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 356: the salve of last straws

Friday chicken

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

It is Friday and we are here.

Did Friday come extra-fast this week or is this just the repercussions of the last chicken taking its sweet time to show up? I’m not sure.

{a breath for Friday, and for being here when we get here.}

What worked this week?

Trusting my instincts.

That is everything.

I don’t know why I forget this, but when I remember to pause and check in with myself, the intel is there.

Next time I might…

Say what I want in advance.

I’d been feeling pretty good about life without plastic and without generating trash, it’s been easier than I had expected to establish good habits, carrying cloth napkins and wooden cutlery in my bag.

Then we went out to eat with friends, and everyone received a glass of water with a straw in it. For some reason, this was, haha, the straw that broke a camel’s back?

That’s a different kind of straw.

What I meant to say is that as soon as the straws appeared, I just kind of went underwater. It was just this moment. It totally floored me, for reasons I can’t even explain. I wasn’t really there. I wasn’t hungry any longer, I couldn’t concentrate on the conversation happening around me. Just sitting there, stunned, thinking about how astonishing the whole thing is.

Why do we need a flimsy, plastic, disposable, single use item in order to drink water? Why would I even want to mediate the life-giving experience of water by experiencing it through a tube made from petroleum?

The straw is pre-opened too with only the top covered, so it doesn’t even matter if you refuse it. It goes into the ground whether you use it or not. I know it’s almost more of a symbol than anything else, and yet, there it is. This straw. I felt genuine grief and physical pain over this straw.

I hope very soon we will look back on plastic straws like doctors recommending brands of cigarettes. Only with more horror.

What’s even worse is that the straw is a freebie when it should really be the most expensive part of the meal. We should be paying earth rent on every straw.

Anyway, there is = more I want to say, but for now this: Any time I am not eating in the camper, I will — immediately upon entering the establishment in question — warmly and politely give advance notice that I don’t want any plastic. No straws, please.

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. The straw thing. Seriously. Still really feeling that and I don’t even know how to explain how or why it touched me so deeply. A breath for knowing that anything can be a door to making important changes, and if deep sorrow is my door right now, then that’s my door.
  2. Body is exhausted and on the verge of sick. A breath for rest and how much I need it.
  3. Inexplicable moodiness that was not hormones. Like, I felt IMPOSSIBLY SAD about having overcooked a rice dish. A breath for this.
  4. Prior to being in the dance world, I didn’t really have friends whose politics are very different than mine. Suddenly I am friends, both in the social media sense and in real life, with people whom I genuinely like, who also hold opinions that range from problematic to distressing to wildly bigoted. In the past, it would have been easy for me to just automatically cut ties, because it is not my job to explain to people, no matter how nice they are otherwise, how systemic racism or homophobia work. And now these are people I dance with. So now I find myself taking a breath and trying to find the kindest, clearest words for explaining what is okay and what is not okay. Or taking a breath and deciding that I am not going to read anything this person writes any more, but yeah, they’re in my life in some form. This is taxing, uncomfortable, disorienting, I am having a hard time with it. A breath for learning new ways of navigating the world, and for tough decisions.
  5. Santa Barbara. My god. I was just there two weeks ago. And the reactions, even worse. “We’re sorry this accident has happened, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience to the community.” WHAT. However many thousands of gallons of oil spilled, and that’s the apology? Let me edit that for you: We’re DEVASTATED this TRAVESTY has happened, and we’re TERRIBLY sorry for the TRAGEDY WE CAUSED to the community/WORLD”. That is the minimum acceptable level of remorse for this press conference bullshit. Inconvenient oil spill? Inconvenient? A breath for the ocean, for the coast, for Santa Barbara, for grace, for healing, for whatever is needed most.
  6. Not enough outdoors time even though that’s the whole point of Operation True Yes. We are out in these beautiful places and yet somehow much of this week was spent in suburban parking lots and pizza places. Also way too many early morning wake-up calls and not nearly enough sleep. A breath for knowing what I want, and making it not just a priority but my biggest priority.
  7. So I can only assume this is normal sabbatical crisis stuff, but my desire to do any work at all ever is zero, possibly below zero. Like, to the point that the only things I want to do in life are in the category of “nap, eat an omelet, nap again, go for a walk”. A breath for trusting that This Too Is Right.
  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. My traveling companion is sweet and warm and kind-hearted and present with me, in all of my moods and moments. A breath for this, and for how much intense joy I feel when he smiles at me.
  2. Back in the gorgeous red hills. Walking in the evening with the beautiful boy. A breath for this.
  3. I made chili powder! It came out a thrilling vibrant red, with such smell and freshness and luscious ALIVENESS. I am never buying any from the store again. What joy. A breath for color and for making.
  4. Lots of cooking and baking this week, some experiments more successful than others, but this is what I wanted to be doing. A breath for making things with love.
  5. Being on Shmita is definitely one of the most fascinating, challenging, eye-opening things I have ever done. I am finally beginning to understand why I resisted this for so long. A breath for emptying, releasing, letting go, opening up.
  6. Much more clarity about what is yes and what is no. A breath for quiet trust.
  7. It is very easy for me to look at all the things that aren’t working (or, really, things I perceive are not working), and yet look at the beautiful flowers in the magical hills, this amazing adventure, this love in my heart, this body which walks and breathes, the seven years of this website, this boy who squeezes my hand, miracles of all sizes everywhere I look. A breath for remembering.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Texting with Agent Annabelle. Reading everyone’s wonderful wishes on the Very Personal Ads. Loving the community here and the people in the fluent self orbit. Found my missing sunglasses. I am a grand adventuress. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thankful for 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.

