I made this video for you! Should my autobiography be called Outlaw? I come from a family of people on both sides who choose to think for themselves. Only one member completed college. Only one of us had a normal day job. Three members of my family started independent schools. Yet, we have teachings to pass on. Almost every one of us was/is an entrepreneur. Some of us were in the drug trade and many of us work with our addictions. We are a hot mess and a gorgeous expansion from the norms. Always, we have gathered people to our table. I invite you to watch this video and let’s see what kind of really good trouble we can get in together!
Do you have ‘outlaws’ in your OWN family or those who helped raise you whose story of impact you desire to tell? We are inviting our Musea Community members to share with us the stories of ‘Activating Ancestors’ – those in your own lineages who lived as ‘outlaws’, activists, feminists, change makers, community organizers, edgewalkers, dancing to the beat of their OWN DRUM! Those who have had a powerful impact on your life and maybe even your own art or activism. This is a form of emergent community storytelling which we will weave into a featured article series through our Musea Magazine! For participation details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Outlaw Roots
Red Thread Letter #857
My mother and grandmother made dresses for a living, and when I was 12 years old my mother had created a 100k a year business with no financing. We just didn’t want to do things the way the status quo was pointing us. My mom expected me to have a business and have it make sense and last. I started at 24 and haven’t stopped, same business. And ya, it was hard work, but all of that contributed to what we are doing here today in our community of creatives.
I did go to college for a few years and ended up in so much debt that I had to work full time to pay for it, and then wasn’t getting an education that translated in ANY WAY to creating income. I was in art student survival with barely enough money for food living in San Francisco. I would go on dates sometimes just to go to the shrimp and salad bar lol. By 23 I was already done with the ‘system’. (Later the same college I was in debt to brought their students to my gallery, take that!)
So in 1994, I headed for the hills to learn art with Sue and learn poetry from Caron, my two mamas. This photo is from that time. I ran naked in the woods, put my moon blood into clay, prayed to the moon, had lovers of many flavors, and connected with the Divine Mama. I gave up a college degree, insurance, 401k, and a job that was paying me over 50K a year to live very simply and milk goats. At this time everything that I do today was seeded into the fertile soil of art-based activism. I learned that being an artist IS a response to the world I wanted to see happen in my lifetime. Here I am with my mamas. Sue on the left and Caron on the right. Both have walked on to their future in the cosmos.
I am not saying I never looked back. I do sometimes, wondering what I might have done differently. But here I am. There is joy and there is loss. There is bliss and there is grief. There is so much beauty and also some regret. But what I know with all of my being is that I have lived! I think my own thoughts and live in my body fully. I have experienced a level of aliveness that I do not take for granted. Especially right now. I had a huge health scare.
As you may know, I have been sick for two months. Besides the showing up for an hour or so of painting and writing and teaching, everything else is a blur. I found I had about 1.5 hours a day in me for work and the rest I was laying there. I was in and out of emergency rooms, test upon test upon test, revealing nothing on paper. I could not keep any food in. Everything made me feel sick and scared. Was it grief, someone asked me. Yes, I have had to learn to live without the physical form of two of my last Elder Teachers, Caron and Carmen leaving within a month of one another. But it was something else, something stirring inside of my body and soul, asking for me to take the next leap into my own future. I am still on that precipice of mystery right now in my recovery process. This was an initiation that both body and soul agreed it was time for. And in the end, I am grateful.
So. I painted when I could because for that time I could forget how I was feeling. I really put Intentional Creativity to the test. Could I ease my suffering even for 15 minutes? Yes. I took time off. I slept a lot. I stopped drinking caffeine, coffee, wine, and all processed foods. I was already off dairy, wheat, and sugar. I started exercising every day no matter how I felt, so my body knew I was IN HERE and responding even if I had to move very slowly (swimming). I did the Intentional Creativity Coherence Meditation while I swam. I drew how I felt. I discovered and confronted my greatest fear and walked through it with eyes wide. And now here I am today, and I am well and feeling so grateful for my work and for this community. Phew.
The thing is I confronted my mortality because when you can barely move or eat or think, you kind of end up wondering if this is the end. In that shadowy place, you explore the life you want to live if you ever get well. There is still so much that isn’t clear for me about who I am in my family and close community – since most of them aren’t here with me anymore where I live. Yet, I have clarity about the thing that matters to my human journey. I am living the heart of my soul work. My matrilineal line has requested something of me, and I said yes. Otherwise, this community would not exist.
I am called to revolution. Not just because I am reacting to what is happening in the world in terms of injustice, but because I know there is a better way to live. I am called to provide alternative education to women and their families through Intentional Creativity and raise up women leaders. I am called to provide work for women around the world of all cultures and ages and skill levels. At the heart of my soul work, I know who I am and what I am doing. The way I share my greatest gifts that have been passed to me is through our education at Musea. This is pure joy even amidst the chaos. I have a response to suffering and an invitation to joy. And often I am here inviting you to take another step with me, with us, for you, for us. Together.
If you would like to feel your own aliveness and that you are living the heart of your soul work, come along and join us for Color of Woman! This is THE revolutionary way to work with our community and be a part of the immediate conversation happening about how we can each rise up and do our work in the world through the eyes of advocacy and thriving as artists during these times. Applications are DUE today. Allow our team to support you in making your vision a reality!
I am feeling my aliveness returning to me day by day. Today as I paint in my studio and add layers of color, my prayer is for the future of this community to last for hundreds of years. To make that happen, I need you, and I know that. Together we can bring this alternative approach to living into the next seven generations. We can’t just think about how to make lineage and legacy – we have to actually take action with intention. Everyone who reads this is included in my creative process today. I am so grateful for my team at Musea, the IC Foundation, and Cosmic Cowgirls for being patient with me, showing up for me and with me, standing in for me, and giving me time to rest and heal.
I want this community to last, for the information and ideas and support and approach to be passed to future generations – this takes structure and planning. If I disappear, this must go on. So it has to be more than about me and my vision and my family, we as a community of creatives have to want this together. So. We are raising up leaders, teachers, coaches, guides, healers together. I thank you, all of you, for the level of caring you bring.
My focus in 2022 is how to bring this community to a level of consciousness and heart that authentically cares for Earth and Future Generations. Jonathan and I are focusing on brain development and practices to support this evolution and adapting to our changing environment. I hope you will join me in your way, to create the beauty we feel in our hearts.
I know that so many of you are experiencing so much loss, change, and uncertainty. I want you to know that I care even if I can’t respond to each of you individually. I feel you in my way, at my big old’ feast table of love. I also know that when you practice Intentional Creativity, the way you approach everything in your life changes for the good. Together, we can become a community of conscious, loving compassionate creatives. Well…I think we already are that, so let us continue!
With love and paint on my hands,
Curator, MUSEA : Intentional Creativity and Cosmic Cowgirls
p.s. and not only did that school come to my gallery on a field trip, but I also taught in formal education at the PhD level without a degree. So, yes, outlaw indeed.
Join me and Jonathan tonight, September 15th, 2021 at 4pm PT for his debut opening of MAKE ME ART. This has been a long time in the making and I’m so excited that he is ready to share what he’s been creating with you! Here’s a photo from a while back at Musette. How I love the adventures we have together!