Self-determined and Full of a Flourishing Sense of Self-worth

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“The roots of the word “wild” are thought to be found in welt, meaning forest or wildwood and willed. To be wild is to be wooded, to be willed. Self-willed, self-determined: not under the will or rule of another; unruly, uncontrollable.” – Kara Moses

 

Most of us, even those of us who’ve done ‘a lot of work’, are still somewhat far away from ourselves, still somehow tied to others, still living under their edicts that bind us to express ourselves in predictable and patterned ways. Even if those ‘others’ are long gone from our daily lives, their voices and faces are etched deeply inside of us. For the most part, we live out their judgments and injunctions unknowingly, carrying on many ancestral stories that no longer serve us or our ancestral lines.

We are raised into captivity, losing our wildness early on. In our lives, we move along lines of habit and routine, for the most part not realizing just how much we are still under the rule of the past.

I remember being a strong, passionate, and physical girl. I remember learning to reign myself in, to control myself, to un-unruly myself. Big, vibrant flowers have always been my favorite. Bright colors. A boisterous laugh. Early self-confidence eventually eroded into a predictable habit of cautious choices, always checking to see if my presence was too-much-enough for authority figures to frown, learning to be very careful. Learning to be controlled by myself. One frown became enough to reign me in. I didn’t always remember this. We forget over time. But we can remember. We can re-wild.

Over the past few decades, slowly but surely parts of my essential nature became known again. I began to feel more alive and in touch with that magical, mystical Soul Self within. Essential nature is what we are, essential as in fundamental, basic, important, and vital. These describe the simplicity of Self. It is what it is. You are what you are. There is great power in realizing this. Even though we learn to complicate it all, we never lose our essential nature and we can return to being self-determined.

I’ve come to see that self-determined is to follow our ‘bliss’ in Joseph Campbells’ definition – to express the ‘push out of our own existence.’ Our own existence is our wild, simple, essential nature. It is our life force. And it is the source of true expression. It is our bliss. It is love.

To be this SELF-determined is to be guided by the deep intelligence of Life that breathes us into being. THIS is true power, the power of creativity and creation to live as a Self-determined being. THIS is power-from-within. THIS is the power of love, to live as a powerful, loving, life-affirming presence on Earth.

THIS is a flourishing condition within, a flourishing Self-worth, aligned, rooted, and dynamically in vital expression.

When we reclaim and live Self-love, Self-respect, Self-trust, and Self-confidence, we are reclaiming these qualities of living that rise up out of our essential nature. Our Essence doesn’t lose these; rather, the part of us that learned to believe we were too much or not enough works very hard to keep up that story of being something else other than our fundamental vital self.

Recently, I remembered learning to fear my confidence and self-assertion specifically. Little girls who are confident – especially back in the 60’s – were taught to mute and quiet. Words like bossy and pushy were used. So of course, that energy went underground and turned into anger at not being able to be and express my essential Self. My Essence was never bossy and pushy. It is strong, determined, and powerful. Being told we are bossy and pushy are ways to get us to tame our power. Bossy and pushy, or muted and cautious, then become the way we use our power in the world when it is trapped and unable to be unruly and wild.

We can re-wild ourselves and we can find our essential Self-confidence and Self-trust. We can find, again, our essential Self-respect and ability to love the whole of ourselves, even the parts of us who continue to attempt to keep us contained. We come to know them when we come back into relationship with Self. And we do this by turning within and listening for what has always been here – that deep intelligence that breathes us into being and longs for us to remember our nature.

*****

PlumbTreePLUMB!
I recently began to sense a new metaphor to describe Self-determination and sovereignty. When you are rooted and aligned in a deep, rich sense of Self-worth, you are filled from within with dignity, strength, and a knowing that who and what you are at your core is worthy just as you are, regardless of your outer circumstances and others’ opinions of you and your life. This is what it means to be Plumb.

So how do you get ‘off plumb’? You come to distrust what is within you. You come to lose respect for who you truly are. You come to lose confidence in what you know, desire, and long to speak and express. You believe that you are under the power of another human being.

