To Know Her We Must Value and Dignify Ourselves, Each Other, and Life Itself

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“Woman through her struggle to understand herself and to articulate the highest values of the feminine principle, could begin to make the moon shine so that it softens the sun-brightness of our present consciousness. In accepting her depression, her suffering, her loneliness, her longing to outgrow the inarticulateness and powerlessness of her past existence, she may accomplish something truly heroic and extraordinary for life, something which humanity in centuries to come will recognize and cherish. Each woman who gives birth to herself and responds to what life is asking her to accomplish, contributes to the survival of our species and the diminishment of human suffering.” Anne Baring

I created Unabashedly Female many years ago as a way to explore the question, ‘What is it to be Female?’ What exists here on this blog is a journey to answer this question.

My question was intentionally different than, ‘What is it to be feminine?’ I chose the world female consciously. In my experience and in my writings, I use the word ‘feminine’ to describe the ‘yin’ aspects of life. Just as there are feminine aspects, there are masculine aspects, too. Both are ways to describe aspects of life itself and all human beings have these aspects within them.

I chose Female because in my life, I was, from the outset, deeply conditioned to be afraid and distrustful of girlhood and womanhood, because American society does and our societal systems do; and, we are conditioned and taught to beleive what our cultural/societal teach through our parents, caregivers, and teachers. This is a longer conversation, but I’ll leave it be here because I want to dive into another direction.

I’ve gone through a very long journey to heal and reclaim healthy feminine and maculine qualities within me and to embody these in this female body into which I was born. One of the hardest things, and one of the slipperiest things, has been to consciously work with my unconscious bias toward this distrust and fear of the qualities of the feminine principle and of women so that I can embody them and offer them in the work I do as valuable, important, and necessary.

These qualities, such as vulnerability, tenderness, openenss, community, relationality, non-heirarchical value, connection to all of life, being, and so many more, are necessary to our survival. For example, we are disconnected from our Earth, our Mother, our home and our source of belonging, sustenance, life. It is our disconnection from the feminine – all human beings –  and our disconnection from our worth as human beings who identify as female and therefore embody the feminine primarily, that have caused us to do what we have done to our Earth, to each other, and to other living creatures. When we value these feminine/yin qualities, we value life equally and wholly.

So to begin to answer the question, What is it to be female?, one must live this question.

What I have found in my own life is that the unconscious bias toward the yang/masculine qualities and power is strong, very strong, within me. As the feminine became more prominent within  me, this unconscious bias started to rise up again.

Like the last stand we are seeing out in the world right now that continues to erase women, I began to erase myself and so much of what I had come to hold in reverence. I didn’t realize I was doing it. This is really slippery stuff.

I fell into a kind of deep loneliness, a kind of pain that I hadn’t yet experienced. I experienced a different kind of inarticulateness and powerlessness that I, now, remember from my past and youth. I walked in what felt like a desert of epic proportions, feeling as if I just could never quite find the words that had been flowing with such ease for so many years.

I see, now, that I had to feel the depth of this powerlessness in order to realize on a much deeper level that the mystery is what holds power and that it is within my powerlessness to this sacred mystery that I finally can embody the power that is Her.

I have been rescuing myself. I have been facing my own inner demons that devalue, dismiss, and erase Her.

I have come to see as true what I was shown many years ago. We will know Her when we see and value and trust Her in all women, in all who identify as women, in all of life, in our Great Mother Herself.

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A Leadership of Feminine Values

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“Our society fails to appreciate the woman who quietly responds to life with intense interest and with love for people, ideas, and things. Yet these characteristics are as deeply and truly creative as are the characteristics of those who seek to lead, to act, and to achieve. We have a bias against feminine values. Not only are we too busy to adequately nurture our children, but we are also unable to truly nourish our own creativity, our personhood, our ability to take a stand for life, and our capacities to live and love from the heart.” ~ M. Harris & B. Harris, Into the Heart of the Feminine

I’ve been delving deeply into a kind of leadership that I feel we must embrace if we are going to survive. I’ve written before about this new leadership — a leadership that nourishes and nurtures, a leadership that responds to others with genuine interest and sincerity, a leadership that knows that what each of us truly desires is to be known, loved, and made useful.

We must take a stand for life. We must. The present mythology of western society is one of money. We’re living in a money myth and in this myth, money holds greater value and importance than life itself. THIS IS CRAZY. How will we survive if we hold money to be more important than life — especially life that offers no monetary value, life that cannot contribute to the culture in the way the culture demands life to be ‘valuable’ where value equals feeding the coffers?

