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

Share

 


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.

 

Share

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

Share

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.

Share

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

Share

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.

***

belongingwomanandsunsetbanner

 

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.

 

Share

The Radiance of Life Unfolding

Share
reddahliaatdusk
the radiance of life unfolding

…the body is suffused with wild and vital divinity.
…the sensuous is sacred in the deepest sense.
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

~~~

I go to the side doors of the large room where we are to dance. These double doors are open to the park just across the way letting in the late-summer evening breeze. I lie down on the floor, face up, and gaze up and out the doors. All I see are the branches of the tall pine that stands across the way, branches that fall across the way between the tree and me.

The first music of the night is soft and slow, and I feel my body soften into the floor. I’ve been dancing long enough now that when the music begins my body begins to dance, even if that dance is simply breath meeting beat.

There is so much here in this moment that I love – truly love. Warm soft wind, music with melody and soul, trees, and others surrounding me who’ve come here to move, too.

As the stresses of the day fall away, I begin to feel my flesh and bones against the floor in places where my body meets wood well-worn from years of feet moving across it and bodies sweating over it.

Here in these moments between the heat of the late-summer day and the cool of evening, between the word-soaked moments of my busy life and the ripe silence of moving to music without conversation, I remember, then feel, the words John O’Donohue wrote before his body passed back into the earth:

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

Lying here, I feel this beautiful soul-light. Around me. Around the tree. Around the room. Around the others coming and dropping into silence.

As the music shifts and the tempo picks up, my body rises to meet it and I begin to dance.

~~~

I always love the first moments of the evening dance as I move into flow, relaxing into it like easing into a stream. Toes dip in, then legs, and then I slide the rest of my body down into the cool dark waters of the dance. Each time I dance, these waters cleanse me, washing through the layers of soul that suffuse this body. These waters cleanse me of everything I’ve brought in with me, and over the last few weeks each time I come I’ve brought memories and images of generations past.

My sister and I’ve been going through pictures my mother left behind after her passing, and we’ve come across images of great-great-greats. Moving my fingers across these portraits of faces from five generations prior, I touch more than paper and tin-type. I touch people who gave birth to those who would give birth to me. I touch joy and heartache. I touch youth and old age. I touch promise and defeat. I touch my own DNA.

As I dance, it comes to my mind that they are all gone now. Yet I, their offspring, still dance. My body moves with the wild and vital divinity of one who is alive, fully alive, with breath and beat, sweat and heart. I feel the radiance of life unfolding from deep within me, deep in the hidden places of the heart, deep in the dark of my belly.

I notice the soul-light because the music hits soul first, before it enters my ears. The soul suffuses my body, but the music suffuses my soul.

To be touched in this way by rhythm, to have it touch my soul even before it touches my cells, is to be touched by the sacred. Literally touched. Rhythm and beat to soul, and soul to skin. And when, in the heat of the dance, my skin brushes up against the skin of another, our souls have already met prior to skin meeting skin.

Perhaps this is why it is so hard-to-describe the experience of dance when flesh meets flesh. Perhaps this is why life is so sensuous. It isn’t flesh meeting flesh first. It is soul meeting soul.

Share

Dignity and The Fire of Your Holy Knowing

Share

photo (28)

her fire burns hot.
flames lick through me.
but, there’s no stake holding me here.
no, here she burns for me,
the goddess of fire,
to remind me that
deep in my belly a fire should be raging,
burning,
consuming.

~~~

the women of my line,
did they fear this fire?
was fire too close to the history of this line of women immemorial?
i see them, their faces dark,
no firelight in their souls,
no burning in their core,
no fuel to fire longing and desire, to give volume to voice.

after 1,000 years of loving watch,
Brigid’s flame was extinguished by those determined to deny the Goddess’s light.

how powerful was this message?
put out your light, woman.
by fearing our own fire,
we douse our own flame.

this fear of fire,
how deep does it run?
I see them,
a line bleeding back into the dark bowels of centuries past where no flame burns.
dark faces, tightly drawn skin reminding me of my own jawbone.

I was taught to leave my own interior,
but dignity knew something different.
dignity said, “No, I will not forget.”
dignity did what was necessary to keep this pearl of consciousness whole,
like the crown jewels of the monarchy sanctioned away in that dark old tower.

~~~

a red sun at the center of the earth’s heart.
deep in the hollow of the oak,
flames lick through.
fire in my breast, fire in my heart,
i travel down to her core, to the red heart that fuels life.

she beckons me to her.
she lays me down across the altar that rings around her heart.
i’m not the only one here.
sisters all around me drink in what they’ve come for.
she pours me a vial of liquid heat,
so hot it is pure blue.
she lifts it to my lips.
and with her own eyes aflame,
she pours this offering into my soul.
you, my love, are me in human form.
you, my love, need fire in your heart, your belly, your womb.
drink.
you cannot live without my fire burning at the center of your being.
can you imagine me,
your mother,
the source of your nourishment,
without fire in my core?
can you see how quickly life would die here in my garden
if there were no fire in my belly,
no flame in my heart?

~~~

We cannot live what we are here to do without fire.
Instinct tells us something is off, something is wrong.
Instinct, bright and vivid, must be deeply felt, acknowledged, and lived.
Fire is an element of life, as natural as the sun.
We are fiery creatures as much as we are of water, air, earth, and spirit.

Something has to wake us up to the fact we are dying while there is still time to live.

Something has to ignite our spirit again before the next inhale becomes our last.

This something is our holy knowing.

We are all in this together.

~~~ bafonbadge300px

I’d love to guide you to relight that fire within – that holy knowing that lies at the heart of your instincts as a woman.
Becoming a Force of Nature is my course designed to do this!

When I asked graduates the most important thing they received from Becoming a Force of Nature, they responded with:

  1. Tapping into our fierce feminine power from the inside out with a renewed central focus being…the body’s intelligence.
  2. Trusting your Self and your feminine nature.
  3. A path to discovering or rediscovering one’s true self and how to embrace and nurture who you are…embracing both the feminine (and masculine) within. The course teaches that you don’t have to apologize to anyone for who you are.


This will be the last time I offer Becoming a Force of Nature in its current format. We begin on June 9th.

Share

Nature is Light Made Flesh

Share

iris

 

ten years ago…

It’s a brilliant sunny day in San Francisco. My boyfriend and I are, very slowly, making our way through the community garden near Fort Mason. It’s a really wonderful place because the people gardening there seem to love what they cultivate. You can feel it in the air. Flowers seem to flourish here. It could be the weather, too, and I can see the care with which each person is tending their patch.

We’ve wound our way through most of the garden, and as we come into the northwestern corner, just before we make our way up the terraced hillside to the gate to leave, I see a flower right before my eyes. Something in this flower draws me in. It’s the colors. It’s the light. And, it’s something more.

My eyes completely take this flower in. I don’t know what kind of flower it is, but it is tall and narrow in shape, and along the height of it it moves from deep purple, to indigo blue, to green, to yellow. The color flows in and out with no perceptible shift from one to the next.

In what is probably not more than a second of looking, I am filled with a profound sense of something that I have no words for. Absolutely no words. But, I am filled with it. My heart…my whole body is filled with it. A space even bigger than my body is filled with it. This space encompasses this flower. For a length of time that is outside of time, I am enveloped in something I have no words for, something that literally causes me to go speechless. Tears are streaming from my eyes.

The beauty of this flower as it moves from purple through to yellow has opened me to the wordless place, and I stand still, transfixed, transported, transformed. In this moment beyond moments, in this community garden filled with the most commonplace happenings of daily life, I come to know something profoundly beyond what my eyes normally take in.

My boyfriend takes my hand and asks me, “What’s wrong, Honey?” He sees my tears. He sees that I am not moving, transfixed in front of what looks like just another flower. I cannot speak. I try, but I am speechless. He puts his arm around me, and his touch slowly brings me back to the garden, to standing there with him.

The flower still looks extraordinary to me, but I am no longer transfixed nor speechless. I begin to try to tell him what I experienced, but again there are no words. Everything I say just sounds ordinary. “It is so beautiful. Look at the colors; how the gradually move from purple, to indigo, to blue, to green, to yellow. It is so incredibly beautiful.” Yet inside, the experience I am trying to relate is so alive with fire, with light, with life. The words cannot capture the feeling, but they do carry some of it because it is alive.

