Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Forgotten Relationship-Julia Speer-Guest Post

The great thing about the internet is it enables you to meet some wonderful people. One such very beautiful soul I recently have come to know is artist, teacher, and minister Julia Speer. It moves me to know such an inspiring woman, makes me feel motivated, and hopeful. I feel she is one of my many soul sisters I have been blessed to know, who are so important and vital to my life. She has an excellent website, and blog,

I am very happy and proud to share with you, her guest post, entitled The Forgotten Relationship.

Image By Jade Beall Photography

My new friend and kindred, Catherine, generously 

invited me to write a blog post to share. I thought to 

myself, “If there were only one thing I could say (to 

women), one thing I could share, what would it be?” 

I would say, “You can know just how magnificent

you are.” I don’t mean when; when you lose 10 

pounds, when you get that promotion, when you 

accomplish whatever it is you think you “should” do. 

No, I mean right now in this present moment, you 

can know the magnificence of the beautiful and the 

not-beautiful within you. 

I turn 56 in less than 3 weeks, and if there is one 

thing I now know like I know like I know, it is that all 

that I have ever longed for, searched for, felt was 

missing or just not quite right in my life was 

addressed with one primary relationship - the 

relationship with self. Yeah, I said it. Do you have a 

visceral reaction to it? Do you have little voices in 

your head that whisper words like selfish, 

self-centered, self-absorbed, egotistical, narcissistic, 

unattractive, unspiritual, wrong, bad? Tell me how 

did “self” become such a dirty word? It’s like the 

word “no” for women. Nice girls are always loving 

and giving… to others. From the time we are little 

girls we are taught to focus our attention outward 

and away from ourselves toward others. We are 

taught to focus our time, attention, energy, love, 

commitment, generosity, patience, and compassion 

to other. This is done often out of balance and to the 

exclusion of our self. 

How many women do you know who are very 

comfortable with giving to others their time, 

attention, love and acceptance, but feel 

uncomfortable and undeserving when it comes to 

giving that same thing to themselves? How many 

women do you know who are just as comfortable 

with receiving as they are with giving? I have been 

facilitating women’s soul work since 1997, and I 

have met and know a lot of women. I would have to 

say in response to this question, very few. What I 

have discovered is that as women, this is one thing 

we seem to share universally. I don’t think it’s limited 

to the U.S. because women from all over the world 

respond to my women’s Facebook page, and it is 

certainly broader than American culture. The problem with this message and the resulting 

impact is that women disconnect from their bodies. 

This is a grave problem because our bodies house 

our instincts and intuition. Our bodies tell us the 

truth about when we need to say yes and when we 

need to say no. In fact, our bodies will tell us exactly 

what we need at any point in time if we will but 

listen. Sadly, we have been taught to fear this. We 

have been programmed to see our body as the 

enemy. Most women believe that if they listened to 

their body tell them what they need that it would 

destroy them with its voracious appetites. But that, 

Dear Girls, is a lie. Our magnificent bodies are an 

exquisite resource. Most of us have come to believe that if we accepted 

ourselves exactly as we are in this moment, we 

would become lazy, complacent, unmotivated to 

create positive change. We have come to believe 

that our harsh inner critic is what motivates us and 

keeps us from becoming something undesirable. Is 

that really true? Think for a moment about how 

humans thrive. What results would you get if you 

said to a child the critical things you say to yourself? 

Would that child thrive? Would that child be 

motivated to risk, to step out of their comfort zone, 

to learn new things? Or would that child become 

fearful, distrusting, hesitant, lacking confidence? This 

is true of any human. If the inner critic actually 

worked, wouldn’t all we be in a very different place 

by now? The truth is that constant criticism enlists 

our lizard brain, the part of our brain that responds 

with fight or flight. When we are threatened or 

under stress (criticism), our bodies produce cortisol, 

a stress hormone. When the body feels consistently 

threatened or attacked, the long-term effects of 

cortisol can have a negative effect on our overall 

health. The body, when under this constant internal 

stress, in order to protect itself, will eventually shut 

itself down. Depression follows. When a person is 

depressed, there is little motivation. So a deeply 

ingrained pattern of self-criticism is actually 

de-motivating. All that garbage you have been telling yourself all 

these years does not help you. It does not expand 

your life or nourish you in any way. It is counter-

productive, diminishes your health and impedes your 

joy. You deserve joy. Period. Commit to the act of 

Embracing. Synonyms: Acceptance. Approval. 

Agreement. Implementation. Yes, practice it. Get up 

every morning and say yes. Yes to this belly, yes to 

these breasts, yes to these hips, thighs, waist, arms. 

Yes. Look at your body in the mirror and begin the 

practice of loving and accepting yourself right here 

and now, all of you. Reconnect with the wisdom of 

your body. It has so much to tell you. Look into your 

own eyes and begin to build a relationship with 

yourself that is honoring and respectful. The self is not some ugly, anti-god monster. The self 

is our soul-self, that rich, dark fertile soil of the 

psyche. What is there drives our actions whether we 

know it or not. We can live from an unconscious, 

self-defeating place or a conscious loving place. It is 

a choice, but it is not an event. Tending soul is like 

tending a garden. It needs love, nourishment, and 

nurture. When we make that commitment, we get to 

reap the harvest. There is a bounty of joy, 

compassion, peace, freedom, and personal 

empowerment waiting for each of us. It starts right 

here at home, this relationship with myself.


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