A Return to Relationship With Life

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“…how calmly, as though it were an ordinary thing, we eat the blessed earth.” ~ Mary Oliver

Seeds are planted, food comes forth…as though it were an ordinary thing.

The moon returns after having gone black…as though it were an ordinary thing.

We open our eyes to live another day…as though it were an ordinary thing.

The Earth sustains us, each day of our lives, and we act as if it were an ordinary thing.

 

Around us, within us, between us, is the sacred.

Every atom is filled with it. And every atom is it.

Every breath is this mystery gifting us another moment of life. It is quite simple, yet life-changingly profound when we come to really take it in. And, yet, we grow to see it as an ordinary thing.

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Wonder and Awe

The nature of the structures and institutions we live in is one of domination and control over life and that which is symbolic of life-giving power. In these structures, the sacred is seen as something above us, outside of us, and in some cases, something that only certain people have access to. It is also seen, by some, as something that does not exist.

For some time, we humans have thought that we can solve any problem simply through our thinking process, even the problems our thinking has created. It’s actually not very logical at all, but then the logical mind that doesn’t acknowledge reality isn’t very logical.

The logical mind run amuck has a quality of cold lifelessness. There is no heart in it, no warmth. When there is no heart, there can be a feeling of the stiltedness that’s somewhat robotic.

The structures we live in do not give much credence to wonder and awe, mystery and uncertainty. When we’re taught we have to know everything, there isn’t much place for these things. When we’re taught that humans own and can control life, not just land ownership but even going so far as to patent seeds, we’ve lost a sense of any relatedness or connection to life. Rather than being in relationship with the life that sustains us, we’ve come to see ourselves as owners and manipulators of this life…sometimes, all for a profit or comfort or supposed safety and security.

But wonder and awe are absolutely necessary if we are to heal the messes we’ve made here on earth. It is our relationship with life that needs healing, and to me that’s the realm of the sacred. And it’s also largely the realm of womanhood.

Why? Because our very need to control, dominate, and fix life is why we are in the mess we are in. And when we continue to act from this mindset to attempt to ‘fix’ our problems without opening to the mystery itself to guide us back into balance, we continue to seal not only our own human downfall, but so selfishly the downfall of many other species.

Our role as humans is of stewards of this beautiful Earth, and, we’ve forgotten our humble role.

 

Life itself regenerates.

That is part of its mystery, is it not?

Life is intelligent, much more so than any human being. But to know this once again, we must come to remember our place in this vast Universe. There is an intelligence far more intelligent than human beings will ever be. And this intelligence is sacred. This intelligence is what animates all of life. It is the universal life force. It permeates existence. And, we’ve lost our awe for this intelligence. We think we have it figured out. We think we can recite words that capture this intelligence. We think our dogmas explain it.

We’ve been so deeply conditioned to believe that the sacred is NOT in the land, the air, the water, the trees, animals, plants, rocks and yes, people. We’ve been taught to believe the sacred is not in our deep feeling nature as human beings. We’ve been encouraged to believe that the very things we are destroying are simply objects for our use. It’s too easy for our conditioned minds to view life as something we can research, figure out, understand, and even patent, that it is this deep misunderstanding that has brought us to the brink of great destruction.

Furthermore, many of us have been turned off to anything that smacks of religion, or if we follow a particular religion, many of those religions teach that the sacred is above this lowly earth plane. In believing this, we come to push away anything that we believe is trying to tell us what to believe, how to act, or how we must be in order to be worthy of access to the sacred.

 

A reclamation of the sacredness of life is needed.

Words can point to so many things, and they point to experiences we’ve had in the past, experiences that might be positive or negative or both. So much gets tangled up in a word. Yet, this reclamation that can help us heal is an opportunity; it’s the opportunity to come to know what the word ‘sacred’ means to each of us by way of experience…our very own real life experience.

