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

 

Wish 303: new under the sun

very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal! Very.

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. The point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and 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…

Yes.

This the seventh week of Operation True Yes, where I am learning to say yes to my yes and no to my no. I am learning to be the person who trusts her yes.

One of the most interesting things about this experiment has been noticing just how often I try to override body intel with logic. And how often I succeed. Haha, if by “succeed”, you mean silence my truth.

And now this isn’t working any more.

Mostly, I think, because of this strong — and semi-terrifying — commitment I’ve made to listening to yes and living by the c*.

* The a is getting the intel about what you want, the b is allowing yourself to really hear it, and the c is acting on it. I want to live by the c which sounds like living by the sea!

There’s another reason too.

This is probably related to the above, but lately it just seems like my intel about my YES and my NO is getting louder by the minute.

Especially the NO.

Though as TJ wisely reminded me this week: Yes evolves. No no no is a no.

We can focus on the NO, and that will lead us to YES.

So here I am, with these loud, clear, obvious NOs that have been NO for years, except I haven’t let myself hear them until now.

I want to play with a relatively small example of this right now, because that seems like the least overwhelming way to approach this.

And also because I have a sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a small NO. The small ones are part of the big ones.

And maybe solving this mystery can shed some light on the other mysteries (principle of fractal flowers!), and at the very least this mystery can stand in for all the other mysteries (principle of proxies).

Sunscreen.

I really enjoy walking in the sun. I really don’t like getting burnt. So, you know, sunscreen: it’s a thing.

And yet every time I put it on, my body says ugh this is not good for us.

It was only this week that I really heard this NO, only to realize I’ve actually been hearing this for years, but I just immediately bulldoze past it because I don’t want to stay inside and I don’t want a sunburn, and ohmygod fear-fear-fear about something bad happening.

So I put it on anyway, and I pretend that my dislike is aesthetic, or that it’s about the texture or the smell, when it’s actually so much deeper than that.

Or I start thinking about what a pain it is to have to Do A Thing before going outside, or how cosmically unfair it is that the human body is designed in such a way that you need someone else to put sunscreen your back, and how this is yet another thing that is totally rigged to support people who are in relationships, and I don’t want to be in a relationship but I like having someone in my life who can put sunscreen on me, and toot toot this train of thought has left the station.

Anyway, the point is that logic and internal finger-wagging always wins: “You have very light, sensitive skin and don’t want sunburn, so put on the damn sunscreen already.”

But this week I finally heard it in a way I can’t unhear it: This is not good for me.

So I listened.

I said, Hey body, I hear what you’re saying. You don’t want this. Let’s find a new way.

And my body instantly relaxed.

I started wondering why my body wouldn’t like sunscreen, and then suddenly I had to laugh because really, how could any of our bodies really truly be okay with sunscreens.

I mean, they come in plastic bottles and are full of chemicals.

In fact, when I started researching this, I was amazed (and then not amazed at all, because really, so many things in this world of ours are twisted and distorted) at how dangerous sunscreen actually is.

It’s pretty damn hard to find sunscreen without chemicals, toxins, alcohol, petroleum and petro-chemicals, genetically modified substances, parabens, phthlalates, sulfates, PABA, preservatives, titanium dioxide, triclosan, artificial coloring and synthetic fragrances.

And then try to find one not in a plastic tube, even harder.

So yes, my body is no idiot.

The mystery, and the options.

My body is giving me a clear no, and it’s my mission right now to trust and respect this kind of internal intel.

And, without sunscreen, I’m going to get toasty, and my body doesn’t want that either.

I started investigating naturally occurring plant sunscreens and looking up recipes to make my own — recipes that don’t involve double-broiler, because I live in a tiny camper. Turns out lots of people have already been thinking this way.

Actually I think I’m going to start with this etsy version, mainly because they let you send back your jar for refills.

And then I discovered that you can use organic carrot seed oil, which apparently has an SPF of 38-40. I used to use that anyway as my moisturizer. It is not the cheapest but you can mix it with coconut oil.

Body says yes to this and to floppy hat and to covering up shoulders when out for long walks, and to Vitamin D from the sun, and to frolicking joyfully.

And both my body and I like the idea of this solution (double meaning) living in a glass jar, and not bringing more plastic into our lives.

And then the YES sparks started coming.

YES to living in a place that gets more sun, a place where my body can generate adequate vitamin D all year round:

”Large amounts of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are made in your skin when you expose all of your body to summer sun. This happens very quickly; around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. This could be just 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person,
Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day. In fact, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink.”

