Allowing My Argument With Love to Die

by Julie on July 18, 2015 · 2 comments

 

 

photo(3)

~~~

Small, elderly, and frail-looking-but-not-acting, she darted past me on the ashram’s dirt walkway.

She almost knocked me over she was in such a hurry. As she bumped into me, I almost lost my balance. Immediately, she stopped and turned to me. Her big brown eyes were overflowing with love and a gentle request for forgiveness. Her eyes said everything. Mine answered in return. Yes. Of course. Forgiveness. Then, she handed me a card. A small card, like a business card. But this one was different. It had a message, a message from Amma. We were in Amma’s house after all – her house in Kerala, India.

As she watched me, intently with those big brown eyes, I took the card and read the words.

“Grace is always falling like rain. You just have to open to receive it.” ~ Amma

I read them again. And then I looked back up at her…but she was gone.

I stood there for what was probably a few minutes. In that moment, I needed grace. I was homesick and a bit overwhelmed with everything that India offers. I wanted to feel comfortable, and I was feeling anything but.

As I stood there taking in the dusk light and the many people scurrying across the ashram grounds, I could feel, even if just slightly, a sense of the grace Amma was speaking to. I could feel presence. It was faint, like a small window had been opened to a world that has always surrounded me even if I was unaware of it.

I kept that card with me throughout the rest of my time in India. I brought it home with me, back to the States. Somewhere along the way, I lost the card, but I’ve never forgotten the message.

~~~

A window into grace became a doorway into grace; and, eventually a world of grace.

Just the other day, I was speaking to two women about the spiritual ‘work’ each of us has done over the past many years. The three of us share similar patterns of feeling like we must work really, really hard to heal; that it is all up to us; and, that we never think to ask for help. I was telling them about some of the really powerful work I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been so grateful for the openings and awakenings I’ve been experiencing. And, it can be really deep, emotional work. It can feel hard, and yet I have this determination to get to the bottom of it all.

There’s this quest to go all the way in, all the way through. Trauma (the trauma of life) can cause us to disassociate, to leave, to go numb. I went numb a long time ago, and I stayed numb until a death woke me up, and then another death, and another death.

In my thawing, I’ve developed a fierce determination to not isolate, and to not continue to live in world that feels so separate. But, sometimes that fierce determination also comes from a  belief of having to do it all myself, and a belief that it will and must be hard.

One of the women looked at me and said, “You know. We can ask for grace.”

We can ask for grace.

~~~

Two days later,

I was dancing as I do on Sundays. Toward the end of the two-hour moving meditation, I remembered her words. In that moment, I was so open, so vulnerable, so ready. And, in that moment, I asked.

I asked for grace.

Five days later,

Grace came. The details do not matter. What mattered enough to share with you is this:

When grace rained down upon me, I wept because for the first time in my life I truly knew what it felt like to have love pour itself into me, over me, and through me, without having to ‘earn it’; without having to feel unlovable, lovable, or something in between; without having to believe in some way that I was deserving, without having to feel I was broken in some way.

I have felt love fill me before. But this time, what was extraordinary was the quality of love. It was love that gives with a clear feeling of asking for nothing in return. There was a clear sense of the unconditioned nature of love.

There was no duality present – no conditional/unconditional duality.

There was no sense of exchange. There was only a pouring out of itself.

What I did have to do was open to receive love’s rain shower.

What I did have to do was allow myself to be loved – completely and utterly loved – to no longer push love away, to truly feel love and loved. Once I did, I could no longer argue with love.

Grace is love without any demand in return. It comes and pours itself over you. It graces you.

Grace washed over me and through me. Like waves, it came and poured itself into me. Waves and waves of love, each given completely. As it washed over me, I could feel, and finally see and know, how love moves.

Love gives of itself without asking for anything in return.

Love gives of itself.

And in receiving this grace, this love, something in me did die.

What died was my argument with love itself.

There was no argument left; there was only love.

 

 

 

{ 2 comments }

And Then She Moves

by Julie on July 9, 2015 · 3 comments

peonies

“Let me open like a flower”, she says.

“Just breathe, and I will open.”

“Let me stretch and yawn. Allow me to soften, soften, soften.”

I feel her words in my flesh, echoing in the chambers of my heart.

In response to her voice, I try to soften. I discover that trying to soften actually isn’t softening. The trying causes even the slightest tensing up of muscles. I can feel this. I can feel that I do not ‘know’ how to soften. And with this, I relax and breath. I breathe into the place that feels hard, the place that is tight and constricting. My breath knows how to soften flesh, and even how to soften my mind.

I do not have to ‘know’ how; my body naturally wants to soften. When it isn’t believing the tight thoughts I tell it, its natural state is soft. Mary Oliver knew this well. The animal of my being is soft. She has a soft animal body – except when she believes my thoughts – old, outdated thoughts that are really about the past or the future.

My soft animal body lives here, now, in the soil of life. She doesn’t like it much when she gets yanked around across time that doesn’t exist except in a mind that’s forgotten its part of an animal (a naturally soft animal at that) and part of life.

When it feels separate from flesh, my mind tries really hard. A really deep rut was created in my mind when I was young. The rut was thinking I had to try hard to be understood, to find the right way to do something, to make sure it was ‘the right way’ to do it. And, then, to put a bunch of effort into it. Lots of effort. Tight stomach effort. Clenched jaw and neck effort. Determined thinking effort.

When I feel separate from my flesh, flesh that hasn’t forgotten she’s a part of this earthly life, I harden with a sense of not belonging, a sense of having to protect myself from something unknown yet seemingly real.

But the soft animal? That’s not her way. She likes to lounge and from her soft body do what is in front of her. She likes to take in the world around her, to breath in the beauty of flowers and taste their fragrance. She loves to feel and then out of feeling do what she needs to do.

She likes to lick her paws, slowly, rhythmically, with great satisfaction. And then she moves.

{ 3 comments }

photo (28)

her fire burns hot.
flames lick through me.
but, there’s no stake holding me here.
no, here she burns for me,
the goddess of fire,
to remind me that
deep in my belly a fire should be raging,
burning,
consuming.

