Deep-Bellied Places of Woman

by Julie on December 20, 2014 · 0 comments

gorithefairone

Deep-Bellied Places of Woman

 

i listen with awe to

the sound of women’s souls

painting their lives in

words across the page,

each voice different

as she spills her heart into

the moon’s sure embrace.

 

i drink in the brew and see

the rock-solid foundation that is

woman taking shape again

across this land,

meeting mother earth’s

undulating curves

ragged peaks

soft, still waters

with her own.

 

mother earth has missed

our honest voices,

out truth-telling,

spoken in spite of unspoken

yet so-very present

threats of harm

if

we dare tell the truth of our lives.

 

she is hungry for this

bedrock of soul

to lie up against

the outline of her body,

her soul.

 

she has missed us knowing her this way.

she has missed us knowing ourselves in this way.

 

we are remembering, together.

always, together.

 

(c) Julie M Daley, 2014

 

written during Writing Raw, Fall 2014

 

:::

 

Writing Raw, Winter 2015 is now open for registration, with an early bird price until Dec. 31, 2014

I would love for you to join us. The circle is already forming.

image is ‘gori, the fair one’ by anurag agnihotri on flickr under cc 2.0 license.
no changes were made to this beautiful image.

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What I am going to share here is based solely on my experience – what I’ve experienced personally. As we come to the 2nd anniversary of Sandy Hook (tomorrow, December 14th, 2014) I’ve felt a strong urge to write this. These are my reflections.

 

As many of you know,

I worked with people directly affected by 9/11 for over three years, from ’03 – ’06. In the first year or so, I coached a large number of family members who’d lost love ones in 9/11 as part of a larger program they were taking, which comes out of the same core program I teach. Then, during the second year, I taught a couple of those courses and continued to coach.

Following these courses, I was hired to design and teach a dating relationship class to women who’d lost their spouses/partners in 9/11. Over eighteen months, along with my colleague Julie (yes, two Julie’s teaching together), I had the truly lovely experience of working with these women to discover a way to bring a new loving partner into their lives while also still grieving their loss. It is not true that we have to put our grief away in order to date again. We can find a partner who is willing to enter into a relationship with us even if we have experienced major loss.

Over the time I worked with these many family members, I found we as Americans to be supportive and truly desiring for there to be healing for these families. In fact, there was so much public attention around 9/11, many of these family members had a hard time finding a way to grieve privately – something we all need when going through the grief of traumatic events. We need our privacy, while also needing to know we are part of a larger community that is holding us firmly in love and respect.

During these years, 9/11 was still very much in the news, not only news of the American response to the attack, but also news about the family members and things they were beginning to do in the world.

When I would speak about my work with people in general, people engaged in conversation with me about it. There was a willingness to talk about it. It had affected all of us in a profound way.

This past Winter and Spring, along with two other women, I had the incredible opportunity to teach the same course again, but this time to people directly affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, in Newtown, Connecticut. It was the first time the course would be offered, and I was asked to join-on because of my experience in teaching this material to so many diverse populations over the past twelve years. I won’t share anything about the experience of teaching there. It is too private, too personal, and requires a great deal of respect and confidentiality.

What I want to speak to is the difference in how I experienced our response to this event as Americans compared to our response to 9/11. It feels vitally important to do so.

I remember when I first heard about Sandy Hook. I was preparing to be on a Mastermind group call. We all got on the phone together, but I couldn’t continue. I almost couldn’t speak at all, the shock was so great. I excused myself from the call and sat down and sobbed. The shock and grief hit me hard, like I know it did for many Americans and many others around the world. What happened at Sandy Hook was something horrendous – so many very young children being killed in such a violent way. Still to this day, it is hard to truly think about what happened with full consciousness. I can only imagine it, based on what I have heard and read.

So as I prepared to teach, I began to really sit with the whole experience, not only what happened that day, but how we as Americans had dealt with it since that day. I first knew I would be teaching prior to the 1st Anniversary of Dec. 14th, 2012. I began to watch how we as a country spoke about this event. I noticed, especially as I mentioned to others I would be teaching, a marked difference in the responses to Sandy Hook versus the responses to 9/11.

