This is an Invitation to INSIGHT Experience : Free Intentional Creativity Seminar for those interested in learning more about our work and the Color of Woman Teacher Training for 2019.
The INSIGHT Experience .::. Intentional Creativity ®
A Series of Global Seminars with Shiloh Sophia
Accessing Your Imagination + Diving Into Your Consciousness
Lineage of the Stars – Origins of the Work
It is my honor and joy to share part of my story with you. Please, get a cup of tea and perhaps a shawl upon your shoulders to have a little Red Thread Cafe. When I am with others, I love story time about how one landed where they are, and the path is always fascinating!
I would be honored to share with you about what gave rise to this work. A movement in it’s own right, of which many of you are already an integral part of the weave. ((((thank you for getting it!))))
~ Shiloh Sophia
Lineage of Stars, Talisman 2018, Australia WIP
Surrounded by red threads with keys on them in the Venice Biennial
Sue Hoya Sellars and Shiloh Sophia, 1993 at Terra Sophia where I had my internship at 23, chop wood, carry water, make your own clay kind of training.
Origins of the work of Intentional Creativity
As a child, I had dreams of being a healer. I studied healing and healers. I used to pray to Jesus to make me healer, if I wasn’t one already. I wanted to lay hands on people and say – RISE! I did try. And perhaps sometimes it actually worked :)
I was not to have my dreams answered in the way I expected; however, I did practice for a while. I still try. I will lay my hands upon the sick and pray, believing it will work. I hope I never lose this kind of child like faith. And truly my prayer to ease suffering. I know there is more possible in that domain than I am working with. Yet through this desire, something else happened…
My Creator had a different kind of healing in mind for me, and it did involve my hands. I use my hands to make art that heals. A kind of hands-on healing to tend to the unexpressed in us. The parts of us that were withered and all-but-dead, that could be resurrected with the moving touch of the brush. Alchemized with inquiries that would guide the brush, I began to see changes happening in the lives of the women and children I served.
After many years of practice and discovery, and study with my mom, Caron, the Poet and Sue Hoya Sellars, the Painter, I was guided to share this kind of healing with others in what we now call Intentional Creativity.
Intentional Creativity is timeless, ageless and forever. It is how everything was made, and is maintained. When we bring our mindfulness to our creations – this simple elegance – changes everything. It isn’t a style of art, isn’t my work, isn’t a brand, it is a way of being that is conscious and honors all of life. All in indigenous cultures practiced this way of working. It isn’t that we have just forgotten it, rather, we aren’t using it the way we could.
In my personal worldview, we are created in the image of a Creator, living in a creation, created to create. This makes us a part of creation and a part of the Creator. Being creative is at the heart of our being and is the WAY to access that connectivity to the Divine Source and flow. When we create it gets turned on and begins to flow. Creativity, I believe, is one of the ‘ways’ the Divine gave us to bring healing to the places in ourselves that are broken, bringing us back to our wholeness, bringing light to those wounded places. In Intentional Creativity, we use our own hands added to the process of creation to heal ourselves. It’s awesome! That is why I have been focused on it for most of my live.
I share this with you so that we have an understanding of the origin of the work as it stands now, in it is a continually changing mythical story.
In my study of healing, I began to notice trends in the lives of the women I worked with and I tracked them on paper and in my heart and on my canvas and this research is what went into the Intentional Creativity curriculum. I set about seeing what I could do to continue the healing work that seemed to be set before me in this lifetime. Was I up for the task? Some days I know I am. Other days I wonder if I am just obsessed and the world accepting the inherant creativity of the human being as essential, is just too far away.
My mom Caron, has always done everything intentional – creating beauty every where she goes – even if she didn’t have language for it specifically – I saw it, felt it, was raised in it. The line, the design, the care, the responsibility to beauty came through my mother. She taught me to recite poetry, encouraged me to create at all costs and introduced me to art, poetry, philosophy and theater that encouraged me. In truth, I felt quite average of mind, and body, but with the help of my mom and Sue, pushed beyond the default settings and became an artist. I had to fight for my voice however – it wasn’t just ‘there’. I almost missed it, hence why I call to women – you are IN THERE – let’s find that authentic voice and let it out….
As I continued to teach, I noticed primary trends and made wild unfounded and unsophisticated assumptions and created methods with which to attend to them. And then I watched and I have begun to forge a philosophy based in Intentional Creativity. It may take a lifetime to truly forge, and indeed it will change over the years as any attempt at defining mystery should. If one is bold enough to try it. Forgive me where it is not fully formed, and let me know if you find a missing place in the pattern, add your own medicine into the basket. I hope you will.
My core creative assumptions about healing and creativity are neither truth nor fiction, but simply reflections on a life devoted to creativity in service to others – things I’ve noticed, as I’ve witnessed the lives of thousands of women transformed in one way or another before their very eyes and my own. And as it turns out they are much more about what it means to be HUMAN than what it means to be an artist.
In our paintings, we work with with the concept of “talisman,” which is from the root word in Greek, “teleo,” which means “to consecrate.” The meaning of an individual talisman has to do with the person who makes it, charging it with powers, blessings, healings through choice, etc. They are charging it up, in essence, with prayer. This is what we do with Intentional Creativity – we ‘charge up’ our paintings with whatever energy we choose to put into it.
Legend has it that the more specific one is with the intention they put into the creation of the ‘thing’ or the form, the more direct the response is from the Divine about that thing. So it is often used in aligned manifestation to call in or awaken that which we choose to bring our attention to. I believe it creates an opening in us and sometimes, yes, the universe responds and suddenly we have access to information we did not have before. And now on the Alchemist you are invited to lay down what you know including your connection to me and IC if it doesn’t serve you and re-calibrate your path.
The act of ‘making’ it is what catalyzes the opening to happen in the universe that allows the information, the in-form-ation, to come through in form. THEN it gets witnessed. In the witnessing our mind and heart and body are all changed…. This also brings our awareness into alignment with whatever we are choosing to focus on. It is not uncommon through the act of creation, whether that be a song or a dance or a painting or a sculpture or a soup or a garden or a necklace, for us to receive information, to be in-formed by the process. This happens because we are focusing and paying attention with our deep listening. In anticipation we seek to be informed by the mystery – by the world between worlds. We consecrate and dedicate Our acts of creation to healing, to gathering, to blessing, and to offering.
I know this: When we create, we have access to wholeness in that hour in which we create. Over time, our experience of participating in a life of wholeness increased. I also know that when we dedicate our creative practice to this work, our lives are transformed from the inside out, by our own hand and touched by the hand of Source. I have seen it with my own eyes and heard with my own ears – the wholeness that happens from this work we are doing. Perhaps wholeness is different than we thought; it isn’t that all is well and we feel good and happy all the time from now on. Perhaps wholeness is the act of being engaged and alive in our lives, no matter what. What if wholeness is a state of being we cultivate from within, even when we are sick, broken and confused? Is wholeness an act of faith?
In my darkest hours, even when life seemed it was lost to me, I was still intact as my creative self. Creativity kept the core self-intact throughout the storm. The only thing I really knew was that I was an artist and poet and had images and words to paint and that was my assignment, no matter what, and that when I did it I felt better in every area of my life. This, to me is wholeness and healing that informs my entire existence.
We must move into the future creating ourselves as we go – Painting by
Sue Hoya Sellars
The ‘method’ is an approach and a way of thinking ‘about’ and committing creativity, and in our case, specifically image-based creation. This approach is not total nor a specific spiritual construct or invention, it is a WAY of working. that Includes but is not limited to a process calld the 13 Steps. It is not purist and need not be adhered to in any total sense. There is no violation of IC. YOU LET IT COME THROUGH YOU. It is a METHOD by which one APPROACHES creative acts. The highest form of the approach is when a woman takes the work into her own work, making a new creation, weaving together this way of working with her own way of working. She may modify, change, adjust the method to work with her own style and language, and the method as the gift remains intact and whole and holy.
Through teaching this method, I am passing along the gifts given to me by Creator, and by my own teachers, Caron McCloud and her mother Eden McCloud, and Sue Hoya Sellars through the Lineage of Lenore Thomas Strauss. I am offering it freely and without fear to the greater good of our sacred work as an unfoding community. The Teacher Training for Intentional Creativity is called COLOR of WOMAN School, this will be our 9th year of training.
Together our hands, covered in paint, turn the great wheel…
Terra Sophia, the Land of Sue Hoya Sellars in Mendocino County –
this is a Color of Woman 2018 Gathering
Intentional Creativity is ancient. We didn’t make it up. We are just calling attention to it and practicing it as a worldwide community, which is part of what has it feel like a movement. We are calling something into being, together.
We trademarked Intentional Creativity ® to protect it from others saying we couldn’t use it. But not from others outside of our circle using it. We want to share it not limit it!
With IC we are part of a lineage, a movements of creators, of individuals who bring the unconscious into the conscious using creativity in an intentional process to cause transformation or a different way for themselves and others to look at the world.
Intentional Creativity is also thought of as an energy. A frequency. A tool for self discovery. It is also an approach – to working. To being. To how to think and live. It is sacred without having to be spiritual. It is ancient and yet we are just discovering how it can work for us in these wild days of our lives.
YOU, if you choose to be a part of it, and feel it, are a part of a creative lineage. Our tribe is very specific on one hand, and yet as vast as the cosmos on the other…join us for INSIGHT to learn more and see if you are a part of this work in the world. It doesn’t cancel what you have been doing it opens creativity as a tool to work with what you are already in love with creating in your life, circles and with clients.
At the start of my work, back in the beginning of my career as an artist I worked with a woman therapist working in mental health. She asked me to photo copy images of my drawings so that she could share them with her clients who had experienced sexual trauma. She said there were no image references for them to use to ‘heal’ their images of themselves as wounded. I transferred the images onto stones, and she would lend out the stones to the women clients and have them apply the stone to their body in the place where they hurt. This was just the beginning of a movement that has now spanned close to twenty years.
After much urging from her, I created my first Coloring Book, Color of Woman, and the therapists went wild – I could not keep it in stock. I hand painted and signed each cover so it was personal from me and off they went to do their work. At the time I didn’t know that ‘coloring’ could break a psychotic loop. The books are now used in lock-down facilities for women in the psych ward. It helps them get out of a repetitive pattern they themselves cannot stop. Additionally, I was told that they were experiencing an increase in their ability to memorize, and I began to wonder if they colored in a breast or a hip with ‘love’ for themselves. Were they memorizing a new relationship to that part of them?
Further on down the road I began to be asked by moms to teach their daughters and children. I began to see the results of working with a feminine image that they created themselves, regardless if it was perfect or pretty. They identified with it as being ‘them’ and their self-image began to shift.
I had a big dream that is now being fulfilled. I wanted to change the image of the feminine – that how we were perceived and have perceived ourselves would be transformed, in my life time. Through the tens of thousands that have painted ‘her’ for themselves, I do believe this dream is being fulfilled.
Thanks for reading along with me dear one! I have more to share about this wonderful story and community but I know it is already a long Red Thread Letter. Thanks for being with me through it.
Last year for our Color of Woman learning experience I went LARGE and I will again….so you can SEE and FEEL the work happening.
May Love Be At The Center of All Choices