YES to making more of my own lotions and potions.

YES to making my own bug spray! Did you know you can make bug spray that isn’t toxic and horrible? I did not, and yet of course, that seems obvious now.

YES to the clean bin project.

YES to sun and yes to moon, and to being closer to both of them (but/and also safe, protected, happy skin).

YES to being amazed and excited about all of this, and things related to it, and to never having to buy — or smell — commercial sun screen or bug spray poison again.

YES to being much more conscious about what I am putting on myself, and, more importantly, what I am putting up with because I perceive that there isn’t another option. Yes to believing that there are other options and looking for them!

What do I know about my wish?

It’s about options and possibilities.

It’s about seeing past assumptions and walls.

It’s about creativity and play.

And…

I am also noticing that writing wishes is surprisingly easier now that my mother is no longer alive. I keep wanting to edit stuff out or write reassuring caveats so as not to get a panicking letter from her full of dire warnings and newspaper clippings about how someone once used plant products for something and died of a horrible disease. And then I remember that she’s not reading this.

I miss her, and also writing is easier without her, those things can exist simultaneously.

What else do I know about this?

I have an astonishing (to me) number of monsters who think that this is a boring, indulgent wish that only the most privileged person could possibly be concerned with.

So. Let’s look at that. Yes, I have a wonderful amount of magic beans that allow me to think about things other than survival right now. And, being someone who remembers what it is like to be only concerned with survival, I can say unequivocally that this is better. Thank you, magic beans of privilege.

I can also hear wise me whispering that getting vital intel from my body and finding new ways to take care of it and myself is one of the most important and purposeful things I could be doing right now.

And actually I now see that this is something that has always been available to me, even in the roughest of life situations. If anything, a little more body-listening might have done me some good during those tough times, though of course I understand that I wasn’t in the head-space to be able to consider trusting myself, and that’s okay too.

Past-me was doing everything she could, she was living by her instincts and she got me here and I love her forever. And now I am experimenting with a new level of living by my instincts, and that is what is right for now.

Anything else about this?

Trust. Release. Love. Receive. Anchor. Crown. Glow. Boldly.

Ah yes, that.

Now.

The moon has been in the sky all day, along with the sun. A beautiful, perfect quarter moon, halfway between new and full.

Blue sky, cool breeze, tiny little yellow flowers everywhere, a true yes of a day.

The book my housemate gave me as a gift for Operation True Yes is open on my lap, and I feel peaceful and something more zippy than peaceful: sparks of excitement for what is coming.

Me: Hey, slightly-wiser me, what do you have for me?

She: This is the exact right moment to be letting your body take the lead so you can follow its cues. I am so happy about this: it is the time for listening and you are listening, and I love you so much.
Me: I have Ludicrous Fear Popcorn that I’ve screwed this all up and I should have listened to this years ago and now it’s too late.
She: Nonsense. This is the perfect moment for all of this. You wouldn’t have been able to put all the pieces together before anyway. This is right, and you are my sweet beautiful love, so fill up on love, and kiss your palms, like at Rally.

Clues?

A Liz Clairborne ad said joy promotes joy, employ it in abundance. While I had a visceral no about this sentiment being used for Buy Our Stuff, Get More Stuff, I love both of these phrases and the combination of them.

Joy does promote joy. And employing things in abundance is a wonderful turn of phrase. This is exactly what I want to do with warm, glowing, out-in-the-sun energy.

The superpower of I have everything I need for this.

April - Adventure More The quality for April is ADVENTURE, and it comes with the marvelous superpower of I have everything I need for this. May it be so.

This wasn’t at all the kind of adventure I had in mind, but yes, this is an adventure, and I feel joy sparks. And I love the reminder that I have what I need.

Things I find helpful for intentions and wishes…

Nap, dance, write, play, labyrinths. Get quiet. Sweet pauses, yes to red lights and purple pills, thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Skip stones. Body first. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths in eight directions:

Adventure. Rest. Horizons. Security. Passion. Sweetness. Clarity. Presence.

Ongoing wishes and seeds planted without explanation.

Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. It’s so perfect it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS. I have what I need, and appreciate it. I am fearless and confident. I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, no big deal.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka Not throwing…

First of all let me just say how funny it is that a wish about not throwing turned into a wish about not throwing away

And I will also note that I was surprisingly chill about money this week, and my monsters no longer think it’s wasteful that I don’t need the plane ticket anymore, and I think some good seeds were planted here. Let’s see how it develops!

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more. Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I believe the Playground mugs are all sold but you can still acquire a pack of stone skipping cards just send a note and we’ll set it up. Ask Richard for cost/shipping.

Keep me company! Or just say hi!

This is an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads, superpowers, qualities, whatever you’d like, there’s no right way! Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is sharing anything sparked for you.

Comment culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want. For vulnerable wishes, you can always employ secret code or call silent retreat

Here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.

xox

Chicken 352: I read the script

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.}

Somehow I spent all of today until just now believing it was Thursday, and wondering why it felt like Friday. I think that must be a good sign that this sabbatical thing is working. I can feel the resting points declaring themselves, but also I have no sense of time. This is kind of great.

What worked this week?

Attentiveness.

As I shared last week, I’ve been starting each day by asking “What do I want” over and over again in my journal. My monsters had a lot of objections to this, they think the practice/question is shallow and self-centered and greedy, and all the usual objections.

They are placated when asking the question reveals something especially useful or wise. And they are appalled when it reveals something they think is embarrassing.

One morning, the answer wasn’t deep or profound. It was, “I want a pedicure and this is important and I want it today.”

This desire was immediately met with huge resistance, but I’ve been committing to being attentive to internal intel as part of Shmita and Operation True Yes, so after some negotiationg, I went ahead and made this happen.

The color I chose for my toenails was a sparkly wine-red called I RED the Script.

And then, miraculously, I suddenly had the superpower of having already read the script, and it changed all my interactions this week. I was able to extricate myself neatly from potentially problematic situations by reminding myself that I’d already read the script.

Turns out having read the script makes it easier to say no to a no and yes to a yes. And when I am attentive, someone else’s behavior tells me what their character is likely to do further along in the plot.

So thank you, attentiveness, for leading me to the pedicure place and guiding me to the color that was a secret superpower. And for showing me why it’s good to say no now, and not follow the script.

Next time I might…

Go for a walk.

Everything that was not good this week became not-good when I was inside and sitting and not moving.

Sometimes on transit days, we are just trying to get some internet and figure out laundry, and it seems like there isn’t time. Except of course there is time.

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 are 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. Realized all my stuff from last week with the person who crossed a boundary is about CONSENT. Much contemplation about the mysteries related to my relationships with people who do not grasp or respect consent. A breath for sovereignty, and for glowingly healthy boundaries.
  2. Figuring out this situation where someone I do not trust is a long time friend of one of my favorite people. There is no room in my life for people who can’t be trusted, and yet, this person is going to be around, how do we navigate this? A breath for clarity.
  3. On the day when I suddenly needed a hotel, the one place available quoted me a price that was so outlandishly high that you’d think the entire building would freeze and there would be a collective universal intake of breath at the audacity of this. A breath for me, and for the challenge of remembering that everything that is against me is an illusion.
  4. Somehow just as my knee healed, I injured my pinkie toe, and it has been letting me know that certain forms of movement are uncomfortable. A breath for healing.
  5. I haven’t been having nightmares on this trip, which has been so amazing, and then when I had a potentially scary dream which didn’t go in that direction, I had big hopes that maybe we’re in new territory. But then Wednesday night I had a bad dream in which I was attacked by a man in a bathroom, so that was not fun, and somehow extra-distressing because I had been feeling so hopeful. A breath for the process of healing, which is what it is.
  6. Somehow all my writing time just turns into Logisticking time, as one change of plans begets another change of plans. I’m not even sure how, but I was on the stupid computer all week and not for any of the things I want to be doing. A breath for a clean cut through this.
  7. I made a move on the unresolved situation in the building where the Playground lived, and did not get the response I was hoping for. A breath for the right wind to blow out whatever sticky cobwebs are left and to blow in some clarity.
  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. Guess what! In my nightmare, for the first time ever in one of these dreams, I responded (inside the dream) completely differently than I ever have before, and instead of waking up screaming in terror and not able to breathe, aka the usual pattern, I woke up feeling like a badass with skills, strength and power. Hey, we’re at a new place in the video game and this is so good. A breath for things can change, because they can, and they do.
  2. Turns out that the same person who unblinkingly quoted you an outrageous hotel room price can also equally unblinkingly knock $50 off the same room if you ask them for something better. I have learned this before but I forget it. Also the room turned out to have a balcony with an absolutely breathtaking view. And a gigantic whirlpool bath. And a full kitchen. And a couch. So let’s have a breath for beautiful miracles and the superpower of Good Surprises.
  3. I had a long talk with the beautiful boy about something that was upsetting me, and he was so present and loving and understanding and kind. A breath for this being my life now, and how this is such a healing for past experiences
  4. I was able to laugh at abrupt changes in the script this week. It started when I learned the last leg of my trip next month — Operation Adventures in Reverberation — had been abruptly canceled on me due to some obscure federal law that no one knew about. This is hilarious, and such a moment of hologram-shifting. Or really, a Truman Show moment of “whoops we can’t let our hero off the island, let’s come up with something fast”. It is so very ridiculous that I am in massive admiration and appreciation for this sudden change of plans. Normally I would be shaking my fists at the sky about my adventure suddenly being messed with, and the cosmic raining on parades, but right now I am just appreciating the Redirection. A breath for I am a grand adventuress and I am ready for this new adventure.
  5. My lover climbing out of bed in the camper and finding me “at work” and laughing happily in my ear: “You have wild eccentric writer hair and you’re in your underthings, typing away clicketty-clack, and you are cute and sexy and hot and odd and wonderful, and this life here makes me happy.” A breath for how quickly my big and seemingly impossible life wish (revealed on our last trip in November) of Run Away And Do Nothing And Just Be A Eccentric Writer came into fruition.
  6. We walked for an hour in the evening in my favorite state park and SAW A BEAR WHO ALSO SAW US — the bear did a much better job than I did of acting like this was no big deal, and we danced country two step between the trees, and then I received a lesson in grounding from a gigantic sequoia, and that was all pretty amazing. A breath for all of this, and for all forms of adventuring.
  7. I am learning so much about Adventure. For example, how hilarious it is that I thought this six month road trip was the adventure. A breath for how happy I am, and for “how did we ever pull this off!”.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. I am learning so much about no and about yes and about adventuring. Back to the hills and our sweet evening walks. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thankful for joy, presence, grace, pleasure, peanut butter, Shmita and this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Wham booms, wisdom, superpowers, salve and FBOTW!

