Painting my prayers : Marks for Las Vegas
In times of great sorrow,
may you learn to be with the knowing and not lose your joy.
In times of great collective undoing,
may you maintain a strong connection to your inner self.
In the journey of intense grief, may you feel everything,
and not lose your way home.
In times when it seems the truth is lost,
may you hold fast to what is dear.
When you are healed enough,
may you reach out to offer blessings to others.
May the revolution we are in need of,
begin to rise in the heart of our community circles.
And please, rest when you are tired,
we need you whole, and ready to lead.
May this blessing go out to where it is needed.
~ Shiloh Sophia
Painted prayers for the lives lost in Las Vegas
WIP – Work in Progress from September Muse Day
Blessings to you, your family and anyone else in your life in need of blessings during this challenging time in our world. In the wake of Las Vegas, I wanted to film this video for my students, because praying in dots gives us somewhere to go with the anger and sorrow and it is a part of our process. And in that creating, we are alchemically changed, hopefully enough, to take some action. We can’t allow ourselves to go to sleep or be paralyzed to inaction. Even if that means a prayer. Prayer might be the starting place.
Lots of people online are asking about if prayer works – does any good – and I just keep coming back to this idea. Through prayer, we enter a space of loving and in that loving, we are changed. And yes I do believe it goes out towards the need. The problem is, that the need is great. And if, as they scientists tell us and what the mystics know, that the universe is responsive to our energy, then by all means keep vigil.
This is one of the reasons for my intense focus on Intentional Creativity. We are given a way to respond to what’s happening in our surroundings. We all hold so much – in our families, in our work and our collective love for our precious planet and universe. To hold it all in our mind or all in our heart without physical action can have a lasting impact. Dance. Play. Skip. Climb a tree. Move. Paint. Write Poetry from the tip of a flaming pen.
Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning . ~ Maria Montessori
Are we not the children in need of freedom?
Your desire to help is a sign of healing When you encounter people who are experiencing grief, trauma, despair and need, and you want to help them, it’s helpful to remember this: You don’t have to be the healer. You don’t have to have answers. You don’t have to be their reason for living. BUT you can bring them into a conversation, into a sacred space, to the journal page or to the canvas. In some ways it doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a solution, but what it does is helps people get to the next place, especially when they cannot see in front of them, and don’t have the ’emotional capacity’ to really process what is happening. Sometimes this is all we have.
Often we think we don’t have enough to give, or aren’t healed enough or ready enough. But our presence is enough. It is somewhere to begin.
If you’ve ever worked with anyone who is on the edge of despair, you know that a few minutes of a break from where they are, can make all the difference. Intentional Creativity can be that. It’s the simple act of turning the switch to another channel for even a brief time, to re-connect with yourself and the places you cannot access with only your mind.
I have, more than a few times, worked with someone on the edge of suicide and despair and to be clear I didn’t have any idea what to do, or what a professional would do. I found myself in a blank. All I had was what I would do, which was to bring them into a creative process, sometimes starting with visioning – to just change the state. Second by second we are woven.
I want to encourage those of you with youth in your life to try new things with creativity. They may be strangely silent during these times, carrying it all inside, confirming their suspicions that we have gone mad as they expected, or acting out. I don’t have solutions my dears at the level I can share in an email. That said, I suggest have a big stack of white paper on your kitchen table, with jars of brightly colored pens. Pour yourself a cup of tea and begin to doodle while you pray. Your child, surprised at your stillness and focus, walking by, may join you. If they are young, an invitation to tea, if they are teens, saying nothing, yet being absorbed in your work, can do the trick at times.
For years I had teens come into my galleries and just lay their head on the table or lay on the ground, they said it was one of the safe spaces for them in the world. I just let them, and business went on around them, I see myself then, at 27 years old, acting as if this was normal. I would say something like: “This isn’t just an art gallery, people come here to heal. This is what it looks like.” and I would smile and nod towards said child in a heap. Eventually we started to draw, and after weeks we started to paint, and the conversation started to flow. I always wondered what else I could ‘do’ to make it faster, better, more, but all I had was who I was. And, I am an artist. So I relate to hardship through that framework. And to beauty through that framework, like a pair of cosmic glasses.
I am ever so grateful for the framework of being an artist, it has been a shelter for this rebel child that I am.
What framework are you relating to the world through?
I know there is more to do, and more I want to do and could do and am capable of doing. I often feel like I am not doing enough in the work of revolution. Yet, something within me says to stay right where I am to bring this body of work out at this time. For now, I shall trust and keep creating. I do feel the urgency. Tears are rising now as I feel this feeling, and also, feel you.
This week I am painting and praying – and sharing, because that is who I am. Just be who you are. What if that is enough – since it isn’t that easy to get there in the first place!
I am going to share with you about what is next in my work, just a few remaining gatherings and invitations before I slow things way down for this season. I have been lighting more candles, lit the fire, moved my desk into our bedroom so I can be warm. And hand-painted roses on my old yellow desk.
While I was preparing to send the email last week about the opening of the Red Thread Guide program, I got the news about Las Vegas. I almost didn’t mail, even though I was almost done and in truth had been working on it for three+ years. My husband Jonathan said: They need the medicine now more than ever, and you have medicine, you need to share it. And so I did, and the response from people who desire to serve and call circle has been beautiful – we feel the call and we are saying yes to doing our work. The RED Thread Guide ~ Global Certificate Program – INVITATION is open through November 1. Early registrants will get access to the long term payment plans and get a chance to be on three Red Thread Circle calls with me over the next few months. Everyone who feels called can call circles, inspire conversations that move hearts, and design ceremonies within your communities. We are here to guide this sacred education. ANYONE can do it with some practice. We don’t start until January so you have time to prepare.
Another event I am truly looking forward to that is long in the making is a an wild painting jam with three global artists next Friday. We called it DARE: Cafe + Daylong Intuitive Painting Class with 3 Intuitive Artists Shiloh Sophia, Flora Bowley & Chris Zydel. Be a part of the LIVE Studio Audience in Sonoma (2 spots left) or watch via Livestream or Recorded at your leisure.
For those in the Bay Area, I will be at a book signing later that day, October 13, The New FEMININE EVOLUTIONARY – New Book + Meet Authors in San Francisco. I did the cover and have a poem and chapter included. For those of you who ordered books, we sold out but finally got more and will be sending them your way on Monday!
In January 2017 Cosmic Cowgirls started a new class called IMAGINE and 100 women agreed to paint for a year and a day and to include all their stuff, including the body count and tragedies and praying in dots like I did for Las Vegas. We are on the final season for this and then will open again with a new canvas in January 2018. IMAGINE ~ Online painting circle for A Year and a Day with Shiloh Sophia and Jenafer Joy. Season theme is Metaphor and we are working with language, mythos and threshold themes. Registration Open for 2 weeks! You can also purchase past episodes to build up your canvas with layers. Put it all in there!
My last Muse Days Painting Jam is on November 18 – this is also my last Class of the Year open the the public! Great for beginners or those wanting a refresh with their Muse. In studio, we always have cake!
And so my dear ones, I share these offerings with you because who I am is an artist, and what I do, is invite you to join me in this wonderful exploration of nurturing the inner world, so our outer world reflects that which is within us.
Sending love along the Red Thread….
Shiloh Sophia teaching an Episode of IMAGINE Online Painting Circle.
May LOVE be at the CENTER of all CHOICES