Welcome to Day Twenty-Seven of this series!
It is a delight to introduce you to Julie Daley.
Here is an excerpt from Julie’s about page:
Do all of what you do with the great love that you are.
Teacher, writer, and coach, since 2003, I have led hundreds of people from all walks of life to awaken the soul–the source of true creative expression within.
As my own journey towards discovering the sacred feminine within deepens, I’m adapting all I’ve experienced and learned to create and offer courses and coaching that help guide women into their own internal landscape, a land where the sacred feminine makes herself known in Her own way.
We each have a blessing to give, and as women, a deeply instinctive, creative force that emits power beyond measure. It is my blessing to guide you to the heart of this sacred, creative nature, to help you manifest it with consciousness, and to support you in delivering to the world the gifts you were meant to give.
When I’m not working, I love dancing the 5Rhythms, writing prose and poetry, process painting, spending time with my grandchildren, and walking in this beautiful city I live in.
I was introduced to Julie’s work through Amy Oscar. At the time, I couldn’t identify with sacred feminine. The female role models I had in life all served others and world but also extolled sacrifice and I followed that until several years ago when my physical body said ‘no, more’ and I began opening to exploring other ways. I didn’t want to center into the idea I held of feminine because it involved great pain.
You can see, then, why Julie’s work and message would fascinate me. Julie is a wonderful guide – she shares her wisdom and experience in ways that resonate well with me – inviting me to center deeper into this natural knowing that my body has. And, I do. Last year, I participated in Julie’s Awaken the Wild and it was magnificent beyond words. It feels like everything Julie reflects and shares “awakens” something – so I know not to have distractions around me when I read her articles, I absorb it all and explore the meaning and feel in my life.
Pretty potent and powerful! Plus, I follow Julie on Instagram – each photo of these gorgeous flowers invites an unfolding / an opening / a feeling of beauty.
a ranunculus – Julie D
Here are Julie’s answers:
1. What is your definition of love?
Love is the radical, creative expression of Life being lived through all forms of Life…the expression of the formless through form, the expression of emptiness into space, the expression of timelessness into time. When I am being wholly myself, as an expression of that which breathes me, I am being Love.
I know it when I feel it. We can experience it as beauty, love, flow, truth, communion.
2. What does it feel like when you are connected with love?
It can feel like waves. It can feel like Oneness. It can feel like communion. I fall away and all that is left is love. At times it has felt like both being in the ocean and being the ocean. Other times, it’s as if I fall away and what is left is the experience of being with (holding, seeing, hearing) the one I love. The moments can be quite fleeting. And, a few times they have lasted for quite a while.
3. In your opinion, why would one choose to close to love? From that closed space, what is one practice or step a person could take to open to love again?
When we’ve been deeply hurt by one we trust, and one who is responsible for our care, it can shatter our sense of safety and security. When we are taught that we must trade our own beautiful true selves in for a behavior that will win us love, affection, and security, we learn that love is conditional. We then begin to live this conditional love in the world as if it is real love. But we can never trust this love, for we know it is not true love. We know that in our hearts. We know we are trading one thing for another, and we can feel this isn’t love.
All of this happens when we are young. It’s how our personality gets formed. As we grow up, though we have the opportunity to question our habitual responses to conditional love, as well as begin the journey back to unconditional love…a love that never left us, a love that is always here.
When we continue, even as adults, to live from this fear of lack of safety and security, we close to love.
When we open, much like in this picture of the flower, we begin to show our tender places, our vulnerable places. There is great power in this vulnerability, because it’s the only place you can really love from.
I’ve found that it is easier to begin to open to nature, to flowers, animals, trees, the wind and sun and moon. There is a particular grove of Eucalyptus trees near my home. I live by myself and work out of my home by myself. Many times, I simply need to be connected in a way that nourishes me deeply. So I head on over to this grove of trees and before I am even there under them, I can feel their love. Even when they’ve just come into my sight, I can feel their love and it is unconditional.
With humans, I think we can find others who do not expect us to be something other than ourselves. If we can find one or two, we can begin to trust in the relationship being one where we can open to love.
And then there is always getting still, coming into silence, being with yourself and beginning to listen deeply while being willing to let go of any expectations of what you might hear or discover. Being willing to receive what is offered and take it in as nourishment to your being.
4. How do you choose to cultivate love?
Lately, I’ve finally come to know the places within myself where I unconsciously do not love myself. I could even say hate myself. Coming to know these places has been very freeing. For most of my life, I was not conscious of the thoughts and beliefs I had internalized of self-loathing. It’s a good thing.
I think we have to become much more grounded, conscious, and aware of unconditional love somewhere in our lives to be able to tap into these internalized feelings of such self-contempt. I don’t think I am alone in this. I think it is rampant in our culture. And, I don’t think it happens in all cultures. I think acculturated shame has much to do with it. But in coming to experience these places, and in hearing aloud the words I say to myself inside, I came to finally be able to be with this voice in a way that was compassionate. It wasn’t easy, but it was freeing.
This is how I cultivate love within myself, by being with all the parts of myself that are hard to be with, to no longer push them away, nor try to fix myself, but to actively sit and be with everything that shows up so that whatever split exists within me can heal back into wholeness.
