Bone Knowing : Wisdom is Real

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.


Wise Woman Wednesday : Lianne Raymond on Love


I am delighted to share something with you.

My friend, a beautiful and wise woman, Lianne Raymond, has just released her video of a talk she gave in March. When I first watched this video, I was deeply moved.

I love it when women tell their stories. I love it when women share each other’s wisdom. I love it when we come to know the deep wise ways within our own soul by seeing and hearing this wisdom expressed through another woman.

I’m not going to say much more. Lianne’s words speak volumes. To know more of Lianne’s work, visit her website and read this poem she recently shared.

Be sure to share your feelings and thoughts with Lianne in the comments.


This Vast Embrace


To know, and live, that you are both supremely sacred and absolutely human is the magnificent gift of being alive.

This seeming paradox, this knowing in the heart that you are sacred and so very loved…and knowing that you are completely fallable, vulnerable and human, is beautifully painful and vitally freeing.

Within our divinity there is infinite space for our infallibility, limitation and humanity. That which is holding us, holds us  with such tenderness and love, and in this vast embrace there is finally a place to feel, then let go of, shame, humiliation, fear and fighting.

As I write this to you, I am sitting in a profound peace. I just moved through the deepest feelings of shame. These are old, old feelings finding their way to freedom through very wet and profuse tears.

The love I had always longed for, I’ve found in this vast embrace. There is room here for my humanness.  The paradox is resolved. I am both human and divine. One holds the other with a spaciousness that is infinitely vast and utterly present.

Why write about something so personal? Because I am not just me. I am you. And, you are me. We wake up to these realizations when we share them with each other, when we see there is nothing really special about them at all, that things have always been this way.


And you?

Please share with us your stories of this vast embrace, even when you feel nobody would want to know. We do.


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?



Maia’s Secret…


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.


All of Life is this Wild Eros, Including You


Today is International Women’s Day.

I’ve been not quite sure what to write. I have mixed feelings about this day.

On one hand, so many women need to know, in a real and grounded everyday way, that being a woman is a beautiful thing, and that they gifts we women offer to the world are worthy and sorely needed – gifts that we offer when we are being wholly who we are as women.

On the other hand, around the world, women still are far from sharing equal rights with men. Here in the United States, we’re seeing how much fear and distrust of women still lurks in the shadows, and sometimes stands in broad daylight. Having a day where we celebrate women can feel so shallow in the light of the atrocities happening each and every day around the world. Sometimes, it feels like we’ve been thrown a bone when in reality those who hold the strings of power have no intention of really offering women equal rights.

Speaking of strings of power,

have you ever noticed that women will most likely never have equal rights in this cultural paradigm? I mean, let’s look at the present day situation. In a cultural construct based on heirerarchy and patriarchy, with a system set up to keep this heirarchy in place, maybe it’s only possible if the actual structures crumble…

Everything eventually dies, including structures and cultural constructs. I see the structure of patriarchy most certainly is dying.

The structures that we currently see in the world as we know it, at least most of the world, are structures that were created with a mindset that the feminine is something to be feared and distrusted…the feminine in women, the feminine in men, and the feminine in the world – basically all of nature. So much of what we see in our human constructs were built on this.

And, if you’ve ever given birth, been witness to earthquakes and tornadoes, the feminine is most certainly powerful. I have birthed two babies, and watched each of my daughters give birth, and the power of the feminine is something to behold, something that brings forth complete awe in me.

The feminine is powerful and awe-inducing.

These structures based on fear of the feminine don’t just exist out there, they also exist within each of us. We’ve internalized them. And, we’ve probably internalized some kind of fear and distrust of the masculine as well, the masculine in us all. And, these internal structures are dying, too. Can you feel this inside you?

Can you feel a new feminine consciousness within yourself?

Why is this important today, on International Women’s Day?

A few months back, I met Marianne Williamson at an intimate gathering. She asked what I do, and I told her the varied things that fill my workday. She seemed to take interest in the course I teach on Creativity and Leadership in Business, and asked me what I would say to women about what they need to know around business.

My response? Two things:

“We are not men.” & “There is a different way to do business than what we see operating in our world today.”

We are not men.

We are not men. Even though most everything in the culture looks at the world through men’s eyes, we are not men. Thank goodness there are men, and thank goodness there are women. We all are here to be what we really are.

I am interested in you knowing this, not because I’ve written it, nor because it seems to be an obvious physiological conclusion. I’m interested in it because the new world coming depends on you knowing it.

Let me say that again…

The new world coming into being depends on you knowing who you are and expressing it through the female body you live in.

What I am interested in today is you knowing you, knowing who you are, knowing what delights your heart, knowing what it is to be fully alive in this world in your female body. Alive and erotic just like the cherry tree, just like the ocean, just like Mother Earth.

All of life is this wild eros, including you.

And, we could most certainly all use a shot of wild eros, don’t you think?

In our personal lives, our relationships, and even in our businesses.

Passionate Business

Business budding with blossoms, business giving birth, business erupting and shaking and crashing its waves upon the shores. Business that neither fears the feminine nor the masculine, but works in tandem with all of life…including the earth.

