few members of our 2018 Intentional Creativity team!

Thank you especially to Tania Magennis for her incredible tending of this environment, truly a blessing! And gratitude for Sarah Mardell, Hobby Parent, Jonathan McCloud from the Intentional Creativity Guild and Foundation (501c3) and Annette Wagner, Tina Greene, Mary MacDonald and Jenafer Owen of Cosmic Cowgirls, LLC. This is the team working with us to curate both this space, our communities and the Red Thread Connect calls.

These projects take considerable investment in time, resources, finances and focus. That we are able to offer these services for no cost to our beloved guests of the Red Thread is an honor and a pleasure. The above list are the people who made it happen this year and who were on staff. 💓 www.redthreadconnect.us

Thank you to every single Intentional Creativity Guild teacher, who once a week volunteered and womaned the Red Thread Cafe classroom to provide encouragement, art doctoring, guidance and support. Their presence is what continues to make this space what it is, and how it feels – even when we aren’t on the page here, we FEEL the reality of the red thread and the connection. And thank you to those of you who volunteered and taught on the Red Thread Connect calls, our 2019 calls are shaping up!

As a community, we offered tens of thousands of scholarships in 2018 in our Intentional Creativity trainings, as well as free offerings to many thousands, many times. We also put close to 100K back into the community through independent work for women entrepreneurs who are part of our IC Guild community.

When you join us for our paid offerings, which many of you have, you contribute to providing work for others, as well as making our free offerings possible. Thank you and yahooooooo to our Intentional Creativity student participants in 2018! At whatever level you played, we are so grateful you ‘love’ this work as much as we do. That you share your time and resources here. We know you have many choices and we are very blessed to share this space with such an incredible circle of women worldwide.

You can find all of your upcoming curriculum for Winter 2019 here www.cosmiccowgirls.com – the next courses starting in January if you want to hop on board are LEGEND: The Cosmic Cowgirls Course and HEART of GOLD : Medicine Wheel of the Madonna and the Quantum Christ. In February we have an in person Apothecary and online Dance of the Critic and the Muse.

A special shout out to Jassy Watson Earthist and Louis Reed with Gisela Pineiro, Jo Laurie and Tania McGinnis for their work with Red Thread and IC in Australia! We were able to visit many of our students there and host incredible programming. I love that they are continuing the work with hosting Color of Women events!

Our other community, Red Madonna, we are so grateful for Havi Brysk Mandell, Kayleen Asbo, Emily Grieves, Susan Daniel, Mary Ann Matthys, Wil Gafney and my mom Caron McCloud – they are blessing the sacred container for our virtual ‘church’ temple.

Big heart shout out to Mary McCrystal who taught the first Red Thread Guide with me – so that other women can learn to curate red thread space as well both online and in person.

And to so many others, of the Intentional Creativity Guild including Jeri, Jennifer Bowers, Nadya King, Sepha Nisbet, Leslie Nolan, Caryn McLaine, Phyllis Anne Taylor, Simone Oliver, Lavender Grace Cinnamon, Elizabeth Gibbons, Trish O’Malley, Jo Laurie, Semerit Strachan, Kerry Lee, Terre Cerridwyn Busse, Tammra Harrison, Sandy Green, and Mandisa Amber for their work on our teams this year.

There are more too! For Amy Ahlers for helping to steward my IC business teachings in Radiance. Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici of Woman Unleashed, and Heidi S. Moondancer of Come to the Fire and Catt Geller of Cosmic Smashbooking for their incredible work with culture and inspiration of Intentional Creativity to tens of thousands of women! This is good work, aren’t we so luck to have found one another on the red thread?

I also want to say a big YAHOO to Jessica Enevold Duncan, Kate Langlois, Grace Steenberg, Ilona Lantos, Asia Morgenthaler, Gisela Pineiro, Evelyne Verret, Uma Mulnick and Emily Grieves for launching their first online courses with the guidance of Jenafer Owen and Giddy Up, her class for Color of Woman Grads to bring their work into the world!

And always to Carmen Baraka, our Native teacher and elder who leads our community in ceremony with Buffalo Woman, Denise. We are so blessed to be in your company.

To my incredible husband and best friend, Jonathan McCloud – who rocks my world in all ways, always, who surprises me all the time with his intelligence, playfulness, bravery, love, innovation and feeds me so well!!!

There are many many more hands that go into the work of Intentional Creativity. I just wanted to honor these ones this year, for their love, devotion, patience, presence and especially their teachings.

And finally. To the women who made this possible.

Caron McCloud, my mother who taught me that creativity was essential and that I mattered, Eden McCloud, my grandmother who taught me creative writing and sewing and inspired us all with her art and innovation, Lenore Thomas Straus, Sue’s teacher, sculptor, poet, wood carver, illustrator, and Sue Hoya Sellars, Painter, this is our lineage of Intentional Creativity.