~~~

the women of my line,
did they fear this fire?
was fire too close to the history of this line of women immemorial?
i see them, their faces dark,
no firelight in their souls,
no burning in their core,
no fuel to fire longing and desire, to give volume to voice.

after 1,000 years of loving watch,
Brigid’s flame was extinguished by those determined to deny the Goddess’s light.

how powerful was this message?
put out your light, woman.
by fearing our own fire,
we douse our own flame.

this fear of fire,
how deep does it run?
I see them,
a line bleeding back into the dark bowels of centuries past where no flame burns.
dark faces, tightly drawn skin reminding me of my own jawbone.

I was taught to leave my own interior,
but dignity knew something different.
dignity said, “No, I will not forget.”
dignity did what was necessary to keep this pearl of consciousness whole,
like the crown jewels of the monarchy sanctioned away in that dark old tower.

~~~

a red sun at the center of the earth’s heart.
deep in the hollow of the oak,
flames lick through.
fire in my breast, fire in my heart,
i travel down to her core, to the red heart that fuels life.

she beckons me to her.
she lays me down across the altar that rings around her heart.
i’m not the only one here.
sisters all around me drink in what they’ve come for.
she pours me a vial of liquid heat,
so hot it is pure blue.
she lifts it to my lips.
and with her own eyes aflame,
she pours this offering into my soul.
you, my love, are me in human form.
you, my love, need fire in your heart, your belly, your womb.
drink.
you cannot live without my fire burning at the center of your being.
can you imagine me,
your mother,
the source of your nourishment,
without fire in my core?
can you see how quickly life would die here in my garden
if there were no fire in my belly,
no flame in my heart?

~~~

We cannot live what we are here to do without fire.
Instinct tells us something is off, something is wrong.
Instinct, bright and vivid, must be deeply felt, acknowledged, and lived.
Fire is an element of life, as natural as the sun.
We are fiery creatures as much as we are of water, air, earth, and spirit.

Something has to wake us up to the fact we are dying while there is still time to live.

Something has to ignite our spirit again before the next inhale becomes our last.

This something is our holy knowing.

