What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


Iguanability #2: Havi’s dancing the Charleston with an Iguana wearing a top hat chicken.

Explanation please?

Iguanability is short for Iguanaccountability, which is what happens when you get deguiltified accountability with your iguanas.

Iguanas are the [stupid, crappy, annoying] things you don’t feel like doing.

Doing this iguanability thing is a reminder that it’s completely normal to avoid stuff you don’t feel like doing and that you are a lovely person despite not wanting to do them.

So it’s like a special iguana chicken where we use this blog as to get acknowledgment and cheering while working on our iguanas. And even if we don’t do the thing, we know that we are still loved and adored.

This whole thing is my friend Karen‘s fault: she came up with the Inowanna Iguana

It just gets more complicated from there so I’m going to stop explaining now.

But just to be clear, that’s the iguana wearing the top hat (not me), and it’s a chicken in which there is a top hat, not a top hat chicken.

My first thing that doesn’t want to be done yet:

A rough draft TOC (table of contents) for a new product I’m working on messing around with.

Reminding myself why I’m wanting to do it now:

This is exactly the right time. I will feel so much better once there’s some sort of outline.

Making it easier on myself by:

Giving myself permission to do the Barbara Sher version which is the five minute “do it really badly” scrawl where you totally lose points if it sounds at all coherent at the end.

Resistance coming up says:

“But you have so many things to do that are more important than this and how can you possibly justify thinking about something you this big when you’re about to go off to California to teach for a week?

And there’s so much pressure because you have to get this exactly right and couldn’t you just do one of the other seventeen hundred things that need your immediate attention?”

Me saying to resistance:

“Mmmmm. I see.

You’re feeling worried that I will get distracted from what’s important, and you also want to know that I’m going to do it right.

Okay. I’m wondering if it might be useful to really limit the time on this one. To do five minutes of scribbling and five minutes of moving stuff around.

Then we could hand it over to some of my students to get some initial feedback, and I won’t worry about it until we’re back.”


I will make fifteen minutes for this.

I will wrap this fifteen minutes in good things at both ends.

We’ll do shiva spirals first to fabulously inappropriate music. And when the fifteen minutes are up there will be tea.

Additionally, I’m committing to jotting down whatever my resistance says while this is happening, and I have permission to have a complete emotional breakdown in the middle and put it off for a few more weeks.

My resistance isn’t liking this right now, but that little conversation is going to need a Negotiator so more on that later.

My second thing that doesn’t want to be done yet:

Travel plans for my actual Non-Emergency Vacation.

Reminding myself why I’m wanting to do it now:

I really, truly know in my body that restful time off gives me clear-headedness and mad getting in the zone, and that it is always better for my business when I stop working.

Experience has proven this over and over again. The hard way.

However, the time gremlins have been very clear regarding their position on this, and I’m pretty sure they’re the ones sabotaging this. They mean well. We just have issues.

Making it easier on myself by:

Making some calls before I book anything.

I’ll run stuff by Hiro and I’ll ask other friends for reminders and reassurances.

I will be Baby Steps McGee on this.

Resistance coming up says:

“Who do you think you are? You think you’re special? You think you get to not work?

You have a household to support and rent to pay, young lady. You can’t go gallivanting around the world doing whatever you feel like. Do you want to be an itinerant? Do you want to sleep in a cardboard box?!

Maybe if you work non-stop for a few more years you can think about taking a vacation, but until then GET YOUR ASS TO WORK!”

Me saying to resistance:


So. You still feel really strongly about this. I know you want to protect me ever experiencing poverty and horribleness again, and I can appreciate that. A lot.

And at the same time, if I wear myself out, the work I do can’t be effective. And then I’ll be too burnt out to make money and we’re back where we started.

Can we maybe look at this not as “vacation” but as investing in my brain and my emotional well-being so that I can keep being innovative and creative at a high level?

Because let’s be honest. It’s being innovative and creative that has helped my business be so successful. And I can’t do that when I’m too exhausted to see straight. “


Half an hour.

We’ll look at our options, crunch some numbers and run it by some friends who value my mental health more than my resistance does.

And then a few days to sleep on it, meditate on it, dance on it and see where it lands.

Reporting back …

Ah yes. Last time.

I finished the stuck writing project.

Big progress on the tax stuff: I had a two-hour meeting as promised, and we sorted a bunch of stuff out. Now it’s back in the hands of Jennifer the Goddess of Bookkeeping and then there is another chunk for me.

