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, November 4, 2015

A Story I Just Have to Share



Dear you,

I have a story that I just have to share with you. 

A couple months ago, right after my girls went back to school, after a very full, nonstop-busy (but mostly very good) summer, I was home in the middle of the day cleaning. Scrubbing toilets and sinks, vacuuming dust balls off the long-neglected wood floors. Washing and folding and washing and folding. After hours of what felt like the worst kind of grind, I started feeling completely depleted/frustrated/angry at someone I couldn't identify. Actually, truthfully - after hours of this, I put my entire life up for question. Doubt crept in a little bit at a time. What started as thoughts like: 

What the hell am I doing in the middle of the day on a Tuesday cleaning?

Quickly went to:

What the hell am I doing with my life? I have nothing going for me. I'm a loser.

You know, the typical stuff the mind loves to throw at us when we're on the ground and when we give it permission to run free and wild.  Minds are so not unique in the way that they love to throw shit at us.

After a little while of thinking these kinds of thoughts, I became so heavy in my body, I could hardly move. But I knew I had to move. That very-hard-to-hear voice inside me was insistently whispering: 

Go for a walk. Go for a walk. Get outside and breathe.


So, quickly - before I ended up paralyzed on the couch for the day, I grabbed some water, my good walking shoes, my good dog, and my heavy-with-blah self, and heading out the door to my favorite forested walking spot.

Once in the woods, I started saying urgent prayers. Prayers that went something like this:

Please, please guide me, show me the way, show me how to serve. Use me. Show me that my being here has purpose. 

Since there was no one anywhere near me, I said these prayers out loud to the trees, to the cushion of pine needles beneath my feet, to the big sky above me, to the oblivious-to-my-pain singing birds. 

After a few minutes of this, my cell phone, which was in my back pocket, made its little chiming sound (indicating an email). I don't always check email in the middle of the forest (usually I make a point not to do this) but, in this moment, I knew I needed to. As I stood there with all that beauty around me, all the heavy-questioning inside me, this is what I read:



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Dear Julia,

I wanted to let you know that I have been reading every poem on your blog and each one has moved me deeply.

I'm a rabbi in the midst of preparing for the Jewish New Year, a time of deep reflection and transformation, and I am always looking for poetry to open up the hearts of those who come to my services, as well as my own. My favorites have been Hafiz, Mary Oliver, Kim Rosen, David Whyte, etc. This year I may be using your poetry exclusively, with your permission. 

I want to thank you for being so bold and generous and vulnerable. It is truly an inspiration--a deep and healing breath for the spirit.

I hope our paths cross someday.

In gratitude,

Arik

(Shared with permission from this beautiful man)


*               *               *


Seriously? 

I stood there reading and breathing, almost-not-believing what I was reading - saying thank you over and over again - to the trees, to the sky, to the oblivious singing birds - thinking:  

Really - does God/Source really respond this quickly? 

Apparently.

I felt like something hit me over the head (in a really beautiful way) - something that wasn't going to let me stand there in my self-doubt bullshit lies for a second longer. It was one of those moments that felt like all the lights got turned back on and I could see with total clarity that there wasn't a problem. That all I need to do, ever, is show up as me in the fullest, most love-filled way I know how. 

In that moment I could see with such clarity that my self-absorbed, self-attacking doubt wasn't serving anyone (least of all me). In an instant, I was washed clean and a deep faith in Grace, in life, was restored. I could feel my own Light and breath again. 

This isn't to say that I don't keep forgetting, but I have this beautiful moment to go back to, this moment where I could see with crystal clarity that Grace/Love is REAL. 

And once something has been Seen, it can't be unseen. 

I wanted to share this story with you, because I want this message, this beauty, to reach you too. I want you to know that beneath the layers of doubt and insecurity and tired and perfectionism and scars and bruises and shoulds and self-bashing and your thinking you need to prove your worth - there is this great, grace-soaked Light. 

Pure light that is always right there, right here, waiting for you to open your eyes. 

I send you so much love today,

Julia


PS:  If you haven't already heard, I have created a new 11 week, self-paced online program called B R E A T H E. I've got many beautiful ones who have already signed up. If you feel like you could use a deep breath, a splash of poetry and writing and art-making, click H E R E  to read more about it. It's open enrollment so you can sign up anytime. This is an offering straight from my heart - I would so love to have you along.





8 comments :

  1. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and triumph with us Julia. Your poetry is profound, and sharing it with us all is such an incredible gift! Bless you beautiful one. ❤️

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect, dear Sandy. Your words are so appreciated.

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  2. thank you
    for sharing
    for your honest vulnerable self
    for listening
    for hearing
    <3
    I learned very early in life never to talk down to myself ,there had been enough
    of those kinds of people, I refused to ever do it, to the point that everytime I walk past a mirror, no matter how messy, how fat, how tired, how lost I say Hello Beautiful and send myself a wink.

    so happy you listened in and as I couldn't agree more about your awesome poetry
    sometimes we never get to know just how far our words and deeds go

    hugs

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  3. Luna. Wow. This:

    "I learned very early in life never to talk down to myself ,there had been enough
    of those kinds of people, I refused to ever do it, to the point that everytime I walk past a mirror, no matter how messy, how fat, how tired, how lost I say Hello Beautiful and send myself a wink."

    is so, so powerful and completely inspires me. I love so much that you do this for yourself. I am learning that nothing matters more than the love we give to ourselves. I'm going to take your above words and practice the same beautiful act of kindness.

    Thank you for blessing me, dear Luna.

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  4. Julia,
    Just a quick note to let you know I really love your book. Those are the most beautiful Poems I've ever read. Thanks for showing up.

    Much love!
    Lindsay

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  5. Liv, this message from you made my day. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect. I'm so happy to know that my poems touch you.

    Sending you a heart full of love,

    Julia

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  6. Replies
    1. (((J))) - I love you too, beautiful friend.

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

♥ Julia