I’m offering a five-week course called PLUMB where we will turn our attention to our fundamental and vital nature while remembering and reclaiming all the ways we know respect, trust, and confidence for who we truly are. These things are within us and when we give our attention to them, bringing them into the light of awareness, they can flourish within us once again.

The early-bird price is good through Jan 1st, 2019. I sense this will be both a deep and pleasurable way into discovering and remembering our unruly selves and a palpable foundational feeling of Self-worth. I hope you’ll join us. And feel free to pass this along to women you sense might be interested.

Happy New Year!

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The Unsatisfied Force Within You: It’s time to set it free

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Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

***

You are a lot like me, but not in a way we would necessarily see if we met face-to-face.

On the surface, we might seem similar or very different, but under the surface, something strong and alive pulses inside us.

Here, under the surface, we are very much alike.

Under the surface, we long for something, and this longing is more than just a simple whim or desire that comes from our more pedestrian human lives. It is way under the surface. Way down where marrow enlivens bone and blood runs thick, hot, and blue.

This longing, this pulse, is the desire of life to be fully alive, to be fully expressed, and to enjoy the feelings of aliveness and joy and unfolding, even though they are often intense. Very intense.

This desire, this longing, this pulse – was submerged long ago, long ago when we, you and I, were young.

Parents try to get us to calm down, quiet down, contain ourselves, stifle the voice, and not be ‘so outlandishly’ loud and ecstatic. Not be so happy. Not be so joyful. Not feel our feelings so intensely. Not feel.

We learn to squash the life force within us down to an acceptable level. We learn to be afraid of our own aliveness and vitality, our own emotional intensity.

We become ‘adult’.

I know I became very skilled at squashing my vitality and joy, which is what full aliveness looks like on the outside! I internalized the voices of adults over the years who kept at it, kept getting me to ‘tone it down.’ I used to be pretty vibrant. I played hard. I would get really sweaty and I loved being alive. But I grew to contain myself as those adults would shoot me glances that told me my fabulous vitality was not and certainly not polite.

Then, one day I began to do it to myself, taking those many voices outside into myself, taking them down deep inside where I couldn’t really hear them consciously but where they could still wreak their havoc in service to my dutiful smoldering of this inner fire – and it IS a fire.

Are you feeling this? Is it resonating? Do you, too, know this fire?

***

“Eros – it sounds like a nice dessert, like a happy ending. But Eros, the Greek god of love, was considered a tragic figure in antiquity. He was not the god of pleasurable satisfaction, but of emotional intensity that burned just as hotly, if not more so, when unsatisfied.” Dr. Andreas Weber, Matter & Desire

How does it feel inside you when your emotional intensity burns hot and sits unsatisfied within you? What’s going on inside of you when everything you really are is trying to claw its way out, trying to set itself free? How does that feel? Are you aware of it, conscious of this deeper impulse to flow like lava, or spread its wings and flee the cage?

I can tell you how it feels in me. Hot, angry, alive, pushing back against those old, old voices that, while I’m sure felt they were helping me to grow into a polite young woman, continued to imply that what is inside of me cannot be trusted and so I must contain myself.

But it is love. It is love that wants to fly. It is love that wants to push itself up and out of these holy bodies and into the bright air of this holy world. It is Eros. It is impulse. It is life.

We don’t trust what lies within us, but at the heart of who we are is a love so powerful that it must unfold itself into the world because when it does so, life increases, life grows, life expands – and this is what allows life to continue. This is all we were as kids – love in a small human body wanting to know itself, wanting to feel gloriously alive.

But now – we are growing dead inside as a species. We lock ourselves up. We are locking others up. We are even locking children up now here in my country.

Command. Contain. Control.

The message: do not trust that impulse inside of you to come alive, do not trust your humanity, do not trust yourself.

This that we haven’t trusted is love’s great and hot desire to live into the world, to continue itself, over and over, becoming alive and then enjoying the deep feeling of having done so.

