The Wild Within: Where Only the Majestic is Enthroned

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loli clement on Usplash.com

Holding my own flesh
like a holy site
an unbound pleasure.
~ Isabelle Abbott

 

Unbound pleasure takes me in. I have rarely let myself go completely like this. I close my eyes to feel this. I know this unboundedness as awareness, as infinite consciousness. An open sky. But in my own flesh? No. But I want to. I’ve been admitting this to myself lately. Lilith is calling me. She who is a goddess unto herself, she who told Adam, ‘No, I will not be on the bottom.’ She who left the garden.

Did her fierce sovereignty cost her? Perhaps only in the eyes of those who believe in the texts, but I believe in the text of Lilith’s flesh. This is her holy site. How is her text mine? In her text, she left on her own accord. In the text of the patriarchy, she was banished.

I sense the Garden of Eden as man’s garden. Man drew the borders, set the fence posts, strung the wire and proclaimed this to be the civilized world and anyone who strays outside and enters the wild becomes the feared, the scorned, the wicked. But outside the garden? Unbound pleasure.

What keeps me from unbound pleasure? This fear of banishment. I felt a bit of this when I left my relationship six years ago. Suddenly, I was not with a man – no longer one who is chosen. Oh yes, no one says these words. But I could feel it.

A woman’s sexuality is powerful. Wild even. To be fully oneself, one must enter the wild. We fear banishment because we’ve believed we no longer have our wild.

Banishment in the wild without one’s own wild is frightening. Banishment in the wild WITH one’s own wild is a homecoming.

***

Plums, not apples.

Dark thick, purple-black plums, like Her.

The Dark Queen.

The Black Madonna.

Hidden throughout shelters and caves with rustic,
hand-made altars erected to her reckoning.

She is the impenetrable woods.

Thicker than the honey that lines the heart. Blacker than the moonless nights. She is unbound pleasure as she spreads herself across the wild land she claimed with her own, Hell No.

That dark queen lives in me.

The impenetrable woods, the thicket, and bramble that winds its way into my holy center. Protected. Fierce. Where only the majestic is enthroned.

The Black Madonna knows banishment well. Yet, She also knows the deepest most encompassing love, including love for those who banished her. For here is the grace She wields. And here is the grace she is teaching me. My desire that burns hot will not banish me but rather burn away the pain of my own separation from my majestic sexuality.

And it is majestic.

It is union with the Beloved. All the unspoken lies go up in the flame of Beloved and lover becoming one.

My body is an altar to Her.

Everywhere, there are wild altars to Her.

***

Through my own journey, I have discoveredlilypotf that flowers are altars to Her. A flower once showed me the whole of existence through her bright countenance. She showed me the true nature of life here on Earth. She opened my heart showed me that flowers speak to us so that we can remember this nature, our nature. And when I open to flowers, they guide me.

For a short time, I am offering a Power of the Flower Lite Study of You. I’ve created a deck of flower cards. With you in mind, I pull one flower, your flower, and then I sit in deep meditation to see what she reveals to me about you and any question you’ve shared with me. I write up what I see into a beautiful 14-16 page PDF and send it to you. Within a few weeks time, I will also mail you – yes, snail mail! – a printed copy of the flower for you to have and place on your wild altar.

Read more about this beautiful study of You and how I was awakened to the Power of the Flower. You’ll be taken to JulieDaley.com

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The Wild Within: Where Only the Majestic is Enthroned

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loli-clement-219773
loli clement on Usplash.com

Holding my own flesh
like a holy site
an unbound pleasure.
~ Isabelle Abbott

 

Unbound pleasure takes me in. I have rarely let myself go completely like this. I close my eyes to feel this. I know this unboundedness as awareness, as infinite consciousness. An open sky. But in my own flesh? No. But I want to. I’ve been admitting this to myself lately. Lilith is calling me. She who is a goddess unto herself, she who told Adam, ‘No, I will not be on the bottom.’ She who left the garden.

Did her fierce sovereignty cost her? Perhaps only in the eyes of those who believe in the texts, but I believe in the text of Lilith’s flesh. This is her holy site. How is her text mine? In her text, she left on her own accord. In the text of the patriarchy, she was banished.

I sense the Garden of Eden as man’s garden. Man drew the borders, set the fence posts, strung the wire and proclaimed this to be the civilized world and anyone who strays outside and enters the wild becomes the feared, the scorned, the wicked. But outside the garden? Unbound pleasure.

What keeps me from unbound pleasure? This fear of banishment. I felt a bit of this when I left my relationship six years ago. Suddenly, I was not with a man – no longer one who is chosen. Oh yes, no one says these words. But I could feel it.