This was a week of research and investigating, and percolating. Also I finally used up that box of gluten-free pasta and made a delicious casserole, so there. Thank you, Mission of Less, and fractal flowers, thank you Shmita, thank you Switch/Swoop. Wham Boom.

Superpowers I had this week…

I had the superpower of staying in bed, the superpower of Leaving In The Moment That I Am Done, and the superpower of speaking truth.

Powers I want.

I want more Fearless Boundary-Setting. And some Deep Intense Self-Trust. And how about some more I Joyfully Avoid Things That Are Unnecessary.

The Salve of Last Straws.

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 facilitates all moments of saying — and knowing — Enough Is Enough.

When I wear this salve, I feel steady, peaceful, glowing, beautifully anchored in life.

And then, swiftly and surprisingly easily, behind the scenes, everything begins to shift to accommodate this.

Toxic relationships dissolve, patterns unravel, new shapes and forms configure and reconfigure to meet this.

I am done with everything that does not serve me. These things are already done, they’re over, they’re leaving.

This salve is remarkably placid. No whirlwinds necessary. When I wear this salve, I remember that all my feelings are legitimate, and also I can make changes without a lot of emotion attached to it.

It isn’t always an angry shouting of THIS IS THE LAST STRAW, sometimes it is a quiet knowing, with steady breath and deep peacefulness. This salve is very good for that, though it can last-straw any situation with whatever happens to be needed in the moment.

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 Existential Crisis Cookies, and it’s actually just one guy.

And my upcoming Biopic…

Not My Area. 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. You are welcome to take a breath, share something from your week, leave warmth or hearts, whatever works for you. 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 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!

Wish 306: Wish Balls and Wish Bells

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…

Here be monsters.

This week every single idea I’ve had for a wish that I might process here has been immediately shut down by monsters.

To the point that I couldn’t even tell that it was monsters, and thought that maybe I just didn’t want anything…

Me: What do I want?
Answer: I don’t know!
Me: Really?
Answer: I don’t know!
Me: That’s a little suspicious…
Answer: No it isn’t!
Me: Really. We have done this for THREE HUNDRED AND FIVE WEEKS IN A ROW, and suddenly at week three hundred and six, we have mysteriously lost the ability to make wishes? Or is something else at play?
Monsters: Fine, make a wish, and we will tell you why it’s stupid.

And that’s how it went.

It turned out, of course, that I have dozens of wishes, but I was just scared to name them because of all the criticism. Sometimes you have to protect a tiny sweet thing, and I was protecting mine by pretending it didn’t exist.

So I started testing this, with less scary things. I’d name a wish about something I might theoretically want, like, maybe eventually, some day, possibly…and the monsters had already written a doctoral thesis on why it’s stupid, selfish, and won’t work anyway.

Their ability to shut things down is always pretty impressive (after all, that’s how self-protective mechanisms work), but their game is so speedy right now. You kind of have to admire it.

It’s a game to them, and they are really good at it.