“But this love – I thought, as the trail of the swift’s arrowlike flight seemed burned like an afterimage into the evening’s empty air – is indeed nothing other than the inexhaustible drive of both life-forms and the ecosystem to grow and to unfold. It is the desire for such unfolding and the joy experienced when that drive is fulfilled… It unfolds regardless of whether something good happens to me or another being because it is the joy experienced whenever life increases in the world, somewhere.”
– Dr. Andreas Weber

“… whether something good happens to me or another…”

This is key here. It’s not just about us. It is about life itself. We are part of life. We are included in this. We are not separate form life. We humans think it is just about us. We think this earth revolves around us. This is how we are killing ourselves, and how we are killing other beings. We’ve forgotten. It is about life itself and about the joy of this entire existence constantly pouring forth into the world as a holy expression of the deepest longing of love.

***

So, that feeling of frustration, grief, sadness – and sometimes hot and uncomfortable desire to be free, to run, to fly – is necessary to face and feel and welcome in. It is telling you something. It is life saying, “No. I will not contain myself. I will not kill myself slowly in this lifetime. I will keep a bookmark here, I will keep a placeholder so that when I grow completely tired of this charade, I will find myself again and I will fly free.”

Listen for these words in your own true voice.

And when you grow tired, you can fly free. Eros is pulsing. Love is always trying to make its way to freedom. Life will liberate itself when given the chance.

Eros is wholly unsatisfied when it burns hot and cannot flow. When it is kept down, kept quiet, kept submerged. Like lava, it will erupt. And then it will flow into the world, making new earth, making new life, creating as life as life does.

You are no different than Pele. You are no different than that hot intensity waiting to become new earth. You are life and there is nothing wrong with you or with your desire to be fully, wholly, and holy alive.

Everything in your glorious nature knows how to flow. A bit of loving attention with that voice inside of you that wants to contain you (because it is trying to protect you) and you are set free. Believe me. We are very much alike. We are family, the human kind, and we must guide each other to back to our own kind of flight – human flight – the billowing forth of love’s desire to both express and know the joy of this profound unfolding.

I know this. I’ve done this. Find your way to freedom.

We will become free, together.

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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.

***

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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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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The Honor of Living Her

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I’m sharing something pretty personal here, but it feels important to write about this.

My entire journey of writing at Unabashedly Female has been to document and share my journey of awakening the feminine principle within myself. I didn’t really know what I was doing in the beginning — I just followed my instinct. But what I did know from the beginning was that I was to write about my own journey rather than blogging about things that would teach you, my readers, things. Now I truly know that this IS how we learn — by sharing with each other our own experiences. And we only learn it if we share the truth with each other.

Last summer, I reworked my website, JulieDaley.com. I decided that it was time to use my name rather than Unabashedly Female and that the revised site should in some way bridge the two different types of work I do — one around the awakening feminine, the other around creativity and leadership in organizations and in the world at large. At this time, I started to post less often here, as you probably noticed.

This decision had something deeper behind it that I didn’t fully see at the time. It is this deeper thing that I want to share here. But first…

My journey into the feminine began decades ago…or I imagine lifetimes ago, really. I know I was aware when I was young and then I took on the head trip that I saw going on around me. I disconnected from the joy and love that I knew was in my heart, from my own soul. It’s what we do.

But then my husband died suddenly. That sent me into great grief and a glimmer of a longing that had been showing itself in slight glimpses to me throughout my life began to grow stronger. I began to follow this longing to know something that I had no clear conscious remembrance of but knew somewhere deep in my bones.

I don’t really remember the moment when I realized it was the feminine. I suppose it doesn’t matter, really. I do remember, though, the moment my journey deepened into the journey of Eros, which IS the feminine principle according to Carl Jung.

