Liberating Ourselves from the Pervasive Bind of Being Reasonable and Logical

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I remember their faces, a little stern and adult-like-condescending, as I tried to tell them of my willow tree and how much she loved me. Sitting under her was my delight, and I think her’s, too. But they couldn’t understand. Too far removed from childhood, everything now had to be reasonable and logical. The mystical and the sacred were now seemingly too far out of reach — seemingly.

And so, they would sternly correct me when I spoke of her love and the love I saw in everything around me, which included them but I didn’t know how to speak of that to them. I could only show them through my eyes the love I had for them. The girl that I was felt like a stranger in a world gone mad with reason, a world that had forgotten that play and love and divine curiosity were the magic we can know here on Earth.

I’ve struggled with this myself as an adult. The one so imaginal, light, joyful, and free; the one who loves the process much more than the finished piece; the one who revels in watching it all unfold, revels in the anticipation of touch when skin meets skin for the first time after letting desire blossom and fruit into ripeness — judged, criticized, and silenced by that voice inside, the adult voice that somewhere along the way became ‘my voice’. That voice thinks this is all fluff, weakness, and something no one will respect because it is not logical, practical, nor does it utilize the ‘brilliance of mind’.

I, like my parents, have a good mind. A strong mind. One that loves math and coding and understanding how things works. And that love is a pure love for these things. But that is not who I am. I am not logical. I am one who can utilize logic when it is helpful and let it go when logic is not the right tool for the job.

Here’s the thing — the thing that now saves me every time I sit down to work and create…

We are not logical creatures. We never have been. We are imaginal beings, sacred to the core, mystical beings appearing as real live people, here to awaken love, here to find delight and joy in living, here to not turn away from ourselves or each other when we forget what we are.

While the loss of connection to love can be too great to hold and feel in our hearts during our early years, the delighted one who dreamed up worlds where trees are loved for the magic they are, where everyone knows the truth about flowers — that they are just a mere breath away from Source — is still very much present and this delighted one now must be freed.

We free this one, this imaginal delightful one, together, in community, in circle, held in love, always in love. For it is only love that liberates. It is only love that transforms. It is only love that frees us from the inner captivity of our own making. We, who are not captive in the outer world, we who are free to move and speak, we who have the means and have the privilege to effect real change, can and must.

This world is not what we’ve come to believe it is. It is a realm of love in a multitude of forms.

Love is spread out before us in everything and we do not see it.

The way back to knowing this is by seeing with the heart, allowing the mind to be held in the heart so that it can rest and come to know itself as love, too.
For all is love.


I offer you this meditation to help guide your beautiful mind down into your heart to be held, your heart down into your pelvic bowl so that the mind and heart are held, and your pelvic bowl down into our great Mother Earth so that your whole being can be held by the Mother.

Come join me in Writing Raw or my new course Flourish. We will find this one who knows, who imagines, who hungers and thirsts for what she knows is real and whole and beautiful.

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Purpose is not static. Purpose is alive.

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Creativity is a process.

Creativity is a transformative process, a process of where the essential Self unfolds itself, continuously. While you are creating ‘something’, the process of making something is creating you.

In the creative process, you ‘go into’ the unknown. When you step off from the ‘perch of the known’, meaning you let go because you have NO idea HOW you are going to do this thing you must do, you go in and down. You enter the creative void. It’s not empty, it’s actually really, incredibly rich and full. It’s pregnant. We don’t know how deep it is nor how long we will be in it. I’d never thought about the sense of falling into it until I read this:

I know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart. You’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful. ~ William C. Hannan

As we create, we can, and often do, feel pain, discomfort, and fear. We know that this process of unfolding brings transformation. We know it on a deep level, but we do not know who and what we will become. That not knowing is frightening. Yet, in the creative process, each time we descend, we reveal more and more of this true Self. We rescue ourselves out of the abyss of forgetfullness.

I am curious about this new capacity to be beautiful. As I fall deeper and deeper into this unknown place of Self, I am finding life to be more beautiful, even the hard parts. It feels as though, more and more, I sense the beautiful, both within and outside of myself, as well as a sense of walking in beauty.

