Someone recently asked – isn’t all of creativity intentional? Perhaps indicating that the need to emphasize intentionality was irrelevant since all of creating comes from an intention to create.
At one level when we create, we intend to ‘make the food’ ‘write the post’ ‘weed the garden’ ‘paint a painting of a mountain’ and all of those acts are intentions of one kind or another. Some are basic needs based, others are for beauty or sharing. But what about the ‘how’ beyond the process itself?
The question of intentionality really comes into awareness with the HOW of the approach and the impact of what gets created. When we ‘make the food’ are we doing so with care and love? When we write the post are we imagining and conscious of our why and the impact it has? When we weed the garden are we aware of our connection with tending the earth and making it possible for other things to grow? When we paint the painting of a mountain are we communing with the mountain, not just duplicating the mountain but actually listening to the mountain’s message? What are we bringing to the experience and the outcome? Does the art have another destination?
This is where we can choose to amplify our experience through intentionality which impacts the energy which impacts the form which impacts the experience again. It is a haptic loop that continues to increase impact.
For our practice within our community, it is the amplified conscious level of intentionality which changes the one creating, the creation itself, and all interactions with the resulting artifact of creativity. This level of awareness is metacognitive. We are paying attention while paying attention – and yes this changes, everything. The condition of the field in which the creation is happening, the body, mind and heart of the maker as well as what is being made is altered by the consciousness of the creative. The energy they bring changes what they make. Spirit knows this, but science proves this. Ya!
Imagine a pair of shoes in extruded plastic manufactured by an underpaid laborer ordered online from a mega-giant, as compared to hand-sewn mocassins with beads and fur and a design which means something to the one making and the one wearing.
How different is it? Very different. You know this. You may not have known how you can truly be a part of it until you started bringing this level of care to what you make and how you live. Maybe you always knew….children know…and sometimes we forget.
When I was growing up my Grandmother Eden made me dresses out of fabric swatches leftover from their dress business. They were old-fashioned in a way and elaborate and sturdy and took days to make. I felt shy wearing them at times because I wasn’t like the other kids. Imagine Little house on the Prairie with the little boots and all but in 1978. I told my grandmother and she told me what to tell them. “My grandmother made this dress for me by hand, picking every bit of fabric out for me and the design. I feel loved by wearing this dress.” Well of course I did what she said, and became proud of my dress. And who cares what the others thought anymore? I didn’t. I just knew I was in a dress made of love. And I was bullied my whole life so I got used to it enough to not let it take me down OR shape my critic’s message for me. The little dress was the form that had the teaching, it was the creation itself which carried the entire concept forward.
History and archeology (even with the flaws of who is telling the story) reveal a very creative ancestry for every single human being alive. Yet not just creative, intentionally creative with signs, symbols, stories, and energy. Those who were raised in creative households, spiritual communities, or Indigenous cultures are always intentionally creative – it honors life, resources, creation, Creator, and the one creating. It is obvious, just, and tends the earth. Without awareness, we extort, take what is not ours, and are willing to compromise the future for the gratification of now and profit. (insert various forms of capitalism here)
Those of us further away from cultures of consciousness, who may have grown up with mostly mass-produced food, clothing, and lifestyles, have had less of an opportunity to practice and connect with this approach to making. It is often a revelation to notice just how totally different it is to be intentional about what we make and how we live. We FEEL different when we do it. This matters. Then you begin to see conscious creation everywhere, in your life, and also everywhere it is not. Where there isn’t conscious intention for good, there is a resulting toxicity that ensues in time. For me, I can see this thread in gender violence, climate change, mono-cropping, and every single act of terror being inflicted. And yes, that too is intentional, but a different kind, malicious and short-sighted to say the least.
One of the tools the oppressor uses to silence cultures is to remove our capacity to be intentional and throw us into survival. If we are too busy in survival we don’t have the time, or the mind to be as conscious about our relationship with consumption. The mindful life, good food, and caring lifestyle are often almost impossible to maintain, in order to ‘keep up’ with the false yet persistent paradigm we are facing in the dominant narrative.
Even choosing to live a ‘simple lifestyle’ and buy organic and not use toxic stuff is a privilege – a choice – of someone who can choose.