But what I want to share here is how hard it has been to accept the feminine within me. To not judge or criticize the feminine within me. It has been so unconscious, and only recently have I come to see how deeply I have the conditioned inclination to distrust, to denigrate, to disown the aspects of the feminine that are truly beautiful and exactly what we need to embody in these times of challenge. When I saw this over this past few weeks, I began to feel so bad about doing this, but then realized, of course, that would just double up on the judgment. Instead, I have been actively sitting with the critical judge within. And it is SO critical of the feminine.

I find this amazing. That I have worked so hard to awaken to and embody the feminine. That I find these aspects within myself so incredibly beautiful. What has been hard to do is stand for what she is. There are great forces – in both men and women – who still do not value the feminine, and now I see how deeply this is ingrained.

Perhaps this is why it has been so hard for me, and perhaps for you, too – so that we can truly have compassion for all of us – both women and men – as we do what it takes to begin to stand firm in our love for her and for all of life.

I came to the realization that my trying to bridge two worlds was a way to NOT bring the fullness of the feminine that lies within me forth into my work. She is at the heart of my work. I was hedging, hesitating.  I see, now, that it is up to me to do my best to make it accessible and understandable to people who truly are hungry for this work, and people who hold these judgments as well.

What matters is that I bring forth what is within me because, as it is written in the Gospel of Thomas,

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” 

And not bringing this forth has begun to destroy me in ways that I had not seen, but now do.

I’m sharing it here because I know I am not alone. The deep feminine is showing herself in so many of us, if not all of us in some way. It is so easy to fall into the cultural, patriarchal trap of denigrating the feminine within ourselves.

I worked hard for decades doing deep spiritual work to awaken to her. It is crazy how strong the fear of living Her can be. The feminine is needed as she is, not as we wish her to be or as we wish we were to be. She is needed through us as she is and as we are.

It is an honor. I feel a newfound dignity within me, a newfound determination to live what is within me and what I worked so hard to awaken to.

Will you join me? Or perhaps I am joining you!

Either way, we emerge together, embodying and honoring, Her.

One more thing. I am mostly blogging now on my other site, JulieDaley.com and will now be writing more of what I wrote here. For now, I will leave this site here and perhaps occasionally post. I am not sure what to do with the postings here. They are a beautiful archive of many years of my life and my journey. If you have any ideas, let me know. If you receive these posts by email, you’ll be added to my new list since now the content will be similar.

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Sustaining the Web of Existence, Human & Otherwise

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What happens when human beings come to believe we do not matter? That we are needed for others but there is little to no need or use for what is within us?

What happens when we live our lives believing that who and what we are is not worthy of love? That there is something fundamentally wrong with us?

What happens to our connection to the whole? And what happens to the whole when this happens?

Our sense of disconnection as human beings doesn’t just affect our own psyches. It weakens the fabric of life, the web of human existence, and the web of existence itself.

This is much of what we are experiencing now on Earth. A weakened fabric of human existence and a weakened connection to the Earth and all that is sacred. We can’t necessarily see it in the physical realm, although we experience the disconnection from each other (and even from ourselves). But I see and feel it internally, on the inner planes.

I see and feel it and now know this because this was my experience — and I know I am not alone by a long shot. I sense the majority of human beings feel this way in varying degrees. I don’t know many who’ve been raised to truly know they matter not in spite of who they are but exactly as they are. That there is a place for them because they are who they are, exactly as they are.

As a young girl…

Growing up in a family with a lot of dysfunction, I came to believe I did not matter. This sounds dramatic, but I don’t mean it as drama. I am not saying my parents or the other adults in my life ever said that. They didn’t. Rather, it was the belief I came to hold about myself because of what I experienced.

We were a deeply disconnected family: emotionally, physically, and psychically. And that disconnection took hold in my soul. The soul longs for connection. Young children need to be connected. We, humans, hunger for connection. And when it’s not there as young children, we believe it has something to do with us. Children are self-referential. We make it about us because we desperately need to believe in the strength and wholeness of our parents and caregivers.

