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

Wish 304: Moon wishes

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…

Moon.

I’m on the eighth week of Shmita, my time of letting the fields be fallow, and Operation True Yes, living on the road in a truck/camper with a beautiful boy and a bunch of notebooks.

And my cycle is lined up with the moon, exactly.

The day of the new moon is the same day as First Sign North, what I call the first sign of blood, in the compass of my cycle.

And then two weeks later, ta da! Full moon: boom, we are ovulating, or as I prefer to call it, we are at Anchor South.

Cycles.

This is actually part of a bigger wish, called Loving Downstairs, aka the process of coming into a better relationship with my downstairs body parts, and all things related.

Particularly the less fun parts. Like the monthly bleeding thing, and the various not-particularly-fun side effects of being a Monthly Bleeder.

As I have been working with playing with this wish, one of the wonderful, surprising things has been new vocabulary and imagery for all things related to my cycle.

For one thing, imagining the cycle as a beautiful compass works way better for me than the word cycle. A compass is a navigational tool, and a way to passage. Less weighty than cycle.

And then having a compass allowed me to rename all the pieces: First Sign North is when I start Precipitating, and Anchor South sounds way more fun than ovulation.

I call the passage around the compass from north to south Easing, and the second half of the compass, south to north, is Releasing, forming the perfect monthly companion to my year of Easing & Releasing.

I would much rather be a practitioner of Easing & Releasing than think of myself as a Miserably Reluctant Monthly Bleeder, even though they are two sides of a compass-imprinted coin.

What do I want.

I am absolutely loving being all lined up with the moon.

Not even so much because of things earthy, witchy and magical (though yes, maybe!), but because good grief it is just so damn convenient.

When am I getting my period? Whenever it’s new moon. That is way more accurate than my stupid phone app, which used to be pretty good at predicting until I lost my phone and discovered that my backup wasn’t where I thought it was, and lost four years of accumulated data.

Now it’s so simple. Do I want to go to this dance convention? Oh, it’s happening over New Moon, when I will be sitting in a bathtub or curled up in a ball. So, no, that was easy.

Being on the same timeline as the moon is the best, this is what I want.

Soooo….

I’ve been reading up on this because really, who wouldn’t want to be synced with the moon if that’s an option?

I mean, especially for people (not me!) who want to make cupcakes, which is my latest metaphor for moving to Bolivia, because knowing when you ovulate is vital to the mission. But really for anyone whose body makes eggs and then releases them, it’s just useful — and interesting — to know what the body is up to and when.

Being on the very predictable moon schedule makes all of that so much easier.

I’d much rather just pay attention to the moon than take my temperature every day. And the tricky science of analyzing cervical fluid (speaking of things that need to be renamed, my god, let’s come up with a better name for that one) is not really as reliable as the moon either.

Apparently this used to just be the normal way of things, following the moon, and we have gotten lost, thanks to our disconnected lives, and there are lots of people trying to find their way back, and the information out there is contradictory and more than a little confusing.

For example.

For example, I have read in a number of places that being outdoors for twenty to thirty minutes a day helps.

Except I did that every day in Portland, and the moon and I were not on the same cycle at all.

And lots of people advocate only natural light, and not using devices or lights at night. But I’ve been taking notes on my phone or writing on my computer at night in the camper, and that hasn’t interfered with me and the moon getting it on, so to speak.

So I think this is one of those cases of a) People Vary, and b) we just don’t know enough about this.

Which means I need to figure out what works for me.

What can I put in my current working hypothesis, which I plan to continue to test over the next months of Operation True Yes aka six month road trip aka life on the road….

These are the things that seem to support me.

And what I mean by this is that they support both my general well-being, and my synced-up-with-the-moon deal.

All of this comes with an implied for me. People vary, and bodies vary and experiments vary, and I have no interest in trying to imply that this is what is right for everyone. This is a jumping-off point.

  • It is really, vitally important for me to be outdoors in nature. Not the city kind of outdoors where there are trees but also houses and people. I mean the kind of outdoors where you can’t see evidence of stuff. No buildings or signs or reminders. Deeply outdoors. The more this happens, the better. For me.
  • Being actively outdoors, whether that’s walking in the hills for an hour or doing yoga in the grass or general frolicking or standing on a rock and doing secret spirals, which is what I’ve been doing lately. These things are good for me
  • Seeing the sky at night. Whether that’s because I’m out at night Peeing Like A Boy with my cool device, or if that’s sitting in bed in the camper with my lover, under the open skylight and looking up at the moon and stars.
  • Quiet time with my body.
  • Appreciation and thankfulness. While I don’t particularly like the bleeding thing or any of the side effects, I can be appreciative about the creative power inside of this body that I have been given, and I can let this be a door into a different relationship with my body.

What else do I know about what I want?

I want to run more experiments, explore, stretch, find out what I can do to support sharing a cycle with the moon, see what works for me.

Maybe there are ways I can still have the elements and qualities of this even at times when I need to be in a city. Though to be honest, city is seeming pretty unappealing to me right now for more than a few days at a time for a special occasion.

I want this to be my cycle.

I want to be someone who is friends with the moon. I want to know what the moon is up to, and what my body is up to, and to trust in the connection, like in dance.

I want to close my eyes, trust, feel, follow.

If the moon knows how to lead, why would I want to live in any other way, why would I not want to be in the connection, if that’s an option?

And how is it that I’ve been [precipitating] each month for decades and didn’t know I could be doing this together with the moon? How is it that I’ve put up with not-knowing, shocked when it shows up four days early or frustrated when it’s five days late, when I can live my life in a way that makes this compass cycle entirely predictable?

Why didn’t anyone tell me?!

Anything else about this?

Lots of things right now that fall into the category of Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me.

This is a useful and worthy mystery to investigate.

And what if it’s okay that no one told me? Maybe now is the exact right time for me to be arriving at this.

What else do I know about this?

There are so many related wishes.

For example, I am setting off on Operation Adventures In Reverberation, a twelve day solo voyage where I intend to do even more nothing than I am currently doing on sabbatical, to get very quiet, to listen, to receive new intel.

The moon is as good a guide as any for this.

I am also interested in the mystery of This Thing That Seems Like A Curse, What If It’s Not A Curse, which is related to the mystery of If A Curse Is Lifted, How Can You Tell?

And these are also good mysteries to take to the moon. Last year when I was at the Vicarage, the moon was a big clue for me. So I now have a two week voyage between full moon and new moon, let’s see what I get.

Now.

I am at the home of some friends of my lover. Their youngest boy, who is three, just noticed my bright red toenails, and got very excited about them. He told me that pink is his favorite color and that as soon as he is four, he can have pink toenails too, right, mom?

His mom said, you can have them now. And then he curled up in the tiniest ball like a hedgehog.

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

She: Waxing and waning. Filling and emptying. More and less.
Me: Oh right, I don’t need to get annoyed about not being at full energy all the time, because that’s ridiculous and our culture is ridiculous.
She: Yup. Trust your culture. Cultivate the culture of your kingdom, and don’t worry about the rest.

Clues?

I got locked out of the camper while we were in a parking lot, and walked to the nail salon a polish change and mostly for the air conditioning. I decided I wanted a knock-your-socks-off red, and the first bottle I picked up was called Red Hot Rio.

Brazil is always a clue for me. And at Rally, we used to sing a sea shantey called Away, Rio, which is the song of embarking on a voyage.

And then even though I knew this color was my yes, both the color and the name, it was like I couldn’t trust that, so I picked up another color to compare. That color was called Nice Color, Eh, which is such a boring name I instantly realized how silly it is to try to find a better clue than the one I’d just been given.

Oh, and also on the day I decided this was my wish, we ended up in Half Moon Bay.

The superpower of I take care of myself first.

May - Reverberate More It is May!

The quality for April was ADVENTURE, and it came with the marvelous superpower of I have everything I need for this. The quality for May is REVERBERATE, and it comes with I take care of myself first.

May it be so.

This is what I need to remember in my moon investigations, this is what will bring me closer to the moon.

Things I find helpful for intentions and wishes…

Nap, dance, write, play, labyrinths. Get quiet. Sweet pauses, yes to red lights and purple pills, thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Skip stones. Body first. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths in eight directions:

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

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. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. I think like a dancer. It’s so perfect it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS. I have what I need, and appreciate it. I am fearless and confident. I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, no big deal. I am ready to come into my superpowers and receive.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka New under the sun…

This was an excellent wish. When I was in Sacramento, I stopped by the co-op and picked up a bottle of wheat germ oil, which, I learned this week, has an SPF of 20.

It has a bit of an orangey tint that gives a surprisingly lovely warm glow to the skin, it’s very moisturizing, and so far it is doing the job of a sunscreen, so I am now officially saying screw you forever to all commercial sunscreen products. YEAH!

It also launched a frenzied investigation into all the other things I can release and replace, and I met a lot of monsters of the variety of “ugh you’re going to become a preachy zero waste homesteader who only blogs about things like making almond milk in a mason jar, and everyone will hate you and you will be boring and depressed”, and I also learned that I have BIG JOY SPARKS OF YES about this mission.

It is part of the mission of Less, and part of the mission of easing and releasing, and I am so glad I started with sunscreen. First sun and then moon. We are moving towards the stars.

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

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I believe the Playground mugs are all sold but you can still acquire a pack of stone skipping cards just send a note and we’ll set it up. Ask Richard for cost/shipping.

Keep me company! Or just say hi!

This is an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads, superpowers, qualities, whatever you’d like, there’s no right way! Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is sharing anything sparked for you.

Comment culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on 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.

xox

Wish 303: new under the sun

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…

Yes.

This the seventh week of Operation True Yes, where I am learning to say yes to my yes and no to my no. I am learning to be the person who trusts her yes.

One of the most interesting things about this experiment has been noticing just how often I try to override body intel with logic. And how often I succeed. Haha, if by “succeed”, you mean silence my truth.

And now this isn’t working any more.

Mostly, I think, because of this strong — and semi-terrifying — commitment I’ve made to listening to yes and living by the c*.

* The a is getting the intel about what you want, the b is allowing yourself to really hear it, and the c is acting on it. I want to live by the c which sounds like living by the sea!

There’s another reason too.

This is probably related to the above, but lately it just seems like my intel about my YES and my NO is getting louder by the minute.

Especially the NO.

Though as TJ wisely reminded me this week: Yes evolves. No no no is a no.

We can focus on the NO, and that will lead us to YES.

So here I am, with these loud, clear, obvious NOs that have been NO for years, except I haven’t let myself hear them until now.

I want to play with a relatively small example of this right now, because that seems like the least overwhelming way to approach this.

And also because I have a sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a small NO. The small ones are part of the big ones.

And maybe solving this mystery can shed some light on the other mysteries (principle of fractal flowers!), and at the very least this mystery can stand in for all the other mysteries (principle of proxies).

Sunscreen.

I really enjoy walking in the sun. I really don’t like getting burnt. So, you know, sunscreen: it’s a thing.

And yet every time I put it on, my body says ugh this is not good for us.

It was only this week that I really heard this NO, only to realize I’ve actually been hearing this for years, but I just immediately bulldoze past it because I don’t want to stay inside and I don’t want a sunburn, and ohmygod fear-fear-fear about something bad happening.

So I put it on anyway, and I pretend that my dislike is aesthetic, or that it’s about the texture or the smell, when it’s actually so much deeper than that.

Or I start thinking about what a pain it is to have to Do A Thing before going outside, or how cosmically unfair it is that the human body is designed in such a way that you need someone else to put sunscreen your back, and how this is yet another thing that is totally rigged to support people who are in relationships, and I don’t want to be in a relationship but I like having someone in my life who can put sunscreen on me, and toot toot this train of thought has left the station.

Anyway, the point is that logic and internal finger-wagging always wins: “You have very light, sensitive skin and don’t want sunburn, so put on the damn sunscreen already.”

But this week I finally heard it in a way I can’t unhear it: This is not good for me.

So I listened.

I said, Hey body, I hear what you’re saying. You don’t want this. Let’s find a new way.

And my body instantly relaxed.

I started wondering why my body wouldn’t like sunscreen, and then suddenly I had to laugh because really, how could any of our bodies really truly be okay with sunscreens.

I mean, they come in plastic bottles and are full of chemicals.

In fact, when I started researching this, I was amazed (and then not amazed at all, because really, so many things in this world of ours are twisted and distorted) at how dangerous sunscreen actually is.

It’s pretty damn hard to find sunscreen without chemicals, toxins, alcohol, petroleum and petro-chemicals, genetically modified substances, parabens, phthlalates, sulfates, PABA, preservatives, titanium dioxide, triclosan, artificial coloring and synthetic fragrances.

And then try to find one not in a plastic tube, even harder.

So yes, my body is no idiot.

The mystery, and the options.

My body is giving me a clear no, and it’s my mission right now to trust and respect this kind of internal intel.

And, without sunscreen, I’m going to get toasty, and my body doesn’t want that either.

I started investigating naturally occurring plant sunscreens and looking up recipes to make my own — recipes that don’t involve double-broiler, because I live in a tiny camper. Turns out lots of people have already been thinking this way.

Actually I think I’m going to start with this etsy version, mainly because they let you send back your jar for refills.

And then I discovered that you can use organic carrot seed oil, which apparently has an SPF of 38-40. I used to use that anyway as my moisturizer. It is not the cheapest but you can mix it with coconut oil.

Body says yes to this and to floppy hat and to covering up shoulders when out for long walks, and to Vitamin D from the sun, and to frolicking joyfully.

And both my body and I like the idea of this solution (double meaning) living in a glass jar, and not bringing more plastic into our lives.

And then the YES sparks started coming.

YES to living in a place that gets more sun, a place where my body can generate adequate vitamin D all year round:

”Large amounts of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are made in your skin when you expose all of your body to summer sun. This happens very quickly; around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. This could be just 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person,
Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day. In fact, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink.”