I’m not here to compare them as better or worse. But I want to talk about how they were, and continue to be, different. I’ve thought a lot about why they would be different, based on my own experiences and reflections. Obviously, in many ways, 9/11 was a much larger event. More people were killed in 9/11. And, our largest city was affected not only by the deaths, but also by many injuries and fallout from the towers falling, as well as the ongoing fallout from illnesses and trauma. I understand this. I am not comparing the two events on scale. I am comparing them because they are two events I’ve been involved with on some level, and because I’ve noticed things simply from my own perspective as an American and as a human being trying to make sense of how we continue to turn our hearts away from the level of violence we experience here in our country.

In 9/11, the perpetrators were from the outside. They weren’t ‘one of us’, which made a clear distinction where to put our care and attention – on those affected by the attack. We could do this because those affected could be marked distinctly from those who were responsible for the attack. The event was horrendous, yes, and we drew a clear line of distinction between who was ‘bad’ and who was ‘good’.

With Sandy Hook, though, the person responsible was not only one of us, an American, he was from the community of Newtown. Suddenly, this dark, horrendous event was not outside of American soil, it was right here in our backyard, right here in our own culture, right here in our own family.

In 9/11, we could focus our anger and outrage on ‘others’, but with Sandy Hook we could not. There was no other. There was a barely-adult boy who was one of our own.

I noticed how people responded differently to me when I would speak of the work with 9/11 families versus the work in Newtown. Our faces tell a great deal.

But what I truly noticed was how quiet our country has been about the entire event. For the first few weeks, we heard a lot about it. Then, we went quiet. At first there was great outrage, then there was little. I know not everyone has been quiet. There are mom’s groups working to dismantle the power that gun lobbies have, as well as the many groups that have helped to bring healing to Newtown, one of which was the center that hired us to teach. But the media and our politicians, as well as most Americans do not talk about it. I think this points to something important, not only collectively but individually.

When we can point the finger at someone else, it is much easier to be actively vocal about things. We can look at them and ‘other’ them so that we create a firm separation of us vs. them.

But, when we have to look at ourselves, it becomes much harder to accept. Whether it is our country collectively, or ourselves individually, to do the deeper work means we must come to look within ourselves, and within our own culture. This is where many of us tend to shut down, because we don’t want to see what we are capable of. We don’t want to see the darkness that lurks right underneath our noses. We’d rather ‘other’ each other, believing it will solve our problems if we just grow more armor, more separate, ‘securing’ ourselves behind beliefs that somehow separation from each other will keep us safe from some imagined possible transgression in the future, or from a past hurt we’ve never been able to truly look at.

I never spoke about this with anyone during my stays in Newtown. That wasn’t why I was there. But, it’s been on my mind for a year, and in my heart. There is a very important learning here for us – very important. Every situation, every person, can be a teacher if we are willing to learn.

And, it’s not just what happened at Sandy Hook. It’s happening over and over and over here in our own country. Whether it is one of the multiple school shootings since Sandy Hook, or the recent events in Ferguson, NY, and Cleveland, or any of the other violent events in our country, we must begin to talk about what is here right in our own backyard. We must begin to talk about how we treat each other, and in turn how we defend ourselves so aggressively against each other. And, we must talk about shame and silence.

The healing we can offer each other is great. It is powerful. And it is needed. But it won’t happen if we can’t talk about it, if we can’t see that what is ‘out there’ is also right here in our own backyard; if we can’t see that everything outside of us in others is right here within ourselves.

I believe with Sandy Hook we felt fear, but more importantly we feel shame and guilt. It’s like a cover of silence descends over the event, a shutting down, a turning away.

Shame is a nasty beast. It causes us to go silent. It causes us to defend. It causes us to separate. It causes us to shut down, to lash out, to vow never to trust. I know. I’ve done a lot of personal work with shame, as have many of you. Guilt does the same things.

The funny thing about shame and guilt is that we go unconscious. For the most part, we don’t even know we’ve gone unconscious. We don’t realize how we’ve not talked about, nor faced on a deeper level, that which has caused us to feel shame, guilt, or fear or whatever else we might be feeling.

Think about it. How hard is it for you to think about Sandy Hook and what happened there? And how might that difficulty be affecting not only those affected by the event, but also your personal ability to heal as well as our collective healing?

And, when we won’t look at something, what are we making more important than creating a culture safe for our children, a culture of peace?

Is our fear of discomfort in facing what feels like a mountain of things we don’t want to see or feel keeping us from being who we need to be to create this change?

What are we valuing over life itself?

What matters is that we need each other. Life isn’t easy. We are vulnerable as human beings.

I know, after working with so many people over these years, that we heal, we create much healthier families and communities, when we open to each other and ask for help and give help. When the larger community we are a part of acknowledges it has our back, that it knows we’ve suffered and that it is here for us, we feel held and can heal. We are reminded we are not alone. Whether this larger community is our own family, our friends, our town, the country in which we live, or our global family, it is the same. And in this way, the larger community heals, because when we offer ourselves to others we heal, too. We grow, too. We transform into more compassionate and kinder people, and a more compassionate, kinder nation.

To do this we must stop and be present to what we’ve created as a society. Together.

When will we be with the hard and difficult feelings?

When will we begin to ask the hard questions that can lead to transforming the culture in which we live? 

When will we be with each other?

The time to create community to face these things is now. It is too much to bear alone. That’s why we have each other. We cannot do it alone.

 

 

 

 

 

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Life is Breathing Us Awake

by Julie on December 8, 2014 · 4 comments

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Weaving

Since the Ferguson’s Grand Jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, I’ve been reading, watching, listening. I’ve been taking in all of this information, thinking that if I just take in enough, somehow I’ll understand.

And then, I stopped. I suddenly felt so full, as if I’d eaten this huge meal and knew I needed to digest it. I’d filled myself up. And in doing so, I realized why I had writer’s block for the past few weeks.  I write from my heart, and instead I’ve been swirling in information. So, I let it all settle.

Diane Arbus, the world renowned photographer, once told her students, “You must learn not to be careful.”  I imagine they were learning how to see, how to listen to the world through the lens, and she was advising them to take risks to become the photographers they were meant to be. I see our opportunity in a similar way, here in our country.

We are learning. We must learn not to be careful…so careful we don’t enter into conversations, we don’t listen deeply to others’ stories and even listen for what is under their words so we can hear what is in our hearts. We are experiencing a huge upheaval in this country. We cannot afford to sweep it back under the rug. We must address this. And, we’re going to mess things up along the way. That I know. It’s what we do when we are learning. But we let our hearts be our guide, we can do this.

For the last twelve years, I’ve felt this internal tug, the call of the Feminine. I truly haven’t known what I’ve been doing or where it would take me. And yet, deeper than all of that doubt was the knowing that everything that was happening to me was taking me closer and closer to what is real within. And, closer and closer to a lived knowing of our interconnectedness.

The feminine holds everything, loves everyone. She doesn’t discriminate. She weaves and connects us all together. She is the weaving. As the feminine rises, as She awakens, She is trying to weave us back together…to wake us up to this beautiful, vast, numinous Mystery that is at the heart of our existence.

 

Then, while digesting,

Life proceeded to show me what I was really longing to know. Something Oriah Mountain Dreamer shared on Facebook led me to read this interview by Tami Simon of Sounds True with James Finley. Finley is a master of the Christian contemplative way. As I read these words from Finley, I was stunned…

“… and then the big life-changing event for me, which was a little thing- It’s one of these things: I was at the monastery, and Thomas Merton gave me permission to spend some time alone in an abandoned sheep barn, and I would go up into the loft of this abandoned sheep barn, and the doors of the barn were always open and looked out over this meadow. It was in Kentucky, it was very hot, and I was walking back and forth, saying the Psalms. The experience, to me, was that what we tend to think of as the air is literally God, that I was walking back and forth through God, breathing God. There were no emotions connected with it. There were no images. It was like a matter-of-factness to the divinity of air.

I don’t know how else to say that. It was just that I was walking back and forth through God, breathing God. And it was clear to me that, no matter where I would try to run from God, I’d be running away from God, in the God that I was breathing and was sustaining me. And this air, this oceanic God that I was breathing, knew me through and through and through and through as compassion, just endless compassion without boundaries. It was just-I know no words to describe it.”

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…stunned because this is exactly what I experienced in India in 2006. Walking along the river Ganges in Varanasi, I had the same experience – I was breathing in God because God was in the air – God was the air, God was everywhere. And in this experience, just after experiencing it, I used the word God to describe it, which for most of my life I had not. 

As I read James’ words, my entire body shivered with this memory, and as I looked out into my living room where I was sitting reading, I could feel that I was swimming in God…inside and out. I had the experience, again, that there was no need to run toward, or away from, God because everything is God. There was no more looking for God, or for Love, because everything is Love. Everything. Inside. Outside. No more distinction between the two.