This belief ran deep. The wound was painful and it wasn’t until very recently that I saw it for what it was and is. What I now see is how disconnected I became from my instincts and from life. Our instincts come out of our connection to the instinctive nature of life and I became disconnected from my body and from the Earth.

As a very young girl, I see how my belief caused me to energetically and psychically disconnect from the fabric of life. I turned away from my own worthiness. I turned away from the Source of Life that gives me life. We don’t (necessarily) die when we do that, but we leave our existence by ‘going way’. By disassociating. By isolating. By numbing out with substance(s) or things we do repeatedly to get away from the pain of this sense of not mattering, of not being worthy of love.

And when I healed this wound of disconnection I saw how my connection to the web of life grew stronger.

Everything is interconnected in this web of life, but it is more than simply interconnected.

Everything on the web is the whole and at the same time is simply itself. This is what a hologram is — each part contains the whole.

“Thus each individual is at once the cause for the whole and is caused by the whole, and what is called existence is a vast body made up of an infinity of individuals all sustaining each other and defining each other. The cosmos is, in short, a self-creating, self-maintaining, and self-defining organism.” Francis Dojun Cook

If we come to believe we don’t matter (or we aren’t lovable or we aren’t enough or we aren’t ‘however you have this one wired’), and/ or we treat others as if they do not matter, then we aren’t being sustained and we aren’t sustaining each other. This is part of our job here on Earth — to sustain each other, to keep the web healthy and whole, to grow a vibrant community — and to be powerful, loving stewards to all of life.

We were created to be what we are.

If we come to live a belief that what we are and how we were created does not matter to creation itself, then we are weakening the strength of our link to the whole and the whole suffers for it. But when we are in the pain of the wound, we cannot see this.

While everything is connected, something profoundly damaging happens when we come to believe we are not…and that we aren’t worthy of this connection. This connection is sacred and when it is weakened we weaken our remembrance of the sacred in everyday life.

I can see it, but I still find this hard to put into words, to be honest.

But this matters greatly. Our human community must be strong and vital to evolve out of this mess we are in. We must be strong and vital to come to care for the whole of life as stewards on this planet. We cannot be strong and vital if we continue to live this western, patriarchal way of devaluing so many.

We don’t have to live as numb human beings, but to make the change we do have to learn how to feel and that means being willing to feel.

I am but one human being who has grown up in a kind of culture that devalues the incredible singularity, diversity, and creativity of each human being. My upbringing and family life were a reflection of this culture. My parents were/are good people, but they, too, were raised in a culture is deeply disconnected from this web of life.

Every human being not only matters; their voice, creativity, and uniqueness are vital to the health of the whole, and to the strength of the fabric that holds us all together. And many who are not in positions of power or privilege have been silenced, traumatized, and denigrated terribly.

Moving forward…

As leaders, we must ensure inclusion and diversity, as well as provide the opportunity for everyone to rediscover what they truly are and that what they truly are matters to the whole of life. As leaders, our job is to midwife this essential creative nature and create a culture in which people are free to express it. We need everyone’s creative genius in order to move forward. We need everyone’s happiness from being connected to the whole. We need connection, period.

We must come to know and live the truth that the expression of every human being, including that of our own, is sacred and vital to the well-being of the whole of human existence, and the whole of existence itself.

***

If you’re interested in finding out more about what I offer, including my one-on-one coaching and Writing Raw circles (current circle is still open for registration), please visit me at JulieDaley.com.

 

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Beautifully Intertwined: the Call to Return Home and the Call to Become.

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At this point in my life,

I realize I am not who I once was. Age-wise, body-wise, that’s pretty clear. But what has become really clear is realizing I am not who I continue to believe I am.

Or perhaps what is truer is that I am not who I continue to believe I once told myself I was.

Let me break it down.

