Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

lovelovelovelove
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dldldldlldldlldldl
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Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

It Matters


Image found here


It matters that you smile
or don't smile 

at the person 
you don't know 
in the coffee shop. Whether 
they smile back

It matters that you let 
yourself speak on canvas, with pen
and paper - on the keys 
of the old piano, that you let 
hands shape what is real and true
out of soft, breathing clay

or whether 
you push the call
away until some other 
someday - a someday 
that may or may not come

It matters that you listen 
to the beat of your one 
and only wild drum, the beat 
that drums 
drums drums through warm blood 
and veins, that you share 
your holy song 
like it's your very last chance

That you stand up even when you think you can't

You can tell yourself lies
you can say it doesn't matter
but the smart part of you knows 
the truth, pain will be your loyal 
reminder, always pointing you back 
to what matters

You are here now - here
now. Someday you won't be
will you listen or wait? 
Will you wait

or listen? 












Thursday, January 8, 2015

Falling Apart




Dear you,

It's been a long, long time since I've come here to write to you and I really don't know what I'm going to say. I do know that there is a world, an ocean, a vast open sea of stuff inside me that wants so much to speak. 

And I know I don't want to speak it in someone else's way. 

Often I don't speak because I get overwhelmed. How does one express a vast open sea? How does one put into words the cries, the deep longing, the celebration, the sorrow, the ache, the questions, the intense JOY? 

How does one get over their own doubts, paralysis, overwhelm, sadness, insecurity and just begin?

So, this is me beginning. Showing up. Saying what wants to come next. 

I'm tired of trying to have a plan, of thinking I should have a plan. I'm tired of trying to appear as together when, really, I'm falling apart. And really, this is a very good thing. 

I'm falling apart and this is a good thing. 




*                    *                     *


The more I watch myself, the more I become the one who observes the other one (and by "other one" I mean the scared, scattered, overwhelmed, unsure, anxious one), the more I really see her. 

And I'm amazed a little. Amazed that, after all this time, after reading a bazillion spiritual books, after showing up and sharing big chunks of my heart, I can still be so deeply afraid and hesitant, so full of doubt and hold back. 

And I see that this is my pain. This sadness is really a deep longing to be me. To let myself speak. To stop standing in my own way. To stop trying to get mine to look like theirs. This is what it's always been about. I think I can say with some confidence that, at the root of all of our pain, is the deep, deep desire to just be who we are. To be seen, to be Known - to be Known by our own selves. To know that it is enough to be who we are. To know that we are worthy already. Whole already. That there is nothing to add or subtract or change or fix. Nothing that is wrong. Nothing we need get rid of.

Nothing to get rid of. Not even the doubts, paralysis, overwhelm, sadness, insecurity. Not even the scared, scattered, overwhelmed, unsure, anxiousness. 

There is room for it all. 

Imagine dropping, really setting down, who we think others want us to be, who we think we should be, and just being who we are. Who we already are. 

So what if some people stop liking us, stop "following" us, stop being our friend. 

Imagine if we stopped thinking parts of us aren't okay. Imagine if we opened up wider and embraced our sadness, allowed ourselves to rest inside it, just as much as we allowed ourselves to open to big, wide eyed, wide armed joy? 

What a fucking relief this would be. 

So, my big YES, and I see that it's been my yes for a long, long time (and it continues to deepen and deepen), is to say YES to me, to me exactly as I am. To you, just as you are. To LIFE just as it is - now. 

To show up with all of it. No matter what.

I'm growing far too tired to care about what others may or may not think.  I think we all are. Plus, I have absolutely no control over other people's thoughts. None.

A couple days after Christmas, in one middle of the night moment, I felt like I would be swallowed up by sadness, like it would swallow me and there would be no me left. I sobbed silently in bed, I felt an indescribable heaviness, a kind of hopelessness that words can't touch. I let myself feel it, really feel it. And, here's the thing - it didn't swallow me. It opened me. It made my heart more tender, more receptive, more full of love.

When I shared about this sadness in my/our YES group, one of the precious women in there sent me the following words, words that (as dramatic as it sounds) have saved my life in a certain way. Here are those words, written by one of the most beautiful, pure, true humans I have come across - Jeff Foster

"Let it come closer, let it engulf you if it must.
Until there is no division between 'self' and 'sadness'.
Until you cannot call it 'sadness' at all. 
Until there is only intimacy.
Sadness keeps you soft and flexible.
It reminds you, when you have forgotten, 
of the beautiful fragility underneath all things.
In the softness of the heart lies its capacity to love.
Sadness is not the opposite of joy, but its gateway." Jeff Foster


In the softness of the heart lies its capacity to love. Sadness is not the opposite of joy, but its gateway. 

