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

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Truly Alive


"The way to express our gratitude for life is by being truly alive, not hiding from life in a corner, or watching life pass us by.  The biggest fear we have is not the fear of dying, but the fear to be alive, to be ourselves, to say what we feel, to ask for what we want, to say yes when we want to say yes, and no when we want to say no.  To express what is in our hearts is to be truly alive.  If we pretend to be what we are not, how can we be truly alive?"  ~Don Miguel Ruiz



There is so much in me that wants to be expressed, so much I want to say and convey and share and shout out and whisper.  Sometimes I struggle with where to begin but that's just because there is this little mind part of me that still tries to get me to think there is a right and wrong way.  Thankfully, that part of me is no longer in charge...it's still there throwing out all of its nonsense but I see it for what it is and am continually practicing saying yes to that quiet, calm place, the place that knows that what's right is what feels alive and free and true.

I want to ask you a question.  I'm asking myself too.  What if, seriously what if you stopped thinking there was a right and wrong way? What if you let go of trying to be good, of trying period?  What if it didn't have to be perfect before you published it or shared it or wrote it or painted it or tried it?  What if you let go of trying to edit and please...what if the only thing you concerned yourself with is just being True to what's inside?  What if you got all of the shoulds out of the way and simply said YES to what wants to be expressed through you?  What if this creating could be fully about expressing something beautiful and sacred inside?  What if you could get "little me" out of the way and honor that what wants to come through is a divine gift that has been freely given to you--for the sake of expressing and sharing, not suppressing & hiding away?  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I am continually asking these what if questions, but really----what if?  Have you really asked yourself what life could be like if you dropped all of the bullshit/ pleasing/trying to be good?

I used to think there was "a Way."  
I used to think that if I just met the right person or landed the "right" job or got to be "good enough" at whatever it was I was trying to do, all would be well.  
I used to think I needed other's approval before I could feel good about myself.  
I used to think I lacked the "talent" everyone else had been so freely given.  
I used to keep all of my writing in notebooks, notebooks that were shoved away in closets and drawers and corners.  
I used to not write because I feared it wouldn't be good enough.  
I used to not begin because I thought there was a right way to begin.  
I used to work on a poem for days and weeks before having the nerve to ask someone if they liked it, if it was "good" enough.  If their response was anything other than elation, I determined that it wasn't good enough.  I'd shove it in a drawer with all the rest of my words.  Each time I did this my light grew a little bit dimmer, the sadness inside grew a little bit sadder.  

Essentially, I was shoving my spirit in a drawer, I was deciding that "good" was more important than God.

I started writing poems when I was just a young girl.  I used to carry around one of those little lock journals and jot things down as I went through my day. There was such a feeling of sacredness there, pen and journal in hand, me pouring my little heart all over the page. I felt safe there with my words.  I felt like a writer.  I valued this about myself.  One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my journal and my Dad beside me, and he picked up my journal and read a poem that I had just written...one that had come from the deepest place in my heart.  And this is what happened next:  he laughed.  And then he said (with sarcasm in his voice), "that's deep."  It crushed me.  It crushed the part of me that was scared and uncertain and hesitant and already felt not good enough. 

It's taken me many many years to get over these moments, to tune back into that little girl that just wants to express.  But, here's the thing...I've found her again!  I think losing her for a long while makes finding her that much more beautiful and gorgeous and precious and sacred.  So, truly, I am only thankful for it all. 

How liberating would it be if we could just let go of this trying to be good? If, despite the perceived obstacles in our way, we just did it anyway?  If the only indication of whether or not something was good was how it makes us feel? Instead of asking, is it good?  We could ask: 


Is it kind?  Does it make me feel Alive, excited, invigorated, nurtured, loved, inspired, FREE, like more of my beautiful Self?



Here's my vow...

I will never ever allow little me (or little you) to get in the way of this true, precious, sacred expression.  I vow to allow that free little girl in me to have a voice, to let it pour.  I vow to turn my attention to all that is beautiful and True and Alive and good.  I vow to say YES when I want to say yes and no when I want to say no.  I vow to keep showing up, to keep beginning even when little me has no idea how to do that.  I vow to let go and let go and let go.  I vow to ask for guidance again and again, to get quiet and listen, to stop trying to do it all with my little shoulding voice. I vow to allow myself to be human, to make mistakes, to not know, to be messy-all-over-the-place, beautiful, unique, just right Me.  

I vow to allow God to be more sacred than good.

15 comments :

  1. "I vow to allow God to be more sacred than good." This is powerful. What a powerful post. When I think back to the beginning of our conversations, way back almost several years ago now, and think of the seeds that were being planted, and how we were nourishing them and tending them, without even knowing--even through the struggle--just by being true to a world inside us just waiting to spring out. Such simple questions that opened up and contiue to open up the world--and look at what it has led to. Listen to your voice here, it is awe inspiring. Thank you for following this within you, and letting it blossom so fully.

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  2. Oh wow, I love your vow. This is so inspiring Julia. We have so much in common- I can relate to this post so much. I actually felt a slight pain in my heart and cringed when I read the comment "that's deep." The thing is that it probably was deep, I'm sure, just like you- deep and beautiful and creative and shining. Big sigh. Oh my goodness..I can hardly wait to meet you! :)

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  3. Julia, you have moved me to my core. I cannot express right now how powerful and inspiring this is for me right now in my life. Thank you. Something very important just released and shifted within me as I was reading this. I honor you, my friend.

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  4. I was impacted by the quote, "If we pretend to be what we are not, how can we be truly alive?" I have lived that statement and often still do. It is a STRUGGLE to be true, to live authentically, when you were raised to think you had to be what you are not just so people will be happy with you.

    Then you come along, Julia, and, brave wonderful soul you share your gifts here and inspire me to be who I really am. Thank you for your words of wisdom and love.

    Sending you peace, grace, and love...
    Deb

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  5. Beautiful post. I have done much unraveling of old ideas for a couple years now, and happy to say that I have found myself again. Thank you so much for sharing a part of your story and your journey, it's beautiful. I had to give you some blog love today too. So happy to have found your blog.
    xx oo

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  6. Hey Julia..

    This post moved me to tears and awakened my heart.Inspiring stuff Julia. The stuff that legends are made of.

    Love Nige X

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  7. Yay for dropping all of the bullshit! Absolutely fabulous to read this Julia. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know I will come back to read this again and again.

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  8. Thank you for shining your beautiful heartlight, Julia! Your written words are very powerful and speak to many, beyond measurement. I am attracted to these open-heart posts so much because they get to real truth. Look forward to what inspires you next! :) Molly

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  9. Jan has left a new comment on your post "Truly Alive":

    Yay for dropping all of the bullshit! Absolutely fabulous to read this Julia. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know I will come back to read this again and again.

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  10. Nige has left a new comment on your post "Truly Alive":

    Hey Julia..

    This post moved me to tears and awakened my heart.Inspiring stuff Julia. The stuff that legends are made of.

    Love Nige X

    ReplyDelete
  11. MJ has left a new comment on your post "Truly Alive":

    Beautiful post. I have done much unraveling of old ideas for a couple years now, and happy to say that I have found myself again. Thank you so much for sharing a part of your story and your journey, it's beautiful. I had to give you some blog love today too. So happy to have found your blog.
    xx oo

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  12. Deborah L. Tisch has left a new comment on your post "Truly Alive":

    I was impacted by the quote, "If we pretend to be what we are not, how can we be truly alive?" I have lived that statement and often still do. It is a STRUGGLE to be true, to live authentically, when you were raised to think you had to be what you are not just so people will be happy with you.

    Then you come along, Julia, and, brave wonderful soul you share your gifts here and inspire me to be who I really am. Thank you for your words of wisdom and love.

    Sending you peace, grace, and love...
    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  13. Alia has left a new comment on your post "Truly Alive":

    Julia, you have moved me to my core. I cannot express right now how powerful and inspiring this is for me right now in my life. Thank you. Something very important just released and shifted within me as I was reading this. I honor you, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just found your blog. This could so have been written by me. Are we truly all alike? I'm still trying to get those little words, that seemed harmless to the people saying them, out of my head. Each one of those "little" words sent messages of not being good enough. I'm truly exhausted.

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What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia