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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?

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A Leadership of Feminine Values

by Julie on June 12, 2018

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“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.

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Love in a Time of Personal Power

by Julie on May 1, 2018

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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

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Choosing to Stay and Be Human

by Julie on April 23, 2018

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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.

 

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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.

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You are your own Oasis

by Julie on March 21, 2018

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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)

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The Honor of Living Her

by Julie on March 6, 2018 · 2 comments

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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.

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Who Will Stand for the Wild Soft Heart?

by Julie on March 2, 2018

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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.

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Writing Directly Out of the Vast, Deep Mystery

by Julie on February 19, 2018

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IMG_2151

when you are struggling
in your
writing (art).
it usually means
you
are hearing one thing.
but
writing (creating) another.
— honest | risk

from salt, by nayyirah waheed

 

 

We all receive what wants to be created through us in different ways. As a writer and creative, I get images and a sense of what wants to be written/created. I can feel it, but it’s rarely clear. But even then, there’s always enough to begin, enough to take that first step.

That’s really the most important piece. To take that first step. To begin.

But what happens along the way to cause the struggle?

I was talking to a friend today about writing. We were sharing with each other about our writing process and how hard it can be sometimes to put words to what we ‘hear’ or ‘sense’ wants to be written.

I usually get a sense of the writing that wants to come. Sometimes it comes in images, other times I ‘hear’ something. But to write and create, my mind has to communicate what I sense, see, and or hear. Something deeper than my rational mind, the unconscious, is showing me the writing in its own way, but my mind must take that and put it into words. My mind must communicate the creation into form.

Sometimes I’ve noticed that my mind has a hard time doing that because there’s too big a gap between what I sense and what my mind can translate into words. So my mind fills things in as best it can and what I end up with isn’t at all what I sensed or heard. I’ve lately found myself sitting here at my laptop, fingers poised to write, while my mind attempts to find the words. It’s such an interesting thing to witness in the moment because I am aware of a felt sense of frustration within me – seeing/hearing what I’m trying to write and then trying to find the words and phrases that capture it.

Sometimes, too, the writing just flows. There is no gap. The mind is open and free enough that there is no separation in me, the one who is writing. There is only writing.

And then other times, I notice that my Voice of Judgment (VOJ) jumps in almost immediately, judging and criticizing what comes even before the mind gets it down on paper. It’s like an immediate judgment of what comes. It’s crazy how fast the VOJ can grab a hold of the steering wheel and take you right off course.

But really what I want to do is communicate what I am hearing and sensing. That is all I really want to do. It’s easier for me through photography (the image above) and dance. I don’t edit. There’s no judgment. There’s only the expression. But writing has been harder for me to lose the VOJ, the editor that wants to edit before there are even words on the page.

Can you relate?

We want to get it right but so often we come up short. It’s the mind somehow thinking it has to ‘make it happen’, which is really way beyond its job description of simply communicating. It’s trying to play ‘Soul’ rather than letting Soul be Soul and being, doing what it was created to do.

I’ve found that writing regularly helps to shorten this gap. A regular writing practice helps the mind get used to the practice of writing what it receives.

And, what I’ve found always brings me back to writing more naturally and effortlessly is writing about what brings me joy, or what I love, or what I care deeply about. If I’m trying to write something because I think it is what others want to hear, I never do so with much ease. I struggle to get the words out and once I do the piece can feel stilted and tight. And after writing it, I do, too. Because I’ve left Soul by trying to make it happen.

But when I write something that brings me joy or pleasure, then the writing flows. The soul can be heard and felt. When this is true, Soul is so close. That’s also true about writing in my Writing Raw groups. I love diving into writing when I’m surrounded by that sisterhood. Just the energy alone of the circle is a big support. And in these circles, we write from deep within, from the texture and beauty of Soul. We write directly out of the deep and vast ocean of Mystery. But you don’t need to be in a circle. You can begin to deepen your own practice of entering into this deep and vast mysterious ocean that is the source of all that is created.

We are so deeply interconnected through something much greater than any one of us. When you write what brings you joy or deeply moves you,  and you faithfully express it as you hear it, you move those who feel a similar way or need to hear it, or something else related. There is a connection. There is a correlation. We do meet our audience through our words but not in the way we ‘think’ we are supposed to.

Something greater than any one of us connects us through the deep place of love within each of us. It is this that drives creative expression. It is this that we honor when we write what we hear. And our writing becomes so much easier through this honoring.

Thank you to nayyirah waheed for her poem, available in her profound book of poetry, salt.  And thank you to Tanya for reminding me of this poem.

 

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gn-dim-359346Photo by gn dim on Unsplash

 

What happens when human beings come to believe we do not matter? That we are needed for others but there is little to no need or use for what is within us?

What happens when we live our lives believing that who and what we are is not worthy of love? That there is something fundamentally wrong with us?