Such holy words.

My hope for me, for you, for each and every one of us, is that we can drop who we think we're supposed to be and show up just as we are, right now, in THIS very moment. That we can let it all BE just what it is. 

This kind of open, free, REAL BEing-ness is what The YES Movement is all about. It's holy inside that YES space. If you feel called in the deepest part of you to enter that kind of space, you can read more HERE. 

It's a brand new year and I send each of you so, so much love.

Julia





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

41 Days of Simply Saying YES!





It's been a while since I posted about my YES-es, so I want to take a few minutes to do that, to share in the power of this big listening and moving. Whew. I'm pretty blown away.

Since I last posted, I've said YES to so many things, things that feel nurturing and filling and growing and expanding. There is MOVEMENT happening, and with that movement, great learning. I'm seeing how, without the movement part of things, I just stand in one place spinning the same tired shit around, not learning, not getting clearer. This moving has been absolutely necessary and life giving for me.

Now, for some of the YES-es...


*I had the vision to begin a private, online group, that some of you know I called "The YES Movement." Me saying yes to this, before I had many of the details worked out, was a HUGE act of trust for me. I knew I needed to move quickly on this, that if I stalled and tried to get everything perfect and in place, my mind would talk me out of it. So, the moving quickly turned out to be everything. And wow - there is great beauty happening in that sacred space already. I see so clearly that this is not at all about "little me."  When I hold my gifts back, when I don't move with them, share them, I am not serving anyone. And when I'm not sharing and giving and BE-ing all of me, I suffer hugely.

*I have said YES to getting up early on week days, before the rest of my family, to check in with myself. The last few mornings, I have gotten my butt out of bed between 5:30-5:45 to do some quiet sitting/meditation/intention setting. Oh, and - FINALLY - I have DECIDED that I WILL do yoga! I decided that I will stop thinking about it and talking about it, and actually schedule time to DO IT. This morning was my very first yoga morning (in a long, long time) and, despite the fact that I was resisting it like crazy, it was so, so so good and nurturing. Even though, I am getting a little less sleep, the energy I GET from giving myself this time is huge. I really see that creating time and space to connect to this deeper richness is - everything...and affects every part of my life. I'm amazed by how long I have resisting showing up in this way.  Deep breath. Amen to this.

*I've made a huge commitment to myself, a vow, to move forward even when I feel trembling afraid. To keep moving, to not allow the fear voice to lead the way anymore. I have very clearly let the fearful one know that SHE IS NOT IN CHARGE. This feels so good and freeing.

*I am saying YES to showing up FULLY as I am, to not hold back parts of myself - to not listen to the voice that says things "need" to look a certain way, that I'm "too" this or "too" that. I am giving myself full permission to BE FREE, to be me with abandon. This feels like a huge weight has been lifted.

Okay, that's it for now.

If you feel called to say some big, true YES-es to yourself, to your life, to a greater, more AWAKE version of YOU, I invite you to join me/us in "The YES Movement." We are in the process of making some big vows to ourselves over there, and wow - how very beautiful and freeing and life giving this is.

Click HERE to read more...

With great love,

Julia






Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The YES Movement



The ordinary miracles begin. Somewhere
a signal arrives: "Now," and the rays
come down. A tomorrow has come. 
Open
your hands, lift them   William Stafford






Somewhere, a signal has arrived.

Now. Now. Now, it says. Stop waiting. Begin. Move despite the trembling. Don't wait for any of it to be perfect. Just move. 


11/11/14.  Today is a magical day. As I write this, I know I risk sounding a little out there and woo woo, but I'm learning to accept (maybe even embrace) the "out there" in me. Plus, I'm learning that I'd much rather experience magic than worry about how I may or may not appear to others. I just breathed a big sigh of relief with that last line.  

For years now, I've thought of repeating 1s as being a sign that the divine is present, a nudge that says: 

Listen, are you paying attention? There is beauty here. Right here. Right now.

Of course, there is always beauty right here, right now. But sometimes (like constantly) we need reminders. And for me, seeing repeating 1s is one of those reminders that brings me back to the magic that is here and now. 

Which is why I have chosen today to share my new thing with you, my thing that feels like way more than a thing and more like a divinely guided something. 


