The Undoing


alba a settembre
alba a settembre, by francesco sgori

Don’t just do something, stand there! ~ Rochelle Myers

Reverb10, Day 04
: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?


In the creativity course I teach, one of the most important ways of being is to ‘Pay Attention’. It is one of the keys to living a creative life.

Standing there.

Being still.

Coming to our Senses.


For me, in this body, in this life, the real wonder of it all is that I am alive. That I exist at all. That this body breathes on its own, that the heart beats on its own, that thoughts come and go on their own.

Wonder doesn’t need to be cultivated. Wonder is present when I stop trying to manufacture things with my mind that already exist in a much more real way.

It is the doing, the trying to make things a certain way, that get in the way of the direct realization of what is already here. Like Grace. Wonder. Awe and amazement. Humility. Love.

If there is anything I do, it is the undoing. The unraveling of efforting, the trying, pushing to make it happen.

It is to stop, stand still and receive what is being showered upon us. Right now. Right here. With a wide open heart and body.

When I do, wonder is already present.


So here is the paradox. There is a doing, but it is an undoing.

Recipe for Wonder.

Time: None
Ingredients: None
Skill level: You must be a beginner. If you’re not, remember you are.

Stand Still.

Feel your feet on the ground.

Allow This to hold you.

Open your heart.

Open your body.


Know whatever it is you know, deep in the cells, down in the body.


The Queen of Wonder, Mary Oliver, says it all:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

~from When Death Comes

Image, alba a settembre, courtesy of  Francesco Sgori, under CC2.0

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17 Replies to “The Undoing”

  1. “Wonder doesn’t need to be cultivated. Wonder is present when I stop trying to manufacture things with my mind that already exist in a much more real way.” — I. Love. This.

    Another way that you can just “be” and “exist” in the world, especially as a creator, is to observe. You never know what you’ll experience if you just stop and open you eyes.

  2. I love your interpretation. Interestingly, I really appreciated the word “cultivate” in the question. For me, the slowing down and letting TRUE wonderment happen requires cultivating this behaviour because it hasn’t yet become second nature. What I truly hope is that once I have cultivated the fledging behaviour, I will arrive at the same, enviable, destination you so beautifully describe above. Thanks so much for sharing. Sincerely appreciate the inspiration you impart.

    1. Thank you, Wee. Welcome to Unabashedly Female. It’s lovely to have you here.
      Thank you for your beautiful comment.
      Blessings, Julie

  3. Yes, this is what I have learned, these past five years. Five years ago I was sick with something that turned out to be completely fixable, but it took a year for doctors to figure it out. In that year year, I learned to appreciate the wonder.
    Now I constantly strive to maintain it, and your recipe is just perfect for that. Thank You.

  4. Oh kindred sisiter-spirit.
    Thank you…for quoting, this time, Mary Oliver, for your love and quoting of Rumi and Hafiz in other posts (I imagine you have Love Poems from God? It will be the only book I take with me on my adventure to Italy this winter, ala Phil Cousineau in The Art of Pilgrimage.) and for touching on a theme that resonates and is what this year in particular is about for me…..”moving at the pace of guidance” (one of The Seven Whispers from Christina Baldwin).
    The undoing of effort and surrendering of striving is a regular prayer as I acclimate to a gentler, more spacious rhythm unbridled from work obligations and schedules. Grazie, bella.

  5. i LOVE your recipe for wonder. it’s so simple. we make it so hard. you know, i’m realizing more and more that like you say, wonder is not a brain job. it’s all about the body.

  6. Oh, I love how Mary Oliver is now wearing a crown… (of Wonder, made of nature, I am guessing!)

    The ingredients you note, so pure – I love this, Julie. Love love love this!

    THANK YOU so much for simply being YOU!

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