 

Back to now, ten years later…

In looking back, I see how my relationship with life changed, my relationship with flowers changed, my ability to ‘see’ changed.

The flower was filled with light, with a fire of radiance, a fire of light in every cell.

That experience stayed with me for a bit, and then it began to recede in memory…until now. I remember trying to understand what had happened. I tried to make sense of it. But, I don’t think that is necessary, even if it is what we tend to do. I feel experiences like this come when they come. I see now that all the while something was deepening in me: a relationship with beauty, with light, with immanence.

In that moment, I felt love. I felt the light of being streaming through me, streaming through the flower. In that moment, I cannot say what I was or who I was. The woman. The flower. The light. The fire. The love.

What birds plunge through is not the intimate space
in which you see all forms intensified.
(Out in the Open, you would be denied
your self, would disappear into that vastness.)
Space reaches from us and construes the world:
to know a tree, in its true element,
throw inner space around it, from that pure
abundance in you. Surround it with restraint.
It has no limits. Not till it is held
in your renouncing is it truly there.

Rainer Maria Rilke, translation by Stephen Mitchell, by way of my friend Barbara

 

To know this, in its true element, throw inner space around it…from that pure abundance, pure love, pure beauty [with]in you.

Why do I share this story with you? We are all this. This love. This light. This fire. This space. We are this force. We are this Nature.

Nature is Light made flesh.

Becoming aware that we are this is the necessary work of our time.

Becoming a Force of Nature is waking up to the divinity, the holiness of your own flesh, blood, and bones. To see this light within you, to see your own divine, sacred Self radiating and pulsing with life, and to see it in all of life. It is waking up to your body’s intelligence, and to your own beautiful self worth.

I’d love to have you join me for this summer course of awakening to the force of nature that you already are. We begin June 9th.

Share

Pleasure: Soul Sustenance

Share

IrisLavender

 

 

Every Sunday morning, I dance. Last Sunday was no exception.

As I danced and felt much pleasure from being in my body, I realized how I’ve pushed away pleasure for most of my life. I know I am not alone in this. Perhaps we do this when we grow up in a culture where the undercurrent of belief is infused with pleasure equating to sin.

But, it’s more than that. As I danced, I began to feel the pleasure myself, and for a moment it felt odd that there was no one else there…only me. I was enjoying my own experience of pleasure, sensual pleasure, and there was no ‘other’ in the experience. I could see something I hadn’t seen before: that giving myself pleasure, either through dance or any of the things I love to do in my life, changes the experience of who I am in others’ company. I know this sounds simple, but hang with me here for a minute.

In my life, and I am sure in your’s in your own unique way, there’s been a silent undercurrent of ‘having to BE pleasureable’, like it is a duty I must fulfill to be a pleasurable person Or, that if I am good I will give others pleasure. Could be sexual, could be in another way. But, as I felt pleasure, I realized I was pleasurable without having to BE anything. The only thing I was doing was doing what I love and truly being in my body while doing it.

 

I was simply feeling pleasure. I was taking myself into myself.

 

It reminded me of something I’d read this past week. I came across this post by Erin McKean where she writes:

You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.

I realized that we don’t owe pleasure to anyone either. Offering pleasure to another ‘is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.’

Instead, when we participate in those things that are pleasurable, we radiate pleasure.

Sometimes it is hard for me to know what I desire, what I want, what I love. In that moment of dancing, there was no question. I was loving how it feels to be in my body, loving how it feels to dance, loving how it feels to be a sensual human being.

I included this Iris picture here because this picture brings up the same feelings of pleasure…sensual, pleasurable beauty. This photo takes my breath away. The colors. The feeling. The dreaminess. It works on me, through me, removing layers of resistance I have to knowing my own self in this way.

We are hungry for such pleasurable beauty, for such deeply sensuous tenderness and pleasure in our lives. Hungry for it. Aching for it, because the soul loves it. It is soul food.

The soul gets to feel what it is to be alive through the body, and heaven knows there are enough moments in the body when life is not pleasurable.

Why not feed the soul some really lovely, pleasurable sustenance?

