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

 

A two-sentence conversation about praise and time.

I shared a love story the other day about red lights. And about loving them.

Red lights as a form of pause and pleasure. As a door into presence. Presence that comes from deliberate, intentional stopping, and an adoring commitment to sweet slowness.

Slow and more slowness.

Watching a cup of water fill, slowly, over time.

It is funny that this was already on my mind because this morning I found myself at Fressen, which is a (German, obviously) bakery/cafe here in Portal Land.

It is a place that combines German food, German thoroughness, German social-awkwardness and the wonderful thing that is German hospitality with a calm slowness that is unbelievably slow.

It is not a slowness I associate with Germany, with the exception of my many happy memories of delightfully lazy five hour breakfasts that were the hallmark of underemployed artist culture in Berlin when I lived there.

It is a slowness I associate more with say, New Mexico.

Eight and a half minutes from the moment of ordering at the counter to the moment when the interaction finally turned to the part where I got to pay for my order.

The water dispenser there drips so slowly that it takes a full three minutes to get a glass of water. Nothing to do but surrender and breathe.

That water dispenser is like a yoga pose. Or the longest, sexiest red light.

You let the glass fill with water. And you breathe.

I watched myself wanting to do anything but wait for the water.

Wanting to pick up a newspaper, check my phone, take a photo, anything really.

And at the same time, the superpower I’m currently working with is “resting into miracles”. So I thought: what if I rest into this filling of the water glass?

A tiny meditation in letting things fill up again. Emptying and replenishing, the theme of my year.

What if this unthinkably slow water dispenser (seriously, dispense is not even the correct verb here) is a gift of ALL THE SLOW STEADY BREATHS I NEED.

Through living in silence, I’ve learned to get really comfortable with pauses and space with people. What if the next part is getting comfortable with three long, slow minutes of letting something fill? As if this water dispenser is on its own form of silent retreat.

What if this water dispenser is a well? Hydration is what I want. Worth waiting for. If I want it.

Another piece of truth: I can change what I want. Freedom.

Praise.

I have not (yet?) read the book In Praise of Slowness.

Maybe because the title is so full of wisdom that I feel as though I get to absorb all I could ever need to know, just by letting those gorgeous words reverberate in the halls of my body-mind.

Praise. Slowness. In Praise. Of Slowness.

It holds the same truth as my other favorite and beautifully succinct phrase, the phrase that would be my tattoo if I wanted to cover myself in words more permanent than the ones I draw on my skin each day:

Worth Waiting For.

It is true for Guinness, and it is true for many, many, many things.

Another memory. I am also remembering that I didn’t read the book because of how Jens II always talked about it with such enthusiasm in his business-degree sort of way. As if it was strategy instead of truth.

Maybe one day. There is time. That’s the thing of it.

There is time. I praise this too.

A conversation between me and my uncle.

This is a photo of a conversation I had with my uncle, who is also my favorite person on earth.

This was the entirety of our discussion. We were both delighted by it.

The conversation was on the topic of how neither of us had taken a morning nap yet. Also on the topic of EVERYTHING.

All possible topics are covered in this note.

There is still time.

Svevo is the king of morning naps. Yes, plural.

Multiple morning naps can take place in Svevo’s morning. I love this about him. Of course, I do not see him on the days when he is teaching first grade, so I do not know what he does instead of morning naps on those days. I’m sure it is restful, charming, and playful, just like him.

The morning of our conversation, no nap had taken place.

We agreed: This is okay. Nothing is wrong. There is still time.

Some secret unsaid things inside this conversation:

  1. Napping is not a rule. Napping is pleasure. We can’t let ourselves get dogmatic about napping, that is silly.
  2. Not only will there be ample time for napping, but also there is time for lots of things. Like this interaction, twinkling at each other with eye-crinkle smiles, watching the flowers do their flower thing, all of it.
  3. If it happens, there was time for it.
  4. If it didn’t happen and it’s important, time will be found for it eventually.
  5. A morning nap is a delicious red light. Pause. Breathe. Percolate. Integrate.
  6. Sometimes not-a-nap can be its own red light too. Lots of things are pauses.
  7. There are so many forms of delicious red light!

