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 321: overglowing

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?

Proxies and cover identities!

At Rally (Rally!), we make up cover stories and use proxy missions.

So this week I was secretly working on a big writing project, but my cover story was that I am Yvette West, Fashion Editor by day and burlesque chorus girl by night, because Yvette, like me, has too many jobs.

On the surface, that’s the only thing we have in common, and yet — of course — it turned out that her challenges are my challenges, and her insights are my treasure.

I dressed like Yvette at Rally too, and yes, costumes are incredibly powerful, and going undercover was wild and fun and full of unexpected treasure.

Next time I might…

Remember that All Timing Is Right Timing and Not Everything Is About Timing.

Rushing is the opposite of trusting.

That doesn’t mean I always need to choose slowness. Sometimes I can pick up the pace: Ketzev 8!

It just means: rushing is at best not necessary and often counter-productive. There is time.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. This week is the last of the Alphabet Carousel Rallies. And the last of four and a half years of rallying. For the first time since 2005, I don’t know when I’m teaching next. This feels very disorienting. I am going to miss this. A breath for letting go to give the new thing space to come in.
  2. Cards on the table. Asking. A breath for trusting that honesty is always the right answer. It really is the right answer. Even when the monsters are whispering about how This Is A Terrible Mistake.
  3. Fall Is In The Air. The other day Agent Anna had a fall, and then I had a fall. The literal kind where you end up with scrapes and bruises, though I think these falls may also be an extreme form of tripping. A breath for presence, and for releasing the need to learn through pain.
  4. Running smack into some old patterns, fear, worry and doubt, in new contexts. Noticing all the ways this is not helpful. A breath for paying attention to what I need.
  5. Clearing out, in a big way. It’s important and more than a little scary. A breath for trusting that all this making room is exactly what is needed for the new beautiful things to land.
  6. I really want my future-confidence vis a vis dance (“I am going to be so amazing at this!”) to start showing up in my current dancing. A breath for trusting the process.
  7. [Silent retreat]. A breath for deep trust, in all things.
  8. Inhale, exhale. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. Feeling peaceful and happy in my pleasure bubble. Peaceful and sweet. A breath for the pleasure bubble.
  2. So many things contributed to the pleasure bubble this week. Waltz magic to live music. Gazelle state. Many sweet hours of yoga on the floor. Hiding in the vault. Wild sexy spirals at Rally. Old Turkish Lady yoga. Dancing on Wednesday night and suddenly having good dances with everyone instead of just a few people. Also this week I had the best dance lesson of my entire life, no exaggeration, it was nothing less than transcendent. A breath for this body that I live in, and for treasuring my body with things that are good for me.
  3. That was a pretty incredible smoothie. A breath for the full-body thrill of taste, texture, temperature, sensation, shared pleasure and delight.
  4. Along with all the sadness, there is also joy: I’m not [verb]-ing any Rallies, or anything at all for the next several months! A breath for spaciousness, freedom, possibility, the spark of newness, the longing for new adventures.
  5. A leisurely breakfast with my beloved Max, followed by a long peaceful walk interspersed with wisdom and giggling. I love her so much. A breath for love, and for my wish of daily life being like the Vicarage, which came true for a whole day!
  6. In the spirit of “and then something even better happens”, I am sailing in new waters where there is Sweetness and Sovereignty and Honesty and Steaminess and Presence and Intention and Magic, all the good things. Not to mention the hidden superpowers of cards on the table. Wow. A breath of thank you for the right companion for a wild adventure.
  7. Rally Z (Rally! Rally!) has been mind-blowingly full of treasure. It might be my favorite Rally. I’ve said that a lot, but this really is the perfect way to end this voyage. A breath for This Is So Right.
  8. Thankfulness. Overflowing with thank-you. Haha, I accidentally wrote overglowing, which might even be more accurate. So let’s just say it: I am feeling pretty damn blissful right now. This is a new feeling. I like it. And I am being really clear about the yes of yes and the no of no, and it feels so good. I am enjoying my writing projects instead of fighting with them. Incoming me is a badass. Marisa is back in town! My body fell with luck and wisdom, and I didn’t get hurt, just a couple scrapes. A shot of ginger-lemon-echinacea-cayenne that felt like a whole-body healing. So many lovely surprises. So many things are beautiful. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. A full happy 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.

More work on the Sip Hint Learn books. Operation 33 Keys is even better than I’d imagined. Clues about 2015: taking lots of notes. Wham Boom.

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

This post about doing things in grand fashion. I can’t believe I forgot about this when it is so vitally important.

Good thing Yvette remembered! Experimenting with this changed everything for me this week.


Powers I had this week…

Trusting the process. Trusting the timing. Well-costumed. Zanzibar!

Superpowers I want.

I always forget how powerful it is to invent/name superpowers until I’m at Rally where we name them and get them. So I want the superpower of I Always Remember To Invoke Extra Superpowers!

The superpower of Theatrical Spectaculars! The superpower of I get a parade! The superpower of everything…in style! The superpower of Self-Ripening Wisdom. The superpower of Everything Is Happening in a Grand Fashion because that’s how I do things, baby, like a fairground stripper!

Yeah! All of those. And while I’m at it, let’s have some of these too:

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 I Do Not Dim My Spark.

This salve dissolves any temptation to apologize for being who you are, as you are.

When I rub it into my skin, everything that does not enhance my ability to experience my light becomes obvious and unnecessary.

This salve does not only brighten your spark, it also shines light on all of the invisible glue holding together the walls of Things That Are Not True.

For example, you can put on this salve and suddenly see that no, there is no need to lose weight to wear the thing you want to wear, and also the entire concept of “weight” and “losing” it is just bullshit cultural craziness that has nothing to do with truth.

And once you can see that, all the invisible glue, all the rules, assumptions and expectations that we agree to, all those things that keep us from glowing our glow…well, they just start to seem irrelevant.

Of course you aren’t going to dim your spark for these vague internal and external rules that aren’t actually based in anything. Of course the way to unraveling those rules and their false power is by agreeing to glow more.

This salve reminds me of the woman on the plane who said I ain’t a slave to nobody or nothing.

She was right. This is the salve for that. I do not dim my spark for anyone or anything.

Clean and clear knowing. Ablaze with intention. Not angry about this, not resentful, not filled with shame about all the spark-dimming I have done in my life up until now. No. Just knowing truth: here is my spark and I am done with the dimming patterns.

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 comes via Agent E, and it’s called Distracted By Juice. It’s an indie garage band that does plaintive-yet-loud covers of Harry Connick Jr songs. And you know what’s interesting? It’s just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

While I was in my deep panic last week, I used what works best for me: the Emergency Calm Down Right Away techniques.

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 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.

Wish 271: tryst

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

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity on my desires. The point isn’t achieving the wish (though cool things emerge from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and accessing the qualities. Wanting can be hard, it’s easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons behind that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

What do I want?

I am thinking about cycles again thanks to an intriguing recent conversation.

Especially this cycle:

I begin doing something to take care of myself, until it gradually becomes ritual, something I look forward to, crave, take comfort in, count on.

And then, after however many months or years during which this ritual and I keeping each other company, it disappears.

Sometimes it comes back because [everything that is mine returns to me]. Sometime it comes back and fades away again.

There are some practices — one in particular, the one that used to be known as Descending To The Red Rug — that have not yet returned to me, or I have not yet returned to them.

I miss them. A lot.

What do I want?

I notice myself waiting and wanting, waiting and hoping, just not ready to start.

Not starting, still not starting, and yet at the same time I feel my desire. Look how I keep opening the door and peeking out to see if I can smell something in the air that says yes.

Last week was Rally Y, the Week of Yes.

There is a lot of yes waiting to happen right now.

What do I want?

I want to remember that even though I find this particular cycle frustrating in the moment, there is nothing wrong with cycles. There is an ebb and flow to everything. Life happens in seasons.

And: Not everything needs to last forever.

I actually think our culture puts way too much pressure on people to stick with rituals. It’s that insidious Ass In Chair mentality. It doesn’t honor the creative process which requires presence, experimentation, desire and play.

So sometimes we ritual for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we allow practices to become rigid or stagnant because we aren’t willing to let them change or even let them go.

We forget about the beauty of spontaneity, the importance of following desire and listening for the new desire is that is emerging.

And it’s hard to receive the new treasure when we’ve turned the Thing That Used To Work into a rule about how things have to be.

What else do I know about this?

Generally speaking, I tend to feel wary when I hear things like so-and-so has “meditated for X minutes every day for Y years” or “done the exact same yoga practice every day since 1972″.

To me that sounds a lot like forcing.

It sounds like not being present with what my body actually needs and desires on a given day, in a given moment, which — to me — is the whole point of practicing things like yoga and meditation.

I don’t want to be someone who makes herself do a practice.

I want to be someone for whom practicing is like meeting a lover.

You don’t do it because you have to or even because they’re expecting you. You go because you can’t bear to stay away any longer.

That’s what I want from practice. Practice as rendezvous. Practice as deep sensual pleasure that pulls me in. A tryst for me and my steady breath.

I want to descend to the floor, breathe with my body, stop thinking about logistics and go back to breathing love for the crazy miracle of being alive.

What else do I know about this?

There is something that serves me in each part of the cycle. In the part where I do the thing I want to be doing, and also in the part where I don’t do it.

And there is also something broken in each part, something distorted.

I want to get back to the beautiful truth of cycles: there is a time for resting and replenishing, and there is a time for blossoming and wild glowing.

I want to step away from the distortions that lead me to make choices based in fear and scarcity instead of choosing from presence.

What else do I know about this?

All distortions aside, ritual really is powerful and beautiful. It’s a container for whatever I am trying to build and grow.

