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


Category Archives: my personal practice

Chicken 340: yes, with peacefulness

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.}

Good grief.

Can I just say that this week had so many hard things in it, I could have completely filled up that section of the Chicken by last Sunday evening if I’d wanted to?

What worked this week?

Looking for the reason behind the reason.

When it comes to my body and pain, it’s invariably emotional.

The best things I can do are:

  1. Remember this.
  2. Ask what I might be angry or upset about.
  3. Keep asking, with love, curiosity, permission and legitimacy.
  4. Look for symbolic reasons that pain is showing up. Like Wally pointed out, it makes sense that my knee and ankle would be unsteady and wobbly when I am letting go of my beloved Playground, the place that for the past almost-five-years has been where I go in order to feel grounded, anchored and stable.
  5. Consult Louise-who-is-always-right-about-my-body. If she says knee pain is indicative of fear of moving forward, don’t argue with it. Just get curious about how this might be playing out for me right now. I mean, yes, it is both possible and likely that I can sincerely want to move forward and also be scared of it at the same time.

This week I was able to do all these things, and to remember them right away!

And I did that instead of first getting bogged down in the muggle way of thinking about bodies — if X hurts, then something is wrong with X itself and I probably did something to X that resulted in the hurting — which may be helpful for other people and is never helpful for me. Thank you, wise me.

Next time I might…

Breathe and wait and hope.

My housemate says that whenever something goes wrong with my body, my mind goes into a tailspin.

Like, I am pretty sure I will NEVER BE ABLE TO DANCE AGAIN, and there is no point to anything if I can’t move, cue eternal despair.

I always think this, and it always gets better, and it is always okay that healing takes time, even if it takes a lot longer than I think.

