Share
erwan-hesry-360406-unsplash

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

***

You are a lot like me, but not in a way we would necessarily see if we met face-to-face.

On the surface, we might seem similar or very different, but under the surface, something strong and alive pulses inside us.

Here, under the surface, we are very much alike.

Under the surface, we long for something, and this longing is more than just a simple whim or desire that comes from our more pedestrian human lives. It is way under the surface. Way down where marrow enlivens bone and blood runs thick, hot, and blue.

This longing, this pulse, is the desire of life to be fully alive, to be fully expressed, and to enjoy the feelings of aliveness and joy and unfolding, even though they are often intense. Very intense.

This desire, this longing, this pulse – was submerged long ago, long ago when we, you and I, were young.

Parents try to get us to calm down, quiet down, contain ourselves, stifle the voice, and not be ‘so outlandishly’ loud and ecstatic. Not be so happy. Not be so joyful. Not feel our feelings so intensely. Not feel.

We learn to squash the life force within us down to an acceptable level. We learn to be afraid of our own aliveness and vitality, our own emotional intensity.

We become ‘adult’.

I know I became very skilled at squashing my vitality and joy, which is what full aliveness looks like on the outside! I internalized the voices of adults over the years who kept at it, kept getting me to ‘tone it down.’ I used to be pretty vibrant. I played hard. I would get really sweaty and I loved being alive. But I grew to contain myself as those adults would shoot me glances that told me my fabulous vitality was not and certainly not polite.

Then, one day I began to do it to myself, taking those many voices outside into myself, taking them down deep inside where I couldn’t really hear them consciously but where they could still wreak their havoc in service to my dutiful smoldering of this inner fire – and it IS a fire.

Are you feeling this? Is it resonating? Do you, too, know this fire?

***

“Eros – it sounds like a nice dessert, like a happy ending. But Eros, the Greek god of love, was considered a tragic figure in antiquity. He was not the god of pleasurable satisfaction, but of emotional intensity that burned just as hotly, if not more so, when unsatisfied.” Dr. Andreas Weber, Matter & Desire

How does it feel inside you when your emotional intensity burns hot and sits unsatisfied within you? What’s going on inside of you when everything you really are is trying to claw its way out, trying to set itself free? How does that feel? Are you aware of it, conscious of this deeper impulse to flow like lava, or spread its wings and flee the cage?

I can tell you how it feels in me. Hot, angry, alive, pushing back against those old, old voices that, while I’m sure felt they were helping me to grow into a polite young woman, continued to imply that what is inside of me cannot be trusted and so I must contain myself.

But it is love. It is love that wants to fly. It is love that wants to push itself up and out of these holy bodies and into the bright air of this holy world. It is Eros. It is impulse. It is life.

We don’t trust what lies within us, but at the heart of who we are is a love so powerful that it must unfold itself into the world because when it does so, life increases, life grows, life expands – and this is what allows life to continue. This is all we were as kids – love in a small human body wanting to know itself, wanting to feel gloriously alive.

But now – we are growing dead inside as a species. We lock ourselves up. We are locking others up. We are even locking children up now here in my country.

Command. Contain. Control.

The message: do not trust that impulse inside of you to come alive, do not trust your humanity, do not trust yourself.

This that we haven’t trusted is love’s great and hot desire to live into the world, to continue itself, over and over, becoming alive and then enjoying the deep feeling of having done so.

“But this love – I thought, as the trail of the swift’s arrowlike flight seemed burned like an afterimage into the evening’s empty air – is indeed nothing other than the inexhaustible drive of both life-forms and the ecosystem to grow and to unfold. It is the desire for such unfolding and the joy experienced when that drive is fulfilled… It unfolds regardless of whether something good happens to me or another being because it is the joy experienced whenever life increases in the world, somewhere.”
– Dr. Andreas Weber

“… whether something good happens to me or another…”

This is key here. It’s not just about us. It is about life itself. We are part of life. We are included in this. We are not separate form life. We humans think it is just about us. We think this earth revolves around us. This is how we are killing ourselves, and how we are killing other beings. We’ve forgotten. It is about life itself and about the joy of this entire existence constantly pouring forth into the world as a holy expression of the deepest longing of love.

***

So, that feeling of frustration, grief, sadness – and sometimes hot and uncomfortable desire to be free, to run, to fly – is necessary to face and feel and welcome in. It is telling you something. It is life saying, “No. I will not contain myself. I will not kill myself slowly in this lifetime. I will keep a bookmark here, I will keep a placeholder so that when I grow completely tired of this charade, I will find myself again and I will fly free.”

Listen for these words in your own true voice.

And when you grow tired, you can fly free. Eros is pulsing. Love is always trying to make its way to freedom. Life will liberate itself when given the chance.

Eros is wholly unsatisfied when it burns hot and cannot flow. When it is kept down, kept quiet, kept submerged. Like lava, it will erupt. And then it will flow into the world, making new earth, making new life, creating as life as life does.

You are no different than Pele. You are no different than that hot intensity waiting to become new earth. You are life and there is nothing wrong with you or with your desire to be fully, wholly, and holy alive.

