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 313: we’re no strangers to love

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}

What worked this week?

Not having my computer.

This was an accidental discovery. Richard’s computer had to go to the hospital so I let him use mine and decided to work on projects that do not require typing, pixels or the vast rabbitholes of the internet.

My body-mind is/area feeling happy and surprisingly tranquil, so that’s kind of neat. And those other projects turned out to be both more important and more complicated than I’d realized. That was actually good news, because it gives me intel to share with my monster crew who think I’m lazy and disorganized, and say if I “just took an hour to clear stuff out…”

Well, I got to spend three whole days on things they think should just take an hour, and it was useful to learn that they are wildly underestimating everything. Also I found some important clues.

So. Something that seemed like an Interruption actually turned out to be full of Treasure, in the form of unexpected good surprises. I want to remember this.

Next time I might…

Remember Rick Astley.

A few years ago I stopped clicking on posts with titles that sounded like they had really solid information.

Like, The Best Eight Ways to ____________.

Whatever the eight ways turned out to be, they were inevitably disappointing. Maybe three were things I already did, four were just stupid, and one was irrelevant.

Nowadays of course, it’s more like “YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT”, and it purports to be about something I care about or am curious about. And then, of course, the only actual astonishing thing turns out to be how completely unremarkable the surprise is, and how spectacular the waste of time.

Before my trip to the Vicarage, I had a habit of avoiding these links, and then every once in a while I’d click anyway, and be disappointed.

Since the Vicarage, my attitude is more like, Hey sweetie, do you really want this? Does this seem like it’s going to bring you pleasure?

After running some experiments, it’s clear that 99.9% of the time, there is no pleasure in the click. It’s basically a rickroll. Except less fun because that song is awesome.

What I’d like to do now is start humming Never Gonna Give You Up whenever I consider clicking. That will take me back to PLAYFULNESS, which is where I want to be, and away from this sensation of “ugh, really?!”

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. It was one of those weeks where Everything Breaks, in small, symbolic ways. Favorite sweater has a tear. My Bond Girl boots broke, unexpectedly, and my Cobbler of the Magic Powers can’t do anything with them. Papercuts. Bruises. Things are lost. A breath for transition and adjustment.
  2. Dark circles under my eyes. A breath for noticing this..
  3. I really don’t want to be online, it doesn’t do good things for me, and yet a large portion of my life happens here. And I love this space here. A breath for finding a new way to be here and not there.
  4. So much pain in the world. May peacefulness prevail. A breath for may peacefulness prevail, and for turning inward so that I can add peacefulness, like adding spices.
  5. Wild goose chases. A breath for trusting the process and for more letting go.
  6. Talking with someone I like, and discovering this person has strong unexamined opinions regarding a situation about which he is remarkably unknowledgeable and about which I happen to know a lot. I found this pretty distressing and did a lot of wheel-grinding before I remembered to wish him and everyone else peacefulness. A breath for this feeling of disappointment.
  7. Letting things go. Man, it is complicated. A breath for trust.
  8. Inhale, exhale. Goodbye, mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. The best gift: a poem and a pot, both beautiful, both made by Angela. The pot is so perfect that Richard said, “This is the most Havi pot I have ever seen, how did she know?!” A breath for pleasure.
  2. The qualities and superpowers I have been playing with for the past few months — Wildly Confident / Wonderfully Peaceful / I Treasure My Space — are starting to feel like home, and they’ve been working in ways I hadn’t even imagined possible. A breath for appreciation and wonder.
  3. My dear friend Colleen the Signmaker was in town and we had tea at the Playground, and it was so lovely. A breath for full deep heart love.
  4. I didn’t get upset about any of the breaking. I am letting things go, and I am doing it with ease this time around. Not that it’s easy, just that I am easing. With the help of things that are like purple pills. A breath for a new way of doing this.
  5. Operation White Out is happening! The notorious noir gunslinger is leaving Eugene and headed this way, we will be running experiments on invisibility and panache, while avoiding henchmen and WEARING HATS. A breath for adventure, companionship, silliness, play.
  6. DANCING! So much fantastic dance this week. A two hour Kizomba workshop that Anil talked me into had me completely enthralled. Between Saturday Night Fever and Sunday’s Waltz Brunch, I spent most of the weekend whirling around the dance floor. Swing, waltz, foxtrot, rumba, salsa, fusion, fun. Wonderful dancing, lovely people. Wednesday’s west coast swing dance was unbelievably great, maybe the best one yet, and then I went to see the Barn Door Slammers last night, where there was even more good dancing. A breath for sheer joy and delight in life.
  7. I am noticing patterns, clearing things out, letting so much go, and listening to the quiet internal voice. I always do this, it’s both my work and what I do, but right now it is happening in a more intense and intentional way than before. A breath for treasure, and for change.
  8. Appreciation and thankfulness. Thank you, kaleidoscopes. Thank you, kaleidoscope coloring book that I found when the quiet internal voice suggested reorganizing the library at the Playground. Thank you, risk-taking. Thank you, asking. Thank you, wonderful and unexpected answers. Thank you, good news. Thank you, yesterday-me and tomorrow-me, I love you both so much.Thank you, everything that brought me here. Thank you, red lipstick. Thank you, lovely surprises. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. So many 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 have been clearing stuff out like mad. Operation Kaleidoscopic Revue was a smashing success. As was my mission to Love the Loathe. Operation Basket Weaving yielded surprising results. And we are on schedule for the Secret Dinner. Wham Boom.


Powers I had this week…

The power of Everything That Is Mine Returns To Me. I’ve been repeating this over and over, and things are coming back. Or they aren’t, but it’s okay, because they aren’t mine. Found a beloved garment I thought had been lost at the Vicarage. Found a clue that I had been waiting for.

And I also had the superpower of wishing peacefulness (may peacefulness prevail!) when I found myself cycling through conversations in my head, I would like more of this and to do it faster. This is a good one.

Superpowers I want.

The power of finding the good, and the power of knowing that every moment is treasure. The power of knowing that sometimes the letting go is the treasure.

Salve. The Salve of Letting Go Is Treasure.

This salve softens everything, brings an ease and a lightness.

As it melts into your skin, you forget why you thought you needed to hold on so tightly to something that was done. Suddenly it makes sense that the things that don’t fit your life would find their way out. A warmth spreads through you, it is peaceful and tingly at the same time, and then there is this extra spaciousness as if you have more capacity to take in breath and let it go.

This salve has the qualities of Safety, Resilience, Undoing, Love.

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 band is called Institute Of Molecular Biology Potluck, they are from Rio de janeiro, their latest album is Smooth Science, it’s ambient trance music and actually the band is just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I spend a lot of time saying “ohmygod I want to go somewhere and WRITE, I want to go on a writing retreat” and then I never do that because of the part where hahaha I’d probably have to sit around with Writers and talk about what I’m writing.

And then I realized I could invent my own that would be exactly what I want. Price super low because I need to leave town for a couple of weeks. It is called a Righting Retreat.

Partly because that sounds less intimidating (to me), and partly because it is true. We will Right things.

Come read the page because 1) I swear a lot, 2) I make a pun that is also truth, 3) there is a cloud that makes me smile, 4) I can’t be the only person who longs for this, 5) I just made a thing and would love company, 6) there is an extra-extra-extra low price.

I need to check with Richard on this however I think there are two spots left

—-> http://www.fluentself.com/righting/ —-> PASSWORD: oneword

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.

Two of my favorite words.

It was Rally Q, and it was quite-quite many things, and Q is a special letter for me.

I have a very clear memory of learning Q in kindergarten.

Well, I already knew how to read so the learning-the-letters part of kindergarten was kind of boring, but Q! I remember admiring the glorious swirl of it, and being fixated on the page in the book with the drawing of the queen.

