I was born as a refugee in Pakistan. When we immigrated to Canada, my parents divorced leaving my mother to tend to 8 children on her own in a completely new society and way of life. This challenge marked great places of suffering inside me, but those places of pain also led me to seek out visions of beauty, of love, and of justice and harmony.
During the summer of 2012, I was experiencing a time of self-recovery. I began exploring through creativity a new sense of identity, one that came from healing and wholeness and empowerment. I became certified as a life coach and registered SustainED360 as a business with a vision in my heart. That vision was to create empowerment educational programs, especially for those who would be considered marginalized and underprivileged, coming from challenging places and histories like the ones I came from.
I had long been engaged in leadership roles in my community in Toronto since I was 14. I realized there were things that felt like they were missing from these programs. Inside I felt broken and that was never addressed. At that time I withdrew from Teacher’s college for the second time, because there were too many assumptions and many unaddressed inquires that we just weren’t having. How were we to educate young children when we ourselves had not addressed our own issues or healed our own wounds?
What if instead of the place of intense suffering informing our choices, thoughts and decisions, we could come from a new informed place?
This inquiry continued when I began holding workshops on leadership and self empowerment and ‘being the change’ in the world. I experienced an internal struggle. While focused on trying to have integrity, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for longer than 2 minutes. My inner critic would scream hateful words of resentment, anger, shame, guilt, and down right abuse!
Waking up to this inner pattern caused me to draft a new vision and pathway for myself. I wanted to become a life coach, to support young people and adults in transforming their relationship to themselves, coming from a place of self love in all their choices and decisions. I wanted to teach, which I drafted outlines for was a Girl’s Empowerment summer camp program, which became a reality as you can see in the images here. I wanted girls and women to relate to themselves from a place of self-love, which now is articulated as the voice of the Queen of Their Hearts, or their Muse, as is taught in the Intentional Creativity Movement. Flash forward to Summer of 2015, and it came to life in a most magnificent way! I became a certified Color of Woman Teacher and Intentional Creativity Coach with Shiloh Sophia McCloud. This achievement together with my past resources, healings, teachings and tools, leaves me feeling empowered and prepared to harvest the work of my dreams!
One of the things we share as Intentional Creativity educators is to document the progress, because then we can see the shifts that have occurred. The places we have journeyed to, through and from! I love looking back to having this evidence to show the participants as well the transformation they just went through. Many began this process and course with fears that they were not creative, or that they couldn’t paint and felt a lot of anxiety and excitement which is totally normal when jumping on one of these rides! It is one of my greatest joys to witness and to support my beloveds because there is usually immense breakthrough waiting just on the other side!
This girl started out proclaiming that she is not creative. In the middle of the program she developed her own color, called “Fashinista Pink” and WAS ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH HER WORK and her creativity!
Another young girl was afraid of the process of losing what she already had drawn on her canvas. Part of the practice of Intentional Creativity is to go through the edge of risk and to feel it through art to find our way around it hopefully when faced with it in real life. For her, the dilemma was what if she lost this and couldn’t get back anything prettier since this was one of her best pieces she had ever drawn. She moaned, groaned and finally slowly followed the next step to spray down water on the charcoal and lose what she had. And later one she admitted to me that she actually loved that she did that even though it was hard because she was able to find even more by letting it go and trusting to work out the new. She also had many other deep breakthroughs and accessing deep wisdom from the Queen of Her heart that helped her express emotions and stories that were long held inside and needed space to be expressed and witnessed which we did in our final circle sharing.
In exploring the Queen of their Hearts, some of these girls had developed more intimate and closer friendships with one another. On the first day of camp many of the girls expressed the sadness of not having many friends who were girls and hoping to make some during this experience. It was so wonderful to see them trusting one another to work on each other’s canvases and to find connection and sisterhood through the process!
Camp leaders who were mentors also allowed themselves into a full meditative exploration during this painting process. As you can see this is such a self portrait depiction and to make that connection without conscious intention was even more powerful to see. I showed her this picture so she could see the mirror she was creating through. To see ourselves positioned as the queen of our hearts is one of the most powerful teachings I feel all young girls and women must engage with and come from in their lives, so that we can counter-act many of the gender based issues of violence, disempowerment,
I am so grateful for the wisdom of these girls, for their participation, deep love and for this work that gives me tools to share my message and gifts with those I am meant to be working with. My hope and vision is to see this method be expanded within the education system and to inform our teachers and educators all of the world about these processes and possibilities. I am now in my Masters of Education program, hoping to somehow find my own piece and my way of making this bigger vision and dream happen.
Our teacher Shiloh teaches that when we work with our ideas through the processes of Intentional Creativity, the space and distance between our beloveds and our visions collapse, bringing it into form much faster. I know that for me, as I do this work with the people I serve, I am moved to a different place. We all go on the journey together, moving from one place to the next. Our shifts become captured in image, in words and in memory. The transformations occur also on the cellular level, mapping new neuropathways from patterns and routines that no longer serve us. There is no other way I would want to teach anymore that does not incorporate the teachings of Intentional Creativity and our Color of Woman training, which truly is one of the most revolutionary systems on Earth right now. I don’t say this because I am a Color of Woman teacher, but because the work speaks for itself!
If you are interested in bringing Intentional Creativity to your schools or to your organizations, I recommend you check out the Red Thread Nation listings and reach out to one of us! These experiences are always remarkable and create great impacts because of the cutting edge technologies that inform our practices, as well as the heart and passion of the educators and community!
Sahar Joya is an Intentional Creativity Teacher and Coach, a visionary artist, student and educator in service of creating and administering a kind of pedagogical practice that helps us find our connection to our selves, to one another and to our histories at large, while also being at the edge of the creative aspect of the universe in re-creating new ways of life and togetherness that promote a sustainable paradigm infused by love, justice and inquiry of being with the Great Mystery. She currently is pursuing her Masters degree in Education in Toronto, while working on her piece of the Red thread, the place in the whole that she is responsible for tending to. She facilitates workshops for youths and adults, and also provides one on one workshops and mentorship opportunities. She is also working on putting together a compilation of a body of work to express her findings so far in her journey, and to also explore important questions relevant to change makers in our world. https://beautywaystudios.wordpress.com
My Art is Me