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At this point in my life,

I realize I am not who I once was. Age-wise, body-wise, that’s pretty clear. But what has become really clear is realizing I am not who I continue to believe I am.

Or perhaps what is truer is that I am not who I continue to believe I once told myself I was.

Let me break it down.

Since 1995 when my husband died suddenly, and if I am truthful beginning way before that in a much more subtle way, I’ve been searching for something. Searching spiritually. Searching emotionally. Searching intellectually. Searching soulfully. A whole lot of searching following a deep, deep longing within me to get somewhere, to become someone, to know something. To arrive…

I’ve come a long way. I am not the same person I was when I began. The search has taken me places. Places of insights and understanding. Places of connection to others, to life, and to the earth that I could never have dreamed would happen ahead of time. I feel more grounded and aware than I have ever before. But I realized this morning that I’ve never truly stopped to acknowledge who I have become…or perhaps better said, the growth and expansion I have come to see reflected in my sense of who I truly am…when I am awake and aware to who I truly am.

This is the expansion and growth of the soul.

Up until this point,

I’ve known that the search many of us go on is a ‘going home’, a return to a wholeness that we’ve always ‘been’ but had to slice apart in our psyche in order to survive.  We sliced apart and then hid the pieces that didn’t seem to be acceptable to those who were responsible for keeping us safe.

But on this path of remembering these lost aspects of self, we are also expanding and becoming. Returning and expansion. Remembrance and becoming.

We long to remember and we come to grow.

Let’s break it down further…

There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to get what it says it wants to get. A part that stays in the search. A part that believes there is a big empty hole inside, a sense of not enoughness, a sense of something lacking or missing. And even though this part, this aspect of the psyche, believes it wants to reach what it is searching for because then it will feel whole and enough, whatever it realizes and attains is never enough BECAUSE this part grew out of the belief of lack, out of the belief of not enoughness and woundedness.

The core of its identity IS the belief of lack or unworthiness or not-enoughness or even deep self-loathing.

This part of the psyche grew out of a sense of something missing. But it also has an argument with what it believes to be true – that it is not enough. This part argues for lack and against lack. It believes and it argues all at the same time.

The argument the part has IS wise. It knows something. That’s why when I work with clients I NEVER make the resistance wrong. We stop. We come closer to it. We listen and learn so that it can be liberated.

This part isn’t logical and it is dysfunctional in the way it is attempting to function. In a very basic way, this part (many parts really) is the ego structure. Because it identifies with lack and unworthiness, it doesn’t want to receive and take in anything that contradicts its identity, otherwise, it’s argument will no longer be viable and if the argument is no longer viable then it will cease to be relevant, cease to exist. This relevance to itself is important. It’s what keeps us in the cycle of behaviors that do not serve us. It keeps us believing we are something we are not. It keeps us safe in the way it needs to feel safe.

But here is what I just realized. This part, while it keeps us searching, also keeps us from acknowledging our own expansion and becoming.

This is key!

When we acknowledge how much we have grown and that we have become a fuller and richer soul through our growth, we align our identity, and therefore our choices and actions, with who and what we are growing into. And as we grow into this becoming of the soul, we flow toward a richer and fuller experience of life in this human body.

And so even as the ego self continues believing in its own lack and argument with life, if we desire expansion and move toward that expansion by moving with life in a way that grows us, we become more human which grows the soul. They can, and do, happen simultaneously.

We are not who we continue to believe we once told ourselves we were.

Beautifully intertwined, this searching IS both the call to return home and the call to become; both, together.  

***

I have coaching spots open and I would love to have 30 minutes of your time to see if you and I would work well together as client and coach. If you’d like the same, please connect with me here at JulieDaley.com to schedule a session. Trust me, you’ll find value in our time together.

 

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There is a deep space of mystery inside of you,

inside of me, inside of every one of us human beings. The cavern within is our inner world and it is the world of the ‘right brain’ – one way to speak of the mysterious nature of our consciousness.

Or as Gabrielle Roth wrote,

“Between the head and feet of any given person is a billion miles of unexplored wilderness.”

Yeah. That. That which we know exists but most of the time would rather not give any attention to.

Except…except when the hunger comes. That hunger that won’t let you alone even though you try to ignore it. That hunger that tells you there is so much more to who you are than you believe to be so.

You know what I’m referring to, right? It’s only you and me here. You can acknowledge it and no one has to know.

There is a deep hunger within us to remember. To remember what we once knew we are and how we once lived as the light of stars and the dark of night and traveled lifetimes of changing tides and shifting seasons.

We are always, hungrily, calling to ourselves to remember. A hunger so deep and real – much more real than what you are sitting on right now reading these words.

“…this is one of the really important things about art, that you can make more than you can understand at the moment the thing is being made. But the gap between what we recognize inside ourselves – our feelings- and our ability to trust ourselves and to trust exposing ourselves to those ideas, can be great.” Emmet Gowin

I saved this article years ago and still have it to this day, for it reminds me in a way that few others do of the artist in each of us that must come alive if we are to live here on earth and not just exist in numbness throughout our days.

These words cut to the quick every single time I read them…

“The fact that something is unsayable, that you are emotionally restricted from saying or even recognizing consciously what your own spirit is struggling with, energizes one’s work. That is exactly where good work comes from.” Emmet Gowin

As a teacher of art, Gowin says…

“But that’s a parental emotion at work when one says I don’t want a student to be trapped. The truth is, I’d be perfectly happy if they would be “trapped” within the experience their own authentic difficulties. If they would be trapped on their own, then any freedoms they discovered would be their own. Which is what interests me, because I believe that the joy of your own discovery is what confirms your own aliveness, your own value.

“So in this sense it’s cool to be wrong. It’s so essential, so necessary. It’s so appropriate to be confused, to be muddled, to be unsure. We preach clarity. Get your ideas organized. Get your thinking straight. And it’s the kind of stuff we all got from our parents, because that’s the role of parents. But it is the aliveness of the unguarded intuition and the persistence of our own feelings that guide us to our discoveries.”

I believe that the joy of your own discovery is what confirms your own aliveness, your own value.”

Gowin speaks as a teacher but coaching is the same. I am both a coach and an educator and nothing gives me more joy than to experience a client or student sit in their own confusion while I hold the space of love and we, together, close the gap between when they are conscious of and what is struggling to be known and remembered.

Even when it is uncomfortable, and especially when it is uncomfortable, what is unveiled is the act of remembering and it is the deep awakening to more aliveness in our lives.

What is the feeling of coming directly into contact with that unexplored territory?

How does that moment feel inside of you when you come face-to-face with the dark reflection of that well looking down into what seems to be an endless mystery?

This remembrance. This uncovering and discovery. This feeling of aliveness and value, it is the essence of art-making. You are the artist and you are art in the making.

Here’s the thing, though…

This isn’t about art in the traditional sense. This is about opening up your awareness of the capacities of your right brain and coming into a balance between the parts of your brain, a balance where there is great respect for all of your capacities. Most of the time, we incessantly judge the capacities of the right brain. We are constantly reminded taught that rational thought and logic are much more valuable. But the truth is, we need our wholeness to live lives where we feel alive. And we need cooperation between the different capacities of our being in order to be happy, creative, innovative, people who are in conscious action in the world.

Balancing the Brain:
I currently have two ways to work with me:

One-on-one coaching

  • for individuals who want to go deep into self, into the body and the heart, and into the beautiful mystery within. (It’s not as scary as it sounds!)
  • for leaders: those who are interested in diving deeper into their personal leadership.

I hold a tremendously safe place of love for transformation.

In my fourteen years of experience as a coach, this is what clients are truly seeking. Yes, we look at goals and intentions. Yes, we see progress and completion as important to the work. But underneath the achievement of truly satisfying goals is this deeper work, for nothing truly satisfies if it doesn’t feed your deepest hunger.

You are the artist and you are art in the making. You are remembering yourself into balance. And coaching is a powerful cauldron that can support your discovery.

Writing Raw

daisysummerWRA six-week circle for women to access the deep voice within. Yes, we do it through words, but the process works for any inner exploration to uncover the source and voice of your deepest self. You DO NOT need to be a writer.

I lead you into the great wilderness within you…the place where you can finally come home to the voice you’ve been longing to hear.

We begin on Tues, June 27th. Read more and register here.

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I want to seduce you…

…out into the bright sunshine, out into the light where you see the brilliance of your own reflection; where you understand the significance of your presence here on earth; and where you also accept your insignificance enough that you let go of your mighty plan to save the planet and instead relax into the joyous shape of who you’ve always been, offering the creativity, beauty, and power of this simple you as a gift to this world.

This is what I want to do with you. I want you to see your own brilliance. And at the same time, I want you to see how insignificant you are so that you drop the need to do something BIG in the world. And in this dropping, you come to offer only what is within you, only what your soul is here to share.

This in itself is a great gift. If you do this, just this, your time here will be well served.

Very well served.

 

Yesterday, I seduced myself…

…out into the sun, into the brilliance of a mind that is open and clear and radiating knowing. The brilliance of mind when it is free from its painful, continual self-harassment and constant haranguing.

Oh, the freedom and pure joy of a mind that is not feeding on itself. Most of the time, we don’t even hear the bulk of what the mind that is at ‘war’ with itself is saying. We just feel a general dis-ease from that cloud of ‘arguing against’. But this open, brilliant, sky-mind – so

Most of the time, we don’t even hear the bulk of what the mind that is at ‘war’ with itself is saying. We just feel a general dis-ease from that cloud of ‘arguing against’. But this open, brilliant, sky-mind – so expansive, so radiant and peaceful.

As I felt this radiant knowing, I realized how the judgment and criticism of a child’s wonderment and ability to see and tell the truth about what she sees causes the mind to turn upon itself and sets up this feeding frenzy of thought, a constant and oh-so-careful ‘Self-checking’ before anything is said or expressed. But all life really wants to do is flow, unimpeded expression into form.