All in all, this was useful.

Comment zen for the Iguanability stuff:

Okay. This is a zero-guilt space. Which means …

No shoulds. No shoes. No service. Okay, maybe service. But definitely no advices.

However, little hoorays are appreciated. As are offers of drinks. Or ritual sacrifices to the Iguana.

And of course you are more than welcome to share your own chickens iguanas Things That Don’t Want To Be Done Yet and whatever is being processed around that.

I promise no one here is going to make you feel bad if what you want to happen doesn’t happen in the way you want it to, but we will be supportive so you can regroup.

As Neil Diamond once (horrifyingly) said: chicken ripple ice cream. Goodness.

34 Responses to Iguanability #2: Havi’s dancing the Charleston with an Iguana wearing a top hat chicken.

  1. Pearl Mattenson
    Twitter: pearlmattenson

    This was so timely for me. We are going on a vacation on Sunday for a week. I should be jumping up and down for joy and I am not! And I have an inowanna iguanna thing going on with all the stuff I have to do to be ready for that vacation- and my resistance is forcing me to check into internet access at the place we will be because you know (you can’t really be on vacation and let everything pile upa dn go to hell in a handbasket can you?) So…this is a good reminder for me that some serious sit-downs with my resistance is in order. And maybe I can get it drunk on whatver the latest cocktail drink is down in mexico while I work at not going on the internet. What if it doesn’t drink?

  2. Ingrid says:

    hoo. I have paperworks and maths and official-ey things that I have to do that I *always* nowanna. I know it looks bigger and badder than it is, and jumping in this morning will see almost instant results. But, there are underlying issues that I have with the whole concept that also are bugging me, and always do…. I like the Baby Steps McGee. Think I will do that.
    Whew. I also have a VPA-type update, but I will wait to tell you. It’s cool though! And involves a **mysterious benefactor** and totally unexpectedness!
    Big hugs on next week and all the iguanas and chickens get hugs too.

  3. Lydia, Clueless Crafter
    Twitter: Art_Style

    I absolutely never want to go to the Brazilian Consulate in New York to file our paperwork for a Visa. I want to tear out the bureaucracy behind this whole process, especially the no help policy. I would like not to resist this so much, actually not to have deep-rooted feelings of hate and disgust. I’m getting angry.

    I think I’ll go down there tomorrow pretending that it is the DMV and that will make me feel better. Sigh.

    (I did get good out of this. I never thought to cordon off 15 minutes to working on resistance project; I see its validity)
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last post … Knotting in New York =-.

  4. Emily
    Twitter: emilyroots

    Ohhhhhh, inowanna figure out how to deal with the husband being on the road with his guitar for a month and then another month (with a short break at home in between). I’m looking forward to the alone, and absence always makes our hearts grow fonder…but the figuring out of childcare is giving me nightmares. Don’t. Want. To. Send. My. Precious. Little. Bird. Into. The. Vulture’s. Nest. (Issues come from bad childcare experiences when I was little. So lots and lots of stuck around this.)
    .-= Emily´s last post … Journaling: The Angel of Fiction =-.

  5. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Lydia – ohmygoodness I so identify with this. While I was living in Israel (a third of my life), I absolutely could not bear to do any bureaucratic anything and it was all so hellish and could eat up weeks of sanity.

    And last year when I had to go to the Israeli consulate to renew my passport I went into conniptions.

    Wishing you peace of mind and big crazy luck with this one.

    @Pearl – ah, yes, the teetotaller resistance. Maybe ask your resistance what it likes, aside from making you resist stuff … maybe it will give you something useful (?)

    @Emily – oh. Hearing the stuck and the scary. Wishing good things with this one. Hard.

    @Ingrid – *kiss*

  6. Tami
    Twitter: tamihackbarth

    I don’t wanna get out of bed.

    I don’t wanna go back to work.

    I don’t wanna feel like I have to explain why I’m so sad and can’t stop crying.

    But I do wanna take a vacation. I even blogged about it.
    .-= Tami´s last post … Adoption is not for the faint of heart =-.

  7. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    Havi, does your Iguana want to meet a very nice Iguanette? Mine has been NoWanna-ing for days about filling in a legal form (with teeny lines that only a Munchkin could legibly write in). I keep shuffling the thing from one place to another on my desk, but its still here. Staring at me reproachfully. *sigh*
    .-= Hiro Boga´s last post … The Gifts of Retreat, the Comforts of Home =-.