Everything in your glorious nature knows how to flow. A bit of loving attention with that voice inside of you that wants to contain you (because it is trying to protect you) and you are set free. Believe me. We are very much alike. We are family, the human kind, and we must guide each other to back to our own kind of flight – human flight – the billowing forth of love’s desire to both express and know the joy of this profound unfolding.

I know this. I’ve done this. Find your way to freedom.

We will become free, together.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Share

ullash-borah-605039-unsplash

Photo by Ullash Borah on Unsplash

 

Everything within is also outside. Everything outside is also within. In reality, everything is almost all space, so the lines of distinction we believe are so solid, like the line between our own body and the rest of the world, are not. Which means, everything we feel and sense and experience within is also outside. And again, everything we feel and sense and experience outside is within.

As within, so outside.

This is a helpful way to understand why how we see things outside of us impacts how we see things within us. And again, vice versa. How we see things within are how we see things outside of us.

What I am going to share might be triggering. If you begin to feel something and it doesn’t feel good, please consider passing on the rest.

I want to share a scenario about power and victimization and how we can be impacted by the force of being victimized. This is told from the perspective of a child, adolescent, or adult in relation to someone bigger, stronger, more powerful, and more aggressive. It’s told from my perspective.

When there is an imbalance of power – physically, mentally, systemically (cultural and/or familial)- and we receive the energy of aggression into our physical, emotional, and energetic bodies, the psyche responds by attempting to protect us in the moment as well as from future harm. The outer dynamic becomes imprinted within. Big, powerful aggressor out there, less powerful self in here. While the event itself comes and goes, what we make up about ourselves and others in relation to the event becomes not only the story we project onto ourselves, the aggressor, and the world and our place in it, which is how our psyches form meaning.

We are taught that victim consciousness is weak and are told, over and over, ‘not to be a victim’ or ‘don’t play the victim’ as if it is some sickness we have to eradicate. Rarely, though, do we say the same thing about being the victimizer. How often do you hear people say to you, ‘don’t be a victimizer’ or ‘don’t play the victimizer’? In a culture that celebrates ‘power over’ and strength, and fears being powerless, we are lopsided in our exploration of how this dynamic between these two poles is affecting us. It isn’t an either/or thing, but rather a both/and dynamic.

Back to the above scenario. What can happen when we are victimized is that our own inner-victimizer (we all have one) turns on oneself since through the power imbalance the imprint is one of being harmed. The inner-victimizer becomes the self-punisher out of self-preservation because this person cannot exercise the animal/human response to fight back. The fight turns to oneself. As a form of protection, we then develop a habit of harming self, punishing self, using our own power on ourselves to keep ourselves small, which means safe. The cycle is set so that even when we grow up and/or come into a more balanced power dynamic the unconscious habit is in place and we habitually continue to behave from the more powerless place – until we wake up.

All of this takes place mostly in the unconscious. We aren’t aware we are doing this until we are. We often don’t even see that we do it, but only see the effects in our lives.

The systems we live in give power to some over others, meaning we learn at a young age that we are either in the power group or not, be that male/female, white/Black, etc. Our psyches develop accordingly. And then when an event happens, these conditioned dynamics play out.

Here’s the thing. We must realize we all contain these poles – victimizer, and victim. When we are unconscious to this and to how they play out within us, we are unconscious to how they are playing out in the outer world. As within, so outside. If we have learned that we are part of a group in power and we learn to be comfortable with our inner-aggressor, we have a certain internal dynamic between our inner-victimizer and inner-victim, the former becomes more positive to our psyche and the latter more negative. We allow our victimizer to be in the world, sometimes in very subtle, and sometimes in not so subtle, ways. And we push the inner-victim to the shadow.

If we learned that we are part of a group that is not in power and we are not comfortable with our own aggression, we then have a different dynamic within where our inner-victim becomes dominant and our inner-victimizer is relegated to the shadow. In the outer world, we play this out by being accommodating, and sometimes even collapsing when we’re facing difficult challenges. The victimizer doesn’t have to be a person – it can be perceived to be ‘life’. Remember, we project our inner world onto the outer world. So in the scenario, what was a person victimizing the young person becomes projected onto the world as the world at large and all people who trigger this inner dynamic.

So what’s the point of all of this?

The other day, I came to see my own inner world very clearly. I saw how the events of my younger life caused my own inner-victimizer to go into the shadow where it was relegated to a reign of terror in my psyche, becoming a vicious attacker toward my own sense of safety, worth, and ability to stand strong in the face of perceived trials in life. I have been one of those people who collapse out of the fear of others’ judgment, shaming, humiliation, and condemnation. It’s not easy to say that here, but I believe it will be helpful to you and others. Here is why.

When I saw how my psyche was set up and really took it in and sat with the truth of it, I was finally able to acknowledge how vicious my inner-victimizer is toward me and how painful that is. How there is a deeply sad and hurt part of me that has had to tolerate these attacks for most of my life. And, I acknowledged that I have been living from a big victim pattern. I have fought this. I knew I had been victimized but I thought that if I acknowledged that I carried that pattern then I had to deny the experience of victimization. But this is where I’ve been wrong for so long. It’s one thing to have an experience. That is real. It happens. But if we don’t acknowledge how it affects the psyche’s development and how we then play that out, then we stay stuck in not only victim consciousness but also our own victimizer consciousness as well, however it navigates the inner/outer world, whoever it victimizes, within or outside.

Again, this is true for the victimizer. The same cycle plays out in some way.

When I was able to see them both and truly be honest with myself about it all, something big released and I felt a peace that was profound. A friend mentioned that it was the peace that comes from bringing the polarity to rest.

I saw and took responsibility for the way my own mind has terrorized me my whole life. I learned I couldn’t let it out toward others. That I had to be nice and good, rolling over for those who’d learned to be aggressive and powerful. My inner aggression had to go somewhere and it was pointed at me -although it would come out in fits and starts.

The inner-aggressor/inner-victimizer polarity is simply our own personal essential power that has been taught to behave in a conditioned, habitual way – against others, away from others. It’s our fight or flight response playing out within and without in various scenarios. It’s playing out in the real world and in each of our lives in so many different, destructive ways. But, most of us are not holding them both, not seeing them both, not taking responsibility for both.

Healthy is when we can come to an inner peace between these poles, embracing them both, seeing that we have both within us. And if the feeling I felt and am feeling of both peace and true power from within is any indication, then when enough of us do this, we will know a great deal more peace in the world.

Think about it. Who we see as so powerful in the world, using their power over others in ways that are so harmful not only to others and the world is harmful to them as well; there is an inner-victim that is suffering inside of them. There’s a war going on like there is for those of us who tend toward the victim side.

The point of understanding this is to see that we all have this war going on inside of us between victimizing and being victimized and the pain of it is excruciating.

The war we see out there is the war going on inside. The war we finally allow ourselves to SEE AND FEEL inside is the war going on out there.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Share

austin-ban-14522-unsplash

Photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash

This morning at my cafe – the one I go to each morning – in a split second, one big dog lunged for one small dog and suddenly there were two upset dogs and two traumatized humans. The little dog was okay after shaking for a bit. The big dog was hauled off to a car after being scolded by the woman who happened to be dog sitting and was caught unaware of how to handle the situation. Her combination of apology and tears showed she was not quite sure how to handle what was happening. And the little dog’s mom was shaking in such a way that it was clear she was in shock. Actually, I think both humans were in shock. In a world where some are experiencing such big trauma, such a thing might seem trivial. But as I sat with the little dog’s mom, someone I know from years of seeing each other every morning, holding her as she held her little dog, placing pressure on her legs, just enough to ground the shaking, I saw and felt so much vulnerability in everyone involved. This human thing isn’t easy. And I take it this dog thing isn’t either – especially for dogs trying to exist in the heart of an energetically intense city. And I saw and felt how deeply we need to acknowledge the traumatic nature of our society and world.

We need each other. We need touch. We need care. We need to feel. We need to know we will be cared for by others when things get hard and that we have the capacity to be the ones who will do the caring when the time comes to care.

We need to act on our caring.

I was inside facing the window that looked out upon the corner where and when the big dog lunged for the little dog. I saw the little dog’s mom’s face cry out with fear and my body and heart responded instinctively by getting up, going outside, helping her to sit down, wrapping my arms around her, and placing my hands on her lovingly. Yes, I knew her so she trusted me already. And I knew to go gently and slowly. I knew she needed to feel held and grounded. I’ve done enough somatic work to know and yet in the immediacy of the moment, my instincts were what guided me.

We’ve been cut off from our instincts but now we need to rekindle them. We need to trust in our body’s wisdom. Our bodies know how to be with each other, especially if we allow ourselves to feel our innate compassionate nature and move from this. Our hearts know.

We must act on our caring.

As I sat with the little dog’s mom, we checked for blood and a wound. There was no blood drawn. No wound we could see.

The big dog’s woman sitter came over to apologize. Her eyes were filled with tears – a mixture of fear, sadness, shock, surprise, and a bunch of ‘what the hell do I do now’, she offered an apology, her hand shaking as it reached out toward but not all the way to. Her hand reached out toward us, not quite sure of what to do, then slowly made its way over toward me. At which point I reached out with my left hand and took hold of it. She softened, clearly needing touch, too.

Everyone needed touch. Reassurance. Connection. Dogs and humans, both.

Her eyes searched for reassurance. She received some and yet I sensed she needed more. Perhaps we needed more bodies, more hands to reach out and touch. More people to come over and simply be together. We were surrounded by people, but most sat and watched, their eyes reaching out with a look of ‘What do I do here?’, ‘How do I be here?’

I don’t have answers other than to feel, to act upon the caring your heart signals when it signals. To listen in the moment for how you might be needed. And to trust what you hear. To gauge what is needed by what you see and hear and feel and sense.

We are all trying to exist in a world that feels as if it is going madder and madder each day. And yet, we are here with capacities perhaps much greater than we know because they haven’t been tested until now. Perhaps it isn’t going madder. Maybe we are being offered the opportunity to grow into the fullness of our humanity.

Will I continue to act upon my caring when I don’t know the little dog’s mom? When the stakes are higher? When blood IS drawn, so to speak? When it is humans lashing out at humans? I intend for this to be so. I was deeply moved by what I witnessed this morning. In how we try to be here as best we can. And I know we have more inside of us dying to be offered even though we don’t yet trust in ourselves to give it.

