Wide-eyed, Feral-hearted Instinct

by Julie on January 25, 2014 · 12 comments


Foxline by oprisco


No. I won’t.

No. I won’t.

No. I. Won’t.


I woke up this morning feeling a deep, throbbing ‘NO’, deep in the belly, deep in the instinctual flesh.


The voice inside would not stop. It had finally found it’s way out.

My solar plexus pulsed.

Power center coming back online.


I got up and made tea, and then sat in the early morning hours slowly drinking it, slowly taking it in, down my throat.

I sat down on the cushion for a short meditation…that stretched into an hour.

The throbbing continued.

The solar plexus pulsed…hard.

Power center coming back online. I didn’t know there was this much power to be found in this body.


This NO was going NOwhere. It had come home and had NO intention of leaving.

It grew louder, more insistent. Growling. Gutteral. Very Ujjayi.

Throat breathing straight up from the belly.

Power center coming back online.

Sitting in not-so-quiet repose, on the cushion, wired like one of those power stations you see way out in the desert, far, far away from civilization.

A power center too hot and too dangerous for the ‘civilized world’.

Thank God.


I’ve been…

Too silent.

Too civilized.

I’ve swallowed too many NOs.

Wide-eyed and feral-hearted instinct repeatedly drowned in an ocean of acquiescence.


But wide-eyed, feral-hearted instinct can’t be silenced forever. That’s not how life moves. Death brings rebirth. Eventually, everything comes full circle.

Soul will  shake the concrete off, breathe the cobwebs out, tear the windpipes loose.

Deep-knowing, dignified bones eventually rattle themselves free… 







Allow The Dark To Grow You

by Julie on January 14, 2014 · 4 comments



illustration by Kristin Noelle

I’ve been aware of the newness of things.
Soft. Fresh. Not quite open.
Something still tucked away, not yet ready to be revealed.

Where is this within you, this ‘something new’ that is not quite ready to be in the light?
Treasure this.
It is a magical thing to stay in the dark, taking in nourishment,
discovering the shape, fragrance, and texture of who you are yet to be.

Don’t rush this.

Allow the dark to grow you.

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Sometimes, we must enter the dark to grow; we must enter so we can, too, be held like we hold. They are one in the same. It is a natural expression of the Feminine to hold, to nourish. Natural.

As we hold, we are held. Take time to come into this embrace, consciously, with reverence…just the way you long to be held and known. She is no different.

Don’t fear the dark. It is rich with nutrients, rich with soul food. Yes, it will strip away; yes, you will be transformed; yes, you will be reborn – if you allow the dark to grow you.

If you allow the dark to grow you, you will bring back to life all that you pretended to put to death; and all that you’ve pretended is life and alive, will die.


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Kristin Noelle illustrated this beautiful image of being held in the darkness of the Universal womb. Working from just the few lines at the top that I sent her, she created this powerful image. It speaks directly to what I wanted to share.

Kristin Noelle is a Los Angeles-based illustrator. She creates soulful art that fosters a worldview of trust. Find her at www.kristinnoelle.com and be sure to check out Blessings - a 10-day series of inspired, illustrated blessings.

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Speaking of the power of the female belly, I’m co-facilitating a one-day retreat on the land in West Marin County:

A Woman’s Belly: Source of Health, Strength, and Creativity

Register here

At a wooded retreat site named Paradise, we’ll explore the health, strength, and creativity of our female belly. My friend and colleague, Simone de Winter, is an Ayurvedic Practitioner. Together, Simone and I will weave a day full of belly wisdom and love. It was Simone who led me through the powerful cleanse just three months ago.

We would love to have you join us for this intimate day.

Simone describes what she will offer:

“Ayurveda offers the lifestyle, dietary and herbal support. Yoga is often part of the lifestyle support, which can be in the form of breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation, chanting, mantra, movement and postures. Yoga offers a path to self-realization, freedom from the constraints of the mind. We all know about the role of the mind in health and self-care. And in this pursuit, if practiced in the right way, it can be very disarming for the nervous system. Another beautiful way in which they come together is in the understanding of the subtle body, where the chakras are found. In working with a woman’s belly we work with the second chakra, the creativity center.”