  8. Dawn says:

    Oh, i-so-no-wanna deal with this work training. It involves rehearsing teaching and being drilled on the content so I’m not stumped in front of students. I HATE rehearsing things in front of people who have been doing this for years and are already themselves excellent.

    My resistance says I’m no good at being the center of attention. I’m too wallpapery for that.

    While this is true to some extent, I do love presenting when I’m feeling confident and excited about something. And prepared. So I just need to channel that Dawn.

    My resistance says I’ll make a fool of myself, and they’ll regret choosing me (not my usual gig, btw; just filling in temporarily) and what’s worse, they will be worried the course will stink because I’m so ineffectual.

    Jeez, Luiz resistance. I hear you that it’s a risky endeavor, teaching something you’re still so new at. But guess what? Your trainers know that, and you’re lucky enough to have time and space to practice and get feedback. You aren’t alone; you have massive support on this. Also, you’re very smart and will pick up on this content as much as you can in this short period of time. Just practice and breathe. And learn. You’ve got this.

  9. LindaH
    Twitter: lindiop

    Inowanna do my taxes! Here in the uk I have till the 31st to get them in but I’m getting nowhere really fast. I’m spending hours staring at a nasty spreadsheet, in my head you understand, because Inowanna even open it on my laptop! I’m not doing it but surprise (!) I don’t seem to be able to actually let myself do anything else either. Great big stucky, sucky, mess.
    My commitment –
    I will talk to my inowanna every day till it’s all done. I will bring treats. There will be spicy ginger tea and then we’ll open the spreadsheet and spend no more than half an hour on it at a time. After which there will be more spicy ginger tea and music.
    Then we will make some systems, people! Once I’ve done this I am soo creating some good systems for this stuff. I’m not ever doing it like this again.
    .-= LindaH´s last post … Clearing Away the Clutter =-.

  10. I’m cracking up at the insanity of the explanations for this and it’s nothing but sheer brilliance.


    Iguana #1: I can’t concentrate today. I’m trying to whittle down my email inbox and failing miserably. I got one BIG delayed email done first thing today and have done (basically) nothing since, but flit between Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and looking at the inbox (but not actually opening anything).

    I think that’s enough of an iguana for one day.

    Thank you for holding the space for all these iguanas, Havi. (hug!)

    .-= Jennifer Hofmann´s last post … Grape-scented delegation and dropping the ball =-.

  11. LaShae "ItyBites" Dorsey
    Twitter: LaShaeDorsey

    I actually did one of my 100, 1,000, inowanna know how many inowannas.

    After my resistance talked to my esteem gremlin and they decided that what I needed to do had to be done immediately because it was turning into a resentment. And we nowanna resentment.

    They also figured out that doing it over the phone was better, easier and way more comfortable than how we were trying to do the inowanna initially. And I got the entire thing done in less than 12 minutes, when I had been trying to do the inowanna another way since last week!

    Another multi-part inowanna is still ongoing. Although I figured out the first part – why I wasn’t doing the thing – now it’s morphed into an inowanna discuss this with the person I need to discuss it with so we can possibly come to some other agreement or change the thing or something…

    I like Iguana.

  12. Qrystal
    Twitter: Qrystal

    I didn’t even finish reading the whole thing yet, but I have tears welling up because of the phrase “permission to have a complete emotional breakdown in the middle”.

    My iguana is my thesis, and it made me cry the other day. I eventually talked myself out of tears by convincing myself that crying wasn’t helping, but now I can’t bring myself to start again because I’m afraid it will make me cry again. Can I convince my resistance that delaying isn’t helping? Maybe, but inowanna. (I think my iguana and my resistance got together and now I’m dealing with their offspring…)

    I think I need to give myself permission to have an absolutely berserk breakdown, crying and screaming and pulling my hair, because even if that happens, at least it’s because I’m taking care of my iguana. And taking care is good, right? Care is good, right? My iguana can be happy, right?
    .-= Qrystal´s last post … Resolving to Overcome My Stuckness =-.

  13. Mercedes
    Twitter: kitchensinkdye

    My Iguana budged a little yesterday on one project that I was putting of because i though it would need to be “just so”, or perfect, or whatever. I needed to gather, edit, and label a photo portfolio to apply for an event. I told myself to work on it until lunch, and i’d finish it later if needed. Knocked it out in about 30 minutes. Now I’m a little stuck on the figuring out how to burn it to CD (why? who knows? I’ll get there by Feb 1st deadline.).