Flowing radiance. Brilliant Eros.

THIS is joy – this flow of true self expressed into form.

 

We exist.

Yes, there is a Stillpoint. And, yet, our existence is alive and moving and changing, always. Block the flow and the mind begins to cloud up. Or cloud up the mind and the flow becomes blocked. Chicken or egg, it doesn’t really matter.

This is suffering. Blocked flow of life. Do we trust the life that wants to move through us enough to open the floodgates like this gorgeous Yucca plant in full bloom? I’m certainly overjoyed that this beauty doesn’t care what you or I think about her. She just radiates. And I was the lucky beholder of her beauty. This seeing of her beauty affected me. Her beauty came into me and it changed me. Her cream against the brilliant blue sky showed me something about radiant mind and how the light of mind illuminates and creates.

This radiant mind is whole. And when it is creating from wholeness, the deep self is expressed into the outer world.

 

What is it you want to bring into the world?

Do you want to write that book because you know there is something within you that must come out?

You need your outer self to do it.

In order to live this deep self into the world, you need the participation of your ‘outer self’. The one that takes the action steps required to get what your inner self knows into the outer world.

The self that writes and types and sends that book proposal off to the publisher. Or that out self that decides to self-publish and so must take those steps.

You need your outer self to listen to your inner self, to trust what it hears, to not judge or criticize it as it comes forth. Later the outer self can edit as necessary, but even then it must trust that what wants to come must come and that it is the only vehicle with which it can.

The key here is that the outer self is the aspect of you that can bring forth what’s inside. The inner self needs the outer self to express what it knows, feels, senses. The inner self needs the outer self to trust it, to love it, to care.

 

And so, what becomes clear…

…is that if our truest desire IS to bring forth soul into the world, to express what is within into the outer world, then we must begin to see and understand how we have learned to distrust what lies within us. We must see how the outer self has been taught to trust the outer world’s status quo and rules more than the inner world. And we must begin to enter into a true transformation of how we hold our inner world and this inner self. Will we continue to judge, criticize, fear, silence this self that exists within or will we begin to honor what it knows and bring it forth?

Ultimately as this relationship shifts and changes, the line between outer and inner begins to soften and we move toward an integrated self. We move toward this brilliance of mind.

In my work, and in my own life, I’ve found that so many of us fear coming to discover who lives within us – this inner self that we feel and sense, and that keeps calling to us over and over and over. We fear what we will find when we finally turn within and open to this relationship. But this is our work now.

To truly bring forth what you are here to bring forth, you must come to honor, protect, love, and serve what lives within you.

 

 

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I’ve discovered something. Something that keeps us believing in our smallness, in lack, in the absence of goodness and kindness, in a sense of being unsafe and unable to really live who we are and what we came for.

I’ve discovered it through my own life journey of forgetfulness. A life journey where I began so full of light, so full of love and joy. So full of life. And then the journey of forgetting. Forgetting that the Earth is alive. Forgetting that I am alive, truly. Forgetting that I once lived as light.

We are not meant to live alone.

Not just physically alone. We are not meant to believe in the falsity that we are simply human beings on a planet that is just a big rock. We are not meant to believe that there is nothing beyond this place. We are not meant to live as if we are alone. Our living well can only come out of our living connected to both the Earth and to the light. Our living well comes out of knowing we are in direct relationship with the soul of the Earth, with her as an alive being, and filled with the light that infuses us, available to us, always filling us with each breath, in every moment.

We are creatures here on Earth, sacred creatures, living on a sacred planet, being breathed by light. This has nothing to do with any system of belief. It has to do with life itself and how it moves and lives through us.

There is a ‘push out of your existence’ (thank you, Joseph Campbell) that is life moving through you. A push. A force. A living, always in flux, push. To live. To be alive. As you. For life. This IS life. You as life. Living. Connected to the Earth. Filled with light. Filled with breath. Vibrantly alive until you are alive no more in a human body.

We are not meant to live believing we are not connected, separate, from each other, separate from the Earth and nature, separate from the light. 

But, we do forget. And all around us are reminders, everywhere, always, to remember. We walk the Earth in forgetfulness until we remember. And then, we walk the Earth remembering. With each step. Remembering ourselves back into fullness.

And then, we walk the Earth remembering.

With each step. Remembering ourselves back into fullness.

***

My 21-day self-study course Belonging is now available. It’s deep and you can access it in the comfort of your own home.

 

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“What would you do if you didn’t feel bad about yourself?”***

Let it sink in.

“What would you do if you didn’t feel bad about yourself?”

What do you feel when you ask yourself this question? 

It might take some time to get clear. Or maybe not. Maybe you instantly see and know something.

When I first started to ask myself, I felt incredibly free and happy and almost giddy. Like suddenly this big heavy blanket that had been covering me for so, so long was gone.

Here’s the thing. In this western culture, feeling bad about oneself is an epidemic. It’s in our ancestral lines. It’s in the collective soup. Most of us push it down to where we don’t have to hear the voice or feel the pain. But when you are in this line of work, you become very aware of the taste of this soup.

It’s here. So how will we be with it?

 

In a very simple way,

you have two competing voices – the voice of the Self – your essential nature, an inner knowing that often speaks in a quieter tone – and your personality or persona or ego. The ego isn’t bad or wrong. But it is a young voice that is centered in a kind of self-protection. It is immature. It favors either self-inflation or self-deflation. The true voice is neither. It is simply Self.

Every ego knows both inflation and deflation, but one is usually predominant. We have all seen people who tend toward self-inflation. And we’ve all seen people who tend toward self-deflation. Notice which you tend toward.

I tend toward self-deflation. Hence, when I ask myself this question and feel what it would feel like to simply be in the world without any deflation, “without feeling bad about myself”, this beautiful bright world of possibility opens up. That bright world is what is always here when we aren’t fixated in egoic ways. This is the bright world of Essence which is alive and often hangs out in a kind of soft joy when asked this question. 

When I see the collective pain body, I see a heavy blanket of self-judgment and self-hatred. In our Western culture, we carry so much baggage around suffering and a sense of unworthiness. It’s handed down, generation to generation. We grow up in households steeped in it, even if it is never talked about and not even in family members conscious awareness.When we begin to wake up to this, we begin to see how heavy the path of clearing this kind of toxicity can feel. We begin to see that it’s not who we are, yet the blanket finds its way back over us with such seeming ease.

 

So, what does it mean to wake up into the human experience?

When we come down into the body and are doing work to wake up as souls in the human experience, we come into direct relationship with this old human lineage of the traumatic personal sense of feeling bad about oneself.

We begin to experience being conscious in a sea of feelings about the self that do not feel good. The more we wake up, the more we know that these feelings originally were not ours. They were those of our parents and other family members, going back down the line of ancestors.

Becoming human is to become awake, as Essence, in our beautiful body, in our lives, in our relationships, just as we are. Becoming human is to bring the ego closer to hold it in love so it begins to trust that being here, on earth, is something to dive into rather than fear and flee.

And this is where we must find the courage to decide for ourselves how badly we want to be human. That’s right. How much do we want to have the full human experience?

When I feel bad about myself, I am reluctant to dive into life. When I feel bad about myself, I hang back, often isolate, and fear being seen or heard or known. When I feel bad about myself, I don’t say what I want to say, I don’t express what I’m longing to express. When I feel bad about myself, I don’t let others know that I am longing to be loved, to be touched, to be held…and I don’t let others know that I am feeling bad about myself.

To be human is to be in the middle of life, not hanging back. To be human is to honor the very important need to be loved and connected, to touch and be touched with kindness and tenderness, and respect. Often, we feel bad about our needs, the very ones that make us human. But, there is nothing wrong with you for wanting to be loved. Nothing wrong with wanting to be loved so deeply, without conditions, without fear of abandonment. Nothing wrong with wanting to be touched with kindness, tenderness, respect.

There is nothing wrong with you for being human.

When we honor our deepest hunger for connection, love, touch, and caring, we are more likely to realize that this voice that needs to feel bad is simply longing to be loved. Deeply. Completely. Tenderly. Without fear of being abandoned or rejected.

This is what it can be to be human. This is what we are waking up to. Being love in a human body. Able to ask for love. Able to give love. Able to receive love.

Hold yourself in love. Fully and deeply. Every part of yourself. No exceptions. Especially with the part of you that feels bad. Without turning away. And if you do turn away while you learn how to do this, turning back again to yourself. With love. Always with love. It might feel hard at first. Parts of you might not trust you. They are protecting themselves from more pain. Reassure them. Stay with them no matter what. Be the abiding love you’ve longed for. Decide to stay with yourself and then stay. And, watch how your own love heals the sense of separation within you. This is the way of love. It’s the way I work as a coach. But more like a guide. A guide that guides you back to yourself. With love. In love. Through love. Always love.

“What would you do if you didn’t feel bad about yourself?”

***

togetheroceanwavesTogether begins next week. It’s an opportunity to dive into life. We will meet every other week, face-to-face by video to be with each other. To be real. To be human, together, in all our humanity. This is an opportunity to be with this question in a deeper way, to show up in a group of women with the possibility to say and do and express what you would if you didn’t feel bad about yourself – as well as to be together when these feelings are present.

How else will we find our way to being human if we cannot do so Together???

You can read more and register here. This link will take you to JulieDaley.com, my new website.

 

*** I became very aware of the power of this question after watching Matt Kahn’s video. You might appreciate what he shares.

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Living the Feminine

by Julie on May 24, 2017

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Much has been written about the return of the feminine.

But what does that mean? Practically speaking, how does this actually show up in our world today?

I used to think that somehow the feminine was missing, but what is true is that the feminine has been hidden. Because of the frightening ways women who seemed threatening to the dominant paradigm were treated over the last many hundred years, we learned to suppress those aspects of our nature that were labeled as dangerous and bad. We came to hide our knowledge of healing, our relationship to the earth, our tenderness and hearts – namely many of the ways women are naturally powerful. We learned to hide our internal knowing, our intuition, and instincts. We hid our deep love for the earth and nature, and our relationship to all of life.

 

We women hid that which scared those in power in the dominant paradigm. And men learned to hide things, too.

Now, she is rising. Appearing again. Making herself known. But how? How does she show herself?

She is becoming known in all of us who feel the call to go within, to listen to the inner voice and open to the inner life. She is becoming known again through the awakening of intuition and instinct, through the healing of trauma, and through the attention and love we are now learning to give to our bodies. And she is becoming knowable through the ways we are called to care for each other and for our planet, through the call for justice for all people, through the ways we now see we are a global village.

She is rising through those of us who are not afraid to live the qualities of the feminine and to voice and express her and how she moves. We see her when we are courageous enough to speak and create through her, offering her aspects into the world.

She wasn’t hidden in all peoples. Not completely. Many indigenous cultures and non-dominant peoples stayed closer to her for they kept touch with ceremony, relationship, and medicine. They kept touch with earth wisdom.

 

Last November after the election,

I realized that many of us fear to show what we know, and what we’ve remembered of the feminine within. We fear to embody her. But it is up to us ‘everyday people’ who know her and now realize that she is rising within us and asking us to live her presence into the world.

Yes, it can be frightening to show her to the world through us, through what we speak and write, and through how we are with the earth and nature, with other women. It’s in our cells to be afraid. There were too many burnings to not affect multiple generations down the line.

In response to the normalization of anger, hatred, racism, and misogyny after the election, I felt a deep desire and calling to speak what I know of the feminine through my own experience. So, I began to write and share the deeper nature of eros, the vibrant and sensuous aspects of love, that have become so much of my own lived experience as she has come to move through me more consciously. For she is eros – eros that is the force that thrusts through stem and leaf, body and soul.

We must live her.

We must find a way to no longer be afraid to speak her and be her and show her knowing and wisdom through us. Many of us do healing work and fear truly coming out and speaking the full truth of this work. But while it can be frightening to speak the full truth, it is also invigorating for she is joy and aliveness, sensuality and sensuousness and when we acknowledge these are natural aspects of who we are, we begin to live these qualities in the world.

To live her is to give back to the earth. To live her is to heal you back into wholeness and fullness. To live her is to bring more kindness, compassion into the world. So many of us are addicted to suffering, to war, to violence because we are disconnected from the heart of life. To live her is to offer to the world the medicine that can rebalance our existence as human beings here on our planet, a balance that is not just for human beings but for all of life.

In many ways, there is one woman, one mother. That is why women connecting is so important. It is in our weaving together that we come to know the feminine as whole again. If my body is the earth’s body and your body is the earth’s body, and so on, then in our coming together, we begin to experience the earth in a more full and whole way. At least this is what I sense. I don’t want to make statements of truth. What I offer is an understanding from my experience. And that can shift as we shift.

Each of us lives her uniquely. Each soul’s journey is unique. I don’t mean to make it sound easy. I know it hasn’t been for me. And I know I still have moments where I want to shy away from it. But I also know the truth of this in my heart: that I am here to do this. I am here to remember her and to come into balance, and to be one guide of many to support our species coming back into right relationship with life.

So here’s what I want to know…

Do you feel called to live her? To speak her? To express her? And does this frighten you? Do you feel alone in this? Do you fear what will happen if you live what you know now within yourself?Together

Join me for a free gathering with me and other women this Friday, May 26th, from 11:00 am to Noon PDT. We will drop in and listen and then speak what we hear. We’ll meet on Zoom, a wonderful conference system that allows for us all to be both seen and heard. Register here.

Together

togetheroceanwaves

Join me for Together, a living, fluid, 3-month-long gathering of women. We will meet two times a month, together, by video conference where we will drop in together. We will create community and learn to speak of what we sense and know, and how we might speak this into the world. I will write and create practices and meditations based on what we sense in the field as we are together. (I’ve upgraded JulieDaley.com. You’ll be taken to this new site to read more about Together.

I am also working on a group coaching program for women whose work utilizes much of the feminine principles and who find it difficult to speak about what they do in a way that doesn’t water down the medicine in the work. Let me know if you would be interested in something like this by emailing me at julie (at) juliedaley . com 

We all contribute to the rise of the sacred feminine in our culture by coming to know our own sacredness and by living it into the world. To awaken and live the feminine is to do deep soul work for the feminine is soul. It is the deep and the dark. It is the moist cavern. It is the journey down in and under, and then back up into the light of the sun.

