Kisses of Breath

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Dance.

My lifeline.

My place of healing.

My church of choice.

Dance – where I’ve learned to sink down into the layers of this body that I had feared for so long.

Most of you, those who read me fairly often, know by now that on Sundays I dance. I Sweat My Prayers with 149 other beautiful dancers.

Yet, even though you know I dance, I am not sure you know the depth of what dance means to me; what it has offered to me. When I first found 5Rhythms, ten years ago, I was in deep need of healing.

I can’t quite put into words what this practice of 5Rhythms has brought to my life – the movement and awareness and healing is so much more than any words could ever begin to describe.

Dance brings me alive, and the more I give myself to the dance, the more it strips away my defenses, my veils – and the more it reveals the truth of what I am.

When I dare to dance the truth, I have no idea what I will come to uncover.

::

Yesterday was Sunday and I danced.

And, it was Plant a Kiss day…at least for 16 of us bloggers who decided to see what happens when you plant a kiss and then write about it.

What was my kiss and what did I plant?

I planted the deepest desire to dance the truth, to unveil myself, to plant my kiss on the dancefloor with breath.

When we dance the 5Rhythms, we are silent with our mouths and generously expressive with our bodies. We ‘speak’ with the body. We breathe through our feet and move with the breath.

My kisses were breath, planted on the dance floor with each step.

As I breathed, I moved, and as I moved I discovered how powerful an intention is, how powerfully the body can express this intention to reveal. My intention was an offering of truth, of pure expression. I found so many kisses of breath – a kiss of joy, a kiss of love, a kiss of touch, the softest most tender touch of the skin; a kiss of power, a kiss of kindness, a kiss of whatever showed up in the dance, even those more painful places like grief.

As I danced, I was feeling joyful and then ‘our song’ began to play – the song my late-husband and I shared. As soon as the first refrains of ‘Killing Me Softly’…

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
killing me softy with his song
killing me softly with his song
telling my whole life
with his words
killing me softly with his song…

…landed in the cells of my body, I shuddered with grief and tears. Suddenly what had been such great joy moved into tears; and as suddenly as those appeared, just as suddenly a soft pair of hands landed gently on my shoulders.

I turned around and saw my friend. She put her arms out and I moved into her generous hug.

Together, we danced to the words and music that always take me back to so many sweet moments of life shared with Gary. Then, my friend surprised me. I whispered to her that this had been our song, and she whispered back, “I know. You shared that with me when we first met and first danced together.” I just looked at her in awe. That was at least eight years ago and she remembered.

You see, this friend just lost her husband, too, not quite three years ago. She knew how I felt and in her generous and loving way, she reached out to me to hold me in whatever feelings might show up. Her response was immediate, generous and open. She was killing me softly with her touch.

As Killing Me Softly ended, we ended our dance and I moved into other partnerships on the dance floor. I felt even more open, even more trusting, even more willing to plant my feet deeply, open my heart with more tenderness and vulnerability, and trust in the flow of the dance.

I moved with love, planting kisses with my feet wherever they travelled, blowing kisses with both in-breath and out-breath. As I danced, I marveled at how responsive the human body is to touch, both the touch of skin and the touch of intention. I could feel the power of the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

In planting love wherever we land, we never quite know what will grow. And, we never quite know if our own love will come back to us, through another.

Perhaps we are all planting kisses with the breath.

 

:: 

 

Plant a Kiss Day –

In the spirit of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s work, 16 inspiring and creative bloggers (including me!) set out to “Plant a Kiss” in the world on Sunday, April 29. Today each of us is posting about that experience. Click here to visit the main Plant a Kiss page, where you can easily link to all participating bloggers. For every blog that you visit and comment on, your name will be tossed into a hat for a chance to win one of many amazing prizes.

My offering? a copy of The Best of Unabashedly Female – a digital journey into the sacred feminine.

Image: Holding Hands – Attribution Some rights reserved by TheArches

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Acceptance

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There is no bad dance or good dance. There is only dead or alive.
~Lori Saltzman

Today, April 29th, is International Dance Day. So many of us worry about how we look when we dance, yet when we really let loose, the joy could fill a room. Let yourself be alive, fully alive. Get up, put on the music, and move.

::

Today, I’ve a guest post over at Jamie Ridler’s place. Jamie’s site is full of amazing things…like Jamie.

I’m honored to share this story. I’ve never written about it before and it’s a story that is so close to my heart. I’d love to share it with you…

Sitting on the kitchen floor with my back against the moonlit-night-blue wallpapered wall, my entire body lets go as I read the words. The tears, so long held in check, finally find their way down my cheeks, then breasts, belly and legs. These flat surfaces define a room that is empty of people these days– except me. At one time this room knew so much life, but now I am the only one left to savor this sweet, sweet moment. Continue reading…

Have a beautiful day dancing…

::

 

Awaken the Wild: a 7-Day Virtual Sensual Immersion from Molokai

I’m traveling to Molokai in just ten days to attend another gathering of women. Yes, this seems to be the nature of my life these days.

While I am there, I’m going to be sharing my experience on this wild island through this complimentary eCourse, “Awaken the Wild”. Over seven days, you’ll receive a daily email that will direct you to a password protected page with audios, images, poetry and practices to bring this wild land into your life and awaken the wild land within you.

You can read more about this eCourse, here.

I’d love to have you join me…join us. Many women are already registered for this virtual immersion to Awaken the Wild.

Let’s discover the wild land within, together.

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Divine Appetite: God longing to know God in Female Form

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On Whidbey Island

Something important happens when women gather.

I just spent three magical days on Whidbey Island with women I respect and love. I originally met each of them online; now I know them as real life friends. These women are beautiful human beings.

We soaked up the sun and the beauty of Whidbey Island. We watched a bald eagle with awe. We danced, laughed, and were amazed by each other’s brilliance.

I loved being with them. I witnessed so many forms of beauty. I opened my heart and asked to be loved.

My body was held.

My soul was fed.

My eyes were dried.

My laughter was immense.

The inside of me, that place where no knows what really goes on, where no one sees the tumult of my soul unfold, is richer, wiser and forever changed from my time with these women because, as Rilke wrote, “inside human beings is where God learns.

Just ten hours

after I returned from Whidbey, I co-taught a class with my friend and colleague, Mary Corrigan, for the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment in San Francisco. Mary invited me to join her and the sixteen female entrepreneurs she’s teaching in this six-week course on creativity and business.

I led a segment on sensual discovery…ways to come into the body so we can be present and awake to the creative spirit within and the world in which we create. It was amazing…women so present in their bodies that it became difficult to engage the brain in it’s usual form of over-thinking and judging.

Mary and I then dined at Gracias Madre on a delectable meal of empanadas and beet salad. If you’ve ever dined at Gracias Madre, you know there is no way to describe in words the beauty of this food.

All of this time with women and with the feminine. I am fortunate. It seems to be the nature of my life these days.

Something in me longs to know myself unveiled. Something inside of me hungers to experience the feminine face of God. Something in me drinks in these moments when I am in the company of women who are willing to be vulnerable, willing to speak of their fears as well as their wisdom, willing to open their hearts to each other so we can all come to know the depth of the feminine in human form.

I am drinking up the healing offered from these gatherings of women.

We are coming to know the feminine in ourselves by knowing it in other women. It is a remembering, a relearning, a reclaiming.

I now know that my love of, and thirst for, connection with other women is divine appetite.

This divine appetite is God wanting to know God in unabashedly female form. Through them. Through me. Woman to Woman.

::

And, You?

Are you, too, hungering to gather with women? Are you hungering for this healing? Are you thirsting to know yourself as the sacred in female form?

Can we open our hearts to this deep, deep longing within, this place where God learns? This place where the divine spark within each of us can experience the sacred nature of all of life?

Join me in this place of longing and desire, this place of divine appetite. This is the place of the new story of Woman.

::

Awaken the Wild: a 7-Day Virtual Sensual Immersion from Molokai

I’m traveling to Molokai in just ten days to attend another gathering of women. Yes, this seems to be the nature of my life these days.

While I am there, I’m going to be sharing my experience on this wild island through this complimentary eCourse, “Awaken the Wild”. Over seven days, you’ll receive a daily email that will direct you to a password protected page with audios, images, poetry and practices to bring this wild land into your life and awaken the wild land within you.

You can read more about this eCourse, here.

I’d love to have you join me…join us. Many women are already registered for this virtual immersion to Awaken the Wild.

Let’s discover the wild land within, together.

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Awaken the Wild: a 7-Day Virtual Sensual Immersion from Molokai

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Molokai is a wild island.

Travel with me to Molokai. Virtually.

I recently traveled to this wild island where I dropped down into the land, and into a women’s retreat.

There, I was deeply held by the Aina.

Aina is the Hawaiian word for land. ‘Respect the Aina’ is a phrase I repeatedly heard when I stayed in Hana on the wet side of Maui last summer.

While I was in retreat on this magical land, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to not only share my experience with you, but also invite you into your own virtual retreat, a retreat that takes you deep into your body and your sensory sensual experience with the land. 

Now, you can take this 7-Day virtual retreat to reawaken the wildness in you and deepen your own connection with the land on which you live.

Are you interested in Living Pono?

‘Pono’ means respect or honor and another Hawaiian phrase is, ‘Live Pono’, meaning Respect your land/home. Live with honesty.

The land on which we live is always inviting us to remember her, to respect her, to witness and give thanks for how she holds us.

May we all learn to respect the land and live with honesty… and, I’m talking about living Pono with regard to your body, your own sacred land.

When you register for this complimentary eCourse, each day you’ll receive an email with a link to a private page where I share pieces of what I experienced on this sacred land and offer ideas and guidance for how you can bring the same awareness to your own connection with the land. These include:

  • Audio reflections of the island and how place has such a deep impact on us.
  • Practices to bring you deeper into the wild within you.
  • Insights on the wild nature life.
  • Questions for you to contemplate.
  • Other yet to be known island morsels…

This will be a completely individual opportunity for you to take your inward retreat. What I share is a beginning point for you to go inward into your own sacred land.

Every inch of the earth, every acre of sky, every drop of the sea is sacred. And just as it is ‘out there’, so it is within you – sacredness in every cell of your being.

This experience will unfold as you go, awakening you to all of your senses and deepening your relationship with the earth.

Please join me and have this eCourse sent right to your virtual door!

::

“Julie is sensuality incarnate, wrapped in love.” ~Tanya Geisler

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Orgasmic Creativity

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Closeted & Chained

What keeps us closeted, chained and afraid to be our fullest, most joyful, most orgasmic selves?

What keeps us from being fully expressed?

We can only answer these questions for ourselves, but I have a sense that fear of failure, or looking bad, or succeeding wildly, might in some way be at the center of this.

And, at that center of it all, what might really be holding us back from true creative joy is the fear of fully feeling…period.

Fully feeling our range of humanness and our sacredness, and the intensity of those feelings may just be at the heart of why we stop ourselves from knowing creative joy.

I know from my own life experience, I’ve only been able to feel deep and profound joy because I’ve felt deep and profound sorrow. The heart doesn’t judge… it feels the totality of experience.

A while ago,

perhaps six years or so, I took a class called mess-painting. Mess painting is a kind of process painting, where you use tempera paints, brushes and wall street journal pages to burn through layers that keep you from your deep creativity.

In the six-week process, I painted in my own apartment, in a tent of plastic sheets that I hung from the ceiling. This is a very messy process. I painted six days a week, at least twenty paintings in a session, where each painting was created in the span of two minutes.

In mess painting, the process is to cover one full sheet of Wall Street Journal paper (the ink used doesn’t run) with paint using brushes and any of eight specific colors. That’s it.It’s a very physical process. You have to move quickly. There is no time to think about what colors you want or how they should go on the paper. There is only enough time to move the brush to the color then to the paper, allowing something more present than thought to choose which color and where to place it.About four and a half weeks into the process, I suddenly felt a very different energy begin to move through me. It felt wild and untamed. It felt animal and soulful. I had the overwhelming urge to drop the brush and dive in with my body. I painted with my fingers, hands, and elbows. I couldn’t get enough of my body into the process.I painted until the energy quieted. And then I wrote this:

When I mess-paint, I come alive. I can’t wait to pull out the colors and begin. When I am painting I am totally engrossed. I love to see the colors mix together on the paper, to see what transpires in a given session. I find I can’t get enough of me into the mess – hands, fingers, fingernails – I am so taken with the paintings that I keep watching them as they dry, dying to see what beauty is there. What are the qualities of my painting? There is an energetic pulse to it. I can feel my soul coming through me. Does it come charging through me like a tiger? Does it spread itself on the paper with love and softness, or even reckless abandon?

It is akin to intimacy – when there are no longer any barriers between another and me: when clothes are off, small talk is quieted, distractions are gone, and there are only the two of us in conversation. The language is intimacy. The “words” are infused with love and deep meaning. There is a direct channel open where truth and soul are shared without reservation, without holding back. Passion, desire, and love all come pouring forth into this conversation between two beings. That is the incredible connection and intimacy that I long for. That is the juice I find in painting. When I create art, it is an individual act. It feels like connecting with myself in a deeply intimate way.

After writing this, I felt a peace I had never known. I felt no fear. None.

As I read again what I wrote then, I can feel the joy I felt in the liberation of this fiery, orgasmic, instinctual self. I can feel the love and aliveness, and my soul’s desire for connection and expression. The direct connection between creativity and sexuality is right there and so plain to see.

So, when it comes to being creative, ask yourself these questions:

What will you do knowing you will fail (not that you are NOT going to fail) that you will fail?
In some way, no matter what we try, we fail…and in some ways we succeed. It’s a both/and. In order to know one, we must know the other.

What are you afraid to feel fully? Where do you stop yourself from fully feeling?

If your creativity was an orgasm waiting to happen, what would bring you to that orgasm?

Sit with these questions. Allow them to run and swim and jump through your body. Let them loose to follow their own flow. See what shows up.

A wonderful friend and colleague, Chris Zydel, recently shared this:

There is nothing in this world that you can’t do as long as you are willing to begin by taking the risk of doing it very, very badly.

I wonder. I wonder what kind of creative joy we would know if we let loose this much? Let loose to create exactly what we desire to create REGARDLESS of how well (or badly) we do it, or whether or not we fail (or succeed).

All of our expectations keep us so locked up. IF something is really creative, it is new. Brand new. Meaning, we have NO IDEA what will happen and what will transpire because of our creation.

Can we stand on the threshold of this ‘not-knowing’ and let go? Can we feel what comes without blocking or stopping or containing ourselves? Can we experience this fiery joy?

As I tell my clients, the energy of creativity and sexuality are the same. The rise up from the same place in the body. They are our life force. That’s why we feel so alive when we allow ourselves to let go. I suggest to my clients, especially if they are feeling blocked, to have sex, to experience orgasm, to let go into this experience, so they can explore what creative orgasm feels like.

And, I offer this to you. Will you let yourself open to orgasmic creativity?

::

This post is an offering to the profoundly creative and sumptuously sensuous women whose work I love: JenMarianne, & Susannah. They invited some of their fellow creators to write on Creative Joy and I’m honored to do so here.

Download and enjoy this beautiful compilation of writings on Creative Joy.

Check out and register for for Jen, Marianne & Susannah’s retreat in July so that you might discover your Creative Joy.

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Life – The Ultimate Mashup

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Life. It’s the ultimate mashup.

Today can be just another ho-hum day for me, while behind my neighbor’s door they might be going through the most horrendous day of their life.

To mash-it-up more, today can be a complete mashup even just for me: it can be a somewhat normal day and a day of significance, too. It can seem to be a celebration, while at the same time a day of retrospection and tears.

It’s the nature of life to have all sorts of disparate things moving through alongside each other. Much of the time we try to make some sense of it all; other times, we pretty much give up on that idea.

Today is April 17th, 2012

I was struck by the mashup metaphor this morning when I remembered it is the birthday of Danielle LaPorte’s new book, The FireStarter Sessions. What a day for celebration. If you’ve followed Danielle for any length of time, you’ve witnessed her emergence as a woman of style, substance, heart and wicked business savvy.

I think I felt so compelled to celebrate this day for Danielle, because I’ve witnessed, sometimes through emails, most often through social media, what a journey this has been for her. She’s been on an extraordinary trajectory. I’ve taken notice. It’s deeply moved me to witness someone really make their dream a reality.

I first met Danielle at Sweat Your Prayers – what I do on Sunday mornings – my Church of Choice. I recognized her from twitter and her in-person Fire Starter sessions – where she landed in multiple cities, meeting with women who were looking to be ignited. After the dance, I approached her and said hello. She was immediately warm and friendly and we chatted for just a moment.

Since that sweaty Sunday, we’ve interacted a bit. I had a one-on-one FSS with her and joined her in Santa Fe for a Gail Larsen transformational speaking intensive, where seven of us ended up in a delectable hot tub while sharing stories of bits and pieces of our lives.

I know Danielle to be a generous woman. She inspires me. I learn from her and I know she has learned from me. How do I know that? ‘Cause she learns from everything she encounters and because she told me. She is generous that way.

Today is April 17th, 2012

Today is also the anniversary of my late-husband Gary’s death. It’s been 17 years – a long time. In the beginning, not too long after he died, I didn’t think I could get through my life without him. I really wondered. People told me I would get over it. I knew I never would. I wondered if that meant I would always be sad and depressed, with one foot in the other world.

I think of Gary often. We had a love that many long for. One thing I knew after he died was that I had been loved. I knew that beyond any doubt. That is a great gift. It’s as if there is no searching out there for that experience from another man. If I find it, bonus. What it did invite me to know was that I am that love inside me.

I have come to see

we don’t get over the things that happen in our lives, nor should we want to. Each and every thing that is offered to us ripens and seasons us.

This weekend I heard someone say, “Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us.” That offers us a big shift in perspective if we are willing to open to it.

I know when I was in deep grief, I didn’t have access to the ability to be with it all. The grief was too much. And, I know that when I’ve been in complete celebration, that has flooded my day.

Can we be with it all? Can we push none of it away, but rather receive it all into us? Can we celebrate with those who are celebrating and offer love to those who might be in pain?

Today is April 17th, 2012

What is this day for you? Is it a day of joy, a day of sadness or anger or despair? Is it just another day to tick-off the calendar? What kind of day is it for your neighbor? Your lover? That person you’re struggling to have compassion for?

There are benefits to remembering that life is the ultimate mashup. When we do we know what is here will pass. Sooner or later, it will pass. When we do we know life is rich in the many ways it presents itself. When we do we also can remember that all around the world people are going through an amazing array of kinds of days.

Life flows. It is impermanent. Yet, we are also here in bodies. Awake. Alive. Very much experiencing everything that is happening to us.

I can be thrilled for Danielle, deep in reflection on my late husband and the gifts he brought to my life, getting work done and packing to travel tomorrow. It is all happening right now in this spicy sweet soup of life.

What is this day for you?

I’d love to know. Please share by leaving a comment. What’s this day for you?

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Woman to Woman – Revealing Our Radiance

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Alla Sera
In my last post, Weaving a New World, I speak of telling a new story.

The story we’ve been living is not our own. It is one of conditioned behavior and beliefs. It is one of power over. It does not serve life – it attempts to dominate it.

This old story keeps us hiding our light, playing down our instinctive nature, not trusting our intuition. It keeps us ashamed of our sensuality and sexuality. It constantly reminds us that we can’t trust femaleness, either in ourselves or in other women.

This old story keeps us believing so many untruths. It keeps us in chains, so that our wildness remains tamed rather than free to express, create and love.

A new story

There is a fullness in all of life. It’s a power, a life force, a presence that simply can’t be put into words. There is no word, for words are removed from this fullness. Words are one-dimensional and this fullness is infinite.

This fullness is the new story.

This new story is a story of truth. When we tell our story, the truth of our experience, we are telling the story of life as it really moves and flows and loves.

The other day,

my friend and I were having an intimate conversation, both sharing things about ourselves and our lives that we’d not yet told each other. It was really lovely.

Then, my friend shared a deeper story, a story that was filled with an intimacy and vulnerability rarely shared in our world. The story had been kept close to her heart. It was tender. It was compelling.

As she began to speak, her body began to sway ever so slightly, her hands began to express what her words could not convey, her eyes closed as she felt into her story.

Words attempt to describe what we long to express, yet they cannot ever capture the experience itself. In watching her body tell the story, and in feeling her story in my body, I began to know the depths of what she was wanting to convey.

As she sat in silence once she was done, I spoke to her of the power of what she had shared, the powerful effect it had on me. I spoke to her of her brilliance and how compelling she was in her rawness and complete nakedness. I shared with her that her radiance was visible and palpable because of her vulnerability.

I watched as she heard what I was saying to her about the beauty of her soul. As she took in my words, her tears began to flow, as if something began to release in her.

The effect on me was profound. It felt as if the effect was profound on her, too.

I witnessed the struggle we go through to allow ourselves to acknowledge our sacredness, our beauty and worth. It was humbling to see how powerful our resistance is to acknowledging our own basic goodness. And, it was deeply moving to see, once again, how incredibly important it is for each of us to give the gift of witnessing and reflecting another woman’s beauty and worth.

How we long to relax into our own beauty.

How we long to settle into our sacredness.

How we long to trust what we know somewhere in the depths of our soul…that our sacredness is both exquisite and ordinary just as we are.

Despite what the old story tells us, vulnerability is powerful.

Despite what the old story says, telling another woman what you see in her, the beauty of the truth within her, doesn’t take anything from you, but rather is a powerful gift to both of you.

Despite what the old story says, when we tell our stories from our bodies, allowing the soul to speak in ways other than words, we begin to remember the deeper aspects and places of womanhood.

I’ve been lucky.

Not only did this friend offer herself as a mirror to me, I’ve had other friends willing to be this mirror, too. Women I know and love are willing to share with me what they see in me, and it’s had a profound effect on me, helping me grow into a woman with increased self-confidence and radiance.

While I’ve also had men who’ve loved me share with me, too, when women share something else comes alive. Things hidden that have been hidden are revealed. Things pushed into the dark have come into the light. A knowing of the feminine has come awake again in my cellular memory. And the light of the new feminine consciousness has grown just a little bit brighter.

When we trust ourselves, we can be mirrors to each other’s beauty. We can help each other remember what we believe we’ve forgotten.

This beauty also includes those things we don’t normally call beautiful. When someone reveals themselves, even in their anger and fear, sadness and grief, that is beauty, for we only really know true beauty when something or someone is real.

I know for me, each time I am invited into the holiness of a moment such as this, something previously hidden in me is revealed, for in these moments we are open to the grace that is always here.

Photo by Alessandro Pinna. CC license – AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved

 

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Weaving a New World

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My last post, “Where do we go from here?” expressed my frustration
with the state of affairs with regard to women in our country.
At the end, I wondered where we go from here.

Some of the comments on my post spoke of how so often it is women who seem to be the hardest on women. Why do we do this?

Just yesterday, a friend clued me into an important article by Ashley Judd, in which she speaks out on the nature of the patriarchy, and specifically calls out both the media and women for much of what we experience:

“Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle,insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.” ~Ashley Judd

These last two lines are POWERFUL.

“…we have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly.”

“…unable to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other women.”

As is this:

It is subtle,insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.”

Judd states that she does this. I know I surprise myself with my own callousness, and unconscious judgment and criticism. It seems to just pop up from somewhere, as if it has an energy all of its own. That energy is the pattern itself…the pattern that was internalized. It’s a thought, feelings sensations that all work together to create a habitual reaction. I am the only one that can unlearn this habit, the only one that can become aware of how much conditioning still functions through me and do what it takes to heal it.

We are all mightily conditioned in misogynistic ways.

Misogyny is the fear and hatred of women. While on the surface we may believe we don’t do either, we live in a culture that is saturated with misogynistic ways (and also ways of misandry, the fear and hatred of men). There is no way any of us could have avoided taking on these perspectives about women, and about the feminine in general.

For many of us, most of this is focused internally…meaning, we have patterns that cause us to fear and hate the woman in ourselves, the femaleness of our own being. But this is never just an internal thing. We also, in one way or another, focus it out there, even project it onto others.

::

Right now, this whole uprising of legislation and attention on women, women’s bodies, and our reproductive rights are just one piece in so much of what is tossing around in the world today. As Pema Chödrön writes,

‎”The whole globe is shook up, so what are you going to do when things are falling apart? You’re either going to become more fundamentalist and try to hold things together, or you’re going to forsake the old ambitions and goals and live life as an experiment, making it up as you go along.” 

The whole world is shaking and we all react to this shaking in different ways.

Some react by digging in and holding on tightly to ‘the old ways’ through a kind of fundamentalism. We all probably experience fundamentalism in some place in our lives.

We could get caught and stuck in this story. We do need to be aware of what we do that causes pain, and there is a new way coming into being, a way that is about fundamentally loving the feminine in ourselves and all of life.

There’s also the possibility of living this life as a grand experiment. I’d love to begin our own experiment of women loving women.

This is what I’m holding out as a vision for women around the world…that we can awaken to the voices we’ve internalized, see them for what they are, and realize that our own feelings of fear and hatred for the feminine are learned. If they are learned, we can unlearn them.

The very thing that has triggered this hanging on to the olds ways is a mirror of how we each try to hang onto the ‘old ways’ within us. 

Keeping women down out there is a mirror of how I keep myself, and other women, down with my thoughts, actions and statements.

Believing women are just playing the victim is a mirror of our own internal harshness toward ourselves.

It means it could be, and most likely will be, messy.  I know the things that are coming up with my close friends are very messy. I don’t know how to do it, and I am learning.

It does mean that we come to see our own inner workings…and how those inner workings are showing up ‘out there’. It does mean that we come to see ourselves for who we really are, not who we’ve been taught to believe we are.

::

We are creative beings. Even if the illusion that causes us to fear and hate is powerful, our creativity is so much more powerful.

I know, deep in my heart and my beautiful female gut, that women can dive into the lies we’ve believed and come out the other side seeing what is rising…the new feminine consciousness…in ourselves, in each other, and in all of life.

So, as my good friend and speaking mentor, Gail Larsen says, “If you want to change the world, tell a better story.” 

I’ve got a better story to tell. 

I look forward to weaving this new world with you! Stay tuned…

 

 

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Where Do We Go From Here?

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I’m sitting here with a heart in pain.

After a few moments on Twitter, I notice many tweets mentioning
the #waronwomen. I search on the hashtag and see a slew of tweets
that seem to span the gamut of feelings on this subject.

It all feels painful.

It all feels so far away from what I know is alive inside each of us…that sacred spark of the divine.

How could we be facing this in 2012?

How could equal rights for one gender STILL be in question?

::

In my heart, I know…

We teach our children that their body is theirs and that no one has the right to touch it. We teach our children to alert us when someone touches them inappropriately.

Yet, we are debating whether it should be law to control women’s bodies and the power we have to choose for ourselves and our bodies.

At what point do our daughters no longer have the right to say, “No. Stop. This is my body.”? 

::

To those who want to control us, what do you say to your own daughters and granddaughters? To your wives? To your mothers? To the women in your life I know you must truly love?

To those of you who feel such a need to try to control women and our bodies:

It hurts my heart to be at war with you.

It hurts my heart to fear you, to rage against you, and  to fight you.

And,

It hurts my heart to be shamed, humiliated, and denigrated because I am a woman.

It hurts my heart to even begin to think about what my granddaughter will have to face as she grows older.

My heart is not a weak organ. It is bold, and fierce and completely ready to stand firm in what I know to be true…

That we all lose in this system of privilege and oppression, domination and control.

That we will not survive if we continue to let fear rule over love.

That I will not die with words left unspoken.

Who we truly are is not of this war.

When we come to be united as women, and those men who honor and respect us, we will know a power we’ve not yet known.

There is a place outside of, and out from under, this system where we can live in full respect for both genders.

If I rage against those who would want to control me, I just strengthen them.

Yet, I do feel rage.

Let our rage be a creative force that finds a new way.

Let the fierceness that is at the heart of women forge this new way.

This new way is the way of love, and lest you think love is weak, think again.

How do we mobilize? 

Where do we go from here?


 

 

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The Grand Affair

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Color.

Shape.

Curve.

I love softness, blurry lines, rich deep color.

::

Ripe.

Full.

Intense.

All qualities I love, and

words others use to describe how they experience me.

::

I’ve always loved color…deep rich color.

Something draws me immediately to a flower… especially when

sunshine illuminates the flower’s fleshy petals or

the petals are open just enough to display, yet protect, the tender stamen inside.

How lovely it is to discover that which resonates so deeply with the soul.

::

And, you?

What calls to your soul?

What stirs your heart, quickens your pulse, catches your breath?

What wakes you up with a jolt to remind you you are vibrantly alive?

These things shine back to you the nature of your own being.

::

Everything is waiting for your attention, your love.

Everything is waiting to be seen, felt, touched, tasted and heard by you.

It’s all part of the grand affair, divinely choreographed for your pleasure and perception.

It’s all here to wake you up,

with great aplomb,

to the truth and the beauty of what you really are.

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