***

The creative process is alive. It is a process, meaning it is life unfolding as you and through you. We are alive, and we exist in a world that is alive.

What we create is alive if we create it from a place of aliveness. Each creation carries a transmission of life if we, ourselves, know our own aliveness.

There is aliveness to our existence as human beings. I’ve known this aliveness. As a child, it was all I knew until I began to replace this experience of feeling alive with mental ideas of being alive. But life wasn’t ever those ideas, really. Ideas of what life is are not the same as life itself. Life has never been what others told me it was, what I’ve told myself it is.

If we are living in our mental ideas of what life is, we don’t feel alive. Instead, the feeling of life divorced from itself is hard, metallic, cold, seemingly almost lifeless, which makes sense. Lifelessness in the midst of life comes when life no longer trusts life, no longer feels safe in its embrace. It is cold and hard, and seemingly brittle, because oxygen is no longer allowed all the way down into the whole of the body, into the limbs and cells.

Life married to itself is rich, fragrant, and giving. It is open-hearted, ‘giving to’ rather than ‘taking from’.

In reality, there is only One life. And, there are infinite life forms. Life knowing life knowing life knowing life. Life could never really divorce itself from itself, but we attempt to do this over and over. We divorce ourselves from others for many reasons, but one of the main ones is the idea that connection to others makes us unsafe.

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When I think of creativity as a process, as an alive and flowing process, I realize that our purpose for being here is just as alive – and just as much of a process. If we think of purpose as a static thing, we are missing the point by trying to put an alive process into a static idea. Everything is alive, and so is our purpose.

Purpose is flow, it’s the unfolding of who we really are, the essential Self. We are living on purpose when we are living the qualities of our essential nature.

Just as it’s about the journey and not only the destination, it’s also about the act of creating and not just the created result. Focusing too much on the end result stifles and constricts creativity, and not only affects the end result but also stifles our capacity to unfold. Having rigid expectations up front, keeps us rigid, not flowing, and constricts our ability to come to know ourselves.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have some kind of intention, but if we hold the intention with spaciousness, and allow for fluidity and change along the way, the process of unfolding is supported by way of creation rather than stifled by it.

Many ‘accepted ways of doing things’ DO stifle and constrict our unfolding. This is how and why the status quo can be so hard to change.

To live purpose, follow the flow of what is alive within you. Pay attention to the experience of being alive. The experience of creating is flow, is life in flow. But it’s not just the creation that is flowing, the creator is, too – YOU, you are flowing. You change, transform, grow – unfold – as you create, as you ‘make’ whatever it is you are offering to this world.

To live purpose, hold both these things: what you are creating and your own unique process of unfolding. Allow them to dance together. Allow life to grow you.

 

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WRStardustWriting Raw is now open for registration. We begin in one week, on September 23rd.

More than anything, Writing Raw is a process. It is held in a circle in such a way that the unfolding of who you are is just as, if not more, important than the product you output. I created Writing Raw for just this reason, because we tend to focus on the output rather than on becoming. The process of becoming is hugely important.

Writing Raw is a deep dive into this creative process. By consciously turning to go within, you come directly into this rich and fertile void, then speak aloud what has come through you.

If you’ve longed to feel more alive, to unfold and come to know who you truly are, and to speak what you discover then Writing Raw is for you. Take a look at the registration page and read it through. Even if you decide not to join, I know you will learn a lot simply from reading, and listening to, what I have shared. And, if you know of any women that would benefit from joining Writing Raw, please send it on to them so they can join this circle of creativity and discovery.

 

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Fixation vs. Focus: How to Navigate the Creative Journey

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“Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?”

~ Gabrielle Roth

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The other morning, as I was walking home from taking my grandson to school, I had one of those epiphanies that makes a big impact on how one sees the world. As I walked past a bright yellow house (and I mean BRIGHT yellow!), in my mind’s eye I could clearly see how everything – everything – exists in a sea of awareness (what I could feel was love). In my mind’s eye, I was aware of everything – thoughts, senses, perceptions, feelings, objects, ideas, visions, etc. It was as if they were floating in this sea that is consciousness.

