What we do here:

Work on our stuff. Dissolve stuck. Play. Experiment. Rewrite patterns. We take sometimes-heavy things* and we make them more fun, playful, manageable.

I also write about my conversations with walls and monsters, and what it's like to work on a pirate ship. Good times.

* Sometimes-heavy things include: mindfulness and presence, pain and trauma, business-growing, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity


Chicken 339: WUSIT!

Friday chicken

A look at the good and the hard in my week, a ritual of reflecting.

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for Friday.}

What worked this week?

Choosing intentional seclusion, and redefining it.

I got invited to a fun thing on Wednesday and realized the better choice was to say no, because, as I put it, “better to not inflict this tender, vulnerable, emotional premenstrual state on the world.”

And then I instantly corrected myself:

“I mean, better not to inflict the world on tender, vulnerable, emotional me.”

I chose to stay indoors and take care of myself, and this was such a good move. Thank you, wise me.

Next time I might…

Trust the no.

I had been getting a maybe-no on something for a while, but the thing itself sounded so amazing, that I just talked myself into sticking with it.

Then when obstacle upon obstacle piled up, I realized that I was being redirected towards a better yes, even though I didn’t know what it was yet.

I want to trust the no, because that’s what helps me trust the yes.

Actually this happened with about ten different situations this week, so clearly this is the thing I’m meant to be figuring out right now. It is not easy.

If you feel drawn to leave comments on aspects of my week, I will take love, hearts, breaths, pebbles, I do not need advice or cheering up, though presence and sweetness are appreciated. Hearts or pebbles work great if you don’t know what to say, often I don’t know what to say either so we’re in the same boat.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. Massively ptsd-triggered by an explosion on Saturday. Pain in right ear lasted through Monday evening, hearing probably damaged. A breath for poor scared me-from-then who can’t tell the difference between fireworks and suicide bombers.
  2. Entirely new levels of overwhelmed. Also, the phrase What Unsovereign Shit Is This? (WUSIT!) gave way to What NEW Unsovereign Shit Is This? That got said a lot this week. Oh, and I got angry enough to give someone the finger. That never happens, I don’t even know who I am right now but this week I got to the point of Seriously Hating Everything. Except the boy. I still like him. Everything else though is getting on my nerves. A breath for ease.
  3. Still letting go of everything and it hurts. A breath for releasing.
  4. Collating collating collating and getting all the things ready to go. And then a hundred things went wrong. Our shopping cart software gave us billing addresses instead of shipping addresses, so we had to redo each package individually. And they haven’t respond to help requests because they have this new thing where paid requests come first. So apparently paying a thousand dollars a year for the service doesn’t count. Oh, I could go on. Post office obstacles and ordering obstacles and everything obstacles. A breath for logistics.
  5. Body hurts. I miss yoga. I miss being outdoors. I miss Rally. I miss dancing. A breath for comfort, and for patience.
  6. Waltz brunch, my all-time favorite Portland dance event and the main thing keeping me here, was not enjoyable for me this month. The lesson was terrific but got triggered twice during the dance and left early. A breath for all signs lead to the exit.
  7. Missing the beautiful boy. And our four weeks of running away together got canceled for [reasons] and [obstacles], and this is absolutely the right thing, and I can still be sad about it, and I am. A breath for a new plan, may it reveal itself soon.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week. May I choose to trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. The secret code name my lover and I gave to our four weeks of running away together was Operation True Yes. So it’s pretty funny that less than a week before we were set to leave, we both discovered simultaneously that this was not our True Yes. I mean, running away together is still our true yes. Just not in the particular form that had been planned. So here’s to true yes, here’s to the new form of that, here’s to going somewhere quiet to breathe together. I can’t wait to find out when and where that will be. A breath for trust, and for true yes, and for knowing that this is right.
  2. Sweetness and warmth. I know what in my life is good. A breath of appreciation.
  3. Sending off all the BORKS! A breath for delight.
  4. A wonderful talk with Alon about living by joy sparks. A breath for delight.
  5. I was hating the latest self-administered haircut, and Marissa was able to salvage it, and now everything is slightly better. A breath for perspective.
  6. Turned the horrible yard sale of iguanas and doom into a Releasing Party & Treasure Hunt, and now I feel better about that. A breath for how words are magic.
  7. Taking care of so many iguanas. I am ready to let go of things I was not ready to let go of before. A breath of thank you.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Rumba. Soup. The red hot water bottle. People who care about me. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

WHAM BOOM! Operations completed.

The phrase Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code that means: this thing is done! It is often shortened to wham-boom. You may also shout (or whisper) other joyous words if you like.

So much done! Finished editing the last two ebooks! Stuff is moving at the Playground! More boxes are leaving my house! A very complicated Playground op: taken care of! Thank you fractal flowers. Wham Boom.

Revisiting some wise important words of truth from past-me.

Let’s revisit the fountain. As much as possible. We’re all equal at the fountain.


Powers I had this week…

I had the power of Solidarity In Irritations (is it just one guy?), and the power of Finding My Way.

Superpowers I want.

I want the superpower of Totally Unfazed By Any Of This.

Other favorite superpowers: Permission slips everywhere. Calm Steady Trust Is Mine At All Times. I Take Care Of Myself Easily and Unapologetically. Loving No Is The Door To True Yes! Delighting in Plenty. Self-Ripening Wisdom. I see how beautiful everything is and I say thank you. Theatrical Spectaculars! Doing things in grand fashion, like a fairground stripper! I Boldly Glow. Ablaze With Fearless Intentional Choice-Making. I Have Everything I Need. Wildly Confident, Outrageously Beautiful, Wonderfully Tranquil. I Do Not Dim My Spark For Anyone.

The Salve of True Yes.

When I wear this salve, I feel steady and grounded. I remember again. I feel what draws me, I recognize that belly spark of oh, this is for me!

Everything that is not my yes doesn’t even appeal, so I’m not even tempted.

I just zero in on moments of yes.

It takes three seconds to know what I want to wear. I am not overwhelmed by choices in the supermarket.

This salve is a secret sovereignty salve: want what you want!

It reminds me of vetiver, frankincense and the hidden staircases inside of me that lead to treasure.

These salves can’t be seen, but the production factory delivers enough for distribution by way of the magic of the internet, so help yourself. There is enough.

If salve does not appeal, you can have this in tea form, as a bath, cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

My brother and I make up bands, which are all just one guy. The Meme Beach House is the venue.

This week’s band is from the Vicar. Since everyone I know has been having a week of Everything Is Extra Horrible (the latest album of this band), it is reassuring to know that I am not alone, there’s some weird cosmic clearing out of junk, or something going on, so really, we have company, and The Cosmically Fucked is a gigantic ensemble, and not at all just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am still recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, since they are keeping things good around here for me.

So I want to seed a reminder that this is a thing, and it helps, a lot. Not just with calming down in the moment but with building the kind of habits that allow you to change your relationship with whatever is scary or uncomfortable.

I hardly ever recommend these because the page is already many years old and needs rewriting. However, copywriting aside, this is still one of the best things I have ever made, by a lot. I have two boxes in my office full of the sweetest thank you notes from people, and so many of them are for this.

Come play if you like…

Join me in the comments. Some of us share hard and good, some of us say hi, or maybe we’re feeling quiet. My ritual doesn’t have to be your ritual. Whatever works for you. We’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way. Feel free to leave pebbles (or petals!), hearts, warmth, sweetness. Those always work.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We don’t give advice.

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever you like, it’s no big deal. And I am blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers. I love that you are here too.

Time will tell.


Tenderness is a word that has changed for me over time.

It used to grate. Maybe I had tenderness about tenderness.

I didn’t like it. It felt too vulnerable, overly sweet, almost overbearing in its rawness. I didn’t want to be tender. I wanted to toughen up, to feel the firmness of clearly delineated lines, the steadiness of clean edges, of knowing where they are.

Time has passed, and now I am different. My relationship to tenderness is different.

If once I experienced it as uncomfortably awkward, now it is another flavor of love with its sudden welling up of joy, and yes, it is vulnerable. It can still be uncomfortable, just in a new way.

It’s uncomfortable not because I can’t handle it but because it is honest: here I am with my real heart, my real love, my real everything. I am ready for tenderness.

I love words.

You’ve probably figured that out if you hang out here.

I mean, I’ve written 1,409 blog posts. Well, about thirty of those are still hanging out in the “one day I might press the publish button if I’m feeling brave” hallway, speaking of things that are tender.

I love words, and I love them even more since having become silent.

Once I used to taste them in my mouth, now I taste them with my whole being. I feel them. Sometimes I think silence has amplified the magic and pleasure of words. Speech now seems like a very small way to access language, if that makes sense.


Once I had a lover who loved words as much as I did.

We never met. We were lovers in words. We created entire worlds constructed in words.

We spent well over a year whispering words to each other across the distance.

All the words.

We would fall into words, as word-lovers do.

If we were in touch (a word that begins with T), I would ask him about how he experiences tenderness. The word and the quality.


I share words this way with other people too. I have word playmates. TJ. Agent Elizabeth. Anyone who can play. Delight in words is my inheritance.

Word playmates can’t stop at Tenderness.

The other T words would have to come and play too:

Twisting. Tangled. Tentative. Toss. Torque. Tension. Tulips.

Take. Torrent. Torrid. Tend.

Truss. Tussle. Tousled. Tassled. Together.

Twilight. Tilt. Tipped. Trouble. Treble. Trellis. Trill. Thrill.

Touch. Taste. Treats. Timelessness. Trust.


Trust is the most beautiful thing in the world.

I am learning about it in entirely new ways with the boy I like.

This is my love-more trust-more.

In [relationship with jealous ex], he never trusted me. And I would think, “Well, that’s his stuff, and he’ll find his way through it, and see what is true.”

I didn’t understand that to be with someone who cannot trust me is not sovereign. You can’t have love between equals when one person doesn’t believe the other person’s words.

Trust is everything. Mine got broken. But here I am, trusting harder, because that’s what is needed.


I have never liked the phrase “time heals all wounds”.

It is one of those things that is both true and not.

Time makes space. It allows for perspective, and there is a slow, steady magic to moving through life and then discovering that you have a new relationship with the hurting places.

Everything ends, changes, reconfigures.

Suddenly you’re on the other side of the thing that seemed like it would never be okay.

This week I made a list of every time someone in my life has disappeared. Death, breakups, misunderstandings, drifting apart, mysterious disappearances, or not-at-all mysterious ones that made total sense but still hurt.

I put an asterisk next to the ones that still sting, and two by the really painful ones.

Much to my astonishment, it turned out that items that used to be squarely in the two stars category suddenly don’t require any.

So. Time has a wise magic. Time, space, releasing, forgiving myself.


Some things just need to be repeated.

You really hear it the second time.

There is something about twice. Twice becomes ritual. Three times is even better.

This is also related to truth and to telling and to tradition.


I recently came back from 43 days on the road with the boy I like, in the desert and by the sea and in the mountains.

43 days, 5150 miles, 114 hours holding hands while driving in the truck,

We called it Operation Tranquility Recovery Magic. Is that not a marvelous name?

There is a deep peacefulness that comes from horizon and spaciousness, a restfulness that I can soften into and trust.

Tranquility might be my favorite drug.


Things are in transit, right now, for me. And also in general, because everything changes. That is the way of things.

Nothing wrong with transition. It’s metamorphosis. Things moving because life requires movement. This is the end of stagnation, and sometimes it looks like breaking when it is really shedding.

Tell me. Tell me tiny truths.

This is what I say to the beautiful boy when my head is resting on his chest.

Well, I type it.

I like hearing his voice. I like being reminded of things that are true.

Sometimes I want to be told about sweetness, sometimes about warmth, sometimes about trust.

There is a tenderness (yes) to asking: Tell me. To listening and receiving.

This is how I get better at remembering to treasure myself.


Where is the treasure?

Right here, in this moment.

The thing I want more than anything else is to be someone who treasures herself, who takes exquisite care of herself. To meet myself with a kind heart.

To be someone who finds treasure in treasuring. To glow boldly, because the treasure is in my heart.


Those were our secret names for the cardinal directions at Rally.

May it be so! And come play with me.

This has been a meditation on words that begin with T.

If you want to whisper words or sound effects that start with T, go for it. Or we could drink tea. Or listen to the tale of Tetrazzini, something I do every winter.

Other T-words (tea words!) that I like:

Towards Trickle Tricksy Twinkle Tenacious Tea Texture Tomorrow Tipsy Transparent Teleport Talisman Twirl Turning Tough Turquoise Truth.

Oh, and toast — it’s also a verb!

And tango. And turning over. And thoughtful. T is also for Terpsichore, the goddess of dance, the muse of movement. A toast to her, and to all the Terpsichorean treasures.

You are invited to add more T words, or peek over here for more tasty T-treasures. Like tachyphrasia, tangoreceptor, temporicide, and tirailleur.

And of course, if you want to share in any of the qualities and magical words I named here, help yourself.

They work like the salves in the Friday Chicken: there is enough and there is always more.

Whispering loving spells that begin with T, for myself, and for anyone who wants…