YES to making more of my own lotions and potions.

YES to making my own bug spray! Did you know you can make bug spray that isn’t toxic and horrible? I did not, and yet of course, that seems obvious now.

YES to the clean bin project.

YES to sun and yes to moon, and to being closer to both of them (but/and also safe, protected, happy skin).

YES to being amazed and excited about all of this, and things related to it, and to never having to buy — or smell — commercial sun screen or bug spray poison again.

YES to being much more conscious about what I am putting on myself, and, more importantly, what I am putting up with because I perceive that there isn’t another option. Yes to believing that there are other options and looking for them!

What do I know about my wish?

It’s about options and possibilities.

It’s about seeing past assumptions and walls.

It’s about creativity and play.

And…

I am also noticing that writing wishes is surprisingly easier now that my mother is no longer alive. I keep wanting to edit stuff out or write reassuring caveats so as not to get a panicking letter from her full of dire warnings and newspaper clippings about how someone once used plant products for something and died of a horrible disease. And then I remember that she’s not reading this.

I miss her, and also writing is easier without her, those things can exist simultaneously.

What else do I know about this?

I have an astonishing (to me) number of monsters who think that this is a boring, indulgent wish that only the most privileged person could possibly be concerned with.

So. Let’s look at that. Yes, I have a wonderful amount of magic beans that allow me to think about things other than survival right now. And, being someone who remembers what it is like to be only concerned with survival, I can say unequivocally that this is better. Thank you, magic beans of privilege.

I can also hear wise me whispering that getting vital intel from my body and finding new ways to take care of it and myself is one of the most important and purposeful things I could be doing right now.

And actually I now see that this is something that has always been available to me, even in the roughest of life situations. If anything, a little more body-listening might have done me some good during those tough times, though of course I understand that I wasn’t in the head-space to be able to consider trusting myself, and that’s okay too.

Past-me was doing everything she could, she was living by her instincts and she got me here and I love her forever. And now I am experimenting with a new level of living by my instincts, and that is what is right for now.

Anything else about this?

Trust. Release. Love. Receive. Anchor. Crown. Glow. Boldly.

Ah yes, that.

Now.

The moon has been in the sky all day, along with the sun. A beautiful, perfect quarter moon, halfway between new and full.

Blue sky, cool breeze, tiny little yellow flowers everywhere, a true yes of a day.

The book my housemate gave me as a gift for Operation True Yes is open on my lap, and I feel peaceful and something more zippy than peaceful: sparks of excitement for what is coming.

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

She: This is the exact right moment to be letting your body take the lead so you can follow its cues. I am so happy about this: it is the time for listening and you are listening, and I love you so much.
Me: I have Ludicrous Fear Popcorn that I’ve screwed this all up and I should have listened to this years ago and now it’s too late.
She: Nonsense. This is the perfect moment for all of this. You wouldn’t have been able to put all the pieces together before anyway. This is right, and you are my sweet beautiful love, so fill up on love, and kiss your palms, like at Rally.

Clues?

A Liz Clairborne ad said joy promotes joy, employ it in abundance. While I had a visceral no about this sentiment being used for Buy Our Stuff, Get More Stuff, I love both of these phrases and the combination of them.

Joy does promote joy. And employing things in abundance is a wonderful turn of phrase. This is exactly what I want to do with warm, glowing, out-in-the-sun energy.

The superpower of I have everything I need for this.

April - Adventure More The quality for April is ADVENTURE, and it comes with the marvelous superpower of I have everything I need for this. May it be so.

This wasn’t at all the kind of adventure I had in mind, but yes, this is an adventure, and I feel joy sparks. And I love the reminder that I have what I need.

Things I find helpful for intentions and wishes…

Nap, dance, write, play, labyrinths. Get quiet. Sweet pauses, yes to red lights and purple pills, thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Skip stones. Body first. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths in eight directions:

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

Ongoing wishes and seeds planted without explanation.

Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. It’s so perfect it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS. I have what I need, and appreciate it. I am fearless and confident. I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, no big deal.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka Not throwing…

First of all let me just say how funny it is that a wish about not throwing turned into a wish about not throwing away

And I will also note that I was surprisingly chill about money this week, and my monsters no longer think it’s wasteful that I don’t need the plane ticket anymore, and I think some good seeds were planted here. Let’s see how it develops!

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

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I believe the Playground mugs are all sold but you can still acquire a pack of stone skipping cards just send a note and we’ll set it up. Ask Richard for cost/shipping.

Keep me company! Or just say hi!

This is an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads, superpowers, qualities, whatever you’d like, there’s no right way! Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is sharing anything sparked for you.

Comment culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on 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. For vulnerable wishes, you can always employ secret code or call silent retreat

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

xox