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

 

crown on / do less

very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (also known as a Vision of Possibility & Anticipation) each week to practice wanting, listening, getting clear on my desires

the point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), it’s learning about my relationship with wanting, accessing the qualities

wanting can be hard, it is easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons for that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

this is the 355th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

sparks

I found myself lurching awake at 3am
with one of those world-shattering, blindingly brilliant epiphanies
the kind you know is the answer
you weren’t even seeking
to [life, the universe and everything]
though you also suspect as you frantically scribble it down
this achingly important message might not make sense later
and even if it does, well, safe to bet
you won’t be sufficiently impressed

reverberation

it’s the meaning of the words, the full-body reverberation of them
not the words themselves
but 3am-me knew that nothing could ever be more true
or more vital than these two words taken together:

DO LESS

there is no other answer
because that’s the answer
but can you sustain the charge of that moment of knowing

crown on and do less

my theme over the past week has been CROWN ON
a la Wayne and Garth: “Game On!”

the work of CROWN ON is equal parts useful and challenging
and once I started playing with this
I was immediately rewarded (ha) with
every possible opportunity to practice
because that’s how these things go

a small example

last week while doing some congruencing here
I came across an old FAQ page from maybe seven years ago
past-me had written the longest answer
to the people who ask us to remove or edit comments they’ve left here
about why we don’t do that
the explanation was warm and compassionate, written with so much love
and yet I unhesitatingly deleted the whole thing
because I remembered something that past-me didn’t trust yet
that the best answer to everything is pause-and-breathe,
trust people enough to let them resolve their stuff on their own,
and anyway, not everything requires a response

reminders

I love these reminders showing up everywhere in my life right now
helping me see something I did not realize before:
crown-on and do-less like to play together!
in fact they’re probably
skipping through the park right now
holding hands and laughing
pausing to admire the rainbow that visits the fountain

What do I know about Do Less?

it doesn’t come naturally (to me)
my mind requires steady practice to choose towards less
or even to remember that doing less is an option
it is amazing how many problems and challenges don’t need solving
if you just wait 48 hours

about 70% of our incoming emails are questions that
don’t need to be answered
I learned this years ago on a teaching trip to Berlin
the time difference solved all challenges each night
giving people time to answer their own questions while I slept
by the time I got around to them, there was nothing left to do

what if there is nothing that needs to be done
what if this is true in more situations than I think

I mean, very rarely is it necessary to take action
and the less I try to solve/fix/respond/smooth-things-over
the more powerful it is when I do take a stand in a moment that demands it

this is in part the answer to last week’s wish
see? I wished my wish, did nothing, and here’s the solution

the superpowers of less

do less is a marvelous way to practice sovereignty (crown on!)
because it combines the superpowers of

Love-More Trust-More (and trust love more!)
What If We Just Let This Situation Gracefully Resolve Itself
I Remember To Pause And Breathe
There Are So Many Ways This Could Work Out Without My Input
Look At Me Caring For The Beautiful Boundaries Of My Internal Kingdom

doing as much less as possible
is a wonderful way to challenge the rigging of the rigged game
but the rigging is also why
the practice of do less is so fraught

(let’s talk about rigging)

a commitment to live by Do Less
or even to explore living by Do Less
— even just whispering about this wish —
is vulnerable, intense,
and slightly-to-very terrifying
not only because it sets off the internal monster brigades
but especially when we remember that the rigged game rewards
a culture of do more
the rigged game is the inculcated mindset of
you are never doing enough

(because you are not enough)
(that’s what you’re supposed to think)

busy

believing you are not enough, that’s what ensures you’ll be
too busy to rebel
too busy working your ass off
trying to achieve the unachievable
without even questioning whether or not it is your whispered heart-yes
to begin with

or you’ll give up on yourself,
thinking you’re failing at life
because the mechanisms of the rigged game
are so well disguised
we can’t even see that “winning” wasn’t an option to begin with

and here’s a fun paradox!
in order to illuminate the illusion we have to shine our own light
to shine with clarity and intention requires spaciousness and quiet
to claim more spaciousness and quiet for ourselves, we need to do less
no wonder culture wants to keep us busy and uncomfortable in our skin

horizon

it serves the rigged game
that we are constantly striving and never pausing to examine why
it serves the rigged game when we push and when we
chastise ourselves for
not pushing more or “enough”
and of course often there are real life consequences
to not demonstrating that we too are push-push-pushing like everyone else
still, it’s amazing, really, if you stop long enough to think about it
look at us chasing what we think are goals ahead of us
when it’s only horizon
horizon doing what horizon does best
hinting at a possibility of arriving
a gorgeous illusion

the rigged game depends on us believing that we can get there
if we just push more and harder
and we want to believe that if only we weren’t dealing with
[Situation X] or [Illness/Impairment Y] or [Interpersonal Relationship Z]
then sure we could just make it all happen
inbox zero and
spotless apartment and
a body that is more [this] and less [that]
on and on

trapped in comparison

as if there is some imaginary happier perfect version of us
living in some ludicrous impossible pinterest-instagram scenario
the kind where people with suspiciously great hair
lounge on suspiciously white sofas
mysteriously never spilling wine
on their perfectly tailored white garments
you guys, it’s a trap

what do I know

(1) there is always a Situation X at hand, that’s how life works

(2) all these things we are brainwashed to think are
both desirable and attainable
(if only we just keep pushing)
aren’t even necessarily things we want or need
even if they were achievable which, I mean, who knows,
but the game keeps us too busy to check in and find out

(3) as Orna says, everything that is against me is illusion
in yoga we call this maya, the thing that keeps us from seeing truth

(3.5) illusion is very compelling

(4) to release distortions and the untrue stories I habitually tell myself until they become the filters for all experience, I need to get quiet, turn inward, come home to breath and heartbeat and source-love

(5) so we’re back to less doing, more being
less striving, more allowing
less judgment, more curiosity

let’s eat pie

last night my friend the arborist texted me:
“today was a good day, as always, trusting, waiting,
wanting everything and expecting nothing, I could eat a pie”

this is what I want:

Wanting Everything While Expecting Nothing
Wanting Everything And Doing (Glorious Brave Intentional) Nothing
There Is Nothing To Solve
Nothing More Needs To Be Done
Trust And Wait and Do Nothing And Eat Pie

this is the spirit of crown on and do less
the spirit of love more trust more
yes, this is what I want

may it be so!

now

wishing wishes about Do Less, and yet/also:
I have three days to finish vacating my house
and deal with approximately seventy million related and unrelated tasks
so I need to find the peacefulness inside that conundrum
or the not-a-conundrum inside the conundrum
ah yes, everything that is against me is an illusion,
so it follows that there is no conundrum
it is up to me to bring the spirit of Do Less and Crown On into a busy day
not to postpone the wish until I’m “less busy”
(because believing that will happen is the rigged game too)
(and believing that I will be happier when that happens is also rigging)

I have this sweet moment now
to breathe in life and appreciate life
to stroke the beautiful wood grain of this table, let my jaw soften,
welcome myself in this moment
and this is how a moment changes
I do less inside of it
and give myself more

the superpower of beautifully supported

months-April-VPA-2016
ah here we are in April, the month of ROOTS
and oh how I need this superpower of
Beautifully Supported
thank you, past-me, for being such a good namer and calling this into being

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called do-overs forever

and in a way today’s wish solves the question that troubled me last week, I can do less (wait and trust) and take steps (crown on), and there is no contradiction, because the contradiction was part of the illusion

so here’s to doing wonderful less, and to doing less, wonderfully
all the while full of wonder

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading

deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, intel, possibly in code

safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving

wishes are never late because whenever you wish is the right time for wishing

here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: oh, wow what beautiful wishes

chicken wins at playing chicken

Friday chicken

Reflecting on both the hard and the good in the week that was…

Hello, week: we are here.

{a breath for being here when we get here}

Thank you, week!

This is the 404th week in a row we are chickening here together!

Or “checking in”, if you prefer to enunciate.

What worked this week?

Pre-emptive celebrations. I’ve noticed that I won’t pause to appreciate what I’ve done in a day until the day is done, and that is silly.

So I began each work day by giving myself credit for everything I did before sitting down to work, no matter how frivolous or wrong my monsters said these were.

[For the record, they also say it’s frivolous and wrong to pat myself on the back before I’ve done anything that “counts”, but they are slowly coming around because it turns out that actually appreciation is a huge source of motivation for me…]

Here is a sample celebratory list of everything I did before I started doing the things I thought I should be doing. If that makes sense.

Wham Boom is secret agent code for “nicely done!” or “this thing is done, hell yeah, high five!”
  • I got out of bed: WHAM BOOM!
  • did twenty minutes of stretching and moving: WHAM BOOM!
  • let the contractors into the basement: WHAM BOOM!
  • read potentially scary update about my taxes: WHAM BOOM!
  • found clothes and left the house: WHAM BOOM!
  • told twitter about yesterday’s post WHAM BOOM!
  • got through an awkward social interaction: WHAM BOOM!
  • and probably some other things WHAM BOOM!

Next time I might…

Do less. Give things time to resolve themselves on their own.

Naming the days.

I’ve been naming everything lately, it’s astonishing what a difference a name makes. I name each day the night before, and read them together at the week’s end, an incantation of sweet clues

This week was the week of Do-overs Forever, and here were the days:

New day. So this is what “trust love” is like. Incoming me. A beautiful day. Excited and focused. Do Less. I am a genius.

Upcoming biopic if it were based on this week…

Not Everything Requires A Response: the Havi Brooks story

If you feel drawn to comment 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 always welcome

8 breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. This was seriously the week of Shit Does Not Stop Going Wrong in the most expensive ways. For example, just Monday all by itself was three thousand dollars worth of news I didn’t want, in the form of my laptop suddenly dying followed by the plumber discovering leaks in the pipes followed by an unexpected invoice. Followed by having to take care of a health thing. A breath for ease.
  2. It was 88 degrees this week (31 degrees celsius) in Portland in April, which is so very distressingly extreme for this season, and I cannot stop thinking about the fact that there are people running for president of this problematic nation who are somehow not agonizing over climate change, and who don’t want to believe that we have caused the planet harm, to put it lightly. A breath.
  3. The three days of uncomfortable heat translated into flowery sundresses for me instead of my usual layers of black-on-black, and my hair has gotten long because I’ve been busy with other things and have the fastest growing hair in the known universe. Anyway, I’d somehow forgotten just how many social rewards there are for conforming to an external societal ideal of “pretty”, at least when you have certain magic beans of privilege that allow you to play that game. Suddenly everyone I encountered was so warm and welcoming, and every single person I passed smiled at me. I had this moment of ohhhhhh right I never look “girly” (which itself is such a problematic word), and I’d forgotten how much easier it is to just be in the world when what I am presenting makes sense with what most people are trained to prefer to see. And I find everything about this intensely frustrating. I’m grateful for the extra energy/spoons I had this week as a result of being surrounded by people who had instantaneous positive reactions to my presence for no legitimate reason, and also I hate the game, I hate that it exists, I hate that playing it “well” has so many rewards, I hate that it’s set up in such a way that not everyone can join in even if they want to, and that we are all socialized to doubt whether we deserve to play at all while still thinking that we have to. A breath for dissidence.
  4. Repeat from last week: Not tired at night, very tired by day. And I can’t nap because house is full of contractors making noise, and I want a home that is home for me, and I am tired of being in between. A breath.
  5. Things that are lukewarm when I want them to be steamy and thrilling. A breath for wanting what I want.
  6. Not feeling excited or motivated about dance. My favorite blues dance was not fun, skipped west coast entirely because it’s hit or miss, and my confidence is too shaky right now to handle a miss. A breath for trust and for process.
  7. The guy who thought it was hilarious to aggressively block my path and move back and forth to attempt to prevent me from passing him, while I was en route to the bus. I recognized him from half a block away, not as someone I knew but as a type, from back in my bartending years, the kind who can’t see a woman while around his friends without having to mess with her for their entertainment. He was out of luck, since I had already transitioned into Tel Aviv mode, not breaking course or speed, because Tel Aviv Havi is like, “Okay creep, you wanna play chicken? Get ready to MOVE OUT OF MY WAY or fall on your ass because I am going to plow into you with everything I have, and if I miss my bus because of your bullshit, I will actually destroy you.” He jumped aside at the last second. I was fine in the sense that I didn’t get triggered the way I usually do when men decide to get predatory around me. But I was also not fine in the sense that I did get triggered into being Tel Aviv me for the rest of the day, and Tel Aviv me is bitter, tense, angry, ready for a fight with ANYONE, and extremely wary about getting on a crowded bus. A breath for everything about this.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. May peacefulness prevail. Trust-more love-more release-more receive-more. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week.

