Budding With New Life

by Julie on March 15, 2010 · 17 comments

Cherry Tree, by Julie Daley

It’s a beautiful sunny spring day. Life is budding.

I live in the hills of Berkeley, directly across the street from the hills of Tilden Park. Today, just days before the first day of Spring, the hills are richly green. The birds are singing. The trees are blossoming. One tree in particular grabs and holds my attention. It is a weeping cherry tree directly across from my living room window. She is budding, ripe with the fruit of life just bubbling under the skin of her delicate branches. Her branches are stark gray in contrast to the small, delicate blossoms just now opening to the warm spring sunshine.

I am amazed at the contrast between this small, soft pink flower petal and the sage, rooted, twisted and gnarled mother tree giving birth to it. When I look closely, the petals emerge right out of the tips of these weathered branches that have survived the winter cold, the driving rains and the months of dormancy. Life gives birth to life.

And so it is the same with us. In every moment, we are dying and being born, and in our times of transformation, we descend into the darkness, move through it, and if we stay with the intelligence of our own internal guidance, we emerge out into the light, budding with new life. The darkness is just as much a part of life as the light. We need to know one to know the other. Spring follows winter, summer turns to fall.

Life gives birth to life, and somewhere in the process something dies and transforms. It’s a circle that cannot be avoided, no matter how hard we might try. The past few years have been a patient teacher to me, providing me with the most gracious teachings on what it means to be fully alive to the circle of birth, death and transformation. And in these fecund teachings, I have become both painfully and joyously aware of what it means to be alive, not as a dry concept, but as rich experience. I have been humbled by the paradox I experience: the futility of trying to control anything at all, having the direct experience of life living exactly as life does, while at the same time knowing that I have the choice to follow that which compels me forward, a knowing at the deepest levels of my being that prods and pulls and pushes me into a place of complete undressing and exposure.

::

Which brings me to the blog-to-blog, post to post, conversation Jeanne Hewell-Chambers and I have been having, a conversation about voice, community and action.

Mother Teresa said some wise things about action:

“It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.”

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

It seems as if it is easy to get caught up in the ego’s desire to do big things to save the world. I know this well. And what I’ve experienced is that the desire to do big things causes me to spin into inaction, because I can’t even begin to know how to save the world. Does the world even need saving? I can make up all sorts of things about what I need to do if I am to make a difference. Yet somewhere within, a small voice stirs and is guiding me forth, if only I can listen.

I have come to see, through being aware of Life and how it unfolds, that all I can do is express my love for life in small actions, one step at a time. Life knows and I am an instrument of that knowing.

We are no different than the rest of nature for we, too, are nature. Just like the flowering cherry tree, what wants to emerge through me is pushing to unfold through me. What wants to emerge through you is causing something else in you to die, so that new life can be born.

In the dying paradigm, the old way of doing things that is on its way out, there was a central belief that a ‘big’ (powerful) person has to do something big to have an effect. This one person was the leader, the one others looked up to, the one others expected to take care of things.

In the new paradigm that is unfolding, things are different. We are beginning to see the strength of communities. Strong, supportive, truth-telling communities can bring collaboration and creativity and innovation. We’re beginning to see the possibilities that are there when many ordinary people do small things with great love and focus. Networks of people coming together, learning from each other, sparking ideas and doing small things with great love is the backbone of this new model.

If it sounds like small things have no power, think again. Imagine the force it takes for new blossoms to spring forth through gray, dry branches. It’s life force. It’s the same life force that is within you. The same life force that breathes you. The same life force that causes you to feel, to think, to love and to act.

In the end, trust yourself. Trust the urge in you that wants to propel you into action. The bigger intelligence can, and will, take care of the rest.

Do all of what you do with the great love that you are.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Renae C March 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm

“We are no different than the rest of nature for we, too, are nature. Just like the flowering cherry tree, what wants to emerge through me is pushing to unfold through me. What wants to emerge through you is causing something else in you to die, so that new life can be born.”

The dying part can be pretty painful, but I’m trying to trust the process and the wisdom that says that which is being born will be worth the pain. Both my children were born in the spring – the eldest just as the leaves start to spring forth here, the youngest as summer blazes into full bloom. So we celebrate a host of life this time of year, but never have I more intensely felt the pangs of birth inside my own soul than this go round.

Thanks for the reminder that the journey is taken one small step at a time.

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Square-Peg Karen March 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

There is NOTHING left to say here, Julie – except AMEN!!

This so beautifully ties together what I’ve been thinking about both what I’m wanting to do with and in my life & what I’ve gotten from my Underworld experience (the dormant time)…

and now I’m giggling – I said there was nothing left to say, but I said it anyway..lol

Love you!! And love seeing you and awesome-wonderful Jeanne go back and forth on this topic!!

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emma March 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Aw, if only I could bottle your courage and insight and sprinkle it about me when I’m lacking in both. Thank you, Julie, for so beautifully articulating such wisdom. I just want to soak in it!