    I like the 15 minute negotiation. I think I’m going to try that out later today on a couple of semi-iguana projects, class planning stuff, newsletter writing. I also need to use it on the lingering inventory/reorganization/culling project facing me. I’m slating Saturday to start this. Anyone want to check in on me for iguanability in putting (even a small) dent in it?

  14. chicsinger simone
    Twitter: simonebernhard

    Hello folks, I would like to introduce my own personal INOWANNA IGUANAS. There are a lot of them and some of them are about as big as a house. Forewarned is forearmed…

    I No Wanna Deal with the giant emotional shit pile that is Dealing With My Mother’s Stuff. See, she has dementia and was living with me for two years until this Thanksgiving last when she went to the psych ward because there were no rooms in the inn I mean no no beds at the dementia home…it was UGH and HARD in excelsis and TWO YEARS worth of it. Now we’ve found her a really really REALLY nice place that she will be moving to on MONDAY and I need to sign and fill out about twenty pages of release forms, financial data, etc. etc. AD FRIGGING NAUSEUM!!!

    So there’s the paperwork end of it. Never any fun. On top of that there is the emotional flotsam and jetsam around packing clothes, pictures, mementos for her Final Resting Place (even though she’s alive, she’s hardly my mom); somehow taking the socks, pajamas, outfits out of the little labeled drawers (which didn’t even help at the end) represents Her Really Being Gone.

    I No Wanna deal with the grief, anger, sadness, tears, abandonment issues this is fraught with. It was really hard to take care of her for the last two years; my marriage suffered and she was awful and mean to me (which she would have killed anyone else for back in the day) and I am still angry and hurt about the things she said and did to me. Damn it, I’ve cried so much in my life that I am TIRED of crying, Damn It!!!! It messes up my face and skin and makes my nose feel all weird and if I start crying I am afraid I won’t stop for a long, long, long, LONG time.

    My lovely therapist Julie says that it is like a pile of shit standing between me and where I want to be and there is no going around or over or under, I have to go through it and I NO WANNA!!!!! I am still reeling from the experiences of the last few months. Can’t I just REST for Lord’s sake?

    She lived in our house for two years in the upstairs apartment; before that her bedroom was My Boudoir and I need to reclaim that space or else I will not be able to set my routines, take time to write, do yoga and suchlike; if I don’t do that I will NEVER recover my life back, but it’s Her Stuff and see above, re: grief, etc.

    Her living room will be my new studio, which needs to be up and functioning because I have a big sale of bonbons and hats for Valentines’ day, but HER STUFF is in there and I don’t deserve to be playing with glitter and jewels and pink things when I need to be doing Big Important Things like fixing the dryer and then laundry and dishes and vaccuming and blah de blah blah BLEAH!

    It is a relief that she is no longer my responsibility 24-7; this brings its own delicious side dish of GUILT, who will step up to the microphone now: Aw, quit yer bitchin’! You shouldn’t feel happy that your mother is gone! You shouldn’t feel resistant to doing the things that are for her best interest and happiness, she will be so much happier in a real dementia unit instead of a frigging PSYCH WARD for Lord’s sake, this is way nicer for her than we could ever afford or could even imagine in terms of care and dementia adaptations. Get your ass off the computer and off the bed and start packing NOW NOW NOW NOW YESTERDAY!!!

    Ahem. Thank you very much, Guilt. Thank you very much, Iguana Family. We are appreciate your taking the time to talk with us today. We are glad you care enough to share your opinion, we promise to weigh it very carefully (IN HELL! shouts my inner brat who wants to do nothing but eat cookies and chocolate and maybe drink Scotch and lay in bed watching Jon Stewart all day).

    Whew! Thanks for listening everybody. I will work on the other parts like My Response to Resistance and My Commitment (MAYBE says Resistance) in a while, for now I need a break and a glass of water. xxooxxoo

  15. chicsinger simone
    Twitter: simonebernhard

    Ok, here it is. I will commit to one fifteen minute time on each of the following: paper, clothes, memorabilia, to be followed by treats. I will also write in my morning pages (including my rant above towards my total).

    @Qrystal: I’m feelin ya.

  16. Amy Crook
    Twitter: amysnotdeadyet

    Hooray for progress!

    I have a couple of little daily iguanas that hang around just to make life more colorful, but right now I’d like to address the big lurker.

    My Inowanna Iguana is my art site! I have so many pieces to put up, and ideas for more, but I’m mired in stuck around doing all that work and what if no one ever buys anything ever? But it would be good for me to have the pieces out there, even though my Iguana has no desire to be seen.

    I’m going to try to work in a daily Iguana time where I do a little work on it, either processing images, or working on posts, so that I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing the whole big chunk of working-brain-time to it that it takes to do it all at once.

    Wish me luck! I’m hoping this Iguana and I can make friends, and it can stop trying so hard to be a Chameleon. ;)
    .-= Amy Crook´s last post … More Cartoons & A Winner! =-.

  17. lynn @ human, being
    Twitter: humanbeingblog

    My iguana today is leaving the house. I made it as far as showering and dressing and putting on sparkly eye makeup, which usually lifts me enough on these dark, hard days to get into the car, and then to my office.

    But today, the Iguana is more like Godzilla, and it’s sitting on my chest, and so I’m sitting on the couch, my sparkly eye makeup doing nothing to impress the cats and ferrets.

    And the iguana resistance is all judgey on me, telling me I’m a loser because I sometimes need these do-nothing-workdays this time of year, and that I’m going to get fired if I don’t go to work or at least keep up with my email.

    So I’m acknowledging the iguana-Godzilla voice, yes, yes, I hear you. That’s fine that you feel that way. But I don’t have to agree with you. (Usually I ignore it).

    My commitment is to honor myself on these days by taking care of me. And to nip worrying in the bud by recalling my boss’s words when I told her about my seasonal depression: You take care of yourself. That’s what is most important.
    .-= lynn @ human, being´s last post … Woot! Salsa Dancing Extravaganza! =-.

  18. Qrystal
    Twitter: Qrystal

    @chicsinger: oh my! I bet writing all that out really helped! Your ‘morning pages’ must be kinda like the writing I do to motivate myself… and I too am going to take my conversation between myself and my resistance and include it in my writing.

    I came back here to say that I borrowed Havi’s headings and tried to see where it got me with my iguana, and wow, what a fascinating exchange! Much to my surprise, my Resistance might mostly be backfired Encouragement, itself discouraged by my rebelling against it.

    We had a nice chat, and I told it that I understand it’s trying to help, but that I need to try moving under my own power without being pushed. I invited my Encouragement to walk beside me instead of pushing me, and then we made some tea with honey (since part of the Commitment says that I will have tea when I start facing my iguana, and chocolate after I’ve done an hour).
    .-= Qrystal´s last post … Resolving to Overcome My Stuckness =-.

  19. chicsinger simone
    Twitter: simonebernhard

    Iguanacountability: Filled out the stupid @*#^($^#@ paperwork and even printed out the bank info DESPITE my stupid printer not wanting to print when one color is low *kicks printer* !!!! WOOOT hell yisss!!!

    It took more than one 15 minute timer bout but once I started it was easier to finish than to quit. There was chocolate, tea AND Scotch (a wee dram) involved (my iguanas are very decadent) and my boyfriend Elvis Costello sang to me the whole time. (Don’t tell my DH!;0)

    @Qrystal: It really did help to write it out. I think I’ll try again with Havi’s headings too. Thanks!

    It will also help to break it down for Baby Steps McGee, and I heart deadlines because they FORCE me to move.

    Kisses to all!

  20. chicsinger simone
    Twitter: simonebernhard

    ha, got the funniest flash of a Showdown at the Okey Dokey Corral: Baby Steps McGee faces the dreaded Idonwanna Iguana, both in appropriate cowboy attire of course! (cue the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: DOweeoooweeooo, WAH WAH WAH.)

    The I.I. keeps hissing and waiting for BSMcG to draw, but he only takes invisible baby steps until he has magically overtaken the I.I. and rubs under his chin with a stick to hypnotise him and overcome the Dreaded Resistance! Baby Steps McGee saves the day! The villagers cheer.

  21. Susan
    Twitter: susangiurleo

    Inowanna organize my office, put clean clothes away where they belong. OK-organizing anything is hard and stuck. Always is. I’ve tried the 15 minutes and out thing,but get so discouraged when it doesn’t look any different than it did 15 min ago. I need to talk to the resistance and see what’s going on. Will report back after the chat.
    .-= Susan´s last post … Hot Trends in Mental Health Private Practice =-.

  22. Susan
    Twitter: susangiurleo

    Oh, me on twitter!

  23. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @chicsinger simone – WAH WAH WAH that is exactly the music in my head too. The Good The Bad The Ugly and the Iguana. The villagers cheer!

    @Susan – hope the chat goes well. I also don’t like 15 minute chunks though occasionally they will work for me if I know I can stop and if my expectations are ridiculously low. Sigh.

    @Qrystal – what a great realization that your resistance is really encouragement that’s afraid of getting hurt again or misunderstood again. Wow. Neat. I love it!

    @LaShae – mwah! kisses!

  24. claire
    Twitter: claireofRA

    Amy Crook: Good luck with it! Our iguanas are probably siblings, Fred & George.

    Havi: Procrastination is probably my Achilles heel, so this is well-timed.

    I’ll stick with the main one for the moment, since I found myself taking steps to deal with other things I’ve been avoiding to avoid this: getting my Thing far enough along to even admit it exists. See how I’m not even saying what the Thing is? sigh.

    resistance: what’s the point if no one ever buys anything? Or even looks at it? Or looks at it and hates it? In fact, if no one ever buys anything proves true, it’s a colossal waste of my time. But it’s not really, since I want to put it out there, so it at least has a chance.

    Also, I keep finding new ways to work on something else. Like I suddenly feel moderately gungho to switch my blog to wordpress which means loads of reading, learning, redesigning & such. Seems totally valid, but why now when I should perhaps focus my energies on the Thing?

    I should probably set a deadline for myself at which point I’ll say it exists, but for now I like the small time commitment idea. 5 minutes. That’s nothing, I can do 5 minutes. I know myself well enough to know that if I start I’ll probably continue, but if I just fit in 5 minutes here and there, it will feel manageable.

    Now I’m resisting committing to that every day which is pathetic (right, you said something about no shoes, so I should, urgh-no shoulds either, hmm…I will endeavor not to throw any more at myself). Just five minutes. No stress, just tiny sporadic commitment. A minute or two of hard-core believing in myself and my Thing would be good too. cheers!

  25. Michelle
    Twitter: lovewastingtime

    Yes for DoS to inappropriate music.

    Yes for tea when it’s over.

    Yes to complete emotional breakdown in the middle!

    How awesome to read this post and not feel so alone in the I-don’t-wanna-iguana hole. Whew.

    Plus… eeeeeek! I get to see you soon. Till then… xo

  26. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    My Iguana of choice this week is the same one as last week: client evaluations. Last week I had three to complete, and now there’s only one left, so there has been progress. However, I’ve been thinking all day about how to approach this, because my Resistance is quite angry at me right now, and with good reason!

    Why I want to finish this evaluation now: It would feel very good to get closure, to be done with all the paperwork for this client who is, after all, no longer on my caseload. Also, yesterday the director of the agency asked me, very politely, “Can you get it done by Friday?” and I said yes.

    How to make it easier on myself: Keep hydrated. Listen to fun music. Take breaks to stretch. Ask my sweetie to give me a massage after I’m finished (I just asked him, and he said he would).

    Resistance is saying: Dammit dammit DAMMIT why are we STILL working on this crap? And WHY did you say you would have it done by Friday! Why do we have to do this in the evening, after a full day of work and household errands and parenting and and and and! This is supposed to be playtime! I’m TIRED! You hear me? I. Am. TIRED! This is not fair! Not fair not fair not fair not fair RRRRRAWRRRRR!!!

    I am saying to my resistance: You’re right. You’re absolutely right. It is not fair that there’s still work to do, when it would feel so good to be able to relax and call it a day. I am so, so sorry. I love you. I also know how hard you’ve been trying to help me with this, and I haven’t given you enough credit. I considered last week’s Iguana a failure because we didn’t finish all three evaluations. I should have called it a success because we worked on them for a solid hour. I keep taking all this work on my shoulders, and then you have to suffer, and of course you’re angry. You’re just trying to help me!

    This really is the last one. It’s the longest one, I know, but it’s partly finished. I will do everything I can to make this as pleasant as possible, and whether we finish or not, I will love and appreciate you for your efforts!

    My commitment: One hour. Then a good long stretch. Then, we re-negotiate. Whatever the outcome, I will treat myself with kindness and compassion, and not beat myself up for having some very reasonable needs and desires.

    .-= Kathleen Avins´s last post … Dramatis personae =-.

  27. Amy Crook
    Twitter: amysnotdeadyet

    @claire Our Iguanas are TOTALLY siblings. I coaxed mine today by working on Valentines for my Etsy shop a bit. Good luck with yours!

