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 #250: bells and 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…

Two hundred and fifty weeks of wishing!

How great is that?

I feel pretty excited about this.

So let’s find out what the two hundred and fiftieth wish is, and I will imagine that this wish is infused with the magic of all past — and future — wishes. It’s an extra good wish to week, because I just decided that it is.

I will also add that this post (and wish) was originally titled The Quietest Tipping Point. However, the phrase “bells and wishes” as opposed to bells and whistles is just too funny and so completely perfect.

What do I want?

Hmmm. It has to do with tipping, in a variety of ways.

It has to do with recovery and transition.

And it has to do with bubbles and bubbling.

And pleasure.

What do I know so far?

Today is my fourth day of a just ridiculously packed crazy-intense dance convention in Bellevue, Washington.

I have been calling this Operation Bell View, because I am here in part to learn about being a better bell, which means seeing all the ways that I already am a bell, as well as seeing all the bells around me.

[Being a bell] = [Glowing my light] = [Being connected to qualities] = [Being deeply beautifully quiet]

Dancing is one of my doors into being a bell, and being a bell is my mission, and so here I am in Bellevue aka Bell View, viewing bells.

If that didn’t make sense, don’t worry about it, and just assume that working on becoming a better dancer is interwoven with the main thing I care about in life.

Anyway. A dance convention is not necessarily the most supportive environment for a highly sensitive person. It’s a lot more human contact than I generally am equipped to deal with, it’s wild hours, and a lot of advanced learning.

I’m so glad I said yes to doing it, and now I need some serious recovery time.

What do I know about recovery time?

Recovery and Gentle Transition after Operation Bell View is the big thing right now. Actually it is part of the mission.

No, actually it is the most important part of the mission.

And this is where I have to pause and thank past-me for setting things up for me of right now.

She found me the perfect hideout: I’m staying with Agent Rosie for two days, where I plan to nap in a dark room and oh, I don’t know, probably just more of that.

And I want to use Tipping as my way into Recovery/Transition, maybe even as my methodology.

What do I know about Tipping?

Tipping is a kind of secret agent code, with two meanings, maybe more.

TIP stands for Trust In Pleasure. It is related to my mision of Self-Treasuring and taking exquisite care of myself.

Tipping means knowing and remembering that taking a long bath with epsom salts and lovely oils is not a waste of my time and it is not “indulgence”, it is trusting that this pleasurable experience is deeply healing, and the more pleasure I allow in, the more healing.

There is also tipping like leaving a tip, and I am noticing that I have some Stuff about this, probably residual pain from my five years of bartending. So I am going to gloss over that for now, and I will remind myself that a tip can also refer to intel: receiving information that is vital to the mission.

Tipping also has to do with the tipping point, a la Malcolm Gladwell, the idea of a moment of critical mass that moves things from potential into kinetic.

Tipping like I’m a little teapot.

This makes me think of this joke that Richard and I have. Whenever one of us is sad, we say oh no Poor Me. And the other one says: “Tip me over and Poor Me out!”

Which is also kind of like potential into kinetic, but it is changing the stagnation of a sad poor-me moment into a silly playful one. This is also like the superpower of bubbles and bubbling.

What do I know about bubbles and bubbling?

April-2014-Effervescence Haha, I asked this question last week:

Bubbles and bubbling are an important part of recovery and transition because they change the mood.

Blowing bubbles makes everything lighter. You can’t stay in a bad mood while blowing bubbles, I have tried.

Also bubbles in bubble baths.

Also bubbles like bubbling over with joy, which is how I feel when I dance.

And bubbles like Effervescence, the salve and superpower of the month of April on the Fluent Self calendar of Salves. Effervescence means, to me: everything gets lighter, in both senses of that word.

More lightness. More light.

The same thing that happens when I view the bells / when I am a bell.

What else do I know about my wish?

I just want peace and quiet, lots and lots of delicious peace and quiet.

I want to remember that sometimes doing a thing I want requires this kind of deep recovery.

And who knows, maybe lots of things require this kind of deep recovery. Maybe everything.

Maybe this is how I need to exit every mission in order to better enter the next one.

What will help me with my wish?

Not scheduling anything this week.

Crying as much as I need to cry. All forms of release are valid.

Permission and legitimacy. Amnesty.

Anything else? Where do I want to start?

Interviewing Incoming me. Skipping as many stones as possible. Writing and Righting. Xs and Ys. Beautiful dances. To be wonderfully surprised. Red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote. Thank you in advance.

My compass for these wishes:

Sustenance. Trust. Presence. Connection. Anchoring. Warmth. Glow. Receiving.