Words are powerful. We can’t name this that can’t be named. But we can each guide ourselves to really look at our own relationship with this that can’t be named. We can guide ourselves to remember our own experiences of moments when we’ve been profoundly moved by this that can’t be named. And these feelings, these experiences, can be acknowledged with a word, a metaphor, a scent, a flavor, a symbol that speaks uniquely to each of us. Something that puts us back in relationship with that which breathes you.

The word you use to describe whatever it is that brings this awe to you matters not. What matters is the acknowledgement that there is something greater than you, or me, or us. What matters is that we find our way back to a relationship with this that is greater than all of us.

 

Consider…

What brings out the feeling that you are connected to something greater than yourself? What brings you back to wonder and awe? What helps you remember there is something greater than you, whether it be community, relationship, humanity, the animal kingdom, Mother Earth…something that compels you to come back to the whole and to wholeness?

When you remember this experience, or these experiences, how do you feel? What do you feel? Where do you feel it?

For me, I notice these things in many small moments, as well as some of the ‘bigger’ life moments I’ve known.

I’ve seen the sacred in those ecstatic moments of my children’s births, or the births of my grandchildren that I was lucky enough to witness. I’ve seen the sacred in those moments of death, pain, and illness of those I love deeply. And sometimes, it’s been the way my arm or hand moves to the music when I dance, or how the warm wind feels when it’s blowing across my face. Sometimes, it’s been the miracle of my grandchild’s small hand with big dimples by each finger that causes my breath to catch.

 

Breath catching is a sure sign of the sacred.

 

Just consider this: You are alive. You ‘eat the blessed earth’ each day. You drink Her waters. You breathe Her air. You are here.

The Earth is this Mystery in form. We are Her.

Let yourself see the amazingness of just this. Then, call it whatever you wish. But, acknowledge that Yes, that something is right here, looking out your eyes, breathing your body, beating your heart. Acknowledge just how close this is to you. And, after really taking this in, acknowledge that what this is is not ordinary at all.

I’d say it is sacred. And, what do you say?

 

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Wise Woman Wednesday – Lone Mørch

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Wise Woman Wednesday

Occasionally, I share windows into wise women I know. There is no criteria, per se; rather, every now and then I feel called to share something that seems relevant, beautiful, fun, and of course, wise. We women have the opportunity to amplify each other’s voices, to connect women to each other, to share our stories with each other, and it’s something we must do if women are to come into their wholeness and fullness. Plus, it’s just fun to honor and amplify women.

The wise woman: Lone Mørch

I’ve known Lone for about eight years now. We dance regularly together, and we’ve sat and chatted, many times, sipping chai and eating Indian food as we’ve discussed feminism, the sacred feminine and masculine, and how much we’ve learned on this inward journey to wholeness.

Seeing Red

Lone recently published her first book, a memoir titled Seeing Red. In Lone’s words,

“Seeing Red: A Women’s Quest for Truth, Power and the Sacred is an Intimate memoir about a woman’s search for personal power, a journey of climbing inner and outer mountains that takes her to the holy Mt. Kailas in Tibet, through a seven-year marriage, and into the arms of the fierce goddess Kali, where she discovers her powerful feminine self. As much a memoir about coming into one’s own as it is a love affair with the Himalayas, Seeing Red takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of creation and destruction.

This is the story of Denmark native Lone Mørch’s transformation–a story of love and passion, and also a story of self-betrayal. This is every woman’s story because it’s a dispassionate tale of one woman who knowingly gives up on herself, and who has to fight tooth and nail to reclaim herself. In the end, the efforts are worth it, but she has to strip herself bare, lose everything she’s held dear, and strip away everything she’s ever built in order to see the truth.”

 

I loved Seeing Red. It’s fascinating, funny, and moving. It’s Lone’s journey, yet at the same time, in a very universal way, it is every woman’s journey.

The Interview

Lone and I sat down to talk about Seeing Red, but also about how we find our way by being on the journey, not by waiting until we are ready for it. It’s the journey that seasons us with wisdom and healing.

There are many things Lone and I talked about that I feel are universal for us as we reclaim the deep beauty of the feminine. During our chat, Lone revealed, “The story that lived in my belly was the story of power.” Power in the belly…sound familiar?

Over time, what really compelled me to dive more deeply into Lone’s rich experience is what she discovered in her work photographing women through her company, Lolo’s Boudoir. As she worked with more and more women, she discovered she was doing exactly what she needed to do to see what she, herself, was up against in her desire to affirm her own beauty and sexuality. She was seeing and hearing the same beliefs and messages from each woman she photographed that she heard coming from within herself.

During the interview, Lone shared that she was always looking for beauty,for a space for women to be beautiful. As she was starting to step into a deeper sense of sovereignty, she wanted that for the women, too. As she did so, she discovered she could no longer play along with the “slightly superficial boudoir, be sexy” kind of exploration and experience for women.

“The accumulated stories of all these women and their difficulty in accepting their bodies and their difficultures around sensuality and sexuality were piling up. I was starting to be drained and frustrated.”

Lone could clearly see the underbelly of this society, “how it is image driven and how our bodies and our sexuality have been commodified. We become estranged-from-our-essential nature as women.” She didn’t feel in integrity anymore and began to ask herself, “Can I undo stereotypical images of sexy as I create more images?”

Some of Lone’s words of wisdom from her work photographing women:

“Most women end up being naked and feel the most powerful and the most free.”

“I had to allow myself to be more naked and real and put up the front that I’ve got it going on and perfect. It has taught me how to see. It has taught me that I have to fall in love with each person…”

“It healed my mistrust of women; taught me how no matter the age and stage we are at we end up dealing with the same questions.” 

And, as you’ll hear, Lone learned to trust more deeply in her own creative process. She used to be a planner and now she sees she functions really well in the intimate moment. This is so much of what reclaiming the feminine is…learning to trust our deep creative nature and the feminine nature of the creative process, that of the unknown, the fecund, the emergent.

Listen to our chat here. It’s 35 minutes, so you might also want to download it and listen to it on a walk out in the woods…urban or not.

You can buy Seeing Red here, and discover more about Lone’s work here on her ‘Divinely Furious’ blog.

:::

Lone Mørch, in her words:

I’m an award-winning author, photographer, speaker 
and creative facilitator, driven by a deep sense 
of curiosity, freedom and social justice.
 
I am an advocate for women’s visibility, voice and value in the world. For more than a decade, as a photographer, I’ve witnessed thousands of women heal and transform their body-image and self- perception. I’ve learned that the sovereign path, living from inside out, is the only path to self-liberation. Together, I see us break the chain of invisibility and free our voices. As the patriarchy is falling apart around us, we have the glorious opportunity to re-imagine ourselves and our world in a more feminine, honest and harmonious way. This is the conversation I want to invite you into.
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Creation and the Bedroom

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Today, Wild Writing took me here. The poem that ignited this piece was ‘Domestic’ by Deborah Landau. Catalyst phrases from the poem by Deborah Landau are in pink.

::

I like the bedroom man.
Take me to the door.
Take me.

Something longs inside me. Or is it something calls to me from inside? A longing that is sensuous in its flavor.

When I follow, I land down somewhere in my sacral bowl, sacral for sacred because it is so. The landing is clear and simple, but the way to getting there is anything but.

Down in this bowl where darkness reigns, there is a sweet intoxication, lover and beloved wrapped around each other, not even close to the clump of matter I used to think existed in this place inside my body.

Dakrness as in creation, not as in the many ways we sometimes see this place in a woman’s body.
Creation. A bowl. Ingredients stirred. Something grows.

Banana blossom

* I’m thinking about the orchard, how each morning I’d take my basket and wind my way down to the first tree along the path. Bright yellow bumpy lemons. Not once did She drop one for me to gather. I shook her, yet there was no letting go. Next, avocado and mangos. After the wild winds, the avocados, bigger than my two fists together, would lie waiting for me, sometimes with rat gnashes all around one end. Bananas. Papayas. Nonis.

The citrus trees showed me something. I will never forget. Limes, lemons, grapefruits, and oranges of all sizes and shapes, colors and textures; except for the limes, it was hard to tell what was what. And even then, the limes weren’t always green.

One grapefruit in particular taught me how we can be so many colors and not one at all. Pink, green, orange, yellow, and red spread out around its weighty sphere. I relished how She paints the canvas of her creation. I cried at how she holds on until we are ready to be birthed, picked up, appreciated, held, then eaten and enjoyed. Such intricate and supremely intelligent beauty She creates.

* A few hours later, after my harvest in the orchard, just on the edge of town, I drive by the uber-uniformed rows of corn plants, so closely planted there is no room for the wild wind to shake them.

Exactly the same height.
Exactly the same width.
Exactly the same.
Places please.

A cold shiver runs through me as I witness the raping of Mother Nature.

There is no surprise, no collage of color, no bumpy skin, no gangley, gnarly diversity.

There is only same.

Uniformed acquiescence created by the man who knows nothing of the bedroom.

I weep. We are out of order but not broken.

::

 * My first shared words from my recent time on Molokai.

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Woman’s Tendrils of Wildness

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Somewhere, I learned to be careful rather than carefree. At some point, I learned to think rather than intuit or feel. Along the way, this girl’s wispy tendrils of wildness went way underground, deep down into the depths of the dark places where she learned to put away her very natural, very powerful, and very threatening erotic nature.

Carefulness is not a helpful strategy for a life well lived.

Thinking is good for many things (math, taxes, logic), yet when it runs the show we feel dead inside.

Living what is natural and organic to the soul is what unfolds a life that both sings and serves.

::

Woman’s erotic nature is powerful, yes; but threatening? Only to those who want to control and dominate life.  

The nature of the Feminine principle is the full cycle of creation, all the way around the circle from creation to destruction. For something new to come, something existing must die. This is threatening to those who want to pretend that they continually feed structures based on perpetual growth, never ending profits, unlimited and unsustainable consumption.

There is no such thing as perpetual growth without eventual decay. We know this in our bones and in our cells. When something grows wildly, feeding on itself to keep growing, it is cancerous and eventually leads to its own death.

We can pretend half of life’s cycle doesn’t exist, yet pretending doesn’t make it go away.

In the same way, we can pretend our erotic nature, our power as women, doesn’t exist. We can hide it away thinking we’re fooling everyone, especially ourselves, but this doesn’t make it go away.

Our erotic nature is nature. It doesn’t disappear; we just keep it down. Or, we share it in a small sliver of the way in which it is meant to be shared. Or we allow it out in acceptable ways – acceptable to those who want to control eros.

Keeping our nature down hurts us all, men and women, for no one is happy, truly happy, when life is being controlled, when our hearts our closed, and when our bodies are seen as objects rather than living, breathing creations.

But, the erotic is not simply for sexual pleasure – it is the force that animates all of life and eventually destroys it as well.

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower   
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees   
Is my destroyer. ~ Dylan Thomas

Destruction eventually happens anyway. We all die. But while we are living, if we tuck our fullness and power away into the dark., the power to create, to love, to voice, to serve, we over and over again destroy our own capacity to be fully alive vibrant beings here to offer to life what we’ve been created to bring forth.

What does it really mean to serve life?

Just as the leaf doesn’t refuse to fall from the tree in autumn, so, too, must we let go of the need to hold on.

To make an offering of your life to life is to live.  Allowing what you really are to become, to flow, to die…while you are alive, is to serve.

And, by the way, it is here in the allowing that we rediscover and live these wispy tendrils of wildness, this eros and joy.

Image is Tendril: LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by Hamed Saber

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Little Flares of Coiled Delight

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“Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film.” ~ Ansel Adams

The other day I had to pick up a new headset for my iPhone. I was down in Palo Alto, so I headed over to the Stanford Shopping Center. This is one of the most beautiful outdoor malls ever created…mainly for the flowers planted all around the center.

I hadn’t realized just how out-of-sorts I was feeling until I saw these Dahlias. As I stopped to really look at them, I realized just how much joy seeing the beauty in flowers brings me. They bring me home. I begin to breathe more deeply. I being to smile a soft smile. I feel joy, that soft easy joy that is such a field of contentment. This joy is the joy of an open aware heart that meets life without expectations.

Returning Home

In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about the periodic need of women to go home, to return to the soul. Sometimes, we need to really get away to some place earthy and enchanted to remember the depth of what we are, and sometimes we can find a mini-retreat of sorts to reconnect to the soul.

As I continued to meander through the mall looking at flowers, I found this one. From the front, it is gorgeous in its openness. It’s not at all symmetrical. It has its own unique arrangement of petals. I loved that about it. Then, (and I don’t know what possesssed me to do this!) I looked behind it, at the back of it, and lo and behold! – there were these beautiful little curls that you see in the top image. I think she invited me in…

Seeing the coiled flares of delight she’s got going on behind her, sort of like under her skirts, caused me to wonder (I love the word wonder) what flares and curls and pink petals I’ve got stashed away, just waiting for a moment when the light shines upon them calling to them to come out of hiding. I know it’s something to do with bawdiness and laughter, delight and belly-shaking glee.

I know I’m shaking off the voices that have caused me to continue to believe that logic and reason reign supreme over delight and wonder, that having things figure out is much more important than settling down into the utter delight of not knowing a damn thing and being open to the delight of discovery, that clarity of argument will always win out over the powerful peace that comes when something is just what it is without the need to get anyone to understand. Ha…how totally devoid of delight, glee, and eros these voices were that I came to internalize!

How about you?

What coiled tendrils and flares are you keeping to yourself? What would others see if you were to give us access to those parts of you you’ve yet to unfurl, that you long to unfurl? Notice the uniqueness in this beauty. Where, and in what, does your uniqueness just wait to be invited out?

Where is that bawdiness in you, the place where delight, desire, and a good belly laugh are all that’s needed?

What mini-retreat might you have at your fingertips just waiting to take you home, back into the arms and lap of the goddess who delights in those little flares of soul?

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Coming to Know the WildSoul is a Reverent Journey

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The soul is like a wild animal…tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient:  it knows how to survive in hard places. I learned about these qualities during my bouts with depression. In that deadly darkness, the faculties I had always depended on collapsed. My intellect was useless; my emotions were dead; my will was impotent; my ego was shattered. But from time to time, deep in the thickets of my inner wilderness, I could sense the presence of something that knew how to stay alive even when the rest of me wanted to die. That something was my tough and tenacious soul.

Yet despite its toughness, the soul is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush, especially when other people are around. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out. But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently at the base of a tree, breathe with the earth, and fade into our surroundings, the wild creature we seek might put in an appearance. We may see it only briefly and only out of the corner of an eye—but the sight is a gift we will always treasure as an end in itself. ~ Parker Palmer, Hidden Wholeness

I read these words and immediately I recognize this within myself, this shy soul. 

Something within me softens. For a while now, I’ve tried to push myself to be more out there, more in the mix, more visible. I know it is coming. Yet, what also feels true is that my soul is tender and deep-feeling. And in seeing this, I found just a little more compassion for who I am and how I am in the world. As I soften, I can feel myself more whole, aligned and joyful.

So much in our culture tells us we have to be un-soul like to make our mark. I’ve come to know that this way is not my way. There is something so sweet about recognizing how our own soul feels, what allows us to glimpse it, but more importantly, the path to living life that honors it. There are many ways to be in the world, and I know we each can find the way that is true for our soul, even when the culture can seem so separate from soul.

The Wild Soul is shy, she is feral, and in being so, she doesn’t clang around making brash noise…unless she must. Then she will. She is tough and resilient. She is self-sufficient. Yet, there is this place where the soul only shows this soft side, this vulnerability when she is safe, when she trusts.

Coming to know the soul is a reverent journey. It is a blessed journey.


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Because the very nature of this journey is such, I am extremely honored to be holding the first session of the WildSoul Book Club this fall with my colleague, Lianne Raymond. Our intention is to create a place where, together, we breathe with the earth and walk quietly in the woods with patience and care, so that our souls know they can come forth to make themselves known.

Please take a moment to see if joining our WildSoul Book Club might be just the thing you are longing for, right now. We’ve kept the price, $129 for 10 weeks, affordable so that many can join. Many of us are feeling called to awaken the Feminine Soul. It is time.

Questions? Join Lianne and me for a complimentary call for the WildSoul Book Club:

Tuesday, Sept 4, 4:00 pm pacific time.

712-715-7100, 1005863#

And, yes, if you can’t make it we’ll make the recording available here.

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We’ll be reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, an epic book that celebrates its 20th birthday this Sept. 17th. It’s a book that can be read over and over, with each reading bringing forth new wisdom and perhaps a new glimpse of your soul.

We’ve interviewed a number of women about their experience reading Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Today, we’ve released our chat with Danielle LaPorte. If you listen to the interview, you’ll hear that she first read the book when she was living in Santa Fe, literally surrounded by wolves and their calls. 

Danielle shares wisdom and heart, and a real, very fresh life story of how the strength and power of her feminine soul came forth in a powerful way. I got goosebumps when I heard her tell the story in her words. You’ll find her interview, along with others, here.

We’ve also have an interview that Lianne did with Tami Simon of Sounds True, sharing the story behind how Women Who Run With the Wolves came to be.And, on the same page, we invite you to share your comments about the book. We’ll be sharing everything with Dr. Estes, the author, on September 17th.

And, if you have any questions at all that feel too personal to share, feel free to drop me a line at juliedaley (at) gmail . com

May you take some time today to sit down on the earth and listen for the soul’s footsteps, feel her breath on your skin, and feel her longing to bring you home.

 

image by bokeh burgerAttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved

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Erotic Visionary: Following the Instinct of Love, Joy & Creation

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Connecting with life.

I’ve just returned from a beautiful weekend retreat at Ratna Ling retreat center, near Cordoza, California, a spot in the coastal mountains of northern California. The land is so beautiful here. The retreat time was short, yet filled with so much wisdom and learning. I learned so much about myself, how I hold back from a truly fulfilled life of truth and transparency, and ways to access my instinctual self more readily. All of this so amazingly fits in with my last post on being an erotic visionary. I thank you for sharing that post, and also thank those of you who shared yourself in the comments of that post.

At the retreat, I loved the exercises we did to discover ways in which our instinctual selves are so accessible and so ready to be expressed more fully. In one particular exercise, we were asked to go exploring in twos. Our explorations were to notice and follow our instincts through our senses.

It’s amazing what happens when we allow our instincts to guide us. My partner and I spent thirty minutes exploring the land around Ratna Ling center through our senses, allowing ourselves to follow our instinctual impulse.

We climbed into the center of huge redwood trees hollowed out by fire. We stroked moss covered bark and the insides of charred redwood trees turned silky over time. We found the tiniest red flowers sprouting from minute lichen. We delighted in a Yucca plant in full flower. We took turns sharing with each other what we were immediately drawn to.

What was I drawn to?

Beauty, Color, and Life.

Contrast, Joy, and Tenderness.

The intense color contrast between sunlit orange Tibetan prayer flags and the bright blue skies that canopy the hills of northern California, just miles away from the Pacific Ocean. When I had first arrived at the center, I was delighted by these flags. In giving my full attention to this delight, I gazed at this contrast and realized how much I LOVE color, light, and contrast. This love has been with me from as far back in my life as I can remember.

The tenderness of flower petals, how the light shines through them, and how they so fleetingly exist in a world where everything dies, where everything in creation eventually dies.

The experience of the impulse itself and the very simple, yet oh so important, joy of discovery what life is displaying just around the corner… discovering what lies at the other end of the instinctual impulse.

Eros

We have these impulses all the time, yet how often do we allow our eyes to simply land on what they want to see, our hands to touch what they long to feel, our ears to listen to that which they long to hear?

We are so strongly socially conditioned to inhibit our instincts. Yes, some of that conditioning is a good thing; AND, some of that conditioning inhibits the soul from freely expressing itself in the world, of following the instinct of love, joy and creation – eros.

When we follow this instinct, we connect with life and with the earth. When we trust our instinctual selves, we rediscover an aspect of self that we buried so long ago.

Learning to trust this instinct, and guiding others to trust this instinct as well, is where my work is leading me. My work is shifting in a direction not yet fully formed, which is exhilarating. I’m following the trail of where my soul is calling me, where the instinct is leading me.

And, you?

If you had fifteen minutes to follow your erotic impulse with a friend, where would your instinctual self lead you? Take fifteen minutes today to follow this erotic impulse, whether with a friend or alone. Notice the feeling of the impulse, the pull of what you are drawn to. Notice where you stop yourself. Just notice what it feels like to follow the instinct of love, joy and creation.

Then, come back and share with us what you discover in the comments. I look forward to learning from you!

 

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Touch as Prayer in Motion

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“What if you knew you’d be the last to touch someone?”
~ Ellen Bass*

I read these words. My mind flashes back.

I was the last…as he was dying; then, as he lay dead.

So many times, I’ve wished I could have known what was coming so I could have said what (in hindsight) I would liked to have said.

My mind flashes forward. I no longer touch him and I am not the last.

::

I find endings so damn hard.

Some sweet part of this personality hates letting go of those I’ve loved…those final letting goes that happen when I must part from the bodies of those I’ve loved.

Some dead. Some alive.

In the hardness, I go a little unconscious and do things that (after the fact) I wish I hadn’t done. I tighten up against the impending ending and leaving.

Yes, yes, I know they stay with me. In my heart. Their spirits always here. Yes, yes, I know. And, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about how my body will never be with their body in the same way.

Body to body… touching, connecting, loving, making love. So many times, my touch on the skin of my lover has been unconscious AND so many times my touch has truly been a prayer in motion.

“…before you make love to a woman or to a man, first pray — because it is going to be a divine meeting of energies. God will surround you. Wherever two lovers are, there is God. Wherever two lovers’ energies are meeting and mingling, there is life, alive, at its best; God surrounds you. Churches are empty; love-chambers are full of God. If you have tasted love the way Tantra says to taste it, if you have known love the way Tao says to know it, then by the time you reach forty-two, love starts disappearing on its own accord. And you say goodbye to it with deep gratitude, because you are fulfilled. It has been delightful, it has been a blessing; you say good-bye to it.”
~ Osho

“…you say goodbye to it with deep gratitude, because you are fulfilled. It has been delightful, it has been a blessing; you say good-bye to it.”

 

These words are so foreign to this sweet part of me that has such a hard time letting go. It has been delightful. It has been a blessing. Can’t it continue? Forever? Can’t I hold you through eternity?

My soul knows the answer is, “No”. My soul knows this No. To know the deepest joy in a moment of touch, I must know the ending of that touch. To know the deepest joy in the full inhale, I must know the letting go in the exhale.

Life in the body is life in limitation. Learning this makes it all the sweeter. Not necessarily easier at all, yet all the while sweeter.

Knowing touch is a momentary kiss of skin to skin sweetens the magic.

I can hover over the past (I do) as if I can still touch it…but that touch is not touch, it is remembering how it was to touch.

This sweet part wants to hang on, fingers curled; but, fingers curled tightly can’t touch… again, … anew.

Uncurling brings open palms and fingertips ready for new skin. 

And the old loves still breathing? I’m learning to touch with the tenderness of friend.

In the end, touch is prayer in motion. It comes and it goes, as everything that moves does. And it all moves.

::

* I found this here. (Thanks, Laurie!)

 

 

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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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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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