A woman’s sexuality is powerful. Wild even. To be fully oneself, one must enter the wild. We fear banishment because we’ve believed we no longer have our wild.

Banishment in the wild without one’s own wild is frightening. Banishment in the wild WITH one’s own wild is a homecoming.

***

Plums, not apples.

Dark thick, purple-black plums, like Her.

The Dark Queen.

The Black Madonna.

Hidden throughout shelters and caves with rustic,
hand-made altars erected to her reckoning.

She is the impenetrable woods.

Thicker than the honey that lines the heart. Blacker than the moonless nights. She is unbound pleasure as she spreads herself across the wild land she claimed with her own, Hell No.

That dark queen lives in me.

The impenetrable woods, the thicket, and bramble that winds its way into my holy center. Protected. Fierce. Where only the majestic is enthroned.

The Black Madonna knows banishment well. Yet, She also knows the deepest most encompassing love, including love for those who banished her. For here is the grace She wields. And here is the grace she is teaching me. My desire that burns hot will not banish me but rather burn away the pain of my own separation from my majestic sexuality.

And it is majestic.

It is union with the Beloved. All the unspoken lies go up in the flame of Beloved and lover becoming one.

My body is an altar to Her.

Everywhere, there are wild altars to Her.

***

Through my own journey, I have discoveredlilypotf that flowers are altars to Her. A flower once showed me the whole of existence through her bright countenance. She showed me the true nature of life here on Earth. She opened my heart showed me that flowers speak to us so that we can remember this nature, our nature. And when I open to flowers, they guide me.

For a short time, I am offering a Power of the Flower Lite Study of You. I’ve created a deck of flower cards. With you in mind, I pull one flower, your flower, and then I sit in deep meditation to see what she reveals to me about you and any question you’ve shared with me. I write up what I see into a beautiful 14-16 page PDF and send it to you. Within a few weeks time, I will also mail you – yes, snail mail! – a printed copy of the flower for you to have and place on your wild altar.

Read more about this beautiful study of You and how I was awakened to the Power of the Flower. You’ll be taken to JulieDaley.com

 

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Desire Seated in the Lap of the Deep-Knowing of Self as Holy

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darkrose

photo by https://unsplash.com/@sebamolinafotos

 

Because of our wisdom, we will travel
Far for love.
All movement is a sign of
Thirst.
Most speaking really says
“I am hungry to know you.”
Every desire of your body is holy;
Every desire of your body is
Holy.
Dear one,
Why wait until you are dying
To discover that divine
Truth?”
― Hafiz

 

 

Last week, I spent two days away with a dear friend.  We had hours to talk while sitting on her porch, eating our meals, and walking at the beach that is just down the road from where we were staying. We talked about many things, yet everything circled back to one topic: pleasure and desire.

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know I write often about the erotic and Eros. I’ve been exploring this capacity we have as human beings to feel deeply, and especially how the erotic is experienced by women. The deeper I go into my body, the deeper I go into this work because the erotic is about feeling and we can only feel if we are present in our bodies.

As we become more and more embodied, becoming conscious in these places that have been numb for so long, we must feel the old feelings that have been held hostage there. The journey into my body, consciousness awakening in the cells, has brought me deeper down into the root and into the place where our sexuality and creativity rise up out of. I discovered a great amount of grief was stored in my body, most recently in this sacred place where our sexuality stirs. This isn’t surprising considering the world we must inhabit as women, this world where women are denigrated and shamed for being sexual creatures, while at the same time being objectified in a way that tells us our sexuality (and the erotic) is for men yet not for ourselves.

Bridging this gap between our sexuality and our sacredness, this place where we know our desire and our journey toward love is holy, can feel like such hard work. There are many feelings that caused this gap in the first place, feelings we often name shame, guilt, and fear. To bridge the gap, we must feel these feelings. I’ve spent the past five years as a single woman doing this work. And now, I am beginning to date again, beginning to enter back into this world. There is great joy in being in my body and feeling Eros stirring. And, I am watching and listening for those old stories of shame and fear about what and who I am.

For the past sixteen years, I’ve been clearing away and liberating all of the old, stuck stuff that I took on when I was young – old feelings, beliefs, and tyrannical inner messages that caused me to really hide my sensual and sexual nature. I am sure you can relate. I feel it is the journey so many of us are taking as women alive on the planet today.

Now I’m getting down to the real essence of what my soul has been guiding me toward, and I sense I am getting there because I’m finally much more alive and conscious in the cells whose job it is to offer me the amazing experience of being a sexual, sensual, and yes, erotic woman. There is something about finally bridging this gap between the sacredness of life in a woman’s body and the inherent dignity of our sexuality – bringing the awareness of love into down into the realm of the deeply-layered flesh of my female body.

