April 29, 2013

bananaflowerrachelcole

 

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the wild and brilliant Julie Daley.

::::::::::::

My well-fed life moves and flows with the erotic: the impulse, the beat, and the breath of life. The erotic is what spring does to cherry trees, as Pablo Neruda wrote of, or ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower’ that Dylan Thomas wrote about so beautifully. It’s what is at the heart of creation, the urge to bring forth something new into being.

For me, being well fed is the lived experience where the numinous meets matter; spirit becomes human, and life dances in this woman’s body. Well fed happens when I am in a healthy, open, trusting relationship with life. It’s not always that way, but it’s more often that way now in my life that it ever has been in the past. It’s taken me years to come to trust life; years of a lot of deep healing work, personal growth courses, and traveling to different parts of the world where things are completely different than what I had experienced; years of guiding others to do the same; and, years of raising children, and now being a grandchildren to four beautiful souls. It doesn’t have to take these things. These are simply what have brought me to this profoundly humbling relationship with life. Life brings you exactly what it takes to wake you up to trusting life, to giving yourself to life, to living life as this vital creative force.

Consider this beautiful banana flower, above. It is completely erotic… to look at, to touch, and to smell. The cells of this blossom are full of life force. I took this picture while at a ten-day camp on Molokai. Each day a group of us worked around the grounds of this retreat site, doing jobs such as planting native plants, painting and staining, working in the organic garden, tending the orchard, and taking care of the cottages.

Each morning, I walked the orchard picking up fruit the trees had released. As I walked past each one, I would check for any fruit that looked ripe, and then give each one a little pull to see if the tree would let go. While each fruit appeared to be completely ripe, pulled down toward the earth by the weight of its flesh, the tree didn’t necessarily let go. The tree knew when the time was right and ripe. And, even when the tree hadn’t let go, sometimes the fruit would drop overnight due to heavy winds blowing through the orchard. Sometimes it would be the tree itself, and sometimes it would be life outside of the tree causing the fruit to drop.

As I noticed this, I could see the correlation in my life. I, too, am this fruit tree. I, too, am in a continual cycle of creation and creativity. All of nature is conspiring to aid me in coming to fruition. Sometimes I feel like I am ready, and I might even push to try to make things happen. Yet, just like the tree, when the fruit is not ready, it doesn’t fall. And sometimes, other forces in my life, like the overnight winds, come to bear on my creations, causing them to come forth when I don’t expect it.

What I’ve come to see is that I am fed and nourished by deep gravity; by how it feels to be here fully, leaning in to life. When I soften and exhale, and really allow the earth to hold me, I can feel the green fuse moving through me, I can feel spring doing to me what it does to cherry trees.

For me, this is what feeds me. Everything flows from this relationship to life and the earth. And, from this relationship with life, all other relationships flow. When I am not relating to life, I am not relating to myself, nor can I relate to others.

Hungering and thirsting are visceral feelings for the body. And in a similar way, they are for the soul. In the past, one of the ways I avoided being here, was to nourish myself with transcendence, with a kind of fullness that is also empty. It worked for a while, but then I could feel a kind of sadness and grief in my soul. Something was calling me to come more deeply into life, into the here and now. This takes vulnerability. This has been the hardest part of my journey, trusting that as I age, deep gravity is pulling me closer and closer to the earth, to a sensual relationship with life that exposes the sweetest nectar and most succulent flesh.

Life is erotic by nature. So are we. I know I am Eros embodied. The very same force that pulses through everything, including this beautiful banana blossom, pulses through me. That pulse is impulse. It is hunger for touch and a thirst for beauty. Sometimes, it is a raging river, and other times it slows to a trickle.

It can sound esoteric, and on one level it is, yet it is also very practical. In real life, it is Being in motion, where what I am continually creates itself over and over to feed the hunger of the soul to know itself anew.

This is creativity.

This is wholeness.

This is feeding Self with our own sustenance.

Nothing will ever be as nourishing, or as satisfying, as this.

::::::::::::

A dancer at heart, Julie Daley would love nothing more than to live her life and do her work from the dance floor. Ten years in the practice of 5Rhythms has opened her to the joy and wildness that is at the heart of women’s creativity. A writer, teacher, coach, and yes, dancer, Julie savors life playing with her wee grandchildren & serving the women and men who are called to work with her.  Julie is happiest when she is breathing through her feet.

Rachel’s Note: Julie takes the MOST amazing photographs of flowers. Follower her on Instagram @juliedaley

posted in guest posts
April 24, 2013

rock

photo credit

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the solid and savvy Mara Glatzel.

:::::::::::

There was never anything overtly wrong with my life.

I had a pretty face. I got a couple of fancy degrees. I drove a new car. I had a dream-like wedding to someone wonderful.

I could have been happy in that life – with my credit cards paid off in full every month, and commute to work with to-go cups of coffee and light road rage. I was the kind of little kid who dreamed about the “real jobs” that “real people” had.

I came from a family of artists and writers, and all I wanted was a 401K.

