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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“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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“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.

 

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You are a Shero, and It’s time to attend The Shero’s School for Revolutionaries.

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For many years, my Shero’s Journey has been unfolding. I’ve been unveiling the deeper, softer layers of myself through the letting go of who I thought I was, and who I thought I had to be.

I’ve come to experience the deep, dark feminine within that is the source of my creativity, sexuality, vitality…my life force. 

 

The Shero’s journey

is about turning within, shining a light on the dark places where we’ve hidden the beautiful aspects of the feminine that were not safe in this world, and reclaiming the fullness and wholeness of who we really are.

It’s about rescuing ourselves from the dark places where we hid what we believed was not sacred, and reclaiming our wholeness.

And, the Shero’s Journey is about living this wholeness in our everyday lives, living the wholeness of love in service to Life.

Our female bodies are made for this. It’s why we are here, leading, loving,and living through these female bodies.

It’s about love. It’s about life. It’s about knowing we belong here on this earth, in this life. It’s about being what we are fully, vulnerably, openly, in relationship to all of our relations…all of life.

It is time for us to live this, knowing we are not alone, telling our stories, hearing the stories and wisdom of others, and coming to truly believe that we have everything we need already. We always have.

It is time.

To that end…

 

Jennifer Louden has…

brought together an eclectic mix of women and men for her Shero’s School For Revolutionaries who have answered the call. I’m happy, and honored, to be one of these 25+ people  interviewed by Jen, along with wise souls like Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Angeles Arrien, Seane Corn, Gala Darling, Justine Musk, Dani Shapiro, Marianne Elliott, Tara Mohr, and more.

The Shero’s School for Revolutionaries will be in session all next week, September 23rd through the 28th. You’ll hear insights and wisdom about what it means to be a Shero and how we must bring our gifts forward in service to healing.

But, this isn’t the kind of school we’re used to. It’s a school for revolutionaries, a school asking you to listen even more deeply to what your own heart knows, to the wisdom of your own soul, to the knowing in your own bones.

This is a revolution of love, of spiritual activism, of the joy of allowing service to heal and transform you.

 

In Jen’s words:

What is calling you these days?  Does it have something to do with healing, with mending, with tending, your corner of the world? Are  you afraid of what calls you, sure you aren’t up for it, sure there is no time, perhaps have no idea where to start? 

If so, what good news! Doubt, confusion and fear are all great signs that you are ready to own your power to take real action. YES, you are embarked upon your Shero’s journey, starting to reclaim what has been lost & bring it back as a boon to your community. Weaving together inner work and outer action. Owning your gifts in service to something larger than you. Discovering your deepest joy.

These are practical, intimate and mystical conversations, designed to support you wherever you are in your journey, you’ll hear about:

  • explore how to start a movement
  • where self-care fits
  • how to take care of yourself financially
  • how to unhook from blame and praise
  • and lots of practical tips for activism and fear management

and much, much more.

 

An intimate conversation with Jen

I sat down with Jen to ask her to share why this is so important to her. If you know Jen online, in person, from her books and blogs, you know how passionate and she is about savoring and serving. Listen in to this short, and wonderful, conversation…

Jen Louden on her Shero’s School for Revolutionaries

[audio:https://unabashedlyfemale.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SherosSchool.mp3|titles=Conversation with Jen Louden]

The details:
Dates: September 23 -28, 2013
Price: FREE
Where: Sign up online here to have free access to these live-streamed interviews.

You’ll be able to hear my interview on the first day of school, Monday, September 23rd. The interview will be available for 24 hours. I loved doing this interview. Something beautiful comes through. In Jen’s words,

“Julie gives a radiant transmission of someone living her shero journey – it’s like the Goddess is speaking through her.”

 Each interview will be available for 24 hours. If, at the end of the school, you choose to purchase them, you’ll be able to do that for $47. Jen is donating her proceeds, so this is also a fundraiser.

 

And, in the spirit of Sheros, Love, and Sacred Activism,

[Revised Sept 26, 2013]

Registration is now open for my new course,

Becoming a Force of Nature

It’s a blend of:

  • Stanford University curriculum
  • exploration of embodying the sacred feminine
  • practical tools, practices, meditations, worksheets
  • and ways to live what you truly are – a Force of Nature.

It’s a potent, provocative, and practical 24-week deep dive your creative process and your feminine nature.

 

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