This is a beautiful and powerful culture of creativity. 

I wish to personally thank the Great Lady, who guides me in all that I do.

Thank you for reading and in so doing, taking the time to acknowledge the team with me. Sending you gratitude and blessings at the turning of the seasons and the year…

Signed with the light of the full moon, red paint and a red thread,

Your in creative soul,

Announcing Color of Woman 2018 Graduates – Mighty Women Doing Their Work

“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
~ Martha Graham

Color of Woman 2018: Dreamwalking Graduation & Guild Gathering, Maui HI

I am delighted to bring colorful news to the world! It is an honor to announce the Color of Woman Graduating Class of 2018 – the NEW Intentional Creativity Teachers! YAHOOOOO! These women have journeyed together on a 9 month Vision Quest. These creative souls have been diving into the depth of their being to discover, articulate and reveal what lay hidden in their deepest soul and bring it forth in living color!

I am here in Maui, with Graduates and Guild who were able to come in person, to gather and have our graduation celebration. The rest of our sisters have had a gathering online in the cosmos to celebrate.

Each woman created a body of work in the form of paintings and writings featuring the articulation of her own personal content and teachings. She taught classes when she was afraid, she became bold as she discovered what she already knew. Through sharing, she learned more of who she was as a teacher and a wild feminine soul. She now knows how the power of creativity can heal and transform! She has gathered others into her Red Thread Circle and will continue to do so as a Certified Intentional Creativity Teacher.

She explored 5 primary archetypes to prepare herself for guiding others in transformational intentional creating. She became her own oracle, realizing what she already knew, but in a new image informed way. She shed previous archetypes and stepped into a new one – a design of her own making!

As the founder of Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training, I am beyond amazed at the gift of serving through this work for over 25 years. The rigor in the training connects directly with calling forth what each woman is here to cause and create. The commitment to forge one’s self into being a teacher is a great and mighty work. KAPOW! Each woman has initiated herself into the lineage of Intentional Creativity and her own lineage.

May these women be a ‘danger’ to the establishments they wish to transform. May they be mighty in the creation of the curriculum of the future. May they be audacious in the creation of their work in the world of form. May they deepen into their primary relationships with loved ones, family and their Beloveds. May they, with all of us in our circles, bring images of wholeness, beauty, transformation and revelation to the places that need it the most.

WE TOGETHER ARE TRANSFORMING the IMAGE and EXPERIENCE of the feminine on the earth. Starting with our own image – and calling other women to create their own images. A restoration of much sacred information that has been lost, has been brought current and forges the path to the future.

Intentional Creativity is one of the mighty tools in the medicine basket that they have agreed to carry. Most of these women were already solidly on their path – but knew that their own creativity was needed to bring their work to the next place – and in that – desired to bring that creativity to the world. When women enter COLOR of WOMAN it is a weaving of bringing all the parts that once seemed separate into wholeness. This is healing. This is action. This is now. We give thanks to our teachers and the Intentional Creativity lineage who made this possible – went before us and forged a path where we understand what it means to ‘bow to the stone’.

Past Intentional Creativity Teachers join our ongoing conversation and community called the GUILD. These women teach in homes, hospitals, schools, shelters, clinics, corporate, social work settings as well as in cruise ships, at retreats, art centers, colleges and museums.

I am so proud to announce these Intentional Creativity teachers to you and to the world! Together let us cheer them on and support their work! WOMEN’S leadership is so needed, especially as it can be guided by women who are awakened and dedicated to loving service.

How does reading this, seeing this, knowing this, make you feel? Tune into THAT. Let’s be that joy together. Here we come world!!!

With great love and gratitude, tears, and BLISS within my heart at the pleasure of your company,

I want to acknowledge and extend so much gratitude to my husband, Jonathan McCloud, the Color of Woman Team and the Intentional Creativity Guild for your commitment and service to our students and the work of Intentional Creativity.

COME CELEBRATE OUR COLOR OF WOMAN 2018 GRADUATES!

 

Ally Markotich

Amanda Abreu

Barbara Daughter (2017)

Becki DeBont

Cheryl Gallagher (aka Madhavi Devi)

Christina Mercy

Clare Cassity (2017)

Cynthia Iris Hymowitz Stephens

Danie May (2017)

Deanna Marie Gibson

Desiree Julie Margaret Green

Erin E. King

Ellison James (2017)

Francesca Dell’Acqua (2017)

