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

a new story / the door of x / striding through

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 356th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

passages (i)

I am embarking on a grand adventure
and I don’t quite know what it is yet and that’s okay
and even better than okay
because that’s part of how adventures work
and I am ready to feel joyful and glorious about this adventure
to meet it halfway
striding through the door
ready and willing to ask for what I want from this experience:

Freedom
Shelter
I Choose To Do Less
I Treasure My Space, Inside And Out

and — this is important —
I Remember That Everything That Happens To Me Is Neutral,
So I Release Stories Like It’s My Job

passages (ii)

time for a new story
time to let go of stories that are over and done
or untrue or not in service of the mission
(the mission being: breathe in life and aliveness)
time to reclaim any power still stored in story
time to move through story

“Well, freedom has its price.”
“Then it isn’t freedom, is it?”

— The Catch

how many stories live inside that one small exchange
and which ones do I want for me
what needs to be eliminated
and what needs to be illuminated

passages (iii)

once upon a time many years ago I left my home because of
[circumstances]
and then I was between homes for a period of time
a period that stretched time and stretched me

that was what I told people
between homes
and they believed me
between homes
as if I just hadn’t found the right one yet

memories

you slept on couches of friends until you wore out your welcome
that is one of those phrases you can’t appreciate until you’ve lived it
you know what welcome looks like once it has been worn to threads
and you told too many white lies
because you don’t want them to feel sorry for you
or put them in the position where they might think they have to take you in
when there’s nowhere else to go

then you slept in a place you weren’t supposed to be but had a key
careful to disturb nothing, waking before dawn to disappear
until you got caught
and then you stopped sleeping for a while
well, you stopped sleeping at night

an expert at hiding in plain

there is a whole world of expertise to faking being a regular person
the art of the plausible casual nap in public
you could write a book (but you don’t want to)
about that
the art of passing
how to put every magic bean of privilege you possess
to work at the same time
how to act like you are just an ordinary someone
an ordinary someone can sleep in the park during the day
take a short rest in the sun for a bit after yoga

it’s a full time job appearing to be someone who is not lost

safety first

a breath of sweetness for past-me: I will build you
safe rooms forever, my love
I have devoted my life to making safe space for you
thank you for holding on
you got me here
you can rest now
you are safe
you are free
safety and freedom: you are allowed to have both

if I imagine that I am a genius about freedom, what do I know?

presence is more important than anything
as important as pleasure, which is pretty damned important
if I stay present with this, I can do anything
and presence will lead to more pleasure
presence brings me back to aliveness, to the ability to delight in life
even (especially) when things are chaotic and unexpected

as long as I am present
with this moment
my breath, my body, my wanting, my desire, my aliveness
I can feel into the next step
I can hear my yes
I am free

if I imagine that I am a genius about safety, what do I know?

now is not then, now is nothing like then
and at the same time I can understand how leaving my home
and embarking on an especially grand adventure
that spans the time between now and the time I meet
my new home-to-be
that safe cozy quiet nest that I have not met yet
but waits for me with love
I understand how this situation could stir up stories from then

and so I remind myself that safety first
is always a valid choice
I want to cherish myself,
choosing things that support my sense of safety is
one more way I meet myself with love

here’s to freedom in various forms

love that is unconditional
a business that is free to innovate and create
shmita, wildness, and the place where minimalism and lusciousness meet

releasing stories
releasing the need to believe the stories I tell myself
this is the freedom to let something be
without weighing it down with judgment and distorted interpretations

here’s to safety in various forms

safety is everything that helps me feel the ground
taking exquisite care of myself
following the protocol with sweetness
I practice forgiving myself for everything —
past-me was focused on survival and
everything she did makes sense
especially given the limited tools, intel, resources and sleep
available to her back then

her intention was to get me through
she did what she thought would work
and look, we made it
so we glow love and peacefulness back through the timeline
retroactive magic

