Julie Daley embodies feminine strength, depth and beauty in her artistic endeavors, her presence, her entire being. How I first happened upon her work, I don’t recall.
No matter. Once you discover Unabashedly Female with Julie Daley, you want to stay forever.
Her own personal journey unfolded as it became clear that a 17-year career as a systems analyst and her new Computer Science and Design degree from Stanford University didn’t segue with what truly called her.
Two traumatic experiences invited Julie to listen to her own intuition, and she left her career to work with top teachers and trainers from around the world in emotional intelligence, conscious embodiment, spontaneous awakening and life purpose – for starters.
Now, as healer and catalyst, dancer and writer, Julie’s work helps guide women into their own internal landscape through her blog, retreats, workshops and, soon, an online course. Check out Julie’s upcoming Feminine Face of Leadership in Anacortes, WA – a swoon-worthy weekend indeed.
In what way does your business express your true calling?
Julie: This question seems so simple on the surface, yet it has taken me many years to get to where I am now, and my business does not yet fully express my calling.
I started out knowing nothing about my calling, other than the very clear realization that my calling wasn’t to be a systems analyst/programmer like I had been for many years. I knew it had something to do with creativity, so I began to follow the scents along the way that made sense to my body…that resonated. It just wasn’t that clear, though…you know, clear enough in a logical, rational way. It took me awhile to discover that’s the way things seem to work – that callings aren’t logical and rational, and that many times they seem utterly unreasonable to the part of us that reasons.
I do believe we have many callings, and that the many callings have some root truth at their core.
Just recently, I’ve begun to peel away layers around being an artist…layers that keep me from really stepping into this important aspect of why I am here.
I know that I am here to express things that are very hard to express; to put into words that which almost can’t be expressed through words, hence the artist piece. And, my true calling is also to guide women to know something in ourselves that we’ve forgotten, that has been obscured.
Being a woman is a lot about embracing the mystery that is at the heart of the Feminine. It’s very much aligned with creativity, with surrendering, with nourishing and nurturing, while at the same time claiming a fierce, instinctual love for life, an instinct for serving life, all of life. If you look at the root of feminism, you’ll see this instinctual eros.
My business is now changing from a coaching/teaching model to more teaching and creation of products that help show and share what I see this deep mystery of womanhood to be.
What role does vulnerability play in your work?
Julie: Oh, gosh, it is all about vulnerability. One of the key aspects of the feminine is vulnerability, about knowing the deep power of being open and vulnerable, not in a way of powerlessness or victimhood, but in a way that is deeply and firmly rooted in the earth. It has taken me a long, long time to learn this and I am still learning it.
As I dive more deeply into the artistic aspect of my work, and also offering in-person workshops and retreats designed to guide women to discover these deep sacred places within their beings, I am making more and more discoveries of the places where I still hide behind veils that I once created out of necessity, but that now no longer serve me.
We are discovering this new feminine consciousness. Together, we are discovering what is being born. This takes great courage and by allowing ourselves to open to each other, we are able to witness what is being born in each other when we are courageous enough to share it by telling our stories, by being real, and then also by being kind to ourselves when we step back out of fear or shame.
One of the ways we are re-discovering the true power of the feminine is by living the truth of ourselves – this is what being vulnerable is all about – not hiding ourselves. Yet, I still hide. There are places that feel just so painful to reveal, so in this process it is also important to know that, to acknowledge it and to, with compassion, ask myself to go further into it.
I certainly don’t do any of this right. I make a ton of mistakes. Yet, and its taken me so long to get this, that this is when people actually find me the most attractive…in my deepest humanity.
To me, this is what feminine leadership is all about: living the truth of who we are, discovering the mysteries of the feminine that we’ve been conditioned to forget or felt shameful about, or push away because they are so beautiful, so erotic, so incredibly powerful. This is where courage and vulnerability really become important. To be a woman leader in these times is to stand fully in our womanhood, knowing other women have our backs and knowing that it is the doorway to a future where our children and grandchildren have the possibility to live a good life because they once again know a true connection and relationship to the earth.
Right now, the earth is extremely vulnerable, as is all of life on this planet. We ARE already vulnerable. That’s what we don’t want to feel, to acknowledge. And it is when we acknowledge exactly what is true that we discover the power from within that has been here all along.
Does perfectionism ever trip you up, and if so, how do you move through it?
Julie: Yes. I’ve recently noticed that when I am sitting at the keyboard ready to begin a writing session, I hear messages I tell myself that I didn’t hear before. I’d always felt discomfort and just pushed past it, or not (meaning I would find a way to numb out). But now, I hear these messages and they aren’t nice. This voice is the voice that has always been more of a droning noise.
My perfectionism was always a way to avoid hearing these internal messages. If I could keep trying to create only the best, then I could avoid hearing myself tear myself apart with such shaming words.
Now, I must keep showing up, knowing that the very discomfort I am trying to avoid is actually the doorway to my liberation. Those voices are what need healing, and only I can do that from within. It is by way of what I most resist than I will come to embody what I truly am.
I’ve found that those who really love me and deeply wish for my success are right here when I need them. I love having a posse of women to hold me when I can’t hold myself, or don’t know how to hold myself.
When you get out of alignment with your core self, what brings you back to center?
Dance. I love my dance practice. Exercise. Meditation. Writing. Delighting in taking pictures of flowers and in playing with my four beautiful grandchildren. They get me to laugh, which is a good, good thing.
Walking deep in the heart of nature away from structures that contain a lot of thinking. Trees bring me back to center.
Any final thoughts?
After spending a few years in a very internal place, and going through some big life changes like leaving my relationship and really looking at the places where I lie to myself, I am now feeling a strong pull to be with people rather than solely being on the phone with clients or on social media.
I think we are being called to show up in person, flesh to flesh, to see each other in our imperfect humanity. I’m 56 years old and I no longer have the blush of youth in my skin. Yet, I find that when I show up, and I meet you in the physical and see the gorgeous light that shines out of your very human eyes, and hear the lyrical song that rises up out of your human voice, I see you, really see you. This is what is being asked.
5 quirky questions:
Your favorite food in the fridge is …. fruit.
A practice or ritual supporting your inner life is.… dance.
Right now, you are wearing … yoga clothes.
Three things you really love are … dance, my children and grandchildren and beauty, which are really all how I experience the divine in my life.
The last purchase you made was … breakfast with my daughter and grandchildren.
Need more Julie?
Join her upcoming The Feminine Face of Leadership on Aug. 25 – 26 in Anacortes, WA.