During this time my body was my ultimate project, and eating to shove down any acceptable feeling was my ultimate self-love tool.

As much as I loathed the skin I was in, working on it made me feel like I was doing something. I lost and gained weight, with purpose.

All the while, when I said I hated my body, it was because I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the incredible boredom I experienced living my life as though it was a series of events happening to me. I didn’t have the words to describe my deep hunger for being lit up from the inside out.

I knew how to say, “I feel fat.”

I did not know how to say, “I want a huge, exciting, and adventurous life, filled with friends, hot romance, and big words.” Whenever I thought about that yearning, it was as if it was blacked out like the sensitive information in a classified document. As if, preoccupied by my fear about whether or not I was deserving of that kind of a life, I didn’t have the security clearance to access my hungers.

Until, bubbling up out of my deep craving: I want to feel really good.

I was lying in bed in a hotel room in Vermont at 6 am looking at the ceiling. I had been crying for four days straight. I was supposed to be relaxing, but, instead, I had been fighting with myself about getting a job.

I asked myself: If this is the last year of your life – do you really want to look for a social work job?

No.

Ok. Then what?

In that moment, I realized that I had never truly asked myself what I wanted to do next.

Up until that point, I had allowed my life to pick me, wandering around from opportunity to opportunity fairly happy, but without any intention about the life I was creating for myself. My life was good, but it wasn’t mine, persay. It was the kind of life that you get when you have pretty good luck, but never actively engage.

Then what?

I want to make my own schedule.

How?

I want to work for myself. I want to build beautiful things. I want to feel inspired. I want to make a habit out of expanding my threshold for experiencing joy. I want to help people. I want to help myself. I want to feel like my life is mine.

You just paid $120,000 for your education. You have to become a social worker.

In that moment, I realized that there are very few things in your life that you actually have to do. I started crying, but this time with tears of relief.

My well-fed life is built upon a foundation of radical self-responsibility.

For a long time, I thought that my important work was improving my body image. I spent my time writing about it, thinking about it constantly. But, that was one half of the story.

The other half was quietly repairing the undercurrent of boredom – the deep yearning that I hadn’t really had the words to describe. It was the work of cultivating a relationship with myself.

It took one choice: if this is the last year of my life, I want to feel good.

Then, the floodgates opened. I wanted to choose everything.

Short socks instead of tall socks. Hot coffee, even in the summer. Horizontal stripes, always. Time to pray. Time to read. Sweating over stretching. Sleeping late without guilt. Time alone.

My well-fed life is a series of well intentioned choices, and a relaxed relationship with outcome. Experimental.

My well-fed life is fueled by doing what I say that I’m going to do. Showing up. Dressing up. Talking fast and embracing my love of idioms.

My well-fed life is filled with active decisions, carefully curated experiences, and replacing that undercurrent of boredom with one of languid joy seeking. It is brimming with intuitive hits, and no thank you, I’ve got a really important date to keep – with myself conversations.

Now, when I imagine how I truly want to live my life, I imagine a dinner party at dusk on a warm day. Underneath the sparkling lights in a lush garden, there is a long table with many seats, each seat occupied by someone that I love with my whole heart. In the dream, I’m having a fantastic time at the party – laughing deeply in my belly and feeling lit up from somewhere deep in my core.

Everywhere I look things are growing and sparkling and cozy in their place.

Each seat is occupied by one of my many parts. Each part feels welcome and loved.

:::::::::::

Mara Glatzel is a life-coach and the creator of the Body Loving Homework E-Course. She works with brave women looking to chase what lights them up, and cultivate deeply satisfying lives. In creating this sacred space for women to thrive, she’s bringing a masters in clinical social work, her spot-on intuition, and the lessons  picked up along the way as she built a relationship with herself grounded in self-trust. Catch up with her on facebook, twitter, or join her body-loving mailing list for secret swapping and insider news.

posted in guest posts
April 22, 2013

mwfl.laurie

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from my fabulous writing teacher Laurie Wagner.

::::::::::::

A couple of weeks ago, David Bowie put out a new record, which is a big deal in the music industry. The man is 66-years-old, a legend, a huge rock star. I’d heard an interview with a member of his band a few days before the record launched, and the interviewer asked, “What earlier record is this new one like?” I found myself hoping he’d say The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory – two of my favorite Bowie records from the 70’s. But this band member only said that it was the best record Bowie had ever made.

So when the album came out on iTunes this week, I checked it out, hoping to hear songs that would take me back to 1976 and tanning by the pool in Palm Springs with my friend Marcie. Those were some days. I was 16 years old, had long brown hair, and wore bikinis. Boys liked me and I loved music; a doorway into a rich place full of feelings that I couldn’t yet articulate, but which I knew promised me access to a deeper part of myself.

But when I listened to this new album, I didn’t hear anything resembling the Bowie I had loved. Instead I heard the crooning stuff he’s been putting out in the last few years – not my cup of tea.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know what Bowie was thinking when he put out the record, but his band mate told the interviewer that Bowie makes the kind of music that’s coming through him.

