Let’s gather, Together

by Julie on April 28, 2017 · 0 comments

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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 · 0 comments

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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 · 0 comments

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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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FFOA

Today, March 20th, is World Storytelling Day.

And, I have a story to share with you. Many stories really, but first this one…

 

For years now…

I’ve been moving in spaces of the feminine, whether that be in energies of the feminine principle, the elements of the Earth, or spaces solely filled with women. My experiences in these have unveiled and reshaped who I know myself to be not just as a human being, but as a woman and who I am with women. This was my hope when I founded Unabashedly Female – to come to know the feminine as She moves through me, as She is in other women, as She is in men, and as She moves through the worlds.

For me, both storytelling and writing have been a part of this process. Two deeply creative acts. Through writing my stories and sharing them here, I’ve discovered deeper layers of the feminine. In writing the stories, I began to see things about myself, my life, and my relationship to the world, from a deeper, wider arc. By sharing them, I began to hear from you that these stories guided you to see things about the feminine, about yourself, and about who you are becoming. Sharing our stories does this. And writing from down in where we excavate the deeper truths does this.

All too often the Voice of Judgment (VOJ), another deep and powerful way of seeing the Inner Critic especially with regard to creativity, vehemently hates us sharing these deeper stories of truth that lay waiting inside of us for breath and life and ears to listen. These are the stories that truly unveil, the stories that cast light where there was shadow.

And so, of course, as Life would want…

I managed to find a way to begin to write these stories AND share them. Though in the beginning, it had to be with a very small group of women who are writers and with whom I felt comfortable enough to go there…to write these stories. Writing with these women – Ronna Detrick, Amy Palko, and- for over two years has been the fertile ground of my becoming, and fertile for each of them as well.

Today on World Storytelling Day…

Our group, which we have named Fierce For One Another, is sharing one of our many braided essays – Limned. We have many braided essays; enough to fill a beautiful woven book of feminine voice and experience. We did this through a process of discovery.

Yes, we are fierce for one another. Through writing together, for the most part weekly over the past two plus years, we have found a place where no matter what we write and read to each other over our weekly calls, we hold the line of fierceness for the words, the stories, and the woman we have been and are becoming.

About a year into our time together, we began to braid our words together. Braiding is a very feminine attribute as is this process of writing together. Weaving together into relationship, through story, finding the lines that meet, walk together, then meander to another. Words that call resonate, phrases that catch the breath and must be penned again, essential fragrances of womanhood that demand to be known again in the light of the heart, in this realm of flesh and blood, in this day and time.

In this process, each of us would begin a piece and then we came together to read them. Then, we would each pass our words onto another woman who would carry on from our last word to share her story that, while indeed her own, was born out of the first. We then came back to read, and then we passed them on again. And so on, until the piece returned to the first woman, who sometimes would finish with her words, and would sometimes feel that the piece already stood on its own.

Today, we offer you Limned.

It is a braided story that in some ways is also about story and tales. But these aren’t fairy tales. These are rich, embodied, stories of our lives, sometimes sharing memories and sometimes coming directly out of our felt experience of that moment.

I hope you enjoy Limned. And if you do not know Ronna, Amy, or Tanya, I hope this leads you to their work for they are powerfully creative women whose businesses are about empowering the women to live as we are.

A p.s. : we sometimes swear … a fair bit.

After listening, I’d love to know what you feel and think of this long braided story. It’s just over 36 minutes so you might listen as you walk in the woods, or urban woods if you live in the city like me. Or curl up on your sofa and with hot tea in hand, sink in.

However you listen, I hope you feel the power of four women coming together to write what is true in that moment, to share their stories together, to become so in love with each other that we hold each other’s words, stories, and lives as sacred and worthy of ears who will listen without judgment and with love. I wish this for you. Not necessarily the writing, but the closeness with women, this space of love, this acceptance of whom you are and the stories you have to tell.

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Becoming An Agent of Change

by Julie on March 13, 2017

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We are creating our world with our actions. Our actions affect the whole. And, our words (or other actions) can be powerful catalysts if we source them from within and will write or speak them into the world.

When some people have more power than others because their voice is heard by more people and they are in positions of authority, those people have more power to shape the story of this world and how it unfolds. And when those who have little to no power have no voice, little to no authority, the powerful keep their stranglehold on the cultural narrative.

So what do we do? How do we change this?

There are many of us who have more power than we think. We’ve learned in many ways that we are powerless, but we are not. We might not be in traditional positions of power, but many of us have access to the world wide web, which is part of creating this new culture. And we all have the power to create community and to be part of many communities.

If you are reading my words, you have this access. You, too, have this power to create our culture. Your voice matters. Your creations matter.

So what keeps you from being a part of this new creation?

What keeps your voice quiet?

What keeps your words unknown, perhaps even to you?

How might you become an agent of change in a way that is grounded in Soul?

I see this as a process.

  1. Come into your inner world. Deepen your awareness of what this world is and what your inner voice is saying. Listen.
  2. Find some method or practice to bring what you find/hear in your inner world into this outer world, even if it is simply for yourself. You can do this through writing or art-making or even dance. But find some practice that puts into form what you find within.
  3. Discern if what you’ve brought into form wants to indeed be shared with others. Does it need to be spoken into the world?
  4. Realize that you are the authority of what comes through you. And you are the authority of whether or not you get to say what you need to say, share what you need to share. No one else can give you this authority. No one else can tell you whether or not what you have to share is worthy of being shared. This is a crucial piece of the creative process – to no longer judge yourself and your own inner voice and knowing. To no longer stuff it down inside you. It can be simply a decision you make. And, this can take some deeper internal transformational work to shift your beliefs, something I do as a coach.
  5. To become an agent of your own voice, to find agency within yourself. Agency – the ability to take action, the impulse to move and express – comes out of an internal kind of thrusting, just like the seed cracks and thrusts out of the soil and into the world. What is the source of this power? It comes out of Source itself, out of Eros, the impulse to live, to express fully, to know oneself fully.I have found that personal agency comes out of the transformation of our stuck emotional leftovers, by doing the inner work that allows the energy itself to transform into the essential qualities of who you are – especially anger. When anger is thwarted, our agency is, too. Even if we are one who expresses a lot of anger, it still isn’t our essential strength. Essential qualities lie under the emotions we use to navigate the world. When I worked with anger and rage, what I found access to were essential strength, will, and power.It is normal to feel anger. It is a sign that something is off, wrong. When it stays stuck, which it does when we are young because more often than not children are taught to stuff their anger down, we have little to no access to our sacred strength, will, and power. Instead, we push and strive which is tiring. Sacred, essential energies flow naturally once we do the work to transform these stuck energies.
  6. Take action that is aligned with your own unique expression in this world, action that aligns with what you value. There is great power in no longer simply being against something, but rather being for the birthing of something new.

This is how we each become an agent of change – through our own internal agency. If what we are acting upon is this inner voice, this inner knowing, this is power from within.

It is power with others. It doesn’t seek to deny others of power. Rather, it is generative power. It is life-affirming because the inner voice is the greater intelligence that is at the heart of life.

On Saturday morning, I popped onto Facebook Live to share what was really burning inside of me. Basically, I followed these steps. This is what I shared. Please feel free to share it with others if you feel it would be helpful.

 

Toward the end, I mention that I think it is helpful to find a place where you can practice these steps – where you can get comfortable going into the inner world, listening for what is there, writing the words down, and then speaking them out loud. There is great power in connecting the inner voice and the physical voice. Many of us as women have been silenced from a young age, oftentimes by our mothers or other women who want to help us stay safe. But now we must speak if we are to be agents of change – if we are to come to embody both authority and agency.

sweetpeaswscriptspring2017This is one of the main reasons I started Writing Raw almost three years ago – to give women exactly this experience. The writing is secondary. What matters is that you come to express the vast creative voice of your inner world out here into the external world.

Writing Raw begins tomorrow, March 14th. You can join anytime this first week.

Please join us if you feel this is a necessary next step in your evolution as an agent of change. We are all in this together and isn’t it wonderful to be together?

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Eros. A Beautiful Thing.

by Julie on March 4, 2017

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Eros. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve often felt this underlying sense of grief that I cannot name. Sometimes it’s just a sense that I don’t want to be here. Not in the literal sense, but more of a kind of distancing from life. It’s like a contraction, like a pulling into myself. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. Everything contracts in the universe. Everything. And it expands. It’s a cycle of expansion and contraction.

But what I’ve noticed lately is that much of my pulling inward was learned. I learned to suppress my power – my Eros – because as a young girl it was much safer to relate through my powerlessness. I was a full-on force of nature when I was small – as we all are. Right? Do you remember this? Feeling like you were so alive, so full, so present, so much in love? I remember it at about the age of 3, maybe 4, before I started to see that the big people (adults) preferred little girls to be much less ‘active’ shall we say.

When I think of Eros, I think of the energy of Yes, the energy of life. Think about small children. They are all about the YES!

Eros is the ‘YES’ inside of us. It’s our vitality. Our yearning. If we’ve been down, depressed, grieving, sad, we can be out of touch with Eros, our life force. Suddenly when we come into contact with it again, we feel alive again.

Eros is the energy of change, that aspect of creativity that is a spark of consciousness desiring to be born. Osho once said, “God is in the new.” Eros is our dance with the Beloved that takes us out of complacency and into the arms of the mysterious force that cracks seeds, pushes sprouts through the soil, and thrusts the blossom open.

Eros is intimacy, magnetism. Eros is growth. Eros is joy and abundance. Eros is the cherry tree in full cherry! (I love Neruda’s, “I want to do with you what Spring does with the cherry trees.“)

Eros is our power. Power from within. And when we are not in touch with it, we are sad creatures.

Eros has been drawn down into a small, small sliver so that so many of us now think Eros or the erotic is simply about sex. It includes sex for sure, but it is so much more. And I feel we are suffering as human beings here in cultures where this is so because we no longer know Eros as the fullness that it is.

I often write of wholeness, but I haven’t written of fullness as much. I in my own journey I see how important this coming back to fullness is. I remember when I sat with Brigid’s flame in Kildare, Ireland, how the one thing I felt was fullness. The feeling was clear and distinct.

I’m now embarked on a spectacular dance with Eros. A full-on immersion into what this is. And this is taking shape in two ways – at least two right now.

sweetpeaswscriptpageheaderOne – Spring 2017 Writing Raw

This circle will be focused on Eros & Joy. It begins March 14th. The early-bird price ends tonight, March 4. We are going to have fun in this session. Not that the other ones are not, but this is the first time I’ve declared a focus for the session. Find out more and register here.

Two – I’m creating a podcast all about this exploration of Eros.

I have no idea where it will take me – or you my readers. I’m nervous about it, to tell you the truth. But as Fritz Perls once said, “Fear is excitement without the breath.”

I’d love to know what questions you have about Eros and invite you to contact me so I have some great places to begin my exploration.

 

Right now, we need to rekindle, even catalyze, Eros because it is the force that blossoms change and we are in the midst of a deep cycle of death and rebirth. What is coming and how can we midwife it? Through embracing Eros in our lives, through opening to the source of Eros within us.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

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Aging and the Impulse to Love

by Julie on February 22, 2017 · 4 comments

 

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“If we age honestly, we become love.”
~ Jeff Brown

I recently ended a relationship. A sort-of relationship. It was really more of an exploration. A romance of sorts. A getting to know each other. But it was short-lived – six months from bow to stern.

I’ve been single for over five years. A long time. And in that time I’ve grown older, although I don’t really feel older. I’m in good shape. I love to exercise. I’m physically strong and agile. Yet, I am growing older. I am aging. I am aging honestly, as honestly as I can.

After five years of singledom, I noticed how I’ve changed. I don’t hold back like I used to. I tell the truth, as much as I am aware of it. Aging Honestly

I liked him.
I told him so.
I wanted more.
I told him so.
I let my love fly.
I let my desire run.
I allowed my heart to break.
Open.

And then it ended. And in the heartbreak, I’ve lingered in my memories of us together. I can still feel the sparks. I can still feel the warmth of his chest against my bare skin. I can still feel us. My time with him changed who I know myself to be. A great gift. Deep intimacy will do that.

And I see that what I felt as ‘us’ is also what I am as ‘me’. Great and beautiful longing, running hot, fluidly, sensually – a sublime connection that turned to love. Yes, over this time I came to love him. And, I sense this is partly so because I am older. I long to love deeply. I long to touch tenderly. I long to be with another, to connect intimately, to know the experience of being fully alive in this body.

As I age, I am becoming very aware of the incredible gift it is to be a human being. And how fleeting our time is here. And I am becoming aware of how we spend so much of our time worried, disconnected, stressed out, striving, and so little time being tender with each other, truly exploring the senses, opening to the delight available to us that can come out of trust and kindness.

I came to love him because I am love wanting to love. I can feel love wanting to love through me. But up until now, I think I thought that the intense longing, this intensity was indicating my desire for a man in my life.

I see now that I yearn to love. Yes, men. But more than that. That this love that continues to push me is to embrace life, to offer myself to it.

It is a yearning. A deep and lovely yearning. 

I miss being with him. I haven’t yet met another. But when I tune into this love, I don’t think it cares. It wants to love everywhere and everything.

If we age honestly, we become love. is the first line of a longer quote, but I love this first line just a tad more that the whole. It is short and to the point. It feels so poignant and true and like a powerful punch to the gut.

And this is the rest of Jeff’s wisdom…

If we age honestly, we become love. As the body weakens, love surges through us, longing to be released, longing to be lived. With no time left to not love, we seek authentic embrace everywhere. Our deft avoidance maneuvers convert into directness. Our armored hearts melt into pools of eternal longing. This is why we should look forward to aging. Finally, after all the masks and disguises fall away, we are left with love alone. God waits for us on the bridge between our hearts.

***

Those moments of life that stay with you. The first blush of my bare chest against the heat of his. Standing, so close, lips connected yet silently still as we lingered in this moment we’d hungered for. The impulse to move and arch and join together pulsing between us, but in this one moment something beautiful and holy was taking place. A silent communion where the meeting of flesh was like two hands pressed against a glass that stood between. So close. Two hearts reaching out past the shoreline of skin’s border. Oceans mingling. A momentary peace rising along the edge before the wave rose and crested, then broke between us.

How I loved lingering there. And while it could not be forever, love seared this moment into somewhere even more essential than marrow. And I taste it still.

 

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What is the Feminine Narrative?

by Julie on February 17, 2017

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photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

 

 

There is a tenderness to this world that is often seen as weak.

There is an inherent beauty to all things that is so often trampled upon, like the tender violet finding its way toward sunlight.

There is a necessary quality of care for human beings who are very vulnerable – the young, the old, and the ill – that is close to invisible in our cultural conversation.

There is a mysterious nature to life and death that we fear and so we, both men and women, project it onto those who embody this mystery – women.

The feminine has been normalized in a way that is not an accurate or dignified representation of the feminine nor of those human beings who embody her.

In our human conversation,

there is much judgment and labeling of what is good and valuable, and what is bad and worth little, rather than a discerning eye for the nature of things as they are.

While we might want to believe that humans aren’t capable of discerning without judging, I disagree. When we become more conscious of our direct experience, we begin to be able to put words to our experience in a way that creates a whole-encompassing narrative rather than categorizing into a hierarchy of worth and value.

Perhaps that is the key – that we find a way to help each other to become more conscious of our own direct experience. One way we can do this is to begin to put words to it.

Over the past few months, something has been noodling in my thoughts. I’ve noticed how, at least in the United States where I live, our cultural conversation has ‘normalized’ things that are not normal.  I’ve watched how the cultural narrative has shifted as different people have come into power. Angry – really rageful – rhetoric is now seen by many to be a ‘normal’ way of speaking to another. Statements are made as fact, even if they are not. These statements are repeated over and over until people begin to believe they are fact. And then a new narrative is born based on lies, deceit, and ignorance.

When people in power speak and behave in a certain way, we can begin to believe it is the new ‘normal’ or that it is ‘true’. And then, suddenly, we have a new narrative about what is ‘real’.

Consider the cultural narrative about women and the feminine.

When I listen to how women are portrayed and discussed in our culture, I am not hearing or seeing my experience, which is very different. I am not hearing my narrative spoken. While my white experience is reflected, my experience of being a woman is not.

So I offer this to you…

Who will normalize the female experience if we do not as women? Who will normalize and make explicit one’s experience of the feminine aspects of life if those of us who are becoming conscious of them do not?

We have a creative opportunity at hand. We get to write our own narrative about ourselves – about women and the feminine. If we are willing to pay attention to the truth of our lives and the truth of ourselves, we can come to write a narrative of what it is to be female and what it is to embody the feminine. I am not saying we are all the same. Not at all. But, there are certain strands and threads that run through our experiences because these strands and threads run through the feminine herself.

[And by the way, I hope men do this, too. I sense the current cultural narrative of what it is to be a man is not based on many men’s experiences.]

The feminine is not only white.
The feminine is not only straight.
The feminine is not only Christian.
The feminine is not only thin.
The feminine is not only ‘beautiful’.
And, the feminine is not just female.

Who will define (and normalize) the feminine or the female experience if we do not? If we, ourselves, are not willing to be vocal about what this experience is?

Since the election,

I’ve been posting on Facebook in the early morning hours for exactly this purpose. In these hours when the night sky is black and my deepest thoughts are most lucid, I manage to find words that shed light on my personal experience as a woman without them becoming too linear and logical. In these early hours, I write from the deeper places in my body and soul, the places from which the feminine can be known, for the feminine is the internal world, she is the world of soul, she is the beautiful darkness and never-to-be-fully-known mysterious nature of life. She is much more than this, but these are ways to speak of her.

We can give voice to our experience. We can offer our narrative to each other and to the world. The feminine has been hidden and now she is becoming visible again, and one way she can is through feminine expression into the world of form.

We can write her into being and we will have a more accurate representation and narrative if all women do so.

If you were to offer a narrative of the feminine, what would you say and how would you share it? How would you give voice to your real and true experience?

We’re in this together and we need all of us, together, to normalize the feminine narrative. Isn’t that a wonderful realization?

 

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Watershed: A Moment of Awakening

by Julie on February 11, 2017

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Watershed

This remembering and returning.
Wave upon wave.
A spiral that begins with wide arcs
Never seeming to make their way around
To anything recognizable.
Until one day they do
And I notice
The slightest sense that
I’ve been here before.
Rediscovering something I’d discovered before.
About who I used to be.
But now there’s less veil and more light.

Big mind unknotting.
Catching glimpses of who I am and
Who I thought I had to become.
At the same time,
Flashing back and forth
Beginning to understand
I can now let go.

A mind so very tired of
Believing I am separate
Vigilantly watching
Carefully holding on
While remembering what it was like
To be free
To love the sunshine
To feel unabashed joy
And to simply love what I loved.

Watershed moment
Who am I now?
Back and forth
Unknotting and releasing
A distinct sense of Self, emerging
That isn’t distinct at all
Then birdsong sings and joy floods in
And I realize there is but One
Who is both tired and joyful
Unwinding and free.

***

Yesterday was a full moon eclipse. I experienced something powerful – an unknotting of my awareness. It was quite amazing, really, to witness my thoughts and how I kept seeing through them. But it was without effort. All I did was stay present to what was occurring.

I was walking along when tears came and my mind and heart opened. There was a distinct sense of organic qualities that were just present, while layered upon this was a sense of a created self, born out of trauma and a reaction that turned into habits. A created self who monitors vigilantly, hovering above the self who just is, joyful and radiant, soft and curious, tender and vibrant. A created self, born out of a fractured relationship to life from that trauma, now believing it was separate and wary. As I walked, my awareness slipped back and forth between the two. The wary one was aware that it could possibly let go, that it just might be safe enough to return to the open spacious awareness it was before it became vigilant. And then it let go as much as it was ready to and I softened. And I realized that our consciousness identifies with some idea of self and then habits build up around that idea of self that help to maintain that idea of self. I could clearly see this.

I immediately wrote the above poem to capture the essence of what had happened because it was such a profound experience to be so conscious of it while it was occurring.

***

I share it with you because I know we are all on the same journey – the journey home. When we share our stories, we help each other come to see what is happening within our own experience.RISEstairsbadge

This is much of what my new course R I S E is about – allowing our wholeness (creativity) to be the source from which we choose to make choices in our lives. Our wholeness is here, but we’ve fractured into ideas of who we believe ourselves to be, oftentimes making it really hard to experience who we truly are. We can step back and root down into our wholeness. We can come to live from this place.

And when we do it with others, together, we lift each other up. We rise together.

This is going to be a beautiful, potent exploration. I know sometimes that can be frightening, but it is truly a chance to explore and discover yourself in a way you’ve perhaps longed to do.

R I S E begins on Tuesday, Feb 14th – Valentine’s Day – for this is ultimately about love and letting love be the guide for your life.

 

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Earth, isn’t this what you want: to arise within us, invisible?
Isn’t it your dream to be wholly invisible someday?–O Earth: invisible!
What, if not transformation, is your urgent command?
~ Rilke

I begin this post with a quick exercise for you…

Take a moment right now to think of something you’ve done in the past week where you didn’t know how you would do it. Let your mind float back to a time… There are many little moments when this happened. Pick just one. Think of the moment when you had the AHA! about how to do what you didn’t know how to do. This moment when the idea came to you. Be with that moment for a bit to relive the experience.

You might close your eyes and do this exercise right now.

Now that you’ve thought about that moment, what did you notice? How did the idea come to you? Perhaps it was more like a ‘knowing’ than an idea. Was there a feeling of AHA!?  Did you wrestle with not knowing before the idea came? Were you worried or anxious? And once you got the idea, where did it come from?

* * *

To do something when you don’t know how to do it is an act of creation. It requires trust.

To do something new and innovative is an act of creation. Trust needed here, too.

To live a human life is a continuous act of creation. It is a continuous act of self-creation, moment to moment, yet you are not conscious that you are doing it. You’re just living your life. But something deeper within you is conscious. It is guiding your unfolding.

To engage fully in this human life, consciously, takes an enormous amount of trust between you and this something deeper.

Really, to engage in any act of creation requires this trust between you and this something deeper.

We could call this deep creativity. To become conscious of this is to really get the sense that there IS this something deeper and you ARE already in a relationship with it – whether you are conscious of it or not.

You might not trust it yet, not fully, but trust me – it trusts you. This something deeper trusts you and knows you.

* * *

I write often about creativity and have for close to fifteen years. And, over those years I’ve been frustrated in doing so. You’d think I would move on to another topic. Right? But something in me is determined to change the narrative around creativity. Why? For a long time, I didn’t really fully know why. But now I do. Now it is very clear to me. It has taken what’s happening now in our world – great turmoil, the rise of hate and fundamentalism, and the undoing of the structures and systems for me to sit down to write this out…and along the way to understand it more fully.

There are a few different ways we think of creativity. Problem-solving. Innovation. Artistic talent. But, I actually like this definition from Dictionary.com:

…the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination…

How do we then transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, etc.? Or in other words, how do we get out of our own conditioned thinking and when we do what is it we are tapping into?

It is ‘this something deeper’.

And, here’s the thing. This something deeper IS the reason your creativity is unique. This something deeper is your deep Self. It is outside of conditioning. And it holds the potential of what is possible. It is out of this something deeper that the new can come.

So think back to the beginning, to the exercise I had you do. From where did that idea come?  It came from within you. Yes, YOU ARE this brilliant source of creativity. You ARE creative. You live it in many simple ways each day and sometimes in big, flashy insights and ideas.

So why is this important now? If you think about how humans are acting and reacting right now, consider how original our thoughts are. Consider the nature of fundamentalism. Consider linear, rational thought. How creative are we being when we are stuck in the same old, same old? Life is always changing. Life is always flowing. Rigidty in thought and action is a way to try to control that which cannot be controlled. What we must do is learn to move and flow with Life, to rise so that Earth can arise from within us.

What we need are people – many people, all people, everyone – beginning to trust in this something deeper within them – within us. We need people who are truly able to open up to this creative source within because this is where the new will emerge from – the new world, the new way, the new expression of how we choose to be in the world as human beings.

* * *

volcanoRISEsmallThis is why I am offering R I S E, now. This course takes you into direct relationship with this deep creativity. It ignites and supports trust in this something deeper. It offers tools and practices to deepen into this creative source.

It awakens you to your potential and capacity to effect real change in the world.

I’ve extended the early bird price through Sunday, Feb 5th. Take a look. See if it’s right for you. And, if you know of someone you think is looking for this, ready for this, please pass it on. I truly want those who are ready to R I S E in this way to join me. We begin February 14th, because we are Love arising.

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