Jamie Mahoney

Jan Sara Jorgensen

Jane Celeste Sanguinetti

Janet Lynn Higley

Jeannine Luke

Jillian Marie McGill

Joan Jakel

Julie Durrett

Julie O’Glee

Julie E Steelman

Karen A. Schweitzer

Kimberly Millstone

Laurie Morse

Lezli Shawbones Palmer

Lisa Adriana

Maggie Oman Shannon

Maree Anne Pilling

Margaret Trost

Margie O’Connor

Margo Helene van Strien – Sonneveld

Maria Perry

Marisela Rodriguez

Dr. Neesa Ginger Mills

Petra Rosenthal

Rosamaría Polidura Cárdenas

Sandy Green

Sara J Morgan

Sarah Sutton

Sherry Rueger Banaka

Sue Bayley

Dr. Sue Boardman

Shelli L Duarte (2016)

Susan Marie Mason, MBA

Tara E Browne, DTM

Tricia Ballad

Virginia Masson

Yvonne Werkmann


LEARN MORE ABOUT COLOR OF WOMAN 2019


A share from 2018 Graduate Dr. Neesa Ginger Mills:

Another educational journey has come to a close and a new beginning opened yesterday with this beautiful graduation ceremony in the Maui sunshine rich with Aloha spirit. What an incredible honor it has been to be immersed in learning with this amazing group of waking women.

I am now an official teacher of Intentional Creativity, a lineage of women artists who are committed to using the tools of creativity to support gentle and real transformation, connection to self and nature, and community building that returns us to our original nature as creative beings woven into a fabric that honors the unique piece of the life thread we each carry.

These tools are deeply self-nourishing with an eye for cultivating the radiance and wholeness in all beings. With the “shit” getting real out there in the world, I see these ways of creative expression as critical for me to stay afloat and to hold others along the rocky path of modern living.

I’ve spent the last few years mostly inward. I am now ready to reemerge as the magical practitioner and teacher that I am, holding a strong space of joy inside to inspire and support with my overflowing medicine basket of witchy goodies.

A deep bow and gratitude to the entire Color of Woman team and our recent graduates.


 

Graduation Ceremony at Palace of the Palms.

Thank you to Guild member Elizabeth Gibbons for opening your home to us!

Thank you to Jonathan for filming the video.

We also want to thank these Guild members for their onsite support: Amber Bonnici, Dominique Peters, Shelley Duarte, Semerit Strachan, Mary MacDonald, Jassy Watson, Tina Greene, Ellison James and Trish O’Malley.

Colorful Scars : Free Intentional Creativity Class

We have long worn our scars
on the inside, hidden within ourselves

Doing our best to hide, to not allow
them show up on the outside

We didn’t want to be exposed,
judged, blamed and not believed

Our souls bear the marks
of re-membering what was lost

We have been shaped, girdled, silenced,
fragmented and shamed into looking good

It may be hard to speak out in a culture
where it is popular to believe you caused your own harm

If you have carried the thought that you,
Dear precious soul, have caused your own harm…

This is an invitation to lay it down for good
and to release your grip on self blame

Self blame cloaked as responsibility
has done more damage then we can imagine

Do you see how believing that you called it upon yourself,
can keep you from speaking?

The dominant culture keeps this idea in place
we know better, and can release ourselves

We have already turned our wounds
into teachings for ourselves and others

Are you ready to let go of this part
of the wounding you carry? Is it time?

When scars are only on the inside
they can take a long time to heal

We can choose to integrate, be witnessed,
be informed and take action

The colorful side of all of these stories
is that the scars are no longer only on the inside

Witness by compassionate hearts
brings color to the shadows which house the wounds

The light emitting from our colorful scars
illuminates the path for those coming after us

A warrior mark, a reminder, a tattoo
of teachings and stories to tell

We won’t forget, yet neither will we
be jailed by the past any longer

To those who would harm, we pray this colorful light
Reaches them too, so they may think again and heal

The freedom to self express is a basic
human right, and we claim this right for ourselves

We won’t proclaim the bright side
We will not dwell in the shadow side either

We see, claim and are authors of the colorful side
We have become She of the Colorful Scar

Signed with a hope for
re-membering our wholeness,

Shiloh Sophia, October 2018

 

 

FREE COMMUNITY CLASS & RED THREAD CIRCLE ONLINE

SHARE & COMMENT ON ARTIST SHILOH SOPHIA FB PAGE

You are invited to join the Intentional Creativity Community for a free online class and Red Thread Circle on October 21. Can’t join us that day? The videos are yours to keep and download so you can do it in your own time. We will have a completing call in November so you have time to do the process. You will be supported by Intentional Creativity Guild members.

Let’s gather together in solidarity across the world to cause our own healing to move to the next level…bringing healing into our own hands…

How much power do we really have to set ourselves free?

More than we think, I feel. Yet there is often a process if the feeling is to really create a change. It is more than just thinking about it. You have do actually do something more than in the mind. Ritual, creativity, movement, a circle….something to mark the change.

