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Creativity at Work: The Witness Tree

By Kerry Lee Special to the Herald

The power of intention combined with creativity. I’ve spoken of it before in this column, and oh, how fortunate was I to once again witness it recently! I participated in Wisdom 2.0, an experiential event focused on exploring the intersection of wisdom and technology held in San Francisco, and participated in a collaborative intentional creativity art project called “The Witness Tree”, with a large, beautiful, Shiloh Sophia McCloud-Klimt-esque tree painted in gold on a large as life black canvas with white stars of the cosmos and twinkle lights running through the trunk.

Attendees at the event were invited to engage in Intentional Creativity with the inquiry of “What are you here to cause and create?” and then asked to articulate their unique piece, their wishes, dreams or ideas in a few words. They then declared this intention by writing on a gold or bronze paper leaf. When I saw them glue their leaf, their piece of this collaborative art project, to the tree one a time, I witnessed many transformations right before my eyes.

After each leaf was firmly in place on the tree a Guild member, a colorfully dressed artist representing the global Intentional Creativity Guild of teachers, asked the participant one at a time, without the pomp and circumstance of a large crowd or line of people, to state their declaration out loud. For many this was unexpected. I saw eyes grow large, big gulps of air swallowed, and slow smiles emerge as the participant recognized a part of declaring was giving their voice to their wish, idea or dream. Some were quick and ready, and some wanted to come back later after thinking about it. Some were there searching for exactly what they are here on earth to cause and create, and some were focused, sure and on a mission. For many, tears welled in their eyes and courage had to be summoned before being able to speak their truths out loud. All felt something had shifted after being witnessed, and many told a story to go with their part. Hugs and gratitude came easily.

We encouraged each participant to remember that if we each held our own piece, simply what they had written on their leaf, all the meaningful declarations would amount to something much greater. Especially as action followed in the coming hours, days, weeks and months. Many came back to “visit” or share their leaves with others as the event progressed.

As so many teachers say, I learned from this event too. What stood out for me was:

  • Everyone has a cause even if they don’t know exactly what it is yet. And those who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone will find it.

  • Everyone wants to be heard, to be witnessed, and to have an authentic moment of human-to-human connection. With a stranger seems even more powerful. And to know they make a difference just being who they are.

  • Creativity can be simple, and with intention it’s power still surprises and inspires me even after years of witnessing this.

  • This event was attended by representatives of many large corporations who were sent to find new ways to bring mindfulness and balance to the workplace. This warmed my heart as that is a shift since I left my corporate world experience only two years ago. Maybe the world is moving in the right direction, one person and one company at a time.

Creativity at work indeed. Claim. Declare. Witness. Simple yet so very powerful.

You can find photos of The Witness Tree at Wisdom 2.0 on my website at Next week’s topic is about Creative Spaces.

Kerry Lee, a 25 year Benicia resident, is a Certified Intentional Creativity® Teacher and Coach, leading group workshops, experiential retreats, mobile social painting parties, customized corporate team building and corporate social responsibility events and teaching essential oil lifestyle and wellness classes. Find her at / #TheAlchemicalArtist


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