~Invocation from Tea with the Midnight Muse by Maestra Shiloh Sophia
This story begins in November 2013 at the Color of Women Graduation in Healdsburg, CA. During the several day celebration, I stepped into a dream vision and set an intention I had been thinking about for a long time with an out loud fearless declaration to the entire graduating class, alumni, and teachers who were there. I declared that if I won a sales performance award trip which I was in the running for through my corporate job, I would be going to Christchurch, New Zealand. And since my dream was to become an Intentional Creativity Teacher who taught and traveled internationally, I stated that my intention was to teach in New Zealand, if I won the trip. I had no idea how that might be possible but declared it and let go.
A Chinese legend says that those who are supposed to meet are connected by an invisible red thread since before birth.
Just a few minutes later my classmate Denise Daffara, who had flown in from Australia came up to me and said her Mum lived in New Zealand, she’d love to visit her and would I be interested in collaborating. Would I be interested in collaborating?!! Seriously? I had no idea how this was going to be possible and the first stepping-stone was put in place with that question.
Not long after setting my intention, I received the incredible news that I had won the trip! Denise shared my story with her childhood friend Vicky Eastwood, who is a nursing friend with Rosie McCarthy both from Christchurch. Vicky came for coffee with Rosie, saw her art and suggested that she should connect with Denise on Facebook. Rosie did just that, found out our dream and intentions and took the ball and ran with it. Red Thread connection in action! She found a place for us to teach, the largest independently operated art store on the South Island, The Drawing Room. She worked with the owner and his staff to coordinate all of the details including providing supplies, rearranging the store and doing the marketing. They were excited to have us be there. Denise and I just needed to create the content and marketing materials. Amazing.
Inform the artists it is our job to weave our golden and red threads
~Maestra Shiloh Sophia
Before I go on, a little back-story. When Denise and I agree we should collaborate we discussed what were the intentions for each of us. I had no idea how we’d market the workshop, find students, supplies and especially a place to teach. I was ok with it being spontaneous and in a park. I just wanted the photographs so I could call myself an International Teacher. Denise however, said she wanted to make enough money to pay for her trip. That felt big. But big dreams are the best…
Fast forward, the workshop sold out in less than two days. With 18 students! Paul, the store owner asked if we’d be open to a second workshop the next day and we decided why not?! We both had the time and much of the effort would already have been done. And that workshop sold out in two days! Wow. As very new graduates this was very exciting.
The workshops went very smoothly. Denise and I shared a canvas combining our muses and we had energy to spare afterwards. With help from Rosie, Paul, his store manager Prue, and their team, they did an excellent job at having everything ready to go. Including a home-made high tea for the class each day courtesy of Prue. We donated our two combined paintings to a women’s’ shelter and each went on our own way enjoying New Zealand. My daughter Rosie, who also assisted us during the workshop, and I stayed with Rosie McCarthy who treated us like royalty; cooking us delicious meals and even lending her car for a week to tour so I could save money towards my dream of quitting my corporate job and teaching full-time.
Fast forward again to November 2015. Rosie McCarthy had decided to become a Color of Woman teacher and was in California to graduate, this time staying with me. During the graduation activities I was to give a pictorial presentation about my past year, my first year out of that corporate job and into teaching full time. Right before it was my turn, one of the new graduates pulled me aside and introduced herself, Tracey Buist-Eastwick. She had been in the second workshop in Christchurch with Rosie.
Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in
When I asked Tracey what sparked her to take the teacher training we both recalled the exact moment. In the opening Red Thread Circle a woman who may have been of native Maori descent had tears and said she was there to heal. All of her hair was gone. Denise and I were such newbies and it was powerful and a bit intimidating to see she had hopes we could help. By following the step-by-step Color of Woman Method and what we had been taught, and wow did we.
At one point the woman was lost and feeling stuck. Her painting was beautiful yet very dark with a dark skinned woman nearly hidden behind what looked like curly bushes. I simply stood next to her for a short while and gave her guidance on adding highlights to the face – so super simple and so powerful. As the face lit up so did the woman. It was so amazing. Everything changed in that moment. You’ll see her in the group photo in the front row with a big smile and her fist in the air, ready to fight and heal.
And the intentions Denise and I set? I got my photographs and we both were able to pay for our trips with the proceeds. The mystery of the unknown and the gifts walking this path can bring are magical.
In gratitude to all who are a part of this story,
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A Red Thread Runs Through It
November 30, 2016
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