The Unsatisfied Force Within You: It’s time to set it free

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Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

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You are a lot like me, but not in a way we would necessarily see if we met face-to-face.

On the surface, we might seem similar or very different, but under the surface, something strong and alive pulses inside us.

Here, under the surface, we are very much alike.

Under the surface, we long for something, and this longing is more than just a simple whim or desire that comes from our more pedestrian human lives. It is way under the surface. Way down where marrow enlivens bone and blood runs thick, hot, and blue.

This longing, this pulse, is the desire of life to be fully alive, to be fully expressed, and to enjoy the feelings of aliveness and joy and unfolding, even though they are often intense. Very intense.

This desire, this longing, this pulse – was submerged long ago, long ago when we, you and I, were young.

Parents try to get us to calm down, quiet down, contain ourselves, stifle the voice, and not be ‘so outlandishly’ loud and ecstatic. Not be so happy. Not be so joyful. Not feel our feelings so intensely. Not feel.

We learn to squash the life force within us down to an acceptable level. We learn to be afraid of our own aliveness and vitality, our own emotional intensity.

We become ‘adult’.

I know I became very skilled at squashing my vitality and joy, which is what full aliveness looks like on the outside! I internalized the voices of adults over the years who kept at it, kept getting me to ‘tone it down.’ I used to be pretty vibrant. I played hard. I would get really sweaty and I loved being alive. But I grew to contain myself as those adults would shoot me glances that told me my fabulous vitality was not and certainly not polite.

Then, one day I began to do it to myself, taking those many voices outside into myself, taking them down deep inside where I couldn’t really hear them consciously but where they could still wreak their havoc in service to my dutiful smoldering of this inner fire – and it IS a fire.

Are you feeling this? Is it resonating? Do you, too, know this fire?

***

“Eros – it sounds like a nice dessert, like a happy ending. But Eros, the Greek god of love, was considered a tragic figure in antiquity. He was not the god of pleasurable satisfaction, but of emotional intensity that burned just as hotly, if not more so, when unsatisfied.” Dr. Andreas Weber, Matter & Desire

How does it feel inside you when your emotional intensity burns hot and sits unsatisfied within you? What’s going on inside of you when everything you really are is trying to claw its way out, trying to set itself free? How does that feel? Are you aware of it, conscious of this deeper impulse to flow like lava, or spread its wings and flee the cage?

I can tell you how it feels in me. Hot, angry, alive, pushing back against those old, old voices that, while I’m sure felt they were helping me to grow into a polite young woman, continued to imply that what is inside of me cannot be trusted and so I must contain myself.

But it is love. It is love that wants to fly. It is love that wants to push itself up and out of these holy bodies and into the bright air of this holy world. It is Eros. It is impulse. It is life.

We don’t trust what lies within us, but at the heart of who we are is a love so powerful that it must unfold itself into the world because when it does so, life increases, life grows, life expands – and this is what allows life to continue. This is all we were as kids – love in a small human body wanting to know itself, wanting to feel gloriously alive.

But now – we are growing dead inside as a species. We lock ourselves up. We are locking others up. We are even locking children up now here in my country.

Command. Contain. Control.

The message: do not trust that impulse inside of you to come alive, do not trust your humanity, do not trust yourself.

This that we haven’t trusted is love’s great and hot desire to live into the world, to continue itself, over and over, becoming alive and then enjoying the deep feeling of having done so.

“But this love – I thought, as the trail of the swift’s arrowlike flight seemed burned like an afterimage into the evening’s empty air – is indeed nothing other than the inexhaustible drive of both life-forms and the ecosystem to grow and to unfold. It is the desire for such unfolding and the joy experienced when that drive is fulfilled… It unfolds regardless of whether something good happens to me or another being because it is the joy experienced whenever life increases in the world, somewhere.”
– Dr. Andreas Weber

“… whether something good happens to me or another…”

This is key here. It’s not just about us. It is about life itself. We are part of life. We are included in this. We are not separate form life. We humans think it is just about us. We think this earth revolves around us. This is how we are killing ourselves, and how we are killing other beings. We’ve forgotten. It is about life itself and about the joy of this entire existence constantly pouring forth into the world as a holy expression of the deepest longing of love.

***

So, that feeling of frustration, grief, sadness – and sometimes hot and uncomfortable desire to be free, to run, to fly – is necessary to face and feel and welcome in. It is telling you something. It is life saying, “No. I will not contain myself. I will not kill myself slowly in this lifetime. I will keep a bookmark here, I will keep a placeholder so that when I grow completely tired of this charade, I will find myself again and I will fly free.”

Listen for these words in your own true voice.

And when you grow tired, you can fly free. Eros is pulsing. Love is always trying to make its way to freedom. Life will liberate itself when given the chance.

Eros is wholly unsatisfied when it burns hot and cannot flow. When it is kept down, kept quiet, kept submerged. Like lava, it will erupt. And then it will flow into the world, making new earth, making new life, creating as life as life does.

You are no different than Pele. You are no different than that hot intensity waiting to become new earth. You are life and there is nothing wrong with you or with your desire to be fully, wholly, and holy alive.

Everything in your glorious nature knows how to flow. A bit of loving attention with that voice inside of you that wants to contain you (because it is trying to protect you) and you are set free. Believe me. We are very much alike. We are family, the human kind, and we must guide each other to back to our own kind of flight – human flight – the billowing forth of love’s desire to both express and know the joy of this profound unfolding.

I know this. I’ve done this. Find your way to freedom.

We will become free, together.

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Beautifully Intertwined: the Call to Return Home and the Call to Become.

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At this point in my life,

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

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

Let me break it down.

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

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

This is the expansion and growth of the soul.

Up until this point,

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

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

We long to remember and we come to grow.

Let’s break it down further…

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is key!

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

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

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

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

***

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

 

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Eros. A Beautiful Thing.

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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

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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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Intimacy of Soul: A Wordless Conversation

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…nothing is of such value or of such importance as woman’s rescue of herself. This is something very difficult for woman to accept because in the past the whole impulsion of her nature has been to respond to the needs of others. The fact that she herself is in greatest need of her own help, support and understanding is the very first step in the direction of polishing the moon.” ~ Anne Baring

 

I see the world through my own lens, just as we all do.

Seeing the world this way means we often project things onto the world, often in not so great ways. But, it also means we have a unique genius to how we see the world and how we communicate our particular view.

Oftentimes, I’ve been ridiculed, judged, and shamed for how I see beauty, value tenderness, and am in love with the sensuous. I imagine you’ve experienced something similar for expressing your unique view and genius, especially if it is a highly sensitive one in a culture that tends to shun what it deems to be weak.

What I’ve come to see in my own life is that pure joy is available when we truly and simply accept then express what we feel in our hearts, see through our eyes, and know in our soul. It is an acceptance of Self at a deep level. It is me accepting how Source expresses through me, and it is me honoring how Source appears as me. This is the acceptance I had been looking for from others, but this is an acceptance only I can give to myself, and it is the acceptance only you can give to yourself.

This rose is truly an expression of what I feel in my heart so often but could never find words to express. There are no words for how the petals of my heart open when I come into relationship with beauty such as this.

I’ve been in a bit of a tumultous time, trying to come to know what it is I truly want to spend the rest of my life doing. I love my work and I love to work hard at what I love. I want to live my life doing what I love, what my soul is here to do. And, it has been hard getting in touch with the place inside me where I know what I want, not what I learned I should want.

I learned well what I was taught. I learned well how to ‘respond to the needs of others’. But, I was not taught how to support myself or ensure my needs were met or even to listen so well to myself that I came to understand me. Yes, of course, I take care of my daily needs. But this call to know Self is much deeper. And, not only know Self, but honor Self and express Self through this vessel of me.

As I grow older, I see that I don’t want to die having only lived what I learned I should be. I do not want to die without having lived what I am, without having rescued myself into being.

For me, this is not living what the culture deems is worthy of living. I do not care to live in order to satisfy some external sense of a good life. I want to live the longing I feel in my soul. I want to live the longing that life has to live through me as me. I want to come to know myself as Self.

And so, this requires a softening that comes when everything is accepted, even the resistance to that softening and acceptance. It feels like a ‘dissolving into’.

I want to know the immediate intimacy of soul, both mine and yours. I want to experience myself this way and I want to know you this way, too.

And I want to know if you are feeling this same longing and desire? I want to know if you are coming to see that what can only be expressed through you is the most glorious thing you could ever hope to express in this lifetime?

This is the wordless conversation I want to have with myself, with you, and with life.

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Longing & Resistance: How to Stay True to Your Soul’s Call

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I see this soft undulating beauty, this riot of pink and yellow and orange, and I wonder…

Soft. Vulnerable. Open. This flower doesn’t hide her softness, doesn’t mitigate her sensuality, doesn’t contain her wildness. She doesn’t know to make others more ‘comfortable’ by mitigating her power. Life just flows through her, through her stem. She doesn’t resist blooming – she just blooms. Flowers don’t resist their call. They simply bloom.

***

This same life force flows through you and through me. Yet, we block this natural blueprint. How do we do it? By resisting what is.

In very simple terms,

there are two forces at work within each of us when it comes to comes to creating anything we long to create – heck when it comes to doing anything we long to d – with the emphasis on the longing.

One force is the force that longs to create.
It’s the longing within you, the creative impulse, the impulse of life to live something through you.

The other force is the force of resistance to creating (to living, really).
We give it many names like Inner Critic or the Voice of Judgment or even the Ego. It is the internalized voice of our parents, of teachers, and other adults who were in charge of teaching us about love and the world-at-large when we were young. But, mainly, it is simply resistance to ‘what is’. It is resistance to change, to risk, to being seen, to not being seen, and so on.

Sometimes it is helpful to go into the content of resistance; for example, what it is saying and how it feels in your body. Awareness is helpful when we acknowledge it without trying to fix it, change it, or even resist it (we do that, don’t we? we resist the resistance. if that isn’t a bit crazy making?). Ultimately, resistance wants to be seen, heard, and accepted so it can be set free, and we do this through love by holding the resistance in our awareness and feeling the feelings until they move all the way through into freedom. This is a lot of the work I do with my coaching clients. We learn how to be in a loving relationship with resistance in a way that allows it to be set free.

But, sometimes all that is needed is to acknowledge the resistance without resisting it. After this, we then put our awareness back on what it is we are creating by taking a single step forward, then another, then another. This is how we stay in flow – how we stay true to the soul’s call.

I’ve found through my years of coaching, and in my own experience, that you can use this process for anything you are facing that has an element of resistance to it. The simplicity is really helpful. When the resistance gets big and we get ‘velcro’ed’ to it (meaning so stuck to it that it’s all we see and know), then it can help to go into the content. But, often being aware of it, accepting it, and giving it space to be, without letting it get its hands on the wheel, can be enough to keep you in flow, moving to your soul’s call.

Where there is resistance, there is gold! The more resistance, the greater are the jewels our inner protector is guarding.

***

writingrawpin02I often see both longing and resistance in the women who write me to ask if my writing program, Writing Raw, is right for them. They want to join the circle, but often they have fears that it isn’t the right fit.

What do I tell them? I remind them that something had them write me, that there must be a desire or longing or wonder about doing the program – that something is calling to them. I suggest they feel into whether or not Writing Raw feels like it is a doorway into where that longing wishes to go. We CAN sense things such as this if we turn our attention to them.

The idea of joining a Writing Raw circle often brings up great resistance for a number of reasons. We resist going within, afraid of what we might discover. We resist really hearing our inner voice, reluctant to truly give that suppressed inner voice a chance to speak knowing it truly wants to speak. And, we often resist a deeper conversation about the erotic or about the sacred as they tend to be taboo subjects for many of us.

We can have resistance to certain ideas and words because they trigger things in us, even though at the same time we really LONG to go there. We can be so curious to explore our internal world, to find out what the experience of Eros truly is, and to come to know this raw energy within oneself. Yet, we resist it. 

But remember, where there is resistance, there is gold! Give the resistance acceptance and space, AND honor and follow your longing – whatever it is your soul is calling you to.

If it is Writing Raw, you can register here. We begin March 29th.

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A Touch of Soul, Here, on My Breath.

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“…for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness…”
Galway Kinnell
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Witnessing my own unfolding

In looking back over the writing I’ve shared here over the past seven years, I see my own unfolding. Along the way, I’ve shared my experiences rather than using this as a platform to offer you ‘useful’ advice on ‘how-to’ or ‘how-not-to’. I’ve shared stories and insights. I’ve shared some of the most vulnerable moments of my journey. I can’t say that was my intention when I began. But, then how often do we know ahead of time what it is that is driving us? In the past few weeks, the unfolding has hastened. Things falling away left and right. Like a dog with a bone, I’ve followed every kernel of grace offered out to me. I cannot tell you ‘what’ it is that has happened, but I finally feel at home.

That is no small thing considering it’s been almost twenty years since I set out to find home. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt at home in this world, but I managed to avoid feeling the deeper feelings of not belonging and not being safe while married to my late-husband – until the early-morning hour when he died, suddenly. That’s when the journey began in earnest.

It was then, almost twenty years ago, that however my psyche had organized itself to help navigate the feeling of being unsafe here on earth, could no longer find a footing. In a matter of minutes after he died, I felt completely unmoored. He had been my love, my protector, my partner of 21 years.

It’s been a long journey to follow longing. A journey to find safety, not through another human being, but within myself. I didn’t know that was what I was looking for. Ultimately, it was really the journey to find love, the love that can only be found deep within oneself.

The push to get somewhere or something has been relentless. I could never settle. I could never feel like what was in my life was ‘enough’. All the while, I wouldn’t have been able to articulate to you these things. I know them now, in hindsight.

There is something new here.

A kind of softness, a trust, a faith in life.

A taste of earth, here, in my flesh.

A touch of Soul, here, on my breath.

 

Life guided me.

Life does this if we listen. Books fell unbidden from bookcases, guiding me to dance. People appeared as guides. Flowers called to me with their beauty, reflecting to me the light and beauty that is the soul of everything alive. And, my relationship came to an end when it was clear I had to find out who I am on my own – sovereign and whole.

The land called to me from different parts of our planet. I had to step foot on other parts of this earth to feel something that could only be felt there, in each place, to reawaken elements of earth that I’d tasted long before.

Nature called. Each day, I walk. Almost first thing in the morning, after tea. I hear birdsong. I feel wind. I take in the love of trees, offering it back to them with great appreciation. I have come to feel an unseen, but incredibly vibrant, relationship with life. I’ve come to know I belong.

John O’Donohue‘s words capture this feeling much more eloquently than I can.

“Essentially, we belong beautifully to nature. The body knows this belonging and desires it. It does not exile us either spiritually or emotionally. The human body is at home on the earth. It is probably a splinter in the mind that is the sore root of so much of our exile.”

I feel at home in my body. 

Another way to say this, is that my mind now trusts how my body feels at home. My mind trusts my body’s longing to be home. To not be held away, distant from itself, for my body is of the earth’s body. It is of the same clay.

This might surprise some of you who’ve read me for a while. It’s not like I haven’t been in my body. It’s not like I haven’t felt joy in my body. I have – often and much.

But that ‘splinter in the mind’ was always here. The splinter continued to tell me I wasn’t safe. It created a kind of vigilance, a hyper-vigilance. This kind of thinking, the circular questioning and the constant looking for safety, kept at bay what it was I was looking for. Of course it did. I was looking for love, but this small but insistent voice didn’t trust love.

As I read more of John O’Donohue’s words for the second time (I first read Anam Cara about eight years ago), in preparation for my writing course, I came across his description of how the body is in the soul, not the other way around. He writes,

“Your body is in the soul, and the soul suffuses you completely. Therefore, all around you there is a secret and beautiful soul-light.”

And, if the body is in the soul, then my body is held, and loved, and breathed into by Soul. My immediate breath is Soul breath. My senses first encounter the realm of my Soul. It is so close. Always.

This is what I had longed for – to know that love is this close. Complete and unconditional love, which Soul has for self. I had shut myself off to my own Soul, and I had to see that.

 

Necessary to reteach me of my loveliness.

As most of us do because we are taught to, I journeyed to find what I’d thought I lost out there somewhere. God is supposed to be up there, on high, somewhere. Right? And, I am supposed to find love in someone else to complete me. Right?

No. Soul is closer than my breath. Soul is closer than sound, taste, sight, touch. Soul is wrapping me in love. I turned away from Soul. I had to turn back to self to know Soul.

Splintering happens. For me, the splinter broke free when that portion of the mind could feel that it was held, and that what held it was safe. I watched it circle. I watched it look and question and wonder. I watched as it let go. I felt the softening in myself. I couldn’t make it let go, but I could hold the space for it to do it as it needed to. I could trust that it would set itself free.

And, one last thing…for now. I’ve written in the past of the ‘creative impulse’…of the beautiful desire that moves through us as human beings to express in this world of form. In my next post, I’ll write more about Soul, your body, and creativity.

 

For now, just know that God(dess) is decidedly sensuous. 

 

 

 

 

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True Belonging – one of the most important things we must find in these times.

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On Belonging.

I’ve been immersed in this topic since last Fall when I was asked to speak at TEDxIsfeld in British Columbia. For whatever reason, it seemed to keep coming up in my mind. That seems to be how creativity works. Things arise out of that big dark void from which everything emerges. For me, it was around belonging and finding a way back to being a human being connected to the land.

At the time, I wrote about becoming indigenous again, or finding my way back to reverence for the land. I’ve never shared that writing. It was writing for only my eyes. I was longing for something. Longing to feel connected, longing to be wise enough to know how to be with the land. Longing to no longer think of just me, but to begin to consider how I can serve the land.

I squirmed writing those words, “becoming indigenous again”. Sometimes words just come out and then you wonder what they’re about.

I know I am not an indigenous person and totally respect those people who are and the difficulties they face. And, I know indigenous cultures have a reverence for the land, and know a deep responsibility to it that many of us who’ve lost our bearings of belonging don’t seem to live. (I will share much of that writing in my new course: Belonging – 21 Days to Find Your Way Home, because it’s at the heart of what it means to be a human being.) It’s taken some time to see that what started as a seed back in the Fall has begun to blossom as new work.

And what has blossomed from that early writing is an exploration into belonging.


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Many of us were disconnected from the land of our ancestors. We’ve lost our connection to the land in a way the indigenous cultures have not. We’ve lost our connection to the matter, to the mother.

 

Many of us are displaced beings. Yet, we all belong to the earth. The earth is our mother. We are her children. 

Regardless of where we were born, regardless of where our ancestors came from, we all belong to the earth. And, I am coming to see that this is what gets us to the heart of being a human being – one who lives her humanity. Of course, I guess there are many interpretations of the nature of humanity. I know it can take dark forms…and I know we are moving to evolve toward a living of our light.

At the heart of coming to know a deeper relationship to earth is coming to know we belong.

I have come to see that one of the most important things we must do is come to remember that we belong. To ourselves, to each other, to the earth, and to all beings. Without remembering belonging, we drift aimlessly, believing someone else will take care of the very real responsibilities we have to life…and belonging helps us come to remember this forgotten imperative of relationship.

I hear from so many women that they don’t feel they belong, that they want to find the place where they feel safe and comfortable for being who they are, for living the values they hold dear.

Is this what belonging means to you? Finding a place where you are a natural part of the community, where when you are simply who you are and live what you hold dear, you feel safe and valued? Does it mean finding a place where you feel you are able to fully give of yourself, fully valued, wanted, and respected? Does it mean finally being able to be of service because you know that in relationship there is a shared give and take?

Isn’t that what any human being wants, to be valued, respected, and able to give something back, to be a part of a community?

We’ve devalued half of life’s qualities – the feminine half that exists in all of life, and we’ve devalued half of the population – women, and at the heart of it all, we’ve devalued, dominated, and controlled the material world, including the earth, animals, crops, air, water, etc. Everything that sustains us has been devalued and harmed, including the very vessels that bring human life forth – women’s bodies.

We don’t see the earth as a living being – we see her as material goods. 

In trying to find our way back, we begin to devalue the masculine. To find fault with it. When what is true is that we are woefully out of balance.

When we look at our culture and the values that seem to be linked to it, it’s no wonder we don’t feel like we belong. Our current cultural landscape is far from balanced, far from a reflection of the beauty we hold dear as women, from the capacity we know as women to nurture life itself.

In a culture that teaches you to conform, you can lose connection to your own values and needs. You slowly forget what matters to you most, and you begin to turn your attention to what will keep you connected to the culture, to what seems as if it will bring a sense of belonging. But this is not belonging. You will never feel you belong when you can’t be who you are. Never. And, somewhere we know this.

Belonging only comes when you are yourself and awake to what is real. Belonging can only happen when you are connected to the real world, to the world that has been here all along.

Our systemic devaluation of the feminine has a direct correlation to how much we feel we belong. When we lose connection to the mother, we lose our connection to matter.

When this devaluation pervades our culture and our internal radar is pointing to this culture for a sense of home, we’ll never find home. Patriarchy causes us to feel out of place because it is out of place. Patriarchy is out of place and alignment with the earth, our home, with the feminine, and with the masculine, and place is where we find belonging.

Everything seems to be coming out of the woodwork. So much violence. So much greed. So much sadness and grief. So much. How can we find our ground, our own ground amidst all of this? How can we touch into what is real when so much destruction is swirling around us?

How can you stay with your values when it seems as if the world that has a voice is telling you they are not valuable? How can you tap into what is real and true for you, when so much around us tries to convince us of what we should believe?

Through the body.
Through the land.
Through the connection with women.
Through the real world.
Through these we find our way back to our own connection between this female body and the earth. 

There is a ‘real world’ in which we exist. The earth and the stars, the sun and the moon, flowers and birds, animals and another’s warm hand. Nature. We are nature.

These are the elements of belonging. Knowing these in our everyday lives is what brings us back to here. And, here is the only place we can truly belong.

This is where we remember who we are, what we came into the world to do, the nature of our unique gifts, and our connection to a land that is not ours to own but rather ours to serve.

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Please join me on April 1st: Belonging – 21 Days to Find Your Way Home. Finding our way to a true sense of belonging may be one of the most important things we can do in these times.

At this time, the course is only for women. I’ve had men ask if it would be for men, too. Perhaps after this first iteration. Let’s see what happens.

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Bright Eyes and Deep Peace Welcome 2012

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Light upon Light

It is the first day of 2012,

a year, according to many, which is supposed to be an auspicous year. Who knows. Today is only the first day, in fact here in my city, it is only the 6th hour of the first day.

Yesterday was New Year’s Eve. It was a beautiful and difficult day. I am single now and spending much time alone. It’s right to be doing so, and at the same time, in some ways it is painful to be alone. I love to be in relationship. I miss it. And, it is not yet time to be with someone new.

I am finding new places within myself. Chunks of old gunk are falling away, not without some deep work, but then nothing worth doing is necessarily easy.

Getting a download from God?

I wanted to spend some of the day at church, so I headed out to Grace Cathedral. If you are not familiar with it, Grace is a gorgeous cathedral that sits on the top of one of the most beautiful hills in San Francisco.

I had wanted to bathe myself in a beautiful service. I’m not a religious person, but I am wholly in love with the sacred. Most of my worship time is with trees and flowers, on the dance floor, or with my grandchildren and children, but today my heart longed for a traditional service. Well, it wasn’t to be.

According to Grace’s website, on a normal Saturday, there is always a 3:00 service. There was no mention that New Year’s Even was different, so when I arrived I was disappointed. Rather than the usual schedule, the plan was to show the Hunchback of Notre Dame in the church at 7:00 and 10:00, accompanied by live organ music. I did stumble into the organist’s practice time, which proved to be magical unto itself.

So, I sat and listened. I wandered around the church and looked, really looked, at the art within. There are some amazing pieces of art that I’ll share with you in future writings.

As I wandered,

tears welled up from someplace deep within me. Much of my past week has been spent in tears. For whatever reason, this deep processing and letting go has coincided with the last days of 2011. The tears just come, so I stay with them. I’m learning to, as Nisargadatta wrote:

“Investigate yourself and love the investigation and you will solve not only your own problems but also the problems of humanity.”

While I’m not so sure I’m solving humanity’s problems, I know I can only follow the long slender thread that continues to call me within. It’s not that I can always stay with the thread. I find my ways to escape. And, I am always brought back to where I left off, if I’m willing to listen and feel. It’s not like I am doing anything, but listening to my heart, to this pull to investigate the places that don’t feel true.

I decided to walk home from the church, so I headed out as dusk fell, and as dusk fell the tears fell, too. So many tears. Walking along the busy streets of the city on New Year’s Eve with alligator tears streaming down was probably a sight, but in reality they were quiet tears. There was a deep unnamed sadness, a well of something that had been there for eons.

Words rose up,

words from a past long ago. Words that had been stuck, pushed down within. As I voiced the words aloud, and held it all within the silence that holds everything, I heard words from the deep silence, words that liberated, not because they were flowery prosaic, but because they were simple in their truth.

“No, they did not love you as they should have, they loved you as they could.”

And then the tears were gone. These were tears that had flowed for years, but I had never gotten to a place where I could just let them be, just let them fall, without trying to fix or get rid of. I finally simply let them come, while I followed the thread of what was shown.

An old, old deep longing was released. A longing to know a love that could not be given from those who could not give it. And as the tears ended, suddenly my eyes were bright. They felt as if a veil had been lifted from them. And along with the brightness, I felt peace, a deep peace.

I know we as a species are flirting with catastrophe. I also know what will liberate us is love. I know how angry I have been with what’s happening in the world, and I’ve not known what to do about it. And, I’ve felt oddly guilty spending time processing deeply because it isn’t a doing, not in the ways most of us would believe we need to be in action.

Yet, what better course could we chart for ourselves than to discover the well within of silent deep abiding love. In one way or another, we all got mixed up about what love is. We’ve looked out there to fill the hole inside. We’ve looked to others, or to things, to get the love, when it has always surrounded us, has filled us, had been silently waiting for us to turn inward.

I want to be able to hold it all in love,

all of what is here in the world. Not just the beautiful, the easy, the happy and the joyous, but all of it, even that which feels the most difficult to love, which in reality has been myself.

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Pierced

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Pierced

My heart is not my own. It belongs to a far greater force than a single human being.

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