Body and Moon, Cycles and Rhythms



At the bottom of this post, I ask questions of you that I’d really love to hear your wisdom on. I hope you’ll share.


In our current faced-paced, and growing faster each day, culture, for the most part we ignore nature’s cycles and rhythms. Most of the rhythms we do follow are man-made: our current-day calendar, 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday, and school to work to retirement, to name a few.

Yet, life moves in rhythms and cycles that are tuned in to each other. The tides follow the moon, birds sing wildly (like they are doing outside my living room window right now) each spring, and women’s bodies for much of one’s life have a cycle that allows it to be a receptive home to new life coming into being.

Painting by my Great-Grandmother from 1899

Somewhere, sometime a while back, I considered how my monthly cycle was tied to the moon. I’m not sure where I read it. I know I didn’t learn it from my mother or in school. And, after my surgically induced menopause at the age of 29,

I never considered, nor was I counseled to consider in my process of recovery, that as I no longer had a cycle, I could follow the moon’s phases instead. I wish I’d known this. Looking back over the past 27 years since my surgery, I can see how I’ve floated a bit, meaning I haven’t really been grounded in a rhythm.

Why is that important? Because as a woman, I am deeply in tune with the earth and with life, and when my own cycle ended with that big long incision, my deeper relationship with life and the earth was cut, too.

Of course, we don’t have to have everything removed to lose touch with our own connection to our body, and in response the connection between our body and the earth. Just living in a culture that no longer thinks of the earth as a living, breathing being causes us to not consider such things.


Just yesterday, as part of Sara Avant Stover’s “I Heart My Moon Cycle” month, she shared a video I shot while I was on Molokai. For these 28 days, Sara is sharing stories from 28 women about their moon cycles. I wondered about participating, since I don’t have a cycle…technically, that is. But Sara encouraged me to share, wanting to have stories from women who are in all of the phases of life.

Last week, after years of knowing each other online, I got to spend time with Sara in the flesh. We took a leasurely walk, along with my dear friend, Tara Mohr, into the Presidio land, here in San Francisco. We talked of many things. What I loved, though, was getting to know her presence, getting to feel how she moves through the world grounded in her body. And, we talked about what it means to move with the cycles of the moon when a woman no longer has her own internal cycle. Thank you, Sara, for opening me to consider how my life might be more supported by moving with the cycles of the moon.

Since that day last week, I’ve been contemplating this for my life – what it would mean to move with the cycles of the moon. And, since Sara released my video, I’ve received inquires from other women on how I know when to rest if my body no longer has a cycle. And the answer is, I haven’t know when to rest. I keep moving through my days, as if there is no cycle.

What this brings up for me is wonder about how many ways are we tied to the earth and the moon even if we don’t know it. How are our bodies interacting with the cycles of life, even if and when we continue to move with the culturally constructed rhythms that most likely do not support our full health, full creativity, and full happiness?

I know that simply by being, we can feel our connection to all of life. Our bodies can guide us to remember and re-member. I know how important this is for me as I get older, to listen to the rhythms so that I don’t get so overtired from constantly moving, and just as importantly so that I fully embody the gifts of womanhood, gifts that I am hungering for, and that the world itself is hungering for.

The rhythms and cycles are important to my creativity and what I desire for my work in the world, as well as to the creativity of our world at large.

So my questions of you are:

How do you move with the cycles and rhythms of your body, and the bodies of nature?

If you are in menopause, what cycles speak to you?

If you had a hysterectomy and are not yet in age-related menopause, what have you discovered? I really want to know.

I want to hear your wisdom. I know it will help me to listen to mine.


I hope you’ll take a look at the stories that women are sharing on Sara’s site. And, I hope you take a few moments to listen to mine. I share a few intimate stories. And, if you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear the birdsong of the island all around me.

image: This image is part of a painting done by my great-grandmother, Clarissa Ruh. I sense she was in touch with the moon.