And, I’ll be sharing:

If we are to really be happy in the world, and to live our nature, then we must come into an alive and loving, compassionate relationship with our bodies. For women, this has many difficulties because we’ve been taught to objectify ourselves – to see our bodies as objects, and to relate to them that way. Instead, when we come to experience our bodies as beautiful alive creatures, not objects at all, by listening deeply to them, we begin to express what it is they offer into a world that, I feel, is truly thirsty for the alive, creative expression of awakened womanhood.

We women give birth to many things, not just babies. When we become conscious of this, and when we rediscover how to listen and honor what the womb can bring forth, we begin to live this very natural capacity of womanhood. It’s a matter of listening, honoring, and trusting, and then expressing these energies. In all honesty, we are rediscovering this. After so many centuries of women being disconnected from the creative capacities of the female body, at least in most of the industrialized world, we are coming to realize just how crucial it is that we embody these capacities –that we live them.



Life is a mystery –  a big, bold, beautiful, pregnant, gracious, infinite, and sacred mystery.


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Life isn’t a logical process. It’s not a machine that we can make run smooth and efficiently. It’s not controllable. It doesn’t bend to our wants. It doesn’t take commands.

Who decided it was a good idea to put the analytical, logical, reasonable thinking mind in charge of trying to navigate life?

Poor logical mind. No wonder it gets so stressed out, so burned out, so controlling and fearful. It’s trying to do a job it just cannot do. How can you possibly use logic and reason to live the mystery and stay sane? It’s learned ways to cope with this job (we all have our ingrained coping mechanisms that really aren’t so great at doing what they are intended to do!), but coping and hanging on just isn’t living, is it?!

No wonder we keep thinking up the same old ideas, creating the same old stuff, digging ourselves as a species deeper into our own worn-out, status-quo ruts. The thinking mind is very good at perpetuating its ruts and stories, dragging out its outdated ideas and beliefs. It’s not good an honoring the mystery because it just doesn’t ‘get it’. It’s not designed to ‘get it’. It’s designed to handle the places where rationality and logic are needed…and there are many places…but it’s not designed to birth what is completely and utterly new. The thinking, logical mind can help midwife the new, but it can’t get pregnant. Pregnancy is for womb’s, the source of the mystery, the source of Life itself.

If we want to birth the new, we must listen to Life and what is trying to be born. If we want to be loving midwifes to what can be, we must feel for new life stirring, feel for the first heartbeats, and be willing to support this new life into being.

Like deep rich soil, like a teeming ocean, the place of gestation shimmers with a wordless, graceful essence we will never fully know; yet, we can know what is emerging from this wordless, graceful ocean as it emerges…as it is born. To do so, we must learn to listen and open, to be ready to bring forth, to be used as vessels for this Love that is Life.

Our bodies know the way. Our hearts will guide. Our minds can rest and when they are needed they can be ready to serve. Every part has a sacred part to play in this mysterious dance, and when they play their natural parts, the really do play.

Find what feels like play – to your body, your heart, and your mind. Find what brings that quiet joy, that aliveness that causes a whole-body smile. Put your ear to the big womb and listen for the heartbeat of life and find the place in yourself where you long to midwife it into being.

This is where the new world, a new way, will emerge…from the dark that we all can once again learn to trust. It isn’t the enemy…it is Life teeming with Life.

And, this is where the old world, the old way, will die back into – the dark that we all can once again learn to trust. It isn’t the enemy…it is Life receiving into itself what has lived its course.

We really do love the New – it’s why we get so excited for these New things like New Years Day. The real beauty is that it is only an illusion that this New Year will lose its newness. Life never loses its newness, just as it never stops letting go into death. They are bedfellows – the New and the Dying. If you feel into this, you’ll feel the whole arc of Life, this shimmering graceful essence.

May this New Year – a construct of the logical mind that need dates, times, goals – be a turning point for us all to become lovers and midwives of the New, the fresh, the playful innocence of Life wanting to know itself anew – and lovers and midwives of the dying.

May you hold your womb with just as much love, respect, and kindness as you hold your logical, rational mind.

May we love all. May we love well.


Womb Update!

I’ll be co-leading a day-long retreat with my friend, Simone de Winter, this January 25th in West Marin County. It’s all about ‘A Woman’s Belly!’. It will be the perfect way to bring more health, strength, and creativity to your life by way of your Womb!

Take a look here. If you aren’t in the Bay Area, but know a woman who is, please pass this along.




It is Christmas morning. I’m lying in bed, by myself, single at this time in my life. I chose to be single. I knew something in my soul that I didn’t know in my mind when I made this choice a couple of years back.

On this holy morning, I can feel the thick silence from the silent night I’m waking up out of. A silent night when a child was born, born out of the silence, born out of the dark of the womb, born into the light. As I lay here, I too feel reborn, out of the silence, born out of the dark womb, born into the light.

I didn’t grow up in a religious home. We went to church a bit when I was young. Sunday school is what I remember. Sunday school at the Unitarian Church of Palo Alto, where they celebrate what is at the heart of all religions, what was in the heart of Jesus. I don’t know how we truly know what that is with the way words and stories are written and passed down by way of humans with their own agendas. I am very aware of this, and yet – for me – there has always been a resonance – huge heart resonance – with the core teachings of Jesus. What I sense of Jesus, especially when I meditate with the teachings in my heart, is his radical love, a love like Kali. I sense the Mother, the dark feminine, was alive and pulsing in him.

So this piece about my not growing up religious is important for what I am now going to share. About five years ago, as I was driving to my early morning Sunday dance, I heard a voice loud and clear. Not a voice like yours or mine spoken aloud, or a voice in my own head, but a voice nonetheless that spoke clearly and directly… “The coming consciousness must be born by immaculate conception.” I asked for clarification because I immediately found I was a bit repulsed by the phrase. Yes, religion has done a good job of pushing me away. I asked to hear it again, and the voice said the same exact words.

I took these words onto the dance floor and moved them. They seemed to have their own way with me. I fought them with disbelief. I’ve got my baggage around the Church – any church. Organized patriarchal religion that speaks only of the value of men, and writes volumes of the sinfulness of women and gays, causes my sacred blood to boil. AND, I have a deep, deep longing to know the holy in all of my cells…not just certain cells that have been pronounced acceptable.

As I moved with these words, though, on the dance floor and out into my life over the course of these years, I slowly came to find a home for them within my skin. I had to begin to let the conditioned thought structures in my psyche about religion and Christ breakdown in my consciousness and instead learn to listen to the wisdom of my womb that knows a bit about creation and nourishing life until it can breath on its own.

Every woman has the capacity to birth. We are made in the image of the Cosmic Mother, the Big Womb of Creation. This isn’t my religion. This is my experience as a woman. This isn’t dogma. This is what I know to be true in my cells. It is alive.

This may not be agreeable for those of us who grew up with the feminist movement. I did. It wasn’t agreeable for me at first because the thought structures I had around where my worth comes from. Does it truly come from being able to do what a man can do? I had to see through the beliefs about what I had been taught about women and our roles, about women and our nature, so that I could experience my own nature as a living, breathing knowing.


If we push away what our bodies know, and only believe what our conditioned minds tell us, we will never embody the fire of the Feminine.


Rilke wrote in 1904 in one of his Letters to a Young Poet,

“Some day,”, “girls and women in their new, their own unfolding will but in passing be imitators of masculine vices and virtues and repeaters of masculine professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions it will become apparent that women only went through the whole range and variety of those (often ridiculous) disguises in order to clean their own most characteristic nature of the distorting influences of the other sex. Women in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully and more confidently, must naturally have become fundamentally riper people, more human people, than man who is easy-going, by the weight of no fruit of his body pulled down below the surface of life, and who, presumptuous and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, carried out in suffering and humiliation, will then, when in the commutations of her external situation she will have stripped off the conventions of being only feminine, come to light, and those men, who do not yet feel it approaching today, will be astonished and stunned by it.

“Some day (and of this, particularly in the northern countries, reliable signs already clearly speak), some day there will be girls and women whose name will no longer signify merely an opposite of the masculine, but something in itself, something that makes one think, not of any complement and limit, but of life and existence: the female human being.


Our clean most characteristic nature – Immaculate.

Not flawless, not sinless, but most human, most authentically true to its nature – the pure nature of the feminine embodied – remembering its sacredness as physical form.


Last night on Christmas eve, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem CHRIST CLIMBED DOWN was read. (Read the entire poem, first.)


The last stanza was this:

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comings

I heard these last words and my heart skipped. A smile spread across my face. As a woman, I write:

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
woman’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
S(He) awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comings

Every woman. One woman. The humanity of Woman’s womb.


Our minds have been filled to the rafters with thought structures that must be cleared out like old and dusty cob webs in the attic of our soul’s home here on earth – the body. We have to move out of the attic, down to the heart(h) of the home – the heart – where we ignite and stoke the fire of warmth and compassion so that we can once again make our way into the deep dark basement of our bodies, a basement that is surrounded by dark and moist earth, just waiting for us. Warmed by the heart(h)’s fire, we nourish this new coming of child.

It will be a child in all our hearts, all beings – a child who will awaken us to the pure joy of being alive in a broken-open hearted body, embraced by the Mother, filled with light from the Father.

Truth be told, something in me still fights with all this language, not wanting to be  a part of something that has caused so much pain in the world. But, I see clearly that I am a part of it. My conditioned choices continue to birth behavior and thinking that continues the cycle of pain and violence. The more I make choices from the beauty and wisdom of my heart(h)-fired womb, the more I align with Life itself.

No one religion is The Way. The love that is at the heart of an ever-flowing Life that lives not for itself is the way of my womb. Our wombs know this way. They live and breath and birth it.












Everything points to this, to the realization that to be happy we must live what we love, we must find our true selves, our north star.

Instead, we learn at an early age to leave ourselves, to forget what it is we love, to take on roles and identities that veil and hide our true selves. It’s something that comes up with EVERY coaching client, and every student in my creativity courses.

I’ve always had a way to speak to this ‘thing’ we humans do, but recently I came across a speaker and video that put it all into really simple words. A friend and colleague recently shared this video (below) by Dr. Gabor Maté. It is long, and it is worth every moment. While Dr. Maté is speaking to something much larger, and something very important for us all to be aware of, a part of his video is about attachment and authenticity.

Dr. Maté explains there are two things a child needs: attachment and authenticity; but when the child is young, these two things most often are at odds with each other, so the child goes for the one things she needs – to be attached to those who will make sure she survives.


“The story of your childhood is that you were born with the gut feelings intact and connected completely. But at some point something happened to you. At some point you got the message that in order to survive and to be acceptable you have to suppress your gut feelings.

Here’s how it works. Children have two needs. Infants, any human being We have two basic needs. the more immature we are the more important the first need becomes. and that’s for attachment. Attachment means the connection with another human being for the purpose of being taken care of. That’s an absolute need of a small child. Can’t live without it. Impossible. That’s one large need.

Another need however we have to function as full human beings is to be authentic. Authentic means that we know who we are, what we feel, are able to express it, and able to honor it in our behavior. So we have the need for attachment and the need for authenticity.

But what happens if in order to attach we have to suppress our authenticity, because our parents can’t handle who we are, because they can’t handle our anger as two year olds, because they can’t handle our expression of our needs, because they’re too stressed, they’re too needy? We suppress our gut feelings because the expression of them would bring us into conflict with our caregivers. 

Our problem as adults is that a lot of our behaviors are coming out of our need to attach…at the expense of our authenticity.”


What happens when we must have attachment to others who require us to be something other than what we are? We attempt to become something we are not. At least we think we do. We can’t ever be what we are not…we just pretend to be.

We are loved unconditionally AND conditionally, and it’s the conditions that are required for love that are the same conditions required for attachment.


This is it. The big enchilada. This is the journey from living by our ‘gut instincts’, to the conditioned – and hopefully back to the unconditioned. This is the human journey, the human story…the story of learning, again, to be real.


One of the most popular children’s books of all time, The Velveteen Rabbit, is a story of  becoming real.

“When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit


And who is the child in your story? YOU. Only you can love yourself enough, unconditionally, to be real. Only you can provide this attachment. It’s an inside job this unconditional loving.

For this is where we discover true love – a love that allows others to be real without our need for their approval of our realness, and our approval of theirs.

This attachment is a place of belonging to self, a place where you come to know and feel good living in your own skin, where you trust your gut and heart, and stay true to you.

I know it has been my story.


So the ultimate choice then is to choose the unconditioned: unconditioned love, unconditioned self, unconditioned life. Life won’t put conditions on you. Others will.  The opportunity is to not do it to yourself, but rather to love yourself without conditions, expectations, and judgment.


Life won’t present you with conditional attachment. You are already part of life. You belong. Right here. In your skin. Notice that…that life doesn’t present you with conditionality. 


Living in the unconditioned means being free to be you…and it means the acceptance that to love another is to release the need for them to be anything other than what they are, even if they act out in response to your being authentic by un-attaching from you!

Living authentically then is also letting go of needing Life to be anything other than what it is, and presenting anything other than what it presents.

As children, we make this trade-off to ensure our survival. As adults, in order to ensure the survival of the soul, we must return to being real and to discovering this place of maturity. 


And living Unabashedly Female is exactly this. What behavior do we suppress, what knowing do we suppress, what feelings do we suppress in order to stay attached to a system and culture that only accepts us if we DO NOT LIVE our power as women?

What do we hide about our female authenticity so that we will be acceptable…so we won’t be TOO MUCH…because a system can’t handle the power of the feminine?

To ensure the survival of the soul, we must live what we are.


Maybe there is really only ONE story in life…the story of learning to be real, to be unabashedly REAL in a female body.


You can watch the whole video with Dr. Maté. The part I mention is around 38 minutes in. If you can, listen to the whole thing because he speaks great wisdom about anger, emotions, and boundaries, too!


A while ago, I wrote about sin in The Courage to Sin. That writing was long and laborious. I felt as though I was giving birth to a 100 pound yam.

It’s not the most comfortable topic for me. All of my writing boogie monsters come out when I even get close to having a thought to blog about it. There are a lot of people invested in maintaining the idea of ‘sin’ as a way to keep us on our best behavior. But boogie monsters or not, the shame is here and I know I have to write about it.

This is a picture of Jody – a beautiful big horse whose gift it is to help heal. Jody taught me something profoundly beautiful about the sacredness of our animal bodies.

I’m coming back again to a big piece of shame that’s been stuck in my body for way too long. This is shame that stems from projected sinfulness, meaning sinfulness that others believe is true about women and the world. It’s shame that has to do with sexuality and sensuality, with the power of women, and with women’s joy and passion.

This shame is dark and sticky. It feels as if it resides in my chest, covering over my heart, and even making its way down into my solar plexus and belly.

The shame keeps things pretty darn stuck. It causes me to think twice about using my voice, about writing what I feel called to write. It leads me to be really cautious and careful, to stay away from taking risks.

This shame borne out of projected sinfulness is a ploy used to keep women in check – to keep us small, silent, and dutiful.

It’s not like this is the first time I’ve met it face-to-face. But, this time is different. I realize that in the past, there were many ‘reasons’ to listen to it…but upon closer listening I’ve found all of those reasons aren’t reasonable. They are about as reasonable as the very idea that’s been passed around that women, like Eve, are sinful.

The more aware I become of the shame that is stuck in my body, the more clear I am that a) it is not mine, and b) I don’t want to carry it around any longer for those who decided long ago that I should.


I mean, why would I? Why would I go along with such a cockamamie story that tells me I should feel shame about who and what I am because I am a woman?


In the past, I’ve circled around the shame, mucking up in the shame, trying to figure out where it came from, what it meant, and what I had to do to get rid of it. That worked to a point, but now I see it’s more helpful to back up and look at the whole picture. This isn’t remorse or guilt or something I am feeling because I did something to hurt another. No, this is cultural, religious, systemic and toxic shame that comes from this fishbowl I live in.

Dr. Brené Brown writes that shame is “the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging”.

Well, in the story that holds Eve was bad, the same story that constantly tells us women we should feel shame for what we are, women are seen as unworthy of love and belonging.


The question is…to what world do we want to belong? Do we want to belong in a story that holds that women are sinful? Or would we rather belong in a story that holds that all of life is sacred and holy?


Mary Oliver wrote:

“You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”


What if Eve was only letting the soft animal of her body love what it loved?
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I’ve decided that’s how I want to live my life. Shame be damned. I am a soft animal and I know what I love.


Gratitude. It’s in the Details.

by Julie on November 27, 2013 · 8 comments



The morning light that makes its way into my living room is, more often than not, pink.

Each day, the ravens circle outside my living room window, speaking in a language I know in my belly.

My belly skin has a scar that runs across its center from the Hysterectomy I had when I was 29.

For the slightest second, my lips caress the skin of his cheek, and our eyes meet unveiled. We are ‘us’ for just a moment in time.

Time ticks by on my bedroom nightstand.

I pull back the sheets and climb into an empty bed.

I meditate in bed in the early morning hours, sometimes falling back into the deepest sleep when I am done.

I take pictures of flowers for meditation.

There is a beautiful flower shop just down the street.

I walk the steep streets of San Francisco, with homes like walled fortresses.

The wall I am facing holds images and words of things I never want to forget.

My late-husband is always in my heart, even though there are days when he doesn’t cross my mind.

My grandchildren will never know him.

I once remembered everything.

My body heaves with a big sigh.

I see what is here.

I am grateful for this whole life.






The reason why the universe is eternal is because it does not live for itself.
~ Lao Tzu

You can feel the lineage of love as you read these words; a lineage to the future. Life is always in flux, always becoming, always giving birth to itself and then dying away.

Maybe, just maybe, this is why we humans are facing extinction. Too many of us live for ourselves – solely for ourselves… and maybe for our immediate loved ones.

When we live this way, we are not living the eternal Tao.

We are not living The Way.

We are not living in harmony with Creation.


The Creator created the People of the Earth into the Land at the beginning of Creation and gave us a way of life. This way of life has been passed down generation-to-generation since the beginning. We have not honored this way of life through our own actions and we must live these original instructions in order to restore universal balance and harmony. We are a part of Creation; thus, if we break the Laws of Creation, we destroy ourselves.

~ from the Council Statement at CaretakersOfMotherEarth.com (the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America, working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for our collective future and for all living beings).


I have found myself with my ear to the ground over the last several years…sometimes literally, but mostly metaphorically. I’ve found myself drawn to listen deeply to the Earth.

I’ve found myself in odd places at odd times because I heeded the call of intuition and guidance: an early morning labyrinth walk during a full-moon eclipse; a pilgrimage to Ireland where I walked on sacred land and sat with the holy flame of Brigid (and arriving to be with this flame only happened because of a dozen synchronistic moments aided by at least six other human beings); a muddy walk up the side of Haleakala, the dormant volcano of Maui; praying at the burning ghats in Varanasi, India.

Each place on our Earth has its own song. Each place has its own rhythm and cadence. Each place can guide us to remember our place in the Family of All Things.


Look up into the autumn sky.
Lay your hands on your heart and attune to what is really happening here:
There are yellows coming into existence that have never made their way into this dimension.
There are oranges, reds, and purples that have been sent to remind you of
how rare it is to take birth within the particles of love. ~ Matt Licata


I am blessed to have had the resources to listen and go. I know this. I also know this is part of what I am here to do – to reconnect deeply with our Mother, to find, once again, the roots of my indigenous connection to Earth, the beautiful being who is the source of my life.

None of these things were for me. It’s taken me some time to come to know this. I’ve lived as if they were. I see clearly now that anything given is not for us to keep. Just as the Universe does not live for itself, it does not give to itself to keep for itself. Everything given is given to be given again.

I know I am privileged to  have done these things, and with this privilege comes responsibility to live what I’ve been shown and given. Many of us find ourselves in this place right now. It’s the nature of the time in which we live. We have a deep responsibility to not live for ourselves, but to live for and serve all of life.

In listening, I’ve come to see that what is truly holding us is not the culture or institutions that we humans have created. What truly holds us is the fabric and flesh of life here on Earth. Mother Earth does not live for herself. She lives for her children. But, she is struggling mightily right now trying to support us. We are, and have been, tearing down the very fabric that gives us life.

In my own life, I fight the learned, conditioned reaction I have to live for myself – my wants, my desires, my way. I have to be truthful about this. There is a strong, conditioned, trance we live in that reinforces this as THE way to be. But it is just that – a trance…a trance of the ego.

This trance is leading us to our own demise. Why? Because ego doesn’t really want to get…it wants to want. It has a voracious appetite because it does not want to be satisfied. That is the nature of ego – to want. It’s why when we are mired in ego we feel like we have a hole inside of us the size of Jupiter – a hole that cannot be filled no matter how much stuff we stuff into ourselves and our lives. In our culture, we want unlimited and unfettered growth. Our institutions will do anything to prop up this unnatural never-ending growth. A cycle of growth without death and decay is unnatural – it is not in accordance with Creation.

Instead, when we live as the Universe does, we’ve remembered our rightful way of living as a part of the Whole. I see ‘remembering’ our rightful way of living in Creation as the great work of these times for so many of us who have forgotten what it is to be a member of the Family of All Things; remembering what it means to not live for ourselves, but to live for life.

When we are ‘wanting’ we aren’t really happy, no matter what the ego tells us, because behind the whole setup is the mechanism to never get that which we believe we want. What is real is the longing that is underneath all of this wanting. It is the longing to remember that we have taken ‘birth within the particles of love’.

It is indeed rare and when we live the wonder of this rarity, we live the eternal Tao.









Bodies of Grace

by Julie on November 14, 2013 · 0 comments


The Feminine Heart

” Women can acknowledge the earth’s deep sorrow and wounding, and through the heart offer it back to God who is the source of all sorrow and all joy. It has been said that God enters through a wound, and through the earth’s sorrow a healing can take place; the consciousness of divine love can be infused in to the hidden places of the earth as well as into the bodies of women. This love can link the two worlds in a a way that has not happened before. Through that connection activated in women’s bodies through their sanctification of their own and the earth’s suffering, grace can flow into the world.” Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee


I read these words and something old and deep comes forth. It is a remembering of something that once was. It is a soul’s remembering of a time when women and the Earth were conscious, living sisters.

I’ve been doing this – acknowledging the Earth’s sorrow and wounding. I weep. Yet, I’ve not been offering it back to God. I’ve had a funny relationship with God, one where I don’t quite trust. It’s no wonder I don’t quite trust…God. Yet, I trust Love. I trust Life. I trust in my creativity. And, somewhere deeper than my mind, I know God is not different from these that I do trust.

There was a time like that when we were sisters with the Earth, or perhaps we were her daughters. And these times are asking for us to remember this relationship…with her, and with each other.


There is much suffering and chaos in the world right now. There has been for so long. People have asked me if they really need to turn to look at this suffering. I say, “Yes”. I know many women who have no time in their day to do this. Between a job that keeps them running, children to care for, a home to clean, and many worries about how they will feed their children, or if their children will be safe, they have little left for themselves. THIS is a form of deep suffering. I know these women are exhausted.

But all of us women who DO have the time, the resources, the consciousness, and the awareness of our current plight can sit with the earth’s deep sorrow and wounding, and offer it back to the Divine through our feminine hearts. We can sit with the suffering of our sisters, too, knowing how deeply connected we are to each other. And, we can offer a hand to our sisters, offering to help lighten their load in whatever way we can.

Women feel sorrow and we feel joy. We feel deeply. We know suffering and we can feel it in the Earth if we listen and sense. Our ability to feel and sense is a sacred gift. We’ve not been taught about the sacred ways a woman’s body can heal and feed and nourish, yet they are real and true. Somewhere deep within we know this, deep in our bones.

Our hearts and bodies CAN do this, can be the conduit for healing. We are that powerful and that blessed in love.

This IS our sacred spirituality, our sacred role in these times.

So many of us have been turned off by religious dogma that is less about the Sacred and more about control. We turn away from a sense of the Sacred because we’ve been taught that we as women are anything but Sacred. But this is not true. It’s a big fat lie.

So many of us have been taught that what we can’t see or prove is worthless. But do not believe this. Come to honor what you know.

Mother Earth can re-teach us about the Sacred. How can we look at her beauty and not know the Sacred in our own hearts? How can we sit down to a meal of warm food and not realize that She gives us everything and does not ask for anything in return?

It is time to quit believing in or fighting against the patriarchal dogma that keeps our faces turned away from the beautiful gift of being alive in a woman’s body…and the gift of being alive at all on this glorious planet. It is time to re-kindle our relationship with Life. It is time to be in service to her and to all the world’s children.

What is important is that we remember how deeply we are connected to the Earth as women, and that we feel what is here in this connection. Don’t shy away from it. Move into it. Allow yourself to be surprised at the depth of what you can feel and how deeply you are loved…you will feel sorrow and you will feel deep joy.


If you’d like to join a community of people on Facebook who are praying for our Mother Earth and for all the Earth’s children, please come join the Praying True group on Facebook. “Praying True is a worldwide community for everyone who wishes to give back to the earth with simplicity, loving intention and compassion. Our vision is to bring back love to our human relationship with All That Is, to encourage people to pray regularly for our world in whatever way flows through each person, creating ritual from the heart and in the moment with what is at hand. Then afterward, to share their truth through art making of any kind, posting it here to inspire others to honor the gift of life on this beautiful planet.”




The heart is fluent in the language of courage.

I slept for ten hours last night, but during the night I awoke with tears more than once. Some deep and old energies are moving out of me, energies that settled into my muscles, flesh, and bones many, many years ago. I’ve cried more tears than I remember crying in a long time. And with each instance of tears, a kind of simple, yet palpable, release came. And with each release came a little less fogginess and a little more clarity.

These are deep old patterns of holding myself back for fear of being too much and hurting someone. They are patterns around trust, sexuality, intimacy, boundaries, secrets, and shame. These patterns come out of old stories of imagined responsibility, silent and shameful betrayal, and sudden loss that seemed to bring about a future of chaotic unsafety. (Yes, this is a word. I wrote it because it fit so well, then had to check its validity…not in my experience, but in the ‘supposed’ authority of cultural acceptance. Ha!)

It’s amazing what a child will do with her experiences…how she will explain them through her own agency, since to do otherwise would blow apart any sense of much-needed solidity in her environment.

We create stories of conditionality. We want something firm to stand on, even though it is that very conditionality that causes us so much suffering. In our families, we trade in conditional love.

After a night of tears and release, I see the path of the unconditioned, the path of unconditional love. That is the realm of the heart. For the heart is fluent in the language of courage.

But to truly walk in courage, the way becomes much easier when we no longer place any conditions on others. Those conditions are obstacles that close the heart to its own courage. When we lift those conditions, something entirely within the realm of our human heart’s capability, suddenly courage is simply the courage to be what we are, and to express this being in the world. Suddenly the courage is no longer tied up with trying to get anyone else to do anything at all, or be something they are not – which are really impossibilities anyway.

This is the realm of the unconditioned…it is the realm of the deep heart. And when we drop these, the way opens before us. It is an unobstructed way, because it has always just been our conditional love that placed those obstacles there.

My sexuality, my vital life force, is a beautiful gift that is sacred, chaotically sacred.

I told myself many things about the chaotic beauty of my sexuality in order to somehow manage the chaotic world I lived in.

My sexuality is a force of nature, and it is a force FOR nature.

In these times when our controlling actions as human beings are coming back to bite us, perhaps what we must see is that life is chaotic and unpredictable and mysterious.

Gabrielle Roth said, “Where the feminine and masculine come together…that always creates chaos.” 

Feminine and Masculine coming together within, and outside of us, too, creates chaos. But that is life, real, alive, mysterious life, and to touch it is to touch the chaotically sacred.

We humans (at least most of us in the industrialized world) have spend hundreds of years trying to hold up a world with unbalanced hands where the mystery of the feminine has been sliced and diced into a few ‘acceptable’ ways of being. Our hands embrace the masculine, and shy away from the feminine.

But life is the chaotic mix of masculine and feminine, and in trying to live it any other way, we are trying to live in a world of conditioned love – which we all know isn’t really love at all.

To walk the path of courage is to walk the path of chaos, while grounded in the stillness of the unconditioned heart.

As I sat this morning sipping my tea and feeling just how much I desire to simply live the fullness of my soul in the world, with all of the soul’s chaotic yearnings and knowings, including the truly primal force that is my sexuality, I heard the loud, deep call of a Raven. My eyes were closed and I sat and listened to this call, a deep rumbling call, much deeper than a crow’s call. When I opened my eyes, I saw this wide-winged Raven circling around my apartment windows. I live on the third floor and have windows on two sides. This raven swirled and swooped around my windows, coming closer than I imagined was possible for such a large bird. On the last circle, she looked right in my window as she voiced a loud call.

And then she was gone, but her message stayed with me.

Raven knows the power of the chaotically sacred, and so do our hearts.


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