Forsaken Voices

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danuberivernearlinz

 
Audio version is below.
 

Forsaken Voices

 

Like a river
deep underground
pushed down into the depths
where they can’t be known
in the light of day
these forsaken voices
like clear-pooled water
collect together
woven in rivulets
meander through time
waiting for something
waiting for someone
waiting…

 

How rich is this water
generations of heartache
lineage of wisdom
matrilines of power.
I am the river,
now,
in this time
there is no other outlet
no other mouth
no other gateway
for these forsaken voices.

 

Generations of damming
centuries of cast-down eyes
ears grown cold
mouths sewn shut
and repeated lies told
the pressure pushes back against
walls too tired to hold.

 

When I am still, quiet, and alone
these forsaken voices
stir the marrow of my bones.

 

Deeper than the water
runs the grief untold
no one soul can tolerate
the pain of women who’ve come before
silenced
shamed
muzzled
maimed
and told to suffer it alone.
My mother, her mother, her mother, and her’s before
still woven like a river
gather underground
pool together in wisdom circles
where seeds of light collect
knowing spring
one day will come.

 

I lie in bed
signs of pleurisy all around
water pooling, collecting
in my lungs only to be known
when the grief takes hold
seeds deeply rooted in lungs
that reach back to
generations untold.

 

These forsaken voices
buried deep underground
can only breathe through
flesh and blood daughters
who now live in their lungs
breathing light into cells
waking oxygen
where none has been known.

 

I am the river
my sisters and I pool together
our collective voices now ready
to irrigate our parched world
with deep blue love from
aquifers too-long guarded
underground.

 

It is time to speak of
moisture
cool waters of knowing
deep rivulets of wisdom
flesh plump with blood.

 

There can never be wholeness when voices are silenced.
There can never be peace without dignity for all.

 
 


 

::
Image is ‘Donau-Seitenarm’  by Konstantinos DafaliasCreative Commons 2.0
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As She Is – A Film About the Feminine, By Megan McFeely

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I am excited to introduce you to my good friend,

Megan McFeely, and…

to Premiere! a segment of her soon-to-be film, As She Is.

JesMegBehindScences


As She Is is a film about one woman’s journey (Megan’s) to discover what the Feminine is. It is her journey. And, it is our journey as women, our journey as human beings. 
Megan is a filmmaker who is making (what I consider to be) this very important film.

Megan and I have been friends for years. We dance together, and we travelled through India together. We’ve shared some interesting, challenging, and hilarious!, times on this journey to know and live the Feminine.


In Megan’s words,

“WHAT AM I DOING?

I am on a  journey towards the center of my being.  I travel inward to see if I can find myself as I am…not as others or the culture wants me to be.  In doing so I reconnect to the sacred, the inner or the feminine part of myself.

AleMeganRoad2It is the longing for wholeness or the deep question that draws me inward…and holds open a sacred space inside where something can be born.  This journey toward the unknown started with a question because I did not really know. What is the feminine?

It is my willingness to be with the most uncomfortable of places…the emptiness, the silence, devastation, grief and the longing that continuously forges this relationship, teaching me to act from a connected place with greater awareness and responsibility.

I feel this  journey is my responsibility so that I can participate in the future…and become a guardian of life on this planet.

This is a film project about a journey toward wholeness. I continue to learn how to live this connection to myself…a never ending process of becoming.”


I feel strongly that this film is of utmost importance.

To give you a sense of the beauty that is woven throughout this film, Megan has shared this interview with us. This is the premiere showing of a portion of her interview with Aleutian Elder, Illarion Merculieff, about the feminine way of teaching:

The Intelligence of Our Natural Way of  Being, from As She Is – {A premiere!}

 

“The most important lessons in my life – from age 5 to age 13 – I got from experience, my own experience.”
~ Illarion Merculieff

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how often I speak to this – of trusting your own experience, unmediated – this rich unfolding of the greater intelligence that moves through you.

As you can see and sense, this film is bringing together wisdom much needed for our times from many different sources.

 

What you can do to help bring this film into being:

Over the years, many women have asked me where they might come to know the Feminine. They’ve wondered if there are role models, or archetypes, or images that might help guide them to understand what it is that is unfolding within them, and unfolding in our world.

To me, this is one of the reasons As She Is is important to support. We are longing for something, hungering to know something, yet what this is is not necessarily visible yet in our world. We can know it from experience, yet so much of what we’ve been taught and acculturated to believe clouds our eyes and covers our ears when it comes to knowing.

We want to know, yet where do we go to learn? Yes, from our own experience. Absolutely. And, we also are being guided from many different places, from many wise voices. As She Is gathers and weaves these wisdom voices into one film for us all.

We hunger to know, and for me this is one of the most important reasons to help fund this project. We can help ourselves find this way home.

If we value coming to know wisdom that will help guide us to a better world, we have a way to help make that happen.