*                    *                    *


Two nights ago, at two-something in the morning, after a long several weeks of feeling some pretty deep, paralyzing discomfort, I woke suddenly with a clarity I've rarely experienced. 

For weeks (years?) I've been urgently praying (begging) for guidance, wanting so much for some clarity to come through on how to best serve in this world, and what some next steps might be. 

And then, in this middle-of-the-night moment, clarity came. In a very quick flash of insight, I was shown just what I was to do next. I was shown that I would create a space, a group, that was clearly to be called, "The Yes Movement." A private, safe space, for you and me, where we can openly name and declare and share and CELEBRATE our YES-es - those things that won't leave us alone, the nudges that feel like way more than nudges. The "it" we know, even if we've forgotten we know, that is calling.

What is that thing stamped into 
your bones-that thing that won't stop 
calling your name?  

The YES Movement is for those of you ready to say a big, brave, naked YES to that thing stamped into your bones, that thing that won't stop calling your name. Or, if you're not sure what that thing is yet, it's about peeling off the layers of heavy that hides the brilliance. 

This will be a safe, beyond-safe space to hold out our hands and receive and give, to give and receive, this downpour of gifts that is always, always right here.

Several years ago, the first time I did "41 Days of Simply Saying YES," I wrote (with great excitement) the following...

I'm moving toward what moves me, what quickens my pulse, what excites and enlivens and invigorates and calms and quiets and inspires and whispers and nudges and empowers.  I'm saying YES to all that makes me giddy and all that makes me want to twirl and spin and skip and maybe do the Tango or the Two-Step or something.  

I'm saying YES to my intuition and my desires.  To Love.  And gratitude.  And kindness and softness and surrender.  And presence.  And deep breaths.  To moving slowly and accepting fully.  To giving and healing and opening and allowing and receiving.  To abundance galore! and twinkling little stars and chirping, little birdies.  And blossoming.  And lingering a little longer.

To feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  And Trusting.

I'm saying -  no, thank you - to little mind, and YES to all of the above.  

So, YES!  This is what this group is about.  

Last night when I was excitedly explaining (or trying to explain) to my husband what "The YES Movement" would be. He asked - How would this be different from your blog?

Good question. Let me see if I can explain...

I often have way, way more that I want to share, but feel I can't (or don't want to) share openly here in this space. I've wanted (but haven't been able to envision) so much to have a space where I can just open up fully and share with abandon. 

This new space feels like a place I can do that. A space where I, and all the beauties who join me, can open up wide and love and support each other. 

It's really a space of great love.

Okay, now for my not favorite part, a few details. And there will only be a few because this is going to be a wide open group, which means I/we will be feeling into it as I/we go along. This is going to be a group that happens in real time. We will feed off each other's energy and feel into what's next. 

I don't want to have a plan with this. I want to let it all unfold with great, organic, divinely guided goodness.

Specifics:

*WHERE?  This will be a private/secret Facebook group that only those who privately message me, can join. No one else will have access to this group.

*WHAT?  I will be sharing very openly on the Facebook page, sometimes in the form of writing, sometimes in the form of videos. I will be sharing my YES-es, all that I'm moving toward, as well as the struggles that will inevitably come.  And inviting you to do the same. This will be a community of great, love-filled support. The rest of the whats will reveal themselves as we go along...

*COST?  So, here's the thing about cost. In that middle-of-the-night moment, it was made very clear to me that this would be very open. That, rather than setting a definite price, I would open it up to donations. Not donations in the charity sense of the word, but in the beautiful gift of giving and receiving, receiving giving. The art and abundance of circulation.

In other words, people can feel into how much (or how little) they can/want to contribute. 

If someone isn't able to pay anything right now, that is okay, more than okay. Maybe they can pay later. 

This money part of things is an opportunity to feel into your YES...what is that nudge saying? Close your eyes, breathe deeply - ask.

I am at the point in my life where I have a deep, deep desire to serve and also to feel abundant around money. I am really opening around the idea that this is a possibility. This asking feels like a necessary and important part of my opening and growing and shifting around money. Another one of my YES-es.

I know that money is meant to be circulated freely, and with LOVE. That it's meant to be given and received, received and given.  There is no lack. There is no lack. When we shift from a lack-focus, to an abundance-focus - everything shifts. I know this to be true. 

So, having said that, I will have a "Gift to the YES Movement" button available below. Please feel very free to pay what you feel called to pay. Or, like I said, if paying isn't something you can do right now, that's perfectly okay too.  