What happens to our connection to the whole? And what happens to the whole when this happens?

Our sense of disconnection as human beings doesn’t just affect our own psyches. It weakens the fabric of life, the web of human existence, and the web of existence itself.

This is much of what we are experiencing now on Earth. A weakened fabric of human existence and a weakened connection to the Earth and all that is sacred. We can’t necessarily see it in the physical realm, although we experience the disconnection from each other (and even from ourselves). But I see and feel it internally, on the inner planes.

I see and feel it and now know this because this was my experience — and I know I am not alone by a long shot. I sense the majority of human beings feel this way in varying degrees. I don’t know many who’ve been raised to truly know they matter not in spite of who they are but exactly as they are. That there is a place for them because they are who they are, exactly as they are.

As a young girl…

Growing up in a family with a lot of dysfunction, I came to believe I did not matter. This sounds dramatic, but I don’t mean it as drama. I am not saying my parents or the other adults in my life ever said that. They didn’t. Rather, it was the belief I came to hold about myself because of what I experienced.

We were a deeply disconnected family: emotionally, physically, and psychically. And that disconnection took hold in my soul. The soul longs for connection. Young children need to be connected. We, humans, hunger for connection. And when it’s not there as young children, we believe it has something to do with us. Children are self-referential. We make it about us because we desperately need to believe in the strength and wholeness of our parents and caregivers.

This belief ran deep. The wound was painful and it wasn’t until very recently that I saw it for what it was and is. What I now see is how disconnected I became from my instincts and from life. Our instincts come out of our connection to the instinctive nature of life and I became disconnected from my body and from the Earth.

As a very young girl, I see how my belief caused me to energetically and psychically disconnect from the fabric of life. I turned away from my own worthiness. I turned away from the Source of Life that gives me life. We don’t (necessarily) die when we do that, but we leave our existence by ‘going way’. By disassociating. By isolating. By numbing out with substance(s) or things we do repeatedly to get away from the pain of this sense of not mattering, of not being worthy of love.

And when I healed this wound of disconnection I saw how my connection to the web of life grew stronger.

Everything is interconnected in this web of life, but it is more than simply interconnected.

Everything on the web is the whole and at the same time is simply itself. This is what a hologram is — each part contains the whole.

“Thus each individual is at once the cause for the whole and is caused by the whole, and what is called existence is a vast body made up of an infinity of individuals all sustaining each other and defining each other. The cosmos is, in short, a self-creating, self-maintaining, and self-defining organism.” Francis Dojun Cook

If we come to believe we don’t matter (or we aren’t lovable or we aren’t enough or we aren’t ‘however you have this one wired’), and/ or we treat others as if they do not matter, then we aren’t being sustained and we aren’t sustaining each other. This is part of our job here on Earth — to sustain each other, to keep the web healthy and whole, to grow a vibrant community — and to be powerful, loving stewards to all of life.

We were created to be what we are.

If we come to live a belief that what we are and how we were created does not matter to creation itself, then we are weakening the strength of our link to the whole and the whole suffers for it. But when we are in the pain of the wound, we cannot see this.

While everything is connected, something profoundly damaging happens when we come to believe we are not…and that we aren’t worthy of this connection. This connection is sacred and when it is weakened we weaken our remembrance of the sacred in everyday life.

I can see it, but I still find this hard to put into words, to be honest.

But this matters greatly. Our human community must be strong and vital to evolve out of this mess we are in. We must be strong and vital to come to care for the whole of life as stewards on this planet. We cannot be strong and vital if we continue to live this western, patriarchal way of devaluing so many.

We don’t have to live as numb human beings, but to make the change we do have to learn how to feel and that means being willing to feel.

I am but one human being who has grown up in a kind of culture that devalues the incredible singularity, diversity, and creativity of each human being. My upbringing and family life were a reflection of this culture. My parents were/are good people, but they, too, were raised in a culture is deeply disconnected from this web of life.

Every human being not only matters; their voice, creativity, and uniqueness are vital to the health of the whole, and to the strength of the fabric that holds us all together. And many who are not in positions of power or privilege have been silenced, traumatized, and denigrated terribly.

Moving forward…

As leaders, we must ensure inclusion and diversity, as well as provide the opportunity for everyone to rediscover what they truly are and that what they truly are matters to the whole of life. As leaders, our job is to midwife this essential creative nature and create a culture in which people are free to express it. We need everyone’s creative genius in order to move forward. We need everyone’s happiness from being connected to the whole. We need connection, period.

We must come to know and live the truth that the expression of every human being, including that of our own, is sacred and vital to the well-being of the whole of human existence, and the whole of existence itself.

***

If you’re interested in finding out more about what I offer, including my one-on-one coaching and Writing Raw circles (current circle is still open for registration), please visit me at JulieDaley.com.

 

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