    And btw, I think the no-shoulds-should is one of the hardest to deal with, because you get in this weird feedback loop of “I should, no no shoulds, I shouldn’t should, aargh!”

    It’s a wonder our heads don’t explode. ;)
    .-= Amy Crook´s last post … How is a cartoon like copywriting? =-.

  28. Andrew Lightheart
    Twitter: alightheart


    Late again – what’s happened to me? :)

    Iguana one – Family Feud blog post.

    One part wants to totally tell the story.
    Another part wants to protect some involved.
    But it’ll be great if I tell the whole story.
    But I can’t because people will get hurt and it’s not big and I’ll have to be like TOTALLY out of the closet.
    But it’ll be great.

    Oh. THAT will be why I’m not doing it.

    Iguana two – starting video reviews for new presentation blog

    I need to not launch the new site til the book is written.
    I cannot launch the new site til I’ve done 14 reviews.
    I don’t know how I’m going to format the reviews.
    I have many other things to do.
    I will enjoy it so it must be a time-waster.
    If I choose some talks I won’t be choosing others.

    Oh. Ok. There’s some pre-pre-pre stuff to think through.


    Never noticed before that it’s ok to not want to do things I don’t want to do.

    You mean I’m still a worthwhile person even if I procrastinate?


    And it seems that there is a little confusion inside my iguanas – like lots of tiny iguanas chasing each other.

    Thank you! Much clearer.
    .-= Andrew Lightheart´s last post … Opening is often about closing – YoO Friday 1/52 =-.

  29. Andrew Lightheart
    Twitter: alightheart


    Late again – what’s happened to me? :)

    Iguana one – Family Feud blog post.

    One part wants to totally tell the story.
    Another part wants to protect some involved.
    But it’ll be great if I tell the whole story.
    But I can’t because people will get hurt and it’s not big and I’ll have to be like TOTALLY out of the closet.
    But it’ll be great.

    Oh. THAT will be why I’m not doing it.

    Iguana two – starting video reviews for new presentation blog

    I need to not launch the new site til the book is written.
    I cannot launch the new site til I’ve done 14 reviews.
    I don’t know how I’m going to format the reviews.
    I have many other things to do.
    I will enjoy it so it must be a time-waster.
    If I choose some talks I won’t be choosing others.

    Oh. Ok. There’s some pre-pre-pre stuff to think through.


    Never noticed before that it’s ok to not want to do things I don’t want to do.

    You mean I’m still a worthwhile person even if I procrastinate?


    And it seems that there is a little confusion inside my iguanas – like lots of tiny iguanas chasing each other.

    Thank you! Much clearer.
    .-= Andrew Lightheart´s last post … My Year of Opening =-.

  30. brooklynchick says:

    INOWANNA DO MY LAUNDRY! Believe it or not this happens EVERY TIME! I have had friends come to my home to do laundry *interventions!* (yes, I own hundreds of pairs of undies)

    I will do ONE load. Maybe at a neighbor’s so I get to chat during it. Reward after? Lying in bed reading DURING THE DAY! Guilt-free!

    I will laugh at my laundry iguana. I will be gentle and compassionate with myself because everyone has silly THINGS like this. I hope.

    I’m very impressed by all your tax/bookkeeping progress! Its only January! That is AMAZING! YAY for YOU!

  31. Karinne
    Twitter: misskrin

    hmmm, my iguana is a deep one:
    I nowanna think about the things that I nowanna do.

    Which is OK.

    There are so many things that I want to do, should do, could do, need to do. But, I am currently in recovery mode from the year of upheaval that was 2009: immigrating to England, with a new relationship (with it’s own special, unexpected problems and stuck) and a new step-daughter and a new job in a new field and needing a new social life (but not having the energy to find this), new language/dialect, new attitudes, and… Just overall a year of NEW and a year of coping and clinging to the hope that all the HARD was worth it for the promise of a shiny future (which is now arriving, slowly).

    So, since the period between Christmas now and Chinese New Year is gentle percolating of thoughts, ideas and goals downtime (post about the rhythms of my year and why here http://verdarun.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/wheel-of-the-year/), then I am OK with the iguana of not wanting to think about all the other iguanas.

    They’ll gather in their own sweet time.
    .-= Karinne´s last post … Changing Gears =-.

  32. chicsinger simone
    Twitter: simonebernhard

    OMG, I am so impressed with the depth of everyone’s processing and the many KICK ASS blogs, websites, etc. I have linked to from here.