glimmer

wenn du glaubst es geht nicht mehr
kommt von irgendwo ein lichtlein her

or: just when you think you can’t go on,
there comes a small glimmer of light…

this is a reminder for me to look for it,
to focus on being able to see the glimmer of light,
to be that glimmer of light

what is closeness

the beautiful faraway boy who is so far away
and has been so far away for so long
texted me when I was having a rough moment
“holding you close, listening, stroking your hair, writing love on your back…”

this was so lovely, and while I am very aware that
I may not always have someone in my life to say this,
in fact, I often perceive that I have no one to say this,
I can practice being someone who can be this sweet
towards myself and my selves
glowing closeness

step one

as Erin says, Step One Of Doing Anything is calm the fuck down,
sometimes I also think of this step as find the good
also known as clearly that was not my bus because if it were my bus I would be on it

it is now safe for me to want to feel safe,
and to prioritize things, however small,
that contribute to my perception of safe space in a given moment,
whether that’s crossing the street or curling up in a blanket
or sitting with my back to the wall
whatever I need in that moment is good

conversation

me: I go back and forth between “I am such a genius, how am I even getting away with this brilliant plan to live tiny and live quiet, to travel and have adventures, to write all day and have access to panther/gazelle practice space!” VERSUS “uh oh next year I will be forty, living on the road, with an absurdly miniature home as my base, peeing in a jar, where did I go wrong with my life…
agent spalding: for the record, I think you are tops
me: I mean, I mostly lean towards the first one because it’s a better story, but I guess either way at least it’s not boring
agent spalding: there is a strong part of me that wants to combine elements from both stories, not only because it’s more realistic but also because it’s more interesting — you are, in fact, peeing in a jar, but it’s also sort of brilliant

at least now we know what my gravestone will say
“she peed in a jar and was also sort of brilliant”

SOLVED!

it finally dawned on me this week that oh right I am not
wandering as a way to fill the time that I am in between homes
no, I chose to be on this grand adventure
this righting retreat (and writing retreat)
which I am calling The Door/s of X
because it is a retreat and a passage and a voyage
and exactly what I need most in my life right now

and I am choosing it
because it is my yes
and because this is how/where/when I acquire the missing skills that
I will need when my next home-home is ready

new story

as you know I have been waking up in the very early hours with words
and this week the words were NEW STORY

I am allowed to tell new stories
to be a new kind of storyteller
who knows about all the important things

all the important things

releasing stories to the fountain
find the joy / follow the best sparks
say yes to new superpowers
savor this brave wild solo adventure
how do I approach this as a free spirit, an agent of agency, a bell

Echoing and Reverberating, Do Less, Want Everything and Expect Nothing, Big Wild Joy, Intention, Yes To This Moment, Wild and Free, This Moment Is Treasure, I Have Forgotten How To Worry, Trust Love, Keep Swinging

compass

here is my mantra-compass for Door X
to guide me through this process of zen adventuring until
the next mission is revealed

north: DO LESS
northeast: CHOOSE EASE
east: SAVOR A MOMENT
southeast: TRUST LOVE
south: LOVE THE GROUND
southwest: CROWN ON
west: GLOW WILD
northwest: DELIGHT IN LIFE

what do I know about my wish

I have been mistakenly trying to fill the in-between spaces
in my life and calendar and the places that scare me when they are empty
no, I will not do that any more
I will fill MYSELF!
and my desire for [safety + freedom]

I will stop telling a story about how I am in transition
and instead revel in the knowledge that
where I need to be right now is on this adventure
I am in the right place
striding through this door of my own choosing
this door that exists just for me
in this just-right moment in time
excited for what awaits
bon courage

may it be so!

now

I am staying with Agent Emdee
and while walking to the train
I discovered that the sidewalk had a message for me
stamped in the cement

EVEN NOW THE HEART IS FLOWERING A WILD PATIENCE

a clue for the ages
I can’t stop thinking about these words
the combination of Wild + Patience
fills me with both deep calm and powerful longing
maybe nothing more is needed than to let wild patience flower in my heart

apparently these words of poetry come to us from Amy Schutzer

the superpower of sexy fearless powerful presence

months-May-VPA-2016
last month was ROOTS, and that was big treasure, and somehow I had forgotten what I’d seeded for May but here it is and it is just right

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

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called crown on / do less

what a powerful wish
I have been practicing both of these things
noticing how they support each other

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

crown on / do less

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 355th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

sparks

I found myself lurching awake at 3am
with one of those world-shattering, blindingly brilliant epiphanies
the kind you know is the answer
you weren’t even seeking
to [life, the universe and everything]
though you also suspect as you frantically scribble it down
this achingly important message might not make sense later
and even if it does, well, safe to bet
you won’t be sufficiently impressed

reverberation

it’s the meaning of the words, the full-body reverberation of them
not the words themselves
but 3am-me knew that nothing could ever be more true
or more vital than these two words taken together:

DO LESS

there is no other answer
because that’s the answer
but can you sustain the charge of that moment of knowing

crown on and do less

my theme over the past week has been CROWN ON
a la Wayne and Garth: “Game On!”

the work of CROWN ON is equal parts useful and challenging
and once I started playing with this
I was immediately rewarded (ha) with
every possible opportunity to practice
because that’s how these things go

a small example

last week while doing some congruencing here
I came across an old FAQ page from maybe seven years ago
past-me had written the longest answer
to the people who ask us to remove or edit comments they’ve left here
about why we don’t do that
the explanation was warm and compassionate, written with so much love
and yet I unhesitatingly deleted the whole thing
because I remembered something that past-me didn’t trust yet
that the best answer to everything is pause-and-breathe,
trust people enough to let them resolve their stuff on their own,
and anyway, not everything requires a response

reminders

I love these reminders showing up everywhere in my life right now
helping me see something I did not realize before:
crown-on and do-less like to play together!
in fact they’re probably
skipping through the park right now
holding hands and laughing
pausing to admire the rainbow that visits the fountain

What do I know about Do Less?

it doesn’t come naturally (to me)
my mind requires steady practice to choose towards less
or even to remember that doing less is an option
it is amazing how many problems and challenges don’t need solving
if you just wait 48 hours

about 70% of our incoming emails are questions that
don’t need to be answered
I learned this years ago on a teaching trip to Berlin
the time difference solved all challenges each night
giving people time to answer their own questions while I slept
by the time I got around to them, there was nothing left to do

what if there is nothing that needs to be done
what if this is true in more situations than I think

I mean, very rarely is it necessary to take action
and the less I try to solve/fix/respond/smooth-things-over
the more powerful it is when I do take a stand in a moment that demands it

this is in part the answer to last week’s wish
see? I wished my wish, did nothing, and here’s the solution

the superpowers of less

do less is a marvelous way to practice sovereignty (crown on!)
because it combines the superpowers of

Love-More Trust-More (and trust love more!)
What If We Just Let This Situation Gracefully Resolve Itself
I Remember To Pause And Breathe
There Are So Many Ways This Could Work Out Without My Input
Look At Me Caring For The Beautiful Boundaries Of My Internal Kingdom

doing as much less as possible
is a wonderful way to challenge the rigging of the rigged game
but the rigging is also why
the practice of do less is so fraught

(let’s talk about rigging)

a commitment to live by Do Less
or even to explore living by Do Less
— even just whispering about this wish —
is vulnerable, intense,
and slightly-to-very terrifying
not only because it sets off the internal monster brigades
but especially when we remember that the rigged game rewards
a culture of do more
the rigged game is the inculcated mindset of
you are never doing enough

(because you are not enough)
(that’s what you’re supposed to think)

busy

believing you are not enough, that’s what ensures you’ll be
too busy to rebel
too busy working your ass off
trying to achieve the unachievable
without even questioning whether or not it is your whispered heart-yes
to begin with

or you’ll give up on yourself,
thinking you’re failing at life
because the mechanisms of the rigged game
are so well disguised
we can’t even see that “winning” wasn’t an option to begin with

and here’s a fun paradox!
in order to illuminate the illusion we have to shine our own light
to shine with clarity and intention requires spaciousness and quiet
to claim more spaciousness and quiet for ourselves, we need to do less
no wonder culture wants to keep us busy and uncomfortable in our skin

horizon

it serves the rigged game
that we are constantly striving and never pausing to examine why
it serves the rigged game when we push and when we
chastise ourselves for
not pushing more or “enough”
and of course often there are real life consequences
to not demonstrating that we too are push-push-pushing like everyone else
still, it’s amazing, really, if you stop long enough to think about it
look at us chasing what we think are goals ahead of us
when it’s only horizon
horizon doing what horizon does best
hinting at a possibility of arriving
a gorgeous illusion

the rigged game depends on us believing that we can get there
if we just push more and harder
and we want to believe that if only we weren’t dealing with
[Situation X] or [Illness/Impairment Y] or [Interpersonal Relationship Z]
then sure we could just make it all happen
inbox zero and
spotless apartment and
a body that is more [this] and less [that]
on and on

trapped in comparison

as if there is some imaginary happier perfect version of us
living in some ludicrous impossible pinterest-instagram scenario
the kind where people with suspiciously great hair
lounge on suspiciously white sofas
mysteriously never spilling wine
on their perfectly tailored white garments
you guys, it’s a trap

what do I know

(1) there is always a Situation X at hand, that’s how life works

(2) all these things we are brainwashed to think are
both desirable and attainable
(if only we just keep pushing)
aren’t even necessarily things we want or need
even if they were achievable which, I mean, who knows,
but the game keeps us too busy to check in and find out

(3) as Orna says, everything that is against me is illusion
in yoga we call this maya, the thing that keeps us from seeing truth

(3.5) illusion is very compelling

(4) to release distortions and the untrue stories I habitually tell myself until they become the filters for all experience, I need to get quiet, turn inward, come home to breath and heartbeat and source-love

(5) so we’re back to less doing, more being
less striving, more allowing
less judgment, more curiosity

let’s eat pie

last night my friend the arborist texted me:
“today was a good day, as always, trusting, waiting,
wanting everything and expecting nothing, I could eat a pie”

this is what I want:

Wanting Everything While Expecting Nothing
Wanting Everything And Doing (Glorious Brave Intentional) Nothing
There Is Nothing To Solve
Nothing More Needs To Be Done
Trust And Wait and Do Nothing And Eat Pie

this is the spirit of crown on and do less
the spirit of love more trust more
yes, this is what I want

may it be so!

now

wishing wishes about Do Less, and yet/also:
I have three days to finish vacating my house
and deal with approximately seventy million related and unrelated tasks
so I need to find the peacefulness inside that conundrum
or the not-a-conundrum inside the conundrum
ah yes, everything that is against me is an illusion,
so it follows that there is no conundrum
it is up to me to bring the spirit of Do Less and Crown On into a busy day
not to postpone the wish until I’m “less busy”
(because believing that will happen is the rigged game too)
(and believing that I will be happier when that happens is also rigging)

I have this sweet moment now
to breathe in life and appreciate life
to stroke the beautiful wood grain of this table, let my jaw soften,
welcome myself in this moment
and this is how a moment changes
I do less inside of it
and give myself more

the superpower of beautifully supported

months-April-VPA-2016
ah here we are in April, the month of ROOTS
and oh how I need this superpower of
Beautifully Supported
thank you, past-me, for being such a good namer and calling this into being

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called do-overs forever

and in a way today’s wish solves the question that troubled me last week, I can do less (wait and trust) and take steps (crown on), and there is no contradiction, because the contradiction was part of the illusion

so here’s to doing wonderful less, and to doing less, wonderfully
all the while full of wonder

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

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