 

 

 

Dear Ones, 

I have been thinking of you, and of all of us – and especially right now my sisters in the US who have been so impacted by the recent happenings. I don’t think I need to spell it out – regardless of what you think about it – it was traumatizing for most of us it seems. I could feel it and see it in ways I haven’t for a while. Like wow – where do we live? I looked at the images of the people involved ands sent them love – all of them. All of them. And I felt I had to DO SOMETHING to serve – hence Colorful Scars – a class for us as a community. I asked what I could do? I had already painted the painting above – and so it was clear – colorful scars it would be. Claiming our wounds and bringing beauty to them. Covering them in grace – not hiding – but lifting up.

I try to be mindful of sharing spiritual beliefs without assumptive behaviours which are so often rampant. Even just – ‘everything happens for a reason’ is a rampant spiritual belief gone unchecked that a lot of us don’t agree with. Including me. So in this cycle I am writing to you with permission to set yourself free from the way you have been carrying what has happened to you.

I share this writing and class for those who still think they are to blame for their abuse. This is FOR YOU. For us to heal.

With respect to those in the sisterhood that truly believe they agreed to their own harm at the level of soul, I hear you. And. What is true for you might be true for you. Yet I might add, do not assume it is also true for everyone else. This teaching is too common and in my view, assumptive and often unconscious.

Now, having worked with so many women I am a stand for freedom from self blame – and the idea that we caused our own harm as part of our path or soul agreement. Not that there aren’t times we have put ourselves in danger and harm’s way. Each story has it’s own arc of blame and shame.

I stand for a story where no woman blames herself for being harmed in ANY scenario.

I woke up this morning with the collective grief pouring through me. I thought, is there a bright side? And of course, the bright side is that the stories are being told and that hopefully those who do the harming will think again instead of become even more aggressive, which is often the case. Yet, bright side, felt too optimistic. Shadow side is obviously playing itself out before our eyes in the US and many other places. But the colorful side, is also here. Finding our freedom from suppression and silence – finding self expression. Why is this important – because if we are self expressed, we won’t bottle up the energy and turn it on ourselves.

Expressing it lets it out – and in that, changes it as it moves from within to the page/canvas/dance floor. We will talk more about this in the Colorful Scarsclass. Consider calling women together to gather with in person for this event in your home, studios or office. Consider hosting a red thread circle. The videos will be yours to keep and download but it woudl be wonderful to spend the day together on October 21 doing the work.

Thinking of you and however you process what you are feeling. Let us walk this road together in the best way we can. I am about to lead a Red Thread Circle in the morning mist and will be thinking of you and including you with us.

 

 

 

Colorful Scars: Free Intentional Creativity Class

Hosted by the Intentional Creativity Foundation

Taught by Shiloh Sophia
with support from the IC Guild

Free class for women to express

and begin to heal hidden stories

Sunday October 21st or watch later

RSVP FOR FREE

 

Color of Woman 2019: Applications Open for Priority Enrollment

Color of Woman :
Intentional Creativity Teacher Training
2019 Priority Enrollment Cycle is Open for Applications!

Request Color of Woman Invitation Here

Dear One,

We are pleased to announce the Priority Enrollment Cycle for Color of Woman 2019 is open now through September 15th!

We invite you get a cup of tea and explore the Training. Those who apply during this cycle will receive top priority for the training, placement in gatherings, access to the initial orientation materials to prepare and financial savings. You will receive $1,000+ savings on the Core Online tuition.

I cannot even imagine my life without Intentional Creativity. Working with IC has changed the entire focus of my life.
Every day begins with intention and creation.  ~ Annette Wagner, Color of Woman Graduate

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For any questions or inquiries about Color of Woman 2019, Color of Woman Graduate and Teacher, Tania Magennis, is your ‘go to woman’ inside the Red Thread Cafe Classroom, our online IC group. Add #COW to the front of your post and she will respond to questions and posts daily.

You may also email Color of Woman Guidance Counselor, Sarah Mardell:
[email protected].

blessings,
Shiloh Sophia and the Color of Woman Team

 

 

Color of Woman 2017: Visionary Gathering : Sonoma California

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A share from Color of Woman Graduate, Cristy Coates, about Intentional Creativity:

I come from a lineage of women artists devoted to using creativity as a form of prayer and intention.

We seek to end the suffering caused by the sense of feeling separate and alone inherent to our human state.

We seek to end the violence and sorrow this sense of isolation can cause, especially to the most vulnerable members of our human family.

We believe creativity to be our innate and shared human birthright and that creative expression is a means of unfolding our identity and transforming our lives. We also believe that art and transformation should be fun.

We use Intentional Creativity and art as a means to find out more about our individual and shared journey, and we offer the beauty, joy and discoveries this experience unfolds as an invitation for all peoples to come into a sense of belonging to themselves and each other upon our fertile earth.

Color of Woman INVITATION:
Interview and Application – click here
 

Red Thread Circle in Paris by Brunehilde Yvrande.

 

 

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