It holds what is good for me.

Dedicated space and time to do things that take support me means I actually get what I need.

Way better than my current default, which is not doing things that take care of me.

As long as I avoid the distortion of “you have to do this or else”, ritual is where it’s at.

What else do I know about this?

I had a sudden realization last night about this. Actually, this is related to last week’s wish about sovereignty in the form of Not Contorting.

This particular practice ritual I’m currently missing was with me in some form basically every day for a little over two years. And then it stopped very abruptly.

In my mind I’ve been thinking that this is related to my busy travel and work schedule.

I also expected I’d pick it up again at the Vicarage, and I didn’t, and that made no sense, but I went with it because everything that happens at the Vicarage is not only right, but extra-right.

Last night it occurred to me that there’s a painful reason that explains why I stopped, and I blanked it out because I didn’t want to think about it.

The last time I did this practice was the last day I saw X. He didn’t join me in practicing, and that was unusual, normally he’d sit and meditate until I was done. And then he turned into Mr. Hyde and I didn’t trust him anymore and that was goodbye. I’m glad that is done. And it’s interesting that my ritual got coated with stickiness from this ending, and I didn’t even realize it.

What else do I know about this?

This is a useful instance of a thing that I do. And a useful reminder that I do this. So many times in life I experience something painful and then I go blank.

Sometimes blank in the form of erasing memory, sometimes blank in the form of checking out and not being present, disassociating. Sometimes blank in the sense that one negative memory leaks out into other objects, experiences or events, and then I avoid things I love because they get accidentally tangled up with the hurt even though there’s no direct connection.

I want to remember that this is normal and understandable. That’s how defense mechanisms work. There is nothing wrong with me.

That’s just me being human, encountering vulnerability, following the old familiar neural pathways.

I am okay.

What else do I know about this?

Everything is new.

Ritual, like anything else in life, can be alive, dynamic, ever-changing.

I don’t actually want to go back to what I had before. I want something new and radiantly beautiful, something that feels like now, something that holds the qualities of ablaze with aliveness.

Boldly glowing.

What else?

I want to do more thinking about this new ritual, this new form. What I want it to give me. What I want to bring to it.

Like some Sexy Honesty. Radical Sovereignty. Openness and Sweetness. Being held by a form.

The compass of qualities will help too. Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

Crown. Trust. Presence. Bask. Source. Truth. Glow. Boldly.

What will help with this? And where do I want to start?

Set the intention. Nap on it. Dance it, write it, play with it, walk the labyrinth. Take lots of notes.

I can take deeper breaths, getting quieter and quieter until I hear what is true.

More sweet pauses, yes to the red lights, remember the purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots.

Bright colors. Passion. Costume changes. Skip stones with incoming me. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote.

And, as always, by saying thank you in advance.

Thank you in advance!

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

She: This is about the superpower you asked for at Rally: calm bold fearless ablaze-with-confidence choice-making. This is about conscious entry. Doing things with intention, connecting to desire, not just going back to something because it’s a “good habit”.

This is new territory. It’s exciting.

The thing you said about a tryst for you and your breath. That is important. Take time for this quieting. Take time to be with me. Know that I am with you, adoring you, glowing mad unconditional love towards everything you touch.

The superpower of gracefully receiving gifts.

Gracefully receiving my gifts.

Yes. This is the right time for this.

I am ready to come into my superpowers, including the superpowers of knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, I Am Okay With Being Seen, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me.

Oh wow, what beautiful wishes.

Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.

What else do I want?

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.
  • I have the best time dancing in my ballroom.
  • This doesn’t require my input!
  • Ha, it’s so perfect that it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS
  • I have what I need, and I appreciate it. There are resources to do this.
  • Trust and steadiness. I can see why this moment is good.
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.
  • The superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers.
  • Ops: A Beautiful Stew. Real Seeing. The Protocols. Sip Hint Learn. The Panache Brigade!


Just add a snooze button!

A sign. Literally. It said: “I want to sail around the world with you”.

Incoming me poked me a number of times until I stopped and looked at it. I want to sail around the world with her too.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka behold the great contortionist…

I have been doing considerably less contorting, and this is good. More importantly, I’m noticing what situations exacerbate my inclination to contort, and taking notes!

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I wish to whisper a whisper about the Monster Manual! It comes paired with the world’s best coloring book, which does so much monster-dissolving magic that even if you wait to try the techniques, you’ll still feel better about everything.

Self-fluency is hard enough, we need ways to to interact with the thoughts-fear-worry-criticism that shuts down creative exploring. And when people get the manual, I am able to me spend more time writing here. So if you don’t need help with monsters, get one for a friend. Or plant a wish that someone gets it for you! And bring people you like to hang out here. The more of us working on our stuff, the better for all of us. ♡

Keep me company?

Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads. In any size/form you like, there’s no right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play.

Let’s throw things in the pot! And: Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.