We are all in this together.

~~~ bafonbadge300px

I’d love to guide you to relight that fire within – that holy knowing that lies at the heart of your instincts as a woman.
Becoming a Force of Nature is my course designed to do this!

When I asked graduates the most important thing they received from Becoming a Force of Nature, they responded with:

  1. Tapping into our fierce feminine power from the inside out with a renewed central focus being…the body’s intelligence.
  2. Trusting your Self and your feminine nature.
  3. A path to discovering or rediscovering one’s true self and how to embrace and nurture who you are…embracing both the feminine (and masculine) within. The course teaches that you don’t have to apologize to anyone for who you are.


This will be the last time I offer Becoming a Force of Nature in its current format. We begin on June 9th.

{ 0 comments }

Nature is Light Made Flesh

by Julie on May 29, 2015 · 2 comments

iris

 

ten years ago…

It’s a brilliant sunny day in San Francisco. My boyfriend and I are, very slowly, making our way through the community garden near Fort Mason. It’s a really wonderful place because the people gardening there seem to love what they cultivate. You can feel it in the air. Flowers seem to flourish here. It could be the weather, too, and I can see the care with which each person is tending their patch.

We’ve wound our way through most of the garden, and as we come into the northwestern corner, just before we make our way up the terraced hillside to the gate to leave, I see a flower right before my eyes. Something in this flower draws me in. It’s the colors. It’s the light. And, it’s something more.

My eyes completely take this flower in. I don’t know what kind of flower it is, but it is tall and narrow in shape, and along the height of it it moves from deep purple, to indigo blue, to green, to yellow. The color flows in and out with no perceptible shift from one to the next.

In what is probably not more than a second of looking, I am filled with a profound sense of something that I have no words for. Absolutely no words. But, I am filled with it. My heart…my whole body is filled with it. A space even bigger than my body is filled with it. This space encompasses this flower. For a length of time that is outside of time, I am enveloped in something I have no words for, something that literally causes me to go speechless. Tears are streaming from my eyes.

The beauty of this flower as it moves from purple through to yellow has opened me to the wordless place, and I stand still, transfixed, transported, transformed. In this moment beyond moments, in this community garden filled with the most commonplace happenings of daily life, I come to know something profoundly beyond what my eyes normally take in.

My boyfriend takes my hand and asks me, “What’s wrong, Honey?” He sees my tears. He sees that I am not moving, transfixed in front of what looks like just another flower. I cannot speak. I try, but I am speechless. He puts his arm around me, and his touch slowly brings me back to the garden, to standing there with him.

The flower still looks extraordinary to me, but I am no longer transfixed nor speechless. I begin to try to tell him what I experienced, but again there are no words. Everything I say just sounds ordinary. “It is so beautiful. Look at the colors; how the gradually move from purple, to indigo, to blue, to green, to yellow. It is so incredibly beautiful.” Yet inside, the experience I am trying to relate is so alive with fire, with light, with life. The words cannot capture the feeling, but they do carry some of it because it is alive.

 

Back to now, ten years later…

In looking back, I see how my relationship with life changed, my relationship with flowers changed, my ability to ‘see’ changed.

The flower was filled with light, with a fire of radiance, a fire of light in every cell.

That experience stayed with me for a bit, and then it began to recede in memory…until now. I remember trying to understand what had happened. I tried to make sense of it. But, I don’t think that is necessary, even if it is what we tend to do. I feel experiences like this come when they come. I see now that all the while something was deepening in me: a relationship with beauty, with light, with immanence.

In that moment, I felt love. I felt the light of being streaming through me, streaming through the flower. In that moment, I cannot say what I was or who I was. The woman. The flower. The light. The fire. The love.

What birds plunge through is not the intimate space
in which you see all forms intensified.
(Out in the Open, you would be denied
your self, would disappear into that vastness.)
Space reaches from us and construes the world:
to know a tree, in its true element,
throw inner space around it, from that pure
abundance in you. Surround it with restraint.
It has no limits. Not till it is held
in your renouncing is it truly there.

Rainer Maria Rilke, translation by Stephen Mitchell, by way of my friend Barbara

 

To know this, in its true element, throw inner space around it…from that pure abundance, pure love, pure beauty [with]in you.

Why do I share this story with you? We are all this. This love. This light. This fire. This space. We are this force. We are this Nature.

Nature is Light made flesh.

Becoming aware that we are this is the necessary work of our time.

Becoming a Force of Nature is waking up to the divinity, the holiness of your own flesh, blood, and bones. To see this light within you, to see your own divine, sacred Self radiating and pulsing with life, and to see it in all of life. It is waking up to your body’s intelligence, and to your own beautiful self worth.

I’d love to have you join me for this summer course of awakening to the force of nature that you already are. We begin June 9th.

{ 2 comments }

Pleasure: Soul Sustenance

by Julie on May 19, 2015 · 0 comments

IrisLavender

 

 

Every Sunday morning, I dance. Last Sunday was no exception.

As I danced and felt much pleasure from being in my body, I realized how I’ve pushed away pleasure for most of my life. I know I am not alone in this. Perhaps we do this when we grow up in a culture where the undercurrent of belief is infused with pleasure equating to sin.

But, it’s more than that. As I danced, I began to feel the pleasure myself, and for a moment it felt odd that there was no one else there…only me. I was enjoying my own experience of pleasure, sensual pleasure, and there was no ‘other’ in the experience. I could see something I hadn’t seen before: that giving myself pleasure, either through dance or any of the things I love to do in my life, changes the experience of who I am in others’ company. I know this sounds simple, but hang with me here for a minute.

In my life, and I am sure in your’s in your own unique way, there’s been a silent undercurrent of ‘having to BE pleasureable’, like it is a duty I must fulfill to be a pleasurable person Or, that if I am good I will give others pleasure. Could be sexual, could be in another way. But, as I felt pleasure, I realized I was pleasurable without having to BE anything. The only thing I was doing was doing what I love and truly being in my body while doing it.

 

I was simply feeling pleasure. I was taking myself into myself.

 

It reminded me of something I’d read this past week. I came across this post by Erin McKean where she writes:

You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.

I realized that we don’t owe pleasure to anyone either. Offering pleasure to another ‘is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.’

Instead, when we participate in those things that are pleasurable, we radiate pleasure.

Sometimes it is hard for me to know what I desire, what I want, what I love. In that moment of dancing, there was no question. I was loving how it feels to be in my body, loving how it feels to dance, loving how it feels to be a sensual human being.

I included this Iris picture here because this picture brings up the same feelings of pleasure…sensual, pleasurable beauty. This photo takes my breath away. The colors. The feeling. The dreaminess. It works on me, through me, removing layers of resistance I have to knowing my own self in this way.

We are hungry for such pleasurable beauty, for such deeply sensuous tenderness and pleasure in our lives. Hungry for it. Aching for it, because the soul loves it. It is soul food.

The soul gets to feel what it is to be alive through the body, and heaven knows there are enough moments in the body when life is not pleasurable.

Why not feed the soul some really lovely, pleasurable sustenance?

Pleasure is soul food, and what I was experiencing was truly a divine connection between my conscious self and my soul. For me, this is the most important relationship in my life. And knowing this makes my quest for living a life of love all the more alluring because I know it is my soul that brought me to dance in the first place. She guided me there and she continues to guide me into what I truly love, for it is She who truly loves.

:::

bafonbadge300pxPleasure is just one of the weekly topics we explore in my 12-week program, Becoming a Force of Nature. Pleasure is an important area of exploration for those of us wishing to be more alive and more in our bodies. Pleasure is part of life, and it is a gift to offer to the soul.

If you’d like to go deeper into the way I facilitate creativity while applying what you learn in real-time to your own life or business vision, join me for this summer run of Becoming a Force of Nature. Registration is now open.

This is a powerful course. It can be a vehicle for deep transformation, as well as practical, tangible movement on a intention you are holding. We will dive deep into the creative process. We’ll experience first-hand ways to creatively meet life’s challenges.

When you live your life as a work of art, you come to realize you are the true creation.

This is the last time I will be offering the course in this format. Along with 12 teaching calls, you’ll receive 12 rich multi-media PDFs for each course weekly segment. After the course is done, you’ll be able to dive even deeper by way of these rich interactive lessons.

Take a look to see if the course is right for you. If it is, come join me for this summer journey.

 

{ 0 comments }

photo-1

“Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?”

~ Gabrielle Roth

::

The other morning, as I was walking home from taking my grandson to school, I had one of those epiphanies that makes a big impact on how one sees the world. As I walked past a bright yellow house (and I mean BRIGHT yellow!), in my mind’s eye I could clearly see how everything – everything – exists in a sea of awareness (what I could feel was love). In my mind’s eye, I was aware of everything – thoughts, senses, perceptions, feelings, objects, ideas, visions, etc. It was as if they were floating in this sea that is consciousness.

What I noticed is that the awareness that I am (and that each of us is) could choose where to place focus, choosing what to focus on – UNLESS I became fixated on something – a mood, a thought, a particular outlook, a way of being in the world, an identity. When fixation happens, it’s as if everything else goes into the background and what is being fixated on becomes the most important, really the only, thing that’s seen.

When this happens to me in life, often the fixation is so compulsive and unconscious that the move to fixation is imperceptible. At some point, I become aware that I am fixating – usually because I feel some sort of rigidity and frustration.