Pleasure is soul food, and what I was experiencing was truly a divine connection between my conscious self and my soul. For me, this is the most important relationship in my life. And knowing this makes my quest for living a life of love all the more alluring because I know it is my soul that brought me to dance in the first place. She guided me there and she continues to guide me into what I truly love, for it is She who truly loves.

:::

bafonbadge300pxPleasure is just one of the weekly topics we explore in my 12-week program, Becoming a Force of Nature. Pleasure is an important area of exploration for those of us wishing to be more alive and more in our bodies. Pleasure is part of life, and it is a gift to offer to the soul.

If you’d like to go deeper into the way I facilitate creativity while applying what you learn in real-time to your own life or business vision, join me for this summer run of Becoming a Force of Nature. Registration is now open.

This is a powerful course. It can be a vehicle for deep transformation, as well as practical, tangible movement on a intention you are holding. We will dive deep into the creative process. We’ll experience first-hand ways to creatively meet life’s challenges.

When you live your life as a work of art, you come to realize you are the true creation.

This is the last time I will be offering the course in this format. Along with 12 teaching calls, you’ll receive 12 rich multi-media PDFs for each course weekly segment. After the course is done, you’ll be able to dive even deeper by way of these rich interactive lessons.

Take a look to see if the course is right for you. If it is, come join me for this summer journey.

 

Share

Caressed by Invisible Grace. God(dess) is Decidedly Sensuous.

Share

 

caressedbyinvisiblegrace

caressed by invisible grace

this caress
unseen hands
tender fingertips
that spread across the sky
spread across my face
touch me
like nothing else has
ever
in existence
my face open to the light
my soles on forest floor
this miracle
shines brightly
freedom
connection
so deep in my clay
down where fossils
cease to decay.

::

For as long as I can remember,

I have loved soft warm wind blowing against my face. I never ‘knew’ why, although I used to try to understand. Funny things we do.

The most profound experience I’ve had of this was in Hana, on Maui. There, the air is moist, always moist, and filled with scents. And, it is warm there. It doesn’t get cold in Hana, really.

There, I feel the wild more acutely in my cells, the wild of the land a mirror to the wild of the terrain of my body. 

The soul’s secrets rise to be known on land that isn’t covered over by thought divorced from flesh (concrete one of the literal expressions of this broken marriage). Raw earth offers itself to my raw soul, inviting soul forth into flesh to be touched, felt, and seen. And the conscious mind, for at least a moment, meets soul in this intimacy.

The body is soul’s physical expression. This human body is how soul makes itself known on earth, in flesh. The soul’s longing to experience and be experienced comes through as our longing to see, touch, and feel, and be seen, touched, and felt.

This is the creative impulse to live and to express our sacred uniqueness into flesh and blood and bone – of body and of other physical creation. This is an impulse for life, an appetite to know through experience, through feeling and senses.

Oh, and to think how we deny our appetite for life. Consider how much effort it must take to deny this deep impulse of life, to grow into our fullest expression, to offer it into the world so it can be known.

There is nothing wrong with our appetite, nothing wrong with our desire, nothing wrong with our flesh. There is everything right with creation.

 

“The body is a sacrament. … A sacrament is a visible sign of invisible grace.” 

“All our inner life and intimacy of soul longs to find an outer mirror. It longs for a form in which it can be seen, felt, and touched. The body is the mirror where the secret world of the soul comes to expression.” ~ John O’Donohue

 

Your body, my body, every body, is the physical manifestation of soul, a physical manifestation of grace.

Invisible grace – like wind. This is what I feel as I am caressed by wind – caressed by invisible grace.

The soul is deeply affected by body and what our body experiences. Earth touched, wind felt, fragrance inhaled, all leave an imprint on soul. I now understand why the different lands I have traveled to, and walked upon, affected me so deeply. My soul took it all in, and my willingness to go, even when I did not understand why, was how this body, this body/mind, walked what she needed to walk for soul to live the experiences soul was hungering for – that outer mirror.

I now have a sense of why I love warm wind against my face. It is not really for me to ‘understand’. It is more that I have the capacity to choose to have those experiences that feed my soul, that feed her appetite for life.

