Woman to Woman – Revealing Our Radiance

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Alla Sera
In my last post, Weaving a New World, I speak of telling a new story.

The story we’ve been living is not our own. It is one of conditioned behavior and beliefs. It is one of power over. It does not serve life – it attempts to dominate it.

This old story keeps us hiding our light, playing down our instinctive nature, not trusting our intuition. It keeps us ashamed of our sensuality and sexuality. It constantly reminds us that we can’t trust femaleness, either in ourselves or in other women.

This old story keeps us believing so many untruths. It keeps us in chains, so that our wildness remains tamed rather than free to express, create and love.

A new story

There is a fullness in all of life. It’s a power, a life force, a presence that simply can’t be put into words. There is no word, for words are removed from this fullness. Words are one-dimensional and this fullness is infinite.

This fullness is the new story.

This new story is a story of truth. When we tell our story, the truth of our experience, we are telling the story of life as it really moves and flows and loves.

The other day,

my friend and I were having an intimate conversation, both sharing things about ourselves and our lives that we’d not yet told each other. It was really lovely.

Then, my friend shared a deeper story, a story that was filled with an intimacy and vulnerability rarely shared in our world. The story had been kept close to her heart. It was tender. It was compelling.

As she began to speak, her body began to sway ever so slightly, her hands began to express what her words could not convey, her eyes closed as she felt into her story.

Words attempt to describe what we long to express, yet they cannot ever capture the experience itself. In watching her body tell the story, and in feeling her story in my body, I began to know the depths of what she was wanting to convey.

As she sat in silence once she was done, I spoke to her of the power of what she had shared, the powerful effect it had on me. I spoke to her of her brilliance and how compelling she was in her rawness and complete nakedness. I shared with her that her radiance was visible and palpable because of her vulnerability.

I watched as she heard what I was saying to her about the beauty of her soul. As she took in my words, her tears began to flow, as if something began to release in her.

The effect on me was profound. It felt as if the effect was profound on her, too.

I witnessed the struggle we go through to allow ourselves to acknowledge our sacredness, our beauty and worth. It was humbling to see how powerful our resistance is to acknowledging our own basic goodness. And, it was deeply moving to see, once again, how incredibly important it is for each of us to give the gift of witnessing and reflecting another woman’s beauty and worth.

How we long to relax into our own beauty.

How we long to settle into our sacredness.

How we long to trust what we know somewhere in the depths of our soul…that our sacredness is both exquisite and ordinary just as we are.

Despite what the old story tells us, vulnerability is powerful.

Despite what the old story says, telling another woman what you see in her, the beauty of the truth within her, doesn’t take anything from you, but rather is a powerful gift to both of you.

Despite what the old story says, when we tell our stories from our bodies, allowing the soul to speak in ways other than words, we begin to remember the deeper aspects and places of womanhood.

I’ve been lucky.

Not only did this friend offer herself as a mirror to me, I’ve had other friends willing to be this mirror, too. Women I know and love are willing to share with me what they see in me, and it’s had a profound effect on me, helping me grow into a woman with increased self-confidence and radiance.

While I’ve also had men who’ve loved me share with me, too, when women share something else comes alive. Things hidden that have been hidden are revealed. Things pushed into the dark have come into the light. A knowing of the feminine has come awake again in my cellular memory. And the light of the new feminine consciousness has grown just a little bit brighter.

When we trust ourselves, we can be mirrors to each other’s beauty. We can help each other remember what we believe we’ve forgotten.

This beauty also includes those things we don’t normally call beautiful. When someone reveals themselves, even in their anger and fear, sadness and grief, that is beauty, for we only really know true beauty when something or someone is real.

I know for me, each time I am invited into the holiness of a moment such as this, something previously hidden in me is revealed, for in these moments we are open to the grace that is always here.

Photo by Alessandro Pinna. CC license – AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved

 

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On The Edge Of Wholeness

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Pink Tulip

Lately, my posts have been flowing one from another, as if writing one allows an insight to surface and wash over me. It feels sort of like a scavenger hunt, where one clue leads to the next, and that one to the next. Maybe that’s not the best analogy, but close enough…

After writing my last post, The You That Takes Your Breath Away, I remembered something I wrote a few years back. It was never shared here on my blog. In fact, I don’t think I shared it with anyone. At the time, what I was writing felt too close to my heart to make known to others. Sometimes, this is exactly what needs to happen; we need to not speak those moments of insight so that they continue to work their way through us.

What I wrote to myself was sparked by this passage from , “Shadow Dance” by David Richo:

“We can even declare that we are what Byron saw: ‘a rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded.” Eventually we realize that whatever in us has remained folded up is really that about us that was never loved. This is the sadness in the folded rose of ourselves. What was not confirmed and loved by others, especially our parents, did not have full permission to emerge. It is up to us to find this confirmation now from within ourselves, our relationships, and our spirituality. Joy results from permission to unfold.” (pg 110-111).

“Joy results from permission to unfold.” Wow. How powerful this statement is.

We are the only ones that can give ourselves permission to do this – to unfold those oh so sweet leaves of our being, those that hid away because, for whatever reason, it didn’t feel safe.