What I noticed is that the awareness that I am (and that each of us is) could choose where to place focus, choosing what to focus on – UNLESS I became fixated on something – a mood, a thought, a particular outlook, a way of being in the world, an identity. When fixation happens, it’s as if everything else goes into the background and what is being fixated on becomes the most important, really the only, thing that’s seen.

When this happens to me in life, often the fixation is so compulsive and unconscious that the move to fixation is imperceptible. At some point, I become aware that I am fixating – usually because I feel some sort of rigidity and frustration.

Over the past years, I’ve focused on waking up out of this compulsive and unconscious tendency to fixate. It’s what egos do. They fixate. Rather than flowing and trusting, they fixate. As I’ve come to know life as it can be when it is more free of this unconscious fixation, I’ve been fighting structure while craving it, too. As I walked, I realized that the structure I have been craving in my life is not the same structure I’ve fought; rather, what I was being shown is the power of focus, the power of choosing, consciously, where to place your focus and attention.

Focus as I am writing of it is very different than fixation. Focus directs consciousness in flow. Fixation causes consciousness to go rigid.

 

Many people think controlling yourself is stopping yourself from living, holding yourself back from experiencing life, but really control puts you in a position to be able to channel and direct pure energy into any task you do, so instead of being scattered all around, you become an absolute force to be reckoned with.
~ Clairey Fairy

 

As I walked, what I could see is this kind of directing of pure energy. Clairey refers to it as controlling. I felt it as a kind of focus and directing. The directing was coming not from my mind, but from somewhere down deeper inside me.

It was coming from an inner radar that registers what feels right and true in the moment.

When we clearly and succinctly place our awareness and energy on something, we become this ‘force to be reckoned with’, because what we are IS a force of nature. Instead of it being diffuse, suddenly it becomes a powerful beam of consciousness, clearly focused on creating. Living life as a creation, as a work of art, is a kind of freedom. Yet to do this, requires structure, discipline, and focus. In my case, fighting structure has been fighting myself. I had to find this out the hard way. Even though I teach this work and have for years, I, too, am learning how to open more to the creative process. We are always learning, if we are open.

In working with many people, I’ve found there is this longing to be free of the constraints placed upon us by cultural ideals and standards that smother our authenticity. We long to be free. Yet, we also long to create. How do we hold them both?

Expectations keep us from being creative – expectations of others, of ourselves, and of how things will turn out from the choices we make. Placing expectations on life, and on others, keeps the realm of new possibilities at bay for if all you see are what you expect then the only things you will create are those things that come from what already exists in this world. And, if creativity is what is new, then what you create will not even really be creative.

So, the first questions from students is always: “Well, if you don’t have expectations, what keeps you from drifting in nothingness, doing nothing? What keeps you from being a couch potato? How do we move forward without expectations?”

I’ve often struggled with how to articulate this because it doesn’t fit into our current idea of how to be successful in the world. We are taught success comes from pushing and striving toward the completion of goals. However, pushing and striving almost always come from expectations – in fact, often goals in the way people usually hold them are really just expectations.

How do we hold a vision, feel the longing to create, while allowing life to move us in a way we cannot know ahead of time? It’s a dance between the vision we see, which we can call an intention, and keeping our awareness open to what shows up – paying attention to what comes back to us in response to the choices we make.

Expectations are a way of rigidly fixating. Intentions are a way of creatively focusing.

An illustrative example:

I have a vision in which I see myself speaking on stage somewhere in the world. I don’t know where this is, but the image is clear and the image keeps coming. I see a few other details, too, that I use to fill in the vision. I am speaking about creativity and love, and how we are so deeply connected to the earth. On stage, I am using multimedia (photos, videos) to supplement my speech. It’s really more of a combination of storytelling and poetic prose.