Over the past years, I’ve focused on waking up out of this compulsive and unconscious tendency to fixate. It’s what egos do. They fixate. Rather than flowing and trusting, they fixate. As I’ve come to know life as it can be when it is more free of this unconscious fixation, I’ve been fighting structure while craving it, too. As I walked, I realized that the structure I have been craving in my life is not the same structure I’ve fought; rather, what I was being shown is the power of focus, the power of choosing, consciously, where to place your focus and attention.

Focus as I am writing of it is very different than fixation. Focus directs consciousness in flow. Fixation causes consciousness to go rigid.

 

Many people think controlling yourself is stopping yourself from living, holding yourself back from experiencing life, but really control puts you in a position to be able to channel and direct pure energy into any task you do, so instead of being scattered all around, you become an absolute force to be reckoned with.
~ Clairey Fairy

 

As I walked, what I could see is this kind of directing of pure energy. Clairey refers to it as controlling. I felt it as a kind of focus and directing. The directing was coming not from my mind, but from somewhere down deeper inside me.

It was coming from an inner radar that registers what feels right and true in the moment.

When we clearly and succinctly place our awareness and energy on something, we become this ‘force to be reckoned with’, because what we are IS a force of nature. Instead of it being diffuse, suddenly it becomes a powerful beam of consciousness, clearly focused on creating. Living life as a creation, as a work of art, is a kind of freedom. Yet to do this, requires structure, discipline, and focus. In my case, fighting structure has been fighting myself. I had to find this out the hard way. Even though I teach this work and have for years, I, too, am learning how to open more to the creative process. We are always learning, if we are open.

In working with many people, I’ve found there is this longing to be free of the constraints placed upon us by cultural ideals and standards that smother our authenticity. We long to be free. Yet, we also long to create. How do we hold them both?

Expectations keep us from being creative – expectations of others, of ourselves, and of how things will turn out from the choices we make. Placing expectations on life, and on others, keeps the realm of new possibilities at bay for if all you see are what you expect then the only things you will create are those things that come from what already exists in this world. And, if creativity is what is new, then what you create will not even really be creative.

So, the first questions from students is always: “Well, if you don’t have expectations, what keeps you from drifting in nothingness, doing nothing? What keeps you from being a couch potato? How do we move forward without expectations?”

I’ve often struggled with how to articulate this because it doesn’t fit into our current idea of how to be successful in the world. We are taught success comes from pushing and striving toward the completion of goals. However, pushing and striving almost always come from expectations – in fact, often goals in the way people usually hold them are really just expectations.

How do we hold a vision, feel the longing to create, while allowing life to move us in a way we cannot know ahead of time? It’s a dance between the vision we see, which we can call an intention, and keeping our awareness open to what shows up – paying attention to what comes back to us in response to the choices we make.

Expectations are a way of rigidly fixating. Intentions are a way of creatively focusing.

An illustrative example:

I have a vision in which I see myself speaking on stage somewhere in the world. I don’t know where this is, but the image is clear and the image keeps coming. I see a few other details, too, that I use to fill in the vision. I am speaking about creativity and love, and how we are so deeply connected to the earth. On stage, I am using multimedia (photos, videos) to supplement my speech. It’s really more of a combination of storytelling and poetic prose.

Now, how I will get to this place I don’t yet know. If I were to set goals, which I might, I could be tempted to make them pretty rigid without wiggle room. I could be tempted to begin to envision a linear process to ‘make’ this happen. But I know creativity is not a linear process. It is a very feminine process, one that winds and weaves as I meet life with an open heart AND a more ‘masculine-like’ structure of intention. Without any structure, I have chaos. With too much structure, there is no room for flow and possibility. And, all the while I listen, sense, and feel for what is next, for the direction I feel called, using my mind as the rational ally.

We need both the flow of the feminine and the structure of the masculine for a healthy creative process.

What I saw the other day was a clear image that showed me how I can see focus differently than how I’ve been holding structure, and for me this was a powerful insight because it helped me to know how it feels to do this. The image allowed me to feel it in my body. I know how it feels when my focus is scattered (this I know well!), and then I could feel how it feels when my focus is direct and channeled.

It’s all a dance with life. We meet life and life meets us. It takes trust, and it takes us being a willing, open dance partner. It takes learning to deeply listen, to feel, to sense…all things a good dancer knows.

Awareness and the wisdom of the body allow us to channel our life force to create with intention, while at the same time following the guiding hand of life.

