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

the week of finding the corner of hope and hope

Friday chicken

Reflecting on both the hard and the good in the week that was…

This is week 430 of this ritual, and so we chicken.

What’s been working? What do I want to play with….

Applying legitimacy (oh hey yeah this thing that is hard for me is actually hard), going on clue walks, three minute dance party.

Also TURNING OFF MY PHONE and then taking notes about how that goes. For example, if I know I check my phone 752 times in three hours, and in that entire time literally only one person texted, with the least interesting intel in the world, that is useful to know. Ta da! I just saved myself hundreds of tiny disappointments, the not-fun compulsiveness of pellet-pushing, and gave myself the gift of clear head space.

Breathing for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  • I’m stranded at LAX right now because I missed my flight to Phoenix, on standby for a flight that leaves in three hours. Haven’t had a full night of sleep in two and a half weeks, and can barely walk a straight line. Breathing for what if this somehow turns out to be lucky.
  • Pretty much everyone in my life was AWOL this week. Craving companionship and closeness and not knowing where to find it. I mean, I do know — it comes from connecting to myself, to Source, to life, to love, to wise incoming me. But in the practical sense of wanting people to play with. Long nights feeling lonely, confused, and Prone To Monsters (fake band of the week, it’s just one guy!) Wanting more people to talk to about yeses and passion and the stuff of aliveness and life. Breathing trust. May I remember that I always have Wise Me and Diana Rigg, they always want to hang out with me.
  • Extreme lack of sleep. Each night something different — marauding Coyote Karaoke Hour (also a fake band), the person throwing weights on the floor, raccoons on roof, loud bleating electrical surge noises, and so on. Apparently being awake each night from 2am-5am is just my thing right now. Tired. Very tired. Breathing gratitude for useful intel about what supports rest.
  • Missing dance and movement and training. Breathing even more trust..
  • Still being visited on and off by powerful waves of hurt and anger related to information I learned a few weeks ago. Sometimes I can channel Diana Rigg (the calm cool collected Avenger) instead of my furious avenging self who wants to rain destruction, and sometimes I just have to let this run its course, trusting that all pain is legitimate, my process is legitimate, and one day it’s not going to hurt like this. Breathing.
  • So much about Los Angeles is not good for me, like the air which hurts my lungs, throat and eyes. Like not feeling close to the moon, and drivers who are unaware of pedestrians, and the current extreme heat wave which is I experience as somewhere between boring and oppressive, and being surrounded by workaholics. Breathing patience: this adventure is treasure, and I am learning.
  • People in my life who are jerky jerkfaces and/or lack communication skills (yes, okay, me too right now) and can’t say what they want, and I am realizing that if I want other people to treat me with more respect, I need to believe it is okay to expect better. This is actually true in many areas of my life, so at least it is an interesting theme. Breathing an invitation for new people with new skills, or for the current people to catch up. Breathing trust.
  • It was 97 degrees this week (36 degrees celsius). Missing fog and mist and drizzle and coziness. Breathing.
  • The Everything Is Hopeless Why Even Bother monsters were in full force this week, which made it difficult to receive an important piece of information. Breathing peacefulness.
  • I’ve been working my ass off trying to come up with creative solutions to the museum crisis, finally found one, then realized it isn’t going to work. Breathing for the next solution, may it reveal itself soon.
  • Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. May peacefulness prevail. Trust-more love-more release-more receive-more. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Breathing for the good, reassuring, and magical!

  • LA RALLY! A week of solo rally and a beautiful day of shared Rally with four favorite secret agents from the Playground. Wild Clarity. Getting so much done! Even on th most stuck projects. Breathing for treasure, and for companionship.
  • A much-needed smackdown from wise incoming me on the topic of No, You Really Do Deserve Better and You Need To Get Clear About This and Stop Putting Up With These Astounding Levels of Crappiness. Breathing thank you for truth-love and much-needed perspective.
  • Best night ever out at La Cuevita with amazing DJ, fun new friends, playfulness, creative sparks, big joy. Breathing thank you.
  • The three hour nap the other day that is the only reason I am still hanging in there. Breathing rest.
  • Reorganized everything on my computer. Typed up all my notes. Understood how everything fits together and gave it all new names. Feeling inspired and, for the first time in many months, hopeful about the mission. Breathing for this.
  • First glimpse of redesign for website and business (to be unveiled shortly, and also an experiment to see if there is something I can do other than burning everything down, a different kind of bonfire maybe). Excitement and sparks and, again, hope. Breath.
  • Agent Ravenstar and I parked at the corner of Hope and Hope! Clues everywhere. Breathing hope.
  • Finally came to resolution and understanding with something that was causing me great distress, and with someone far away that I love. Breathing appreciation and joy.
  • It was so hot out that I ended up wearing my favorite scarf as a top, and every day someone asked me where I came by this gorgeous outfit. This worked really well with my current proxy mission of I am an avant garde fashion designer. Breathing playfulness.
  • I was wrong about something, and I am glad. Breathing and remembering that very often my assumptions are completely off base.
  • Stone skipping for days. Breathing creative power.
  • Thankfulness. Treasure in the form of clues everywhere, loving friends, the best secret agent to hide out with, ice cream, smiles. Nothing is wrong, even when I want to believe it is. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thank you for this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.