I stood up to look out my window as the sun was beginning to rise over the city. Everything outside my window was God, and not the God that I learned as a child – a man on a throne – but God as Life. Inside and outside, everything was God.

I suddenly felt compelled to go outside, to walk to the park to see the sun rise…to stand at the top of the steps to witness it.

Within minutes,

Dec0114Sunrise01I was standing atop the many steps as the sun began to peek through. I recalled what Oriah shared:

What would it look like to give my heart/myself away
in love with every word, every sentence, every story?”

And, as I stood watching this sunrise unfold over the next
fifteen minutes, I could feel how the Mystery, this Great Love, was giving itself away, offering itself as this gift of a sunrise.

With each breath, I was offered this gift. 

Everything given. Everything offered completely, given away completely.

No taking was necessary on my part, because it was, and always is, given, offered completely, wholly, holy.

I walked to the local cafe for tea, and sat outside on the bench watching people pass by, and the most remarkable thing happened, but not remarkable at all, really. My heart was blown open and as I looked out my eyes I knew God was watching the world through my eyes. I could feel the love of Life for Life, for each person, each being, each particle, each cell. There were no fireworks, no bells and whistles. There was only Love for everything being witnessed. There was no me, no them, no separation, yet there was still my humanness experiencing this profound Love for everything I was taking in from this spot on this bench.

“Infinite Love that gives itself away with every breath.” 

Infinite Love being given with every breath.

“The experience, to me, was that what we tend to think of as the air is literally God, that I was walking back and forth through God, breathing God.”  

Infinite Love being received with every breath.

And then, two days after this profound experience, I heard the news, and saw the words, over and over and over,

“I can’t breathe.”

“I can’t breathe.”

“I can’t breathe.”

 

We are both givers of this Infinite Love and receivers of this Infinite Love.

And yet, we learn to choke this Divine breath from another.

We learn to leave each other, dying, alone.

Life doesn’t give itself away to only some. Life gives itself away to each one of us, to every being, to all of Life.

The path of the sacred heart, the path of Love, is not about not being angry. Anger is the fuel for change. Anger that rises up out of the depths of this great Love that breathes us is one of the most powerful catalysts for creativity if we feel it within ourselves and listen for what it underneath it. It can be the most powerful creative impulse. I have been feeling mine and I know it is fuel to help us make change in the world. 

I know of one powerful being who threw a righteous fury in a temple when He could no longer take the injustice.

How do we move forward?

As Oriah wrote,

“What would it look like to give my heart/myself away in love” with every choice I make?

And these words from my good friend, Megan McFeely, who recently wrote this powerful piece:

“I believe we are all empowered…our work is right inside us. An evolutionary impulse is living through us because life demands freedom for all. It is our birthright and we have the power to act.”

“Life demands freedom for all. It is our birthright and we have the power to act.”

This IS ‘an evolutionary impulse’. Life is trying to weave us back together.  

Life is breathing us awake.

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Re-Knitted | Poetry

by Julie on November 22, 2014 · 2 comments

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Re-Knitted

Earth-wined me.

This image of being earth-wined
causes the words to stop flowing,
the image so powerful
my soul must stop to drink it in,
this purple sun syrup
flowing down my throat.

I smell earth in this syrup and taste earth in its pearls.

My skin reeks of earth.
Stained.
Re-knitted. Yes.
To my Body. And Her Body.

The Crow outside caws as I sit with pen in hand and earth in mouth.

She, too, is re-knitted back to me.
Crow. My Sister.
Black and wise and crosser of thresholds,
She takes me down into the Belly
where I’m stained by this heady earth wine.

She caws loudly,
reminding me of the pleasure of the dark,
this place where my true baptism takes place.

Another voice rises up out of the crow’s mouth,
a black womb with wings and beak.

Just a whisper, at first,
I crane my neck to hear.
Words, if you can call them that,
rumble around in this black womb.

Coming into being,
they vibrate and reverberate against
the  ageless black-stained walls of this holy womb.

I draw closer to the Crow’s mouth,
wanting to miss nothing.
With one shrill caw She sucks me in and
I fall into this heady soup.

I swim in her dark-stained belly.
I become crow’s lunch.
I decay into a million pieces of black,
holes that hold the light of a trillion stars.

(C) Julie M Daley

::

Image is ‘As the Crow Flies’ by Jimmy Brown under Creative Commons 2.0

Many new poems were born out of the first circle of Writing Raw, both for myself and for the women in the circle.
This one I’m sharing with you today was born during Writing Raw.

The poem that ignited this piece is A Berry Entire by Pattiann Rogers.
Catalyst phrases from the poem
are ‘purple sun syrup’ and ‘earth-wined’.

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Today is a day of celebration!

 

A day of celebrating women’s voices being heard, trusted, scribed, and released. We’re celebrating Amy Palko, and her new book of poetry, From Revolutionary Lips.

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Today, I hosted a Live Google Hangout with Amy so we could talk about her newly released book of poetry (the recorded video is below), and about the revolution itself, a revolution of descent, desire, and – following Lilith’s example – leaving the confines of a systemic structure that is too small to hold the power of the feminine as she truly is.

During our chat, we talked about many things, including poetry that comes from this deep place within, what I call writing raw; how to compassionately get your work into the world in the way that is kind to you and that calls upon your sisters to help bring your voice into the world; and how we as women are mirrors for each other, and as we uncover aspects of ourselves that have been veiled and exiled, and shine them into the world, we offer a clearer image of who we all are as Woman.

You can purchase From Revolutionary Lips at Red Thread Voices as an ebook or MP3s.

 

   

 

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Amy Palko is the creatrix of Red Thread Voices – a publishing house that aims to offer a home to the voice of exiled feminine.

She is also a goddess guide, poet, photographer and lecturer whose work has been featured internationally.

Amy lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and three teenage children, in their home that overlooks the deep harbour, and the wide mouth of the River Forth as it opens up to swallow the cold waters of the North Sea.

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Dark Water Elegance

by Julie on November 3, 2014 · 1 comment

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Dark Water Elegance

This moment of return
to wakefulness.

This moment when the
first edges of this world form
out of the watery nature of night.

My feet hover just above the water,
toes touching this ocean of dark.

I dress myself in garments of dark water elegance,
gathered from ocean floor,
bejeweled with iridescence.

I emerge onto this edge,
a shoreline running between
night and day,
sleep and wake.

I wear this into day,
this dark water elegance
a lifeline back to remind me of
what is true when I meet the hard edges
of this other world where
softness and the unseen
are where we wipe off our hard metal boots.

This dark water elegance is
more resilient than I imagined
now that I no longer leave it in a heap
on the floor by my nightstand.

(c) Julie M Daley, 2014

~

I an writing poetry again, stimulated by my Writing Raw course, currently in session. It’s a powerful writing circle, and I’d love to have you be a part of the next circle beginning early January, 2015.

If you’d like to know more, you can read about it here, and then sign-up for my newsletter to be notified when registration opens in December. Writing Raw registration makes for a great holiday gift, too!

~

image: Punta del Diablo on Flickr by Vince Alongi under Creative Commons 2.0

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noname

photo by Laura Duldner, (c) 2014

This past Saturday night…

I climbed up onto a stage and did something I’ve never done before. I stood at a microphone and read my intimate poetry to a group of about one hundred and fifty people gathered to support Syzygy Dance Project, a project led by one of my dance teachers, Sylvie Minot, to bring dance into the jails, prisons, veteran’s homes, and recovery groups.

I read four of my poems, three of which I’ve never shared with the public.

As I sat in the audience waiting to take my turn on stage, I could feel butterflies in my stomach. As soon as I felt them, I knew I was caught up in my own mind, caught up in comparison, caught up in wondering how others would feel about, and what they will think about, me and my ‘performance’. I was out there – out away from myself. I could feel it. My thoughts were conjuring up worries about what hadn’t yet even occurred.

It’s a habit I’ve had, many decades old.

But now, when I feel this kind of worry, I know to come back to myself. When I do, I can feel myself coming back in from out there, back into my center.

As I came back to center, all I could ask of myself was to offer what I have, as it is, as I am.

It’s not even a question of being enough, because that would be back in a place of comparison.

Enough compared to what?

Enough compared to whose standards?

For me, center is simply where I know myself as I am. There is no comparison, because at center I simply am what I am.

