CCL Mentors / Coaches
    Suchi Waters Benjamin 
              
             Founder: Center for Co-Creative Living                 
     Visual Artist: Ceramics & Painting
     Musician: Singer/Songwriter
     DreamSeeding™ Facilitator & Life Coach 

      “I am an artist deeply committed to the transformative  
       powers of the co-creative process to enlighten, inspire, 
       and uplift the Art of daily living. “
CENTER FOR CO-CREATIVE LIVING

A PATH OF PLANETARY HEALING THROUGH

PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION

Testimonials.html

    Janet Higgins


           Teacher:  Book Arts, Co-Creative Writing,

                      Letter Press Printing


           Artist:  Mixed-Media

         

           Emerita Professor of Art: Middle Tennessee         

                    State University (MTSU)

I enjoy assisting individuals in connecting with their creativity and expressing their Authentic Voice. Engaging in a creative activity is not about the end product, but about delighting in the creative process and having fun. The joys of living a Creative Life include self-expression, personal growth, and self- reinvention.


I am a committed teacher who enjoys working with individuals and groups seeking to connect with, to explore, and to more fully express their creative self. As a mixed-media artist, I love playing with paper, fabric, words, printmaking, stitching, calligraphy, and found objects creating artist’s books, wearable art, and collages.


Growing up in Madison, WI, I attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison during the years of great social change (1964-1973). Originally starting out as a history major, I shifted into art history in my Junior year. In the summer of 1967, on a whim, I signed up for a Beginning Sculpture class in the Art Department, stepping into unknown waters, reconnecting with an aspect of myself last experienced in a 6th grade art class. A truly amazing teacher named Jerry Johnson taught this sculpture class and he changed my life course. Professor Johnson had the ability to see beyond what a student had tentatively manifested to that which the student desired to create. He saw their dream, he honored their dream, and he assisted his students in learning what was needed to bring their visions into being.


Much to my surprise I shifted my major again into Studio Art: Sculpture earning a BS (1970), MA (1971), and MFA (1973) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study textiles and weaving in Helsinki, Finland from 1973-1974. In 1976 I joined the Art Department faculty at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, TN. I took the model of Professor Johnson’s teaching into my own classroom and came to understand the joy of seeing the light turn on in a student’s eyes.


During the first half of my career I taught surface design, weaving, two-dimensional design, art appreciation, art history, and women’s studies. In the late 1980s I fell in love with book arts and letter press printing. My twin loves led me to develop a Book Arts Program and to establish a letter press printing studio and a papermaking studio in MTSU’s Art Department. Additionally, I integrated contemplative practices and co-creative writing practices into these studio classes as a way of supporting students’ content development for their books and letter press printed broadsides.


The Body-Mind-Spirit connection has been a part of my personal and professional path since the early 1990s. I’ve had the honor to study with a rich variety of teachers experiencing various forms of energy work, yoga, and meditation including: Healing Touch (American Holistic Nurses Association), Authentic Movement (Naropa University, Boulder, CO), Contemplative Education (The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Northampton, MA), and various classes at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies (Rhinebeck, NY).


After 36 years of university teaching, I retired from Middle Tennessee State University in July 2012 and was awarded Emerita Professor status. In August 2012 I moved to St. Paul, MN and am delighted to be a part of the dynamic creative communities of the Twin Cities: Minneapolis and St. Paul. I continue to enjoy teaching, offering students a variety of practices that support them in designing and constructing mixed media works and books expressive of their inner, creative, visioning selves.


Email:  janetehiggins@gmail.com  

      Nancy Mc Morrow

                   Leadership Coach & Facilitator
       Speaker
      “Budding Artist”

       ”Imagine the results if all of us fully engaged our talents,   
         skills, and energy in our work and in our lives.”

My saving grace, I am a learner.  I have other talents, however, this is the one that has been most central in my journey.  I must also claim, I am a teacher, in the spirit of exploration and inquiry.  I discover questions to unlock wisdom and possibilities.