Our ancestors were largely intentionally creative – it is normal to create with intention. Some of us lost access to that and others did not. This community is largely a call to consciousness with creativity as our core practice – which really works because it weaves with all spiritual and cultural traditions without conflict. There is no conflict with most spiritual practice because spiritual practice is by nature, intentional. Intentional Creativity isn’t a belief, or a tradition, or a brand, rather it is a call to awareness with how we show up.
The reason we ‘trademark’ Intentional Creativity® and you see that little R in the circle is not to prevent anyone else from using it. Not so we can own it ourselves. Not because we think we made it up. Yet so that we can protect our right to use it and no one can stop us. I see the inherent flaw in that system of thinking and yet my desire to ensure we all have a right to this practice runs deep in my soul. I didn’t invent it. I don’t own it or possess it.
Intentional Creativity is an approach, a way of being with our creativity that increases conscious engagement with our own soul and our culture. Intentional Creativity is a call to reclaim both the internal and external narrative and to make it real through creation in form. By including the body in the making, our brain, body, and field become coherent in new and natural ways. It isn’t everything, yet it is the most sacred way I know of approaching life and living. And for many of us leads to informed activism.
When I first experienced it, I felt like my entire system was altered, upgraded, or deepened somehow – as if my cells were lighting up and I was never the same again. Shortly before I had given my life to the Divine Mother with ritual and said: Whatever you want me to do, I will do it, please just make it clear. Well. This is what was brought to my awareness to share. Yet it is the sharing and stewarding of something that is not my own and it is not exclusive.
Intentional Creativity practice and process are available for all to explore and study. Anyone can do it and share it and teach it. Our trainings are not so that those who graduate have an exclusive right to the mark. Our trainings are rather a deep immersion into the making of a body of work in connection with the understanding of how Intentional Creativity works – to further one’s own soul work. To truly deeply practice Intentional Creativity means a deepening of understanding and devotion over time that impacts every single relationship we have with ourselves, our earth, and one another.
I am truly grateful to be engaged in this wonderous practice with so many of you. Our world is hurting dear hearts, I know you see it. This is here, creativity is here, as a creative spiritual practice that helps us to wake up and then stay the course as we navigate an ever-changing terrain that is often unfriendly. I have been tracking the pulse of the world since my early twenties through the specific lens of women, and water.
It is not an understatement to say I am deeply grieved by how our dominant culture has impacted us, and the very way our brains and bodies are formed as a result. I think with our practice, we will continue to reclaim ourselves from a kind of colonization ‘of thought’ that many of us didn’t even know we were suffering from. From here we proceed to work together for justice. And yes, dancing all along the way to keep our hearts focused on what matters.
Those of you raised in a culture that has always practiced this way have an incredible gift and are teachers of those of us who feel we didn’t grow up with a culture. Or who feel like we can’t go back. We together are doing our best to become more and more aware of how we can work with this practice and not need to borrow from another’s culture.
There is enough here to work with that is available for everyone regardless of culture or background or DNA or geography. Yet, it weaves perfectly and is already inherent in most living cultures though called by different names. By naming the approach, we are just giving it our attention – and saying – oh yes – let me slow down, and bring love to that which crosses my hands and moves from my lips and the life I live.
We are all breathing. Yet when we bring attention to the breath, it changes how we breathe and how we feel. Intentional Creativity is like that, we just bring attention to what we are creating all day long and it changes how we feel and what we make.
Over time, and with care, we learn to work with suffering in new ways. We find more joy, when before it was hidden. New insights come into view. A desire to care about more than just our own family arises. A craving for the world our hearts believe we can create together comes to life. The shifts are organic, non-dogmatic, and natural. I am just one voice among many who are saying – let’s pay attention and see what healing and joy may come.
Thank you for being a part of this inquiry into how we can live a most respectful, joyful, compassionate, aligned life. I know it will be messy, and it isn’t about perfection or purity. Not about getting rid of all of our scars and wounds, but including them in a powerful and relevant way. Our future is uncertain and our destination is out of sight. Yet how we approach everything we do is one thing we actually have some power to negotiate within ourselves. We CAN change how we approach our lives, our consumption, our relationship with all of life. Intentional Creativity is a practice that lends itself well to bringing forth that transformation as a lasting change.
May we all continue to explore and deepen our practice individually and together. I trust that you wild women will do what is right for you. Meanwhile, I will be right here with a big paintbrush, a dance between worlds, and an invitation to tell a story that is worthy of the woman you are.