Last time I asked for the superpower of Speedy Recognition, and it led to big understanding.

Now asking for extreme levels of believing that something that looks like bad news (missing my flight?) is actually What Unexpected Good Fortune. I would especially like to remember this when I get lost in shame-blame and self-judgment about how I’m probably the one who screwed everything up.

How was your week?

Come play in the comments. Share something from your week, take a breath, or just say hi! No rules, my format doesn’t have to be yours, we’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — jump in whenever you like. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!

New breath / new air to breathe

very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (or a vision of possibility & anticipation) each week to practice wanting, listening, getting clear on my desires

the point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), it’s learning about my relationship with wanting, 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…

this is the 379th week of wishing, come play!

The thing about smog.

When I enter a smoggy city with thick congested polluted air (Fresno, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City), my whole body rebels, all my senses registering high alert.

Eyes watering, chest tight, I feel sleepy, irritable, impatient.

The lack of clarity especially feels restrictive, not like mist or fog that enhance a view even as they obscure, heightening beauty and mystery.

More like: my body and mind are not comfortable here.

Then after a few days, it becomes normal to breathe unpalatable air, I stop noticing that vague unsettling feeling, I adapt.

We can make an argument in either direction about whether that adaptability of human spirt is useful (sure), or whether it’s dangerous (that too), but the point is this:

The atmosphere we immerse in — what we we see, hear and breathe — becomes our normal, even if it is a crappy, depressing normal, even if it is an absolutely horrifying normal, and we even stop noticing that this is not an okay normal.

Air can stand as a metaphor here but also: air is not only a metaphor here.

Oxygen and circulation and environment, the stuff of vitality and life, this matters.

The Sandwich.

I was once in a relationship with someone sweet, thoughtful, generous, and loving. A buddhist who meditated and did yoga and brought me flowers, always a kind thought in his heart for everyone.

I noticed that his parents, while wonderfully warm and welcoming to me, had a habit of making snide gossipy remarks about people who weren’t around. They would sneak these in between nicer comments, in a maneuver I began to think of as The Sandwich.

“Oh we saw so-and-so, she’s the loveliest person, of course she’s really let herself go, she’s gained so much weight, she looks awful, but she’s so nice.” “Oh yes, so-and-so is very ambitious but not talented at all, really just wasting their time, but nicest person, really nice.”

And when my lover was around his parents, he’d unconsciously pick this up. Suddenly the guy who only had compassion for everyone was making these little negative critical sandwich judgments.

I understood he was just adapting to the normal that is the normal of how his family communicates. And I recognized that if I spent enough time with them, this could become my normal.

It bothered him that I wasn’t interested in hanging out with his family more often.

And the truth is, while I thoroughly reject the notion that loving someone means I need to spend any time at all with the people who raised that person, I really didn’t want to be around The Sandwich.

More than that, I didn’t want to see the loving-hearted person I cared about morph into someone who unconsciously cut other people down.

Okay, also I was aware that my only real motivation for showing up had become making sure I wouldn’t be the the subject of a mean snippy sandwich along the lines of “Oh, Havi is so great, but [ten flaws about Havi], but we love her so much!” Awesome.

No thank you to this toxic air, I don’t want to breathe that in, I don’t want this to ever seem normal to me.

Real estate.

I am currently sitting in a house in Los Angeles, way up in the hills with a gate and giant picture windows and a view as far as the eye can see. It’s not a particularly large house, and there isn’t anything interesting about it other than the view, but it’s worth well over a million dollars.

If you live in a place where houses cost millions of dollars, one of two things happens.

Either it seems normal to you to invest in a million dollar home, or it seems normal to you that home ownership is not remotely an option and it doesn’t even show up on your radar.

Million dollar homes do not coexist in the same world as my normal and so it is difficult for me to understand why someone who had one wouldn’t just sell it immediately, invest the money, and go retire right this second. Live in Mexico. Eat fish tacos. Write all day. Be happy.

That’s what I would do if someone gave me a million dollar home in LA.

But presumably if I stayed here long enough, probably not even that long, I would start to see this as an awesome desirable place to live. My normal would change course.

What is waste.

I try to live as close to a zero-plastic zero-waste life as I can, and yeah, sure, I make some conscious compromises here and there, but that’s my aim, the trajectory of how I want to live, something that is always in my sights.