Even though we’ve been taught differently, the erotic is so much more than sex and sexuality. Audre Lorde wrote:

“The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feelings. In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression in our history must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed (for instance within our culutre as women) that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered soure of power and information within our lives.”

This is my real desire – to be so keenly awake to this erotic energy within that it blossoms and grows organically, and that it guides me to know and live the power that is inherent within me as a woman. The erotic is our lifeforce. It is the source of great wisdom and power. And, it is the source of great joy.

Pleasure and desire are, and feel, good. This is something to celebrate. And when desire is seated in the lap of the deep knowing of self as holy, it is a gorgeous force for healing, a powerful force for awakened creativity, and a source of knowing.

In touch with our erotic nature, a kind of self-confidence is born out of one’s core. It’s a confidence that knows that this force that blossoms out of you is rooted in love. This confidence can flourish knowing that this power has no desire to be used over others but rather in service to life itself.

THIS is the shift in awareness, expression, and choice that we must make as women right now in our world.

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The Essence of Relating With the Creative Force

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divineflow

 

This morning, I woke up around 4:00 am and just lay there in bed, listening and feeling. It’s usually quite a busy time for me, 4:00 am. It’s the time when insights and epiphanies flood into me. This morning, I was aware of the felt nature of the experience of being flooded – penetrated by a river of divine inspiration. I could feel the wateriness and ephemeral nature of it. And in this state, I was also keenly aware of the difference in felt-experience of my mind trying to come in and in some way immediately negate the ideas. The mind felt rigid and tight like it was trying to shut the flow down by rationalizing (and/or catastrophizing) what would happen if I were to not only listen but act on this flow.

What I remember most about this experience is not the content but the mechanism of how things happened and felt – albeit at a 4:00 am speed. What stayed most clearly with me was the realization that the flow is always right here – right, here – and how the nature of my mind works to thwart the expression of the flow.

Today as I write, I can feel the flood coming in, yet when I’m fully awake my mind is busier and what felt like a clear flood in the early morning hours now feels like a constricted channel. I’ve felt this before. But today, I can feel how somehow my mind is creating the clog. It is easier to avoid feeling by going to ‘how’ instead of being still and listening.

It was just today that I came upon this from Simone Weil:

“Our thought should be empty, waiting, not seeking anything, but ready to receive in its naked truth the object that is to penetrate it.”

This is what I was feeling in the early morning hours…this openness, this waiting, this not seeking.

I woke up receiving.

When I sit back and observe my awake and active mind, it feels like thousands of connections happening at once (there are more, of course, most I am unconscious of), but I can feel the ‘noise’ of my mind. And my mind is pretty quiet today in comparison to how it usually is.

And, I can also feel the increased energy that flows through me as I am penetrated by this divine flow. I’m sitting here writing in a café and I feel this desire to go out and run or dance or walk in the sun just to discharge the energy. I feel like I’ve had a triple espresso, but in reality, I haven’t had sugar or caffeine or alcohol (or just about everything else that makes us groggy and sluggish) in 3 months. I’ve been on a diet (doctor’s orders) that is so incredibly clean. And in this clean space, I can really feel this energy flow.

But, even when I feel the compulsion to discharge it, I also do not want to discharge it. I want to feel it, to stay receptive, to come into direct relationship with it, to not fear how it will feel. I want to open to it, to receive it into me, to come into a relationship with it so I can simply listen and write.

So, instead, I sat here feeling it, listening, then writing what came, just as it came. I deleted three paragraphs ‘telling’ you in a ‘teaching way’ about these moments, because instead what wanted to come was the sharing of my experience at 4:00 am, my experience of the mind clogging the flow, and my experience of this intense energy flow.

This much energy feels like it is going to be ‘too much’ to feel. It is intense. And, it is just energy. It is simple flow. It is life force. To be in relationship to it means to be open, to receive, to be empty so I can receive what is coming into and through me. This is where I begin to really feel how closely creativity and sexuality are intertwined. To not discharge the energy but instead to direct it into creative expression is the invitation.

To listen in this way is a form of prayer. To write this way is prayer, too. I am learning how to do this, how to listen deeply and simply scribe. Sometimes it just happens, but usually, I don’t like this feeling of confusion that comes when I fight writing, and when I concoct all sorts of stories about what will happen if I put words into the world that feel wild and wooly and still smell of blood and bones and the earthy scent of flow.