Truth: There is not time for all the things I want.

There is not time for all the things I want. Like writing blog posts and running two businesses and all the things in my life right now.

There is not time for all the things I want. At least, not unless I change how I want.

But there is time for one thing that I choose to be doing now. One thing, beautifully and lovingly breathed. The one thing that is standing in for many different things.

And: There is time for all kinds of important things.

There is time to ask: If I can’t have time for all the things, what needs to go?

What needs to change in my kingdom? What needs to exit my kingdom?

There is time for recognizing: “Yeah, that bus was not my bus. I know it was not my bus because look: I am not on it.”

There is time for stopping a conversation, a meeting, an interaction and saying, “Hey, I need to pause and breathe for a minute.”

There is time for writing a secret word on the palm of your hand with your finger.

There is time to touch your heart and love it: HEART. It’s me. Hi.

There is time for five breaths of peacefulness.

Time for all kinds of important things. Time for praising all kinds of important things.

How we play here. You are invited.

This is that very rare thing that is safe space on the internet, and for that to work, we lovingly commit to not giving each other advice and not caretaking.

Within that, you can play any way you like. I am receptive to appreciation, wonder and delight, things you noticed or sparks sparked for you about red lights and related themes, ways you are going to play with this.

And I will always always always take flowers, because flowers make everything better.

17 Responses to A two-sentence conversation about praise and time.

  1. Wyoming says:

    I read your blog via a feed to my dreamwidth reading page. Too often I just skip on past… in a hurry or not enough time or not enough brain… today I’m glad I didn’t.

    My students are taking a test, and I’m taking a breath. And there was your entry and I read.

    And I need to read again later.

    Meanwhile, something that fits I think with the topic…

    In a random talking exercise, the question was asked “What is the ideal age to be?” There are various answers, of course. But one day a student responded with something I had to write down. And the strip of paper I wrote it on is taped up beside my desk so I won’t forget and will continue to remember.

    “NOW is the best time.”

  2. Lira
    Twitter: lirarenee
    says:

    This is the perfect reminder for me today!

    Because on the days that I find time, On the days that I make time, I usually also find flowers.

    Flowers on my walk past the coffee shop, flowers in the window of my favorite yarn store, flowers that I doodle on the pages on my journal, and flowers in the blooming of love in my own heart for sweet silent moments of time.

    Perhaps I can let this noticing go both ways. So far, when I have time, I also see flowers. Now, perhaps, I can also remember that whenever I see flowers, there IS time.

  3. natalie says:

    I picked some flowers today and put them all around the camp and the house that will be a house. And it strung the whole thing together, those flowers. A thread. A luminous true as true thread. I love following light yummo inspiration!
    and I love how, in the slowness, i have better access to those secret proximities where all my juiciest insights live.
    slowness works in tandem with willingness. The more willing I am, the more fun, soft, delicious is the slowness . My youngest child is asking more from me than I have to give. He is interrupting my precious narratives about What I Need To Be Me.
    Only in slowness can I love that truing.
    natalie recently posted… Let the stars be your arms

  4. Marisa
    Twitter: MarisaDebowsky
    says:

    This is so lovely! I want to sit with “This water dispenser is right.” for a while — I often run into the “Argh, why isn’t this going faster?” experience, which, now that you mention it, is an optional way to feel. Hmm. Choice! Interesting.

  5. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat
    says:

    Mmmmm. Yes. This feels like the middle path, for me. Much to absorb here.

    I am offering you some lilacs, and feeling happy to know that there is time for this.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… April, in a series of verbal snapshots.

  6. Riv
    Twitter: PurpleshinyRiv
    says:

    Mmmmhmmm. Me and my luxurious afternoon nap (that really did magically make my current work puzzle fall into place with ease afterwards!) thank you so much for this.

  7. Claire McAll
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    Hhmmmhhmmmmmmm. Delicious, luxurious taking of time.

    You know who my very own living, breathing, walking, talking water-dispenser is? My Little Lad. Sometimes I call him Glacier. Getting in the car (not walk-from-the-house-to-clicking-the-seatbelt-on, no, just climbing-from-the-ground-into-his-seat-and-sitting-his-arse-onto-the-booster-cushion) can take…. forty seconds? It’s not a long time, but it FEELS like a long time. This is a three-second job, after all!

    And the reason it takes so long is because he is taking everything in. Every speck of visual input, every sound, the nuances of sensation in the movements, plus whatever daydreamy thoughts are running through his head (which are not about my end goal, being ((haha) arse-in-chairseat). Slow, and deliberate, and not automatic, and I guess appreciative…. I don’t know if he actively feels grateful, I guess I mean appreciative in the sense that he receives everything. All the details that we neurotypicals can filter out in service of some end-goal… they get in for him. (Which is why at the end of a whole day of this emotional melt-downs are not unusual…. aaaah too much!)

    And probably my grumbling and whinging and nagging which can prompt him to move faster don’t necessarily increase the filtering, they increase the anxiety, the I’m-doing-it-wrong-again sensation.

    For a 37 second improvement. Maybe I can use him as my water-dispenser reminder to be present rather than fixated on and frustrated about my end-goal.

    And see what doorways to efficiency I can find when I slow down enough to see them…..
    Claire McAll recently posted… A useful script for myself

  8. Wally
    Twitter: waldogg
    says:

    Thanks Havi. It seems that since you and I get to connect face to face so often, I don’t slow down to read your posts as often as I intend. Sure glad I did so, today. And speaking of taking time to touch your own heart and sa ‘hi’, I’ve been doing that with myself and as I do, I breathe and whisper…”I’m here for you.”

  9. Claire McAll
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    PS: mantra for Glacier moments

    Emptying my end-goal fixation and frustration-with-not-being-there, Replenishing on what I find in the moment of presence.

  10. Dave
    Twitter: asmallfield
    says:

    I can’t even tell you how much I love this post. “What if I rest into this …” is the most beautiful question ever!

  11. oliver danni
    Twitter: choirqueer
    says:

    This post is like a perfectly balanced, utterly satisfying meal. I am just sitting here now feeling like, mmmmmmmmm thank you thank you thank you for this gift of all that I needed right this moment. <3

    Flowers, flowers, flowers for you!
    oliver danni recently posted… Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Mushrooms and Kale

  12. Andi
    Twitter: annaline_39
    says:

    Oh Havi. As always, just the right balm. Walking the space between needing to be here for my daughter’s wedding in two weeks and needing to be with my sick mother. Breathing.
    Andi recently posted… Inspiration Close to Home

  13. Elizabeth
    Twitter: Elizabetherself
    says:

    When I moved out of New York it was almost impossible not to scream/glare at how long it took to get a coffee. It felt shocking how long it took! And then eventually I started breathing again, and normal human pacing became comfortable. And now, I can see that my big red lights were gifts. And when I ignored them oh my god did I pay for that!

  14. Claire McAll
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    Back to report that appreciating Glacier pauses is an ongoing process. At least I’m conscious that this is a pause now, and opportunity for appreciation, even if it is not filled with appreciation YET.

    And I am leaving another gigantic bunch of gigantic orange flowers, roses and tiger lilies and gerberas and marigolds.

  15. Paulita says:

    Leaving flowers <3

  16. [...] was going to post a link to Havi’s love story about red lights, but she wrote a follow-up conversation and I might love it even more. “If it happens, there was time for it. If it [...]

  17. [...] was going to post a link to Havi’s love story about red lights, but she wrote a follow-up conversation and I might love it even more. “If it happens, there was time for it. If it [...]

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