So I had the thought: Huh. If this is a fun game for them, destroying wishes, let’s find a way to let them play the game so they can be happy.

And a way for me to have my own parallel game of generating and playing with wishes, and then we all win.

That way I can know what they object to, and if I need proxies or less scary wishes or better ways to protect the wishes.

Of course underneath all of this is the real game: getting quiet and still, listening to my secret truth, finding out what I really want and how better to take care of myself.

This requires a bouncy castle. Let’s make one.

A bouncy castle for secret wishes that is also a ball pit.

Two of them. One for the monsters and one for me. And each of the brightly colored balls are wishes, and when the monsters see a ball they can jump on it and say all the negative things they think about it, and then at least I will know what my wishes are (and why they scare me, because of monster objections), and I can visit my own bouncy castle and play with my wish-balls there, sans monsters. 

It’s duplicate bouncy castles! Duplicate bouncy castles full of wishing balls!

Hilariously, while I was thinking that, someone on Twitter said “it’s raining balls over here”. Yeah? Well I’m WISHING balls.

And since all of my wish-balls are really secretly about being a better bell, these wishing balls can also be wishing bells. Hey, it’s the month of Reverberation.

This week.

Instead of exploring a wish, I’ll just name a bunch of the colorful wishing balls.

Some may not make much sense yet, maybe not even to me, and that’s okay.

Some of these wishes are tiny, sweet, baby wishes with adorable little toes, and they need safety, sweetness and adoration.

Some of these wishes come with a request for suggestions if you have any.

Then over the course of this week, I will trust that my monsters are happily firing off objections in the ball pit, gleefully destroying everything in sight.

And I will play peacefully with my bell-wishes and ball-wishes, letting them be colorful, buoyant, extravagant.

And if monsters need to be monster-ey today, they get one sentence. Wise-me can chime in too, please.

WISHBALLS: GO!

AIR.

Back to keeping the phone in airplane mode, or, as I call it: AIRplane mode.

AIR = Access Internal Resonance, something which is considerably easier for me to do when I’m not plugged in.

Monsters: That’s not your real wish, your real wish is to not run out of data and be constrained by money, you are lying to yourself to preserve morale, just like Then!

Wisest Me: Let’s play what’s true and what’s also true: It’s true Havi cares about conserving data right now. It’s also true that she thrives on the spaciousness and quiet of being a peaceful bell, that’s a big part of Shmita and something she would genuinely like to experiment with.

A delicious no-dairy cheese recipe.

Since deciding that I’m done with plastic, I’ve been living in the kitchen.

Well, I live on the road in a tiny camper, so the kitchen is the same as the rest of my space, but I’ve been figuring out how to make everything we currently buy which comes with plastic.

I love cheese more than anything in the world, but unless I learn how to make it or acquire a giant wheel of it somewhere, it’s either goodbye cheese or substitutes.

I’ve made some nut cheeses, and they’re…fine, but nothing like cheese. The recipes say OHMYGOD THIS IS SO DELICIOUS AND ADDICTIVE AND YOU WILL THINK IT IS CHEESE BUT LIKE IT EVEN IT MORE, and apparently vegans are as reliable about things tasting like cheese as I am about things tasting like dessert.

Which is to say, not at all. The opposite of reliable. Maybe even kind of delusional.

I quit sugar a little over fifteen years ago. So I don’t actually remember what really sweet things taste like. I make myself frozen seed treats with seeds, dates, raisins, nuts and cocoa powder. In my mind they taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups, only better.

I told my housemate he should taste these sweet treats, and he said, yeah, I wouldn’t call them sweet, they taste like nuts and fruit, and I was like, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS IS THE MOST DECADENT DESSERT OF ALL TIME.

I want truly great recipes for alternative cheeses of different flavors and textures, that come with the seal of approval from people who still know from cheese. Orgasmic levels of cheese-like approximation. Or at the very least, cheese-like levels.

Anyone reading is welcome and invited to direct me to their favorite recipes, as long as a genuine cheese-eating person can swear that this really is a worthy substitute.

Monsters: You are a selfish, horrible person who needs to shut up, there are starving children working in sweatshops and all you care about is cheese taste, get over yourself.

Wisest-me: This is a marvelous wish that will change how you live, and I can’t wait to find out where this goes.

Access Secret Learning.

This is my secret code for American Sign Language, and I would like to spend more time playing with signs.

Monsters: Yeah whatever, like this is ever going to happen, don’t make wishes out loud if you’re not going to follow through, dumbass.

Wisest-me: All timing is right timing, and seed-planting is the best way to start, so keep your eyes open for all the ways you are accessing secret learning, not just the way you think it has to be.

Buying food at farms and in bulk.

This is how I want to acquire food now.

Monsters: Right, this is totally going to work while living on the road, don’t you realize it’s going to be expensive and impossible.

Wisest-me: What a beautiful wish. I bet that farm you’ve been eyeing is going to have amazing olive oil, and I know how much you enjoyed making your own chili powder this week from the bulk dried peppers you bought at the co-op! What vibrancy in taste and color. What glorious Aliveness!

Be a bell in Fresno.

[Secret silent retreat wish that has to do with a dance convention.]

Monsters: It’s going to be a disaster to end all disasters, you’ll probably never dance again.

Wisest-me: Yep, this is a terrific wish. Let’s make some magic.

Pole dancing.

Not even a proxy.

Monsters: Hahaha, with your abs?

Wisest-me: I love it when you make wishes that have to do with gazelle state and Lusciousness, your two favorite things. And adventure. What a beautiful wish.

Cod liver oil.

How do you disguise it so it does not taste disgusting? I am open to all suggestions or recipes that do not involve sugar/honey/sweeteners.

Monsters: You’re embarrassing.

Wisest-me: I bet there is a marvelous solution waiting for you.

A recipe for corn tortillas that does not involve using plastic.

In fact, I think I want an entire cookbook based on zero waste principles.

I mean, come on. People have made corn tortillas forever. How come I can’t find a single recipe that doesn’t involve plastic wrap or cutting a piece of a plastic bag or wax paper.

What did people do a hundred years ago? Why isn’t there a recipe for that? This is driving me crazy.

Open to suggestions, recommendations and favorite recipes, thank you!

Monsters: All you care about is food and making food, you’re turning into some horribly boring, homesteading, apron-wearing zealot, and no one is ever going to read your blog again.

Wisest-me: It is going to be awesome making tortillas! And there really is a need for this zero-plastic cookbook, and you don’t have to be the one to write it!

More Putterday please!

Devoting more time to just puttering.

Monsters: Just shut up already and do some damn work for a change.

Wisest-me: Mmmmm what a delicious wish!

Now.

There is a gorgeous shot glass full of freshly ground chili powder in front of me. There is flour all over my pants. I overcooked the rice dish, but made a delicious garlicky lemon tahini sauce that tastes like home to me. I’m wearing my mother’s necklace and if she were still alive, I’d tell her about the chili powder and she would be so excited.

Well, possibly she would also send me an envelope stuffed full of newspaper clippings about people who accidentally overdosed on chili powder and died, or made their own powder from bad peppers and died, but she would be very interested in the process, and right now I am enjoying that superpower of Excited About Process, something my monsters will (I hope) learn to enjoy and to let me enjoy too.

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

She: You thought you didn’t have any wishes and look how many wishes you have.
Me: But what if my monsters are right and these are all terrible wishes?
She: If they were terrible wishes, you wouldn’t have so much invested in trying to shut them down. And anyway, what is a wish if not an experiment in permission to want?

Clues?

When I left the campsite two weeks ago, it was full of yellow flowers, but now it is full of yellow and purple flowers. A landscape can change quickly and in entirety and astound me with beauty.

The superpower of I take care of myself first.

May - Reverberate MoreThe quality for May is REVERBERATE, and it comes with I take care of myself first.

Things that reverberate: bells, wishes, electric toothbrushes, ships and motorcycles, intention, presence, joyfulness, desire.

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.

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat. Things to play with someday.

Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. I think like a dancer. 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. I am ready to come into my superpowers and receive.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka a new experiment…

Last week my wish was about dental floss but it was really about living in a way that is meaningful and important to me, and the permission to follow that wherever it takes me.

Haven’t solved the dental floss bit yet. I already use coconut oil for oil pulling, so I have added a couple minutes of swishing oil after I eat, and brushing teeth more, but right now floss still seems very necessary, so I am using what I have and waiting for the right solution to reveal itself. As for the bigger wish, I feel stronger and more hopeful about everything than I did a week ago.

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.

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

xox