In coming back to center, I noticed I felt a kind of joy about sharing my poetry. It was a simple kind of love, a genuine joy, a sense of impending delight. I could sense that I really wanted to do this, not for anything from anyone else, but for me. I wanted to share.

This desire to share was a wonderful feeling. It felt simple. And, I felt a kind of agelessness, with no worry or anxiety to cause time to creep in.

As I felt this desire, I sensed even more clearly something I’ve been holding back on in my life. For years.

My friends know this already because usually what we finally admit to ourselves others have known all along.

I am an artist.

I am an artist.

It’s not the label so much that is important. In fact, it’s not the label at all. When I say, ‘I am an artist’, I’m saying that I am here to create. Yes, I teach. Yes, I coach.

And, at the heart of it all…

I am a champion of Soul-expression – deep, passionate, real Soul-expression.

A champion for others, yes!

And, now, finally, a champion for myself and my own works of art.

 

To finally get to this place…

I had to realize that I can’t be in the world, doing what I truly desire to do – creating beauty – if I need a certain kind of response from anyone who is on the receiving end of my work. This is different than being in business in a way, because in business we do need a certain kind of response in order to know we are serving our clients, and in turn making a living.

But in art, the fullness of our expression cannot come through if we are attempting to please others, to change our art, our poetry, and our creations in order to get them to understand it. This is not to say we don’t have to find a way to be clear. But that clarity comes through as part of the creativity, not as something we do on the other end to try to anticipate others’ reactions.

In art, the fullness of expression must come through, and then, after that happens, others get to experience that expression in whatever forms it might take.

And here, once the expression is complete, as it was with my poems, then I could stand and share them, in tact, knowing they are whole without anyone’s approval. They are whole in and of themselves. They are creations in and of themselves. In the act of creating, I can feel this wholeness. I know when the creation is complete and full and true. I can feel it. And, knowing each creation is complete unto itself, as people told me how the poetry affected them I felt joy that they saw the poems for what they are. I felt happy because the poems moved people. I felt a kind of connection with others through the poetry.

 

In truth…

I think some of my breakthrough came from reading and working through Tanya Geisler and Lauren Bacon‘s new creation, Beyond Compare. Some of it was not new to me, because I teach this work. I teach about the Voice of Judgment and Creativity. But, their work goes deeper. I was finally able to see how much I was still fearing being an artist because of old messages that caused me to try to live up to some external standard. It was comparison in a different guise.

I am not an affiliate for Beyond Compare. I just know that it helped me see through something that’s been blocking me for a long time. Tanya interviewed me for Beyond Compare so I could share what I discovered. In the interview, I shared that I discovered I’d been hiding – hiding my creations, not only from the world, but from myself, because I didn’t think I could handle the criticism. And, I’ve been hiding from my deep longing to be an artist.

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photo by Laura Duldner, (c) 2014

My poetry was well received. I know that’s because I received these poems myself, for me first, and because I received myself as I am, coming back to the joy, love, and, yes, delight! that is at the center of who and what I am.

If you wish to find out more about Beyond Compare, you can sign-up here. Beyond Compare will be available tomorrow, October 28th.

 

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Radiance

by Julie on October 14, 2014 · 3 comments

PeonyDarkCenterBaFoN

 

The other day…

I was feeling frustrated.

I’ve been feeling so much creativity inside, like there’s this impulse – so strong – to create. The impulse was like a river running – so strong and vital. I’ve got a few things I’m working on, so it’s not like I’m not creating. I am. Yet, I’ve always had this thought that somehow I have to express all of what I feel into the world.

It’s sort of a funny thing how I’ve thought this. I don’t know if you can relate. I can remember feeling this way as a child – that I could feel and sense and see so much that isn’t part of this world that we see, yet even though I really wanted to share what I saw with others, it was hard to describe to anyone in words. Certainly, few adults seemed to understand.

 

When I was young,

I would sit under the weeping willow tree in the back yard, whose branches swooped almost down to the ground. I felt like I was invisible within her branches. I would sit there on this little bench that ran along the fence and just feel how alive everything around me was. I felt at home there. I didn’t need to explain to the weeping willow what I saw and could sense – I knew she could sense me.

The frustration I felt the other day, I hadn’t felt for a long time. Feeling it took me back to those years as a child when I felt like I had to get what is inside out there into the world. And, that felt impossible. To feel this again was like all of this that I felt inside had to come into the world somehow through my voice, up and out of my body through my mouth and my hands and my ideas. It felt frustrating.

I wrote and shared this:

Maybe we can never really fully express the depth and breadth of the Soul into this material world. It feels like trying to open a firehose through a kitchen faucet. Such immensity. Such fullness. So many layers beyond what is evident in this world of matter. Simplicity seems to be key. Simple. open, honest expression that pulses with the vibrancy of Soul.

The words came from feeling like the only way it could all come out is if I keep it simple…like the energy itself would have room then.

 

The very next day…

I was at dance and an image flashed across the screen in my mind. It was an image of me dancing, and all of this vibrancy and intensity and expression was radiating out of me in a complete infinite sphere, meaning it was 360 degrees around in every direction.

And then it dawned on me. (Thank goodness, because the relief was huge.)

Of course.

 

All of this energy isn’t ‘inside of me’, something I’ve thought for so long as an adult. It is me. It is radiating. I don’t have to try to get it out of me and into the world. It is in me. It is in the world. It is the world. It is me. There is no separation.

 

It was such a beautiful image and such a clear insight. As I danced, I just felt it, or me, radiating. It was as if the energy was coming into me, but also then radiating back out into ‘the world’ or whatever that really is. I could, and can, feel this pulsing center into which, and out of which, life seems to radiate.

Talk about freedom. Suddenly, I felt no more attempting to force or control or wish to do something with this energy…what I can feel is simply the life force that is what I think of as me. And, I had to laugh. It was really quite funny what I’d been making up in my mind about what I had to DO with it all.

We are simply this vitality. It is always moving. Trying to DO something is really trying to control it. It knows how to move. It just moves.

 

It radiates. You radiate. Have you ever had someone tell you that? That you look radiant? Yes, there you go.

Radiance.

Come to think of it, that beautiful weeping willow was radiant, too.

 

What if you are creativity?

What if that is what you are, creation pulsing with creativity?

What if it takes NO effort at all?

What if your life force knows how to flow, and that who you really are longs to radiate?

 

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Your Body is a chalice for your Creativity.

by Julie on September 29, 2014 · 1 comment

 

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So many myths. So many road signs. So many descriptions of how to enter into the divine mystery. It is laid out for us to see. At least as much as it can be…the mysterious part remains just that, thank goodness.

Over the centuries, people have tried to understand what it takes to enter into the unknown. Whether it be the Hero(ine)’s journey, Inanna’s descent, or navigating a labyrinth, those who’ve traversed this terrain have tried to find ways to guide others through. It’s really quite beautiful.

What I’ve found through so many of these myths, stories, and guides is this: We have to let go of something in order for our hands, hearts, minds to be empty enough to receive that which is being offered to us. And, in receiving what is offered, we take charge of the seedling. We become the gardner, the attendant, the one who will love this seed into expression. It is not our task to ask that it be a certain kind or flavor. It is not our task to judge this seedling.

Nor is it ours to question our ability or capacity to be this home of nourishment and growth. We were created for this. Our capacity has been given to us as a sacred task while living in a human body.

As Creatrix, our role is to welcome the creative seed and to give it a place to burrow down into the soil of the flesh so it can be held in the nourishing dark. It must have a home as its shell breaks open and roots and wings grow forth.

Your human body is a chalice always being filled with love, inspiration, and breath. Just as we are breathed, we are filled with the creative force, a force that rises up from the base of the chalice that is the body.

As I’ve been researching how we are guided into the mystery for Writing Raw, my new online writing circle for women, over and over I see the same markers of the map into this terrain. Yes, there are different words used, or different myths that carry the stories. But the relationship is always the same. It is a relationship where we who enter must let go, unveil, or undergo initiation so that we are open and vulnerable enough to be entered into by that which is meant to come in. It is the nature of our dance with the divine.

writingrawpin02AsCreatrixAnd, that is why I am offering Writing Raw.

This relationship we have with the sacred mystery is an important one because if we are not conscious of this relationship in our everyday lives, then we aren’t conscious of the sacred, of the very real presence of love in the world as it is right now. If we are not aware of how to open our hands and hearts to what is being given – not what we want, but what is being offered – then we aren’t in relationship with our intrinsic power as human beings to be a force of good, a force that is moved by love.

It is our relationship with the sacred, with love, that needs healing. If we know the sacred, we see it in everything in our world and in our lives.