Now, how I will get to this place I don’t yet know. If I were to set goals, which I might, I could be tempted to make them pretty rigid without wiggle room. I could be tempted to begin to envision a linear process to ‘make’ this happen. But I know creativity is not a linear process. It is a very feminine process, one that winds and weaves as I meet life with an open heart AND a more ‘masculine-like’ structure of intention. Without any structure, I have chaos. With too much structure, there is no room for flow and possibility. And, all the while I listen, sense, and feel for what is next, for the direction I feel called, using my mind as the rational ally.

We need both the flow of the feminine and the structure of the masculine for a healthy creative process.

What I saw the other day was a clear image that showed me how I can see focus differently than how I’ve been holding structure, and for me this was a powerful insight because it helped me to know how it feels to do this. The image allowed me to feel it in my body. I know how it feels when my focus is scattered (this I know well!), and then I could feel how it feels when my focus is direct and channeled.

It’s all a dance with life. We meet life and life meets us. It takes trust, and it takes us being a willing, open dance partner. It takes learning to deeply listen, to feel, to sense…all things a good dancer knows.

Awareness and the wisdom of the body allow us to channel our life force to create with intention, while at the same time following the guiding hand of life.

In this way, we become a powerfully creative force of nature, in tune with nature, in service to nature, in service to love.

I’m curious about you. What have you noticed about focus and discipline and structure? How have these helped your creativity? How have they hindered your creativity?

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bafonbadge300pxIf 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.

 

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You are a Celebration in a Body

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The Declaration of You, published by North Light Craft Books,
gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives,
discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!

I’m honored to share this Celebratory post for Michelle and Jessica‘s brilliance and brilliant book.

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Take a look around you. Everything is alive: the Earth, trees, flowers, the sun, moon, and stars. Everything is alive, including you. This might seem like a ho-hum, big-yawn, tell-me-something-I-don’t-already-know kinda thing. In fact, most of us go through our day-to-day without even a second thought of what an incredible mystery this whole thing called Life really is. But when we get it – (really get it) – how amazing it is that we are here, alive, something happens inside of us. We begin to feel something. This something is like awe, or gratitude, or even reverence for something we can’t begin to name, but we know it because we sense it. It can feel immense. It can feel wordless. It can feel infinite.

It’s this ‘Something’ that we are in relationship with, and it’s a very, very intimate relationship.

When we allow ourselves to really stop, to just stop and listen, to stop and notice, we see we are in this silent, vibrant, alive, and immediate intimacy. This ‘Something’ that breathes you is breathing you because you (yes YOU) are an essential piece of this dance of Life. In fact, this ‘Something’ is celebrating you with every breath. It’s filling you with inspiration with each inhale.

When you declare You, when you take that step to surrender to who and what you already are, you begin to become intimate with not only this Something, but also with You. And, just as the relationship with this ‘something’ is tenderly intimate, so is this relationship with the You who’s been here all along.

Here in this intimacy, you can see just how much you ARE a celebration to that which breathes you. You, exactly as you are and how you are, without fixing, without making yourself smaller, or bigger, without achieving anything, ARE the celebration.

This isn’t just another blog post about…

loving yourself as you are BECAUSE you are fabulous or shiny or the one here to give everyone else the key secret so they can succeed at whatever it is they are doing. No, this isn’t that.

Nor is it a post to remind you that all you have to do is envision everything just as you want it and you’ll get it because you want it.

Nor is it one that will tell you that you can make six figures this year (and next year seven) because You are the cat’s meow. While this may happen, and of course you are the cat’s meow, this post is about something really, really simple…and entirely practical.

Life created You just as you are. There’s a seed imprinted within you. Each soul is a seed and everything sprouts, grows, blossoms, and sometimes fruits as it grows from within that seed. The sun showers it with light, the rain plumps it up with moisture, and the Earth feeds it with nutrients and love so it can be what it is created to be – a celebration of Life in its own unique imprint.

Life is THAT creative. Yes, it is. And, you are that Life so You, too, are THAT creative. Just as you are an expression of this erotic, passionate Life, whatever you give creative birth to is an erotic, passionate, explosion of this very same Life.

So, You soulful creature you,

What would life be like if you Declare that You are evidence that Life has chosen to celebrate itself in a very unique way and that Life will only be celebrated once in this way through you?