I don’t think we can truly love another until we truly love ourselves, because when we do love ourselves unconditionally, we begin to love others from this place rather than from the psychological conditional love we learned. And I don’t think we can love ourselves in a Band-Aid kind of way. Love is the radical creative expression of Life being lived through all forms of Life…the expression of the formless through form, the expression of emptiness into space, the expression of timelessness into time. When I am being wholly myself, as a radical expression of that which breathes me, I am being Love.
What this really means is that we come to see the conditioned self we thought was our true self as learned behaviors and habits rather than the truth of our own being. If we really want to know who and what we are, and we approach the Self with humility and with conscious not knowing, we begin to ask for, and open to receive, love.
5. May you share an experience of receiving unconditional love?
I’ve received unconditional love from my children, from my pets, from my late-husband, and many times from my parents.
One time, though, I had a beautiful experience of love.
A few years ago, I attended a silent retreat with Adyashanti (Adya), an American-born teacher of awakening. For each full day, along with 231 other people, I was silent. We meditated much of each day. This isn’t the first time I’ve done a silent retreat, but at ten days it is the longest one I’ve done…and it was the most profound.
Adya shared with us that the Divine is constantly and continually revealing itself to us in every moment. And everything it reveals to us is exactly what we need, when we need it, for our liberation…liberation from our own minds.
There were many ups and downs during these days. Just like in life, there were moments when I was confused as hell, moments when profound insights would come, and moments when nothing much seemed to be happening at all.
In one moment in particular, though, an ocean of unconditional love poured forth. I was sitting in the dining room drinking my chai, nibbling on my breakfast, and staring out a window that overlooked a green meadow and the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful morning. I’d just finished the morning meditation, but nothing in particular was up for me. I was feeling very open.
Suddenly soft tears began to fall as I felt what seemed to be gentle waves begin to wash over me. At first, I felt some resistance to what was happening, but then my eyes instinctively closed as these waves grew stronger and caused me to turn within. The waves became deeper, and so I drew even more deeply inside, letting go into the waves. These were waves of love….sweet, silent, pulsing waves of love. It was as if an ocean of love was rhythmically washing over me, just as waves kiss the shore.
I’ve never been loved so deeply, so softly, so generously, so undeniably. Love washed over me, into me, around me and through me. I was immersed in an ocean of love…all in the midst of a silent yet bustling dining hall. This beautiful moment lasted close to 45 minutes, and at the end I knew I had been released into love.
It was a two-way love affair. The more I trusted what was being offered, the more I began to open to and receive this love. The beloved loving the lover. The lover basking in the beloved’s love.
6. What would you like us to know about love?
Love is always being offered, being given. We don’t need to fear it because what we are is love. When we fear it, ultimately we are fearing ourselves.
It is not easy to open to love. It has not been easy for me. Not one bit. It takes a burning desire to know this love. It takes a willingness to feel all that you have not wanted to feel.
But, we are wired for this, we are wired to know this love. You don’t have to believe in God. You don’t have to believe in a doctrine.
In fact, let go of any beliefs you have. Let go of how you think it should and will be.
Your doorway in is your longing…the longing to know love, to be loved, to be love; a longing to return home, a longing to no longer hide yourself.
Bio: A dancer at heart, Julie would love nothing more than to live her life and do her work from the dance floor. Twelve years in the practice of 5Rhythms has opened her to the joy and wildness that is at the heart of women’s creativity. Julie writes, teaches, and coaches about creativity, transformation, and consciousness. She teaches at Stanford University, in corporations, online, and in communities where people are coming back to life after experiencing trauma.
Julie savors life playing with her wee grandchildren & serving the women and men who are called to work with her. Julie is happiest when she is breathing through her feet.
Becoming a Force of Nature:
I will be offering my 24-week deep dive into your Self, Becoming a Force of Nature, again in May. Registration will open at the beginning of April.
In this course, we explore love, exactly as I’ve written here, and we explore what it means to be truly creative in your life. The course is a mixture of the course I teach at Stanford University and the real-life experience(s) I have had coming to know the Sacred Feminine as She moves through me, and the wisdom She has shown me.
It is practical and it is profoundly transformational. It is deep and rich. It is one you can journey through multiple times, and each time you go deeper into yourself, and deeper into love and creativity.
It is for women who are ready to awaken to the love, creativity, and beauty within, and to live your individuality in the world. It’s about coming to be you, to allow your own Soul to guide your life. You don’t have to know anything about it. Just listen to your longing…it will guide you.
Julie’s website: http://www.unabashedlyfemale.com/
Thank you, Julie!
Dear Reader, Julie mentions that it might be easier to begin to open to nature. Is there a space in nature that you enjoy / a space that invites you to begin to open? (when you share, you inspire)
Thank you for your presence!
Much peace and abundant love,
If you would like to join us for the full 28 Days of Connection series – you may register here anytime during the month of February.
Personal peace and possibility sessions offer the opportunity to shift from doubt to trust, tension to peace, in this moment. For more information, and to schedule your session, please click the title link.