Consider children. They do not contribute to the big money machine and notice how they are treated by our institutions. Children vs. Money? Money wins.

Consider the elderly. The elderly vs. Money. Guess what wins?

Consider the Earth. Just a big round planet of resources, right? A big round planet worth a lot of money if these resources are extracted and sold. But how do we live continue to live healthy, connected, vibrant lives on a planet that is getting sicker and sicker because we do not value that she is our home? She’s not valued as our home, she’s valued as pieces and parts. Money wins again.

But what’s under money? Power. Domination. Control.

We are trying to control life. We think we can control life. We think we can control each other. Ultimately, this is going to backfire in a big way. Instead, we must live life, honor life, nurture life, and make a stand for life, and these come out of an honoring of feminine values that are values all can support and live.

We cannot survive by fighting each other. We will not survive if we don’t begin to come together, to connect, communicate, and collaborate with great compassion.

But most importantly, we must begin to access the greater intelligence within each of us if we are to come up with the creative insight and deeply generative compassion that will bring us together and move us forward toward a new way to be here on this Earth together. This creative intelligence is accessed internally through your creativity. This is deep creativity — creativity that is the source of this greater intelligence so clearly needed.

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Join me for FLOURISH, a women’s leadership course that supports a leadership of these feminine values — one that nurtures and encourages the flourishing of all of life. You will gain much awareness of who you are and what you’re here for. And you’ll come away with practices, exercises, and tools to offer to those you work with and support. We begin June 13th and scholarships are available.

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Love in a Time of Personal Power

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Photo by Jake Weirick on Unsplash

 

“We have put the value of love — of life, self, and others, — in combative opposition to the value of personal empowerment. In actuality, these two values should be more like the Eastern concepts of Yang and Yin, which are not combative. Rather, they compliment each other as opposites while retaining their own identities, reaching toward a universal harmony. Love needs empowerment to have strength and substance, and empowerment needs love in order to have value, purpose, and meaning.”
— Massimilla Harris and Bud Harris (Into the Heart of the Feminine)

 

I grew up during the second wave of Feminism. I remember those years of women fighting for equality. And, I remember how they were treated for wanting equality.

Looking back now, I see that the call was for equality but not really for love for all of life, for justice for all, for the leveling out of the playing field for all.

It’s clear the feminine (as she appears in all human beings and in all of life) has been missing when we see the ways in which the power structures and institutions of our western culture values some lives more than others. When we discriminate against some lives and not others, when we commodify lives, when we don’t provide safety and care for all lives, we are witnessing the lack of the feminine in our institutional, systemic, and individual behavior.

Over the past two decades, many of us have found ourselves on this deep reclamation of the feminine.

She called and many of us answered, not really knowing what that meant.

The feminine (yin) can only be known in relation to the masculine (yang), and the masculine only known in relation to the feminine. In Chinese Medicine, this relational dynamic is understood as an elemental way of seeing and knowing life. Everything is related and nothing truly stands on its own. So when I speak of the feminine, I speak from this perspective. I am not speaking of women and men, but rather the energies of yin and yang.

The feminine is dark as related to the light. The feminine is moist as related to dryness. The feminine is non-linear as related to linearity. These aren’t moral leanings. They describe life and all life entails, including death.

The feminine is the mystery. She doesn’t reveal herself in clearly defined ways. Instead, she reveals herself through symbol, intuition, dreams, and the deep imagination of the inner world. But, the feminine has been revealing herself back into the world of form and we’ve begun to see the world in new ways. We’ve come to see how the feminine appears in this world.

We have so far to go to truly hold all of life as sacred, worthy, and equal. I believe one of the reasons we have not done so is that we don’t know the feminine. We don’t clearly see her. And, because we don’t see her clearly in relation to the masculine, which has had a greater presence in our world, we don’t see that the nature of life itself is to live not for itself but for the whole.

This is how the feminine moves in all of us — not hierarchically, but relationally. The feminine cares for life — all of life. Not some life. And not just life that is commodifiable. She cares for all of life equally.

The feminine is Eros. And Eros is love. Eros nurtures the impulse to live. And the living of Eros moves in such a way to ensure the preservation of the human species.

But the feminine is not moving within all of us because we haven’t become conscious of how she is within us. And we become conscious of how she is within us when we come to see what is hidden within us when we find the courage to face that which we haven’t wanted to see. When we do this, our hearts can break open. Our compassion can flow. And, our love can pour forth.

We can come to remember our wholeness.

While we’ve been seeking empowerment and equality, this twin ‘value of love’ has not been championed in the same way.

“We are liberating our empowerment, yet at the same time, we are denying our inherent abilities to like, nourish, and take loving care of ourselves and to make the love of ourselves, others, and life the dominant value we try to live by.”
– Massimillia Harris & Bud Harris

We want to be equal to men. We want to be empowered. But to what end?

Ultimately, it must be for the love of all things, all beings, all of life. For this is the nature of the feminine. She does not discriminate. She does not exclude. She does not favor one child over another.

Empowerment needs love in order to have value, purpose, and meaning.

What does empowerment do for us and the mess we find ourselves in if we aren’t caring for all beings if we aren’t using this power to liberate all of life from the effects of our out of balance, hyper-masculine western culture, exemplified by racism and white supremacy? The feminine does not hold any aspect of life supreme over any other, any expression of life over any other, any incarnation of life over any other.

Yes! Love truly “needs empowerment to have strength and substance.”

We must do what it takes to free the Love within ourselves, otherwise, we are still stuck in the old paradigm of ‘what’s in it for me’ where there is little true value offered to the whole of life through our work. And when we do free ourselves, we then have the strength and substance to bring Love to the forefront of our work in the world.

When we face all of the intense conditioning within us — everything that feels so hard to face and own — we often feel guilt and shame when we finally do. But here’s the thing. It is through feeling these very things that love frees up within us. When we truly stay with everything that comes to call on us, asking for us to face it, our hearts can open to the life that is here — to all of life, not just some of it.

This is how we do the deeper work we must do. We do what is ours to do. We face what is within us so that our hearts can do what our hearts know is true to do. This is how Love moves.

And for those of us who’ve said yes to Love and have been uncomfortable saying yes to power, myself included, it is time to bring these two together. Power-over, how we see power playing out in our world, is a zero-sum game. But power born of love is power-from-within, and this power is the expression of our deepest being into the world. It is our life force. It is Soul born from the deep Love that moves all things. It is generative. It is inviting. It is intelligent in the way of Life.

It can be frightening to live our power when our true power has been suppressed. We’ve feared our power for suppressed power fears harming others. We know somewhere that if we unleash it, it can be harmful. Yet, by not addressing it, we harm, too. Our true strength and power are of life itself. When we come to trust life itself, we come to trust that which flows through us and that which flows through all — the Source of life itself.

We cannot have true empowerment without having the conscious understanding that we are given our lives as a gift, that all of life is of equal value, worth, and beauty, and that we are here to serve the continuation of life itself. When we are willing to see what is standing in the way of this knowing and willing to do the work to dismantle it, I sense we will be able to live for life itself and to live life as the gift that it is.

Again, the feminine is the mystery. When we sit in what we don’t yet know and are unwilling to face what we must feel in order to know it, we’ll suffer and cause suffering. Everything is conspiring for us to end this suffering and liberate ourselves and the whole.

Originally published at JulieDaley.com

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Choosing to Stay and Be Human

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Photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash

 

“Eros is the drive of life, love, creativity, and sexuality, self-satisfaction, and species preservation. Thanatos, from the Greek word for “death” is the drive of aggression, sadism, destruction, violence, and death. At the conclusion of C&D, Freud notes (in 1930–31) that human beings, following Thanatos, have invented the tools to completely exterminate themselves; in turn, Eros is expected to “make an effort to assert himself in the struggle with an equally immortal adversary. But who can foresee with what success and with what result?” ~ notes on Sigmund Freud’s theories by Professor Easton in UMN 221 notes

 

This is where we are at right now. We have a huge, powerful wave of aggression, violence, and an incredible drive toward death as a species happening on our planet. But, Eros is making ‘an effort to assert himself’…the impulse to live, the drive to life, the force of creativity, sexuality, and species preservation!

About six months ago, I went through a really hard time in my life. I had been doing some deep work and uncovered something that had always been present in my life, but up until now, I knew it as more of a general sense of not really wanting to be here — like a withholding of myself from life, from relationships, from truly entering into life unbridled, unmasked, and no longer afraid to speak and create as my heart wants to speak and create. But at this moment, for the first time in my life, really, the impulse to end my life appeared out of the blue. It was only an idea for a moment, but the power of the desire toward death was what was shocking. It was truly an incredibly strong energy. I am grateful that I have the ability to reach out to a few people in my life who could hear it and could hold me as I needed to be held. I never was going to do anything, but that impulse is what began to teach me about life and death and how we dance between these two powerful energies, Eros and Thanatos, all the time.