Today, I am drawing on the skills and wisdom gained in my life,  to offer coaching to others who wish to allow the seeds of their visions to live through them.   I am drawn to begin with story.  How to write a more expansive and compelling story?  How to shake off the inertia and transform a life, any life?


As a child, I had a hunger for books and learning.  I had a dream of going to college in an Ivy League School with a lovely campus.  Instead, I began my career working in a chocolate factory.  While I quickly learned the rhythm and repetition of the assembly line, my dreams were burning in my heart.  My goal was to land a job in the office and go to school at night.  After ten years of learning about the business, I managed to also complete the courses to get a BA degree in Liberal Arts.  Honestly, I knew little about art at the time.   I understood the art of juggling a full time job and night school.   I then studied computer programming and became a systems analyst.  Eventually, I was given a chance to build an education department.  I loved experiential workshops and creative events for adults to learn how to work well together.   I received the “Outstanding Achievement” Award in 1984 for the accomplishments in building the education department and was honored with the title of Educational Specialist. 


Still, a longing festered in my heart.  I was drawn to nature and learned shiatsu massage.  This was in the 1980’s, in New Jersey, when massage was not yet recognized as a healing art.  I offered massage through a “holistic” healing center.  I loved the energy and touched into a sense of awareness and presence that I had not known since early childhood.  I was drawn to leave the chocolate corporation and dreamed of opening a healing spa.  Amazing, because I really do love chocolate. 


In the same year that I set out into the unknown, I was invited to work as a consultant, offering experiential workshops on the skills of partnering and collaborating inside the workplace.   My attraction to the work was again a love of learning and the chance to facilitate change.   I learned more about group dynamics and felt I had a unique opportunity to be an advocate for creating more humane and heart centered workplaces.  My work expanded into engaging a diverse workforce and the issues of inclusion all spoke to me.  


And, at the core of the story, is the classic issue of betrayal.  In my heart I felt something was missing. I was missing.  I felt drawn to transpersonal and spiritual studies.  I attended the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and completed a MA degree  program.  I began to touch into the arts through a local program in the city called Art & Soul.  This is when I began to play with paint and discovered I love it.  Art became an invitation.  


I refer to myself today as a “budding” artist.  I am learning more about abstract painting and continue to find joy in playing with colors and shapes.  I find there are times when I feel so present to a painting, without any judgment.  In that open space, it feels as if the painting speaks back to me.  I love it.  Painting in this form, for me, engages a unique relationship with the canvas.  I continue to experiment with large canvases and mixing paint.  It’s a joy to see these creations gracing the walls of my home. 


The crossroads for me is to continue to expand and respond to the moments.  I love coaching, the conversations are rich and deep and sometime chaotic and wide.  I enjoy seeing the possibilities emerge and the movement forward to realize a dream. 


My wish moving forward is to bring coaching to leaders who are challenged to bring others together in ways that are empowering, inspiring, and engaging.   I am especially interested in coaching leaders who are willing to be present and create something amazing. 


In 2009,  a group of coaching colleagues offered coaching to our soldiers in the National Guard.  This experience was deeply moving and rewarding. I found that coaching offered the soldiers a way to express the dreams in their hearts as well as giving voice to the challenges they faced. 


I am committed to co-creative living.   Each day I learn to make a choice for expansion and abundance.  Yes, if I am willing to ask the questions, spirit, life energy, higher intelligence is always willing to respond.   Through the wisdom of co-creative healers, teachers, artists, friends and colleagues I am learning to be present.  I am learning to grow deeper roots that touch into a place called home and I am learning to reach out into the community to offer my gift.  It is true, unless we claim our gift, no one else can have it either.   I share my gift through coaching and playing with paint on canvas.  I continue to learn, and grace continues to be amazing.


Email: nancymcmorrow@seedsllc.com     Website:  www.seedsllc.com

Nancy...

With Aloha....Suchi

Janet...

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Perry P. Hooks


President & Co-Founder:  Hooks Book Events

Idea Purveyor  

Speaker

Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual    

  energy to aid life, leaving it free to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator.”

