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

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

"Many of us feel uncomfortable revealing to others-and even to ourselves-what lies beneath the surface of our day-to-day consciousness.  We get out of bed in the morning and begin again where we left of yesterday, attacking life as if we were waging a campaign of control and survival.  All the while, deep within us, flows an endless river of pure energy.  In sings a low and rich song that hints of joy and liberation and peace.  Up on top, as we make our way through life, we may sense the presence of the river.  We may feel a subtle longing to connect with it.  But we are usually moving too fast, or we are distracted, or we fear disturbing the status quo of our surface thoughts and feelings.  It can be unsettling to dip below the familiar and descend into the more mysterious realms of the soul."  Elizabeth Lesser  (From her amazing book Broken Open)

Photographer unknown

In Elizabeth Lesser's book Broken Open, she refers to the willingness to stay awake through times of suffering and loss--to allow ourselves to be broken open and transformed rather than shrinking away in defeat, as the Phoenix Process.  

She says:

Each of us, regardless of our situation, is looking for the same treasure in the ashes.  We are in search of our most authentic, vital, generous, and wise self.  What stands between that self and us is what burns in the fire.  Our illusions, our rigidity, our fear, our blame, our lack of faith, and our sense of separation:  All of these-in varying strengths and combinations-are what must die in order for a more true self to rise.  If we want to turn a painful event into a Phoenix Process, we must name what needs to burn within us.

It is clear to me right now that there are some old, tired things within me that must die in order for me to step forward into my "most authentic, vital, generous and wise self."  

It is clear that there are many treasures to find in this place of tenderness.  

It is clear to me that I do not want to wage a campaign of control and survival.  It is joy and liberation and peace that I am fiercely committed to

It is clear that when we reach out with love and caring, when we share our stories and deepest truths, the cracks where love can get in grow wider & more open.  To each of you who have taken the time to reach out with such sweetness & love, thank you
I received an email this morning from a dear fellow blogger and new friend.  What she said below resonates so deeply:
My counselor told me to think of depression and anxiety as a fire that burns up all the bad, painful, toxic stuff in order for us to get connected in to the true and whole and beautiful stuff of our Selves.

So.  Here's to naming what needs to burn within us. (I plan on making a list of all that's toxic and un-serving and letting it burn, burn away!)  Here's to finding the treasures in the ashes.  Here's to letting go of all that no longer serves us and stepping into our most authentic, liberated, utterly unique Selves.

I'm so damn ready.  You?



  1. "It is joy and liberation and peace that I am fiercely committed to."

    I love this. I love that you are speaking this out. I love that your fire is burning. Your phoenix is emerging.

    It is an honor to come along with you on this amazing journey.


  2. I'm proud of you, brave girl.

    Wrapping you up in loads of love.

  3. This is so beautiful. And the timing is so awesome! My coach just recommended the "broken open" book to me which I will read...and am experiencing that for myself first hand right now. thanks for sharing so beautifully.

  4. That sounds fantastic to me, Julia. I'll be making my list tomorrow and working on letting it burn!

    love and more love,

  5. I'm ready, too, and I am in the thick of it right along side you.

    Here's to peace in our souls, my friend!

    Thank you...

  6. Sometimes we have to allow the hidden, to emerge and learn to be brave enough to sit whatever has been hidden. TO uncover the layers, to allow them to peek through and to look at them, and then we can let go and carry on - when we have seen beneath.

  7. I have loved the Phoenix, particularly since a life changing workshop I did back in 2004.

    I want to allow my griefs, pains and losses to be transformed in the fire of forgiveness until something pure and new emerges from the dust, until I can hold the very dust itself and know that all is well.

    I love you and I am here to support you on your journey in any way I can xx

  8. I love this. I loved reading it. I needed it. Thank you for sharing!

  9. I stumbled upon your site as serendipitous as I found "Broken Open"...absolutely LOVED it and couldn't agree more, yes, I'm damned ready....

    I had to restrain myself from marking the book because it was from the library but promptly ordered a copy for myself....thinking now that I've broken open too, I'm attracting those treasures in the ashes....

  10. I love your "Tootsie Roll Moments" and especially love the dear comment from your daughter! I have 3 teenage daughters, and they are giving me title that rival anything less that regal too! I have found my phone in the refrigerator before. The same week I pored apple juice on my daughters' cereal and tried to open my apt door with the car alarm key. Ha - senior moments? Nooo waaay!!
    I'm on Brave Girls/Kind over Matter too :)


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

♥ Julia