Since 1995 when my husband died suddenly, and if I am truthful beginning way before that in a much more subtle way, I’ve been searching for something. Searching spiritually. Searching emotionally. Searching intellectually. Searching soulfully. A whole lot of searching following a deep, deep longing within me to get somewhere, to become someone, to know something. To arrive…

I’ve come a long way. I am not the same person I was when I began. The search has taken me places. Places of insights and understanding. Places of connection to others, to life, and to the earth that I could never have dreamed would happen ahead of time. I feel more grounded and aware than I have ever before. But I realized this morning that I’ve never truly stopped to acknowledge who I have become…or perhaps better said, the growth and expansion I have come to see reflected in my sense of who I truly am…when I am awake and aware to who I truly am.

This is the expansion and growth of the soul.

Up until this point,

I’ve known that the search many of us go on is a ‘going home’, a return to a wholeness that we’ve always ‘been’ but had to slice apart in our psyche in order to survive.  We sliced apart and then hid the pieces that didn’t seem to be acceptable to those who were responsible for keeping us safe.

But on this path of remembering these lost aspects of self, we are also expanding and becoming. Returning and expansion. Remembrance and becoming.

We long to remember and we come to grow.

Let’s break it down further…

There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to get what it says it wants to get. A part that stays in the search. A part that believes there is a big empty hole inside, a sense of not enoughness, a sense of something lacking or missing. And even though this part, this aspect of the psyche, believes it wants to reach what it is searching for because then it will feel whole and enough, whatever it realizes and attains is never enough BECAUSE this part grew out of the belief of lack, out of the belief of not enoughness and woundedness.

The core of its identity IS the belief of lack or unworthiness or not-enoughness or even deep self-loathing.

This part of the psyche grew out of a sense of something missing. But it also has an argument with what it believes to be true – that it is not enough. This part argues for lack and against lack. It believes and it argues all at the same time.

The argument the part has IS wise. It knows something. That’s why when I work with clients I NEVER make the resistance wrong. We stop. We come closer to it. We listen and learn so that it can be liberated.

This part isn’t logical and it is dysfunctional in the way it is attempting to function. In a very basic way, this part (many parts really) is the ego structure. Because it identifies with lack and unworthiness, it doesn’t want to receive and take in anything that contradicts its identity, otherwise, it’s argument will no longer be viable and if the argument is no longer viable then it will cease to be relevant, cease to exist. This relevance to itself is important. It’s what keeps us in the cycle of behaviors that do not serve us. It keeps us believing we are something we are not. It keeps us safe in the way it needs to feel safe.

But here is what I just realized. This part, while it keeps us searching, also keeps us from acknowledging our own expansion and becoming.

This is key!

When we acknowledge how much we have grown and that we have become a fuller and richer soul through our growth, we align our identity, and therefore our choices and actions, with who and what we are growing into. And as we grow into this becoming of the soul, we flow toward a richer and fuller experience of life in this human body.

And so even as the ego self continues believing in its own lack and argument with life, if we desire expansion and move toward that expansion by moving with life in a way that grows us, we become more human which grows the soul. They can, and do, happen simultaneously.

We are not who we continue to believe we once told ourselves we were.

Beautifully intertwined, this searching IS both the call to return home and the call to become; both, together.  

***

I have coaching spots open and I would love to have 30 minutes of your time to see if you and I would work well together as client and coach. If you’d like the same, please connect with me here at JulieDaley.com to schedule a session. Trust me, you’ll find value in our time together.

 

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Balancing the Brain: You are the artist and you are art in the making.

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There is a deep space of mystery inside of you,

inside of me, inside of every one of us human beings. The cavern within is our inner world and it is the world of the ‘right brain’ – one way to speak of the mysterious nature of our consciousness.

Or as Gabrielle Roth wrote,

“Between the head and feet of any given person is a billion miles of unexplored wilderness.”

Yeah. That. That which we know exists but most of the time would rather not give any attention to.

Except…except when the hunger comes. That hunger that won’t let you alone even though you try to ignore it. That hunger that tells you there is so much more to who you are than you believe to be so.

You know what I’m referring to, right? It’s only you and me here. You can acknowledge it and no one has to know.

There is a deep hunger within us to remember. To remember what we once knew we are and how we once lived as the light of stars and the dark of night and traveled lifetimes of changing tides and shifting seasons.

We are always, hungrily, calling to ourselves to remember. A hunger so deep and real – much more real than what you are sitting on right now reading these words.

“…this is one of the really important things about art, that you can make more than you can understand at the moment the thing is being made. But the gap between what we recognize inside ourselves – our feelings- and our ability to trust ourselves and to trust exposing ourselves to those ideas, can be great.” Emmet Gowin

I saved this article years ago and still have it to this day, for it reminds me in a way that few others do of the artist in each of us that must come alive if we are to live here on earth and not just exist in numbness throughout our days.

These words cut to the quick every single time I read them…

“The fact that something is unsayable, that you are emotionally restricted from saying or even recognizing consciously what your own spirit is struggling with, energizes one’s work. That is exactly where good work comes from.” Emmet Gowin

As a teacher of art, Gowin says…

“But that’s a parental emotion at work when one says I don’t want a student to be trapped. The truth is, I’d be perfectly happy if they would be “trapped” within the experience their own authentic difficulties. If they would be trapped on their own, then any freedoms they discovered would be their own. Which is what interests me, because I believe that the joy of your own discovery is what confirms your own aliveness, your own value.

“So in this sense it’s cool to be wrong. It’s so essential, so necessary. It’s so appropriate to be confused, to be muddled, to be unsure. We preach clarity. Get your ideas organized. Get your thinking straight. And it’s the kind of stuff we all got from our parents, because that’s the role of parents. But it is the aliveness of the unguarded intuition and the persistence of our own feelings that guide us to our discoveries.”

I believe that the joy of your own discovery is what confirms your own aliveness, your own value.”

Gowin speaks as a teacher but coaching is the same. I am both a coach and an educator and nothing gives me more joy than to experience a client or student sit in their own confusion while I hold the space of love and we, together, close the gap between when they are conscious of and what is struggling to be known and remembered.

Even when it is uncomfortable, and especially when it is uncomfortable, what is unveiled is the act of remembering and it is the deep awakening to more aliveness in our lives.

What is the feeling of coming directly into contact with that unexplored territory?

How does that moment feel inside of you when you come face-to-face with the dark reflection of that well looking down into what seems to be an endless mystery?

This remembrance. This uncovering and discovery. This feeling of aliveness and value, it is the essence of art-making. You are the artist and you are art in the making.

Here’s the thing, though…

This isn’t about art in the traditional sense. This is about opening up your awareness of the capacities of your right brain and coming into a balance between the parts of your brain, a balance where there is great respect for all of your capacities. Most of the time, we incessantly judge the capacities of the right brain. We are constantly reminded taught that rational thought and logic are much more valuable. But the truth is, we need our wholeness to live lives where we feel alive. And we need cooperation between the different capacities of our being in order to be happy, creative, innovative, people who are in conscious action in the world.

Balancing the Brain:
I currently have two ways to work with me:

One-on-one coaching

  • for individuals who want to go deep into self, into the body and the heart, and into the beautiful mystery within. (It’s not as scary as it sounds!)
  • for leaders: those who are interested in diving deeper into their personal leadership.

I hold a tremendously safe place of love for transformation.

In my fourteen years of experience as a coach, this is what clients are truly seeking. Yes, we look at goals and intentions. Yes, we see progress and completion as important to the work. But underneath the achievement of truly satisfying goals is this deeper work, for nothing truly satisfies if it doesn’t feed your deepest hunger.

You are the artist and you are art in the making. You are remembering yourself into balance. And coaching is a powerful cauldron that can support your discovery.

Writing Raw

daisysummerWRA six-week circle for women to access the deep voice within. Yes, we do it through words, but the process works for any inner exploration to uncover the source and voice of your deepest self. You DO NOT need to be a writer.

I lead you into the great wilderness within you…the place where you can finally come home to the voice you’ve been longing to hear.

We begin on Tues, June 27th. Read more and register here.

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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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