Broken Feet, Open Heart

A couple weeks ago, after a year of rehabilitative work, I chose to have reconstructive surgery on my feet. After close to three years of being in pain, I was ready to undergo surgery. My doctor is fabulous as are my community who have supported me on the journey of healing.

I literally had my bones broken with a saw and re-aligned. The first two days, I was in an incredible amount of pain. The pain meds did not work for me, so I eventually was in so much pain, that my body went into convulsions. Fun. Woohoo. Party On Pain.

I kept telling myself that I was squishing what would have been years of ongoing pain into a very short window. It helped me get through, and now I am on the other side. Now, I am in that fussy baby stage where I can’t seem to get comfortable or sleep. More fun. Woohoo.

Through it all, though, I am so profoundly grateful that I am surrounded by a circle of Framily (a name my friend told me for the people in our lives who are friend/family.) I have been held with such love and support, that there have been moments where I am challenged with just receiving.

My life has been quite a journey. There have been so many times where I have wanted (and in some cases tried) to not be here anymore. I am deeply sensitive, and it hurts an awful lot sometimes for me to be in this world. And yet, during times like what I am currently going through, I am humbled and reminded how blessed I am, and how very much I have to be grateful for.

I have the best Framily a person could hope for. And, I have a mother and grandmother who are keeping me in their prayers and prayer groups. I am held with so much love.

My prayer for my life is that at the end of my life in physical form, I have given and received love beyond what I know and understand to be possible. If I could pick 3 words that I am remembered by, it would be “Love in Action.”

My deepest love and gratitude to my Framily, Family, and all those who live love in action.

julia b

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 4:18 am  Comments (32)  

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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. blessed to have you in this world; blessed to have you on new feet; blessed by your Love in Action 🙂 amica

  2. Hola Julia !

    Que gusto verle ayer in Albany … wishing you good good good good-healing vibrations … thank you both for greeting us warmly, over dinner/ dessert with Mr. Burton … i cherish PEACE, and i was reticent to disturb ya’ll .. as we too are now in R+R , recupe mode . post-fest , post-school year .. Debra Sue would love to part of your healing circle while you are here in El Cerrito .. her chi/ technique is genuinely remarkable ..

    and I’d like to invite you / remind to enjoy worldOneradio while you are here .. weekday nights between 6 – 9 pm … 88.1 love FM … watch for the raspberry L.U.V and flag me down .. or perhaps visit at a cafe or at our home .. where you and any framily will be most warmly welcomed … ecomo mai . luz amor y vida …… corey @ worldOneradio+festival H / O 510 233 0611
    = : ) ~

  3. Sending you feet fairy dancers of massage and healing!

    Also a question?

    Last time I saw your feet you were up in a tree and hadn’t walked on ’em in almost a year and the pads on your heels were almost gone and your toes had transformed to look more like hands, more like monkey feet than people feet. : -) Is this what your surgery is related to or is it something else?

    Long live the trees, Deane

  4. I just tonight saw the documentary about your time living in/with Luna. It was so powerful to watch but my thought after was, and here I’ve spent 10 years of my life struggling to want to be here, to be alive. So to see your post and your mention of struggling with that yourself at times, Wow. Thanks. I do what I need to do and have to be who I am. And your post reiterated that. Thanks.

  5. Hey Deane!

    No the foot thing is a hereditary thing. Climbing trees is actually a wonderful thing for my body! ; )

    Long live the trees!

    julia b

  6. Julia,

    First off I would like to say that you are a true inspiration. I recently read your book (mandatory for an English class) and I have to admit that I had no idea who you were or what you stood for or anything about you for that matter. Also admittedly I wasn’t very excited the first time I heard about having to read your book because I had typically stereotyped you unjustly. In the time of 1 week, I have read your book, watch the video Butterfly, and a few other documentaries.

    I have to say that you have moved me deeply and really made me aware of the happenings in our world. I cannot put into words how much you put my original perspective into check and opened my eyes to the depth of meaning in life. I thank you and all the support that were there for you for being there when all others were not.


  7. Best wishes for a swift recovery.

  8. That is certainly pretty accurate of how I remember you! I am digging on the term “framily” for sure, and can’t wait to use it 🙂

    When you said “my community” at the top of the post I found the term puzzling, as though it were familiar in some way, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on just what exactly it meant…which is kinda sad to me! I am thankful to you for this because I think it has just opened up a door to questioning some things in my life. Thank you for this, and for the countless other times when I have been moved, motivated, and inspired by you.

    I am thinking the good thoughts on a quick recovery.

  9. Thanks Rachel! Thanks especially for your honesty! I appreciate it!


  10. Thanks for the thoughtful response! And I too love wild silliness (as i saw on your blog : )


  11. Hola julia

    En tu visita a Chile el 2002 dijiste con referencia a los bosques “la idea es que no importe de donde uno venga, porque se pueden proteger desde cualquier parte del mundo”
    Tengo el conocimiento de como controlar la desvastadora plaga del escarabajo del abeto y otras.
    Quisiera que me contactaras con ambientalistas de EE.UU. o de Canada para tener una experiencia internacional y demostrarle al mundo cientifico que existe un metodo eco-fitosanitario, que es efectivo, donde ellos no tienen nada y que una vez conocida esta noticia en nuestra querida tierra, se dejaran de usar millones de toneladas de quimicos que dia a dia van envenenando nuestro planeta.
    Me fue muy triste enterarme de que tu fundacion no seguia, pero el amor que le tienes a los arboles y a la naturalesa, no terminara nunca.

    Por favor ayudame para poder ayudar.
    El tio miguel te saluda afectuosamente,

  12. Hi Julia, Hope you have a quick recovery. Pain passes. “This too shall pass.” I am sure you will heal and be stronger than ever. You have done so much for the environment, and others, and inspired so many, I am sure a Higher Power will heal you and you will continue your best work. Kip in Rhinebeck NY

  13. Julia,

    I am working on a documentary film which will feature a short segment about your adventure in northern California. The movie is all about people like you who face life’s challenges and make a positive difference in the world. I am reading your book right now and you have been such a wonderful inspiration for me. I ended up in a project which will take two years of my life without knowing what I was getting into. There have been too many wonderful moments and difficult challenges to count but I am doing my best to hang in there and finish the project as I know the result will be worth it. I now have your inspiring story to lift me up on the difficult days. Your post about your surgery really touched me. I hope you are doing better and the pain diminishes. Hang in there. I will send you a copy of the film when it is done. If you are interested, just email me an address where I can ship it. I am hoping to complete it before the end of the year. Thanks again for your love and example! Lee


  15. Do you know the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn? He has written a lot of books.

    I was listening to one of his recorded dharma talks, an he said in the most casual way, “Everybody knows that in our previous lives we were trees.”

    He talks about trees all the time. Also clouds, rain, flowers and other things.

  16. Julia, Obrigada! Thanks for being such an amazing human-being and inspiration for many! We send strong healing “Brazilian Axé” your way.

  17. One last idea. Shall you be called now Julia “Monkeyfeet” Hill?

  18. Dear Julia ~

    Don’t know why, but I had an overwhelming urge to write to you today. Then I read about your feet… ouch! I am sending you Big Love and healing wishes from Asheville and the Southern Appalachian mountains. I hope you can feel it.
    As John Lennon once said, “Time wounds all heels”. Feet… where we connect to the Earth. What two marvelous instruments we have at the opposite end from our heads. I’m sure you’ll be dancing in no time. Get well, dear soul.

    ~ Daniel

  19. Julia – You wrote “My life has been quite a journey. There have been so many times where I have wanted (and in some cases tried) to not be here anymore.” I felt so sad (and surprised) when I read that. Although, a number of years ago, when I saw you living up the tree, I basically blew you off as a sweet little flake, I have since had the opportunity to see you speak and you are an AMAZINGLY intelligent, thoughtful, insightful woman.

    Hang in there! The world needs more people like you.

    Susan in Vancouver (who is involved with Be The Change circles, in large part because of you)

  20. You are a treasure.

  21. As are you!

  22. Your love is immense… for people. Time to re-discover it. There is a GREAT healing in store for you, in healing others.

  23. love in action – what a beautiful concept. i hope that soon your feet are dancing in love.

  24. Obrigada to you too Ericka! That is one of the few Portuguese words i know. : ) i so very much love Brazil. Thank you so much for the healing thoughts and for sending me a bit of Brazil in your message! : )



  25. Blessings to you and the gifts shared, brought me in touch with my heart. Keep

    up the good work and I hope you feel better real soon, lots of love.


  26. If I wasn’t confident that you do have a great circle of family I would be concerned, but all the same the best to you and blessings on your healing.

    A couple of weeks ago I was driving down the street and I just had the realization that I will never be able to fully express how much love I have for the world. I don’t know how I can know this, but I imagine it is the same for you. There is always more that wants to come out of the open heart, and Love in Action is certainly the most appropriate description. No matter what you do you will certainly be remembered by being that love.

  27. Hope you’ll get better soon.

  28. Hi Julia. I have visited the redwoods often and always been frustrated that I couldnt take a decent photo of them. Ive always felt they were among the many subjects that simply can not be captured on film or canvas or in words and still do. But this one turned out nicely and I wanted to share it with you.

  29. Dear Julia,
    As your feet continue to heal, stand strong in mountain pose, let your roots regenerate, as Mother Earth absorbs some of your pain, as you have taken on so much of Hers, and know that you are supported and loved.

  30. I just found your blog after just seeing your doucumentary “Butterfly.” I hope that you are healing well and I am sending you love and light and healing thoughts and energy. I resonate with you and your comment on not wanting to be in this world anymore sometimes. I am also a very sensitive, empathic person. There are a lot of us on this planet in all walks of life but know that you and the rest of us are here for a reason. We chose to come back here and incarnate at this time to help raise and push forward the the spiritual awakening of conscious awareness on this planet. So, hang in there! Things are and will continue to get better. I just started my own blog for family and friends and I talk a about this in my post “2012 and beyond.” I absolutely love your poetry and understand your deep sensitivity. I feel the pain of others, mother earth and her inhabitants so immensely sometimes, that I just cry but I also see the compassion, beauty and joy also which makes our journey all worthwile. You are a beautiful soul and may you continue to have peace and love in all your adventures.

    Love, Michelle

  31. Hello Julia,
    I’m watching the documentary about you right now. Thanks for evrything you do. I hope you are feeling better.


  32. Hey Julia, long time no see!
    I was just traveling down the PCH and I met someone who wasnt a fan of yours. I had heard they existed but found them puzzling…still do, in fact.
    It is always strange when you encounter someone who sums a persons life up in one sentence, one negative statement,….and that’s it, no mention of anything you did accomplish or a sense of appreciation that you gave up 2 years of your life to do so…..she just simply said I dont like her(you) because…”insert single reason here”

    I didnt argue with her but left her with something to think about. it is hard to change a persons just one conversation.
    Anyway, I was thinking of you and I hope youre doing great now.
    David(from Alabama that met you in Kentucky two years ago)

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