8 breaths for the good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. I’ve been in a weirdly fantastic mood all week. To the point that despite the perfect storm of the aforementioned Shit Does Not Stop Going Wrong combined with lack of sleep, I just feel positive about everything in my life. It’s kind of amazing actually. I wish I could share some of this wild excess of probably completely unjustified hopefulness with you! Will sprinkle some here just in case. I don’t know. Nothing got to me this week even though normally the combination of dead-as-a-doornail computer, thousands of dollars in unanticipated costs, street harassment, delayed plans, AND SO ON ALL WEEK LONG would result in me experiencing this as pretty much the worst week ever. Also it would probably involve some pretty massive meltdowns. But I just felt really peaceful and trusting through all of it. Maybe the superpower I keep wishing for lately of I Have Forgotten How To Worry has kicked in? I am not at all worried about any of the worrisome things, and it is wonderful. A breath of joy and gratitude for this.
  2. Similarly, I have been Trusting Love (yes, that was my wish), and this is changing things in so many ways. A breath for how remarkable this is.
  3. I had the superpower of [Luckily, X!] aka What Fantastic Unexpected Luckiness, aka finding the good. For example, forgetting my wallet and phone while running late to an event actually turned out to be the best thing that possibly could have happened instead of being a disaster. A breath of appreciation.
  4. This week had a surprising amount of unplanned fun in it. While en route from one dance workshop to another dance event, I ran into a waltz buddy of mine and his new girlfriend having tacos and margaritas, and joined them for an hour. Yesterday took myself to see a movie (Hail Caesar!) in the middle of the day. A breath for joy, play, following instinct and desire, and for the pleasure of a gigantic bowl — yes, a bowl — of popcorn.
  5. This week I was really committed to the parts of life that are important to me, like being a free spirit and following joy and writing the things I want to to write, which is kind of a big deal, since the monster crew is generally pretty strongly opposed to these. A breath for lightness and lighheartedness.
  6. Brandi Tobias, probably my favorite dance teacher in the world, was in town for the weekend, and I was able to take six whole workshops with her! What unbelievable fortune to live in a city that regularly hosts the great dance minds of our time. A breath of thankfulness.
  7. I just feel good about life right now, and I don’t know why, and I don’t need to know why. None of the things I would assume would instigate this shift-in-perspective have happened, as far as I can tell, nothing has happened at all. But here it is. A breath of appreciation for life and aliveness.
  8. Thankfulness. Treasure in the form of the far-away beautiful cowboy whispering sweetness through the ether, waltz brunch, supportive friends, helpful strangers, hilarious coincidences, knowing what I want, a really good last dance (do-overs forever!), tears of joy for Harriet Tubman on the (future) twenty dollar bill. Everything is okay and so much is good. Nothing is wrong, even when I want to believe it is. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thank you for this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Sparklepoints, superpowers, salve, fake band of the week!

Current ops and forward movement!

In progress: the Studio Op, The Fountaining, Wild Wild Nest, Operation Jubilation. Wild Montage and The Wild Convening are percolating. Thank you, fractal flowers.

I hereby bestow vast quantities of sparklepoints upon myself like a fairground stripper!

Superpowers I had this week…

Last week I asked for the power of relax-and-trust, and that’s what happened!

Also had the unexpected superpower of I Don’t Have To Wait For The Bus Because Look Here It Is, which included a run of five buses in one complicated trip, and even kept me from getting caught in a giant hailstorm.

Powers I want.

The powers of Equanimity, Motivation Returns, and some seriously Coen Brothers levels of exuberant, zany deus ex machina solutions to everything that needs solving.

The Salve of Relaxed and Positive

These invisible salves are distributed here by way of internet magic. Help yourself! Take it in a bath, as tea, a cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

This salve shifts perspective so smoothly that you won’t even feel it happening.

Side effects include noticing tiny miracles, smiling to yourself, taking pleasurable detours, stretching like a cat

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.

just-one-guy

This week’s band:

Legitimate Mouse

Their latest album is Prospective Pastry, and this band is just one guy.

Photo taken just for us in Lubbock, TX by Jesse — thank you!

Announcement time….

More to come soon, but I left the monster manual in the place that used to be the the shop. So if you missed the closing of the shop, there is still something beautiful for you!

How was your week?

Come play in the comments. Share something from your week, take a breath, or just say hi! No rules, my format doesn’t have to be yours, we’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

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

Shabbat shalom.

It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — jump in whenever you like. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!