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat dreams. Things I’m working on, or might be, someday…
  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • I go out dancing at the 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.
  • Hawaii.
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.
  • This week’s ops: Recovery Recovery Recovery.


I was watching this television show and someone said that [X] was a waste of time. The other guy said, “It is until it isn’t.”

In this case, X was a stakeout, and this was correct. So. What if other things I tend to think are a waste of time (like pleasure, for example) are actually important missions that haven’t yielded their treasure yet?

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka bubbles and bubbling…

As you can tell, I have been thinking a lot about bubbles. I’m going to silent retreat on this for now, other than to say that the castle is definitely coming down, and I am looking forward to learning about what beautiful things will arrive in its place. Or their places, I should say, since there are several castles involved.

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

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.

Let’s throw things in the pot! And: Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.


Special Agent K

When I was a kid, my two favorite breakfast cereals were Special K and something called Kix.

At the moment I am having trouble conjuring up the taste-memory of either of these. It has been over fourteen years since I’ve eaten breakfast cereal, that got dropped when I kicked sugar, yes kicked-with-a-K.

And even then I was living in Israel then where neither of those cereals were available, so it has probably been closer to twenty five years since I’ve tasted either of them.

I’m pretty much convinced though that Kix tastes like vaguely-sweetened crunchy dust. But the name! What a great name.

Even as a child I remember thinking that names were kind of magical. A name could make something seem more appealing than it was. Kix!

Kix! Let’s do it for kicks!

Special Agent K.

So I was at Rally (Rally!), my favorite place to be, if you can call Rally a place, which it isn’t, and it was Rally K in the Alphabet Carousel.

I noticed that I was feeling a little wary about K, because it seemed like there might not be a lot of good K words to play with.

It turns out there are the exact right amount of K words to play with, and not just because Nothing Is Wrong, but because the K words are extra-kicky, and they spread so much kicky joy that they carry you to wherever you need to go.

At Rally, we have cover stories and secret identities, and I said my name was Kay.

And then over the course of Rally it eventually became clear that oh right, of course, I am a secret agent, so I became Agent Kay, and then Special Agent K, which is how my mind became flooded with memories of Special K. And Kix. For kicks!

I learned some interesting things about being K/Kay.

Something fun about temporarily taking on a new identity is discovering how much you know that you didn’t know that you know.

I would have said that I know nothing about this Kay person.

And yet I immediately had the whole story:

My name is Kay. I’m a burlesque dancer and choreographer. I’m here to get better at tassel-twirling and to get over a choreography block. The superpower I have is that I love getting naked in front of people! And I have zero fear of commitment! This doesn’t mean I commit to things if I don’t want them, just that the act of committing doesn’t scare me.

So basically this Kay is nothing like me.

But because I got to be her for three and a half days, I got a feeling of the freedom that Kay knows about.

And I learned about how the other beautiful K words fit into this adventure. So here they are, because how could I not share them with you. For kicks!

I’m saying this like Tim Robbins in the Hudsucker Proxy: “You know, for kids!”

I chose eight K words to make a compass.

North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest.

Each direction gets a K word, and then maybe some bonus words. For kicks!

And not just kicks, but HIGH KICKS.

High kicks are extra fun. And also I’m a burlesque choreographer, so why not.

High kicks. Hi, kicks.

I’m on a kick.

Here we go.


Key is a marvelous K-word. Key is North. North is key.

Lots of things are key. That itself was a key concept from Rally K. The more I pay attention, the more I notice how key the keys are.

Keys are good for Openings.

Keys are also good for Safety.

Keys are beautiful.

Locks are outrageously sexy.

Keys are always available, because any moment can be a door, and entry can happen anywhere.


King is a symbol. I put it at northeast.

King is my reminder that I am a sovereign being, and everyone I encounter is a sovereign being.

I am allowed to have my thoughts, my experience, my reactions, and they are allowed to have theirs.

I don’t get to tell other people what to do or how to feel. I make a point (this is key!) of not agreeing to other people telling me what to do or how to feel, and I certainly don’t have to listen if they try. I have choices.

King means (to me) wearing the crown. It means staying attuned to Kindness.


Kindness and Loving-Kindness are about presence.

Not about being kind because you think you should. Not about thinking other people are less than or more than.

Kindness is about taking a breath. Remembering that we all have our stuff and we’re all working on our stuff and it is a process.

Just this thought is kindness. Wishing people well is kindness. When I remember to say, “May this situation dissolve in love, may peacefulness prevail” instead of “Ugh the cheese shop next door is the worst”, this is me trying to practice kindness.

And kindness goes inward, not just outward.

I can extend kindness to all the Havis, past and future, at all ages and in all situations. It is a way of treasuring myself, taking care of myself.