Creation and the Bedroom



Today, Wild Writing took me here. The poem that ignited this piece was ‘Domestic’ by Deborah Landau. Catalyst phrases from the poem by Deborah Landau are in pink.


I like the bedroom man.
Take me to the door.
Take me.

Something longs inside me. Or is it something calls to me from inside? A longing that is sensuous in its flavor.

When I follow, I land down somewhere in my sacral bowl, sacral for sacred because it is so. The landing is clear and simple, but the way to getting there is anything but.

Down in this bowl where darkness reigns, there is a sweet intoxication, lover and beloved wrapped around each other, not even close to the clump of matter I used to think existed in this place inside my body.

Dakrness as in creation, not as in the many ways we sometimes see this place in a woman’s body.
Creation. A bowl. Ingredients stirred. Something grows.

Banana blossom

* I’m thinking about the orchard, how each morning I’d take my basket and wind my way down to the first tree along the path. Bright yellow bumpy lemons. Not once did She drop one for me to gather. I shook her, yet there was no letting go. Next, avocado and mangos. After the wild winds, the avocados, bigger than my two fists together, would lie waiting for me, sometimes with rat gnashes all around one end. Bananas. Papayas. Nonis.

The citrus trees showed me something. I will never forget. Limes, lemons, grapefruits, and oranges of all sizes and shapes, colors and textures; except for the limes, it was hard to tell what was what. And even then, the limes weren’t always green.

One grapefruit in particular taught me how we can be so many colors and not one at all. Pink, green, orange, yellow, and red spread out around its weighty sphere. I relished how She paints the canvas of her creation. I cried at how she holds on until we are ready to be birthed, picked up, appreciated, held, then eaten and enjoyed. Such intricate and supremely intelligent beauty She creates.

* A few hours later, after my harvest in the orchard, just on the edge of town, I drive by the uber-uniformed rows of corn plants, so closely planted there is no room for the wild wind to shake them.

Exactly the same height.
Exactly the same width.
Exactly the same.
Places please.

A cold shiver runs through me as I witness the raping of Mother Nature.

There is no surprise, no collage of color, no bumpy skin, no gangley, gnarly diversity.

There is only same.

Uniformed acquiescence created by the man who knows nothing of the bedroom.

I weep. We are out of order but not broken.


 * My first shared words from my recent time on Molokai.


When the Soul Ripens



It’s been just about two weeks since my return from Molokai. Things that I experienced there have been ripening inside me. The land holds you. I felt as if I was being pulled down into it. My time there was rich and fertile, salty and soft.

Many of you who followed along with me during this time discovered what it is to belong to the land where you are. Each land has its own power. I’ve wondered what you discovered about your land, both body and place.

We are a land unto ourselves. Our bodies are graced with hills and valleys, sweet water and stars in our eyes.

On Molokai, I saw double rainbows, watched shooting stars, listened to the birdsong, and walked on the land.

I sat with really lovely, beautiful women, and bathed in open-air tubs.

I felt the softness of the ocean water, water that touched and caressed me in ways my body has longed for.

I ate the most divine food straight out of a garden so filled with love that it radiated through the bell-graced gates.

I stood in the swirl of wind and saltwater where Maui, Lanai, and Molokai meet. Here, I felt energy so strong that I felt fully alive, fully pulsing. I felt a joy of connecting, a joy of opening to the wild forces that are bountiful in a place such as Hawaii.

I felt loved. Land and water and sunshine can do that. Place has power. It has character. It is love.

And in all these things…

Something deep awakened and stirred within me…the wildness of my own soul.

I haven’t quite known how to write about my time on Molokai. Yes, I shared my day-to-day with you. And, other more personal things that occurred have continued to stir deep within the cells of this body and soul.

It is good to wait for the ripening before we speak, write or share about something that has not yet worked its way to fruition.

As I felt words stirring and the desire to write, I was listening to this song, Where Soul Meets Body by Catie Curtis. It’s one of the songs on one of the playlists from the Awaken the Wild eCourse.

