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 on the river and through the skies

Friday chicken

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

Hello, week: we are here.

{a breath for being here when we get here}

Thank you, week!

This is the 408th week in a row we are chickening here together!

Or “checking in”, if you prefer to enunciate.

What’s been working?

Setting up my day in terms of Truth and Video Game. This is what I usually call playing in the soft versus working in the hard.

For example, my video game list might include things like “write check to M, get provisions from grocery store, urgent laundry situation, ask person X about thing Y…”

And my truth list is more like “today I want to shimmer and spark, I am practicing wearing the cloak of someone who deeply trusts life, there is plenty of time for what is most important…”

I might try…

I want to remember to keep asking my project what it wants me to know for now, so that I don’t get overwhelmed by all the possible things I could be working on.

Naming the days.

I name each day the night before and I love how names change things and also how they become incantations.

This week was the week of Fierce Independence, and here were the days:

Awake = freedom. Ready to trust life. What is simple. Where ease meets joy. Plenty of time. I hold the light (because I am the light). Clean and clear.

Upcoming biopic if it were based on this week…

Setting boundaries is my cardio. The Havi Brooks story.

If you feel drawn to comment 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 always welcome

8 breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. My body had so much trouble on a hike. The visiting faraway beautiful cowboy, who always likes to get to the top of a high thing as fast as possible, suggested we climb Hamilton mountain, on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. I like pretty views and outdoors and waterfalls and long walks, and I appreciated that he chose something he thought I could do. But then my body just could not do it, and I was tired and kept getting dizzy, and had to sit on the ground and rest literally every five minutes if not more often than that. And oh the agonizing self-judgement and shame that accompanied this even though my body is my body and my only job in life is to meet it where it is with love, and this has been my primary focus for the past eleven years, but guess what, there is a lot of rigging in the rigged game, and so I felt shame about my body for being my body. A breath of love for me in that moment.
  2. It is incredible how quickly the monster-brigade of self-criticism and comparison can take over the brain in a moment like that. I felt bitterly envious of everyone who blew past us on the trail while I rested and rested and rested some more. Envious of their strong, capable twenty year old legs and their lack of cellulite and their good moods and their ability to keep going. I needed REASONS for why my body couldn’t do what I thought it “should” be able to do, instead of being amazed by what it can do, and does, for me, in every moment of the day. (“Maybe it’s the 90 degree heat, maybe the bottle of wine we drank the night before since I hardly ever drink, maybe-probably iron deficiency again, maybe Some Horrible Reason Of Doom And I’m Probably About To Keel Over And Die Right Now, etc.”) I forgot truth. Truth says I don’t ever need a reason to go at the pace that I need to go, and this body that houses me is a miracle, all the time. Sometimes it’s like my whole system just disconnects from truth. So let’s have a breath of compassion and a breath of truth, I am okay whether I remember this or not, and not remembering it sometimes is also okay because it’s very understandable and part of the process of remembering.
  3. Three and a half days with the beautiful cowboy (aka Operation Field Work) went by way too fast. A breath for wanting more when I can’t have more.
  4. A spell was broken and I didn’t want it to break. A breath for this.
  5. Creep on plane thought he could get away with inappropriate touching, and then of course denied it, and I insisted on moving seats. Also had to repeatedly explain this week about how invisible limitations work, and identify to people what is not possible for me to do even though from the outside it looks as though I could and just don’t want to. A breath for powerful boundaries and radiant presence.
  6. It is extra hard right now to take good care of myself and also get anything done and so many important time-sensitive (work and personal) keep getting lost in the shuffle. I mean, the game is rigged anyway, so doing all this is basically impossible to begin with, but when you are between homes and on the move and you have nowhere to really land and all your stuff is always somewhere else, this is extra-extra-extra challenging. A breath of steadiness.
  7. 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.

8 breaths for the good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. This week was filled with many beautiful joyful things, and I will start with this: I made it to the top of the mountain, despite blisters and being about to keel over the whole way! Monsters say this is really nothing to be impressed about but I am going to be impressed with myself anyway. It was indeed spectacularly beautiful. The way back down was blessed with ease: no people in sight, and a lovely cool breeze on the other side of the mountain. Then outrageously delicious tacos at Walking Man, and a baptismal dunking in a swimming hole in the bracingly cold Washougal river before the sun went down, then snuggling into our treehouse lair with great joy, and peaceful happy hearts. A breath.
  2. Big wild sweetness, intensity and closeness. A breath for joy and magic.
  3. So proud and grateful about The Toast acknowledging the rigged game bullshit that is creating something amazing but having to carry it yourself. Extraordinary community is quite possibly the most exciting thing in the world, and constant [work + raising of funds] is not sustainable, and there doesn’t seem to be a good way to have solve this but how can we solve it when no one brings up how broken this is? Very few people talk about this openly and honestly, and I brim over with appreciation for The Toast: for what was, and how beautiful it was, and for ending it in right timing with this big honesty. A breath of gratitude and saying thank you because it’s the right thing to say.
  4. A spell was broken and now I am free. I thought the answer to what was hurting would be “trust more” but it was actually more like “trust more and care less”, which maybe isn’t all that helpful except then I magically was able live that. A breath for new beginnings.
  5. After not dancing or practicing for most of the month, I rented an actual dance studio for two hours like an actual dancer and DANCED. It was amazing. Then two private lessons with my teacher who was in town, and she saw big improvement and we had a breakthrough, so maybe time off has been good for me. Waltz brunch was glorious. Live band. Dance floor was so crowded that dancing became an adventure in deep trust and intimacy, because you just had to believe your partner was going to whisk you through the crowd, like whirling between raindrops without getting wet. Big magic. A breath for movement.
  6. I said what I needed (which is brave!) and got what I wanted (which is a cool bonus!) and felt peaceful and relieved about standing up for myself. Rewriting old patterns. A breath of appreciation.
  7. Going through this big intense time in my life and most of the time not falling apart about this, and I don’t even know how to explain what a big deal this is. A breath of appreciation and gratitude for being able to access my adventurous spirit when I need it most
  8. Thankfulness. Treasure in the form of a wild affair, a perfect midnight meal at the Fleetwood, people in my life who understand, the best smiles, trusting life. So much treasure. Everything is okay and so much is good. 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.

Superpowers I had this week…

Last week I asked for power of trusting life, immediately forgot about that, and then it was the theme of my week. It’s a good one.

Powers I want.

The superpower of being glowingly unapologetic about the fullness and richness of who I am.

The Salve of Appreciation.

These invisible salves are distributed here by way of internet magic. Help yourself! Take it in a bath, as tea, a cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

This salve smells delicious and reminds me to breathe. When I wear it, I notice what is beautiful to me and smile at it, and I make small adjustments in my environment (external and also internal) so that there is even more that invites me to smile.

Side effects include feeling wonderfully lucky about the smallest things, loving the people you love, noticing details.

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.

just-one-guy

This week’s band comes from my brother, who is also the most considerate person I know and makes all of his plans in service of…

Maximum Doom Avoidance

Obviously they’re a metal band and their latest album is Fuck You I Am Not A Touch Screen, and this band is just one guy.

Photo taken just for us in Lubbock, TX by Jesse — thank you!

Announcement time….

More to come soon, but I left the monster manual in the place that used to be the the shop. So if you missed the closing of the shop, there is still something beautiful for you!

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!

who shines the light of this fierce independence

very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (also known as 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 358th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

wish bubbles

all week long I have been reflecting on all the beautiful wishes
(oh wow what beautiful wishes!)
that have been bubbling to the surface in response to last week’s
wish about filling the cups that needs filling
and emptying those which needs emptying

the cups that need filling:
everything that supports me
the cup of Well-Being and Bell-Being
ease, peacefulness, joy, and havi-essence

the cups that need emptying:
stress, overwhelm, getting overloaded by
everyone else’s energy and the internet
and being a highly sensitive person who finds the world
loud and overstimulating,
who finds being in the world exhausting
as if everything around me sloshes into the cup
until there’s metaphorical red wine all over the metaphorical carpets

light

I had a striking epiphany related to this wish
while sharing the most gorgeous and vulnerable waltz with a stranger
something about how waltz, done well, is about flow
trust and flow
and oh wait, I know of other things that have these
flow-and-cleanse empty-and-fill superpowers….

it is LIGHT AND WATER which empty and fill cups
these are what I need more of to be a
clear conduit for source and vitality, life and aliveness
these are what I need to fill up on
and also to allow to flow through me in order to empty
everything in my life that needs emptying

relearning

the funny part is: I already knew this
I knew that light is (for me)
both the question and the answer
and I know this from skipping the stones of
what needs to be eliminated and what needs to be illuminated
also known as what enhances my ability to access my light
and what obstructs?