This is life’s grand radiance: this invisible grace making itself known in physical form, and then our physical forms, our bodies, offering back the gifts of this human, everyday, life, to soul.

When every cell of the body is awake with invisible grace, awash with love, alert with awareness, consider how much more fleshy real estate is available for this sacred interchange between flesh and soul, this experience of being alive. Instead of just understanding what it might be like as an idea,

we become fully aflame with life’s grand radiance…a living, breathing, loving vessel of liquid soul.

::

This poem, above, was written during a Writing Raw circle call. They are powerful, potent circles where soul-knowing can pour forth. Join me for the Spring, 2015, Writing Raw circle…now open for registration. We begin the first week of March.

Share

Radiance

Share

PeonyDarkCenterBaFoN

 

The other day…

I was feeling frustrated.

I’ve been feeling so much creativity inside, like there’s this impulse – so strong – to create. The impulse was like a river running – so strong and vital. I’ve got a few things I’m working on, so it’s not like I’m not creating. I am. Yet, I’ve always had this thought that somehow I have to express all of what I feel into the world.

It’s sort of a funny thing how I’ve thought this. I don’t know if you can relate. I can remember feeling this way as a child – that I could feel and sense and see so much that isn’t part of this world that we see, yet even though I really wanted to share what I saw with others, it was hard to describe to anyone in words. Certainly, few adults seemed to understand.

 

When I was young,

I would sit under the weeping willow tree in the back yard, whose branches swooped almost down to the ground. I felt like I was invisible within her branches. I would sit there on this little bench that ran along the fence and just feel how alive everything around me was. I felt at home there. I didn’t need to explain to the weeping willow what I saw and could sense – I knew she could sense me.

The frustration I felt the other day, I hadn’t felt for a long time. Feeling it took me back to those years as a child when I felt like I had to get what is inside out there into the world. And, that felt impossible. To feel this again was like all of this that I felt inside had to come into the world somehow through my voice, up and out of my body through my mouth and my hands and my ideas. It felt frustrating.

I wrote and shared this:

Maybe we can never really fully express the depth and breadth of the Soul into this material world. It feels like trying to open a firehose through a kitchen faucet. Such immensity. Such fullness. So many layers beyond what is evident in this world of matter. Simplicity seems to be key. Simple. open, honest expression that pulses with the vibrancy of Soul.

The words came from feeling like the only way it could all come out is if I keep it simple…like the energy itself would have room then.

 

The very next day…

I was at dance and an image flashed across the screen in my mind. It was an image of me dancing, and all of this vibrancy and intensity and expression was radiating out of me in a complete infinite sphere, meaning it was 360 degrees around in every direction.

And then it dawned on me. (Thank goodness, because the relief was huge.)

Of course.

 

All of this energy isn’t ‘inside of me’, something I’ve thought for so long as an adult. It is me. It is radiating. I don’t have to try to get it out of me and into the world. It is in me. It is in the world. It is the world. It is me. There is no separation.

 

It was such a beautiful image and such a clear insight. As I danced, I just felt it, or me, radiating. It was as if the energy was coming into me, but also then radiating back out into ‘the world’ or whatever that really is. I could, and can, feel this pulsing center into which, and out of which, life seems to radiate.

Talk about freedom. Suddenly, I felt no more attempting to force or control or wish to do something with this energy…what I can feel is simply the life force that is what I think of as me. And, I had to laugh. It was really quite funny what I’d been making up in my mind about what I had to DO with it all.

We are simply this vitality. It is always moving. Trying to DO something is really trying to control it. It knows how to move. It just moves.

 

It radiates. You radiate. Have you ever had someone tell you that? That you look radiant? Yes, there you go.

Radiance.

Come to think of it, that beautiful weeping willow was radiant, too.

 

What if you are creativity?

What if that is what you are, creation pulsing with creativity?

What if it takes NO effort at all?

What if your life force knows how to flow, and that who you really are longs to radiate?

 

Share

Living the Magic and Wonder of Her

Share

 

rubis

 
 
 

It was midday on Sunday…

We’d just arrived at Rubi’s restaurant in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Three of us sat down at a table in the back room where the welcome sunlight was streaming through the upper windows. We were to be joined by three other women we’d just spent three days with at the Red Bird Inn, the site of our retreat, Opening to Her. We’d been dancing in the Feminine for these three days. We’d opened to Her, and felt Her there, always there.

I’d co-led this retreat with Amy, and it was the first time we’d worked together. I felt light. I felt full. I felt a great love surrounding us.

At a table next to us, two women were deep in a conversation that was marked with quiet voices and intense feelings. I felt drawn to one woman in particular. In fact, I kept looking over in her direction, then would call myself back knowing it didn’t feel right to keep looking at her. But something in me felt drawn. I was to find out later that the other women I was with felt the same thing.

 

The other three women from our retreat arrived at Rubi’s, and…

We settled in and began to talk. Our conversation was light, filled with interesting things. We were talking about what we were returning home to, and shared stories about synchronicities, connections, and family. We laughed together. There was a sweetness to how we were with each other after three beautiful days together.

I hadn’t noticed that the women next to us had left their table until one of the women, the one I’d been so drawn to, approached our table from the direction of the front room of Rubi’s. She and her friend had begun to leave the restaurant, but she returned to speak to us. She approached the table looking at us, then at me, and asked,

“Are you teachers or something?”

We all looked at each other, and then I responded,

“Yes”.

She then shared with us that she could tell there was something ‘special’ about us, about how we were with each other – (connected and strong) – and that she was drawn to speaking with us because her friend was going through a very hard time and she felt we might be able to offer her friend something that she couldn’t.

Her words implied that she wanted her friend to feel held.

She then asked if she could bring her friend over for us to simply hug and be with. We answered, “Yes”, and then Amy and I stood up to greet them, together.

Amy hugged the friend, and I hugged the woman we’d spoken with. We exchanged names. Then I hugged the woman, and Amy hugged the woman we’d spoken with. As I hugged her, the woman having a difficult time told me her young-adult son had passed away just five weeks before. She said the words with a lot of presence and was clearly still in a great amount of pain. I was struck by her strength. I was struck by the strength of her friend, too.

The woman who’d initially come up to us to ask to connect with her friend hadn’t asked us for help, but rather had seen that there was something in us that could hold and be with her friend’s grief. She said she had been able to do that to a point, but she said she didn’t know what else to do and felt that her friend would benefit from being held by other women who were living something she couldn’t quite put into words.

At this point, the other four women at our table rose up, and one-by-one each hugged the other two women. They were slow, full-body hugs, not sideways hugs we many times offer in our world. The rest of the women at our table didn’t yet know what this woman was experiencing, but it didn’t matter. They didn’t ask. They simply put their loving arms around each woman and held her.

 

This moment was one of the most beautiful and amazing experiences of my life. There was longing and trust. There was connection and love. There was a lived and palpable presence of Love, of Her. It was a loving, nurturing, fully-accepting presence. It filled the room.

We then all said good-byes. The two women left the café, and we sat back down together. We all looked around our circle, a bit speechless at what had just happened. This loving, nurturing, fully-accepting presence lingered, fruitfully and spaciously.

 

One of the women at our table said she felt like she had just witnessed a miracle.

Another woman expressed something similar about our weekend together – that it was filled with magic and wonder.

The feminine is mystery. She is magic. She brings a sense of wonder.

At the end of our retreat, I offered the invitation to live Her, to live this expression of a presence that is life-affirming, real, and true, a presence that comes from being fully awake and alive in our female bodies. When we live this, we know it, and we know it and feel it in others. Even if others are not aware of it in terms of these words, they are still aware of it. We are all longing for it in our world. We hunger for Her. And She is here, holding us all.

The six of us didn’t have anything ‘special’. We were simply aware, in that moment, of this deep presence of Her. We had spent three days together remembering something we’d already known before…Her. And because of this remembering, we were embodying Her. We were living and breathing the dignity of Her.

One of the women at our table shared this as she reflected upon the experience:

 “…That we can be who we yearn for in the world. I cried at the memory of the experience, the privilege of being a part of it.”

She, the Feminine, wove us together, and then we left to go our own way. But now we know we are no longer going separate ways, but rather…

We move in the world woven together, always together, always connected.

 

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Share