If As She Is resonates with you, and you feel this matters to you, please donate – and please share. As of today, March 27th, she’s raised just over $11,000.00 of her $44,000.00 goal. 

It’s going to take some creative, generous gumption on our part to reach the goal in the next ten days. One thing I’ve learned is that how we make things happen now is different than it was in the past. No longer is it up to a few people to create change in the world. Now it’s up to networks of committed women and men, you and me and the people we are connected to, and the people they are connected to.

There are 10 days left  in Megan’s Indiegogo campaign.

$1, $5, $10, $20 – or more – whatever you can give – each and every dollar brings this As She Is closer to completion.

We can be part of helping to bring forth a world where the feminine is valued alongside the masculine, a world where the feminine is valued and lived. We really MUST be the change we wish to see in the world.


Donate and share this Indiegogo link!

Indiegogo Campaign and Film trailer – Watch the film trailer, donate, and help spread the word by sharing. 

As She Is Website: www.as-she-is.org

As She Is Facebook page – Join the conversation on Facebook.

And you can share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or by email to your friends and family.

Thank you, friends, for supporting Megan and As She Is.

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Wise Woman Wednesday – with Tanya Geisler

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The idea behind Wise Woman Wednesday is this:

We live in a culture that is not designed for women to succeed with ease. Yet women, when we awaken to the feminine within us, and begin to live the feminine as She moves through us, embody something vital that must be lived in the world. In order to bring forth our wisdom and nature into the world, we must support and amplify each other’s voices and hearts, because our culture isn’t yet set up to really do this. We’ve been graced with the Internet as a way to bring forth our voices into the world. And it is my joy to share women on Wise Woman Wednesdays whose wisdom and voices I wish to amplify with great love.

Today, on Wise Woman Wednesday, we’re…

tanyageisler

Tanya is a wonderful friend and a colleague who does just that – she champions women. She is wise. She is generous.

Tanya steadfastly stands for women to step into their life’s work – whatever that work might be.

I first met Tanya in person at the World Domination Summit, the first year it was held in Portland, Oregon. Meeting Tanya in the flesh was something I’ll never forget. Her warmth and enthusiasm are contagious. And her ability to listen on so many levels is evident the moment you enter into a conversation with her. She listens with every cell of her body. That is an important skill for a coach.

We’ve come to share many experiences, one of which was speaking at the Isfeld TEDx Women event in Courtenay, British Columbia. Tanya spoke about the Imposter Complex, something she’s taken to a whole new level in how she helps women identify and move through it. I remember how we both woke up early that morning before we were to speak. We were staying in the same condo, and so we came out into the kitchen together to have coffee, and talk quietly so as not to awaken others sleeping. We ended up sitting on the kitchen floor laughing like crazy about something.

Tanya, and our rolling-on-the-floor laughter, were the medicine I needed to calm my pre-speech nerves.

A few days ago, I surprised Tanya by telling her I was to feature her here today. We recorded this audio because it seemed like the very best way to share and amplify Tanya’s voice in the world.

 

If you are looking for a coach to work with, I have personally experienced Tanya’s coaching. She is a superb coach. She coaches many coaches.

And, Tanya’s program Step Into Your Starring Role is currently open for registration. I am not an affiliate. I don’t receive any monies for sharing her work. I receive the joy of knowing you now know of Tanya. We offer similar programs for women. We both want women’s voices to be heard in the world. And I know that Tanya might be just the right woman for you to work with. When you choose a coach, or a coaching program, the most important thing is finding resonance with your coach.

Make Wednesday a Wise Woman day, and amplify a woman, or many women, you know. Let’s support each other and amplify women’s voices into this world, a world thirsty for women’s deep wisdom.

 

 

 

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Singing Up the Moon

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Singing Up the Moon

 

I was all out of sorts yesterday. Something was (g)rumbling around inside me. I couldn’t write. I felt off. I felt as if something wanted to break loose, to make itself known and I had no idea (on the surface at least) what it was. The full moon was working me and I didn’t know it…until a friend reminded me.

Then he shared this,

“I lived in a place once, where the women would go out at sunset and build a fire and wait for the moon. They would each get cornmeal to pray with and eventually to offer to the fire. Once the moon started to show up in the East, they would “sing up the moon” with a certain song till it was fully up. The men would stay inside and just gather someplace, and drink coffee, talk, play cards and just chill. The full moon was women’s business; it was their night. It was always really cool to hear them singing.“

It is women’s business. We can ‘sing up the moon’. 

This is what we know as women, what we know in our female bones.

There is a difference between men and women in how our biology responds to life moving through and around us.

What would it be like if we’d grown up with this wisdom, grown up being shown how this wisdom is an integral part of womanhood?

We’ve forgotten so much wisdom because of our disconnection from our true home, the natural world. Not everyone has forgotten. There are sources of wisdom available to us. For me, one source is this beautiful friend from high school who shares so wisely his culture’s wisdom. I’ve only reconnected with him since Facebook brought so many of our class back together. There are so many other sources of wisdom if we have the humility to ask and the desire to know. 