As I listened to the lyrics, I realized they were telling the story of my experience of opening to this wild place where soul meets body of self and earth, this place where I came to know the land of my body and the land of the earth as one.

“I want to live where soul meets body
And let the sun wrap its arms around me and
Bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing
And feel
Feel what its like to be new…”

I feel new. I feel reborn. I let the sun wrap its arms around me.

“So brown eyes I’ll hold you near.”

I saw, and now see, the brown eyes of this body in the mirror, again, anew each day as if for the first time.

“So brown eyes I’ll hold you near
Cause you’re the only sound I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through this atmosphere.”

Like beautiful globes of fruit, we ripen as we live. We are filled with juice so sweet and love so deep. Coming to know oneself anew is learning to listen to the sound of your own voice, the beat of your  heart, the longing in your belly, the calling of your own soul…the melody that only you are singing.

This is the divine spark within you that sings the song you are here to sing.

“…if the silence takes you,
Then I hope it takes me too.”

This relationship within, between lover and beloved, is the virgin reborn, a woman coming to know herself unto herself. Standing on her own, a whole being, she can truly be in relationship with a world longing to love her.

I do believe its true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too

So brown eyes I’ll hold you near
Cause you’re the only sound I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through this atmosphere

And, even though we walk our own paths and have miles to go, we can meet in this place. If the silence takes you, I long to have it take me, too. I can hold you. Here we stand together, whole women, each of us unto ourselves, learning to be wholly and holy real with each other. We’re discovering this together.

And, in this discovery, we also learn how to be wholly and holy real with men, in whatever way we find ourselves in relationship with them.

Whole beings knowing, honoring and loving whole beings.

And, You?

What’s the melody softly soaring through the atmosphere of your soul? Quiet the inner voices that fear you hearing the song you are here to sing, and take some time to listen. ‘Cause I want to hear you sing it.


I couldn’t find a great version of Catie singing this song, and even though this is a Death Cab for Cuties song, I love her version. And, if you want to hear the audio, please sign up for Awaken the Wild. It’s my treat. Women and men have loved, and are loving, this eCourse. I hope you will and do.



To Live as I Dance


A river so deep

Since I’ve been back from Molokai, I’ve been out of sorts.

Molokai is a powerful place. The land there speaks to the soul in a language my mind neither hears nor understands. My soul did, and does, and it’s insisting on changing the status quo.

I discovered an affinity for the land. Yes, I totally had it before…a longing for the land of Hawaii. Now, I know there is a deep river that runs between my soul and that land. A river so deep that the conversation continues even when my body is back home, so many miles away.

So all I can do is dance to the new rhythm pouring forth. I know how to let go into the dance, to trust the dance. For this, I am grateful.

When I first started dancing ten years ago, I had to force myself to stay. I would go, wanting to be there, but when I got there, another voice inside would want to leave right away. I was embarrassed to move, embarrassed to trust my own body’s way of expression.

It took months for me to soften to my own expression enough so that this internal battle began to die down. It took years to begin to feel such deep joy that now feel. It took time and trust. Trust in the dance. Trust in my body. Trust in the soul’s call to the dance floor.

Now, I know how to let go into the dance. For this, I will always be grateful.

I now see there is no difference between the dance floor and the earth’s floor. To live as I dance is now what I hunger for.

Who cares what others think? Do we really care? Deep down inside, do we really care what others think? That fear swims on the surface, but way deep inside where the soul clamors to be free, do we really care? Will that fear of judgment keep us from experiencing the pure joy of movement, of expression, of gratitude for the gift of being alive?


And, you?

The soul guides us to rise up and embody our own beauty and nobility.

It pushes and prods. It calls and yearns, and somehow, somewhere, and in some way we begin to listen.

How is your soul guiding you to move? To listen? To touch? To love? To express?

Somewhere within, you feel the call. So dance. Just dance. With music. Without music. It makes no difference.



Dance when you’re broken open.
Dance when you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you’re perfectly free.
Struck, the dancer hears a tambourine inside her,
like a wave that crests into foam at the very top,
Maybe you don’t hear that tambourine,
or the tree leaves clapping time.
Close the ears on your head,
that listen mostly to lies and cynical jokes.
There are other things to see, and hear.
Music. Dance.
A brilliant city inside your soul!





Thank you to Charlie Korda for sharing this video and poem.


The True Mother Within



Mother – never our ideal, never that whom we hoped for…really hoped for.

I learned this as my mother was dying. I realized she would never be what I had always hoped she would be. No mother can, nor will. No human can fill that mother longing within us. We mothers try. We mothers fall short. We mothers beat ourselves up for this.

What mother can?

This past week, I was held in the lap of this mother that is the bountiful presence that births life. She is the tree whose arms wrapped around space like a vine wraps itself around the trellis. She is the sky whose stars shot through the night sky. She is the garden, whose birthing beds produced a magical harvest. She is the silkiest, saltiest water to ever embrace this woman’s body.

This past week, I was held in the lap of Molokai. This magical island is deeply rooted and grounded. Her energy is of the earth in a way there are no words to describe. She is wild and untamed and I came to know this place within myself – wild and untamed.

What if she is the creator, the One that gives birth to all that is?

What if she holds all the world’s children?

What if this mother is the mother you long for, the mother that can hold you in the ways you long to be held, can hear you in the ways you long to be heard, can touch you in the ways you long to be touched?

What if She is the only mother who can do so?

How would your life change if you came to know this?

How would your relationship with your human mother change?

How would your relationship change with yourself, and with the world, if you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are already held in the most bountiful lap, the most embraceable hug, the most adoring look possible?

This Mother’s Day, may you know Her embrace; may you know her bounty, may you know her adoration, may you know her love. May you come to know that your human mother cannot fill your deepest cravings to be mothered – but the Mother can and she is here, right now, holding you in her most bountiful lap. And it is through Her embrace that we remember the true mother within.

May we offer gratitude and love to our beautiful and bountiful Mother Earth…and to all the world’s mothers.



Awaken the Wild: a 7-Day Virtual Sensual Immersion from Molokai



Molokai is a wild island.

Travel with me to Molokai. Virtually.

I recently traveled to this wild island where I dropped down into the land, and into a women’s retreat.

There, I was deeply held by the Aina.

Aina is the Hawaiian word for land. ‘Respect the Aina’ is a phrase I repeatedly heard when I stayed in Hana on the wet side of Maui last summer.

While I was in retreat on this magical land, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to not only share my experience with you, but also invite you into your own virtual retreat, a retreat that takes you deep into your body and your sensory sensual experience with the land. 

Now, you can take this 7-Day virtual retreat to reawaken the wildness in you and deepen your own connection with the land on which you live.

Are you interested in Living Pono?

‘Pono’ means respect or honor and another Hawaiian phrase is, ‘Live Pono’, meaning Respect your land/home. Live with honesty.

The land on which we live is always inviting us to remember her, to respect her, to witness and give thanks for how she holds us.

May we all learn to respect the land and live with honesty… and, I’m talking about living Pono with regard to your body, your own sacred land.

When you register for this complimentary eCourse, each day you’ll receive an email with a link to a private page where I share pieces of what I experienced on this sacred land and offer ideas and guidance for how you can bring the same awareness to your own connection with the land. These include:

  • Audio reflections of the island and how place has such a deep impact on us.
  • Practices to bring you deeper into the wild within you.
  • Insights on the wild nature life.
  • Questions for you to contemplate.
  • Other yet to be known island morsels…

This will be a completely individual opportunity for you to take your inward retreat. What I share is a beginning point for you to go inward into your own sacred land.

Every inch of the earth, every acre of sky, every drop of the sea is sacred. And just as it is ‘out there’, so it is within you – sacredness in every cell of your being.

This experience will unfold as you go, awakening you to all of your senses and deepening your relationship with the earth.

Please join me and have this eCourse sent right to your virtual door!


“Julie is sensuality incarnate, wrapped in love.” ~Tanya Geisler

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