And I would have told you that this is a very significant part of who I am, but then I went to Idaho for a month and oh wow, did that ever fall apart fast.

In Portland, everyone recycles and most people compost, it is relatively easy to acquire bulk food without plastic packaging, I may be considerably more fringe in my choices than most, but my lifestyle is not wildly at odds with the broader culture in the same way that it was in Idaho.

At first it felt unbearably painful to toss food scraps, or worse, glass. Once it’s in the earth, it’s in the earth forever, and it isn’t going to decompose. I agonized over each item in the bin, sending it off with a grieving heart and whispered apologies.

But after a few weeks this gradually downgraded to more of a small twinge, and I imagine that if I had stayed, my normal would shift more, even though I don’t want it to.

It became easier to make compromises for the sake of “convenience”, and slowly, without noticing, I had become part of the broader culture, making choices that normally (that is, in my previous normal) I would never have considered, like purchasing a drink in a to-go cup, or using a paper napkin instead of the cloth one in my bag.

My entire perception of what seems wasteful and unacceptable shifted in rural Idaho. It still bothered me to see people use plastic cups (and straws!) to drink water instead of a glass, but it became a normal kind of bothersome, something that just is, something you don’t need to think about.


Many years ago when I was a smoker, I had this idea in my mind that I didn’t smoke very much, but this was really only because I was a bartender in south Tel Aviv and spent my days and nights in the company with people who smoked pretty much constantly.

Most of the regulars smoked four packs a day, lighting one cigarette from the next, the hardest part of my job was keeping all the ashtrays emptied.

Oh, and trying to keep the place from burning down. We had constant trash can fires because they would leave a smoldering butt in a pile of pistachio shells and wander off to the bathroom with a new cigarette.

And so, because I smoked so much less than the clientele or any of my co-workers or my lover, I was able to believe that I wasn’t much of a smoker at all.

Out with friends, I’d smoke one cigarette for every three or four that everyone else did, so clearly I wasn’t smoking that much, right?

Then one day I was out with Alona, the manager at the other bar where I worked, and we ran into Gili, my best friend’s girlfriend. She said, ohmygod I can’t believe how much you guys smoke, and I was in shock, because obviously I smoke way less than Alona, so why would you even put us in the same category.

My normal was so skewed that I couldn’t see how [a lot] and [even more] could look the same from the outside.

An amusing reversal of this happened later that day at Gili’s apartment, when it became clear there was a huge disparity between my normal for smoking pot (a couple times a year maybe?) versus the normal of all of her other friends (all day every day), which meant that her normal (just in the evenings) seemed moderate to her and wildly excessive to me.

But really, what is normal. Or: what about when normal is unacceptable.

This week we learned that sexually assaulting women is Donald Trump’s normal, as is his expectation to encounter zero consequences for being a rapey predator who terrorizes women.

I read a thoughtful piece about that called What Trump’s brag reveals about this election and our culture, which, among other things, references an interesting study that concluded some types of harassment are so common as to become normal, in which case women may come to perceive them as ‘bothersome’ as opposed to scary and threatening.

The idea is that women essentially build immunity to unacceptable behavior, as you would to a virus, in order to be able to function at our jobs.

This resonates truth for me. A friend and I, recently discussing our university days, were shocked by how many awful incidents of harassment we had experienced, but more shocked by how little they had registered at the time, because other harassment was so much more egregious.

Just one example, once I was late to a professor’s office hours and came running in to plop down on a chair. He looked at my chest and said, “Do that again, I like it when they bounce like that.”

So gross. And yet I honestly didn’t even consider that harassment because harassment in my mind, back then, was more like all the times another professor put his hand on my friend’s thigh.

I didn’t recognize his words as belonging to the same continuum of predatory people in positions of power testing the waters of what we would put up with, pressing up against boundaries (and sometimes pressing up against our bodies).

Wildly inappropriate things happened to me over and over but I stopped registering them as inappropriate because they were so common, and also seemingly so minor, at least in comparison to the more egregious stuff happening all around me.

Car-free and carefree.

I’m nearly forty and have never owned a car.

This is a highly unusual state of affairs here in North America, but guess what, I’ve never needed one.

In fact, the one common feature of the various places I’ve lived both abroad and in the states is ease of walkability (is that a word?), places where cars are unnecessary and there is nowhere to park them anyway, so why bother.

Right now I’m in Los Angeles where not owning a car is something people cannot grasp, you might as well say that you don’t brush your teeth or that you don’t own underwear, because not owning a car is so shocking and horrifying that people wring their hands at the thought of it.

They also think a ten minute walk is extremely unreasonable, even though the weather is more conducive to walking than anywhere else I’ve lived, i.e. places where a ten minute walk barely even counts as walking. I know this about LA, and still it surprises me each time I visit.

But if I lived here, I would probably become someone who drives to the cafe that is not even half a mile away, and that’s why I don’t live here. I don’t want that to be my new normal.

Oh, air.

I will say it again.

WHAT WE SEE, HEAR AND BREATHE BECOMES OUR NORMAL, even if it is a shitty, depressing, horrifying normal.

And if we stop noticing the incongruence, the disharmonious state of being surrounded by values or behavior that does not support how we want to live, then we agree to a certain degree of toxicity, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to take care of ourselves.

Obviously there are any number of things we just can’t change and it’s certainly not fun or healthy to be in constant rage state about the rigged game, tilting at all the windmills, incensed about the things that are not okay, because god knows there is no shortage of them.

I am talking about something different: a conscious relationship with the air we breathe, noticing which aspects of our environment support us and which do not, figuring out where we can tinker with things a little.

Or a lot.

What do we do about air? Or: what can we do about air?

Cultivating awareness comes first, as it always does: What am I noticing about my normal and how it changes or shifts in different situations? What assumptions am I making about normal, what has become normal to me but is not actually okay for me?

Then the next piece is bringing attention to desire: What is my true yes? What would be 120% yes? What do I really want?

Next I look at what is working versus what isn’t, without judgment.
What needs to change when it comes to the air I breathe? Where in my life do I already insist on metaphorical clean air? Or actual clean air, as the case may be.

And then I can look at my options. What changes or adjustments can I make, even in tiny but symbolic or otherwise significant-to-me ways? Because, even if I am dealing with various limitations and/or perceptions of limitations, there is always something that can be messed with to add spaciousness.

And then we keep practicing. Noticing. Checking in. Where am I and where is my yes? What have I begun accepting as normal and okay that I am actually super not okay with?

(A small example)

Last week at a dance thing, I hung out with couples, something I never do, and specifically straight married couples.

At some point one of the wives said something about how she gets her husband to tell other men to leave her alone if they are being too forward on the dance floor, and that I need to get a man to do that for me, and I only barely twitched.

That almost imperceptible mini-twitch was a sign for me. Or really, not the twitch but how barely noticeable it was. That was the sign for me that my normal had shifted, because normal for me is a full-body visceral reaction of no no no what are you saying what unsovereign shit is this.

My normal normal reaction, as a independent woman who is content and happy in her solo life and passionate about freedom, would be something like this:

I appreciate the kind suggestion, and I am fully capable of standing up for myself and setting my own boundaries. And, should I determine that I require someone else’s support in that, it shouldn’t have to be the person I’m sleeping with, it should be anyone who cares about human decency. I deserve to be treated with respect BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING, not because I “have a man” or anyone else who perceives that I “belong” to them and it’s their job it is to protect me.

But instead my reaction was more of a laugh-shrug because we have different perspectives. At some point the air around me had stopped seeming wildly suspect, and had become more like a mild irritation.

I realized I needed an immediate change of air, because this for me is actually grab your oxygen mask before you pass out levels of complacency with regard to the entire sexist coupled primarily-hetero rigged game culture that I have zero desire to take part in.

What is my wish here?

Of course part of my wish is that the culture will change, and, more specifically, that the work of self-fluency (everything we do here) will support the changing of culture.

But mainly this is a wish about how I interact with [air], it is a wish about awareness and agency, being conscious about both my choices and my compromises.

It is a wish about focus and intention. I want to be as present as possible with how I breathe, not just in posture or dance or a yoga pose but in all forms of what surrounds me.

I want to be someone who insists on making conscious choices about what air I am willing to breathe. [When I can, where I can, as I can. Safety First, always, and of course sometimes change needs to be cautious and incremental and that’s okay, we don’t need to force anything.]

More than anything, this wish is a continuation of my previous wish about Delicious Space. I want to choose Delicious Space, I want to choose to be in a gem state (a state of glow, light, reflection and refraction), whether or not I am in The Gem State (Idaho).

This is a wish about a new normal, about intention and love and outrageous wild improbable new levels of self-acceptance, may that become my new normal.

may it be so!


This is the month of Centering, with the superpower of Delicious Space, and my return to center is directly related to the choices I make related to what I breathe, how I breathe, what is acceptable or tolerable in my space, and what needs to change.

Thank you, past-me, for naming the month for me.

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called delicious space, and it brought me both to a very delicious space (my friend’s apartment), and delicious headspace, and the realizations that I am working with/through now, so that was a very good wish that went deep.

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share this post and to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading

deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, intel, possibly in code

safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving

wishes are never late because whenever you wish is the right time for wishing

we remember that people vary and my wishes don’t have to be yours, each process is unique, and this is a good thing

here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: with great kindness and appreciation and awe, whispering (and sometimes shouting) oh, wow what beautiful wishes