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. Inexplicably damaged my knee and ankle on Saturday. I have zero recollection of doing anything even mildly strenuous. Hadn’t gone any dancing or done anything for four days previous, because of being busy (see: the rest of the hard). Anyway, ta da! I have a damaged meniscus! Fingers crossed that it’s tweaked and not torn. Can’t do stairs, in pain all the time, getting around is not fun, and now I can’t do any of the things — yoga, dance, aerobics, walking — that keep me generally functional instead of panicking about life. A breath for this.
  2. The knee pain coincided with the second worst experience of menstrual cramps I’ve had in my entire life. And as I sank to my knees while walking down a hallway towards the bathroom, overcome with dizziness and overwhelming pain, I suddenly remembered the last time this happened, maybe twelve years ago, when I actually did pass out, on a bathroom floor at a fitness center in south Tel Aviv, and ended up in the hospital, an experience which was not fun and very expensive. That was also the day I had decided to leave my beloved apartment in Florentin, so, again: see body pain always being emotional stuff, for me at least. A breath for deep healing.
  3. Related to the above: since quitting gluten last March, my cramps have gone from [hellish nightmare that renders me incapable of anything for twenty four to thirty six hours each month] to [huh, what is this odd and uncomfortable sensation of invisible gnomes hitting me in the ovaries? Ohhhhhh, cramps! I shall take advil!”]. So I kind of thought I was over this. Also the joy of not having miserable cramps has pretty much been the one thing keeping me from falling off the wagon and eating delicious things like lasagne. So that’s distressing. A breath for comfort, and for patience, and for hope.
  4. Feeling so very low for much of the week, finding myself deep in the perception aka monster-narrative of being trapped, that Shmita will never happen. Sometimes it seems as though I have been chasing this elusive and possibly non-existent light at the end of the tunnel for so long, and I’m not even sure it’s real, and I need things to change. A breath for trust, and for beautifully unexpected interruptions.
  5. Still letting go of everything, so much letting go, and sometimes it is easier and at other times it is just so much crying. A breath for goodbyes.
  6. Ahahahhahaaaaaa the old familiar Mystery of why does everything take so much longer than I think, and is also more complicated and expensive. Somehow we mailed out the deluxe Rally Kits without the stone skipping card sets inside, so that’s another hundred dollars to fix that. And we ran out of calendars and had to redo all the packages, and the fancy toner was only good for thirty three BORKs, and some of our emails delivering the last ebook didn’t go through because [technical bullshit] and everything that could possibly go wrong/expensive on this op has done exactly that, and I could go on about this for a while, so let’s just put down a pebble for this and take a breath. A breath for trusting that all is well in the world, even when I fall into old patterns of work stress and forgetting that Nothing Is Wrong and monster-worry about everyone hating me. Time to breathe in truth: I am safe and loved.
  7. Saying goodbye to my Playground is right, and also I can’t stop crying about it. A breath for things that are right and still hurt.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week. May I choose to trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. There are so many kind, loving, big-hearted people in my life, and I feel so fortunate and appreciative. Wally, the most amazing bodywork person in the world and the one reason to stay in Portland, did some seriously good magic on my knee and ankle. My housemate came when I collapsed, and did acupressure on me until I was okay. When I was panicking, my lover texted to say, “As much as you are freaking out, I am kissing you with peacefulness a lot more.” A breath of deep appreciation for the vast resources of compassion and support available to me right now.
  2. Such a lovely goodbye party for the Playground. It was wonderful to see old friends and play. Rhiannon brought her baby Scarlet, who is just such a very fun person, which is pretty much the best thing I could say about a baby, and we played a hilarious game of our own invention which I believe is called Be Alarmed By Sudden Duck Sounds. The Vicar cheered me up by being the vicar, he is very good at that. People wore ridiculous costumes and we blew bubbles and colored monsters. The beautiful boy listened and stroked my hair while I puzzled out all my problems. A breath for new beginnings.
  3. It is very good that the Puerto Rico trip fell through because I don’t know how I could have ever been able to go with all the health and business stuff going on. More proof for my internal scientists that it is always right to trust my no, even when I’m saying no to something that sounds amazing (a month on the beach with the boy I like, on the cheap, in the sun…yeah, still sounds incredible). It was perfect that we said no, and the next yes is going to be such a better yes. A breath for trust.
  4. My housemate did a million errands for me when my leg stopped working, and delivered all my mail to my bed — “Anyone miserable and dejected in here?” — and generally cheered me up. And Leni sent the best get well card ever, which arrived at the exact moment when I needed it most. A breath for being taken care of when that is what I need.
  5. Someone misunderstood me (my least favorite thing) and then made it all about him and threw a shoe at me (said something mean, which happens to be my second least favorite thing), and I immediately recognized that his reaction had nothing to do with me, and then, here is the good part, I did not engage. Even better, I recognized that my desire to Set The Record Straight is really my desire to perceive that I am understood, and there is a better way to give myself the sensations of [safe, loved and understood] that is not trying to explain myself to the shoe-thrower. Instead I texted a red balloon emoticon to Briana, who always understands me. And she said, “Now that is a freedom-loving joy spark!” And I was like, EXACTLY OHMYGOD THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING ME. Ahhhh. So good. A breath for peacefulness. May peacefulness prevail.
  6. Found the best proxy in the history of proxies, and now I am a campanologist, and this solved ALL my problems, and miraculously everything is fine now. It’s almost like I’m at Rally all the time. A breath for how play is magic.
  7. On Thursday morning, I woke up and WAS ABLE TO BEND MY KNEE for the first time since Saturday. Not a full range of motion, but bending! It is happening, you guys! My leg can bend! Stuff is moving and changing and I am on the mend. I credit the beautiful boy who held me in his arms all night and whispered sweetness in my ear. A breath of thank you.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Lovely people care about me. Everything is okay. 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.

Emptied out 3/4 of the Playground! Went through three giant boxes stuffed with paper and iguanas. Donated 102 POUNDS of art supplies to SCRAP! Wrote the letter I had been avoiding because of [past pain]. Thank you fractal flowers. Wham Boom.

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

I used the OOD technique this week, and it helped a lot!


Powers I had this week…

I had the power of The Answer Is Letting Go, and the power of knowing about bells.

Superpowers I want.

I want, again, the superpower of Totally Unfazed By Any Of This. And I want the power of Marvelously Surprised By Good News.

Other favorite superpowers: Permission slips everywhere. Calm Steady Trust Is Mine At All Times. I Take Care Of Myself Easily and Unapologetically. Loving No Is The Door To True Yes! Delighting in Plenty. Self-Ripening Wisdom. I see how beautiful everything is and I say thank you. Theatrical Spectaculars! Doing things in grand fashion, 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 Marvelously Surprised By Good News.

Sometimes I forget that things can change for the better, suddenly and unexpectedly.

When I wear this salve, everything sweetens and I remember that I have no idea what wonderful things could come. I invite them in. I feel sparks again. I remember to ask for perfect, simple solutions, and to look for them.

I assume that there could be a door I just don’t know about yet. I am receptive to SUUTRAS (Spontaneous Unsolicited Upgrades: Treasure Radiance Abundance), thank you to Max for the first half of that acronym.

This salve makes everything lighter, my mood, the weight on my shoulders. My feet are planted. I stretch and breathe.

I pick up an envelope and think, “I only receive good news now”. And whether that envelope is full of delight or not, it doesn’t even matter, because suddenly I am someone who is regularly Marvelously Surprised By Good News, and I feel quietly joyful about life.

This salve also has some of the magic of being kissed with peacefulness.

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 Fi, it’s called Banana Still Life, they are on tour in Spain and it’s just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

There is still time to join the Secret Sword Society, embarking at the end of February! It’s the only thing I’m doing this year, and it’s also temporarily half-off for current members of the Floop…

And 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.

Wish 290: exit as you wish to continue

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

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

What’s in here for me?

Some weeks I don’t know what I wish for at all.

(This is never true, it invariably turns out that I am trying to keep myself from knowing, for reasons that are completely legitimate and also sometimes monster-fear.)

Other weeks, like this one, I wish for so many things, which gets kind of overwhelming.

So let’s name some wishes and find out what they have in common.

I wish for a just-right tenant.

After nearly five years, I am letting go of The Playground, my beloved center in Portland, Oregon.

It is an unbelievably gorgeous space. Twenty foot coved ceilings. Five rooms. A small stage. A kitchenette (the Galley). Beautiful light. It is the most wonderful place I have ever been, and the thing I am most proud of bringing into the world, by a lot.

I would like a tenant who appreciates the specialness.

Appreciating specialness is how the Playground came into being, did you know!

It used to be that I’d run a retreat someplace and we’d magic it up with sparkling wonder, irrepressible joy, deep peacefulness, soaring delight. And then it would be so sad to leave, knowing it would eventually revert to a boring conference room.

Also I resented the preposterous add-on fees. Fifty dollars a day for a whiteboard? Come on. For that sum I could take a limo to an office supply store, get my own whiteboard and write things on it while sipping champagne. So stupid. And so I set out to look for my own teaching space.

Anyway, the Playground was special to begin with. Five years of glowing-love-and-adoration later, it’s incredible. May the right tenant be delighted with it.

And add their own sparks.

I wish for help with the Augean stables.

Clearing out the Playground after five years of filling this enormous space with clues and toys…

It is quite the task.

Each time I go there, I spend somewhere between three and eight hours clearing stuff out, and haven’t made much of a dent yet.

The beautiful boy offered to bring the truck, and a few other people want to help. I would like this to come together easily and beautifully so we can show the space.

I wish for a healing for my leg.

I did something to my left leg, which is to say, I did not do anything to my left leg.

This is an emotion-level reaction to [things], for sure.

It has to do with some of the many things I’m releasing, and it happened immediately after feeling very upset about a situation, and now I have this inexplicable injury and can’t walk.

So I am wishing for an ease of releasing, perfect for this new incoming year of Easing & Releasing.

And I am wishing for the treasure in this to reveal itself quickly and easily, and for the return to functional happy body to be easier than I think it will be.

I wish for ease and joy with the new op.

Got some intel the other day at the Playground. Turns out the real reason Operation True Yes got postponed is that I am not currently cleared for the kind of top-level security it requires.

So I am now on a mission to get ready for that op by increasing levels of Sovereignty, Agency, and Panache so that I can integrate a new Incoming Me.

This is going to involve making peace with some shadows and solving the mystery of What Is Good About [PLB].

I will need to do more of a [thing I currently resent other people doing, because I don't allow it in myself], in order to stop feeling upset about this.

Apologies if that made no sense. The point is, there is some internal work to be done, and now is the time to do it, and I would like this to be fun, and to have some good company.

I wish for ease-filled transitions.

Right now an ending is approaching, and I have been avoiding dealing with it because of [not-fun thing that happened last time].

I want help remembering that Now Is Not Then, and a new way to approach this particular ending.

I wish for peaceful time-off before the time-off.

All this doing-doing-doing getting ready for Shmita has me exhausted.

I need a week of nothing, somewhere quiet, and I need this to reveal itself as soon as possible.

What do I know about my wishes?

The motto of the Playground is relevant here:

Enter As You Wish To Be In It. Exit As You Wish To Continue.

Right now I’m not exiting things with the qualities I want to take with me.

More harmony, more congruence, more peacefulness, more rest, more sovereignty, more joy-sparks!

What else do I know?

Nothing is wrong.

This is all part of the process. This discomfort is growing pains, and that’s a thing, and I am okay.

What else do I know?

Taking care of myself first is always the right answer.

What do I really want?

To love more, trust more.

To see with clear eyes.

And, as always, to trust my instincts more. To trust my yes and trust my no, and act on that trust immediately.

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

She: Change the metaphor. This isn’t about herculean labors, it’s about saying goodbye with love. Focus on the love part, not the work part.
Me: Okay.
She: Nothing is wrong, my love. You are being given nothing but chances to take care of yourself. Take them!
Me: I feel so frustrated right now.
She: Of course you do. This is so much to be dealing with. All the more reason to choose bath, bed, quiet, fresh air, soup.
Me: You are right.


Hahaha, so many clues.

For now the biggest clue is that me of a week ago knew to say no to Puerto Rico even though it sounded like the best thing in the world, all because the YES disappeared. And now I am wearing a knee brace, and am so very glad that I am not on a plane right now. So. A clue about trusting instinct. I’ll take it.

The superpower of calm steady trust is mine.

January - Anchor More The quality for January on the 2015 Fluent Self calendar is ANCHOR.

With the superpower is Calm Steady Trust Is Mine.

Calm steady trust will help me find the treasure in all of this. And the anchor reminds me that the voyage is still happening.

Ongoing wishes.

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat. Things to play with someday.
  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • 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, I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, and it is not even a big deal, yay.
  • I am ready to come into my superpowers and receive gifts that are winging their way to me. Superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers!

Things I find helpful when it comes to wishes…

Set the intention. Nap on it. Dance, write, play, walk the labyrinth. Get quieter and quieter until I hear what is true.

More sweet pauses, yes to the red lights and purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Stone skipping with incoming me. My body gets the deciding vote. And, as always, saying thank you in advance.

Give it to the compass: Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

Adventure. Rest. Horizons. Security. Passion. Sweetness. Clarity. Presence.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka the treasure in disliking things…

I did in fact find treasure in disliking things:

The disliking can be fuel for making changes. The disliking tells me more about what I do like. The disliking tells me that I’m worn out and depleted, it is a sign to take better care of myself. The disliking gets answered with legitimacy and love, two things the world needs more of.

Thank you, disliking. Thank you, treasure. Thank you, process of letting things go, and thank you, wise me, for noticing just how much emotional dust this kicks up and how strongly I react to dust.

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more. Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

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 and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.

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