In this way, we become a powerfully creative force of nature, in tune with nature, in service to nature, in service to love.

I’m curious about you. What have you noticed about focus and discipline and structure? How have these helped your creativity? How have they hindered your creativity?

::

bafonbadge300pxIf you’d like to go deeper into the way I facilitate creativity while applying what you learn in real-time to your own life or business vision, join me for this summer run of Becoming a Force of Nature. Registration is now open. This is a powerful course. It can be a vehicle for deep transformation, as well as practical, tangible movement on a intention you are holding.

We will dive deep into the creative process. We’ll experience first-hand ways to creatively meet life’s challenges. When you live your life as a work of art, you come to realize you are the true creation.

This is the last time I will be offering the course in this format. Along with 12 teaching calls, you’ll receive 12 rich multi-media PDFs for each course weekly segment. After the course is done, you’ll be able to dive even deeper by way of these rich interactive lessons.

Take a look to see if the course is right for you. If it is, come join me for this summer journey.

 

{ 1 comment }

 

1866818846_4d4d7cfc89_z

Lately, I repeatedly see an image in my mind’s eye. When it appears, it’s always the same. I’m standing in the middle of the scene and on one side of me is a pool of thoughts and idea(l)s made up of what other people think, what the culture says, and what my own Voice of Judgment tells me. On the other side of me, the right side, are the deep, dark mysterious waters of my soul.

In the image, I have a choice. I can choose from the dark waters of my own soul. Or, I can choose from ‘conventional’ wisdom (what is often not wise at all) and the roar of judgment from so many different places, including my own head. By judgment, I don’t mean conscious discernment. Rather, here judgment means the kind of thinking that is meant to keep the status quo in place, keep people in place, keep things from changing. This kind of judgment does not like the fact that life is constantly in flux. This kind of judgment wants to contain, control, shame, dominate, and keep small. Again, notice it is both out there and within.

But, you might be wondering why I include ‘conventional’ wisdom in this mix. To me, it is the unconsidered status quo, the stagnant conventional thinking, that keeps true creativity from being able to enter our world, either our own personal world, or the world at large. And, boy do we need some truly creative ideas and expressions at this point in the human journey.

Creativity upends the status quo. Creativity isn’t conventional. Creativity is brand new and comes when we’ve allowed the fertile ground to be turned under, left fallow, and then tilled for new life.

Creativity comes out of the deep and dark mysterious waters of the soul.

We can try to pin it down, trace it back, figure it out – but ultimately where it comes from is unknown and cannot be known. We can name it, but we cannot truly know it except as an experience because it is alive.

Creativity is alive. Purpose is alive. That which keeps us from being creative and purposeful is stuck and stagnant.

In this image, I can see so clearly how important trust is – the trust of both what lies within me and my ability to hear it and act from it, as well as the knowing that every other human being also is creative and also has a deep well of creativity within them.

I see how often my attempts to understand my purpose, my reason for being alive, have insidiously come from looking to others, or my own Voice of Judgment, for information, validation, or ideas on what this purpose might be. Looking out there isn’t the same as true mirroring from those who know you and really listen to you. Effective mirroring can be a source. But, ultimately, even mirroring must be checked against the knowing that comes from an alive and trusting relationship with one’s soul.

And, I see it is a choice. It is always a choice. Sometimes, I go unconscious in the choosing process, and choose out of fear of humiliation, abandonment, rejection…. like everyone else.  We are meant to be in relationship and community. Our minds can get squirrelly when we think we won’t be.

This image began appearing after beginning to engage in direct dialogue with my soul, which isn’t the easiest of tasks. But, I did hear her clearly, after asking the question, “How do I begin to follow your lead in my life?” Her response? “Don’t make anything more important than me!” (exclamation point mine!!!)

This image shows me clearly that in each moment it is a choice to not make anything more important than where my soul is guiding me.

***

What I’ve come to begin to see, (and I write ‘begin’ because, again, we are speaking of the mystery) is that to open to our true purpose we must honestly, in the most way, begin with the question of “Who am I?” and “What am I?”. This is the journey of turning within to ask, to look, to listen, to feel and sense…and then to learn to receive.

When we learn to trust in our nature, both as a creative being and as a woman, something shifts. There is less need to look out there for validation and approval. There is more joy from the acceptance of yourself and who and what you are. And, there is less fog and confusion about things in general, fog and confusion being a way to avoid life and acting on your own behalf.

Your nature is both universal and unique. The soul has unique qualities, and in my experience and in the work I teach, it is these soul qualities that begin to give us a sense of what we truly are. These qualities are NOT static things. Often, when we think of personal values, they are static things. Rather, these qualities are qualities we find when we investigate our own experience(s) to notice the feeling states inherent in them.