Is there something inside you saying YES to this? If so, please email me at juliafeh@yahoo.com and tell me (in just a couple of sentences, or more if you'd like) why you'd like to be a part of this magic. I will happily add you to the group. Or you can leave your "why" below in the comment section, along with your email address, and I will go ahead and add you to the group as soon as I can.  Easy peasy.

I am so sure that this is going to be a beautiful thing and I would love, beyond love, to have you join me/us.

So, before I have time to get scared and think I need to work out way more of the details, and overthink all of this (and maybe change my mind) - may the YES-es begin!  

I can feel the magic already.





GIFT TO THE YES MOVEMENT





Monday, November 10, 2014

41 DAYS of Simply Saying YES!





DAY 1 - 11/7/14:  I said yes to reading my poetry aloud at a poetry open mic night. I felt completely ALIVE and empowered while reading. I was jittery-nervous all day, couldn't even begin to do "normal" things like clean the house. Wait, that's not true, I managed to make a delicious homemade roasted chicken dinner.  :)

The poetry night was nothing like I had envisioned. The event was held in a way too small, overcrowded, hot, loud coffee shop. I could hardly squeeze between the mass of people to get myself up to the front to read. But once I was up there, it felt like magic. It flowed, my cheeks got flushed, an energy moved through me. I joined eyes with so many of the beautiful ones in that room. It felt so completely right and empowering. I'm happy, beyond happy I said yes to this. Despite the imperfections, it was truly perfect.

Even though I felt such a magical surge of energy while reading, and completely FELT that I had connected with the beautiful audience, my mind had a lot to say after...it said that if people had been truly moved, they would have come up and told me - that it must not have actually been as moving as I had FELT it was. I wondered if maybe I was the only one who had felt it.


Print available HERE


But, again - I choose not to listen to the voice that spits lack and limitation. I choose to TRUST the part of me that FELT it and knows it. I am seeing that it is enough for me to know.

It can be so tough sometimes to trust what is invisible. But, whew - there is so much magic that happens when we do.


DAY 2 - 11/8/14:  I shared a poem of mine in a magical online class I'm involved with. My mind tried to tell me all the reasons that this wasn't a good idea, but I chose NOT to listen. I shared anyway, and it was beautifully received and appreciated. People expressed how much it moved them, how much they needed/appreciated my words.

I'm learning that this is all beyond me. I have no idea why these nudges come or what they might do if I follow them. My only, my ONLY job, is to listen, to ACT, and then to turn it over to something much bigger than me. The rest is none of my business. And (this feels really super important) it's not at all about little, scared me. It's about using my gifts to SERVE.


Day 3/4 - 11/8-9/14:  So, in the middle of the night/in the wee hours of this morning, something big and clear and beautiful came through. I have been urgently and pretty much constantly praying over the last several weeks for some clarity on next steps, for a vision of how I can best offer my gifts.

And then, boom! something so very clear and specific came through. Something that very much feels divinely guided. I was planning on sharing this big something today, but then I realized that tomorrow is 11/11/14, and I see magic and divinity in repeating 1s, so I realized this big something needs to wait until tomorrow. Patience is definitely not one of my strengths, so this waiting feels a bit hard, but also very right.

Stay tuned. There is magic in the air.  :)






Friday, November 7, 2014

41 Days of Simply Saying YES! (Again)


"...the next step is the most important step. Take it
now. Do not wait.

Take the next step. Right now. Stop waiting for a "sign"
from the "gods." Your sign is your intuition, wrapped
in your desire.

Hesitation is not a stopping place on the road to heaven."  Neale Donald Walsh





41 Days of Simply Saying YES!


So, I did 41 days of yes-ing way back a long while ago, and, since I have pretty much been in paralysis mode over these last several weeks (until a few days ago), I've decided it's very much time to begin this again. Plus, looking back to that time, I very clearly remember how deeply powerful and empowering it was.

So, here we go. I am hereby committing to 41 days of saying YES....to nudges & whisperings and giving and self-nurturing and Love. As I move through these 41 day, I will tell you about how invigorating and life-changing it is to deeply honor and move toward all that is calling, to say YES to it all. 

Here's what I wrote about this experiencing of YES-ing way back when...



*     *     *



Oh, goodness gracious me.  

I'm thinking about that sign I always pass on one of my favorite walking/running trails; the sign that says "Off Leash Area."  I feel a bit like I've been unleashed, like whatever has been holding me back has broken free somehow, like the floodgates have collapsed and now I'm spinning in a sea of goodness and  inspiration and boundlessness.  It feels a bit like flying, and, at the same time, it feels a bit like standing rooted way down deep in blossoming richness.  

As these words appear, there is this mind voice hovering right over my right shoulder, it's saying, you know, for someone who isn't feeling particularly inspired, this might be really irritating to read, can you just lighten up on all the mushy gushing?  

The answer to that question, little mind, is no--I cannot.  I will not.  

Because, here's the thing.  I've decided to say a big, bold, brave YES to all that is calling me, all that is moving me closer to my own light and to yours, all that has been crying for my attention for f-ing Ever.  I'm moving toward what moves me, what quickens my pulse, what excites and enlivens and invigorates and calms and quiets and inspires and whispers and nudges and empowers.  I'm saying YES to all that makes me giddy and all that makes me want to twirl and spin and skip and maybe do the Tango or the Two-Step or something.  

I'm saying YES to my intuition and my desires.  To Love.  And gratitude.  And kindness and softness and surrender.  And presence.  And deep breaths.  To moving slowly and accepting fully.  To giving and healing and opening and allowing and receiving.  To abundance galore! and twinkling little stars and chirping, little birdies.  And blossoming.  And lingering a little longer.

To feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  And Trusting.

I'm saying -  no, thank you - to little mind and YES to all of the above.  

I don't know what the next step will be because there is only this one right now. I can't add any more details  because I don't know them yet.  



*     *     *


I'm so very eager to being again. 

Even though I hadn't officially announced this, I already began saying YES a few days ago when I submitted a brand new poem to The Huffington Post. The poe is entitled "In Defense of God" and is especially close to my heart. It feels like my work in this world (or part of my work) to get the messages in this poem out into the world. I would so love it if you stopped by and, if you are called, you can leave your thoughts over there in the comment section. And please- feel very free to share.


Today, which is officially Day 1, I am going to do something that feels super, super scary - something I've had the nudge to do for a very long time but just haven't been able to muster the courage. Tonight, I will be reading one of my poems aloud at an open mic poetry reading. YIKES and YAY! I will report back to you with how this went. Wish me courage!



*     *     *


Okay. That's it for now. I will be checking in regularly to share these 41 days with you.  I'd so love it if you'd come along on this ride.  Please feel free to share in the comment section.  

With love and excitement for new beginnings, 

Julia









Tuesday, October 7, 2014

THE QUESTION





Just for today
let's pretend
we don't have these bodies
skin, scars, bones - weathered fence 
that keeps it all in

Instead we would be
here
one heart beating
to the rhythm of everything, everywhere
mountain, tree, rock, wild wind
nothing 
in the way

Do you hear it? 

All of it is asking
and asking
the same ancient
question

What is that thing stamped into 
your bones-that thing that won't stop 
calling your name?

There is a reason

and it's all 
yours 

will you step 
toward
or away?



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Like Trees




Imagine how colorless, how stripped
of flavor life would be if we all 
showed up perfect.  What would perfect 
even look like?  Starched white blouses
pleated black slacks, never a weed
or a tangle, sentences 
written to bland, cleaned up
perfection, on the very first draft  

No - thank you. 

This idea 
of perfection makes me nervous
makes me think it's not 
okay for me to fall. Your willingness
to stand up dripping, deep in the center 
of the storm, gives me permission 
to stand up again
and again - no matter how deep
the puddle. What I want is 

for us to lean into each other 
listening
while our heart bleeds 
for the thousandth time - before 
we have a chance to clean up
or get rid of. I want to know what spilled 
out in that middle of the night draft 
how many times you declared it bad
before you could see the good in it - before 
you could see the God 
in it
  
Please - don't say the right thing 

say what's true - I don't want 
your manners, I want you 
in full, stormy, vibrant, mismatched
wrinkled, alive color. Before
you brush your hair or rub sleep 
from your tired eyes
before you catch 
your breath. I want to know 

what it is you keep hidden
tight in a drawer - what it is you keep almost 
saying
but don't. Come 

let us walk barefoot
through weeds, through 
thick layers of tired

let's show up late and frazzled, let's 
say the wrong thing, let us confess 
that sometimes we have no idea 
where to look or  how 
to find each other or God 
or ourselves
in any of it

let's rest like trees, leaning
and listening into each other 
until the hard
of our bark softens
until 

there is nothing
to find - only everything 
to be


*Photographer unknown