So many times I see women thinking they have to make a mark on the world that is big and audacious. Nothing wrong with that, and that may be how your mark shows up…and, in reality, we affect the world in many small beautiful ways each day. And, sometimes what happens is those many small ways eventually move into big changes along the way.

In a day-to-day, personal way, my friend, Renae Cobb, sees International Women’s Day from her personal vantage point as a mother to two daughters. She writes of not really knowing what this day is about, yet going on to share just how important an impact she has.

On an international level, the Christian Science Monitor writes of Twelve Innovations that are Lifting Women Out of Poverty.

Women are changing the world, everyday. There are many ways to do womanhood. And many ways to do manhood.

What if we found the courage to put down the project of who we believe we are supposed to be, so we can be who we really are, fully alive, powerfully real, wildly erotic in the fullest sense of the word…unabashedly female.

Part of this being truly you is discovering the rich love women have for each other. I’ve just written about it here.


I’d love to know what ways you are living womanhood. Consider sharing in the comments. We feast on each other’s wisdom.


I’ve recently released my new collection of posts, poetry and audio into a sensual immersive experience, The Best of Unabashedly Female. I’d love for you to take a look to see if it might be of interest to you.



Fearlessness & Work as Offering



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.


Making Time for You


Happy Wednesday!

We’re already having stormy weather here in Northern California. The rain pounded so hard against my window last night, I thought it was going to pour through the glass. Very unusual weather for this time.

Making Time for What Matters with Britt Bravo

Today, I have a guest post over at Britt Bravo’s blog, Have Fun, Do Good. I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to write this post on Making Time for What Matters, as part of Britt’s series by the same name. In writing the post, I discovered something really important:

“Writing this post has been an illuminating process. From the outside, it seems like a fairly straightforward idea…how I make time for what matters. But, as I sat with the question of what really matters to me, I realized, over time, that what matters isn’t anything I do, it is who I am being, and how I relate to life when I do whatever it is I do.

Below are qualities of being that bring me peace and a resonance with life as it unfolds.”

Read more:

I’d love to know which qualities of being allow life to unfold with more ease for you.

About Britt:

“I’m a blogger, podcaster, and blog coach for artists, writers, entrepreneurs and do-gooders. I’m also a big vision consultant who loves to help people find and express their calling. When I’m not blogging, I love to cook, collage, write letters, interview big visionaries, and bring groups of people together, online and offline. I offer the Juicy Blogging e-course four times a year. You can learn more my work at, and connect with me on Twitter at @BBravo.”

If you are interested in blogging, or want to get juicier with your blog, check out Britt’s Juicy Blogging e-course.

The Whole Woman

I’m busy preparing to teach the first evening of my new course, The Whole Woman, at The Teahouse Studio in Berkeley tomorrow evening, October 6th. If you live in the Bay Area or know women who do, there’s still time to register and join us.

I’m excited about the course.

  • If you’ve been feeling a nudge to look inside, wondering who you are and what you’re here for, this course is for you.
  • If you have a challenge in front of you, or a big decision to make, then the tools we’ll be covering will help support you in this time.
  • If you know you’re not living your truth, yet don’t know what that truth is, or even how to begin to shift how you’re living, come join us.

Many women are finding themselves being called to let go of who they’ve thought they were, in order to discover the truth of their being. It is time for us all to discover what is real and to live it with love and compassion for ourselves.

You may sense the course is right for you, but may be afraid to dive in – if so, don’t worry, you won’t be alone. We all feel a certain amount of fear about change, especially when we step into it willingly.


The Coaching Blueprint, Kate Courageous & Me


Happy Friday!

Today’s the last day of September. It’s hard for me to believe we are three quarters of the way through 2011.

And, on this last day of September, you’ll find me over at Your Courageous Life with Kate Courageous (Swoboda), a woman and friend I am so grateful to know.

Kate interviewed me for her brand new, soon-to-be-released product, The Coaching Blueprint, and today she’s released a short portion of our interview. I’d love for you to stop by her place to check it out. It was a joy to be interviewed by her. In turn, I interviewed her and that interview will be released next week.

The Coaching Blueprint is nothing short of brilliant. For all of you coaches, and other professionals that provide a similar service, The Coaching Blueprint will be your guide to set up your practice the way it needs to be for you…for who you are as a person, as a coach or provider, and as a business owner.

How I wish I’d had The Coaching Blueprint when I was just beginning.

Kate has included interviews with other great coaches, too, such as Tanya Geisler, Jamie Ridler, Dyana Valentine, Michael Bungay Stanier, Pam Slim, Tara Sophia Mohr, Tara Gentile, Jennifer Lee and Michelle Ward. Also, Intuitive Counselor Bridget Pilloud shares how she’s differentiated her practice from Coaching and counselor Steve Bearman talks about the experience of training other people to become Coaches and counselors.

I am an affiliate for The Coaching Blueprint. If you’d like to purchase it through me, there’s an affiliate link to your right. If you’d like to purchase it directly from Kate, you’ll find a link on her site.

Have a beautiful weekend.

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