Like creativity, experiences are alive, not simply concepts.

To know purpose, we continue to come back to what is uniquely alive within us. What is the feeling quality of an experience when you are doing what you love? We aren’t focusing on the outward expression or the objects of life, but on the feeling state of the experience.

I wanted to share this image here on my  blog because the tendency to turn to someone else, or someone elses, to see ourselves is so strong. We learned to do it when we were really young because more often than not those adults in our lives who might have really mirrored our own light back to us couldn’t see it because they, too, hadn’t been seen.

But as adults, we can begin to do what it takes to look within, to remember that there is this vast inner world of soul.

This inner world will guide us. It is always here. It never left – we just turned away.

You might find you have your own image. Soul speaks in images and symbols. Open to what your soul shares with you.

Now, when I see this image in my mind’s eye, in my image I turn to soul and open to receive.

Just this act is everything.

***

I’ve just opened registration for my course, Becoming a Force of Nature.

bafonbadge300pxThis round of the course will begin on June 9th and run for 12 weeks. In Becoming a Force of Nature, I teach and offer experiential ways to make this turn back to the inner world, and then to begin, or deepen, what can be a long journey to trust and faith in oneself. This will be the last time I offer the course in this format. I may offer it again, but it will change – because my work is changing. I do know that if I offer it again, it won’t be in this format.

In fact, I’ll be teaching it a bit differently than I did the first two rounds. On our weekly calls, I’ll introduce the material and then facilitate the exercises on the call, so you have your first taste of each week’s material together with your classmates. Then, after the call, we’ll spend the remaining part of the week ‘living with’ the material. You can read more about this on the registration pate. There is so much great material in these 12 weeks; SO much that you can take the course with me the other women in our group, and then – at your own pace – go through the 200+ pages of PDFs that contain so much exquisite detail and interactivity.

The depth of the dive you can take is quite astounding. And, doing it a few times is exactly the way to deepen your journey. The PDFs contain everything I will teach on the calls, but they take things deeper in a way that you can utilize to your advantage. Taking it live with me the first time will activate the material in a certain way. After that, using the in-depth writings will allow you to deepen the experiences you had in our time together.

I hope you’ll take a look and consider joining me. You’ll find a new video on the registration page that I created to give a little more background to the material and its capacities to effect change in your life.

 

***

I’m in two new podcasts on the subjects of Creativity and Becoming a Force of Nature – one with Amiel Handelsman, the other with Charlie Gilkey. Take a listen. I know there are some wonderful gems in each of these podcasts. Both Charlie and Amiel are great interviewers and I even learned much more about what it is I do.

 

***

Image above by The Wandering AngelCreative Commons 2.0. No changes made.

{ 0 comments }

photo (23)

I’m discovering a lot about anger and love, and holding onto the old pain of not being seen nor given what I thought I should have been given. I’m learning how to be with anger, and I’m learning it holds a place at the table laid out by Love.

I offer it here as my experience. Perhaps it might be of use to you.

It’s old, old stuff this anger. But, what I know about this is that we leave ourselves psychological grappling hooks to the past, a hook into a place where we refuse to budge until someone listens deeply enough that ‘letting go’ can take place. We cannot force the letting go. It has to come from the part of ourselves that put the hook there, the part that must be listened to, the part that must let go of her own accord, in her own way. She will let go when she feels heard and seen and loved for who and what she was in that moment in time, including her anger – or whatever other emotions were there that felt, and still feel, too big or bad or wrong to accept.

And what I know in my own life is that the one who must listen is me. We must listen to ourselves. We must allow the voice to be known, heard, and received. This part must be honored, acknowledged, and cherished for who she is, just as she is, with dignity.

Think about it. What would allow that hook to be let go of? What would allow that hook to give way?

We cannot force it. We cannot make the letting go happen. Only she, the one who placed it there, the one who still hangs on to it, the one who took that moment in time and froze in it, with it, as it. She is still back there, waiting for what she never got. Only she can unhook the hook for she is the one caught back there in time.

And what she taught me when I finally found her back there after all these years, when I finally traced my way back to that hook is this:

You cannot force another to give you love in the way you think you should be loved; but you can receive the love they offer you.

You cannot force another to receive the love you give, but you can give it unconditionally in whatever way you can.

You CAN give yourself love and you can receive your own love. You can complete this circle of love within your own being. This is really the only place where this can happen – this circle. And it can be infinitely given and received. You can be an infinite circle of unconditional love. Perhaps this is what self-love really is.