In my mind this memory is tied up with the day someone painted a swastika on the wall of the school, and they took us away while it got painted over or blasted off. It might not have been the same day. Memory is a funny-odd thing, such a funny-odd thing, but if I think about Q, I think about that day and I see Q in the book. That is my memory of Q.

Two of my favorite words begin with Q:


And: Quiet.

The relationship between quiet and queenliness.

This is something I knew about before I ever knew about it, and it takes us to the labyrinth, another story of memory.

There is a stone in the deck of Stone Skipping cards that asks: “What is the connection between rest and sovereignty?”

It is there to remind me about the labyrinth in Taos, which revealed to me, in a way that was remarkably clear:

Being the loving, compassionate, playful, creative, responsible adult in charge of the kingdom of my life requires taking exquisite care of myself.

I take care of myself and give myself restful experiences because it is kind, and needed. And also so I can get quiet enough to hear the wise steady internal voice telling me what to pay attention to, what I need, and what’s next.

When I’m not quiet inside, I can’t hear. And I need to hear to be a bell.

The queen of getting quiet.

There are not a lot of Q words, but they have heft.

At Rally Q, Elizabeth and I made a compass that was a sentence that was a spell, wrapping around into itself like a snake whose tail is tucked into its mouth.

I am the queen of qualities.

I am the queen of qualities with a quill on a quest of quiet, queuing up what I want quickly to quench my need to be the queen of qualities.

The queen of qualities with a quill of qualities on a quest of quiet qualities, queuing qualities, for quickness of quality-quenching.

Then we realized we forgot about Queerness (how do you forget that?!), so we put it in the center and let it radiate out to meet the other points.

We left a word out too.

Quirky. I dislike that word, and so does Elizabeth, probably because it gets applied to both of us all the time. So we left it out of the compass, intentional neglect.

Quirky to me comes off as apologetic, apologizing for something I don’t think requires apologies. It’s the word people use in social media. “You’ll like Havi — though, just so you know, she’s pretty quirky…”

Translation: “Even though Havi is a giant weirdo and I feel slightly uncomfortable admitting that I like her work, I am telling you about her but don’t hate me when you find out how weird she is.”

I also hear quirky as “needs to settle down and get serious”.

And Elizabeth hears quirky as “yeah we actually aren’t going to pay you” and “if a man had done this we’d say it was brilliant, creative and inspired, but because it’s you, we’ll call it quirky”.

Not our word. Maybe it’s your word though. People vary! Feel free to adore quirkiness as much as you like.

The funny thing is, I do like quirkiness. That is: I like playfulness and eccentricity and doing what you want. I like the sound of the word, with its fun kicky K in the middle.

I just have less than fun associations with it as a label that gets applied to me.


Quill surprised me as being a word I like more than I realized before the week of Q (and the week of Queue).

Quill is:

Magic. Writing. Spells. Process. Wand. Muse. Of the earth. Inspiration. Conviction. Conjuring. Play. Invoking. Scrolls. Sharpness. Deepening. Mystery. Story. Power.

I am really liking quill.

Other quite wonderful Q words.

Quickening. Quote. Quixotic. Quizzical. Queer. Quest and Questing. Questions. Query. Quite. Quotable. Quilt. Quiz. Quip. Quintessential. Quatrain. Query. Quince. Qaqortoq, in Greenland, where I found an excellent clue and made friends with a very sweet puppy. Quintessential. Quoz.

That last one is from my favorite book: Ounce Dice Trice, a must if you, like me, are someone who takes immense pleasure in what Nick calls the taste of words.

And peek over here for more Q-filled delights. Like quadrennium, quantophrenia, quingenarious, and quisquilious.

May it be so! And come play with me.

Thank you, letter Q.

If you want to whisper words or sound effects that start with Q, 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 Q, for myself, and for anyone who wants…