                                                                                                                                                             Maria Montessori

  “My goal is to spread ideas and get people thinking. If I can                         

   do that, I  believe we will be helping to co-create solutions

   to problems...big and small.”

I have had a love affair with books that started when I was 4 and my mom took me to the public library in her hometown of Memphis, TN. This southern belle was hooked from the first whiff of those musty children’s tomes. Through the years at the University of Virginia to my post-college adventures in England then New York City, I always found time to check out the local book stores. Early on, I decided that my passion should be shared with everyone,  so I founded book clubs wherever I went. In the mid-1990s, I began working with independent book stores as a marketing director to promote authors and bring them to non-traditional book venues. I also spent time working in the financial services and advertising industries and with trade associations. Each experience has helped me hone my skills in designing programs and author series that fit our clients’ needs. In 2000 I founded Hooks Book Events and since then have focused my energies on taking world-renown authors into some of the most well-known organizations in the country.

Through easy, affordable and customizable book events, Hooks Book Events helps enhance the productivity and job satisfaction of employees and constituents by infusing new ideas into your organization. Our minority, women-owned business connects corporate and government audiences with authors and new ideas. Based in Washington, DC, we are happy to travel with our award-winning authors to help the people in your organization achieve their highest potential through the power of great books.

Website: www.hooksbookevents.com       

Perry...

         CCL   Affiliates

*Don’t miss Nancy’s latest book, CLEAR, which offers a vivid picture of a transforming workplace that acknowledges people as evolving Co-Creative Beings.  An excellent resource for fostering leadership:  “CLEAR” by Nancy McMorrow

I am a native Nashvillian and graduated from Vanderbilt University/Peabody College with a BA in Fine Arts, in printmaking and painting. In 1982, I founded A. Kidwell & Associates, a conservation picture framing business and, in 1988, AKA Art Gallery. Since 1993, I have concentrated my professional and volunteer efforts as a teacher, artist, writer and administrator in organizations that promote the transformative power of the creative arts and protect the natural environment of the Nashville community.


More and more my focus as an artist and teacher has been passionately directed at fostering the creative spark in myself and others through art forms that combine both visual arts and the written word.  Birthed from this focus came two books that I wrote and illustrated: Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under (Pearlsong Press, Nashville TN, (www.pearlsong.com), represents my personal story, “a deep journey” to Australia that pays tribute to Aboriginal elder Lorraine Mafi-Williams; and Josephina, a limited edition children’s book. The latter was a joyful collaboration with Fourth Grade students at Abintra Montessori. Since that time, I have conducted seminars, most notably with art students, on the gift of sharing one’s personal story.


As a teacher, I has worked with and taught a number of different painting and drawing media classes and workshops. Realizing that the image always involves a story, I continue to be inspired to connect the visual to words. After taking a semester of Book Arts at MTSU in 1993, this fascination took me a step further to focus on the actual structure of the book.  Developed with Beth Stein, we began facilitating a series of  "Writer's Curiosity Workshops" which offered fun tools to assist writers to explore and express their creative voice. As an active member of the Nashville Library Book Arts, I continue to offer workshops in schools to both children and adults as well as devote my time to my own co-creative process. 


Websites:  www.annerwilliams-art.com

© copyright 2010, Co-Creative Living / S.W.Benjamin

Anne R. Williams


Artist

Author

Teacher

Anne...

Jennifer Patten

My love of teaching began with my curiosity for learning, and my love for children. I was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1978 upon graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education.  As an enrolled member of the Osage Tribe, I spent many of my summers as a child participating in our In-Lon-Shka dances, which instilled a love for my culture and an appreciation of the practices of my tribe. I particularly loved these Indian dances because they afforded me the opportunity to be with my family. Each June, my brother and sisters and I would spend time with my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins at the ceremonial campgrounds eating traditional fry bread and meat pies. Indian beliefs are not necessarily taught, so this encouraged me to ask questions and gather answers from my elders. These answers often appear simple, but their complexity lies in your ability to decipher the answer. I felt a desire to make sense of these teachings and personalize a deeper more spiritual understanding.


While visiting New Mexico in 1992, I climbed a mountain outside of Santa Fe near a turquoise mine. At the top, I discovered a circle of stones that seemed to be in an intentional pattern, and I was mesmerized. I knew the circle was significant to our tribe, and felt very sacred, but I didn’t know why. Within that year, I discovered the book, The Medicine Wheel, written by Sun Bear and his medicine helper, Wabun Wind. Sun Bear’s vision of the Medicine Wheel was to bring these teachings in a way for other’s to learn, and to understand their greater connection to the Earth Mother. I then traveled with my three children to the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming to see the largest known Medicine Wheel in North America. It was a very powerful experience. Being a Montessori teacher at the time, I decided to write a curriculum integrating the Native American Medicine Wheel with the Montessori philosophy of learning through exploration. What emerged were five teaching manuals based on Sun Bear’s vision of the Medicine Wheel, which I presented at many Montessori conferences.


In 1993, I formed a non-profit organization called the Tennessee Indian Education Association (TIEA), and pursued a bid to bring the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) conference to Nashville in 1998.  The title for this conference was “Educating the Mind, Healing the Spirit.” I felt the conference did just that.  Not only did it bring 3000 Indian educators to Tennessee for the first time since the Cherokee Removal of 1838, but to me, it also healed an aspect of the Trail of Tears that had strongly bothered me since I was a child living in Oklahoma. TIEA hosted a commemorative walk called the Trail of Hope. Gayle Ross led the way just as her ancestor, Chief John Ross, led the Cherokee out of Tennessee along the infamous Trail. As part of TIEA, I spoke in Nashville schools on the accuracy of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. We brought several exhibits to the Tennessee State Museum, entitled, Moving the Fire: The Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma; The Principal People: The Cherokees in Tennessee Before 1838; and a Native cartographic exhibit entitled, Another America. With the Nashville Children’s Theatre, we collaborated on a curriculum and docudrama portraying the journey along the Trail of Tears for the Nashville public school system. After the conference ended, I went back to teaching for the next ten years.


In 2009, I married and retired from my career both as a teacher, and as a reading and learning specialist. I am grateful to now have the opportunity to incorporate my true passion for teaching and love of Native culture by bringing the teachings of the Medicine Wheel to a greater audience in a new format to elucidate a better understanding of the sacred circle. Currently, my ‘Dream Seed’ is to work with women, educating the mind, healing the spirit, leaving a Trail of HopeDr. Maria Montessori states in, To Educate the Human Potential, that ”We shall walk this path of life, for all things are part of the Universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”


Email:  jenpatten3@gmail.com     Website:  www.bigmedicineteachings.com                                               Jennifer...

Teacher

Author

Speaker


“My Dream Seed is to work with women, educating the mind, healing the spirit, leaving a Trail of Hope by sharing  the teachings of the Medicine Wheel to foster a deeper understanding of the sacred circle of life.”

“The intimate link between creativity and personal & planetary sustainability is a subject of deep interest to me.   My wish is to continue to explore and share that interest with others in diverse,  co-creative opportunities through my lifetime love of the written word and visual expressions.”

Every since I was a little girl I loved taking things apart and putting them back together to see how they worked.  Looking back, this was my first introduction to the hands-on creative process that I have since spent a lifetime exploring as a visual artist, a teaching artist, a healing artist, a ceramic artist, a singer/songwriting artist, and a craftsman. My first instrument was my vocal chords which I learned to play very young by singing harmony with my two sisters. Our beloved parents held "Art and Music" in high esteem and creativity was just doing what came naturally, at least, in our family.  No doubt, my Creative Spirit orchestrated it that way to assure that the “co-creative process” would be my primary focus in this lifetime from day one. For that gift, I am eternally grateful!


The Wisdom of Age has taught me that in Retrospection we see ourselves, in Introspection we know ourselves, and in Acceptance we become ourselves. The aging process helps you to see that the choices you made from the opportunities given have woven the tapestry of who you have become. Like reoccurring themes in a musical composition, those choices have intent, rhythm, cadence, creativity, purpose, and consciousness. Those song lines are the seeds that hold the magic of your Unique Gifts. Not to find expression for your Unique Gift is more than a personal loss, it is a cosmic catastrophe in my opinion, because I believe we were designed to be Co-Creators as micro-versions of our macroscopic Creator.  If we lose that connection a light goes out, sometimes forever, not just here but throughout the Universe. What I call the Art of Co-Creative Living requires a degree of  "enlightenment" to fulfill its purpose. This kind of "practical enlightenment" is not just for the spiritually elite but a divine birthright for All. 


Here’s a brief road map of the pivotal points of my life’s journey thus far. I received my formal education in Fine Arts at Stephens College, Southern Methodist University, and University of Colorado. While in Boulder, I had the good fortune to study with renowned ceramicist, Betty Woodman, which led me into a twenty-five year career as a potter/ceramicist. My one-of-a-kind Raku clay vessels and shields have been shown throughout the USA and Canada in galleries, juried shows, solo and group exhibitions and private collections. My ceramic vessels have traveled the globe and taught me to appreciate the beauty of form and the power of working intimately with the elements.


Much of my life has been spent co-creating with children because I love their Essence. They are so full of life, creativity, potential, hope, innocence, and a natural quest for JOY.....What more could you ask for?  I admire and respect the "Child Spirit" in all of us no matter how old one may be. The desire to nurture this creative spark led me to establish two non-profit arts organizations dedicated to providing creative arts programs for children and young adults, The Children’s Arts and Ideas Foundation, Dallas, TX in 1975, and in Nashville, TN in 1985.  As an artist, I have participated in countless artist-in-residence programs in schools, hospitals, and private settings.  As an arts educator, I have extensively developed arts curriculum for adults and children of all ages.


In 1978, I moved to Nashville, TN from Dallas, Texas with two members of my band to pursue a career in music as a singer / songwriter.  I was fortunate to find work as a vocalist in Nashville recording studios singing for music publishing companies and record labels in the 80’ & 90‘s while fine-tuning my songwriting skills. I was even more fortunate to meet my husband, Tom Benjamin, a gifted songwriter and my lifetime companion.  As a singer/songwriter, I signed with Crazy Mama Music, and later as an independent artist on SOULO Records, I collaborated with producer/musician, Kirby Shelstad, to create The Waters Edge CD, an album of original songs expressing my spiritual journey in music.  With the 2005 release by Backroads Music of the “Heart of Innocence CD” produced by Lloyd Barde, my voice and music were showcased with ten other gifted female artists. Having the opportunity to co-produce, Beauty’s at the Mercy of this World, a CD of original songs by my favorite songwriter, Tom Benjamin, was a musical experience I will always cherish.  In 2011, I went back to Kirby Shelstad’s Nashville studio to co-create another soulful “Music as Medicine” transformational journey entitled, Step into the Light, released in 2012.


Upon moving to Maui, Hawaii in 1999, I founded, Center for Co-Creative Living, as “A Path of Planetary Healing through Personal Transformation.”  Inspired by the power of the co-creative process to foster visionary leadership and ignite creative potential coupled with my extensive background in the healing arts, individual and group transformational learning experiences grew.  A decade later in 2010, I begin designing and developing DreamSeeding™ programs intended to grow Global Gardens of sustainable DreamSeeders eager to fulfill their highest potential and deepest purpose.  It has been rewarding to see these conscious DreamSeeds take root and flourish over the years into sustainable services that benefit our planet in enlightening ways. The CCL website offers a wealth of information about  DreamSeeding™ with the Circle of Life  programs, so have FUN exploring!


I look forward to working with you and discovering “the dreams that live inside you waiting for your heart to find the words.”  If you would like to see how the DreamSeeding™ process has inspired my own artwork and music, I invite you to visit my Art & Music website at: www.suchiwb.com


Email:  dreamseeding@gmail.com     Websites:  www.suchiwb.com  &  co-creativeliving.com

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