On the other side of fear

Julia Fehrenbacher stills her conscious mind, and creates.

She writes (I have abridged): When I drop below the level of thought and step fully into the moment, a quiet yet powerful knowing meets me right where I am. This sacred space is not concerned with right doing or wrongdoing, changing or fixing. It is the space where softness rests and hunger fades. When I make a conscious choice to be there, even in fear, magic and freedom happen. A world of possibility that my mind cannot possibly fathom opens wide before me.

When I sit down to write poetry or pause before a blank canvas it is my intention to get out of the way and allow something fresh and rich to flow through me. My mind jumps in with gripping resistance, telling me why I am not good enough and how I should do it, and each time I must quiet the noise of my mind. My practice is to keep returning to what is right before me, to allow my heart to take the lead.

 She believes we may live in the same way, wide awake, to meet what is with the fulness of me. This book has the purpose of freeing us to live in that way. Behold, the pictures are beautiful. I do not see the bird straight away, and it gives me such pleasure when it comes to my attention. Is that red storm threatening? Well, it is the same colour as the woman’s robe. See how erect she is!

This is where I am not. I want that sense of Presence, and I want to Live in it, more than to experience it, to act out of it. I am aware that my fear and anger is also in my subconscious.

The beautiful poems may be heard quickly, they are limpid and simple. There is little punctuation, the varying speed comes from the line breaks and the rhythms of the words themselves. And


stands out as the bold single-word stanza. On we go, in a spiritual journey. Quieten the inner critic, there is only the perfect, shining self. See the oak shed its leaves, as it does, being itself. Be yourself, your wild and tender perfection. See the amazing beauty of the quotidian, and Love is the only response, bringing delight. See the amazing beauty of your own body, breathing and heart-beating: that knuckle, how perfectly it does what it does as part of the whole.

I will
empty myself
again and again
and again

until all that is left is
and a Knowing
that it is all

Just as it was
Just as it is

Out of this comes Life in all its fulness, unleashed. Together, we are Everything. This, Here, Now, is perfection. One more picture, and then it will be time for me to kneel.

In my ritual space,
rather than accept,
I honour myself, I honour physical body, mind, brain, spirit and psyche
Qi and life-force, instinct and being

past and present and future


On a completely different note, I have just gained the Kreativ Blogger award. To imagine how pleased I am, think of Scrat with his acorn. Ha! I have awards to give out! Be nice to me- Or, how about swapsies? I do not have a Beautiful Blogger or a Candle Lighter or even an Inspiring Blogger award, all of which I clearly deserve. Apart from her excellent taste, I am intrigued by Cathy‘s ventures into energy healing and the route to the Divine- or the Collective Unconscious, the liberated personality, call it what you will. As one example, read her on centering in the Body, in direct sensation.


Added, 31 July: I am delighted to have pleased Julia as she describes in the comments. Her book did me good, and I want her to know that- and I am very happy if potential readers of her book know that too. And I am pleased to get the link and plug from j, through whom I heard of and got the book, who writes, “Clare wrote a truly stunning, soulful response to the book on her own blog.” And- I am tempted to say, “It is all a load of Crap! Julia says eveything is Nice, I thought for a moment, how Nice, it is no more than that.”  That would not be true.

And- it comes from the feeling that when I respond Nicely to a Nice thing I get a pat on the head, and all my struggles with my Shadow self, the unacceptable bits of me which I can no longer suppress and must integrate are devalued. That is what I want to be Heard! I also want you to Hear me having fun in decorous and oh-so-mild subversion. I will come back to this in my post Anchorite shortly.

I seek acceptance, and I do not accept myself, despite all the acceptance I receive, the rejection is so much more vivid to me.

Round and round I go
Accepting- Rebelling-
Accepting- Hurting
I so hope I make progress

The “pat on the head” comes from me. It is my own acceptance and then withdrawal. I can accept the nice bits. I have rejected and suppressed the difficult bits. I move towards greater acceptance.

17 thoughts on “On the other side of fear

    • It is a huge step for me. I have seen myself as different, and less, and wrong, and fake- the opening out and self-valuing I do now, first intellectually and then emotionally, is a great deal of work. I am glad you witness it. It is so long a journey! And- the book helps me with it.


      • Dear Clare,

        I can’t begin to express how touched I am that my book has something to do with you accepting your beautiful self more deeply…this has been/is my dream for this book–that it show people to themselves, that it be like a mirror that reflects others just-rightness.

        I am deeply, deeply humbled that you did this write up in honor of my book–it really means more to me than I can say.

        From every part of me, thank you.

        With love & gratitude,



  1. You’ve reconnected me to the joy of turning up at the blank page and creating; to quieting the mind and let inspiration throw out its wonderful daily surprises. Thank you


  2. Clare, this is simply beautiful. I’m pleased to be introduced to Julia’s work – her simple paintings make me want to head to my studio and get out the paints. I so enjoy your eloquent review and impressions. And thank you for recognizing the fact that I have excellent taste (grin). I don’t have the Candle Lighter, Beautiful Blogger or Inspiring Blogger either, but if/when they come my way, you’ll be at the top of my list!



    • What I responded to at that moment was her lines,

      Just a tree
      being a tree
      being a tree

      It brought me to a new place of self-acceptance. Perhaps I was ready for that, perhaps there were other things in the air/Spirit around me moving me there, but this Synchronicity moved me forward. And her idea of trusting what is deeper in her than her restless, conscious mind, to create what is Good. This is part of my spiritual work at the moment.

      Over this strange medium of blogging, you and I both are on the same Spiritual quest, moving forward with each others’ insights- with hundreds or thousands of others. We bless each other. It is Wonderful!


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  4. Pingback: In Awe of Stillness

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