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Meeting Self With Love

by Julie on May 5, 2017

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A few months ago,

I was crossing the street just a block from my apartment. It was a busy intersection with a four-way stop. In San Francisco, everyone is always in a hurry. Always. You can feel drivers ready to pounce on their gas pedals before you, a pedestrian in a crosswalk, ever get across the street. Oftentimes, they don’t wait. Sometimes, they drive right through the crosswalk with you in it. In these circumstances, as someone with early trauma, I’ve tended to jump and startle very easily if a car suddenly pulls toward me and I am unprotected in the crosswalk.

So on this afternoon as I entered into the crosswalk and got about a quarter of the way across, a driver pulled out and immediately began turning toward the crosswalk to make a left turn through it and she did so by punching the gas, meaning she came toward me suddenly. I am always very aware crossing the street, but I did not expect this and I startled so much that I froze in the crosswalk, which led to her lurching to a stop. I just stood there trying to take in what was happening. Freezing is one way of coping with something currently happening that is traumatic, as well as an ingrained pattern from old trauma in the body.

As I stood there with a look of fear on my face,

the woman driving the car got very impatient with me and proceeded to shake her head at me trying to get me to move so she could go through. I was standing there for five seconds at the most and then I started walking again heading to the other side of the road as the driver accelerated through the crosswalk shouting something at me as she drove by.

When I got to the other side of the street and onto the sidewalk, I stopped and noticed my heart was racing and tears were forming in my eyes. My body was responding to this moment as if it was back in the earlier trauma decades ago. I had to ‘unfreeze’ before I could continue walking.

I recently read a quote that spoke to how traumatizing our current culture is. I don’t think we have to look far to see this, especially for those of us living where I live in the U.S. And in this climate if we’ve had any previous trauma at all and haven’t processed that trauma all the way through, we are going to be triggered over and over again. They don’t have to be big triggers. They come out of the blue, which is why they often remind us of the initial trauma. And the way we respond is the way our inner protector responded when the initial trauma happened. This trauma response is our own protection mechanism.

I used to get frustrated with myself.

Now, I no longer do. That all changed one day as I was walking to yoga and I realized (not coming out of the blue really, but rather coming out of an earlier meditation session) that the fierce protection my psyche established was a deep form of love, perhaps the deepest love one’s being can have for itself. I could ‘see’ that my psyche protected itself from fully experiencing the traumatic event(s) by freezing – by doing what I did in that crosswalk. This was an incredible response of love. When I saw this, I could feel love flood my body. Realizing how much you’ve loved yourself is an incredible thing to witness and feel.

When trauma stays stuck in the body, the inner protector of the psyche continues to use the same method(s). And even if we outgrow them (I didn’t really need to freeze in the crosswalk), the protector still uses them until we do whatever work it takes to heal the trauma and allow the trauma cycle to complete.

When trauma is alive in the body, the inner protector is providing a huge loving service to one’s being. If you know this is happening within your being, turn to your protector and give it love and gratitude for how it is working so hard to keep you ‘safe’. Just this will shift things. Not because you are trying to shift them, but because you are actively loving the way you set yourself up to navigate the world while also stuck in a trauma cycle.

When we love things fully and wholly as they are within us – without trying to fix, change, or get rid of them – love moves and heals what is within us.

I have since moved much of that trauma out and I am different. I’m not as jumpy and I have a lot of energy freed up. But I am who I am because I have been through certain traumas, just as you are who you are because of the experiences you have had.

The reason I am sharing this story is to highlight the incredible power of love and what happens when we meet everything we discover within us with love. Pure love that pushes nothing away, that doesn’t try to fix or get rid of, that simply welcomes, holds, and lovingly embraces.

What if you were to have unconditional love for the way your own consciousness responded to what you experienced during the years of your psyche’s formation? Consciousness does what it needs to do to protect itself.

Sometimes we get so frustrated with how we get in our own way, but what if that getting in your own way is actually your protector trying to keep you safe? What if you love it fiercely and thank it for what it has done for you? Do it and watch what unfolds.

Our psyches really do know how to return to love and wholeness.

This is how I work with my coaching clients. Everything we engage in and encounter we meet with love. We do this while working toward their goals. It is in the process of moving toward what you love that you meet the protector trying to keep you safe. And when you meet it with love, what happens is quite beautiful, powerful, and extraordinary.

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Let’s gather, Together

by Julie on April 28, 2017

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Let’s gather, Together

I am in an unfolding, and I am in it with you. I sense we all are. The energies are strong right now. Big energies of change and transformation.
I thought I would be beginning my course RISE this week. But I am not. Instead, I’ve been listening for something new that is just on the edge of making itself known. It was clear that something else was calling to me. RISE had a lot of interest but wasn’t filling. And so I decided to pull it off the market and sit down to listen to what it is that is trying to come.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I think it is powerful to be open about how different things are now than they used to be. We are in some really deep changes on this planet and if we are attuned even a little bit to these changes, we will see how deeply they are affecting our lives – especially those of us who are living and working in these fluid ways as artists and entrepreneurs.
We are in a deeply creative process, one that includes a process of destruction first. A lot of what we have been doing and engaged in is no longer viable, meaning there is no more life in these things. And that is how this work I have been doing for almost 15 years feels with regard to Unabashedly Female. It’s not that the work itself is not good and powerful and deeply transformative – it is that I am needing to bring something forth where I am more alive. Something where what wants to come through me can in a way that is unobstructed.
What I am stepping into is not clear in some ways, but in others it is. Offering a space without curriculum, without a linear focus, but with an overall holding of something profoundly important – a shift for us into a new relationship to the cultural systems, to life itself, to the earth, to each other, and to the natural and organic power-from-within we are learning to embody in order to help birth our new human way of being in this world.
I want to be together with you. I want to see your faces, if you are ready to show them, and if not to hear your voices. I have been holding deep space for some time now through my courses and my coaching. And in these spaces, there is always an agenda of some type which is absolutely appropriate considering the work that is being done. But I want to offer an additional way of being together. It is communion. It is listening. It is a weaving together. And it is a chance for me to share things I see that I haven’t shared before…a way to do it by voice rather than through writing. 
So it is more than a circle. I am leading it and I will speak to things that come up, and yet it is also a place for us to listen to what wants to emerge through all of us being together. We will ask questions. We will listen into things. We will commune together. We will honor Life.
I am not at all sure how this will go but it is in the doing that we learn.

Let’s Gather, Together

Saturday, April 29th, from 9 to 10 am pdt

Register here

there is no cost

For those of you that don’t yet know about Zoom, it is a platform where we can meet by video, or audio, too, if you need to connect by phone.
For one hour we will dance together. Not literally, although I would love that. But we will dance with our time to see what unfolds. I have a few ideas in mind, but I’d love for you to come with your deep listening skills and an open heart.
If you have questions, come with them.

Let’s gather, together.

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Eros, Love, & Real Power

by Julie on April 24, 2017

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Existence is relationship and you are smack in the middle of it. ~ Alan Watts

 

Eros

I am in a deep exploration of Eros. I suppose I have been for quite a while. It was showing up through me – in my photographs and writing – but now I am making a conscious decision to move into a thoughtful, open, inquiring exploration of what this form of love truly is. It is calling me.

Eros is love. It is joy. It is beauty and deep feeling. And it is power…

I’ve been writing a lot about power: the kind of power we see today in our culture and the kind of power that is beginning to take hold in our world that is truly a form of love, a form of Eros. I see these two expressions of power from a relational perspective, for all of life is relational.

Power Over

The power we witness in our culture today is what I call ‘power-over’. Power-over is hierarchical and is characterized by domination and control. In our cultural systems, those in power are held higher in privilege and worth than those who are not. Those who are in power are supreme over those who are not. Those holding up the power structure are those who have power, whether it be through positions of power or unearned privilege.

This is finite power in a closed-loop system. It’s a zero-sum game. Why? It is a systemic power granted by and held within this specific system. The system grants it depending on how high you rank in the system. But there’s a catch. It’s ultimately not true power in the larger reality because there is a greater source of power than power-over.

Power-over is based on control because to believe that this is true power one must ignore the truth that life is really in control – that life is the greater source of power. Think about it. Within our culture, we do not entertain the truth about death (part of life). We push it into some kind of ignorant oblivion. As long as we refuse to see death and its power, and to see the power of nature itself, those in charge and in power of our cultural systems can pretend that they are all powerful beings, which they are doing on a continual basis.

Power-from-within

But there is another form of power emerging. It is power-from-within. Power-from-within is also a systemic power but within a different system – the system of life, whether it be the whole of life or one’s individual life. Over the past decades, people have been becoming more conscious and doing the work to heal wounds and become clearer about who they truly are. What we’ve been doing is waking up to our power-within. Not everyone is doing this, but so many are. And it’s shifting things.

Within one’s own internal system, there is a flow of life force that comes from Source. It is a steady flow through the body while we are alive. The internal world is the world of the feminine, the world of soul. When the feminine rises within, there is a movement to know and live our power-from-within – our naturally creative, life force power – into the physical world.

The thing about power-from-within is that when we live it, we are no longer living solely in flow with the status quo. The power that flows from source is intelligence that is alive. It is fueled with intelligence that knows something more than any one human being, or two, or even three, could know. This intelligence is tied to the whole of life.

Power-from-within is Eros. It is deep creativity. Power-from-within is the expression of this love into the physical world of matter. 

Now you know why Eros has been made to be something to fear or something that is only sexual in nature because if we fear our source of true power, we will stay within the power-over dynamic, even if we are in the ‘under’ position.

Eros is definitely orgasmic, but then orgasmic experiences are, again, found in so much more than just sex.

Power-with

Power-with is when I am living power-from-within alongside you living your power-from-within. Power-with is generative. When I live power-from-within, I take nothing from you. I don’t dominate you. I don’t try to control you. In actuality, the reverse happens. When I live power-from-within and you witness this happening, the awareness of your own power source begins to be awakened in you.

Eros

So here’s the thing. Alan Watts wrote, “Existence is relationship and you are smack in the middle of it.” In order to navigate and negotiate power-over structures from a power-from-within approach, we must come to remember that we are smack in the middle of life itself. A power-over system is not the ‘big’ system of life. It is pretending that it has that power, but it does not. When we come deeper into the real relationship with life and know ourselves wholly from this place, we can then see these power-over structures for what they are. It does not mean they go away, but we can navigate them differently with this generative life-affirming power.

We navigate them differently through Eros and our relationship with Nature and the Earth. Earth becomes our foundation. We begin to weave our power-from-within together.

We become resourceful and resilient, together.

Eros is love. It is deep feeling. It is beauty and joy. It is pleasure. It is life moving through life, asking life to blossom fully. This is the love we can embody in order to bring a new world into being. Eros connects us and when we are connected we are much more powerful in responding to the power-over structures.

When sleeping women wake, mountains move. – Chinese proverb

It is time to awaken to our power-from-within. To do so, we must go within. That is the task at a hand and we are up for it.

***

This is what I do in my coaching. I guide you to awaken to Eros, to your power-from-within. I then walk with you as you begin to live this in the world. I’d love to be your coach.

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The True Hunger

by Julie on April 15, 2017

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We live in a culture that wants to super-size us. We’re supposed to constantly reach for more, whether that be more stuff, bigger goals, or a better self – even a better, more beautiful evolved spiritual self. There is a consistent and insistent voice telling us to keep reaching, that somewhere out there we will finally find that which will be the one thing that will make us extraordinary enough to satisfy the demand.

 

We do this until one day we feel the ridiculous exhaustion it causes within us. Ridiculous because nothing out there could ever satisfy the false hunger this attempts to fill. The false hunger will always want more and more and more to satisfy it but it can’t be satisfied because it is built upon a foundation of ‘not enough’. A foundation of scarcity.That is its core identity. And so it has no desire to really see through the endless journey of suffering to finally becoming enough. But we feel the exhaustion of trying. So we stop. But before long, like a trick birthday candle, this false hunger lights up again and we’re off on our way to the Land of More that lies somewhere out there beyond a horizon we cannot get to.

I know this cycle well. I’ve lived this cycle over and over and over. I had a very lovely woman for my counselor when I was at Stanford who finally asked me, upon the eve of graduation, “Julie, when will it be enough? When will you feel you have achieved enough?” Funny that she was working at Stanford. But not really. She had the prime seat to watch this play of continual striving for more play out. It wasn’t the desire to learn and grow she was commenting on. It was what she saw in me (and so many others): the endless search for something that would fill this false hunger.

I now know the feeling when the trick candle goes out. The feeling of ‘ oh, right, I’ve been in that cycle again. I am exhausted and I haven’t gotten anywhere, really. It’s harder to feel the trick candle light up again. It’s subtle. Terribly subtle.

Over the past months, a very simple truth has finally dawned on me. The true hunger has become clear. It’s not for anything really. It’s simpler. There’s a quiet voice inside of me that says, “I get to just be myself. I get to just be myself.” That’s it.

That’s it.

Some of that spiritual striving has actually helped me uncover myself enough to recognize the self I long ago thought could never be enough or could never be redeemed. She’s quite lovely in her simplicity. She’s beautifully ordinary in that there’s nothing special about her at all. And yet, at the same time, she’s got a really funky uniqueness that the false hunger thought was too weird, too strange. But when I hear those words inside, “I get to just be myself.”, I soften and the trick candle goes out and I can see and feel and hear what’s right here in front of me. And here, I can feel the profound beauty within that has always been here. The profound beauty that we are and that is visible when all of the clamors of the false hunger dies down.

It is from this place that I can truly RISE because it is what is – the truth of who and what I am. This place is within each of us. That’s the operative word – within. It will never be found out there. Never, ever. And it cannot be found by following the false hunger.

There is a true hunger. It is the hunger to remember, to uncover, oneself as one already is and then to simply live as this self. No one can tell you what is ‘the false’ and what is ‘the true’. Only you can feel it. But when you soften and stop and listen, you are close to knowing.

Who I really am is quite quirky and quite dignified, too. And really quite joyful and playful. We are like this on the inside. Quite beautifully quirky and that is good.

Who are you?

***

RISEBannerNEW03My potent and practical course, R I S E, is now open for registration. The early-bird price ends on Tuesday, April 18th.

We just finished up the first round and it gave me such joy to witness the subtle and loving ways this course works to remove the layers that hide our true selves from ourselves. The participants experienced many shifts in how they navigate the world and made concrete choices and progress towards real life goals. Yes, this course is both spiritual and practical, but then true spirituality is extremely practical in nature.

R I S E begins on April 25th for 9 weeks. If you’ve been following my work for some time, you know I offer a powerful and safe container within to do some beautiful life-changing transformational ‘work’. And I want to invite you to come join me. Check out the course. Let me know if you want to join and are finding challenges to doing so. If you feel called to be there, it is important for you to be there when we begin.

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