Much of our socialization has been to see this wisdom as something less than: less than science, less than logic, less than reasonable; yet, it is such hubris to believe this is so. We are in the state we are in right now because we have lost touch with wisdom inherent in life itself, with a knowing of things other than rationality and logic.

::

As the movement and pull of this big bold beautiful full moon worked on me, I felt pushed and pulled toward something that wasn’t very comfortable. I could feel a kind of push-pull happening inside me where much of me wanted to run from what I was feeling and being pulled toward, while at the same time part of me was willing to dive right in. I’ve found these ‘storms’ to be thresholds to big changes and shifting, many times brought on by more momentous astrological markers. I never used to give astrology much credence (part of my conditioning), but I’ve discovered that it’s actually very practical, especially when you can feel the pushes and pulls happening in your own body.

As I wrestled with these feelings, I remembered these words spoken by the photographer, Diane Arbus:

“You must learn not to be careful.”

These words are kindling for my soul. They take hold of my soul’s spark and feed it into flame. They move me toward the wisdom of the instinctual self within, the divine wild, the soul.

Too careful and cautious come about when we lose the scent and impulse of our own instinctual nature. When I am in touch, I am like a tracker, someone who tracks animals by listening and looking, sensing and feeling. There’s a coming to know how life moves, how instincts flow, and how responses maneuver, whether it be within oneself or in the flow of life (which really aren’t two separate things).

We are taught and trained to be careful. I wonder if women are more careful than men? Or vice-versa? Or is that not even relevant? I know I am too careful. And, I usually don’t even know I am being such…until I feel it in my body. I think I run in cycles and spells – of carefulness.

I am too careful, yet, in some ways I am way too impetuous. A funny thing about us humans is that we push pull much of the time, coming toward and moving against, rather than trusting in the flow of life itself, both the open spacious awareness of spirit and the entirely instinctual nature of soul.

This something within us that isn’t careful at all, isn’t so neat and tidy, doesn’t care at all what others think. It’s instinct. It’s raw. It’s chaos at its core. It’s animal. It’s divine.

::

The past two weeks of travel, to both Alaska and Montana, have been beautiful and challenging. I’ve learned what matters deeply to me, what I must have in the work I do. I’ve learned what it means to stay with myself, and to hold fast to my integrity. I’ve learned more about what it means to collaborate, to trust people I didn’t yet know because I could sense into their integrity and willingness to work for the whole. There were things I didn’t do particularly well, while at the same time I had moments of genius and insight – pretty normal human stuff.

I participated in ceremony and ritual to honor and give thanks to Pachamama. I sweated in a sweat lodge. I danced and breathed and created from the Soul. I honored this divine wildness within me.

Coming to trust that this wild is within us, and that it is wholly divine, is part of journey in remembering and embodying the emergent feminine. She is the divine wild humanity of our being. She comes to us all, both women and men, as the soul pushes to come back into consciousness.

What I’ve found works for me is to keep saying yes. I ask myself if I want to follow the rich call of the soul, and I always answer yes, even if there is a part that fears these instincts and where they might take me. It has never worked for me to push past the fear. Instead, I acknowledge it is here, truly listen to it like I would a frightened child, and then asking myself if I want to stay in this place of fear. The response is immediately and abundantly clear.

With nose to the air and ear to the ground, She, this wild divine soul, leads me, insistently and lovingly.

I share this with you, because if you, too, feel this pull, know you are not alone. Many of us are being drawn to the pull of Soul, to wake up to our instinctual nature. 

It is key for women to live this instinctual nature. I know it can be frightening, and I know it helps when we share with each other what we are seeing, hearing, and sensing. We are awakening together. We are women and we are one woman.

I’d love to know what you’ve experienced, how the moon pulls you.

::

Image by Joe, licensed under CC,AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved

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Awake and Alive with Celebration and Ceremony

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Despacho Ceremony

I arrived home last night after just over two weeks of travel. Not the longest period of time to be away; yet, somehow

The feeling of coming home was wonderful. Even though I was away experiencing wonderful, beautiful, life-changing things, I needed to come home…come deeply home. I mean this both literally and metaphorically, and the two are intertwined.it felt like I’d been gone a long time.

When I walked in the door, I realized just how much the last two weeks had transformed me and my relationship to home. I felt more home than I ever have, and it’s no accident that this comes from profoundly shifting my relationship to the earth and to life.

::

I was lucky to spend time on the land in both Alaska and Montana, and I experienced both places as very different in feeling. But, what shifted was how I relate to the land. This relationship has been shifting over time; yet, beginning a practice of active contemplation and prayer to the land, to pachamama, and witnessing how she responds has softened me to what it means to be alive.

During the five days of reatreat at Feathered Pipe, which I co-led with Michael Lennox and Karen Chrappa, the land wove its medicine deep into my bones. From the moment I was asked to come teach, the land began to call. I heard it. I trusted what I knew. I didn’t know how things would unfold, but I could tell the land was calling.