I didn’t get the Bowie album I wanted – but if what his band mate said is true, and Bowie responded to the music coming through him, then Bowie made the best album ever, because as a creative person, hearing and responding to your own music is everything to your deeper success and ultimate joy, and the only way to do anything authentic and sustaining.

Hungry For the Sound of My Own Music

Of course, I’m not just talking about music – I’m talking about all the juicy juju that comes through us when we follow our instinct and imagination: ideas for projects, colors we’re drawn to, clothes we want to wear, friends we suddenly want to be in touch with. It has a lot to do with saying yes to ourselves, yes to what’s moving through us.

We train for this at the Wild Writing table, where our job is simply to be a channel for the words that are coming through us: bad words, silly words, potty-mouth words, words that don’t make sense, words that we’ve never spoken before. I invite the women I work with not to reject a word or thought that is presented to them, not to try and find a “better” thought or a “better” word. If they do, I tell them, their writing will go south. When we write or make art, we’re in partnership with the creative unconscious, and if we ask for its help but reject what is offered, it stops working for us.

If we follow our desire, our instincts, what we hear, what we’re hungry for, our whole earthly vibration rises. We might actually hear ourselves humming. That’s the music inside of us getting louder. That’s us tuning into our own unique and glorious frequency.  The only thing we have to do is start listening and be brave enough to act on what we hear.

And here’s the icing on the cake – when we’re walking around the planet vibrating as the creative animals that we are, more people, more ideas, projects and opportunities will come to us because we’re easier to spot. The best way for people and ideas to find us is when we’re lit up. And we light ourselves up by following what moves us, what brings us joy.

Creativity chooses us, but we have to be listening for it. When I look at anything I’ve created, it’s all rooted in what I love – not what I think other people will love.

And so I have to think that’s what Bowie did when he was making his latest album – and why he’s still making music  –  83 albums and 44 years later. I don’t have to love it. What matters is that Bowie can still hear the sound of his own music. Lucky, lucky Bowie.

:::::::::::: 

Laurie Wagner  is a writer, creative writing coach, author of 7 published books and numerous magazine articles, creator of the 27 powers Traveling Writers series, Wild Writing classes, Telling True Stories ecourse and the new digital daily drip 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers. She lives in the Bay Area and can be found at www.27powers.org

posted in guest posts
April 19, 2013

mwfl.jac

photo credit

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s poetic post comes from the secret weapon of many mavens: Jac McNeil.

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She knows

she sits on the rocks of the rough Atlantic coast

feeling her heart sync with the pounding of each wave

she knows she is home

she sneaks under the covers next to her sleeping daughters

enveloped by the soft rhythm of their breathing

she knows she is safe

she laughs with him until they’re both gasping for air

wiping tears from their eyes

she knows she is well loved

she drops to her knees with the pain of losses long past

and the acceptance of what lies ahead

she knows she has loved well

she closes her eyes and turns her face toward the stars

her hungers have been well-fed

she knows she has lived well

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Jac McNeil is a certified and credentialed professional coach and a self-leadership expert. Her work helps women entrepreneurs unearth their own powerful business truths so they can do more of the work they love and feel called to do. She is the creator of the business building program In Your Element and her work has helped hundreds of women thrive in business and life.  She lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia with her husband Matt, little girls Sophie and Emilie and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Guinness. You can learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

posted in guest posts
April 17, 2013

mwfl.tanya

All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the all-heart super-coach Tanya Geisler.

Joy Dividends

My well-fed life requires joy.
Joy, joy beautiful joy.

Nourishing, satiating, expansive
Joy.

My joy requires connection.
Connection requires attention.

Immersed, deepened, hot tub,
laughing soul
Connection.

My joy requires gratitude.
Gratitude requires attention.

Heart-full, heart-fueled
head bowed
Gratitude.

My joy requires generosity.
Generosity requires attention.

Given, received, reaching, finding
open-palmed
Generosity.

My well-fed life requires attention.
Attention paid, joy dividends received.
Heart stilled and stirred by grace.

::::::::::::

tanyaTanya Geisler is certified Life and Business Coach (CPCC, ACC) with a penchant for clarity (her Clarity Sessions have been likened to “divining rods of truth”). She’s coached hundreds of people who were ready to step into the starring roles of their lives. She wrote The Joy Pages, created Board of Your Life, is a blogger for the wildly popular The Daily Love, has served as contributor and was featured in Canadian Living, and is an in-demand speaker who talks with great passion on all things joy, meaning and purpose (just try to stop her). She recently spoke about the Impostor Complex at TEDxWomen. It is her indomitable belief that if everyone knew their own unique recipe for their personal brand of joy, they’d hold the key to shining in their life, in their work and in their life’s work. (It really does change everything.)

posted in guest posts

Hi, I'm Rachel

I am a life coach and fierce advocate for women feeding their truest hungers. I'm also a curator of inspiration and this is where I share the wisdom I've gained, words that trigger deep reflection, and resources to help you live your most well-fed life. Feast onward.

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