    So many cool people, I feel like I’ve come home!

    Thanks, Havi and Selma and all pirates for hosting this fab hotspot!

  33. Casey
    Twitter: 74rally

    I LOVE the inowanna iguana. I even downloaded it and made it my desktop, because:

    1) I nowanna find a crappy job that just pays the bills and isn’t any fun.

    2) I nowanna deal with my insane neighbor (more on that in the Chicken this week)

    I just want things not to be hard for maybe a month or more? Just a month without injury and without crisis. Please?

  34. Mona
    Twitter: monagrayson

    I am humiliated that I have not completed a project from a few years ago. And it has been so long now that I don’t even wanna deal with it anymore. There is so much hurt and yuck and memories of sickness around it that I don’t even like to poke at it.

    That’s Thing 1 I don’t wanna.

    Thing 2 is another more recent project that is also surrounded with some sick.

    Both of these projects are close to being done.

    Both of them make me feel like Pee Wee Herman at the end of his Big Adventure movie when he’s rescuing the pets from the fire and keeps passing up on the snakes.

    He knows he’ll have to get them out eventually b/c he can’t let them burn, but he also totally doesn’t wanna grab them so he keeps putting it off until the end when he grabs them by the fistfuls and runs out of the pet store screaming and passes out.

    (Pattern: Get excited about a project, start kicking ass, something shitty comes up and throws me off course emotionally, I stop working on the project because I get seriously ill, then I eventually get well and try to work on it again and it makes me sick again b/c…well, because of this pattern.)

    So I have been noticing HUGE resistance to working of any kind. I just want to play and have fun and be happy. That is all.

    Then I feel major guilt for not working on these past projects. And for not working on forward things too.

    So my real Inowanna Iguana is WORK.

    Which underneath that is like: Inowanna support myself.

    I don’t want to take responsibility for myself. I don’t want to have to be a grown up. I don’t want to have to take care of myself.

    Soo…let’s see:

    – Reminding myself why I am choosing to take care of myself and be responsible:

    I love feeling on top of my life. I have done enough victim living in my life and being empowered feels great. Breathing in big…yes. I feel great when I am independent and empowered and being responsible for my life.

    – Making it easier on myself by:

    Giving myself credit for at least 10 ways I’m supporting myself and being grown up and responsible already so I can see that I’m already good at it and nothing terrible is happening as a result.

    – Resistance is saying:

    “But if you take responsibility and get grown up and start taking care of stuff you’re going to get super sick again and seriously – you might die. This is not a joking matter. Your body gets freaked out by things you can’t predict (stress) and then it’s very scary. You know this! Really bad things could happen if you grow up and start being responsible. Bad things have already happened in the past when you tried to do this.

    It’s way better if you just lay low and don’t engage with other people – especially don’t make promises & commitments with them – and instead, just try to get other people to take care of you if you need extra help. You’re just too fragile and it’s too risky. Please. Just lay low and try to enjoy your life. Don’t try to do anything to different or new or out there. It’s not safe.”

    – Me saying to resistance:

    Wow…thank you.

    I really see why you don’t want me to get into action and take responsibility for myself and work and all that stuff. In the past there has been a lot of hurt and pain around that stuff, so it’s hard to imagine that this time it could be any different. I totally get that.

    And at the same time, we can’t live our entire lives like this. Hiding from responsibility and not doing things because we’re afraid. It just doesn’t feel good ya know?

    How about if we can find some ways to take little steps toward responsibility and growing up – that aren’t so big that we get sucked into them and then can’t get back out.

    I really appreciate that you’re looking out for me. It’s good that you’re here because you’re right, the pattern from the past is scary and I don’t want to repeat it either.

    – New Choice:

    Appreciating myself.

    I am doing so good, it’s not even funny. I don’t require getting into it all here, but man. My life 2 months ago? Shitty. Sick. Dying. My life now? Awesome. Happy. Full of color. Good health.

    I choose to give myself this progress and celebrate instead of trying to use it to fuel another crash by just jumping straight into trying to have a relationship with work again just because I feel good again.

    Realizing…I may need to tell myself I’m on a vacation. (I haven’t used that word in YEARS!) And mentally just put all this stuff aside. Hmmm.

    There has been lots of not working because of illness. But not a lot of not working because of CHOICE.

    Huge difference.

    It’s way late. Time for Pooh and turning out the lights. Lots to think about for sure.

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge