My Blog Has Moved

Hi Friends,

Because of a new website design, my blog has moved to http://www.juliabutterfly.com/blog.html

i am no longer posting on this blog, but do please connect with me on my new blog!

 

Love and Gratitude,

 

julia

Published in: on April 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

For Love Itself

“For Love”

(not for love of something or someone but for Love itself)

knocking
knocking at your door
i am prostrate at the altar of you
i run and hide and rage
only to return 
humbled
by the knowing
that without you
i am merely a rented costume
empty of meaning
or life
i bow in reverence 
and to reverence i return
it is only in the space of you
that i become truly alive
anything else is merely existence
as my heart breaks open
i know i am expanding 
this
this is why
they call it growing pains

 

 
Published in: on January 26, 2014 at 5:51 am  Comments (3)  

Thank You and Please Don’t “Fix” Me

Tears flow from a seemingly endless reservoir…

i know things will be fine.

i don’t need to be told.

It is patronizing

when the heart hurts this much

to try to “fix” me…

when all there is to do

is cry until I feel I might die in it.

 

I know there is nothing “True”

and all pain and suffering comes from

illusions of the mind.

i know to breathe, notice, let it go…

i don’t need to be told.

i don’t need to be told,

“This too shall pass.”

 

In this moment,

what is “true”

is that I am feeling

a deep and intense and overwhelming

sadness and grief…

and tears

that feel like razor blades

dismembering my heart and gut

wishing to die

because living in this pain is so much worse.

And yes, I know, I know, I know—

i am just dying to self,

dying to ego,

dying to letting go of illusion.

 

I don’t need to be told.

It is patronizing

when the heart hurts this much

to try to “fix” me.

 

It is patronizing

when the heart hurts this much

to try to “fix” me.

 

Please just let me be.

 

Don’t try to fix me.

 

Please just let me be.

And if you feel so moved…

maybe just love me…

without needing anything in return.

Without words even.

Just love me.

Because if there is anything that will

ease this sadness,

it is that soft energetic feeling,

like a gentle blanket,

of being held

without restraint, constraint, or restrictions,

rules or regulations,

qualifiers or quantifiers, or the need to teach or preach…

just that soft feeling of being held and loved.

 

For no reason.

For nothing earned or deserved.

For no reason.

 

And meanwhile I will sit here,

with tears pouring out of the hole in my soul

as my heart shatters and

my gut is sliced and spilling out into the abyss…

 

 

julia butterfly hill c January  23, 2014

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 12:54 am  Comments (10)  

In Honor of Friends, FRamily, Birthdays, and Blessings

Tomorrow is the birthday of the woman who has been co-worker, ally, friend, and now, my closest sister to me in my FRamily– and so much more. Alissa Hauser Last year, i was inspired by her response to the shootings at Sandy Hook. 

I was so touched by her generosity in the face of tragedy (spurred by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School) that i wanted to truly stretch beyond my normal giving nature, so i chose to donate to a different organization/s each month for a year in honor of her birthday and her husband Steve Brown (January 22nd birthday.) To see the inspiration behind my commitment, go to: http://28acts.tumblr.com/ 

For those of you who have followed my journey this last year, you know that i struggled on many levels– including financially. And part of the reason, i wanted to make such a big commitment around giving is that i know the best way to move beyond our own limitations (especially those that involve a feeling or experience of scarcity) is to give beyond reason. i made a commitment that i would give every month. i did not set a specific amount. Rather i chose to give at whatever level was a stretch for me that particular month. 

And so i did. i gave every single month for a year. And of course, when standing in the space of generosity, in the midst of scarcity, blessings upon blessings of support also showed up in my life. 

My personal life and my work is profoundly impacted by the gift of Alissa Hauser in it. i am a much better person for knowing her and having her in my life. And Steve Brown has been so supportive of Alissa, and often times volunteering his own time and expertise to various projects and campaigns we have done and/or been involved with. Plus, he lets me descend on his home and set up camp when i am in the area, and has been so supportive of me including when i was healing from various surgeries and health challenges. These two embody what we mean, when we say “FRamily.” 

And to see how Alissa’s generosity continues to grow, inspire, and motivate– as well as how to join in the giving, go to:http://thepollinationproject.org/2013/12/30/every-day-givingtuesday/

Love and Bountiful Blessings of Kindness and Generosity. 

i will list all the groups i can remember that i gave to in this last year, just in case you are inspired to contribute to one or more of them as well. i did not actually keep track of all of them, so these are the ones i can remember.

Winnemum Wintu tribe. i have worked with them and contributed to them in various capacities for many years.http://www.winnememwintu.us/

Honor The Earth doing incredible work on so many fronts.http://www.honorearth.org/

i have said for many, many years, “i wish i could have had a RUCKUS training BEFORE i went into Luna! Would have made such a HUGE difference for me. And they are making a HUGE difference in many communities giving some of the best trainings and support out there!
http://ruckus.org/

i am a founding and ongoing donor and adviser for Women’s Earth Alliance. i am very proud not only of WHAT they do, but also, HOW they do what they do!!http://www.womensearthalliance.org/

Oceana is doing great work for our Oceans. i supported them in particular because of the great work they are doing in Belize!http://oceana.org/

Sustainable Harvest International does wonderful work all over Central America. i supported them because of the great work they are doing in Belize which has been my home for the last 3 years.http://www.sustainableharvest.org/

When i met Adam Bucko and saw his unique and important approach for working with homeless youth with the Reciprocity Foundation, i instantly became a fan and supporter and have continued to be for years. http://www.reciprocityfoundation.org/Also check out his book co-authored with Matthew Foxhttp://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/books.php?id=25493

The Center For Biological Diversity is one of my favorite environmental organizations. i became an even bigger supporter of their great work when they started tackling the very big and intense challenge and issue of overpopulation and the impact that has on our beautiful planetary home.http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

Those who know me closely, know that i have a HUGE place in my heart for all the children and teens who are already here on Mother Earth who need loving homes and support and that i am a HUGE advocate that people of privilege stop bringing any more beings onto our already overburdened Mother Earth and instead either adopt or give time and resources to supporting the young people already her. i am proud to be a supporter of Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity. http://www.ahoproject.org/

i have been a supporter of various efforts, organizations, and individuals in this region of Arizona for many, many years. Having a permanent home is crucial to helping provide long-term sustainability for organizations and community efforts, so i contributed to the down payment for the Siléi Community Empowerment Project. http://oybm.org/give-a-gift-of-solidarity-support-help-silei-community-empowerment-project-with-final-down-payment/

And i supported my friend Michael Bock in his bicycle climate ride that raised money for great groups working on the global climate change issue. 

Hope you found this post inspiring, empowering, and useful! And feel free to share!  

 

Love and Blessings and Generosity Beyond Reason,

julia

Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm  Comments (3)  

In His Honor…

With the passing of the incredible Nelson Mandela, i saw many amazing quotes of his that people were and are posting on their Facebook pages to honor who he was to us and to the world.  
 
i thought about these quotes and how amazing this man was–both in word and in deed.  And then i thought about what would be the best way to honor this man’s life and his death?  And as great as posting his quotes are (to remind ourselves of his phenomenal legacy and the things about him that move and inspire us) that the best way to honor him is through ACTION!  Nelson Mandela’s life was about MOVING people to take action on behalf of a free South Africa and for freedom and justice for people experiencing oppression around the world.  Inspiration without action does not change the world– as a matter of fact– inspiration without action makes us feel better while actually supporting the status-quo, the oppressors, the Earth destroyers, the animal abusers, and all the things that break our hearts and anger us.  Our INACTIONS are us much a part of shaping the world as our actions are.
 
So, this is what i posted on my Facebook– bringing both praise and criticism– but no matter people’s views of what i posted, my intention is to ask us ALL (myself included!!!!)  these questions:
 
You want to really honor Nelson Mandela and his life? Don’t just post a great quote of his and/or write some sweet sentiment or memory. Ask yourself, “How can I live MORE boldly, MORE courageously, with MORE commitment, MORE courage, MORE service, and MORE risk?!” Anything else is just a great quote and sweet sentiment. Nelson Mandela deserves MORE than that from ALL of us!!!
Published in: on December 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm  Comments (4)  

Good To Be Reminded Of What i Already “Know”

A response i wrote to someone today who is feeling overwhelmed and saddened by how horrible people can be… “i too struggle with dealing with the atrocities of this world. i rage against the ignorance and violence and greed. i get so upset and overwhelmed by it all. And then, i remember, the only person who is actually affected by those feelings is me. So… as painful as loving is, it sure beats the alternative. ; ) “

 

It was good to be reminded…

Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm  Comments (2)  

“I Am… Graffiti”

“I Am… Graffiti”

 

I write my memoirs

on the cracked

chipped

pealing walls

of your forgetfulness

your…

wish these places didn’t exist

your…

if I pretend they don’t exist

maybe they will

disappear

your…

if we only made these places

“better”

aka gentrification

aka pushing people out of the places

they call…

HOME.

I write my memoirs

on the walls and doors

you built…

to push me out…

to hold me down…

to keep me in my…

“place.”

Because you think

I belong in this

“place”

lower than you.

Because years upon years

and generations upon generations

of oppression, colonialism,

imperialism, and materialism

and a host of other “isms”

have tricked you

into believing

stereotypes and hierarchy

and…

you worked hard to get where you are…

and I

the stereotype

only want to live off welfare

and don’t want to work hard

and would be in a different place

if I truly wanted, worked hard,

and just visualized

“The Secret”

into my reality.

Because if I just visualized “The Secret” enough

then fancy cars and fancy houses

would be mine.

And it is only my laziness

and lack of positive thinking

and my “karma”

that keeps me here

writing my memoirs

on the cracked, chipped,

peeling walls

of your forgetfulness…

of your privilege…

of your inherited and internalized

racism.

Hoping against hope

that despite the odds,

despite the history that says,

”Light skin equals privilege”

that somehow

the colored paint

that spews forth from this can

into sometimes brilliant

sometimes pathetic

markings, scribbles, art, brilliant possibilities

and everything in between…

left as memoirs

on the cracked, chipped,

peeling walls

of your chosen forgetfulness…

that somehow

I will leave my mark…

refusing to be silenced

in a world that wishes to forget.

 

cjulia butterfly hill  August 2013

Published in: on September 18, 2013 at 5:55 am  Comments (5)  

Sea Stars

“Sea Stars”

 

i fell in love with you

over dinner

and music

and witnessing

the way you

held space in chaos

 

i fell in love with you

and the way you

are together

modeling the space

where love is present

and judgment is put to rest

 

i fell in love with you

because your being-ness

mirrored a possibility for me

that cracked through another layer

in the wall around my heart

letting light in to shine

on the hidden hurts

that don’t believe

this love is possible

 

And as my heart cracked open

tears filled the space

not tears of sorrow

tears of gratitude

that this possibility

of love

exists

breathing aliveness

into a place within me

that died a long time ago

 

i fell in love with you

because you are you

in a way

that touched and moved me

in a way that has left me changed

 

i am a better person

for having met you

witnessed you

listened to you

weave your magic

i am a better person

for having fell in love with the gift

of huge love

within you

 

Thank You

 

To find out who this poem is about and to hear the magical music that is Sea Stars, go to:

http://www.seastarsmusic.com/

i had the pleasure of MC’íng for the first annual Arise Festival in Colorado this weekend.  i also was in conversation with the wonderful Daryl Hannah and a few other things at the festival.  My asthma was flaring up horribly because of elevation combined with dry air and massive amounts of dust.  Although i struggled pretty hard physically the entire weekend, i had one incredible experience after another that gave me a breath beyond the physical.  One of those moments was when the Universe conspired for the members of Sea Stars and the other musicians helping them out and i to be headed to dinner at the same time.  We “broke bread” and by the end of dinner, i felt nourished far more than just through food.

i was not even scheduled to MC that evening, but i went up to the person who was scheduled to MC and asked if i could introduce Sea Stars because they had moved me so deeply.  i did not even know yet how they sound; i just knew i was in love with them for who they are, and i knew their music would reflect their magic.

i introduced them as a powerful example of the beautiful balance possible between the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine, and as nourishment for the heart, mind, spirit, and soul.

i was right.  Their music and the way they were on stage (they had huge technical challenges when they got on stage and dealt with them with such incredible grace and love) fed us all on every level.

Check them out and if you resonate with their music, PLEASE BUY their music!   These are incredible people and incredible artists and they are in a time in their life where financial support through purchasing their music will make a big difference for them!

They truly changed me, and as a result, i know my life is changed.  This is how much i love them.

Thank You and Blessings…

And LOVE– the kind that cracks open the walls around our heart to let light shine in to the hurting places we have hidden for so long,

julia

https://myspace.com/theseastars/music/song/sweet-morning-62106379-67844684

 

 

Published in: on August 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm  Comments (11)  

Diamonds Hidden in The Dirt

 

Sometimes life is difficult. 

Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. 

But this is only sometimes… not all the time.

Because of my experiences in my childhood,

and repeated throughout my life,

I realized I had created these as the lenses of the glasses that I see through—

dooming me to this being the only way life could be lived.

 

Because of my experiences growing up,

I created the belief, “I don’t need you.”

Funny thing…

it took someone else being a powerful stand

for me to get this insight. 

Without their intercession,

I never would have realized that I held this as a hidden truth

underneath my work towards healthy relationships

with the Earth, with each other, and all beings. 

 

As much work as I have done to heal

my experiences of trauma with my past,

 I find that my past gets sneaky and puts on different masks

to disguise the fact

that it is still my past

pretending to be something new…

and oh so important.

 

My work is to heal and transform what I can

and to embrace and accept

those parts of my past that I cannot change—the ones that

bring me my gifts—

even as they also bring the parts of me that set me up

for struggle, suffering, and set-backs. 

 

“Great Mystery (insert whatever name you choose here that resonates with your connection to something greater than yourself)

 grant me the courage to change the things I can.

The serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

And the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

How true this is no matter our religious or non-religious beliefs.

 

I work hard

to be the very best me that I can be.

Oftentimes…

I am too hard…

on myself and others—

my knee jerk reaction to growing up in the profound hypocricy

of Christian religion.    

 

The gift hidden in this part of my past…

I live my life to a level of excellence that holds me to a higher

commitment of being…

even when I am tired, frustrated, cynical, angry, and hurt.

 

I always say, “Love is the fiercest task master/mistress I have ever had. 

Love holds me accountable to be bigger than my whining, my reasons,

and in all ways bigger than I know myself to be.”

 

Every time I think I am at peace with my past,

It shows up wearing a sneaky mask—

tricking and tripping me.

 

My work is to find the courage to change the things I can.

The serenity to accept the things I cannot.

And the wisdom to know the difference.

 

 

May we all find the courage to heal and transform the parts of our past that no longer serve us.  The serenity, grace, and compassion to accept the things that are just part of who we are—even when they challenge us.  And the wisdom to know the difference. 

 

Love,

 

julia butterfly hill

Published in: on August 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm  Comments (13)  

Bend… Don’t Break

Hello Friends,

Recently I returned home to Belize from a quick trip I took to the states to celebrate a friend’s 40th Birthday while also taking care of some technical melt-down issues and some health issues (neither of which were able to be solved in Belize.)

Unfortunately, my plane leaving from San Francisco was delayed because of a mechanical issue which made me miss my connecting flight in Dallas.  There were no more flights leaving Dallas going to Belize that day on any airline, so I was stuck in Dallas. 

I was really disappointed, but I reflected—as I always try to do in situations like this—on the lesson from the trees in the storm, when life sends storms, bend, don’t break.  I said a prayer of gratitude that the delay was not weather related as if that had been the case, I would have had to have paid out of my own pocket for accommodations and all food.  I chatted with the gate agent who at first had been told to send me on to Miami, only to have me overnight in Miami.  I very nicely said that seemed to be a bit ridiculous, and that it would be much better for me if I could just overnight in Dallas and fly direct from Dallas to Belize.  She laughingly agreed with me, checked flights leaving the next morning from Dallas to Belize, saw there was space and booked me on the flight.  As I was interacting with the agent as she was working on the computer, a guy walked up who had also been on my flight and was on his way to Belize as well.  He and I started talking when he realized I live in Belize.

As we had to wait for our luggage to be re-routed, we agreed to go together to have lunch (with our, oh, so generous lunch vouchers from the airline.  ; )  We had a lovely time going back and forth between talking about Belize and also our personal lives.  When our hotel shuttle arrived, it was very old and falling apart and the list of names of hotels it serviced had me very worried for the quality of the hotel the airline was paying for us to stay.  I noticed my thoughts running away with concern and worry, and I did my best to just let them go—worry and concern would not make the hotel any better.  : ) 

When we arrived at our hotel, there was a horrible chemical smell in the lobby, so I asked the man checking us in, if the windows in the rooms opened, and when he said yes, I gave a sigh and prayer of gratitude that I would be able to get some fresh air into my room, as the main health challenge I had to deal with in the states was my asthma getting out of control and my going into acute respiratory arrest.  Strong chemical off-gassing in the room was actually not going to be feasible for me, and I would have had to pay to get a room somewhere else, so I was very grateful when I knew I would be able to avoid that.  My new friend and I were both exhausted from lack of sleep the night before and agreed we would take a nap and then check back in with each other on doing something in the evening together.  Our plan was to go to the movies (I want to see Despicable Me2—yep, I am that kind of girl.  ; )  But it turned out it was too far away and too expensive to take the cab there, so we chose to just walk across the street to a place where we could have a decent meal (we both laughed in a scared kind of way when were first told that our eating option was Denny’s!  We both gave a sigh of relief when we found out the hotel across the street was a nicer hotel that had a bar and restaurant inside.) 

The hours flew by with ease as we talked like we were old friends reuniting.  As the evening became late and it was time to head back to our respective rooms (in the cheap hotel across the street ; )  I mentioned how grateful I was that if I had to get stuck en route, that I met someone so nice to pass the time with.

I was not always as patient a girl as I am now.  My fuse was much shorter when I was younger, largely in part because I was so filled with judgment (which I now recognize is a defense mechanism.)  I remain so grateful for the lesson of the trees in the storm—bend, don’t break—bend, flow, let it go.  I have come to realize that when life gets painful and challenging, it is as if life has knocked us upside the head with a shovel.  It is intense, and often times it is painful.  However, if we respond to the painful challenge (aka: “storm”) with feelings like frustration, anger, or judgment, it is as if we then pick up that same shovel again and hit our own selves in the head with it!  Not really the best idea if our goal is to find freedom, happiness, peace or anything like these!

When it comes to the issue of travelling, I am extremely aware that I cause harm to the Earth, and ALL its beings, every single time I travel.  I do my very best to make sure that if I am travelling, I am doing all I know to do to somehow try to balance out the harm, suffering, and violence I am causing and creating.

And sometimes, in situations like this, where so much goes “wrong,” part of that equation includes  being mindful of the “chainsaw” of my thoughts, and how that kills off and destroys any possibility for interactions of kindness, mindfulness, and meaningful connections with other people. 

I continue to struggle with my health and my ability just to breathe.  It has been a challenge my whole life.  The gift hidden on the flip side of this coin is that I am never far at all from being present to the very real gift that every single breath truly is.  Every single breath is a gift.  What we choose to do with that gift is what defines us and creates the legacy of our lives.  The true value of our lives does not exist in our bank accounts or retirement plans or anything like that.  The true value—our legacy—lives in what kind of a world do we leave behind and how much did our being alive on this planet at this time make a positive difference in the world, for our planet we call home, and to all the life it sustains—past, present, and future?

Life sends storms.  Bend, don’t break.  Bend, flow, let it go.  See what new possibilities arise when instead of fighting the storms, we choose to embrace them.  Oftentimes, miracles and angels are all around us.  We need only to open ourselves to them by releasing resisting and instead honoring the trees, our teachers—bend, don’t break.  There are wonders all around us—even in the intensity of the storms.

Love,

 

jb

Published in: on August 8, 2013 at 4:39 am  Comments (7)  
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