The Knight is in the southeast, and the knight, like the king, is a symbol.

The knight is for bravery, courage, strength, doing the thing that needs doing. I am still going to do it in my own way and at my own pace, the knight is just a reminder that I have the strength I need.

The knight is for setting off on voyages, internal and external.

The knight has a silent K which makes him or her a special agent K.

I am silent and I am Kay, so I am also a Silent K!


South is for knocking, a word that always makes me think of Bryan. During Long, Slow and Deep, he talks about knocking for what seems like forever.

He says that when you are in a yoga pose that is stretching you, it is important to remember that you aren’t trying to make something happen. You aren’t barging down the door. You’re waiting for permission to come in.

These parts of you that you are trying to reach and get close to through yoga….you’re waiting patiently for them to let you in. And you knock to let them know you’re there.

Funny how much I like the word, given how much I hate hearing a knock on the door.

Whenever someone knocks on the door when I’m home, I hide until they go away. If it was someone I knew, they’d text me, so it is not someone I know and they should go away. And by hide, I mean: I drop to the floor and curl up in a ball and panic. Then I notice, and do what I can to calm myself, to soothe the pain of Tiny Havi who doesn’t know that now is now, not then.

I don’t have a clear sense of what the knocking triggers, just that my whole body is terrified.

As a concept though, when Bryan talks about knocking, I love that. It is gentle and sweet. It isn’t a surprise knocking, it is a welcome knocking. Hello friend who has been waiting for me, I am here. Hello sweet lover who has filled their home with flowers for me and is waiting for me to arrive.

Knocking says: Hello, beautiful door. Hello, moment of crossing through.


Knowing goes in the southwest.

So much beauty and grace in these moments of knowing.

Also in the moments of not-knowing, and recognizing how much is unknown. But even that is a deeper form of knowing.

Knowing comes from listening, it comes from my body, it comes from my heart, it comes from my mind, it comes from trees and gardens, and slightly wiser me. It is all the deeper internal intel that I choose to say yes to.

The quieter I get, the more I get to experience moments of Knowing.

This is where all the salves come from, all the qualities. This is how I figured out that Nothing Is Wrong, and that Smiling At The Broken Pots works better than cursing the breaking.

This is how I know when to turn left and when to turn right and when it doesn’t matter at all. Which is always, because everything recalibrates, just like the map that tells you where to go. That is another Knowing that I received from living in silence.


Kinetic is west.

Kinetic is, for me, one of those all-time sexy words. I can’t remember how or when it first came alive for me as a word. That is a lie. I remember. It was in a love letter, one of many beautiful letters exchanged with a far-away lover once upon a time.


Kinetic is alive. Kinetic is rushing water, passion, that moment right after the moment when everything tips. Kinetic is the kiss that arrives after the first one. The moment of laughing because you aren’t turning back. Kinetic is tearing off clothes and toppling into bed, and then the moment after that and after that.


Kiss is a beautiful word.

I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. I put it at southwest because all compasses should end with a kiss.

Actually I do have more to say about that. Kissing is — as far as I’m concerned — so completely and utterly the best thing in the entire world, and I feel strongly about this.

One time I was talking to a friend and she said that her marriage was perfect except that they never really kiss, because her husband doesn’t like kissing and isn’t good at it, and he doesn’t see the point. And she felt impossibly sad about this because she, like me, thinks that kissing is the best. But everything was “perfect”.

And — this is where we invoke the People Vary rule — I could not even grasp this concept. I wanted to say, RUN AWAY, GET OUT, GO CHANGE YOUR LIFE SO THAT IT CAN INCLUDE KISSING!

Except I didn’t. Her story is not my story, her life is not my life, I don’t get to know what is right for her, I don’t get to make her choices, I only get to make my own.

And I understand how very possible it is to think that having one thing you want means giving up the other thing so you give up the other thing. I have lived this so many times.

I am blowing a kiss right now to soothe this, because kisses are good for that too. Here is a kiss for trusting in all timing is right timing. Here is a kiss for love.

For love.

That is all the K words. Well, not all of them.

There are more wonderful K words. Like kookiness, a quality I happen to strongly identify with. Or kindred, like spirits. Keen. Knitting, as in: bringing things together. Koala is a wonderful K word. Kauai. Kaleidoscopes.

Kay likes all of these things, and so do I.

May it be so! And come play with me.

Thank you, letter K.

If you want to whisper words or sound effects that start with K, go for it.

If you want to share in any of the qualities and magical words I named here, you can.

They work like the salves in the Friday Chicken: just take some, there is always more.

Whispering loving spells that begin with K, for myself, and for anyone who wants…