Before this moment, I had been totally engrossed working with ‘Eros’ and its importance to our world. I had started a podcast called, “Awakening Eros” and felt so compelled to talk about it, research it, share it, and to really understand what Eros is. And then, my feet grew cold. I held back. I wondered if anyone would understand. Heck, I didn’t even fully understand the intense drive within them.

But after this moment happened, I was now very aware of the power of Thanatos — the drive toward death. And over these past months since this moment, I’ve come to see how — in both little and big ways — these two drives fuel much of the unconscious ways we inhabit our lives. And how Thanatos suppresses our own impulse toward living a full, joyous existence. I was killing my own drive to explore and express everything I sensed inside around Eros and love and being human.

Thanatos does not have to appear as taking one’s life to be present in our lives. It is present all the time. It is the drive toward death, just as Eros is the drive toward life. But there are many ways to kill our life drive without dying. We kill our joy. We kill our own impulse to create. We kill the power and desire for true sexual expression.

The Poet, David Whyte, speaks of the single malt essence of one’s not wanting to be here. In reading his words for the first time a few years ago, I was able to bring to light this deeper desire within me to run away. I have both stayed in and left situations when I wanted to leave. Leaving isn’t always running away. And sometimes it is.

As I’ve contemplated this dance between Eros and Thanatos, I’ve wondered if I (and any one of us) can truly make a full choice to stay, can truly choose this once, or if it has to be chosen over and over and over again. And I’m not just saying this in the large sense of life or death, but in the small moments where it feels like you will die if you stay and can only survive if you run, or when it feels like you will die if you run and can only survive if you stay. Moments in relationship with others, with yourself, with your work, with a creative project.

Whyte writes,

“Strangely, we are perhaps most fully incarnated as humans, when part of us does not want to be here, or doesn’t know how to be here. Presence is only fully understood and realized through fully understanding our reluctance to show up. To understand the part of us that wants nothing to do with the full necessities of work, of relationship of doing what is necessary, is to learn humility, to cultivate self-compassion and to sharpen that sense of humor essential to a merciful perspective of both a self and another.”

This impulse to live, the impulse toward life, the fear of entering into the mysterious realms of creativity, sexuality, vulnerability — being human, really — requires us to acknowledge the depth of our not wanting to be here, and perhaps the pain that life underneath it. That is what I needed to see and it is what brought me more present to my life and to a kind of humility and self-compassion I am only beginning to crack the surface of. The sense of humor is a glimmer I spot every now and then.

We often read that 80% of life is just showing up. You’d think that this would be so simple. Just show up and life handles the rest, so many say. But now I am thinking this isn’t so easy for many of us when we have this compulsion to run. And in the case of facing what’s here on our planet right now? What if 80% of this right now is showing up? I mean, though, REALLy showing up. Not running. Staying even when “part of us does not want to be here, or doesn’t know how to be here.”

I know for me that being here brings great grief when I long to feel so deeply connected to others, to touch and be touched, yet I fear the same as well. I long for it and I fear it. I long for a human world where we care about each other and each other’s welfare. A world where all people of every race, class, orientation, ability are seen as of equal value and worth, where all people have the chance to be happy, successful, loved, and known. A world where all creatures are seen as of equal value. A world in which the Earth is loved just as she loves us.

I would hedge a bet that very few of us, if any, truly know how to be here at this time on Earth. How does one be here in the face of what is happening? But this is where humility comes in. We’ve been an arrogant species for a long time. But to be here now, facing this, staying in this human relationship because we know it is where we can grow and evolve both individually and collectively — that is the invitation.

Staying because the love that we are asks this of us.

We stifle our fullest self-expression on so many fronts. We hide our hearts. We hide the bigness of spirit and the depth of the soul. We hide the true desires that fuel our sexuality and creativity. But most importantly we hide our tenderness and our fear that our not knowing how to be here makes us weak, that our reluctance to stay makes us somehow broken. Instead, I think they are what makes us human.
At a time when Eros is challenging Thanatos, and when love is trying to make a full emergence onto our planet, it is our humanity we must come to be present to. The seemingly incoherent mess that we see ourselves to be. Being human is messy. To be human is to be awake to one’s own vulnerability in the face of all of this and NOT KNOW what to do or how to do it. Being human requires us to feel, to ask for help, to realize our own powerlessness even as we engage with the creative strength and power that flows from within us. Being human is existing in contradiction and paradox.

Eros is inviting us to engage — to live — to create — to relate. To choose to stay and to live, together. It is up to us to become present enough to listen for the way, to listen to what life can teach us.

Come visit me at JulieDaley.com to discover more about how I might support and guide you as you travel this deep and sacred journey to awakening your erotic, creative nature.

