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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Embracing the Mystery

Art by Flora Bowley

I don't know how to write a blog post after not writing one for nearly 2 months.  In the many years I've been writing here in this space, I've never once gone more than a couple of weeks without posting.  The blankness of this page reminds me of the word naked. The word naked reminds me of what I've been doing over the last couple of months.  

Yesterday, I happened to read a post over at Kind Over Matter, written by Jo Anna Rothman, that struck me and made me take a deep, deep breath.  Her post was about the beauty and freedom in the phrase I don't know. It was one those tidbits of wisdom my heart recognized as truth right away.  

Below is a little excerpt...

"I don't know.

The phrase is a deep breath. A place of being where my mind can’t rail. Where my heart is open. Where the moment is full. Full of possibilities. Full of mystery. Full of the nowness that can only be present when we remember how much of knowing is a story created to soothe and protect."

I don’t know. 

Is a moment of surrender. On my knees. Handing over the story that I have woven. Handing over the predictions of the future that shape my steps. Dropping the tall tales of the past, where I guessed and made assumptions that had implanted themselves into the view I held of myself. Letting myself feel, really feel, who I am."

*               *               *

On May 6th, I launched my first ever online SoulClass - "Getting Naked.  This was a 40-day-long class that I created to help others "shed the excess" and come back to who they really are.  

I did not know.  

I did not know, could never have fathomed, when I first had that knowing nudge that I would offer this class - that I had to offer this class, that this experience would stretch/expand/grow/change me in the indescribably profound way that it did.  

I did not know how hard it would be for me to show up for 40 days, how consistently and relentlessly my mind would try to sabotage the whole thing.  

I did not know, the entire way through the class, what would "choose" to show up the following day.  Not what I would choose but what would choose me.  The only plan I had was that I would show up each day and let what wanted to come through, come through. I don't have the words for how scary this was - to not know - to trust that something would show up each day.

I did not know the beauty and love and connectedness that would root & blossom & scatter.  

I did not know, could never have fathomed, the explosive, open-hearted, courageous vulnerability/sharing/support that would occur on day 29 when I asked one question - a question that I did not know had the power to shift everything.  

I did not know the sheer, naked joy that would come in those moments when I could sit back and witness the breakthroughs - the naked, sacred truth sharing, the unconditional showing up for one another, for ourselves. 

I did not know (though how I hoped & prayed!) that some of these women would learn to love themselves for the first time ever.

I did not know that some would find the painter/artist in themselves.

*               *               *

As I sit here watching oak leaves dance to the music of the wooden wind chimes, I feel that deep, opening, surrendered (and yes - scary!) breath of I don't know.  

I don't know what's next, whether I will get up soon and go take a shower, finally, or whether I'll sit here all day in my PJ's.  

I don't know what the next step is in this waking up journey I'm on. And, in that not knowing, I feel my heart open wide - I feel those boxed-in boundaries that my mind likes to create fall a little bit away.  

Despite that familiar background noise of doubt (which doesn't seem to be going anywhere), I feel my heart breathing, opening - listening for that next whisper (or shout) of guidance.  The kind of sacred guidance that, after 40 days of hearing and listening to, I truly know I can trust. 

*               *               *

Thank you, dear readers, for sticking around.  Knowing you're here is medicine for me.

Hope you're frolicking in summertime like I have very sweet it is!

Here's to embracing, celebrating, opening to the mystery, the nowness, like never before.

With love,



  1. Ahhhh I think I'm going to cry. I had this nice big long comment all written out ><

    Well, I wanted to say that "I don't know" is one of the world's scariest phrases to me. It means that I don't know everything, that I have to admit I might be wrong, that perhaps I should have learned something a long time ago.

    Admitting you don't know something is a true surrender--surrendering to the inevitable instead of being stubborn. With this , you can truly allow yourself to be free and open to the possibilities and learn from the experience.

    I find it interesting you say that you learned just as much from those of us in your class as we did from you. It reminds me of my experiences with teachers while I was in school and how sometimes they commented the very same thing. They learned things from their students that they themselves perhaps never would have learned elsewhere.

    I'm very happy to have been in your class.

    Also, you find the most interesting/beautiful pictures, whether they are made by you or not. I love the one attached to this post.

    1. Dear Karin - I'm so happy you were in the class - you contributed so much of your beautiful self. I want you to know how much I appreciate all of your opening/sharing/supporting - how open-heartedly you put yourself out there.

      I fully hear you in how scary it feels to not know but - whew! the freedom that comes when we just say the words *I don't know.* When we let ourselves feel the truth of this & not try to change anything,a deep exhale comes.

      Sending love to you today, Karin.

  2. Julia, this post is beautiful. "I don't know." Oh what freedom those three little words carry. It's an "I can put it down and leave it alone without fear" kind of statement. I can trust that I don't know is enough. I don't know is like cool summer sheets and fluffy pillows just waiting to hold me and keep me and teach me patience, and love, and surrender, and humility, while comforting these human bones. I love "I don't know."
    I love you dear Julia.

    I was one of the blessed to be in your class and I took away with me a new love for painting. Who'd a thunk it? LOL! Thank you sweet sister.

    1. "I don't know is like cool summer sheets and fluffy pillows just waiting to hold me and keep me and teach me patience, and love, and surrender, and humility, while comforting these human bones."

      Beloved you have any idea what a way with words you have? Do you have any idea what a way with LOVE you have?

      And your art. Oh my gosh, that's a whole 'nother story. I'm truly inspired by you.

      I couldn't love and adore and appreciate you more.

  3. Beautiful. Thank you so much for 40 days of Getting Naked. Love & Hugs. Nancy

    1. Nancy, thank you for being there, for being here. It has been a true gift to get to know you better.

      Sending a whole ton of love your way today.

      P.S: Thanks to you mentioning "Getting Naked" on one of your recent blog posts, I now have a new coaching client. Thank you a thousand times.

  4. Somehow it seems that a veil was lifted from my eyes during the Getting Naked class. Finding women with the same desire to get real, learning from each other, showing our soft underbellies and our wounds, seeing truly that deep down we are all really alike. Those were some of the experiences that helped open my eyes.

    And I don't know either what will come next. But this course has been an important step in the right direction. One benefit is that now when I put a post on my blog, it is from real me, rather than from the Deb who thinks she has to perform and keep up with everyone else.

    I don't know. More will come, more goodness, more heartache, more changes.

    Now, in addition to a fabulous group of friends here locally, I also have an online community to share with.

    I Do Know that That is priceless.

    Thank you, Julia, for listening to those nudges.

    Love you!

    1. Deb, you are such an open-hearted, beautiful woman.

      That class would not have been the same without you. This blog space would not be the same without you. This heart of mine would not be the same without you.

      I can't convey how much it warms me to hear that you are posting on your blog from a real you place - that is sacred. I'm blown away by the beauty of real Deb - how the world needs her - YOU.

      You are so incredibly dear to me. I truly love you.

  5. What a beautiful and heartfelt post, Julia. I know others have missed you here and will be so heartened that you are back. After 40 days (plus weekends!) together in the sacred space you created, I feel so much more comfortable admitting to myself and others how much I do not know. I can be kinder and gentler to others because I understand them so much better. It's as if I formed intimate friendship connections with a small section that really is infinity. Thanks to you.

    1. so have my heart.

      I'm thinking back to that comment you made on my blog before my class even started & how HUGE that was for me. Your words helped me access the courage I so needed on that day, in that moment. I won't ever forget that gift - & how it keeps on giving.

      Biggest hugs to you, dear heart.

  6. I miss our Getting Naked course! It was a beautiful start to each of my days.....
    Thank you so much for "not knowing" and doing it anyway! :)
    Miss You!

    1. Linda, thank you so much for being such a beautiful part of those precious 40 days.

      Love to you, lovely one.

  7. It was a delightful journey. I just typo'd delightfun...I think that fits. Thanks so much, Julia, for leading us bravely into the unknowing.

    1. Delightfun...I love it, Cheryl!

      I hope your moments are being filled with full, cleansing breaths and a deep knowing of how beautiful you are.

      Thank you for being a part of the magic.

  8. Someone recently said to me (in a sort of condescending tone) that knowledge is power, which I believe to be true. But so is not knowing, isn't it? Being open to the unexpected, leaning into our uncertainty and doubt.

    Love this post. And you. xo

    1. And I would say that condescending tones are pretty much the opposite of power...and that yes, knowledge is power but only true/healing power when it is infused with love.

      I love you, my beautiful J friend.

  9. I wasn't able to participate in the class - but this post has just helped me lower my shoulders and breathe deeply. Just breathing in "I don't know" and breathing out "confidence, trust, surrender". yes.

    1. And these words from you just helped me do the same.

      Thank you for taking the time to connect, dear Kimberley. And for so lovingly & generously offering your spot...

  10. Beautiful. I am so glad that you have let yourself take such leaps of faith without knowing. You inspire me greatly. Here is to right now always showing us what is next, and for allowing the fear to be there, but not to stop anything. XO


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♥ Julia