Julia McCutchen is an intuitive mentor, teacher, author and founder of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former international publisher, she experienced a life-changing accident in 1999 which triggered a deep awakening that led her to leave the corporate world and forge her own path. Julia’s core teaching includes conscious writing and creative exploration to guide people to discover their authentic voice, unlock their creativity and transform their life to live in alignment with their soul. Her specialty is to bring intuitive insight to her work with individuals and groups to reveal their true purpose and provide the clarity they seek. Julia is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication and Conscious Writing: Discover Your True Voice Through Mindfulness and More (Hay House). For more information and a free series of conscious writing training videos, visit www.iaccw.com
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My Personal Story
I’ve always lived life from the inside out. At about seven years old, I remember telling my mother that when
I grew up I wanted to be a Buddhist monk (yes, specifically "monk" rather than "nun") and live in Tibet!
In the early days, I rode horses and motorbikes, loved music and dancing, dyed my hair crimson and all along searched for truth and freedom.
As a teenager I experienced loss, love, life and death with deep intensity. My journey took me to live abroad (twice), graduate from university with a Combined Honours Degree and then take 18 months off to pursue my passion for exploring spiritual teachings.
It wasn’t long before I found myself working as a publisher with the mission to "Communicate Perennial Wisdom" for a contemporary international audience. It felt like a dream to earn my living from sharing answers to some of life’s most important questions; enquiries I’d been engaged with for many years.
Life threw me a series of major curve balls during my 30s and although I reached the top of my publishing game, eventually I became exhausted from working too hard. It was time for change but I didn’t know how to find my way out of my fast-paced life.
Then a single moment in time changed everything…
In my capacity as managing director and publisher, I attended a conference in Cyprus during March 1999. In the opening session one of the stage spotlights accidentally fell and hit me on the crown of the head. It literally took me out at every level.
I was off work for over a year, then the company I’d put my heart and soul into for such a long time folded and we were all made redundant. Not long afterwards my mother died. All this occurred in just three years; it was an extremely intense phase of my life.
Having been stripped of the story of who I thought I was, I was plunged into the depths of darkness and disillusion. After an initial glimpse of grace, I became utterly lost in a sea of agonising uncertainty and extreme confusion.
Yet my commitment to Truth served as my guiding light and I soon learnt what it truly means to let go. In the deepest surrender I finally realized fully the Truth I’d been seeking all those years. I woke up at last.
As my search came to an end, a whole new phase of my life began; and I’ve been dedicated to sharing my discoveries to guide others to realize their true nature ever since.
I deeply resonate with what you write. I’m in the process of letting go of so much in my life,
learning about and finding me – the truth of who I really am. From the facing of challenges and feelings of uncertainty,
self-doubt, and much confusion about myself, to those moments of darkness and the opportunities those moments bring,
I am so blessed to have you in my life. From the bottom of my heart, keep doing what you do, keep being you.
Jenny Sharp, creative writer, poet, writing coach and primary school teacher
5 Realizations that Led Me to My True Calling
Since the accident I’ve consciously followed my intuitive inner impulse and completely redefined myself and my life to integrate my inner and outer worlds, and combine my love of spirituality, creativity and writing. Along the way I’ve learnt to:
Value my health and well-being at every level
It’s wise not to take these for granted as you never know what’s round the next corner! I’ve realized the value of making time and space to recharge regularly which boosts my creativity and revitalizes my sense of passion and purpose. I’ve also discovered that when I’m in complete alignment – body, emotions, mind and soul – I’m able to access my deepest insights and ideas, and set myself free to create what I’m here to create.
Trust the "big picture" even when I can’t see it
Leaning in to uncertainty is extremely uncomfortable to start with! Yet learning to trust has been deeply liberating for me. Now I know that being fully present to what "is" creates the right conditions for me to release the old and make way for the new, even when I don’t know the detail. This degree of presence and trust has transformed the angst of "not knowing" into an exciting process of creative self-discovery.
Let go of "pushing the river"
It took me a while to surrender this one completely having always been taught to "make things happen"! Ironically, the more I commit to living in the flow of life at one with the rhythms of nature, the more creativity flows abundantly through me. I’ve learnt to embrace the natural phases of expansion and contraction, and along the way I’ve been delighted to discover the meeting point between focus and flow where less effort is required for more to come into being.
Release who I thought I should be and embrace who I truly am
What a relief it was for me finally to accept myself for the grounded creative mystic with an organised edge that I’ve discovered I am! It took a major life event to stop me in my tracks long enough to identify what truly makes my heart sing. However, you can choose to challenge your existing assumptions and explore the truth of who you are beyond the roles you play in the only moment which truly exits – now.
Grant myself permission to create a joyful life that is an authentic reflection of my soul
Aha, so it’s OK to enjoy life as well as work hard in service to others then?! I found that once I tapped in to my inner truth, my whole view changed so I wrote a new script with different values at the core – Truth, Freedom, Gratitude, Love... Now I dance my way through a transformed and evolving version of my life which increasingly reflects my soul’s true purpose. What could possibly be more fulfilling?
"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself."
Today I love the conscious and creative life I’ve developed over the last 17 years which includes:
Starting (most) days with a morning practice that includes my own blend of energy, movement, meditation and non-dual contemplation drawn from the spiritual traditions I’ve explored including Yoga, Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Tantra, Advaita and Dzogchen.
Living close to nature and feeling connected to life, death and rebirth as the wheel of life turns. I also immerse myself in the cycle of creation by growing fresh organic food which I turn into delicious colourful meals that are deeply satisfying at so many levels.
Taking regular time out from all that I do to immerse myself in being through stillness, silence, space and solitude to balance the creative fire that courses through my veins and make sure my internal dial is always aligned with wholeness.
Nurturing my creative soul with abundant sources of daily inspiration such as music, dance, walking in nature and more. This refills my inner creative well, maintains my sense of feeling creatively alive and shifts creativity into a way of being, not just something I do.
Spending time in Bali, the island of the gods, where my love of vibrant colour and natural beauty are completely validated. I fell in love with Bali within 24 hours of arriving for my first retreat there and it remains one of my favourite places to visit.