Operations completed. Wham boom!

Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code meaning: this thing is done! Shortened to wham-boom.

Rewrote the about page and all my various bios in the various places. Did a lot of thinking about what I want. Pieced together some pieces. Made the list I hadn’t wanted to make. Finalized the plans for Operation Adventures in Reverberating. Figured out timetables for the summer. Actually a surprising amount got done this week.Thank you fractal flowers, thank you Shmita, thank you Switch/Swoop. Wham Boom.

Superpowers I had this week…

I had the superpowers of laughing at clues, inventing imaginary ice cream and the power of Knowing What I Don’t Want.

Powers I want.

The superpower of Joyfully Skipping — in the sense of letting things go and also not doing, and also playing hooky, and also the buoyant body sensation of skipping down a hillside in the best mood ever.

And the superpower of easily holding everyone accountable.

Also the superpower of All Obstacles Quickly Reveal Themselves As Not Obstacles, And I Say Thank You Before During And After.

The Salve of There Are No Obstacles.

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 is one of those tricksy metaphysical salves — it has an iridescent quality to it so it looks like water and then like metal, and while you’re trying to figure out what’s going on, it’s already absorbed deep into your being, dissolving paradoxes and generating new ones.

At first when I wear this salve, I begin to see openings and possibilities: the fascinating variety of ways that my obstacles might turn out not to be obstacles.

And then in a flash I see how maybe they weren’t obstacles to begin with.

Sometimes this salve requires immense amounts of trust, and several naps. You have to give it a few days, or longer, but you only think you do, because the magic is happening under the surface and also it doesn’t need to happen under the surface, because it already happened, it’s already done.

The best part of this salve is the way it streams in other qualities, like vitality, courage, wonder, appreciation and laughter.

It comes in a shell, which you can tuck under your pillow to release obstacles — that is to say, obstacles that never were, the perception of obstacles! — while you sleep…

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 comes to us by way of the horrible color that twitter and Facebook and all these sites use, they’re called Allergic To Blue. Their music is like Daft Punk meets Jacques Brel, but all in 3:4 time. And as it turns out, it’s just one guy.

And my upcoming Biopic…

She Really Loves Peanut Butter. The Havi Brooks Story.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, aka the thing that keeps me from falling apart.

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. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!