I need to be near water, soaking in water, walking by the water
this is how I get to my light

elements

these are my elements
immerse in water
then breathe in light be the light glow the light
golden sunlight streaming through me and into the earth
my friend who is gone believed
we are vessels for light
in other words we heal through sparking and glowing

what is simple and also promotes joy

this was the question that came to me this week
the meeting point of simplicity and maximum joyfulness
that’s what I am going for
breathing deep

if I can’t hear the answer to this question
(which happens a lot)
that is a pretty good sign I need to
return to the protocol
of urgent self-care
taking exquisite care of myself until I am able to once again
let myself know what I know

aching

my hips ached this week
you should have seen the terrible faces I made hobbling
down the half flight of stairs at Agent Emdee’s house
I asked Louise-who-is-usually-if-annoyingly-right
and she said aches are longing to be held (yes, that is me)
and hip pain hints at fear of moving forward (okay, that too)
in fact that is a pretty accurate snapshot of what my life looks like
this week

and then a spell that has been a spell for a long time
was suddenly and mysteriously broken
and I am no longer afraid of forward movement
no longer hurt that the person I want to hold me
isn’t able to show up
and then my hips were fine

time to trust life

changing the question

pain is not interesting while it is happening because it hurts too much
but pain is of course very interesting
and mine showed me some things about making peace with what is

for example, the answer to the question
“what is simple and also promotes joy”
might be (for me) dancing or stretching
but if body hurts too much to move, it becomes clear this answer is
equal parts wishful and theoretical

in this moment

the question needs to float back to this moment now
what is simple for me as I am right now in this moment
what will promote joy given where I am in this moment

given reality (as I perceive it in this moment), what do I want to work on right now
given reality, what feels important to me right now
given reality, how can I best take care of myself right now

and even better questions

instead of trying to Make Progress on my projects
sometimes I remember to ask my projects what they want me to know
here is what the basement studio told me with great enthusiasm

  1. everything will shift when the curtains are up, and you already measured and ordered and had curtain rods left over from the Playground, so the thing that is most significant for changing the energy is already 90% done
  2. relax — it’s all being handled, follow what shifts energy
  3. be the wild wonder that you are, instead of trying to check things off
  4. this space is holy — like the Playground, it exists to support safety, creativity, sovereignty and transformation, but it is all for you
  5. think of this less as a cleaning project and more like rededicating a temple
  6. time to get your witchy on, or get your witchy back…

being Z

my project also reminded me to keep talking to Z (incoming me, the zen adventurer)
so I can figure out how Z’s superpowers work, for example…
Z is never overwhelmed because Z trusts life and
Z just follows the next indicated step and doesn’t worry about the big picture because
Z can zoom in and zoom out and
Z believes deeply in There Is Plenty Of Time

Z is unapologetically luscious
with the look of why yes I did just roll out of bed two minutes ago after having obscenely good sex, that is correct

Z is wildly confident, wonderfully tranquil, outrageously beautiful
fiercely independent
a free spirit who finds joy and breathes deep
Z values safety, sanctuary and recovery
and is okay with hiding and crying when that is what is needed
knowing that none of this is in conflict with being a adventurer having adventures
extreme self-care is the default, not the emergency response

whoa a thing I just realized about witchiness

I have been talking with friends about this theme of
being a Woman Who Lives Her Life Alone and On Her Own Terms
and how it doesn’t seem like it would be that big a deal or
all that subversive (but it is!)
because following your yes when it is not aligned with cultural expectations
is work
it just is

and it is eye-opening how many people don’t understand this
or believe your independence is a temporary phase until you are Happy Like Them
I had the thought this week that maybe this
harks back to some ancient archetype
like the witch in the forest
a woman living alone in unconventional space
she has power and she has pull and also she scares us
because she doesn’t need the things everyone says we are supposed to need

heroines, a word I am not sure if I like or not

there are so few models for this too
I remember this from living alone after my divorce
cherishing each moment in my tiny studio in florentin
sustained by knowing there would be no stomach-clenching dread
of key-in-the-door
because no one else had the right to enter my space

who are the heroines of this fierce independence
against the grain
where do we see them
who do I know who lives this

name them

I am thinking of Mildred from Excellent Women by Barbara Pym,
who has moments of delighting in her quiet life alone
but is also conflicted by it because she believes something else is necessary
hmm is that the best example I can think of at the moment
I certainly do not feel inspired by, for example,
the women of Sex And The City, anxious and unhappy with life,
where are the ones who are tough and content and spark wild
there is Miss Fisher of course, who is marvelous,
though it does seem to help to have unlimited funds doesn’t it

anyway, the rigged game ensures that we don’t see
these strong independent solo-life women represented in film or television
I suppose there are many more examples now than when I was growing up
but none of them seem to be happy

there’s a bit of a theme to this actually….

Olivia Pope lives alone but in a very unlikely way (she drinks red wine on her white couch in her all-white outfits and never spills), she’s incapable of feeding herself, and wants to be married in Vermont making jam, and also money is not an issue for her

Alice Vaughn lives alone but is widely acknowledged to have Failed At Life because she was engaged to a conman, and also money is not an issue for her

Annalise Keating lives alone, but mainly because her husband conveniently got murdered and left her all his money, and it should also be noted that she never actually gets to be alone

Kate Beckett
, to briefly retreat from shondaland, lives alone but is always at work and then moves in with her boyfriend and his mom for absolutely no reason, and money is not an issue for her

Alex Parrish lives alone but we are led to understand this is mainly because she can’t keep anyone in her life, and somehow, again, money is mysteriously not an issue

I admire all these women for being beacons of fierce sovereign independence, and also I see the rigging at work. I want to see someone revel in her freedom!

boundaries

my wise friend agent emdee said this
about choosing freedom
and how it also means choosing the margins:

“When it becomes harder to pass as part of the culture, we have to have firmer boundaries. A woman, living simply and on her own terms, writing and dancing and being alive? Fuck yeah, that is actually a big deal.”

this strikes me as wonderful and slightly hilarious
that my return to my quiet witchiness is a radical move
poof! back to my roots!

and more about boundaries

this morning I said to a friend that setting boundaries is my cardio
and okay this was a joke but also it really does feel like a workout sometimes
I am noticing what happens when I agree to let people overstep and assume
how I make myself small and compact
the way I try to ignore the tight clenching of my stomach that is my internal no
out of some misguided desire to be “nice” and “good” and not make trouble

what do I know about my wish

this is a diamond of a wish
it includes holding the light and being the light
remembering that the game is rigged in such a way as to keep us from
turning inward to get the intel we already have and need the most
yes it is a radical act to pause and ask questions
to listen and wait

and this is a wish about practicing Crown On
so that I can glow the most beautiful radiant boundaries
effortlessly
so that I can be my most wild self
devoted to freedom
exploring my edges
strong and sure in my own power

and doing all this with great gentleness and patience

because everything about this goes against how we have been raised and trained
everything about this is brave and hard
so we take our time and breathe
and take care of ourselves
hiding when hiding is needed
crying when crying is needed
this is also called presence
and this is also called compassion
and this is also called love

may it be so!

now

I am in ann arbor, michigan and the far-away beautiful boy came here too, and we went to late-late-late-night dinner at the fleetwood diner,
which is a thing I used to do twenty years ago,
and that was surreal and also delicious
I feel oddly at home in the rooms we are renting for the weekend
with the impossibly loud creaky wooden stairs
the taps in the bath where hot is cold and cold is hot and you have to turn them up instead of down to shut them off
the woman who owns the home reminds me so much of my mother
there must be, one assumes, a word in some language somewhere for feeling bewilderingly nostalgic and thoroughly charmed while someone is delivering a fifteen minute explanation of how there are extra blankets in case you get cold, because even though it is the worst it is also the best

the superpower of sexy fearless powerful presence

months-May-VPA-2016
this month is WILD with its wild door, and sexy fearless powerful presence
thank you, past-me, for being such a good namer and calling this into being

I have been wilding hard, and this is right

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called empty the cup / fill the cup

I don’t think I have ever had a wish here generate
SO MANY NEW WISHES related to it,
so I call this a remarkably successful wish,
because I know so much more than I ever did before about both emptying and filling

and while I did not exactly enjoy
all the boundary-setting opportunities that came up,
I do appreciate that keeping certain cups from overflowing
and other cups filled
requires beautiful radiant boundaries, so I feel thankful

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading, including any stories you wish to let go of, any adventures you wish to welcome

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

here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: oh, wow what beautiful wishes