Softening into the Silk of the Soul


“I burned in the unutterable beauty of being alive.” John Peale Bishop

The Vast Embrace

Last night, I sat on a park bench, on the top of a hill in San Francisco that looks out over Alcatraz and Angel Island on one side and sweet city neighborhoods on the other. I watched as dogs played, lovers walked hand in hand, and the sun found its way down to the horizon.

As I sat, I was drawn into an unutterable presence. No words. Just softness and a few tears. Wind blew across my face, gently drawing me deeper into this presence. A big presence. A wordless presence. A loving presence…a love that burns away most everything it touches. There was so much power there…a full, vibrant, pulsing power.

I felt happy. I felt joyful. I felt a bittersweetness.

I felt love brush against my skin and the silk of the soul’s caress.


My old way of trying to muscle stuff into being can’t hold a candle to this powerful presence. Muscling anything grows old. It has never made me happy. Whomever first thought that striving, pushing, forcing, fearing, and dominating life and people and things could result in a happy life was crazy…

Believing that life could be controlled and dominated and forced into submission is crazy-thinking. Perhaps it feels like it will work…at least for a bit. But, ultimately, not a chance.

What we humans do to try to control is cah-ra-zy. In setting it all down, we ultimately open to what is being offered.

Open heart. Open arms.

Setting it down takes a quiet, “Yes”, not a big, clamoring noisy, “Yes”.

I remember my teacher telling me this. I wondered what it would be like to finally simply answer, “Yes”.

For so long, I’ve fought this…and, I can see the fighting is futile. And while I can’t say it won’t pop up again, the “Yes” is getting quieter.

Opening to the vastness of life feels out of control, but then it is. It is out of the control of the one who fights it. Control has never worked, though. Striving, pushing, forcing has never worked…not in the way I thought it did.

What I now know of love and desire has taught me that it is far more powerful than anything I, the small me, could do. All my flailing against myself has only caused me pain.

The inner battle, struggle, and fighting against that thing inside that seemed as though it would be too much has been exhausting. Laying down the fight eventually comes.

I know I don’t know, yet somewhere…deep…down… when I soften, I am held by something. A vast, silent, unfathomable nothing that is something. And, that, makes all the difference.


And, you?

What are you experiencing?

How do you feel this pull?

How might you soften into this vast embrace?


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5 Replies to “Softening into the Silk of the Soul”

  1. Hmmm. Timely. Just tonight I was talking with a friend, who suggested that where I was talking about opposites and alternatives, the alternative I had overlooked was, as you said, the possibility of “laying down the fight.” Allowing myself the comfort I am always ready to offer to others.

    “All my flailing against myself has only caused me pain.”

    “When I soften, I am held by something.”

    I have been hearing a voice whisper, “It’s ok, we’ve got you.”

    Yes. Thank you.

  2. Julie, this is beautiful! I believe that the desire or need for control comes from fear (I’m not quite sure what we are afraid of – the unknown maybe?). I am aware that this desire resides in me and I think it was born when my Mother retained all the control in my life – right up until I married my first husband at the age of 21. Thereafter, being away from the controlling situation, I needed to have control myself. I needed to be right, I needed to know where things were going and what would happen. I planned things to death and lists were the order of the day! Over the last year – since I began my spiritual journey, I have come to understand that we have no real control over anything other than ourselves (though I do frequently still experience this desire to control). When I get into this place of resistance (need to control or opposition to what I believe) I feel it as tension, both physically and in my soul. It feels like there is a large, strong, solid fence resisting what is, like I’ve dug my heels in, and I feel anxiety, anger, frustration and hurt. When I visualise it like this, I can imagine that the fence has a hinge at the bottom which can be used to allow the fence to be released and lay flat on the floor, thus allowing everything through. It all softens (like a tree bending in the wind – the wind is not obstructed causing turbulence, but is allowed to gently flow through), and it really does feel like softening, and the anxiety, anger and hurt can dissipate. My soul feels softer and more able to allow love in. I have difficulty with quiet and silence (my mind continues to race and chatter – though I understand that practice helps!) I’m not sure if I’m describing this very well – but I think you might get where I’m coming from and I may even expand it into a blog post of my own! I suspect that this is an aspect of the divine feminine that you describe on this website – I surely hope so!

  3. Like you, right now, I am testing the edge of this silken softening. Testing what it would mean to let go and live. This beautiful post arrived just when I needed it – as I am on ‘deadline’ today, and could easily begin pushing myself toward a finish line that doesn’t really exist. Grateful for you – and this beautiful blog.

  4. Karen,
    Thank you for sharing this with me, with us. Yes, I understand. I would love to read what you write from this…
    The feminine is about receiving…everything that is here.
    With love,

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