This is why I love Writing Raw. I offer Writing Raw as much for me as I do for you.

I trust you will feel these words. They are pregnant with life.

*** image by Andrew Bertram

 

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In the Flesh: Where Wilderness and Spirit Meet, Part 3

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Francisco Carrasco

 

“In our yearning to be perfect, we have mistaken perfection for wholeness. We think we cannot love ourselves until we and others meet some external standard. Depression, anxiety, — in fact, most neuroses and compulsions — are ultimately a defense against loving ourselves without condition.

“We are afraid to look at the damp, dark, ugly yet exquisite roots of being that stretch deep into our survival chakra. We are fearful of finding that the spirit is not there, that our Home is empty, even as our outer home is empty. Yet it is in that place of survival, where the dark mother has been abandoned, that spirit longs to be embodied so that the whole body may become light.”  ~ Marion Woodman, Dancing in the Flames, pg. 66

 

As I sit with these words and feel into this dark root at the base of my torso,

I see that my fear of messy stems from this loss of deep Home. When chaos strikes, which is what messy feels like to me, I can find no ground and this is what is terrifying.

But, even deeper than this is the truth of abandonment – mine of Her – mine of the dark, the dark mother.

I can find no ground when I deny the ground. I am rooted in the ground when I embrace Her.

I often feel very grounded, but this is something deeper. This is a full homecoming into the lap of the dark mother.

Cut off from my own dark,

my own root, my own exquisite ugliness, I’ve hidden the ugliness, the voraciousness, the huge appetite of the dark of self. Sent away to the sewer of the psyche, years ago I would have sworn to you I had no appetite, no devouring nature.

For the past twelve years, since I first felt a pull down into the earth, I’ve followed a dogged path to know something, to remember something. I’ve not clearly seen what that something is. I’ve followed some wise teachers, many of whom taught me a great deal about what it means to wake up. And, along the way, I’ve become more conscious.

But it wasn’t until just weeks ago that I realized something critical to my journey – that on some very real and deep level, I didn’t want to be here…fully here, fully alive in this body. This isn’t the same as not wanting to be alive. It is different. It is not wanting to be fully here, fully in this body – which means being fully awake and feeling in this body, in the entirety of this body.

Yet it is in that place of survival, where the dark mother has been abandoned, that spirit longs to be embodied so that the whole body may become light.”

I am seeing something: that to truly be here in this body means to truly survive, and to survive one must become conscious, become light-filled, all the way down into the survival chakra…into the root of the body. It is here where we finally take root in our lives.


What happens when the root of all roots wakes up?
 

As I perused synonyms for ‘survival’, I found…

to… continue to live or exist, remain alive, live, sustain oneself, pull through, get through, hold on/out, make it…. keep body and soul together…keep body and soul together

Keep body and soul together. THIS is it. Without the dark mother, we separate body and soul. We cut ourselves off from a big piece of our nature. The reality is, we need the mother, the queen of darkness, to survive. We need our instincts. We need our anger. We need our connection to flesh, to all of it. We cannot be fully alive without it. How could we be? How could we possibly be fully alive if we deny the reality of parts of our body?

What’s the point of being here if we are not fully alive, fully alive with the light of love?

There is a regal quality to soul. She, soul, is where light meets flesh, where wilderness and spirit meet. She is the regal bridge between the light of Spirit and the instinct of the dark mother. We’ve only labeled it as ugly. We believe our animal nature is ugly.

But how could we ever come to know our earth in her holiness if we can’t see holiness in the soil of our own flesh?

Think of the parts of yourself that you most want to deny. What did you have to do to these parts and aspects of yourself in order to deny them? Where did you put them when you abandoned them? How deep did you bury them?

To be here, fully, we must root down into the dark, moist soil of our being. What does it mean to root down? It means to become conscious, to fill with light, the light of awareness, to wake up to the holiness of the most base and basic qualities of our humanity.

What wisdom does the dark hold?

When I began to listen, I opened the door to power, to a great presence, the kind of power and presence that stands firmly in her autonomy, solidly in her sovereignty, and joyfully in her agency. First, though, I had to admit I was angry. First, I had to admit that I am a sexual creature. First, I had to admit to myself that I’d cut myself off from my soul. Then, and only then, would she begin to listen, and then speak. Then, and only then, did I begin to feel great remorse for my unconsciousness. Then, and only then, did I come to see that she had never forsaken me.

She, the dark mother, does not forsake us. We forsake her.

Our belief in the existence of perfection causes us to cut ourselves off from everything that doesn’t fit our idea of perfection.

Perfection could never include darkness, but wholeness cannot exist without it. Without the dark there is no light.

::

 

How to Enter the Creative Unknown

CreativeProcessMapAdvertI’d love to have you join me for the pilot/beta run of my new course, How to Enter the Creative Unknown. We begin on Dec 1st and meet for four weeks. In exchange for your rich experiential feedback of the course, I’m offering a reduced price. I am excited about this course. In it, we’ll go into the heart of the creative process and discover how YOU uniquely navigate change, challenges, and creativity.

You can read more and register here.

 

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In the Flesh: Where Wilderness and Spirit Meet, Part 2

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tiger


“The movement of love is that of a sacred thief, come to remove your clothing and your concepts, and to burn away everything that is false and less than whole within you. And when it is done all that will be left is a raging firestorm of creativity, sensuality, openness, warmth, and kindness. For this is what you are.”
~ Matt Licata

I’ve often caught mere glimpses of her, this ‘raging firestorm’ within. Just the glimpses would freak me out. Afraid of this power, I’ve thought of this firestorm as something bad, some strange and frightening part of me. So, I’ve contained her. I turned my back on her. I cut myself off from her.

But, she never was something bad. I’ve been containing my own beautiful, brilliant, firestorm of a soul, the wilderness within my flesh.

One night a few weeks ago, I woke up, halfway, from a dream. I was in that in-between state –half awake, half asleep. I don’t even really remember the dream, but in that halfway state, I heard a voice inside saying, “But I thought if I contained myself everything would be okay.” I could feel a kind of surprise in this voice, a sense of feeling like what she thought would happen didn’t. I could almost see her, this young version of me, with a look of surprise and sadness that what she expected would happen didn’t happen, even though she had contained herself, held herself in, suppressed her own vibrancy. I could see her standing with her arms by her side, hanging straight down with her lower arms sticking out at a 90 degree angle yet pulled in toward her belly. She was containing her life force, my life force. She learned it well.

As I woke up from the dream, I had this sense again of feeling like I’ve been containing something frightening. Then, I had this flash of wondering what I would be letting out if I quit containing me. And then…

The next night before preparing for bed, I went into my living room to sit and meditate. As I walked into the living room, I suddenly sensed a very large presence, so big it filled the room. At once, I knew. This was my soul. I’ve never experienced it this way before. As I sat, I realized it was no longer contained. It was full and deep and palpable. This was me, but not the personality me, it was the presence that I am. Yet, as I sat, I felt distant from this presence. This was my own presence and I felt a distance from myself. Tears came. This distance was painful. And the fear was painful, too. But the greatest pain was realizing that I had done this to my own Soul.

For many years of this spiritual search, I’ve seen presence as out there, or up there, somewhere, and that a deeper knowing of presence would be by way of it coming down into the body. But in this moment, that didn’t jive with my experience. The presence I felt was all around me, completely around me, but I was seeing myself outside of it, or up above it, or distant from it.

A long time ago, I made up something about my power and came to believe something about it. I could go into what that was, or is, but that doesn’t feel relevant here. What feels relevant is my relationship to the power of this presence itself – I keep myself from it. Nothing I could ever have done would change the nature of what I am; but the beliefs absolutely shifted my connection to it. I turned my back on it. I came to believe, and then pretend, it wasn’t there, so that I wouldn’t be ‘too much’.

Imagine the beautiful tiger above coming to believe that its power was too much, and then finding some way to disconnect from that power. Crazy, huh!?

It’s been a few weeks between the part one of this series and this second part. It’s been a time of experiencing great shifts in my relationship to this power, this presence. It’s had to do with coming to see, and ‘understand’, how our childhood years, no matter the nature of our family life, are about trading in conditional love. As a girl, I learned to turn my back on my own soul, the source of this firestorm. Soul that is wild at its core. I made that choice. Painful. Painful to see. Yet, I made it to survive in that family life, in this culture. But, now, it is no longer offering survival. Instead, it is a painful loss of life force.

Ultimately, though, I am responsible for the choice.

Soul is animal. Soul is body. Soul is where body and Spirit meet. Soul is instinct and appetite, and wilderness.

God and Goddess are not above earthly life. They are infused through every part of earthly life. When I cut myself off from soul, I cut myself off from the wilderness in my flesh. And coming back into right relationship with this powerful presence means coming back into the deepest, darkest places within my flesh.

Can you relate? I write about my experience rather than trying to tell you how things are. It’s the only way that I feel in integrity – by staying with my own experience, and in doing so, coming to honor my experience as real and valid, and offering a lens for you to also know that your experience is as well – real and valid, and so important to make known.

::

This is part two of a three-part series.

Read part onehere.

Read part threehere.

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In the Flesh: Where Wilderness and Spirit Meet, Part 1

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leopardcropped

“Above all, the world needs passionate people: not people who are passionate about this political cause or that religious teaching, this candidate or that guru, this project or that movement, but passionate about Being, about Awakening, about this very Breath, this miraculous gaze into the eyes of a Friend. The only power that will not fade, will not be exhausted or shadowed by doubt, is passion for Presence itself. It is the Serpent Fire in your spine, the Beloved in your heart, the Dancer who whirls a double helix of stars out of your silence. This is the passion that will transform the earth.” ~ Fred LaMotte

 

Three nights ago, I was messier. Last night at dance, I was messier still. Messier than how I usually am on the dance floor. Not messier as in sweatier. Sweat happens when I dance, no matter what. No, messier as in real. Messier as in following the desire in my body, the wilderness that prowls and stalks just below the surface of my skin, skin fashioned from words I ingested and digested and metabolized into cells that hold and tow the line. The line of good girl, good woman, contained woman is held by my skin.

Except, now, my skin is longing for something else. It is longing to express what is beneath it, swimming within it, firing up from below it.

It is longing to touch, and be touched by, the miraculous – the wild spirit in flesh.

Three nights ago, I gazed into another dancer’s eyes. At the end, in stillness, we were prone on the hot planks of well-loved wood, so still in stillness that the only movement was our breath…and a slight movement of our bodies as they settled down into the floor, each muscle finding its own way to being held by the bones, the bones held by the floor. As the teacher called us into the ending circle, this dancer looked at me, deep into me, and I held his gaze with mine. My own wild gaze felt like it came straight from the depths of beyond-black space.

Last night at dance, I danced against another dancer’s skin, close enough to smell his scent, close enough to feel the emotional sea roiling within him. Our skin met, then moved away, then met, again. Wilderness oozed from beneath my skin, tracking him with its natural predilection for breath, gaze, and the miracle of knowing another in stillness and movement and silence. The wilderness of my flesh explored the nuances felt through my skin, through hands that pulsed with heartbeat and feet that moved with the sensuous.

Something in me has been dying to come to the surface, dying to make its way into expression. I’ve kept it under the tense and taught derma-sheath that pens it in, pens me in. I am not this body, and I am this body. I am known, and I am this never-to-be-fully-known wilderness, too. I am this passion, the Dancer who whirls a double helix of stars out of your silence.

And, I am not just the thinking mind that keeps referring to myself as I, the thinking trying to keep messy at bay. We all have our own ways we don’t like to get messy, and it’s our over active minds trying so hard to contain life, contain this wilderness we can feel within.

***

I’ve been on the fence about dating. On one side, then on the other, then back again, finally just setting my ass down on it to stay. For a bit. Until now. Now I can see what the until has been about. I want to be physical, sensual, sexual. I’ve been alone for four years. I’ve been happy and content, but also desiring companionship and intimacy. I want to be connected, flesh to flesh, heart to heart, soul to soul.

I learned that the real wild self should only come out in the bedroom, although she often prowls on the dance floor where ‘behavior’ like that is more acceptable. But, the real wild self? I’ve been waiting for just the right time, just the right partner, just the right…

But, there is no, and there will never be,  just the right anything.

Yes, it is exquisite to experience this wilderness in connection with another, but it doesn’t need to wait. I don’t need to wait for anyone or anything. To pretend I have to wait for him and a bedroom is to give my power away, continually. To believe this is just about sex and the bedroom, is to believe the lies I’ve been taught that I’ve used to keep myself contained.

To continue to contain it is to deny what I am. A woman’s wilderness is frightening to many, but especially to herself. When a woman wakes up to this  ‘power that will not fade, will not be exhausted or shadowed by doubt’ there is nothing that can stop her. 

This is a ‘passion for Presence itself’. It isn’t passion for a partner, nor is it passion simply for sex. When we know passion for Presence itself, all else flows from this.

It’s not personal.

It is in this flesh where wilderness and Spirit meet in Presence.

It is the wilderness beneath your skin.

***

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Belonging – 21 Days to Find your Way Home.

I’ve opened registration for another round of Belonging: 21 Days to Find Your Way Home

For 21 days, you’ll receive a daily email that will guide you through to a new way to see belonging and practices for you to begin to find it in your own life. We’ll have two calls together, and a secret Facebook group where we’ll share what we are discovering through this journey of belonging.

This goes deeper than trying to fit in. This is about belonging to that which never left you, will never leave you.

We belonged the moment we were born.

We can find our way back home…together.

The cost is $59 dollars, and increases to $99 on October 20th. We begin Oct. 22.

Read more and register here.

 

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Unbridled and Utterly Receptive. Writing from the erotic temple within.

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pleasure

 

“In touch with the erotic,
I become less willing to accept powerlessness,
or those other supplied states of being which are not native to me,
such as resignation, despair, self-effacement, depression, self-denial.”
~ Audre Lorde

 

This is how I see the erotic. This is how I feel the erotic. When I feel it within, there is a natural responsiveness to life, a raw aliveness that is unbridled and utterly receptive.

This is why I feel it is so important to reclaim this word as a word that points to fullness, wholeness, ripeness; a word that is at the heart of a creative, sensual world. Because when we are in touch with the erotic, we feel alive. And when we are in touch with the erotic, we feel a natural urge to rise up for life, to serve life.

Eros is the love that life has for life itself. We are missing this in our world. We’ve come to equate the erotic with sexuality, and then it makes us uncomfortable, and we don’t want to feel this discomfort. So we end up not feeling, and when we don’t feel we can’t feel this natural response within us to rise up to protect life. We are destroying our home and we aren’t rising up in response to this destruction.

We live in this natural world that revels in beauty, wholeness, and fullness. And, it’s a world that revels in life and in death, because there cannot be one without the other. In other words, this world we inhabit is at its core WHOLE.

For me, the erotic is this ever blossoming, ever blooming and growing, wholeness – always on the verge of coming into being and always on the verge of dying away. It’s a rising and falling, an ever-present, effervescent call to itself, not for itself, but for the cycle of life.

The erotic IS powerful, it is creativity, sexuality, vitality – it is our life force.

While some might tell you it is simply porn, they would be seeing a sliver of this wholeness. But, then, isn’t that what we see these days in our world? Everywhere I look, I see us believing in a sliver of what is really here.

When I look out onto the world, I see this amazingly fecund, fertile existence. Existence that recreates itself continuously. Existence that cycles in rhythms and flow, dances in light and dark, sings its song in more frequencies than any human could even imagine.

Our bodies are fertile beds, directly impregnated by life itself. Our seedlings grow, the embryos hatch, the babies bloom.

Everything in existence feels the urge to emerge.

What I know…

There is a deep well within every woman that is untouched by cultural conditioning, home to the erotic, home to the feminine soul. Over the past two decades, I’ve been committed to find this well within, this place where I could come to know my own reflection as a whole woman.

This could be called the well of the erotic. I call this well the temple of our erotic nature. Eros is the love that life has for life itself. And, we humans seem to be out of touch with this love. This love for life itself. We are missing the deep feeling of this, this effervescent response to care for life here on our home, earth.

Our world is thirsty for this response to care for life itself, and it is this response that moves within YOU.

We need the wild, the feral – that which swims in your blood, stirs the marrow of your bones, and beats within the chambers of your heart.

We need to feel this response for life. It is medicine. 

I don’t see it so much as a doing. I see it as a re-igniting. When this fire is relit, who knows what will happen. But it is essential to light the flame again.

 

A few months ago…

writingrawpin01I heard the words, “Writing Raw” and I saw an image of women gathering from all around the world to write together, to write from this sacred well within.

There are two aspects to the reclamation of wholeness:

journeying into the unknown of the internal world with open arms and a willingness to not abandon what you find, and gathering in circle to share the words and stories sourced from this well.

 

Registration is now open…

Writing Raw is here, and I am very excited to share it with you.

We will come together for six weeks to explore together. You don’t have to be a writer. And, you might be a writer. We are using writing as a vehicle to move what is inside this erotic temple out into the world. It might simply be to your journal. It might be to share with each other in the circle. And, it might be to share with the world at large.

In Writing Raw, my job is to act as guide into this realm within, the realm of power that is good medicine.

I would love to have you join me for these six weeks. Please take a look to see if it resonates with you. If you feel the erotic urge, the pull to become the vessel for the expression of your soul into the world, come join me!

Update:
Over the next two weeks until we begin, I’ll be sharing different aspects of the circle – various thresholds we will go through to bring forth the words that want to be written. I know it will be engaging and enlightening.

 

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Courage, Sexuality, and the Chaotically Sacred

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pinkroseslainbytenderness
The heart is fluent in the language of courage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Appetite: Living from the Pulse of Soul

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Appetite.

It can be so much more than a desire for something on the menu. I felt it the other day. I feel it now.

I thought I’d not felt this deep, deep appetite before…deep and raw. No, that’s not quite right. I’ve felt it, but I wasn’t so conscious of what it was. But the other day, I did…and I was…conscious and aware of the experience of profound appetite.

It wasn’t an appetite for food. It had nothing to do with hunger in the traditional way we use that word. It was an appetite to feast on life, to be smack dab in the middle of life, alive and awake and aware.

[This is not to be confused with hunger in someone who is starving…literally starving. That I do not know. I’ve never known that. This is about appetite, something deeply instinctive.]

When I felt this energy coursing through my body, it reminded me of giving birth – open and available for life to move through. Both times I gave birth, I felt myself begin the surrender that happens. It happens before labor begins. It happens when you understand there is life growing within and that this life will grow and move in its own way. And, once labor begins and that baby is coming, something takes over and the body moves through the process of birthing. I remember how raw and alive I felt as I worked with my body instead of against it. I remember the felt wisdom of labor. I remember the power and love at the heart of that process.

In birth, I worked with the appetite for life and birth and becoming. And this raw appetite is exactly the same…it is life pulsing and prodding to live and breath in its own way.

Just the other day…

as I felt this appetite, I was open, deep in my body, to the level of soul, not only my own, but also what felt like the soul of life. What I mean is open to the raw material of life itself…the chaos of becoming.

It was appetite, appetite not for food but for life, life that is rich, raw, and even voracious; a profoundly powerful appetite to experience life wholly. Appetite is the best word I could find to describe it. It was ravenous, yet not insatiable, like I was really, really hungry for something, yet I had no words for what I was hungry for.

The appetite wasn’t of words. It didn’t need to understand anything. It knew.

How do I know it was soul? I know it because what was communicated was in images, feelings, sensations, and inklings. What was communicated was feral and fecund, pulsing with life and creation. And it was clear that there is deep wisdom in appetite. It is very clear and it knows what it wants. It’s a different ‘want’ than what I’ve felt in the past, a want that felt like it could never be satiated.

This appetite isn’t to fill a hole that cannot be filled. Rather, this appetite is a relationship – a relationship between soul and life.

As I fet it, I just kept saying the word, Appetite. Appetite. Appetite. I could feel it rolling off my tongue and it felt right.

Like giving birth, it follows the pull of something wildly intelligent that flows through DNA, through the cells, through the inherent wise movement of life.

I sense how it moves through me, how it knows what it wants without any sense of hesitation or apology. I’ve thought of all the times I’ve not known what I really wanted, yet all the time this instinctual appetite was just under the skin, emanating from deep in the core of the body. It’s primal, sexual, creative power. It is impulse. It knows what it knows. It senses and tracks, and follows what it’s hungry for. It feels joyous, yet not like the lightness I usually associate with joy. It’s joy that comes from deep in the belly, like a good kind of belly laugh, a kind of lip-licking joy felt when appetite is sated.

This deep and raw appetite moves through women. It is part of our powerful sacred creativity as beings who bring forth life. Many women choose not to have children, or cannot have children. Yet, their appetite still pulses with pregnant possibility. There are infinite ways to bring forth life.

We all have this appetite right under our skin, simply waiting to be acknowledged and trusted. I know, boy do I know, it is not easy to trust this. We’ve been directly and indirectly taught to distrust this. We’ve been taught to not allow ourselves to see that it is our life force, our sacredness, our sacred sexuality and creativity, and that it is first and foremost a part of our own soul and our own life expression.

When we honor that it is within us, a part of our soul and a part of the joy of being a woman, we come to know it for ourselves, and in doing so, we then are more able to share it consciously with the people we love. This appetite is not something we are to give to others, it is something that is intrinsic to our own expression, and when we honor that, its expression can be received and enjoyed by others.

I’m going to be exploring what it feels like to live life from this deep appetite, allowing it to guide me in what I write, what I create, and how I express myself. I’ve been known to rely heavily on my rational mind when I get nervous or fearful, so this practice will helpfully go to the core of my learned coping mechanisms.

It was appetite that drew me so deeply to the dance.

It was appetite that moved me out of a career in technology and into the work I do now.

It was appetite that called me to dive directly into living the question of what it means to be unabashedly female, even when so many internal voices feared that dive.

For me, this goes straight to the heart of women’s creativity, sexuality, and power. It takes us out of the oh-so-well trained mind and into the heart of the feminine.

Stay tuned…

And, I’d love to know how you’ve experienced this. What have you come to see? To know? To feel? And if you haven’t, what you’re curious about.

::

Photo by Anne Jablonski, taken at Feathered Pipe Ranch during the Waking the Inner Teacher retreat.

And, my good friend and colleague, Rachel Cole, writes beautifully about hunger and being well-fed…perhaps another way to look at appetite…

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