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Julie March 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Renae, I hear both the death and birth in your words, “we celebrate a host of life this time of year, but never have I more intensely felt the pangs of birth inside my own soul than this go round.” What is being born through you? There never is a guarantee that what is coming is worth the pain. The only thing I know is that life itself is the gift. And knowing each other is the gift, too.

Karen – I love hearing your giggles. Yes, you had a deep dormant time. You went into the underworld and came out the other side. It’s beautiful, and so are you.

Emma – You aren’t lacking a bit, darling. I know you well enough from the brilliance you write to know you face each day with courage, wisdom and all sorts of insight…and we are all wiser for it. Love to you.

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Jeanie Miley March 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm

And what if…
life itself is
making love to us,

seducing our hearts and minds
with the gentle
unfolding of buds
and blossoms?
….engaging us
with the tender and
warm embrace
of spring?

What if it is life itself
kissing us
with tender showers?
granting us
a chance to
shed our
winter doldrums
with our sweaters
and coats
and let the earth
itself bathe our
bare feet in wonder?
What if?

What if life itself is
a lover,
wanting to be
embraced and
enjoyed? What if
the coming of
spring is
foreplay?
and the fever we
call spring fever
is…..life’s passion,
burning in us
for expression?

What if life itself
is a lover and simply
wants to teach us
the ways of love?

What if lovemaking is, after all,
our assignment on this
good earth?

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Julie March 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Oh, Jeanie, this is breathtakingly beautiful. “What if lovemaking is, after all, our assignment on this good earth?” When did you write this? You have captivated me with these words of lovemaking and passion. And to think this is in the comments. Is it somewhere on your blog? Or is it new? Tell me. I want more.

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Jeanie Miley March 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Julie — your blog post inspired me — and it just popped out — but perhaps it popped out of a bud that has been sitting on a branch for a long, long winter! I just wrote it, in response to your blog! It was so freeing and fun!

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Julie March 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Jeanie, Wow. It is truly beautiful. Now that’s co-creation, eh? I think it must be shared. Will you post it so I can share it with others? Maybe I’ll link to your comment and share it on Twitter? What would you like? Thank you for gracing these pages with your beauty. I am so glad to have met you through lovely Renae. How blessed we all are.

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Renae C March 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm

And I am sitting and watching stunned… and pondering what indeed is being born.

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Jeanie Miley March 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Julie — go ahead and share the piece as you want to — It’s so much fun to be a part of a co-creation. I should have said that it was Renae who sent me to your post — and it was both her post and yours that inspired me to write the piece. I love the process of collaboration — it’s such a wonderful feminine strength, isn’t it?

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Annie Stith (Gr8fulAS) March 16, 2010 at 12:17 am

Wow. My first visit to your site and *WHAM* I get slammed with exactly what I need to hear. That’s been happening a lot lately…

Hi, I’m Annie. In 1995, I was Dx’d with the first of four chronic pain conditions. Since then, many things in my life have slowly fallen away–job, family, friends, relationship, savings, home, physical abilities, independence (not necessarily in that order).

I have tried very hard to remember that, in order for new things to come into our lives, old things must fall away to make room. But it has been a long, hard winter, and here in the Midwest, often the buds don’t push thru until the snow melts. And I’ve been feeling buried in snow, wondering if Spring will ever come…

So, thank you for the reminder that Spring ALWAYS comes. I’m almost excited to see what life has in store for me, having made all that room. :)

Annie

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Julie March 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

Thanks, Jeanie. I will. I also read Renae’s post and am blown away by the synchronicity of it all. It is a beautiful feminine strength.

Welcome, Annie! I’m so glad you came and left your comment here. I am touched by what you have been through and all that has fallen away. Yes, Spring always comes. The circle comes around again. Here we are in this time of life, where newness shows up everywhere we look. Blessings to you. I’m so glad to know you.

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whollyjeanne March 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

my darling julie. julie, julie, julie. our sagacious, rooted mother tree. giving birth to your words, and from your roots, tiny little trees sprout and grow. our very own little julie appleseed. or cherryseed.

jeanie miley, wow. i hope we’ll be seeing more of you. julie does this, doesn’t she? makes you feel comfortable enough, strong enough to just let it bubble out from the truth spot.

“if we stay with the intelligence of our own internal guidance, we emerge out into the light, budding with new life. The darkness is just as much a part of life as the light. We need to know one to know the other.” i have trouble selecting a favorite sentence here, but this one makes me smile and exhale.

love you. big time.

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olive & hope March 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Julie as Karen said…there is nothing more to say here. I am drinking in your words here, and each and every comment.

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Julie March 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Jeanne – I love thinking of you smiling and exhaling. And love that you now know Renae and Jeanie. We grow every day. Love you, too. Big time.

Olive&Hope – love you, dear. Blessings.

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