I’m finding it begins right here. Right now. I open my hand to her. She didn’t take it immediately. She didn’t want it. She wanted what was back there, back then. I had to listen to that. I had to not try to change her mind. I had to hear her out.

This is where anger comes in. She was angry. Pissed off. Royally so. Anger was a message that something was off. Something was wrong. Not acknowledging my anger just made that hook go in deeper.

She’s been fighting against everything – but doing so down where I wasn’t conscious of it. It was affecting my life, yet I could never quite see why what was happening was happening.

Over the past few weeks, as I’ve opened more to the deep well of unexpressed anger within me, it began to come in waves, wave after wave, so powerful, so alive and radiant. I could feel it being lifted out of the tightly packed pockets it had been stowed away in for decades.

And after feeling it, giving it the space it needed to flow again, it feels more integrated, like I now understand I need it. Of course I do. It is here. It is a part of what it means to be human. It is fuel for creativity. It is passion. It reminds me that I am a soul with dignity, and that others also are souls with dignity.

I can now feel that the anger knows it holds an important seat at the table laid out by love.

If it is all love, then it is ALL love. Everything has a function, a place. Everything within our own psyches must be seen and touched and acknowledged with dignity. If it is all love, then it is ALL love.

And if you’ve been taught that these voices are not real – try telling them that. Try to inform them they are not real. I’ve tried. It does not work. They will hold on to that hook until the cows come home…or until we die…unless we listen and open and love them as they are.

And if you tell yourself to ‘suck it up’, to ‘get over it’, or some other such phrase, okay. See if that works for you. It worked for me as long as I refused to feel what was really here – until the pain of it got to be too much.

These parts are some of the hardest parts of our psyches to be with. They are the ones we push away vehemently. And they’ve felt this push-away for years.

This is deep soul work. And it is worth it. It is taking responsibility for ourselves at the deepest level so that we can fully live our lives in a way where we can respond to life, rather than push against it.

These parts are waiting to be a part of this circle of love. They long to receive love…and they have much love to give.

{ 8 comments }

photo (22)

rose

full, fertile,
softest petals on a
strong, fierce stem.
each petal brushes against the
chambers of my heart.
each breath rides along the
petal veins.
lines blur.
petals become flesh,
veins carry life.
heart flutters,
tickled by such soft
layers of existence.
fragrance fills the chambers,
petals fall away,
leaving only scent to fill this fecund abyss.

everything courses along these veins.
fragrance infuses cells.
each inhale a becoming,
each exhale a death.

this line is fine,
so short-lived,
so numinous.
and the heart keeps beating,
the bones stand strong and sturdy,
the blood circulates,
doing the heavy, fleshy lifting
for a mystery that both
must be
and
can never be
known.

(c) julie m daley

written during a #WritingRaw circle.

:::

I’ve shared a very special four-part series on embodying soul, Of Soil and Soul: A Call to Remember,
over at Pema Rocker’s SoulGrowthRadio.com
Each part will be made available each Sunday in April. The first part is now up and ready.
I hope you enjoy it. The work is part of a larger body of work to be published later.

{ 0 comments }

In a Woman’s Body

by Julie on March 20, 2015 · 2 comments

photo (20)

Today…

is the vernal equinox. And, today there’s a new moon and a solar eclipse. (The eclipse was visible somewhere else on the planet and I was fast asleep!)

Who knows what this all means. What I do know is that my body has been guiding me to remember what I once knew. Cycles. Rhythms. Flow.

My mind is softening into my body, into my heart. What used to seem strange now feels natural and even welcoming.

I am reweaving back into life’s tapestry of worlds, back into layers of the unseen and unknowable, into bedrock and sandstone, moon and stars, and glacial changes beyond what I can possibly comprehend.

One of my favorite Beatle’s songs was ‘Let It Be’, and the lyrics have been rumbling around inside. Just let it all be as it is – because all of my pushing against isn’t really doing anything anyway.

I see that now.

I am softening, tenderizing, choosing to no longer live a life of trying to understand. And in this softening, I notice I am happier, and at the same time getting more accomplished while being more available for others.

I guess that is life. When I let it be, life can do what it longs to do through me.

Of course.

I am learning.

::

in a woman’s body

i slide one foot in and then the other
and slowly my whole body gives way to gravity.
like a mother cat’s tongue
the water begins to clean
lifetimes of forgetfulness from my being.
my breath slows as darkness crumbles onto the blue-tiled floor.
my eyes grow soft as
years of tears and fears melt under the dark night sky.
i begin to remember how
without skin,
without flesh and bones,
i lived as light.
my cells soak in this remembering and
i soften, yet again,
into the water’s embrace.
no more rigid ways of forcing myself
to remember what i’ve always known.
no more straight-backed hours
on a cushion,
tightly-fastened rules wrapped around my flesh.
i am this soft light,
this love that knows,
this pearlescent radiance in a woman’s body.

#writingraw

(c) 2015 julie m daley

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

{ 2 comments }