It is a great act of love to take the journey within in order to be and live this chalice that you are.

It is a great act of love.

I would truly love for you to enter into this vibrant writing circle for women, Writing Raw. We will be practicing with these powerful ways to enter into this mysterious, sacred circle of receiving so we can truly be these vessels. Take a look. See if it resonates. Reach out to me if you have questions.  Join if it feels right.

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pleasure

 

“In touch with the erotic,
I become less willing to accept powerlessness,
or those other supplied states of being which are not native to me,
such as resignation, despair, self-effacement, depression, self-denial.”
~ Audre Lorde

 

This is how I see the erotic. This is how I feel the erotic. When I feel it within, there is a natural responsiveness to life, a raw aliveness that is unbridled and utterly receptive.

This is why I feel it is so important to reclaim this word as a word that points to fullness, wholeness, ripeness; a word that is at the heart of a creative, sensual world. Because when we are in touch with the erotic, we feel alive. And when we are in touch with the erotic, we feel a natural urge to rise up for life, to serve life.

Eros is the love that life has for life itself. We are missing this in our world. We’ve come to equate the erotic with sexuality, and then it makes us uncomfortable, and we don’t want to feel this discomfort. So we end up not feeling, and when we don’t feel we can’t feel this natural response within us to rise up to protect life. We are destroying our home and we aren’t rising up in response to this destruction.

We live in this natural world that revels in beauty, wholeness, and fullness. And, it’s a world that revels in life and in death, because there cannot be one without the other. In other words, this world we inhabit is at its core WHOLE.

For me, the erotic is this ever blossoming, ever blooming and growing, wholeness – always on the verge of coming into being and always on the verge of dying away. It’s a rising and falling, an ever-present, effervescent call to itself, not for itself, but for the cycle of life.

The erotic IS powerful, it is creativity, sexuality, vitality – it is our life force.

While some might tell you it is simply porn, they would be seeing a sliver of this wholeness. But, then, isn’t that what we see these days in our world? Everywhere I look, I see us believing in a sliver of what is really here.

When I look out onto the world, I see this amazingly fecund, fertile existence. Existence that recreates itself continuously. Existence that cycles in rhythms and flow, dances in light and dark, sings its song in more frequencies than any human could even imagine.

Our bodies are fertile beds, directly impregnated by life itself. Our seedlings grow, the embryos hatch, the babies bloom.

Everything in existence feels the urge to emerge.

What I know…

There is a deep well within every woman that is untouched by cultural conditioning, home to the erotic, home to the feminine soul. Over the past two decades, I’ve been committed to find this well within, this place where I could come to know my own reflection as a whole woman.

This could be called the well of the erotic. I call this well the temple of our erotic nature. Eros is the love that life has for life itself. And, we humans seem to be out of touch with this love. This love for life itself. We are missing the deep feeling of this, this effervescent response to care for life here on our home, earth.

Our world is thirsty for this response to care for life itself, and it is this response that moves within YOU.

We need the wild, the feral – that which swims in your blood, stirs the marrow of your bones, and beats within the chambers of your heart.

We need to feel this response for life. It is medicine. 

I don’t see it so much as a doing. I see it as a re-igniting. When this fire is relit, who knows what will happen. But it is essential to light the flame again.

 

A few months ago…

writingrawpin01I heard the words, “Writing Raw” and I saw an image of women gathering from all around the world to write together, to write from this sacred well within.

There are two aspects to the reclamation of wholeness:

journeying into the unknown of the internal world with open arms and a willingness to not abandon what you find, and gathering in circle to share the words and stories sourced from this well.

 

Registration is now open…

Writing Raw is here, and I am very excited to share it with you.

We will come together for six weeks to explore together. You don’t have to be a writer. And, you might be a writer. We are using writing as a vehicle to move what is inside this erotic temple out into the world. It might simply be to your journal. It might be to share with each other in the circle. And, it might be to share with the world at large.

In Writing Raw, my job is to act as guide into this realm within, the realm of power that is good medicine.

I would love to have you join me for these six weeks. Please take a look to see if it resonates with you. If you feel the erotic urge, the pull to become the vessel for the expression of your soul into the world, come join me!

Update:
Over the next two weeks until we begin, I’ll be sharing different aspects of the circle – various thresholds we will go through to bring forth the words that want to be written. I know it will be engaging and enlightening.

 

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