When I arrived at Feathered Pipe, I could feel the softness of the land, and I could feel myself settle into its embrace. I could feel the earth’s open arms.

Over our time there, we held beautiful ceremonies that helped us learn how to weave our love and prayers into the land. I moved from a knowing of earth’s sacredness to an active remembrance of her sacredness, to an active and whole-hearted thank you to Pachamama for everything she gives so graciously, so readily, and with such love.

Remembrance and voice, woven together, weave us into the land. Karen Chrappa guided me to come to know this, how deeply we are loved by the earth, how each of us is her child and how alive this relationship is. When we remember this, and when we actively engage in this relationship, when we are truly grateful for what is given, coming to see through the lies of entitlement and privilege, we begin to hear and see and feel and know that the beauty of the earth is the very same beauty in ourselves.

It can feel like a stretch to consider that the earth is alive and has a soul…yet, it is so. While it can feel easier to know this and feel this when we are out somewhere in nature, like I was in Montana, our task, our very important task, is to come to know this deep connection to our true home right here, right where we live, deep in the city where the concrete covers the dirt, or deep in the suburbs where strip malls line our streets.

This relationship is crucial. Coming back into Pachamama’s embrace through remembrance, through gratitude, through an active celebration of the wonder of life is what helps us remember our true nature as earth and water, fire and air. We humans are not owed anything. We have tried to make ourselves believe that we are, yet somewhere deep inside we know it is not so. Entitlement and privilege cut us off from the nourishment and sustenance that active receiving and remembering offer.

There is no succor in entitlement. There is no relationship when we are steeped in false privilege.

There is no possibility to know the aliveness in our cells that dances in all of life when we keep taking, taking, taking as if there is an endless supply of earth to consume.

Deep in the belly of home we know this to be so, and the soul comes to know satiation when a true and real and whole ‘Thank you’ is lived and offered.

I have not known why my path has been to travel to so many ‘alive’ places. I do know that many places have called to me and I have had the profound luxury of being able to answer the calls. I am coming to see that one of the elements of wisdom growing inside me is this relationship with the land, is this known experience of the uniqueness of the song that each place sings. I am coming to know great reverence for life through this body I’ve been so generously gifted with.

Being here, right here, fully here, is to be in relationship with the earth, with life. Breathing in the belly. Listening to life’s song, and singing to life in return. Receiving what is offered, with gratitude. And, knowing it is all given because life lives for life. We’ve been taught we get because we are ‘owed’, yet receiving is entirely different. Receiving happens when we come to know that the love is infinite. It is a flow. Love asks us to receive, deeply, so deeply that we finally come to know that hole we’ve been trying to fill in our hearts can only be filled by this love.

I am coming to see how little I know, except what I know in my bones, and I know it in my bones because they are awake and alive and grateful with celebration and ceremony. I know my practice will now actively include these things. Something has awakened within.

I’d love to know how you’ve come to know the sacredness of the land and of your own body. I’d love to know how that is for you. Please share with me and with others in the comments, if you feel called to.

::

photo by Anne Jablonski

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Embraced: A Grandmother’s Perspective

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This post is for my friend, Tara Mohr’s Grandmother Power blogging campaign

::

I began my journey to grandmotherhood when I became a mother at 17, and had my second daughter at 21.

I became a grandmother at 45 when I witnessed my older daughter’s incredible strength and resilience through labor and birth, and what was (unbeknownst to us) to come. I was there, alongside my son-in-law, as my grandson emerged. I was there, alongside the three of them, as my grandson faced numerous surgeries in the first few weeks of life. He was at Children’s Hospital where there were many beautiful newborns in the ICU whose parents were equally as strong and resilient. Many of those babies died. All of the parents (and grandparents) I met within those walls grieved something so deep and profound.

During my first few days of Grandmotherhood, my relationship to life, and death, deepened. For months, my grandson was critical. Tubes and bandages covered most of his tiny body. The first time my daughter was able to hold him, more than three weeks after his birth, it took the nurses over one and a half hours to move him from the bed he was on into her lap, even though she sat just a foot from the bed.

It was new to me, this being so closely tethered to this baby, yet not his parent. I wasn’t his mother, yet was intricately intertwined. I would have given anything to change things, but I couldn’t. From my vantage point, I could see how much my grandson was suffering, how much my daughter and son-in-law were suffering.

I watched my daughter and son-in-law try to be with the terror that was happening. I felt completely helpless. There was nothing I could ‘do’ to fix things. Nothing. I remember how hard it was to just witness and to be with.

And then I came to understand how powerful it is to just witness and be with…and to hold it all in love. I didn’t become saintly; I just stopped fighting what was so, and instead began to respond.

My grandson faced trauma after trauma, yet he finally came home. He is a gorgeous boy, now…all of twelve.

::

The day we buried my mother, my younger daughter was very pregnant with her first child. I stood there, aware of the shift in my matriline. My mother was gone and now I was the elder woman in my lineage. For a moment in time, I saw back through the matriline, back to my mother, her mother and her mother, and so on. I saw forward to my daughters, my grandson, and the baby not yet born that would come to be my granddaughter. I stood there aware of both life and death, birth and burial, very aware that there can be no life without death, and no death without life.

When my daughter gave birth to her daughter, on my mother’s birthday just eight weeks after mom’s death, I was there during labor and delivery. I was so blessed…so, so blessed, to be there to witness, once again, how life follows death, just as death follows life, and to witness the profound strength of my daughter and the profound power of birth and motherhood.

To witness birth and the sacred as it moves through this process is intense in the way it can wake us up out of our dream that life is mundane, even if just for a moment – a priceless window into the sacred.

Again, with my granddaughter’s birth, I was taken deeper into the sense of what being a grandmother holds. No longer was I the immediate parent; at least not in the same way. My place in the world shifted, and I now saw myself from a different perspective. I was the mother of a mother. And, with the birth of my granddaughter, just weeks after my mother died, I became the oldest woman in my living matriline. When this happened, I could feel it. I not only knew it as a fact, I could feel it in my bones.

::

I now have four beautiful grandchildren. I love them fiercely. It is a powerful love, one that doesn’t have the day-to-day responsibilities and disctractions that are so much a part of parenting.

I am now closer to my death than I am to my birth. Instead of seeing my life stretched out ahead of me with the endpoint so far off it doesn’t seem to exist, I am well aware of the fact that I have much less life (in years) to live than I have lived. As I see the timeline of my life in my mind’s eye, where I am along it has radically changed, and as I look out toward death, I see the continuation of life that came through me, but continues on after I am gone.

It’s a strange thing to see. And for me, from my vantage point, the grandmother power in me has to do with all of this…it has to do with my relationship to birth and death, and to the life in between. It has to do with my relationship to grief, to joy, to gratitude. It has to do with my relationship to flesh and blood. It has to do with my relationship to the sacred. And, it has to do with the beauty of humanity.

It is true that I am so much more than simply a mother and grandmother. Yet, the richness and beauty of who I am in my life, in all the areas of my life, come out of the lush, full, pregnant knowing that is at the heart and soul of womanhood.

The experience of birth, both with myself and with my daughters, and death (of my husband and mother) have been powerful, powerful teachers.  The ultimate lesson? That the beauty, power, and ultimately the mystery of life is sacred, and that everything that is given is a gift.

I know how profoundly important this awareness of life’s sacredness is to the continuation of humanity on this planet. The mystery of creation as it comes into being as a human being, can only  grow in a woman’s body.

When I take in the bone-chilling treatment of women and women’s bodies (this vessel of creation) across our planet, my heart breaks open, over and over and over. I see it as the same bone-chilling degradation and devastation being enacted to our beautiful planet earth.

There is a force in our world that seems to want to harm the very vessel that brought each of us into being. What is this force? And how do we come to face this force?

Why do we fear this mystery and power with so much determination that we are willing to destroy ourselves?

What will turn us to see the sacredness within it, opening our hearts to a different relationship with life?

The power of a woman’s body is the same power that is at the heart of the mystery of life. As women, can we come to see that the lies we have been told about our worth are just that – lies to try to quiet and shame and ultimately control something that cannot be controlled?

Can we come to peace with the power that lies within our bodies, knowing that to live this power will not be like the power that’s been used over us?

We women see the connections. We see the relationships. We come to know how intricately connected life is, how everything relies on everything else for health and well-being, and when we don’t – we find ourselves unhealthy and not so well. Women know this. This is grandmother power. It’s about the web of life…about the fact that everything we do to life we do to ourselves. And the web has been vastly damaged.

This isn’t about quarterly earnings or market share or GNP. 

NO. This is about the continuation of life here on earth, and about helping to ensure that every being has the best quality of life they can.

That’s how important women’s voices are.

That’s how important it is that each and every woman comes to know how intricately connected she is to life and how much her singular life matters.

That’s how important it is that she finds and sings her song.

That’s how important it is for woman to get in touch with her deep, deep desire to remember something she knows way down within.

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What is Grandmother Power?

Grandmother power is not only in women who are grandmothers physically. All women hold grandmother power. And, Grandmother power isn’t just in women, although some aspects are available to us through the female body. The heart of Grandmother power is part of life, and as such it is in all of life.

Grandmother power is the power of the broken-open heart. It is the power of feeling how deeply and intricately we are all connected to each other. And how when one part of this big beautiful web becomes sick, the whole becomes sick. It’s the power of being able to feel what is happening for the whole, to witness the pain of the world, and then to speak and act from this broken-open-heartedness.

Motherhood is so close to the child, but Grandmother power holds the larger family. It’s the whole family that is in your lineage, both individually and collectively.  With Grandmother power, we see ourselves as part of a the global family – not just humans, but all of life. There is a sense of sovereignty that comes from Grandmother power. There is a reason the Iroquois nation would not go to war unless the wise older women decided it to be so. Grandmothers hold a wider view.

From the grandmother’s seat, we know how powerful we are held within the matriline of all women. When a mother is pregnant with her daughter, the baby already holds the eggs that will become her children, should she decide to have them. There is strength and the power of the continuation of life in this line.

When we see life from the eyes of Grandmother, we know that the cycle of life, death and rebirth are an integral part of what Life is. There cannot be life without death. There cannot be death without life. We honor the wholeness and live the cycles.

Grandmother power isn’t something we do, it is what we are. It is our nature. It doesn’t move from a place of martyrdom, but rather from love. It moves from being deep in our female body. When we know Grandmother power, we do what we do with the great love that we are.

Grandmother power knows the sacredness of the flesh and bones, of  the soil and water, of the moon and sun. It’s a power that is rooted in the earth, not distant in some transcendent place. It holds the sanctity of life and honors it by way of choices made.

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

These things I have listed as qualities of power are not seen by many in our world as powerful things. That’s how out of  balance we are. When we come to know power in these ways, our world will be a different place. The time for that is now.

 

I’d love to know what qualities you see that Grandmother power holds. I invite you to share them with us in the comments.

 

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There is a hungering… and it is really practical.

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There is a hungering…

to come closer into the body and open to a deep connection with the earth. It is soul time. Time to connect with our own soul, with other souls and with the soul of the earth.

I see how for most of our lives, women have been told what to do and how to do it. It is time for us to allow our own wisdom and intuition to be the guide of our lives, for when we do this, true feminine wisdom will arise in the world. And, we need feminine wisdom desperately.

It is time for all of us, women and men, to stop trying to control everything, and to come to remember the earth’s capacity to regenerate herself. It is time to align with our essential nature, essence, so that we live in harmony with our own body and the body of the earth.

 

From June 15 -21, I’ll be co-facilitating the
‘Waking the Inner Teacher’, Empowerment Camp 2013
at Feathered Pipe Ranch in Montana,
along side Karen Chrappa and Michael Lennox, PhD

There are many reasons why it is important at this time in history for all of us to be waking up to the divinity within. You can listen, here, to the information call we held to share why we feel this retreat will be remarkable.

 

On this call, Karen Chrappa shares a really important point about why waking the inner teacher is so important right now. She speaks of how we’ve been taught to look outside of ourselves for wisdom, and when we do this we give away our power. I’ve written about this here on the blog over the years, but I really like the way Karen speaks of it. It is so important for each of us to find this inner teacher to awaken the power that lies within us to be of service to this world.

 

How do we get more deeply in touch with our own wisdom and intuition? We must awaken the inner teacher.

To do this, the body is key. We are here on earth by way of a body. It is the vessel through which we live and create.  This relationship between the inner teacher and the body is beautiful. When we fear our essential nature, or essence, we can try so tightly to control life, to control ourselves, and to control others. But when we come to feel the inner teacher, to know how it moves, to feel the sensations of its expression within, and to open to how it communicates, we can come to trust in this sacred intelligence that is the essence of all of life. We come to trust in our own nature, and the sacred nature of all beings.

This is really practical stuff. When it comes right down to it, we live smack dab in the middle of a mystery. We might not be so keen on acknowledging that fact, but it is so. Our rational minds try really hard to do the job of figuring out the mystery, of controlling things so we only have those ‘good’ experinces and none of the ‘bad’ ones, but it is not the right tool for the job.

What is the right tool? Life. Or, another more often used word is Intuition. Some say the heart. Other call it compassion. This inner teacher has many facets and qualities. Ultimately it is the intelligence of Life itself. Life knows how to navigate life. We are life. The inner teacher is this intelligence and it moves the body and moves through the body.

When we begin to trust this intelligence, our wonderful rational minds can let go of the job they are exhausted trying to do, and can instead be a wonderful helper in living this life more creatively, intuitively, and ultimately, more joyfully.

Whether or not you might want to come, take a listen to our information call we held on May 8th.. There is much wisdom in these 60 minutes. 

Find out more about Empowerment Camp 2013 at Feathered Pipe Ranch. I’d love to have you join us!

 

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Bone Knowing : Wisdom is Real

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Set the Night on Fire

 

The bones know. There is such a thing as bone knowing.

Not too long ago, I went to listen to a man give a talk on awakening and living truth. He’s wise and vibrantly alive. He spoke of not knowing, about how there is so much we really don’t know if we just allow ourselves to be honest with ourselves.

I’ve come to realize that what I’d been holding onto as truth was really just a belief system to help me manage the unknown. Not knowing can generate so much fear. We unwittingly develop a worldview stuffed with beliefs to manage the fear. Yet, when we feel into the nature of the unknown, really feel into it, it’s not so frightening. It’s actually really pregnant with possibility, with aliveness, with the divine. It is spacious and vibrant, a pulsing sea of love without conditions.

It’s funny how we want to put conditions on it, even though we crave and thirst for unconditional love!

During this man’s talk, and then follow-up question and answer session, as he spoke of not knowing, others began to speak to the feeling that they realize they don’t know anything. That’s not quite right – what I heard, was the recognition of a similar understanding, yet what I also heard was a disowning of things we do know. My ears perked up, because in my experience, while I do know this pregnant sea of possibility and silence, I also know that there are things I know, really know, deep in my bones. I could feel myself squirming as the discussion of not knowing kept going – in particular, when I heard this one woman speaking of not knowing and how she didn’t know what to trust.

Something in me had to speak. I had to speak about the wisdom of the bones. Something pushed me to speak.

So, I did. I raised my hand and said, “Yes, yes, I understand about the not-knowing. If I am truthful with myself, there is so much I don’t know. I really don’t know what is going to happen in the next minute, or in the next, or the next. My rational mind thinks it can know, and I can see it’s my mind’s way of thinking into the unknown. I get this.”

“And, there are some things I DO know, some things I know so deeply in my bones, things I just can feel and when I speak of them I feel the knowing so deep that it feels like it’s in the marrow. It’s the feminine knowing, the wisdom of Sophia. It’s a kind of knowing that runs so deep below the surface of things it could be easy to miss, and is easy to miss if I am not in my body. This river of knowing winds its way through my body – through the cells, the flesh, the blood and the bones. My bones know. They know. I know this. I know this wisdom. It is real and alive.”

Then, I asked him, “Can you speak to that?” I was asking him to expand on this idea with his wisdom. He looked at me and said, “I don’t need to. You just did.”

I realized, my bones had spoken. I knew this. I didn’t need anyone to help me understand what I already knew. He knew I knew. He honored this. He didn’t need to say anything. So lovely.

In my spiritual life and the experiences I have searched out in a almost-rabid attempt to ‘wake-up’, I’ve spent many hours, sometimes days, even weeks, attempting to lose myself in the attempt to know the numinous. Looking back, I know none of it has been in vain. In fact, questioning the worth of it is a bit silly, because it is what I’ve done and where I’ve been.

One thing I’ve discovered, though, is that no matter how often or much I experience this transcendent quality of the divine, I still end up back here, alive in this body called Julie. It’s taken me some time to want to be here. It used to be that so much of what I felt in my body was painful. There were so many old fears, wounds, and raw experiences that I just didn’t want to feel or remember. But, something in my life was missing, too. The everyday, seemingly mundane, things were calling to me. Life was calling to me to come back home to here, to the body, to the senses.

There is this Oneness, this vast emptiness and fullness, the transcendent. And, within this Oneness there is this real, human life. There is the spirit and there is matter. Bones know. Wisdom is real.

A woman’s spirituality is really centered in this humanness, this expression of humanity that is at the heart of a woman’s experience. It is of the body, the earth, the bones, and flesh and blood. To know this realm of wisdom, we have to come down into the cells that make up the body; we have to come down into the cells and feel.

Yes, we may find things we don’t want to feel, things that caused us to go up into the head to begin with. Yes, it isn’t just wonderful and light and flowers, but even the things we don’t want to feel are part of this very real gift that is life.

This is the doorway to healing. This is the door to the sacred. This is the doorway to the soul, to the wisdom of the bones. This is the doorway to joy, the joy of an embodied life. This is the doorway to living the numinous right here on earth, right here in these bones that know.

These bones are not separate from the numinous, luminous spirit. The sacred is bone. The sacred is blood. The sacred is flesh. The sacred is woman – all of her beautiful wild self, including the fire, including the fierce, including the, “Hell no, this is not okay and I won’t stand for it anymore.”

Trust the bones for very practical reasons. The bones will guide you as you maneuver through your day. They’ll guide you as you raise your children or birth your creations. They’ll help you navigate your relationship with your honey and make major life decisions. Yes, your rational mind has a purpose; and, when you bring it into right relationship with your bones, you’ll find it’s a powerful combination to guide you through life. It’s a good balance between your own masculine and feminine.

Trust this. Trust you. Trust the body. Trust your voice. Trust the bones as you speak your voice. In fact, let your bones speak. You’ll be amazed at what they know and share.

::

This post was originally shared here as part of the Fall Tribe, ’12, for Roots of She.

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Maia’s Secret…

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This is Maia. She’s 95.

Maia: My secret for long life is simplicity, work and enjoyment.

I love this video.

It’s breathtakingly beautiful. She is beautiful. Graceful. Embodied.

This speaks to me on so many levels, in so many ways. At the core, it is the simplicity of life, the green of the trees, the breeze and sunshine, cooking good food, wise women, friendship…the clear beauty of the human soul.

Life is an altar.

A post for #365Altars

::

About the video:

“Shot in Fire Island, New York, this film (4min. 23 sec) captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old. Made by Julia Warr, artist and film maker met Maia on a plane 4 years ago and became utterly convinced by the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented.” (2011)

Film by Julia Warr | Music by Lola Perrin

::

 

 Looking for a deep, rich, evocative experience? Explore the Sacred Feminine within you by way of this digital journey. It will stir up your senses, invite you deep into your body, and celebrate the gift that is you as a woman.

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Fearlessness & Work as Offering

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Stuckness

I’ve been a little stuck lately – wanting to step out more fully into the world, fully embodying the Work I am here to do, yet meandering in a place of trying to figure the Work thing out. Business is really good right now, and…

I can see snippets of what that Work is. Although my work with people, mostly women, to help them move toward their vision has found great success already, there’s a place where I have felt somewhat stuck.

Just today, in researching for this post about Margaret Wheatley (who will be speaking in Oakland this Saturday), I came across words she wrote some time ago that seem to directly speak to the place inside of me where a sense of stuckness has been living.

“What if we could offer our work as a gift so lightly, and with so much love, that that’s really the source of fearlessness? We don’t need it to be accepted in any one way. We don’t need it to create any certain outcome. We don’t need it to be any one thing. It is in the way we offer it, that the work transforms us. It is in the way we offer our work as a gift to those we love, to those we care about, to the issues we care about. It is in the way we offer the work that we find fearlessness. Beyond hope and fear, I think, is the possibility of love.”

I usually see insights…meaning, I see images that show me something I’ve not known. In these images that have come to me, I see myself offering this work in love, from a deep place of love that is far beyond me or anything my rational mind could conjure up.

Work as Offering

Perhaps like you, I’ve been taught and conditioned to look for results, to see success in my work as something results-oriented. In our current paradigm, that’s how success is measured. Even streams of thought that teach us that success is not based on dollar figures still hold a sense that success is about a certain outcome.

When I read Margaret’s words, “We don’t need it to be any one thing. It is in the way we offer it, that the work transforms us.”, my mind relaxes. I can feel how its been caught up in ‘understanding’ what the ‘one thing’ is that my work must be.

When I read, “It is in the way we offer our work as a gift…”, “It is in the way we offer the work that we find fearlessness.”, I can see my focus has been on the how, on what I am getting done (or not), rather than on the way I offer it and how I hold the work itself.

I sense the how comes out of the offering, the next step comes when I am let go into the love that is there for “those I love, to those I care about, to the issues I care about…”

A love so vast

In the short video on fearlessness I’ve shared with you below, Margaret shares this quote:

“Fearlessness is not being afraid of who you are.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

When I heard these words, I saw that being tied to the ‘what’ of my Work keeps me stuck.

When I feel the love I have for those I am here to serve, I feel a letting go happen on its own.

Simply offering what is here without any attachment is having to ‘be with’, really ‘be with’ the vast unknown that is at the heart of this love.

It’s a vastness that is terrifying yet in some strange way reassuring because it is the only thing that never changes. It is that which has always been here, unchanging, yet from which change seems to be born from.

I have a sense that who I really am is a love so vast that it scares the begeebus out of me. I’ve had glimpses of this love and I literally can’t hold the glimpse, can’t stay with it because it is too much contain.

Latent Powers

I have to laugh at these words as they appear on the page. Of course I can’t contain it. The small “I” seems to think it can do this. This small “I” sees it all as impossible, because the small “I” is not the power behind one’s life-task…

“Our proper life-task must necessarily appear impossible to us, for only then can we be certain that all our latent powers will be brought into play.” ~ C. G. Jung, Letters vol. 1, p. 94

I can see that what I sense lies ahead appears impossible, and reading Jung’s words helps me have a sense of why that is. These latent powers within us can come forth when we get out of our own way, in a sense a kind of ‘bowing down’ to the real you that you are, the one you are afraid of. In my experience, it doesn’t have anything to do with the small “I”, or me, that is attached to the outcomes, does want success, or longs to have it be seen or received in a certain way.

That part will always try to control, and it is this control that is creating a sense of stuckness within.

A Call to Fearlessness

I have dined on Margaret Wheatley’s wisdom many times in my life. I first saw her speak in person in 2005 at one of the Thought Leaders Gathering in the Bay Area. Her wisdom, as she shares in this short video, always opens something new in me…

This Saturday, October 22nd, along with the wise and multi-talented Barbara McAffee, Margaret Wheatley will speak to a community of change-agents in a day-long event titled, A Call to Fearlessness: Discovering Your True Leadership Voice to Create Community and Joy.

Hosted by Bay Area Coaches, this is going to be an event to open your heart to doing work in the world in an entirely different way. Even if you don’t live in the Bay Area, you can still attend via simulcast.

And, if you buy one ticket to attend in person, you can purchase a second ticket for a friend at half price – either in person or via simulcast.

Take a moment right now to taste more of Margaret Wheatley’s wisdom in this article on Eight Fearless Questions. I promise, you’ll come away with an entirely new take on what it means to be fearless.

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