I know I need you. I need to know I matter. But more importantly, I need to know I have something to give, something that in these moments makes a difference, in the everyday moments, when another needs something that only a human being can offer. I was fortunate to see that my instincts offered were graciously received and that in some small way the love I offered made a difference. This was the huge gift I was given. The love that came through me knew what was needed. I was the one, though, that had to act for it to do so.

Will we act upon our caring when we don’t know how to but know we must?

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

A Leadership of Feminine Values

by Julie on June 12, 2018

Share

IMG_4931
“Our society fails to appreciate the woman who quietly responds to life with intense interest and with love for people, ideas, and things. Yet these characteristics are as deeply and truly creative as are the characteristics of those who seek to lead, to act, and to achieve. We have a bias against feminine values. Not only are we too busy to adequately nurture our children, but we are also unable to truly nourish our own creativity, our personhood, our ability to take a stand for life, and our capacities to live and love from the heart.” ~ M. Harris & B. Harris, Into the Heart of the Feminine

I’ve been delving deeply into a kind of leadership that I feel we must embrace if we are going to survive. I’ve written before about this new leadership — a leadership that nourishes and nurtures, a leadership that responds to others with genuine interest and sincerity, a leadership that knows that what each of us truly desires is to be known, loved, and made useful.

We must take a stand for life. We must. The present mythology of western society is one of money. We’re living in a money myth and in this myth, money holds greater value and importance than life itself. THIS IS CRAZY. How will we survive if we hold money to be more important than life — especially life that offers no monetary value, life that cannot contribute to the culture in the way the culture demands life to be ‘valuable’ where value equals feeding the coffers?

Consider children. They do not contribute to the big money machine and notice how they are treated by our institutions. Children vs. Money? Money wins.

Consider the elderly. The elderly vs. Money. Guess what wins?

Consider the Earth. Just a big round planet of resources, right? A big round planet worth a lot of money if these resources are extracted and sold. But how do we live continue to live healthy, connected, vibrant lives on a planet that is getting sicker and sicker because we do not value that she is our home? She’s not valued as our home, she’s valued as pieces and parts. Money wins again.

But what’s under money? Power. Domination. Control.

We are trying to control life. We think we can control life. We think we can control each other. Ultimately, this is going to backfire in a big way. Instead, we must live life, honor life, nurture life, and make a stand for life, and these come out of an honoring of feminine values that are values all can support and live.

We cannot survive by fighting each other. We will not survive if we don’t begin to come together, to connect, communicate, and collaborate with great compassion.

But most importantly, we must begin to access the greater intelligence within each of us if we are to come up with the creative insight and deeply generative compassion that will bring us together and move us forward toward a new way to be here on this Earth together. This creative intelligence is accessed internally through your creativity. This is deep creativity — creativity that is the source of this greater intelligence so clearly needed.

***

Join me for FLOURISH, a women’s leadership course that supports a leadership of these feminine values — one that nurtures and encourages the flourishing of all of life. You will gain much awareness of who you are and what you’re here for. And you’ll come away with practices, exercises, and tools to offer to those you work with and support. We begin June 13th and scholarships are available.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Love in a Time of Personal Power

by Julie on May 1, 2018

Share
leopard

Photo by Jake Weirick on Unsplash

 

“We have put the value of love — of life, self, and others, — in combative opposition to the value of personal empowerment. In actuality, these two values should be more like the Eastern concepts of Yang and Yin, which are not combative. Rather, they compliment each other as opposites while retaining their own identities, reaching toward a universal harmony. Love needs empowerment to have strength and substance, and empowerment needs love in order to have value, purpose, and meaning.”
— Massimilla Harris and Bud Harris (Into the Heart of the Feminine)

 

I grew up during the second wave of Feminism. I remember those years of women fighting for equality. And, I remember how they were treated for wanting equality.

Looking back now, I see that the call was for equality but not really for love for all of life, for justice for all, for the leveling out of the playing field for all.

It’s clear the feminine (as she appears in all human beings and in all of life) has been missing when we see the ways in which the power structures and institutions of our western culture values some lives more than others. When we discriminate against some lives and not others, when we commodify lives, when we don’t provide safety and care for all lives, we are witnessing the lack of the feminine in our institutional, systemic, and individual behavior.

Over the past two decades, many of us have found ourselves on this deep reclamation of the feminine.

She called and many of us answered, not really knowing what that meant.

The feminine (yin) can only be known in relation to the masculine (yang), and the masculine only known in relation to the feminine. In Chinese Medicine, this relational dynamic is understood as an elemental way of seeing and knowing life. Everything is related and nothing truly stands on its own. So when I speak of the feminine, I speak from this perspective. I am not speaking of women and men, but rather the energies of yin and yang.

The feminine is dark as related to the light. The feminine is moist as related to dryness. The feminine is non-linear as related to linearity. These aren’t moral leanings. They describe life and all life entails, including death.

The feminine is the mystery. She doesn’t reveal herself in clearly defined ways. Instead, she reveals herself through symbol, intuition, dreams, and the deep imagination of the inner world. But, the feminine has been revealing herself back into the world of form and we’ve begun to see the world in new ways. We’ve come to see how the feminine appears in this world.

We have so far to go to truly hold all of life as sacred, worthy, and equal. I believe one of the reasons we have not done so is that we don’t know the feminine. We don’t clearly see her. And, because we don’t see her clearly in relation to the masculine, which has had a greater presence in our world, we don’t see that the nature of life itself is to live not for itself but for the whole.

This is how the feminine moves in all of us — not hierarchically, but relationally. The feminine cares for life — all of life. Not some life. And not just life that is commodifiable. She cares for all of life equally.

The feminine is Eros. And Eros is love. Eros nurtures the impulse to live. And the living of Eros moves in such a way to ensure the preservation of the human species.

But the feminine is not moving within all of us because we haven’t become conscious of how she is within us. And we become conscious of how she is within us when we come to see what is hidden within us when we find the courage to face that which we haven’t wanted to see. When we do this, our hearts can break open. Our compassion can flow. And, our love can pour forth.

We can come to remember our wholeness.

While we’ve been seeking empowerment and equality, this twin ‘value of love’ has not been championed in the same way.

“We are liberating our empowerment, yet at the same time, we are denying our inherent abilities to like, nourish, and take loving care of ourselves and to make the love of ourselves, others, and life the dominant value we try to live by.”
– Massimillia Harris & Bud Harris

We want to be equal to men. We want to be empowered. But to what end?

Ultimately, it must be for the love of all things, all beings, all of life. For this is the nature of the feminine. She does not discriminate. She does not exclude. She does not favor one child over another.

Empowerment needs love in order to have value, purpose, and meaning.

What does empowerment do for us and the mess we find ourselves in if we aren’t caring for all beings if we aren’t using this power to liberate all of life from the effects of our out of balance, hyper-masculine western culture, exemplified by racism and white supremacy? The feminine does not hold any aspect of life supreme over any other, any expression of life over any other, any incarnation of life over any other.

Yes! Love truly “needs empowerment to have strength and substance.”

We must do what it takes to free the Love within ourselves, otherwise, we are still stuck in the old paradigm of ‘what’s in it for me’ where there is little true value offered to the whole of life through our work. And when we do free ourselves, we then have the strength and substance to bring Love to the forefront of our work in the world.

When we face all of the intense conditioning within us — everything that feels so hard to face and own — we often feel guilt and shame when we finally do. But here’s the thing. It is through feeling these very things that love frees up within us. When we truly stay with everything that comes to call on us, asking for us to face it, our hearts can open to the life that is here — to all of life, not just some of it.

This is how we do the deeper work we must do. We do what is ours to do. We face what is within us so that our hearts can do what our hearts know is true to do. This is how Love moves.

And for those of us who’ve said yes to Love and have been uncomfortable saying yes to power, myself included, it is time to bring these two together. Power-over, how we see power playing out in our world, is a zero-sum game. But power born of love is power-from-within, and this power is the expression of our deepest being into the world. It is our life force. It is Soul born from the deep Love that moves all things. It is generative. It is inviting. It is intelligent in the way of Life.

It can be frightening to live our power when our true power has been suppressed. We’ve feared our power for suppressed power fears harming others. We know somewhere that if we unleash it, it can be harmful. Yet, by not addressing it, we harm, too. Our true strength and power are of life itself. When we come to trust life itself, we come to trust that which flows through us and that which flows through all — the Source of life itself.

We cannot have true empowerment without having the conscious understanding that we are given our lives as a gift, that all of life is of equal value, worth, and beauty, and that we are here to serve the continuation of life itself. When we are willing to see what is standing in the way of this knowing and willing to do the work to dismantle it, I sense we will be able to live for life itself and to live life as the gift that it is.

Again, the feminine is the mystery. When we sit in what we don’t yet know and are unwilling to face what we must feel in order to know it, we’ll suffer and cause suffering. Everything is conspiring for us to end this suffering and liberate ourselves and the whole.

Originally published at JulieDaley.com

If you’d like to know more about my work, please sign-up for my newsletter

.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Choosing to Stay and Be Human

by Julie on April 23, 2018

Share
austin-ban-14522-unsplash

Photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash

 

“Eros is the drive of life, love, creativity, and sexuality, self-satisfaction, and species preservation. Thanatos, from the Greek word for “death” is the drive of aggression, sadism, destruction, violence, and death. At the conclusion of C&D, Freud notes (in 1930–31) that human beings, following Thanatos, have invented the tools to completely exterminate themselves; in turn, Eros is expected to “make an effort to assert himself in the struggle with an equally immortal adversary. But who can foresee with what success and with what result?” ~ notes on Sigmund Freud’s theories by Professor Easton in UMN 221 notes

 

This is where we are at right now. We have a huge, powerful wave of aggression, violence, and an incredible drive toward death as a species happening on our planet. But, Eros is making ‘an effort to assert himself’…the impulse to live, the drive to life, the force of creativity, sexuality, and species preservation!

About six months ago, I went through a really hard time in my life. I had been doing some deep work and uncovered something that had always been present in my life, but up until now, I knew it as more of a general sense of not really wanting to be here — like a withholding of myself from life, from relationships, from truly entering into life unbridled, unmasked, and no longer afraid to speak and create as my heart wants to speak and create. But at this moment, for the first time in my life, really, the impulse to end my life appeared out of the blue. It was only an idea for a moment, but the power of the desire toward death was what was shocking. It was truly an incredibly strong energy. I am grateful that I have the ability to reach out to a few people in my life who could hear it and could hold me as I needed to be held. I never was going to do anything, but that impulse is what began to teach me about life and death and how we dance between these two powerful energies, Eros and Thanatos, all the time.

Before this moment, I had been totally engrossed working with ‘Eros’ and its importance to our world. I had started a podcast called, “Awakening Eros” and felt so compelled to talk about it, research it, share it, and to really understand what Eros is. And then, my feet grew cold. I held back. I wondered if anyone would understand. Heck, I didn’t even fully understand the intense drive within them.

But after this moment happened, I was now very aware of the power of Thanatos — the drive toward death. And over these past months since this moment, I’ve come to see how — in both little and big ways — these two drives fuel much of the unconscious ways we inhabit our lives. And how Thanatos suppresses our own impulse toward living a full, joyous existence. I was killing my own drive to explore and express everything I sensed inside around Eros and love and being human.

Thanatos does not have to appear as taking one’s life to be present in our lives. It is present all the time. It is the drive toward death, just as Eros is the drive toward life. But there are many ways to kill our life drive without dying. We kill our joy. We kill our own impulse to create. We kill the power and desire for true sexual expression.

The Poet, David Whyte, speaks of the single malt essence of one’s not wanting to be here. In reading his words for the first time a few years ago, I was able to bring to light this deeper desire within me to run away. I have both stayed in and left situations when I wanted to leave. Leaving isn’t always running away. And sometimes it is.

As I’ve contemplated this dance between Eros and Thanatos, I’ve wondered if I (and any one of us) can truly make a full choice to stay, can truly choose this once, or if it has to be chosen over and over and over again. And I’m not just saying this in the large sense of life or death, but in the small moments where it feels like you will die if you stay and can only survive if you run, or when it feels like you will die if you run and can only survive if you stay. Moments in relationship with others, with yourself, with your work, with a creative project.

Whyte writes,

“Strangely, we are perhaps most fully incarnated as humans, when part of us does not want to be here, or doesn’t know how to be here. Presence is only fully understood and realized through fully understanding our reluctance to show up. To understand the part of us that wants nothing to do with the full necessities of work, of relationship of doing what is necessary, is to learn humility, to cultivate self-compassion and to sharpen that sense of humor essential to a merciful perspective of both a self and another.”

This impulse to live, the impulse toward life, the fear of entering into the mysterious realms of creativity, sexuality, vulnerability — being human, really — requires us to acknowledge the depth of our not wanting to be here, and perhaps the pain that life underneath it. That is what I needed to see and it is what brought me more present to my life and to a kind of humility and self-compassion I am only beginning to crack the surface of. The sense of humor is a glimmer I spot every now and then.

We often read that 80% of life is just showing up. You’d think that this would be so simple. Just show up and life handles the rest, so many say. But now I am thinking this isn’t so easy for many of us when we have this compulsion to run. And in the case of facing what’s here on our planet right now? What if 80% of this right now is showing up? I mean, though, REALLy showing up. Not running. Staying even when “part of us does not want to be here, or doesn’t know how to be here.”

I know for me that being here brings great grief when I long to feel so deeply connected to others, to touch and be touched, yet I fear the same as well. I long for it and I fear it. I long for a human world where we care about each other and each other’s welfare. A world where all people of every race, class, orientation, ability are seen as of equal value and worth, where all people have the chance to be happy, successful, loved, and known. A world where all creatures are seen as of equal value. A world in which the Earth is loved just as she loves us.

I would hedge a bet that very few of us, if any, truly know how to be here at this time on Earth. How does one be here in the face of what is happening? But this is where humility comes in. We’ve been an arrogant species for a long time. But to be here now, facing this, staying in this human relationship because we know it is where we can grow and evolve both individually and collectively — that is the invitation.

Staying because the love that we are asks this of us.

We stifle our fullest self-expression on so many fronts. We hide our hearts. We hide the bigness of spirit and the depth of the soul. We hide the true desires that fuel our sexuality and creativity. But most importantly we hide our tenderness and our fear that our not knowing how to be here makes us weak, that our reluctance to stay makes us somehow broken. Instead, I think they are what makes us human.
At a time when Eros is challenging Thanatos, and when love is trying to make a full emergence onto our planet, it is our humanity we must come to be present to. The seemingly incoherent mess that we see ourselves to be. Being human is messy. To be human is to be awake to one’s own vulnerability in the face of all of this and NOT KNOW what to do or how to do it. Being human requires us to feel, to ask for help, to realize our own powerlessness even as we engage with the creative strength and power that flows from within us. Being human is existing in contradiction and paradox.

Eros is inviting us to engage — to live — to create — to relate. To choose to stay and to live, together. It is up to us to become present enough to listen for the way, to listen to what life can teach us.

Come visit me at JulieDaley.com to discover more about how I might support and guide you as you travel this deep and sacred journey to awakening your erotic, creative nature.

 

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Share

miguel-salgado-160276-unsplash

 

I remember their faces, a little stern and adult-like-condescending, as I tried to tell them of my willow tree and how much she loved me. Sitting under her was my delight, and I think her’s, too. But they couldn’t understand. Too far removed from childhood, everything now had to be reasonable and logical. The mystical and the sacred were now seemingly too far out of reach — seemingly.

And so, they would sternly correct me when I spoke of her love and the love I saw in everything around me, which included them but I didn’t know how to speak of that to them. I could only show them through my eyes the love I had for them. The girl that I was felt like a stranger in a world gone mad with reason, a world that had forgotten that play and love and divine curiosity were the magic we can know here on Earth.

I’ve struggled with this myself as an adult. The one so imaginal, light, joyful, and free; the one who loves the process much more than the finished piece; the one who revels in watching it all unfold, revels in the anticipation of touch when skin meets skin for the first time after letting desire blossom and fruit into ripeness — judged, criticized, and silenced by that voice inside, the adult voice that somewhere along the way became ‘my voice’. That voice thinks this is all fluff, weakness, and something no one will respect because it is not logical, practical, nor does it utilize the ‘brilliance of mind’.

I, like my parents, have a good mind. A strong mind. One that loves math and coding and understanding how things works. And that love is a pure love for these things. But that is not who I am. I am not logical. I am one who can utilize logic when it is helpful and let it go when logic is not the right tool for the job.

Here’s the thing — the thing that now saves me every time I sit down to work and create…

We are not logical creatures. We never have been. We are imaginal beings, sacred to the core, mystical beings appearing as real live people, here to awaken love, here to find delight and joy in living, here to not turn away from ourselves or each other when we forget what we are.

While the loss of connection to love can be too great to hold and feel in our hearts during our early years, the delighted one who dreamed up worlds where trees are loved for the magic they are, where everyone knows the truth about flowers — that they are just a mere breath away from Source — is still very much present and this delighted one now must be freed.

We free this one, this imaginal delightful one, together, in community, in circle, held in love, always in love. For it is only love that liberates. It is only love that transforms. It is only love that frees us from the inner captivity of our own making. We, who are not captive in the outer world, we who are free to move and speak, we who have the means and have the privilege to effect real change, can and must.

This world is not what we’ve come to believe it is. It is a realm of love in a multitude of forms.

Love is spread out before us in everything and we do not see it.

The way back to knowing this is by seeing with the heart, allowing the mind to be held in the heart so that it can rest and come to know itself as love, too.
For all is love.


I offer you this meditation to help guide your beautiful mind down into your heart to be held, your heart down into your pelvic bowl so that the mind and heart are held, and your pelvic bowl down into our great Mother Earth so that your whole being can be held by the Mother.

Come join me in Writing Raw or my new course Flourish. We will find this one who knows, who imagines, who hungers and thirsts for what she knows is real and whole and beautiful.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

You are your own Oasis

by Julie on March 21, 2018

Share
max-guillaud-389038-unsplash

Photo by Max Guillaud on Unsplash

Eyes that wanted to take
frightened me so

I hid the most beautiful parts of me
But that only grew my own thirst.

I am my own Oasis.

 

There are many reasons we hide the most beautiful parts of ourselves.
Many of us humans learn to be takers. Takers of all that is not ours. Believing that anything can be ours if we simply decide we want it, then doing whatever we must do to get it.

Big things.

Little things.

We take to fill holes inside.

And we hide in order to not be taken.

Not everyone does this. But so many do.

 

I hid my most beautiful parts. Parts that seemed to be wanted the most. Prized parts according to some. Parts that I thought must be most beautiful because they were what others hungered for.

And I learned to take, too, to fill holes. And, I’ve learned they are unfillable. Because nothing can be owned and no one’s stuff can fill another.

If you grow up in a world where there are few boundaries, you find a way to inhabit that world and still stay {relatively} {hanging by a thread sometimes} sane. Look at so much of this patriarchal culture — few to fewer boundaries.

When there are no to few boundaries, all sorts of taking and giving away goes on. We learn how to survive…well…until we can no longer survive that way.

At some point, we see that we’ve hidden ourselves. From others. But mostly from ourselves. Those luscious, soft and tender, vulnerable places long to be revealed again. Those hot and fiery places long to express. We are full and glorious creatures. There is a lot to us.

The thirst can become so hot and so big until we see that nothing can quench it. Nothing outside of ourselves can. But the places and parts were hidden and so we don’t know where to go to be quenched.

Until…

Until all else fails and we are left with ourselves. And our thirst is hot and big. And we come to see there is a great well inside of us, a well that is deep and lush and verdant. And, we see there is no need to thirst any longer if we’d only go within, bow down, and drink.

Go within.

Bow down.

Drink.

The well awaits.

You are your own Oasis.

 

(Writing Raw begins April 3rd)

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Honor of Living Her

by Julie on March 6, 2018 · 2 comments

Share

28577114_10155773722731997_1888017374437312159_n

I’m sharing something pretty personal here, but it feels important to write about this.

My entire journey of writing at Unabashedly Female has been to document and share my journey of awakening the feminine principle within myself. I didn’t really know what I was doing in the beginning — I just followed my instinct. But what I did know from the beginning was that I was to write about my own journey rather than blogging about things that would teach you, my readers, things. Now I truly know that this IS how we learn — by sharing with each other our own experiences. And we only learn it if we share the truth with each other.

Last summer, I reworked my website, JulieDaley.com. I decided that it was time to use my name rather than Unabashedly Female and that the revised site should in some way bridge the two different types of work I do — one around the awakening feminine, the other around creativity and leadership in organizations and in the world at large. At this time, I started to post less often here, as you probably noticed.

This decision had something deeper behind it that I didn’t fully see at the time. It is this deeper thing that I want to share here. But first…

My journey into the feminine began decades ago…or I imagine lifetimes ago, really. I know I was aware when I was young and then I took on the head trip that I saw going on around me. I disconnected from the joy and love that I knew was in my heart, from my own soul. It’s what we do.

But then my husband died suddenly. That sent me into great grief and a glimmer of a longing that had been showing itself in slight glimpses to me throughout my life began to grow stronger. I began to follow this longing to know something that I had no clear conscious remembrance of but knew somewhere deep in my bones.

I don’t really remember the moment when I realized it was the feminine. I suppose it doesn’t matter, really. I do remember, though, the moment my journey deepened into the journey of Eros, which IS the feminine principle according to Carl Jung.

But what I want to share here is how hard it has been to accept the feminine within me. To not judge or criticize the feminine within me. It has been so unconscious, and only recently have I come to see how deeply I have the conditioned inclination to distrust, to denigrate, to disown the aspects of the feminine that are truly beautiful and exactly what we need to embody in these times of challenge. When I saw this over this past few weeks, I began to feel so bad about doing this, but then realized, of course, that would just double up on the judgment. Instead, I have been actively sitting with the critical judge within. And it is SO critical of the feminine.

I find this amazing. That I have worked so hard to awaken to and embody the feminine. That I find these aspects within myself so incredibly beautiful. What has been hard to do is stand for what she is. There are great forces – in both men and women – who still do not value the feminine, and now I see how deeply this is ingrained.

Perhaps this is why it has been so hard for me, and perhaps for you, too – so that we can truly have compassion for all of us – both women and men – as we do what it takes to begin to stand firm in our love for her and for all of life.

I came to the realization that my trying to bridge two worlds was a way to NOT bring the fullness of the feminine that lies within me forth into my work. She is at the heart of my work. I was hedging, hesitating.  I see, now, that it is up to me to do my best to make it accessible and understandable to people who truly are hungry for this work, and people who hold these judgments as well.

What matters is that I bring forth what is within me because, as it is written in the Gospel of Thomas,

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” 

And not bringing this forth has begun to destroy me in ways that I had not seen, but now do.

I’m sharing it here because I know I am not alone. The deep feminine is showing herself in so many of us, if not all of us in some way. It is so easy to fall into the cultural, patriarchal trap of denigrating the feminine within ourselves.

I worked hard for decades doing deep spiritual work to awaken to her. It is crazy how strong the fear of living Her can be. The feminine is needed as she is, not as we wish her to be or as we wish we were to be. She is needed through us as she is and as we are.

It is an honor. I feel a newfound dignity within me, a newfound determination to live what is within me and what I worked so hard to awaken to.

Will you join me? Or perhaps I am joining you!

Either way, we emerge together, embodying and honoring, Her.

One more thing. I am mostly blogging now on my other site, JulieDaley.com and will now be writing more of what I wrote here. For now, I will leave this site here and perhaps occasionally post. I am not sure what to do with the postings here. They are a beautiful archive of many years of my life and my journey. If you have any ideas, let me know. If you receive these posts by email, you’ll be added to my new list since now the content will be similar.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Who Will Stand for the Wild Soft Heart?

by Julie on March 2, 2018

Share

jakub-kriz-414659-unsplash

 

 

Who will stand for the wild soft heart?

 

Who will stand for the wild soft heart, the deep and steady breath, the hunger of the soul, if not us?

Who will speak for the Earth, the children, the elderly and the destitute, if not us?

Who will love the depth of our humanity, holding it tenderly in all its joy and pain, failure and triumph, blessedness and fright, if not us?

I walked past a homeless man the other day. So young, with already-weathered skin. Just a big boy, really. Cold. Alone. Sitting against a gray wall, empty eyes staring somewhere other than there. My momma’s heart broke open and I stopped. Tears fell against my own weathered cheeks.

I didn’t know what to do.

I wanted to bend down and reach out.

I wanted to do something to help ease his suffering.

I don’t know if he wanted that. But this was my instinct.

I stood not moving except for my breath and tears, standing on a busy San Francisco street, wanting to follow my own instinct, the instinct to care for a lost cub alone in the night.

How do I walk on this Earth, in truth, my body alive with an instinct so quick and real there is no hesitation when a fellow human is in need? An instinct so real because it is once again connected to Life.

How do I begin to remember? How do we begin to remember?

Who will hold this world in her arms against her warm heart filled with light if not me? If not us?

 

Written during a Writing Raw circle.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }