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

 

Friday Chicken #299: Chicken dances the Operation! Bell! View! Countdown! Shuffle!

Friday chicken

Where I cover the good and the hard in my week, visiting the non-preachy side of ritual and self-reflection.

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for Friday}

You guys! TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE WEEKS OF CHICKEN.

That is a lot. How are we going to celebrate next week? I’m open to ideas.

What worked this week?

Editing as a soporific…

When I go dancing late at night, it is nearly impossible for me to calm down enough to put myself to bed when it is over. Adrenaline! Excitement!

And none of the usual things that calm me down seem appealing.

I have discovered that the one thing that always seems to work for me is editing. Take out the red pen, go through a few pages, all of a sudden I want to go to bed.

Last-week-me knew I’d be at a dance convention this week, up until all hours, so she put together some editing projects for me. The best.

Next time I might…

Ask: What happens when I treasure myself.

This question changes things for me. It also is a good reminder that whatever I’m currently doing might not be what I need or want.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. Most of this week was about the final prep stages of Operation Bell View, and transitioning from preparing for it to actually being on it. And in it. I am literally in Bellevue, Washington. I’ve never really done an op like this before. It is a ton of work, and I’m not even really sure why the Agency put me on this mission to begin with. A breath for trusting the process.
  2. Oh man, so much stuff from Then. Being at a dance convention is bringing up all these memories of my first ever yoga teacher training, which also happened to be the first teacher training in Israel that had international certification. Half the people in the training were Russians who were former gymnasts, the other half were famous Israeli yoga teachers there for the certificate. I felt so completely out of my element. A breath for remembering that Now Is Not Then.
  3. Feeling anxious! About all kinds of things. A breath for comfort.
  4. I was hoping that the missing would get a little easier this week. Nope. Missing, missing, missing. A breath for staying with the sensation and letting it be what is true for me right now.
  5. Operation Bell View is so much work. A million tiny details. A breath for releasing worry.
  6. Saying yes to something you want is (or can be) amazing and terrifying. Operation Bell View is a huge commitment towards Dancer Me, and this is new and exciting and scary. A breath for trust.
  7. Hmm. Silent retreat. A breath for patience and moving through the hard.
  8. Inhale, exhale. Goodbye, mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. OHMYGOD. I’m here! I made it! Operation Bell View! After all these weeks of planning and training and logisticking. A breath for being exactly where I want to be, in many different senses of that.
  2. Crimson nails. A breath for the me who wants to be seen.
  3. Friends. A breath for companionship.
  4. The seder, a beautiful ritual, people I love, tradition. A breath for my chosen family.
  5. Nothing is wrong. A breath for remembering this.
  6. Writing. A breath for process.
  7. Lilacs. Tulips.Skipping stones in the park. A breath for this beautiful place I live in.
  8. So much appreciation and thankfulness. The Johnny Boyd show at Secret Society. Distance-nidra with the Spy. Having the exact right thing to wear. Knowing what I want. Things are good. A breath for 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.

I am ON Operation Bell View! It is happening. Made progress on Operation KLM and Sea Sky Dance Play. More on the Mission of Xs and Ys. WHAM BOOM.

This coming week I will be recovering from Operation Bell View, which is also part of Operation Bell View. :)

Superpowers!

Powers I had this week…

I had the superpowers of Steady Trust and Finding A Better Option.

Superpowers I want.

More extreme sexy fearlessness. And remembering that I don’t have to carry other people’s problems for them. I don’t even have to carry my own….

Less carrying!

Salve. The Salve of Less Carrying.

Also known as the salve of release.

This salve is like a deep exhalation followed by a deep inhalation followed by another even better exhalation.

It is not letting go like giving up. It is letting go like, oh right this isn’t even mine.

It is a lightening and a re-balancing. Things make more sense with this salve.

Things you stop carrying: other people’s beliefs, projections and desires. Societal and cultural rules and expectations. Various ideas and assumptions about what you “should” be doing or how you “should” be doing it.

None of it needs to be carried. It just doesn’t.

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 Lucky Lola and it is called Chicken Attached.

They play Swedish folk music, and actually, as it turns out, it is just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am deep in an undercover mission to get better at receiving in all forms, or as I’m calling it: Glowing Receptivity and Being Receptive to Glow. Including the skill of gracefully accepting thanks.

It is related to my mission of Coming Out Of All The Closets and sharing about my personal experiences with not-sharing-how-hard-things-are.

If you would like to take a part in this and support me on my mission by sharing sweetness and appreciation for any aspect of my work, I would love that. You can do it with the magic of words, through the comments, or add something to Barrington’s Discretionary fund. (Explanation!)

And if the way you are glowing appreciation is quietly in your heart, I like that too. ♡

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 on silent retreat. My ritual doesn’t have to be your ritual. Whatever works for you. Almost three hundred weeks of this and there still isn’t a right way.

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.

Special Agent K

When I was a kid, my two favorite breakfast cereals were Special K and something called Kix.

At the moment I am having trouble conjuring up the taste-memory of either of these. It has been over fourteen years since I’ve eaten breakfast cereal, that got dropped when I kicked sugar, yes kicked-with-a-K.

And even then I was living in Israel then where neither of those cereals were available, so it has probably been closer to twenty five years since I’ve tasted either of them.

I’m pretty much convinced though that Kix tastes like vaguely-sweetened crunchy dust. But the name! What a great name.

Even as a child I remember thinking that names were kind of magical. A name could make something seem more appealing than it was. Kix!

Kix! Let’s do it for kicks!

Special Agent K.

So I was at Rally (Rally!), my favorite place to be, if you can call Rally a place, which it isn’t, and it was Rally K in the Alphabet Carousel.

I noticed that I was feeling a little wary about K, because it seemed like there might not be a lot of good K words to play with.

It turns out there are the exact right amount of K words to play with, and not just because Nothing Is Wrong, but because the K words are extra-kicky, and they spread so much kicky joy that they carry you to wherever you need to go.

At Rally, we have cover stories and secret identities, and I said my name was Kay.

And then over the course of Rally it eventually became clear that oh right, of course, I am a secret agent, so I became Agent Kay, and then Special Agent K, which is how my mind became flooded with memories of Special K. And Kix. For kicks!

I learned some interesting things about being K/Kay.

Something fun about temporarily taking on a new identity is discovering how much you know that you didn’t know that you know.

I would have said that I know nothing about this Kay person.

And yet I immediately had the whole story:

My name is Kay. I’m a burlesque dancer and choreographer. I’m here to get better at tassel-twirling and to get over a choreography block. The superpower I have is that I love getting naked in front of people! And I have zero fear of commitment! This doesn’t mean I commit to things if I don’t want them, just that the act of committing doesn’t scare me.

So basically this Kay is nothing like me.

But because I got to be her for three and a half days, I got a feeling of the freedom that Kay knows about.

And I learned about how the other beautiful K words fit into this adventure. So here they are, because how could I not share them with you. For kicks!

I’m saying this like Tim Robbins in the Hudsucker Proxy: “You know, for kids!”

I chose eight K words to make a compass.

North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest.

Each direction gets a K word, and then maybe some bonus words. For kicks!

And not just kicks, but HIGH KICKS.

High kicks are extra fun. And also I’m a burlesque choreographer, so why not.

High kicks. Hi, kicks.

I’m on a kick.

Here we go.

Key.

Key is a marvelous K-word. Key is North. North is key.

Lots of things are key. That itself was a key concept from Rally K. The more I pay attention, the more I notice how key the keys are.

Keys are good for Openings.

Keys are also good for Safety.

Keys are beautiful.

Locks are outrageously sexy.

Keys are always available, because any moment can be a door, and entry can happen anywhere.

King.

King is a symbol. I put it at northeast.

King is my reminder that I am a sovereign being, and everyone I encounter is a sovereign being.

I am allowed to have my thoughts, my experience, my reactions, and they are allowed to have theirs.

I don’t get to tell other people what to do or how to feel. I make a point (this is key!) of not agreeing to other people telling me what to do or how to feel, and I certainly don’t have to listen if they try. I have choices.

King means (to me) wearing the crown. It means staying attuned to Kindness.

Kindness.

Kindness and Loving-Kindness are about presence.

Not about being kind because you think you should. Not about thinking other people are less than or more than.

Kindness is about taking a breath. Remembering that we all have our stuff and we’re all working on our stuff and it is a process.

Just this thought is kindness. Wishing people well is kindness. When I remember to say, “May this situation dissolve in love, may peacefulness prevail” instead of “Ugh the cheese shop next door is the worst”, this is me trying to practice kindness.

And kindness goes inward, not just outward.

I can extend kindness to all the Havis, past and future, at all ages and in all situations. It is a way of treasuring myself, taking care of myself.

Knight.

The Knight is in the southeast, and the knight, like the king, is a symbol.

The knight is for bravery, courage, strength, doing the thing that needs doing. I am still going to do it in my own way and at my own pace, the knight is just a reminder that I have the strength I need.

The knight is for setting off on voyages, internal and external.

The knight has a silent K which makes him or her a special agent K.

I am silent and I am Kay, so I am also a Silent K!

Knocking.

South is for knocking, a word that always makes me think of Bryan. During Long, Slow and Deep, he talks about knocking for what seems like forever.

He says that when you are in a yoga pose that is stretching you, it is important to remember that you aren’t trying to make something happen. You aren’t barging down the door. You’re waiting for permission to come in.

These parts of you that you are trying to reach and get close to through yoga….you’re waiting patiently for them to let you in. And you knock to let them know you’re there.

Funny how much I like the word, given how much I hate hearing a knock on the door.

Whenever someone knocks on the door when I’m home, I hide until they go away. If it was someone I knew, they’d text me, so it is not someone I know and they should go away. And by hide, I mean: I drop to the floor and curl up in a ball and panic. Then I notice, and do what I can to calm myself, to soothe the pain of Tiny Havi who doesn’t know that now is now, not then.

I don’t have a clear sense of what the knocking triggers, just that my whole body is terrified.

As a concept though, when Bryan talks about knocking, I love that. It is gentle and sweet. It isn’t a surprise knocking, it is a welcome knocking. Hello friend who has been waiting for me, I am here. Hello sweet lover who has filled their home with flowers for me and is waiting for me to arrive.

Knocking says: Hello, beautiful door. Hello, moment of crossing through.

Knowing.

Knowing goes in the southwest.

So much beauty and grace in these moments of knowing.

Also in the moments of not-knowing, and recognizing how much is unknown. But even that is a deeper form of knowing.

Knowing comes from listening, it comes from my body, it comes from my heart, it comes from my mind, it comes from trees and gardens, and slightly wiser me. It is all the deeper internal intel that I choose to say yes to.

The quieter I get, the more I get to experience moments of Knowing.

This is where all the salves come from, all the qualities. This is how I figured out that Nothing Is Wrong, and that Smiling At The Broken Pots works better than cursing the breaking.

This is how I know when to turn left and when to turn right and when it doesn’t matter at all. Which is always, because everything recalibrates, just like the map that tells you where to go. That is another Knowing that I received from living in silence.

Kinetic.

Kinetic is west.

Kinetic is, for me, one of those all-time sexy words. I can’t remember how or when it first came alive for me as a word. That is a lie. I remember. It was in a love letter, one of many beautiful letters exchanged with a far-away lover once upon a time.

Potential-to-kinetic.

Kinetic is alive. Kinetic is rushing water, passion, that moment right after the moment when everything tips. Kinetic is the kiss that arrives after the first one. The moment of laughing because you aren’t turning back. Kinetic is tearing off clothes and toppling into bed, and then the moment after that and after that.

Kiss.

Kiss is a beautiful word.

I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. I put it at southwest because all compasses should end with a kiss.

Actually I do have more to say about that. Kissing is — as far as I’m concerned — so completely and utterly the best thing in the entire world, and I feel strongly about this.

One time I was talking to a friend and she said that her marriage was perfect except that they never really kiss, because her husband doesn’t like kissing and isn’t good at it, and he doesn’t see the point. And she felt impossibly sad about this because she, like me, thinks that kissing is the best. But everything was “perfect”.

And — this is where we invoke the People Vary rule — I could not even grasp this concept. I wanted to say, RUN AWAY, GET OUT, GO CHANGE YOUR LIFE SO THAT IT CAN INCLUDE KISSING!

Except I didn’t. Her story is not my story, her life is not my life, I don’t get to know what is right for her, I don’t get to make her choices, I only get to make my own.

And I understand how very possible it is to think that having one thing you want means giving up the other thing so you give up the other thing. I have lived this so many times.

I am blowing a kiss right now to soothe this, because kisses are good for that too. Here is a kiss for trusting in all timing is right timing. Here is a kiss for love.

For love.

That is all the K words. Well, not all of them.

There are more wonderful K words. Like kookiness, a quality I happen to strongly identify with. Or kindred, like spirits. Keen. Knitting, as in: bringing things together. Koala is a wonderful K word. Kauai. Kaleidoscopes.

Kay likes all of these things, and so do I.

May it be so! And come play with me.

Thank you, letter K.

If you want to whisper words or sound effects that start with K, go for it.

If you want to share in any of the qualities and magical words I named here, you can.

They work like the salves in the Friday Chicken: just take some, there is always more.

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