 

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Who Will Stand for the Wild Soft Heart?

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Who will stand for the wild soft heart?

 

Who will stand for the wild soft heart, the deep and steady breath, the hunger of the soul, if not us?

Who will speak for the Earth, the children, the elderly and the destitute, if not us?

Who will love the depth of our humanity, holding it tenderly in all its joy and pain, failure and triumph, blessedness and fright, if not us?

I walked past a homeless man the other day. So young, with already-weathered skin. Just a big boy, really. Cold. Alone. Sitting against a gray wall, empty eyes staring somewhere other than there. My momma’s heart broke open and I stopped. Tears fell against my own weathered cheeks.

I didn’t know what to do.

I wanted to bend down and reach out.

I wanted to do something to help ease his suffering.

I don’t know if he wanted that. But this was my instinct.

I stood not moving except for my breath and tears, standing on a busy San Francisco street, wanting to follow my own instinct, the instinct to care for a lost cub alone in the night.

How do I walk on this Earth, in truth, my body alive with an instinct so quick and real there is no hesitation when a fellow human is in need? An instinct so real because it is once again connected to Life.

How do I begin to remember? How do we begin to remember?

Who will hold this world in her arms against her warm heart filled with light if not me? If not us?

 

Written during a Writing Raw circle.

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Women & the Earth: Awakening Eros

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Women…we need to be here, all the way here, on Earth.

We need to come all the way down into our bodies, breathing all the way down and in. We must choose to come in, choose to inhabit our bodies, bodies that can, and do, only exist here on Earth. The spirit and soul is not of this place, but the body is. And it is in our bodies where our greatest gifts can be given. Where our deepest yearnings and desires can unfold. And when we do this, when we come in and give voice and expression to our deepest yearnings, we come into direct relationship with Mother Earth.

In these times, it is imperative we choose to be here, all the way here, on Earth. This can be hard. Many of us have experienced trauma. For most of my life I haven’t wanted to be here. Not in a way where I would do something to myself, but more in the subtle, underlying pervasive sense of being uncomfortable in a place where my body isn’t safe, where my gender represents what is considered terrifying to those in charge, and so deemed as weak and inferior.

As women, the culture does not treat our bodies well. We often don’t treat our bodies well. We live in bodies that are threatened, most often subtly. These bodies. Creature bodies. Beautiful bodes. Bodies with deep feelings and sensitivities, as well as the capacity for great joy and aliveness. Yet, we are needed to be here on the planet, connected to our Mother Earth for the full potential of our souls to be realized.

Mother Earth. Your body is Her body. Her body is your body. And at this time, the Earth is calling for us to be fully home in her embrace.

We are living in the times we’ve come for. The work we came to do is needed now. Many of us know this. That what is being called for is exactly what we have to give to the world. This isn’t about changing the world. We cannot change anyone else. But we can give what we’ve been given, we can offer the essential nature of our own being into the world as a form of love to a world so hungry for love.

We’ve forgotten that all of life is sacred and we are not going to get out of the problems we’ve created without coming to physically know this again as our own experience.

What does it mean for flesh to be sacred, for the flesh of our existence to be sacred? How does the sacred live in you? How does the sacred feel when it is alive in your body? How does the sacred feel when you are in your body and you know everything is sacred?

To bring the holy, the light, and love to all of life’s mundane moments and things that can frighten us so. To do our best and be in integrity. To realize where we are responsible to this world in a way that enlivens us and the world. To bring the wild Source of our nature into structure so the wild Source can come all the way into our lives…all the way down and into our world, our lives, and our creations.

Yes. This is it. The hot holy. The blinding breath. The cosmic presence. The delighted spontaneity. The impish bliss. The lightness of depth.

Soften your rigidity, your striving and pushing, your need to control, with breath, breathing all the way down and in, from the front to the back, and head to toe, especially in the belly that is breath-starved. Full, deep, slow breaths. Fill your body with cell nourishment and aliveness.

Breathing is a sensuous experience. Our wild and tender animal bodies are starved for breath, plump rich oxygen laced breath that softens our flesh into the Earth.

Soften and striving and judging others will slow and spontaneous movement and deep love for everything will flow. We are Spirit-infused creatures of the wild when we breathe deeply and fully.
Life is spontaneous and playful when we inhabit our bodies and our lives like the bliss-plump creatures we are created to be. High on the gift of our own existence, we stop trying to control and negate the existence of our fellow creatures.

This is Eros. A sensuous love. A rapturous delight. A primal push out of the seedbed of creation.

This is Eros. Life enthralled with its own gift of becoming.

Eros is the force we must awaken and we do this through a direct relationship with Mother Earth, a direct relationship between soul and Mother Earth. We do this together. We do this in community. We do this in the realms of our vast inner world, while together in circle, together and rooted into the Mother.

If you’ve been longing to bring something you can‘t’ quite name but know exists into the work you are IMG_7872doing in the world, I offer that Eros might be this something. It is love. It is aliveness. It is the lived gift of your own existence.

Come awaken Eros.

Join me and a circle of twelve women for a journey into Eros, a journey down and into your body, a journey of coming home. Awakening Eros will change who you know yourself to be and what you believe you are capable of.

We begin October 18th. Twelve women. Deep circle. Awakening Eros.

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We are living, breathing creatures who long to voice our aliveness.

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In these times, our voices are needed.

Clear. Real. As they are. No embellishment. Just pure heart and soul spoke aloud. You don’t need to know what the words are or what they will be. What matters is trusting the connection between soul and voice. Opening the channel between soul and voice. Your soul is unique and so then is your voice. There is no perfection. There is real and honest and true. And this is what pours forth when you trust self, soul, and you find the willingness to be this channel.

There is no perfection. Don’t wait for perfection. There is none. To be human is to be flawed. If you wait for the perfect words, the perfect understanding, the perfect place, you’ll be waiting forever.

The real can only come from within.

That’s why we don’t speak what is real. We think it must be perfect and so we wait indefinitely. While all along there is an insistence trying to be heard. Insistent impulse. Insistent fire. Insistent truth trying to get free.

We also don’t speak what is real because there are so many voices out there telling us what is real and we’ve been well-trained to look outside of ourselves for people to guide us to the real. But the real can only come from within.

And we don’t speak what is real for fear of others’ discomfort and their subsequent judgment directed back at us because they are uncomfortable. But discomfort can bring change, necessary change. Discomfort is growth. And it is not up to us to control others’ experience. What we’re really trying to control is our own discomfort, our own growth.

Real does not equal perfection.

Real does not equal easily digestible words and feelings for others. And real does not equal easily digestible words and feelings for ourselves. Sometimes the act of bringing forth soul is a deeply uncomfortable experience because we become aware of places within us we’ve tried so hard to pretend do not exist. By being the channel we open ourselves to the real of much more than who and what we believe ourselves to be.

I don’t think life is meant to be easy. I feel life is meant to be the continual process of becoming real, of coming to know what it means to be alive. And there is no perfection in aliveness. We are not machines. We are not ideals. We are living, breathing creatures who long to feel and voice our aliveness.

The voice is so much more than simply speaking. It is the gateway to soul pouring forth into the world. Through a person’s voice, we can catch a glimpse of the sacred making itself known.

Words can be used many ways. Use them in service of love and justice, joy and community.

Use them in service to your own coming alive. What is alive in you is the same thing that is alive in me and in all beings. We won’t heal what we need to heal as a species without accessing the realms of soul.

It is through your aliveness that we all will be set free.

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Writing Raw is now open for registration!

IMG_9002Writing Raw is just this: opening the channel and strengthening your trust in what insists on pouring forth.

You might never feel ready, but the insistence to pour forth is real.

Come join us. Every circle is steeped in deep love. We enter the realm of the soul. We enter realms you’ve sensed are there.

Each woman brings something that could never be brought through any other channel.

We enter the realm of the soul. Nothing will change from anything less.

Read more here: www.juliedaley.com/writing-raw

 

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The Wild Within: Where Only the Majestic is Enthroned

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Holding my own flesh
like a holy site
an unbound pleasure.
~ Isabelle Abbott

 

Unbound pleasure takes me in. I have rarely let myself go completely like this. I close my eyes to feel this. I know this unboundedness as awareness, as infinite consciousness. An open sky. But in my own flesh? No. But I want to. I’ve been admitting this to myself lately. Lilith is calling me. She who is a goddess unto herself, she who told Adam, ‘No, I will not be on the bottom.’ She who left the garden.

Did her fierce sovereignty cost her? Perhaps only in the eyes of those who believe in the texts, but I believe in the text of Lilith’s flesh. This is her holy site. How is her text mine? In her text, she left on her own accord. In the text of the patriarchy, she was banished.

I sense the Garden of Eden as man’s garden. Man drew the borders, set the fence posts, strung the wire and proclaimed this to be the civilized world and anyone who strays outside and enters the wild becomes the feared, the scorned, the wicked. But outside the garden? Unbound pleasure.

What keeps me from unbound pleasure? This fear of banishment. I felt a bit of this when I left my relationship six years ago. Suddenly, I was not with a man – no longer one who is chosen. Oh yes, no one says these words. But I could feel it.

A woman’s sexuality is powerful. Wild even. To be fully oneself, one must enter the wild. We fear banishment because we’ve believed we no longer have our wild.

Banishment in the wild without one’s own wild is frightening. Banishment in the wild WITH one’s own wild is a homecoming.

***

Plums, not apples.

Dark thick, purple-black plums, like Her.

The Dark Queen.

The Black Madonna.

Hidden throughout shelters and caves with rustic,
hand-made altars erected to her reckoning.

She is the impenetrable woods.

Thicker than the honey that lines the heart. Blacker than the moonless nights. She is unbound pleasure as she spreads herself across the wild land she claimed with her own, Hell No.

That dark queen lives in me.

The impenetrable woods, the thicket, and bramble that winds its way into my holy center. Protected. Fierce. Where only the majestic is enthroned.

The Black Madonna knows banishment well. Yet, She also knows the deepest most encompassing love, including love for those who banished her. For here is the grace She wields. And here is the grace she is teaching me. My desire that burns hot will not banish me but rather burn away the pain of my own separation from my majestic sexuality.

And it is majestic.

It is union with the Beloved. All the unspoken lies go up in the flame of Beloved and lover becoming one.

My body is an altar to Her.

Everywhere, there are wild altars to Her.

***

Through my own journey, I have discoveredlilypotf that flowers are altars to Her. A flower once showed me the whole of existence through her bright countenance. She showed me the true nature of life here on Earth. She opened my heart showed me that flowers speak to us so that we can remember this nature, our nature. And when I open to flowers, they guide me.

For a short time, I am offering a Power of the Flower Lite Study of You. I’ve created a deck of flower cards. With you in mind, I pull one flower, your flower, and then I sit in deep meditation to see what she reveals to me about you and any question you’ve shared with me. I write up what I see into a beautiful 14-16 page PDF and send it to you. Within a few weeks time, I will also mail you – yes, snail mail! – a printed copy of the flower for you to have and place on your wild altar.

Read more about this beautiful study of You and how I was awakened to the Power of the Flower. You’ll be taken to JulieDaley.com

 

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Our living well can only come out of our living connected.

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I’ve discovered something. Something that keeps us believing in our smallness, in lack, in the absence of goodness and kindness, in a sense of being unsafe and unable to really live who we are and what we came for.

I’ve discovered it through my own life journey of forgetfulness. A life journey where I began so full of light, so full of love and joy. So full of life. And then the journey of forgetting. Forgetting that the Earth is alive. Forgetting that I am alive, truly. Forgetting that I once lived as light.

We are not meant to live alone.

Not just physically alone. We are not meant to believe in the falsity that we are simply human beings on a planet that is just a big rock. We are not meant to believe that there is nothing beyond this place. We are not meant to live as if we are alone. Our living well can only come out of our living connected to both the Earth and to the light. Our living well comes out of knowing we are in direct relationship with the soul of the Earth, with her as an alive being, and filled with the light that infuses us, available to us, always filling us with each breath, in every moment.

We are creatures here on Earth, sacred creatures, living on a sacred planet, being breathed by light. This has nothing to do with any system of belief. It has to do with life itself and how it moves and lives through us.

There is a ‘push out of your existence’ (thank you, Joseph Campbell) that is life moving through you. A push. A force. A living, always in flux, push. To live. To be alive. As you. For life. This IS life. You as life. Living. Connected to the Earth. Filled with light. Filled with breath. Vibrantly alive until you are alive no more in a human body.

We are not meant to live believing we are not connected, separate, from each other, separate from the Earth and nature, separate from the light. 

But, we do forget. And all around us are reminders, everywhere, always, to remember. We walk the Earth in forgetfulness until we remember. And then, we walk the Earth remembering. With each step. Remembering ourselves back into fullness.

And then, we walk the Earth remembering.

With each step. Remembering ourselves back into fullness.

***

My 21-day self-study course Belonging is now available. It’s deep and you can access it in the comfort of your own home.

 

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Living the Feminine

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Much has been written about the return of the feminine.

But what does that mean? Practically speaking, how does this actually show up in our world today?

I used to think that somehow the feminine was missing, but what is true is that the feminine has been hidden. Because of the frightening ways women who seemed threatening to the dominant paradigm were treated over the last many hundred years, we learned to suppress those aspects of our nature that were labeled as dangerous and bad. We came to hide our knowledge of healing, our relationship to the earth, our tenderness and hearts – namely many of the ways women are naturally powerful. We learned to hide our internal knowing, our intuition, and instincts. We hid our deep love for the earth and nature, and our relationship to all of life.

