When I am well enough
I can respond to what is,
and offer a contribution
from my overflowing well
When I am healed enough
I can experience my own gifts
and share them when I am called
When I am in crisis, despair or grief,
I know what to do to care for myself
Caring for myself makes it possible
to have compassion for community
When I am self-expressed
I just feel so much more joy and insight
When I am coherent
I experience alignment and freedom
When I have awareness of choice,
I can choose from my heart
When I practice my creativity
I am curating my own consciousness
When I am at cause for my own experience
I have self-agency and that feels good
Can creativity empower us with increased resilience, agility, and inspiration?
Can focused creativity help us navigate trauma both individually and collectively?
How can being more self-expressed lead to a more fulfilling life?
Let’s find out together in 2022. Join Maverick here. All genders and non-conforming and all family welcome! Only one ticket is needed per household.
I am extending an invitation for you to join me for Maverick – a truly devoted creative spiritual practice for 2022 that is all about painting gone rogue!
Life changing resiliency and increased access to causation await us. You can read about it and sign up here because we need to get your big ass canvas ordered asap!
I just started mine over the weekend and you will need black gesso because we are painting the front and the back after we ‘code’ the painting with our unique information.
Dear Creative Ones,
Today I want to share with you about the most consistent and powerful practice in my life. My entire year is focused on it to the point that every single day is mapped out on my calendar. This feels at times constraining, but mostly it feels powerful. Not that things don’t change, but that there is a map of potential for me and the whole community.
Ten years ago I developed a painting process which entailed working weekly and monthly on one large canvas throughout the entire year. This has been a part of my yearly, monthly ritual ever since, and is shared with thousands of women throughout the world. Each year we have a theme and this year it’s called Maverick. More will be revealed about that juicy topic further in this letter.
This painting is one of my all-time favorites ever of the ever-verse. It was created over one year with hundreds of women. It started out as Psalms for Creation and ended up being about healing between Patriarchy and Matriarchy on a systemic and energetic level.Then it morphed into being about healing my own issues with the great unfolding. As we say – You can’t make this up. The theme for the painting becomes oracle-like as we transform into a kind of prophet in our own life. Painting becomes the medium for knowing the hidden material carried within our very being. Making the invisible, visible.
YOU ARE A PROPHET – by Rob Brezney
Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess. It’s your power to create mental pictures of things that don’t exist yet and that you want to bring into being. It’s the magic wand you use to shape your future.
And so in your own way, you are a prophet. You generate countless predictions every day.
Your imagination is a treasure when it spins out scenarios that are aligned with your deepest desires. In fact, it’s an indispensable tool in creating the life you want; it’s what you use to form images of the conditions you’d like to inhabit and the objects you hope to wield. (Freewillastrology.com)
I can remember very clearly how the painting I started in 2017 changed my life as well as the way in which I respond to potent life events both personally and collectively. The course called Imagine was sparked in reaction to something that happened in 2016 that would forever change my approach to Intentional Creativity as a tool for navigating trauma.
I now want to offer an ‘impact warning’ as the material is connected with violence. (instead of trigger, I just don’t like that word and I am trying not to use it)
ANSWERING A CALL TO HELP
In June of 2016 I learned that Omar Mateen, a twenty-nine -year old man killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The impact of that event rang through me so powerfully that I felt I couldn’t bear it. As someone who practices how to be with suffering, I knew that if I could hardly handle this information in my biological and spiritual system, others would be really hurting too. I pretty much freaked out. I felt that there would be so many others who would be intensely struggling with their own capacity to respond to these kinds of tragedies as well.
The frightening impacts of this kind of ever increasing violence in our world become very personal even when we don’t think we are directly connected. This felt profoundly personal even though I’m not sure why but it served as a catalyst. This awareness that I had to do something to be a part of the solution reverberated in my heart like a sorrowful symphony filled with both personal and collective notes. What could I do?
How could we have come to this? And not only have things not improved since then but in fact have gotten worse with numbers that are only continuing to rise displaying clearly that we as a nation are in big trouble. But you already know that.
I felt a powerful quickening growing within that heightened my desire to do SOMETHING to help. To help people be with a future that was portending of continued senseless acts of violence. I wasn’t sure at first what to do – but I felt desperate to help in the way I was trained to help. These were such big things that we had not experienced before – how could we navigate it without shutting down or being in a perpetual state of hypervigilance? Could my own year-long painting process help to bring healing? Could painting on an extra large canvas provide enough somatic and psychic space to process what felt like impossible pain and fear? I didn’t quite know the answer back then but I knew I had to try. So I did. And to be honest it felt like a call to action that was so potent moving through me that I had no choice but to answer.
PRAYING in DOTS
From this call to help, IMAGINE, is what emerged as my first course teaching specifically in this approach of making a painting to process trauma and include blessings. I invited students to paint along with me as part of a monthly livestream where we painted to themes of death, sex, God, and heartbreak. Throughout the year we painted dots…dots for every person who was killed by mass shootings, including the shooter and their family. We called it praying in dots.
As it turned out, sadly in 2017 there were close to 700 people impacted directly through death or injury in the United States by acts of violence. For almost every single one, those of us in the US added dots. Those in other countries included their home-land tragedies. In doing so, we made the experience of our collective vicarious group trauma conscious and present through this symbolic representation of our feelings. Our compassion and our care made physical and visible. We also added our own personal tragedies and blessings. We were also sure to add every blessing, gift, miracle, and point of gratitude we could uncover and discover an intuitive way to include it. We worked slowly layer by layer using mostly abstract colors and shapes; we moved across our canvas processing humanity.
2017 was also the year we experienced the unprecedented fires in Sonoma County that dramatically changed the landscape literally and figuratively. The impact of that fire experience, even though I didn’t lose my home, is with me every single day to this day. Those who have been in natural disaster zones know what I am talking about. It is almost surreal how much that changed my life and the long-term effects of the fear I live with. Navigating that threat is so very real.
I had been doing yearlong paintings since 2011 with hundreds of women in Red Madonna, but 2017 transformed how I work with this painting process by incorporating this macro level of suffering. I began to see the big canvas as the place to actually survive, thrive, stay current with my consciousness, and have one place to hold ALL OF IT. Each year since then, we have done this together as a community as a form of ritual. It has become a practice that creates a special container of connection for our global Intentional Creativity community.
The 2019 year long course was called Codex. This one was all about telling the story of the lineage as well as a kind of cosmic self-portrait of me and my chosen tools.
THE CURRENT YEAR of MESS and MIRACLE
This year, 2021 as many of you would have heard, was another year of major loss for me to navigate. Of course there were quite a bit more fire evacuations, but there were also major personal losses due to death. It all went into my painting called RITUAL. I honestly USED this painting; by USE I mean REALLY worked it out. I relied on it. Even when I wasn’t painting it directly, I had this place in my consciousness where the image and story was unfolding. The painting is the RECORD of the work done and provides a witness of what has been experienced in such a potent way. My eyes see it, my heart perceives it, and my hands create it. Yes it is therapeutic but also so much more; it’s a way to stay present with myself while leaving no stone unturned. Right here, right now, as me in my mess and miracle. That is living. And I do it with hundreds of other people at the same time.
Is seeking freedom cavalier?
Each year when I consider what theme to work with, I do a process of tuning into the collective just as I did in 2017. I ask myself; What are we suffering from and what can I do to serve? Well this 2022’s theme surprised me. Maverick!! And instead of being solely focused on transforming suffering (although we will do that too) and instead of being about processing the impossible (although we will) it is about freedom. Freedom, joy, and wild self expression. Just getting free. Is seeking personal freedom enough? I doubt it, but without tending to that place within us we may not be capable of responding to everything else.The call to freedom came with a resolute yes and I’ve built this page and these graphics to represent this potential energy.
In closing I want to name the obvious. This is a wild ride of a time! But I find there are miracles and blessings and reasons for hope every single day all around me. I pay attention to them, not taking them for granted of course. But there is more. There is more that I can do to bring joy into my life, and for me painting is a high. Will you join me on this exhilarating roller coaster? We’ll be on the tracks together holding on tight for the moments when we need to and throwing our hands in the air for the times when only elation will do?!
No matter what you are going through this cycle and season, I am thinking of you. Sending love along the magical red thread. The way I experience healing from the paintings makes me want to share it with you – to invite you to it. Yet I know each of you has your own way of responding to what is unfolding.
So yes, paintings can offer personal mystical gnosis in a time of great uncertainty. When I go to the canvas, I gain clarity that is distinct from all other ways of knowing.
Finished Ritual 2021 this weekend and gathered my courage to begin the prep work for Maverick 2022! Starting with coding and painting the back black representing leaning into the unknown. Good long day of arting. #doublefisted with a brush in each hand.