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 330: taking care of elves

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.}

What worked this week?


Every time I started to feel shaky and scared this week, I immediately said to myself: “My love, this is a completely normal part of taking time to figure out what you want!”

When I used to run retreats, invariably someone would have a total meltdown around day 4, and we’d always say, “It’s not a retreat until you fall the fuck apart!”. And then giggle hysterically.

So yeah. It’s just part of the voyage.

If you undertake something big, and ohmylord taking time for myself to be in a state of not-doing and not-producing is big, then things are going to move and shift.

You’re going to get new intel (or new insights into the intel you’ve been ignoring, in my case), and it’s going to shake things up a bit.

So falling apart is natural and normal.

Like when you do long, slow, extended yoga poses for the hips and spine. Your body will probably feel, in Paul’s words, fragile and vulnerable, and this is a good thing.

Remembering this, and trusting this. That was my salvation this week.

Next time I might…

Ask sooner.

I put off asking for something this week, and then it was so completely simple. Let’s be brave and ask!

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 work 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. Grief. The sadness about losing my mother takes different shapes and forms, like watching someone paint in watercolor. A breath for permission.
  2. I finally got quiet enough to hear what I really need. I’ve heard it many times this year but each time responded with “well, but that’s impossible though”. Now I am at the point where it doesn’t matter if it’s impossible. It is what needs to happen, so it’s going to have to happen. I imagine this will, at some point, feel incredibly liberating. Right now it’s just scary. A breath for sweetness.
  3. I have so many elements of the thing I want, and I can also see how I get myself into cycles where I forget to nourish myself, and how I pay the price for this. A breath for ease and for change.
  4. Insecurity. Sometimes I need to hear the same reassuring thing whispered in my ear, or in my heart, a hundred times a day before it even begins to break the hard built-up surface of disbelief. A breath for patience, sweetness and courage.
  5. Things that are unknown. Sitting with the void. A breath for trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.
  6. Forgetting truth-love, forgetting to take care of myself, forgetting that this is my job. A breath for remembering.
  7. And in the ongoing theme, the continued encounters with all the ways I relinquish my sovereignty, compromise my desires, neglect to state my preferences, avoid opportunities to treasure myself. It is fascinating to me just how easily I will pretend that what I want is not important, or act as if I don’t even know what that is. Yet again, a breath for trust and more trust and even more trust after that. And for practicing wearing my crown.
  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.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. Operation Tranquility Recovery Magic: It is so much better than I was imagining. Mind: blown. All of my Ludicrous Fear Popcorn that it wouldn’t actually be magic, or that I wouldn’t feel tranquil or that I wouldn’t like the tranquility or that my adventuring companion and I wouldn’t really connect, it was all absurd, all concocted by well-meaning fuzzball monsters who want me to be safe. Every second of this trip has been luscious, sweet, healing, infused with warmth and shared delight. A breath for receiving.
  2. Holding hands and smiling the most sweetness-laced joy-filled smiles for fifteen days straight, doped up to the gills on happy. A breath for lalalalalalalala I like this.
  3. I am having a wild passionate affair with life right now, and this is so very healing. A breath for sea and sky and breath and quiet knowing.
  4. My body is getting so much gazelle time. Hours of walking by the water. Sun salutations, stretching, old turkish lady yoga, dance practice, dancing every night. A breath of thank you.
  5. I got the intel I have been waiting for. It wasn’t what I was expecting and that is okay. A breath for being held in love.
  6. Dirk and Annette, our alter-egos, killing it on the dance floor. And I went on a rollercoaster! Twice! If you know me, feel free to laugh hysterically about that one. I did it and it was fun. A breath for pure play.
  7. I asked for joy on Sunday and not only did I get a thousand tiny sweet moments of joy, on Wednesday we ended up at the joy-filled house of a woman whose last name is Joy, and there was even more joy to be had. And laughter. So much laughter. A breath for the gift of being able to see something beautiful and true while it is happening.
  8. Thankfulness. Heart full of love. Tiny miracles everywhere. So much sweetness in my life, so much kindness, so much generosity and permission. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. A full breath of 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 away on Operation Tranquility Recovery Magic, which means that I’m writing, writing and writing and editing like crazy, while trusting the fractal flowers. And finished big chunk of the Internalship. Wham Boom.

Revisiting some wise important words of truth from past-me.

The surprising practice of asking what is more astonishing.


Powers I had this week…

I had the power of Sleeping In Until Eleven — I usually have the power of automatically waking up at 6am so this was completely new for me and it was awesome.

And I had all the powers of Being Deliriously Enthralled And Enthralling At The Same Time, which was hot, and I will take more of that please.

Superpowers I want.

Same as last time. The superpower of Joyful Full-Hearted Adventuring While Treasuring Myself.

Other favorite superpowers: Permission slips everywhere. Calm Steady Trust Is Mine At All Times. I Take Care Of Myself Easily and Unapologetically. Acting on guidance in addition to listening it. Trusting That the Loving No Is The Door To True Yes! Delighting in Plenty. I am allowed to enjoy being adored. As much sweetness as I want. I see how beautiful everything is and I say thank you.Theatrical Spectaculars! I get a parade! Self-Ripening Wisdom. Everything…in style! And in grand fashion, because that’s how I do things, baby, like a fairground stripper! I Boldly Glow. Ablaze With Fearless Intentional Choice-Making. I Have Everything I Need. Wildly Confident, Outrageously Beautiful, Wonderfully Tranquil. I Do Not Dim My Spark For Anyone.

The Salve of Tranquility Recovery Magic

This salve contains many qualities, including:

Rest. Surrender. Love. Receiving. Anchoring. Softening. Glowing Boldly. Rejuvenation.

It is salve that softens everything, immediately. It is just the tiny bit tingly, though that part is mostly just that moment when you notice that you have suddenly become more receptive to moments of joy.

Judgment wafts away as you realize that actually there is nothing wrong with just going to bed, or with eating now instead of waiting until everyone else is hungry.

It’s a secret sovereignty salve, because as you begin to take care of yourself and your selves (and your elves), everything begins to make more sense. And then you no longer agree to giving up on what you need in a misguided attempt to make other people happy. Pretty subversive stuff, if you think about.

That’s the magic part of the tranquility recovery magic. Well, that’s where it starts. This salve is creamy, rich, nourishing. There is no name on the jar, just a faint imprint of a unicorn.

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 my obsession this week with redirecting myself to the question: does this take care of me, does this help us take care of ourselves? Autocorrect prefers elves to selves, so this week’s band is called Taking Care Of Elves, they are a ska funk sextet that is somehow still only just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am still recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, since they are keeping things good around here for me.

So I want to seed a reminder that this is a thing, and it helps, a lot. Not just with calming down in the moment but with building the kind of habits that allow you to change your relationship with whatever is scary or uncomfortable.

I hardly ever recommend these because the page is already many years old and needs rewriting. However, copywriting aside, this is still one of the best things I have ever made, by a lot. I have two boxes in my office full of the sweetest thank you notes from people, and so many of them are for this.

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, it’s no big deal. And I am blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers. I love that you are here too.

Thank you.

Thank you, strong tired legs who walked today, and told me when enough was enough.

Thank you, past me from a few years ago, who learned the wise truths of Not Pushing, so that when my legs loved me by saying this is enough, I could love them back and say of course of course you are right.

Thank you, walking. What a beautiful miracle is that.

Thank you, Richard, who is taking care of the chocolate shop (and everything else) so that I can write, so that I can take long walks and clear my head, the gift of this is so big that I don’t even know to take it in.

Thank you, ocean. Wise beautiful Pacific ocean, with all its unfathomable superpowers of Vastness and Majesty and endless Possibility, with its incomparable ability to deliver truth directly to my heart, sometimes in the form of a smackdown.

Thank you, me of however many years ago in Berlin who suffered through the most terrifying ear infection, in the process becoming someone who can hear what the ocean wants to tell me.

Thank you, lungs, and each amazing breath of life.

Thank you, pauses and red lights.

Thank you for smiles that I get to share with people who pass by. Thank you for these quiet harmonious interactions, and for the healing in that. That’s what they are, for me, each and every time.

Thank you for a long hard (ongoing) practice of glowing healthy boundaries, this helps me trust myself to smile, knowing that I do not owe anyone anything, that I do not ever need to engage. Safety first!

Thank you for the knowledge, however hard-earned, that I get to choose Safety First!

Thank you, pink sunset clouds.

Thank you for this glance at my reflection where I didn’t need to think negative thoughts about what isn’t or what used to be, and instead thought, There’s Havi, hello!

Thank you, messy curly hair which somehow looks fantastic despite the desperate haphazard middle-of-the-night haircut I bestowed upon myself with a pair of scissors over the bathroom sink a couple weeks ago. Somehow my hair is forgiving of this and so much more, and if that’s not a glorious miracle, I don’t know what is.

Thank you, mind, which is choosing to focus on this, and not the stray white strands, or whatever aspects of me are currently harder for me to remember to like.

Thank you for this beautiful boy who smiles at me every single time he looks at me, who is so full of joy for my existence, who pulls me in tightly and whispers, I like being around you!

May I see myself with his glowing eyes.

Thank you for this sweetness.

Thank you, every time a path or a door has opened for me. Thank you, times they have closed and I have been Redirected. Thank you, hard-won ability to say, Oh hey look a Redirection.

Thank you, what’s left of my sparkling pink nail polish from my morning with Lucky Lola.

Thank you, world of connectings and internet, that allows me to meet people like her, and like you, how crazy is it that we get to do this, that I get to share a breath or a hand-on-heart sigh of life and aliveness with people I haven’t met yet but somehow already like.

Thank you, years of processing things with my monsters so that even though the thing I just said might sound incredibly cheesy, I’m not going to delete it.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, from the depths of my thank-you heart. I never say this but I’m going to say it: blessed. That’s how I feel. That’s what I know.

There are still challenges, still hard things to decide, sort out, figure out, as it goes with life. And, as always, I know that each of these things will turn into a retroactive thank-you, they will ripen into thank-you.

I will be glad for the growth they are giving me, even as right now I make a face.

Thank you.

Thank you for being here with me, some of you for as long as nine years, and an equal amount of thank you if this is your first time here. It means a lot.

And if you feel drawn to deposit any thank-yous of your own in the comments, whether internally or externally directed, I would love the company.