Now, we are adults. Now, we can hold these sweet and tender places within our own heart, hear what they have to say and give them permission to unfold, permission to be seen. Perhaps, being seen first by ourselves is the greatest gift we can give to them.

With this permission comes joy. And peace. And, as these parts come back into the light, wholeness naturally occurs.

The other piece is about the exquisiteness of vulnerability. Complete unfolding brings no more separation. When we open to the fullest extent possible, nothing hidden, petals outstretched, there is no longer anything that knows separation, and this can be frightening as hell.

But, our lives are really about the flower unfolding. We yearn to unfold, to blossom into complete nakedness, raw vulnerability that allows one to be seen and known.

This ripe blossoming is also the very last step before the petals fall and the blossom dies. This is our return to the whole, the moment of wholeness that is simply a breath away from death, where death ends our separation from the whole.

At the singular moment when we unfold every ounce of our being and exist at the height of vulnerability, that of out-stretched petals, we know our sense of separate self will fall away. When nothing is hidden, we can no longer be separate. In our complete vulnerability, we open to all and to everything.

There is a peak of each blossom, when it is poised at its pinnacle of beauty. This is our moment of realization of all that we really are. In this moment, our sense and identity as a separate flower falls away and we let go into our true identity as all that is.

When our petals fall and decay, we can grow into the fullness of a human being, wise and unconditionally loving, for who we now know ourselves to be is the life force that compelled the flower to emerge, bud and blossom, the instinctive drive to open fully to the light, the air, the wind, and all of the world around us.

The edge of wholeness, this edge of ripe beauty, happens many, many times, over and over, until we know ourselves to be the beauty itself. Nothing lasts forever. And, it’s in this knowing of our ephemeral nature, that we know what it is to be fully alive.

So, here is what I wrote, back a few years ago:

On The Edge Of Wholeness

Standing on the threshold of the one true moment of existence
I know myself as both blossom and the urge to bloom.
Every ounce of my journey has been to unfold
To follow the blueprint of this flower
From young rosy bud to powerfully stretched petals
From nubile possibility to the height of complete engagement.

As my petals open to the arc of full bloom
my arms stretch open wide and vulnerable
my chest aches with joy and
I am completely available to Life.

It is in this moment of complete openness
I know that I have loved to wholeness
Every ounce of who I am
Even those parts that once felt impossible to love.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of Being
I realize the natural path of this process and
begin to feel the life force that has propelled
my unfolding welcoming me home.

I know there is this one moment
When my petals are at the height of ripeness
The height of the arc of fullness
just before  I turn to the face of release
This moment happens many, many times
And at the same time is a singular moment in my life

I can now see that petals falling is also an act of grace
For as I stand on this threshold of change
I realize it is only by being courageous enough to open
That I have come to know what I truly am

The sunlight and soil of grace have held my becoming all along
my urge to bloom was always at the heart of who and what I am
This urge to blossom is also my urge to return
To the one constant in all of Life, the very nature of all that is.

~ Julie Daley

Just look at the beauty of this inside of this flower. We would never see it if it remained closed.

Image: Pink Tulip by Julie Daley

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Digital Thank you Notes From the Edge of A New Decade

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Heart of Midlothian by Niffty on Flickr

image attribution

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Each day of December, I am being  moved to post by Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge:
Today is Day
28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?

::

I do love nice stationery, but this morning I don’t feel compelled to write on this. What I am compelled to do is celebrate and thank. This comes from two things: Gwen Bell’s post on How to Write Non-Digital Thank You Notes and my post from yesterday about social web moments and women connecting.

After I wrote yesterday’s post where I shared about the wonderful connections with women I have made during this year, I felt an urge to celebrate as many of these women in today’s post by thanking as many as I can for the gifts they’ve given me by sharing their personal experiences so vulnerably and beautifully. These women have also shared by coming to my blog, reading and leaving a thank you note to me in the form of a comment – something that lifted me and encouraged me to write with more courage and vulnerability myself.

This is my digital thank you note to you beautiful women. This is my celebration of you!

So, in no particular order at all, here’s to you beautiful women. I celebrate you and your voices of vulnerability and truth!:

Julie Jordan Scott: Passionately Creating

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: The Barefoot Heart

Karen Caterson: Square Peg People

Kathy Loh: Full Moon Path

Lena West: Xyno Media

Amy Oscar: Story, Spirit, Seed

Emma James: Pleasure Notes

Kelly Diels: Cleavage

Gwen Bell: Big Love in a Small World

Mynde Mayfield: m Squared

Bindu Wiles: The Awakened Life

Marjory Mejia: Sacred Flow

Lindsey Mead: A Design So Vast

Alana Sheeren: Whole Self Coach

Floreta: The Solitary Panda

RandiBuckley: Randi Buckley Coaching

Carrie Bouler: Different World

Dian Reid: Authentic Realities

Olive & Hope

Chris Zydel: Creative Juices Arts

Lisa Lauffer: Deep Waters Coaching

Alicia McLucas: Life Coach

Kate T.W.: Amusing Fire

Mary Liepold: Peace X Peace

Kate Moller: Team Northrup

Danielle Vieth: Team Northrup

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If you feel compelled, take a moment to check out these beautiful women and the work they do in the world. It is an honor and pleasure to know each of you. I look forward to our deepening friendship in this coming new decade.

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