If you don’t declare You and LIVE this declaration of You, Life won’t be celebrated in the way it was intended to be.

By declaring You, Life will live itself through you in exactly the way it’s mean to be lived, giving exactly the gifts that are meant for all of Life to experience, and providing the piece of the pie that can only be offered by way of…you guessed it…You!

And while we are talking about You!, let’s talk about that beautiful, sacred, creation that is your female body. Your female body IS a celebration of the sacred feminine in flesh and blood. Flesh, blood, bones…all of it…and all of You. There is no need to control your body, in fact controlling it only keeps the lid on your body’s own way of celebrating.

Life is too intelligent to make mistakes. It is too wise and whole to create something that is not meant to be here, nor meant to be witnessed with love and celebrated with delight.

Maybe you hear voices that try to tell you this is selfish or self-serving or something along those lines? When they get loud and insistent, tell them you hear them and their point of view, and then tell them they, too, are part of this declaration. Everything, and that would be EVERYthing is part of this creation…even those voices that can drive us crazy with their constant barrage of worry and judgment. A funny thing happens when you listen while they declare their own point of view: freedom happens. Eventually they become free, too, as they relax, come into the fold, and come to know they belong.

Perhaps that’s all any of us want…is to know we belong, exactly as we are.

 

The bottom line…

You are here, as You, in your body. You belong here. Just as the sun and the moon, the ocean and trees, and everything that breathes, just as all of Life belongs here because it is here and because it is Life, so do You.

You are a member of the largest completely functional (in it’s own crazy mixed up, sometimes entirely dysfunctional way) Family ever created – Life.

You ARE a You and an Us. You are in relationship with everything around you, including You.

So, let’s celebrate! To You! To We! To Life!

::

images from DeviantArt

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Extraordinary Women, Prosperity and Reverence

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Happy Friday, Loves!

I was sitting in my car this morning. I suddenly felt a strong sense of the miraculous nature of life…just being here is a miracle. When we’re not judging what is happening, a soft sort of joy and love is present. I hope you fill these weekend days with times to simply soak in the wonderment all around you.

I wanted to share some wonderful conversations that are happening, conversations of which I’ve loved being a part…Extraordinary Women, Prosperity and Reverence.

As I look at the overall sense of these writings, I can feel the thread that runs through them – that everything is already here, nothing is missing and nothing here doesn’t belong here. When we stop striving, pushing, and efforting, we begin to sense the immediacy and fullness of life; we feel the fullness of our own radiant life force, and we know we are intimately dancing with the divine.

When we intimately dance with the divine, we come to know the extraordinary simplicity that lies at the heart of being what you already are, and in this place prosperity and reverence organically flow.

Life, itself, is the miracle.

I hope you find something worthwhile and meaningful to you in the words being shared in these conversations. I really value the work each of these people are doing in the world.

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Productive Flourishing’s : Extraordinary Women Change the World

Productive Flourishing has been hosting this two-month core conversation on Women’s Empowerment. Women and men from all over the Web have written about this important topic and the posts are amazing. Product Flourishing is a site for flourishing in life and in business. Discover more about Charlie, Angela and the rest of their superb team.

My contribution is Unabashedly Be Who You Are, which I also shared on HuffPost Women…a quote from this piece:

“Consider how much energy it takes to cover up who you really are, constantly try to convince yourself that who you are pretending to be is who you really are, then attempting to be that in the world. No wonder we are only living a small percentage of our power!”

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Bridget Pilloud’s : Peaces of Prosperity

Bridget is an amazing bright light. She’s wickedly intuitive and generous beyond compare. This project on Prosperity is brilliant. In Bridget’s words: “I’ve gathered  35 of my favorite writers, speakers and sages to share their perspectives on prosperity. And I’d like for you to share your perspective too!” Bridget will be offering a complimentary eBook with all of the posts. Be sure to sign up for it.

My piece for Bridget’s wonderful vision is titled In The Arc of Orgasm

“what could be a more prosperous life than living the full arc of creation – both many, many times, and one big long arc of a life fully lived, fully alive?”

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Eileen Pardini‘s: Profiles on Reverence

Eileen’s site is an altar to the sacred, to beauty and reverence. I was honored to be profiled by Eileen, a woman who exudes reverence and humility. Eileen has some unusual and creative offerings to dive more deeply into a life of reverence and soul.

From my piece:

“In our culture, to pay reverence is to bow with deep respect. But what happens often is a kind of outward projection of one’s own worthiness, holiness and purity onto another person. When this happens, there is no balance between the inner and outer worlds.”

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Each one of these conversations is filled with many wise voices and awakened hearts. I hope you enjoy them and discover some new people to connect to and engage with in the process.

Please know how much I love knowing you are on the other end of these words, that you are here reading them. This, too, is a miracle; that you and I are in relationship – two souls dancing with the divine.

Love to you,

Julie

 

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A Sacred Duty

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Rose

“There is a relentless search for the factual and this quest often lacks warmth or reverence.
At a certain stage in our life we may wake up to the urgency of life, how short it is.
Then the quest for truth becomes the ultimate project.
We can often forage for years in the empty fields of self-analysis and self-improvement
and sacrifice much of our real substance for specks of cold, lonesome factual truth.

The wisdom of the tradition reminds us that if we choose to journey on the
path of truth, it then becomes a sacred duty to walk hand in hand with beauty.” 

~ John O’Donohue

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Inspiration. Transformation. Bright Beauty.

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Hello!

Just look at how this Gerber daisy makes herself known! She is bright beauty.

Only here for a very short time, her bright beauty enriches us all.

Today is Friday, and it’s almost the end of March…so hard to believe. This month was women’s history month and I know there have been some great posts about women and women’s history by friends and colleagues all around the blog sphere.

I have a couple of those to share with you!

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Garrett Eastman’s blog is Quit Taking It Personally. This month, Garrett has written a series of posts about Inspiring Women. I’ve read quite a few of them. Garrett has obviously taken a great deal of time to write each post about a woman who has inspired him. I am touched by this. I yearn to know men who honor women out loud. Garrett is one of those men. I am honored to call this man my friend.

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Angela Kelsey, a beautiful writer and dear friend, has collected a series of posts by women and has titled her collection, the Nest-Making Series. These posts are written by other writers, and Angela has done an exquisite job of collating, introducing and bringing this together in a tangible way. I’m looking forward to hear wrap-up post tomorrow!

I’m the featured writer at Angela’s place, today. Here are the first bits of this post that is very dear to my heart:

“The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic,
and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.” ~ Adrienne Rich

 

My mother taught me many things: independence, tenacity, artistry, the joy of finding one’s passion and embracing it. She also taught me to fear: intimacy, being abandoned, being alone in the world with huge responsibilities. And, she taught me to keep going even though the fear was here. She taught me both to not trust myself and to deeply trust myself. Of course, she wasn’t the only one who taught me these things. But, as women, what we learn from our mothers is deeply meaningful because of the nature of relationship and connection between mother and daughter; it also holds deep transformational possibilities, for the same reasons.

My mother was an amazing woman, I mean truly amazing… continue reading over at Angela’s

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As Women’s History month winds down,

How might we take this deep appreciation of women and our history into the days, months and year to come? What have we learned about the nature of women? What have we learned about ourselves?

I know women are resilient. I know women love fiercely.  And, I know women are learning to not only trust their own voices but to also speak them out loudly into a world that is hungering for our true nature, not the nature we were conditioned to believe is female nature.

I know we embody both the light and the dark, and that reclaiming the dark parts is essential to knowing our wholeness. I’ve shied away from the dark parts, yet talk about transforming force? This is where our riches lie.

This Gerber had to make her way up through the dark soil in order to blossom, as do we.

What if we were all to live our lives out loud, exclaiming our beauty simply because it is and we are, just like this bright and vivid Gerber?

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And, you?

What have you discovered? What is transforming in you? How might your ‘history’ be transformed into awareness of what you really are and what you are here to live?

 

 

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