 

We women hid that which scared those in power in the dominant paradigm. And men learned to hide things, too.

Now, she is rising. Appearing again. Making herself known. But how? How does she show herself?

She is becoming known in all of us who feel the call to go within, to listen to the inner voice and open to the inner life. She is becoming known again through the awakening of intuition and instinct, through the healing of trauma, and through the attention and love we are now learning to give to our bodies. And she is becoming knowable through the ways we are called to care for each other and for our planet, through the call for justice for all people, through the ways we now see we are a global village.

She is rising through those of us who are not afraid to live the qualities of the feminine and to voice and express her and how she moves. We see her when we are courageous enough to speak and create through her, offering her aspects into the world.

She wasn’t hidden in all peoples. Not completely. Many indigenous cultures and non-dominant peoples stayed closer to her for they kept touch with ceremony, relationship, and medicine. They kept touch with earth wisdom.

 

Last November after the election,

I realized that many of us fear to show what we know, and what we’ve remembered of the feminine within. We fear to embody her. But it is up to us ‘everyday people’ who know her and now realize that she is rising within us and asking us to live her presence into the world.

Yes, it can be frightening to show her to the world through us, through what we speak and write, and through how we are with the earth and nature, with other women. It’s in our cells to be afraid. There were too many burnings to not affect multiple generations down the line.

In response to the normalization of anger, hatred, racism, and misogyny after the election, I felt a deep desire and calling to speak what I know of the feminine through my own experience. So, I began to write and share the deeper nature of eros, the vibrant and sensuous aspects of love, that have become so much of my own lived experience as she has come to move through me more consciously. For she is eros – eros that is the force that thrusts through stem and leaf, body and soul.

We must live her.

We must find a way to no longer be afraid to speak her and be her and show her knowing and wisdom through us. Many of us do healing work and fear truly coming out and speaking the full truth of this work. But while it can be frightening to speak the full truth, it is also invigorating for she is joy and aliveness, sensuality and sensuousness and when we acknowledge these are natural aspects of who we are, we begin to live these qualities in the world.

To live her is to give back to the earth. To live her is to heal you back into wholeness and fullness. To live her is to bring more kindness, compassion into the world. So many of us are addicted to suffering, to war, to violence because we are disconnected from the heart of life. To live her is to offer to the world the medicine that can rebalance our existence as human beings here on our planet, a balance that is not just for human beings but for all of life.

In many ways, there is one woman, one mother. That is why women connecting is so important. It is in our weaving together that we come to know the feminine as whole again. If my body is the earth’s body and your body is the earth’s body, and so on, then in our coming together, we begin to experience the earth in a more full and whole way. At least this is what I sense. I don’t want to make statements of truth. What I offer is an understanding from my experience. And that can shift as we shift.

Each of us lives her uniquely. Each soul’s journey is unique. I don’t mean to make it sound easy. I know it hasn’t been for me. And I know I still have moments where I want to shy away from it. But I also know the truth of this in my heart: that I am here to do this. I am here to remember her and to come into balance, and to be one guide of many to support our species coming back into right relationship with life.

So here’s what I want to know…

Do you feel called to live her? To speak her? To express her? And does this frighten you? Do you feel alone in this? Do you fear what will happen if you live what you know now within yourself?Together

Join me for a free gathering with me and other women this Friday, May 26th, from 11:00 am to Noon PDT. We will drop in and listen and then speak what we hear. We’ll meet on Zoom, a wonderful conference system that allows for us all to be both seen and heard. Register here.

Together

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Join me for Together, a living, fluid, 3-month-long gathering of women. We will meet two times a month, together, by video conference where we will drop in together. We will create community and learn to speak of what we sense and know, and how we might speak this into the world. I will write and create practices and meditations based on what we sense in the field as we are together. (I’ve upgraded JulieDaley.com. You’ll be taken to this new site to read more about Together.

I am also working on a group coaching program for women whose work utilizes much of the feminine principles and who find it difficult to speak about what they do in a way that doesn’t water down the medicine in the work. Let me know if you would be interested in something like this by emailing me at julie (at) juliedaley . com 

We all contribute to the rise of the sacred feminine in our culture by coming to know our own sacredness and by living it into the world. To awaken and live the feminine is to do deep soul work for the feminine is soul. It is the deep and the dark. It is the moist cavern. It is the journey down in and under, and then back up into the light of the sun.

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