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 We Love Fortune Chicken

Friday chicken

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

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for being here when we get here.}

Thank you, week.

This is the 371st week in a row that we are chickening here together. Pretty great.

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

What worked this week?


My wise and wonderful uncle Svevo came to stay with me for three days. He is the only person I know who lives completely how he wants in all things, in this wonderfully easy, simple, peaceful, mind-bogglingly sovereign way.

My monsters of course are dead set against me living like this.

They’ve always maintained that only people with great wealth and other forms of magic beans can do what they want. And anyway if I tried, I’d become a horrible person, instead of Being Of Service (because Otherwise Life Is Meaningless and Bad Things Happen), and also that everyone would hate me.

But I have spent a lot of time observing Svevo being Svevo, and I can now report back with total certainty:

Svevo is the kindest, most compassionate person I have ever met. And I think this is actually directly related to the fact that he follows his heart desires, and yes, he also does this without the advantages which I think are required for this audacity. And everyone he meets or even passes on the street just beams with joy and pleasure from being near him. Huh.

Next time I might…

Remember that there’s always another option I haven’t considered yet.

[Silent retreat! But this is a reminder to me about the fox and the back door.]

Upcoming Biopic if it were based on this week…

Then The Sun Became The Moon. The Havi Brooks Story.

If you feel drawn to leave comments 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 appreciated. Hearts or pebbles are great if you don’t know what to say, often I don’t know what to say either so we’re in the same boat.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. I’ve been sick for the past EIGHT DAYS! So, this week was spent in bed, achey and foggy and miserable, hacking up green goo in full-body coughing fits. Yesterday I was able to go for a short walk, but then so winded that it was straight back to bed. A breath for my sweet body doing its best to release.
  2. Sleep has suddenly stopped being a thing. My body is just not into it for more than four hours a night. I’m not particularly tired (see: all the rest I’m getting), and it feels a lot better now that I’ve stopped worrying about it. So maybe this item is about how sometimes I forget that worrying, as Svevo puts it, has a very low return on investment. A breath for trust, and for filling all the wells, especially the well of well-rested.
  3. Everything in my life — projects! dance practice and training! using my body in fun and interesting ways! — is on hold while I’m busy being a snot-machine. A breath to invite in the part of me who knows everything in my life is being supported and beautifully served by this unexpected interruption.
  4. As some of you know, I have a metaphorical chocolate shop which I don’t want. An amazing opportunity came up when people I like and trust approached me wanting to buy out the business from me and take it over! This has been my secret good news that I couldn’t share. Well, they were in negotiations with the owner of the building to take over the lease, and the owner suddenly and very unexpectedly signed a contract with someone else. Now instead of receiving compensation for the brand I developed, the design, the business systems, the client list and all of the extremely expensive chocolate-making equipment, we get nothing. It also means we need a new buyer for the equipment or we’ll need to rent storage! There aren’t many chocolate-makers in town, and they all already have equipment. This is stressful, especially as we need to stay in production until we exit. And I have sadness about yet another of Portland’s gorgeous historic chocolate shops disappearing, which, I mean, sure, I never wanted a chocolate shop but now that I’ve had one for a few years, I have a real understanding of how special they are. A breath of love for me and for the chocolate shop, may the right solution reveal itself soon.
  5. I ran into an old painful pattern in an interaction with someone — a pattern I didn’t even know about! Turns out six year old me is still carrying around all kinds of pain, and thinks it’s relevant to apply it to all current scenarios. This was extremely useful to notice as it was happening, and also it was not the most fun. A breath of acknowledgment and appreciation for tiny me, who was too small to know that other people’s stuff was not about her, she is safe and loved forever! I scoop her up and hug her and whisk her off to a safe room, with friends and trusted companions nearby if she wants to play, which she usually does.
  6. My god these heart-wrenching stories of refugees being refused sanctuary and passage. I think this must touch something in tribal memory for me — like the two hundred and fifty something Jews who were killed in the holocaust after having sailed to the United States on the St Louis and been refused entry. Or maybe something much older and more primal than that. I feel absolute anguish when I think about this. A breath for remembering to stay in my compassion-love heart without taking on the pain of the world.
  7. The day when everything went haywire — realized I’d lost wallet and passport, and then was stuck with a mysterious $40 customs charge which required both, and then burned my face with an essential oil, which I am only telling you about because my mother is no longer alive and not reading this. A breath for all the things being shaken up, and out.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week. May I choose to trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. Being sick in bed turned out to be very useful, because for the first time in forever, I didn’t have anywhere else to be other than my bedroom. And suddenly I was able to have huge understandings about my relationship with space, and what I want in my space and what I treasure and what is unnecessary. Bedroom: transformed! Knowledge about me: Received! Thanks, illness. A breath of deep appreciation and gratitude.
  2. Turns out not needing sleep right now is not actually a big deal. I am getting the rest I need, reading, thinking good thoughts. The only thing that was wrong with sleeping half as much as I usually do was thinking that it was wrong. A breath for recognizing this, and for the superpower of Trust More.
  3. Hey, the plus side of not getting to sell the business (my other business, not this one!) is not having to sell the business. No lawyers, no contracts, nothing. And we’re out of the lease at the end of December now instead of March of 2017, so high fives all around, and I am just going to ask for a solution for the equipment. A breath for ease and grace, and the simplest solution being the simplest.
  4. Patterns revealed meant patterns untangled. A breath of love.
  5. I am at previously unknown levels of calm, in all things. Even with stressful things, I just had the superpower of Marvelously Unfazed, to the point that I didn’t even worry. I found the lost items and didn’t mind the customs charge, and remembered that actually my skin is only sensitive to emotional stuff so then it stopped burning. A breath of thank you in my thank-you-heart
  6. Speaking of perfect simple solutions, so many things are just working out beautifully right now with zero effort on my part. And the most astonishing realizations and epiphanies are just landing all around me. A breath for this.
  7. I know exactly what I want, what it looks like and feels like, and how I want to get there, and believe it’s possible, and also think that where I am right now is exactly right. A breath of thank-you for this and all the other many treasures of Shmita.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Blowing bubbles with Svevo. Texts of sweetness from my far-away-lover. It’s finally warm enough for blankets. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong, even when I think it is. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thankful for this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Wham booms, wisdom, superpowers, salve and FBOTW!

Operations completed. Wham boom!

Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code meaning: this thing is done! Shortened to wham-boom.

Speaking of sparkly epiphanies, turns out Operation BOLTHOLE and Operation Round House and Operation Alternative Shed and Operation Well Robed and Operation Live Light are all one op!!!!

Kind of like the Fake Band of The Week: it’s just one guy. And Operation Trust Release Ease is still my favorite thing in the world. Wham Boom. I now bestow upon myself a hundred billion sparklepoints, and you are welcome to do the same.

Or, if you prefer, a squatillion fritzillion, or if you don’t do numbers (even fake ones), an endless cascading fountaining abundance of sparklepoints.

Superpowers I had this week…

Last week I asked for Deeply Trusting, and I had it!

I also had the superpower of knowing that I am a Disruptive Force, and being okay with that.

Powers I want.

More of this Marvelously Unfazed thing please, more of the overflowing fountaining gratitude, and I would also like the powers of Surprisingly Strong Iridescent Purple Bubbles.

And the power of pausing and breathing and saying thank you.

The Salve of We Love Fortune.

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.

The title of this week’s Chicken comes from a hilarious exchange in the comments of last week’s chicken.

If you say Wheel Of Fortune enough times it turns into We Love Fortune.

This is a salve of joyful overflowing appreciation for abundance in all forms. When I wear this salve, I suddenly want to pause and stroke the leaves of ferns that I pass on my walk, to thank them for being lush. I want to blow kisses to all the stars in the sky, and whisper thank you to the person who designed my bathrobe.

This salve not only reminds you to love fortune, it helps you see it, everywhere.

It feels tingly-exciting and also serenely calming at the same time.

If you run into a spot of bad luck while using this salve, you won’t perceive it as bad luck at all, or you will quickly find the fortune in it. Of course you will, because it’s there. Of course you will, because you are made of particles of love.

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.


This week’s band comes via Denise, it’s called Reserving An Octopus. Their latest album is Chants of Blah. And, of course, it’s just one guy.

And the photo was taken in Lubbock, TX by Jesse! Thank 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!

p.s. If you want to express appreciation and/or go deeper into Self-Fluency…

Come practice Agency and be a secret agent (ha, agency pun!) of self-fluency, and support this blog and Shmita.

  • The marvelous Monster Manual gives you the sneaky ways I use to get my self-criticism to take a nap or join the circus or become my ally, so I can stay calm and take care of myself.
  • If you’d just like to express appreciation for concepts and qualities that live here, you can always contribute to Barrington’s Discretionary. (Explanation!)
  • And of course, love and support in the form of smiles, hearts, warmth, sharing posts, practicing what we do here: any and all of that is always appreciated!

A deep breath of love from my thank-you heart for everyone who reads. ❦

What do I know about the thing I don’t want to let go of?


Making my way through a giant box of unsorted bits and pieces from the center I closed this year, I found a piece of paper.

Well, I found what seemed like thousands of pieces of paper, but this one was more attention-getting than the others.

This page was large and goldenrod yellow, and it told me I need to write about the the thing I don’t want to let go of.

That’s literally what it said.

In my handwriting:

Write about the thing you don’t want to let go of.

And then, in smaller letters: on the blog

There’s no date.

Apparently past-me thought the instructions contained sufficient intel.

I don’t remember what particular thing-I-didn’t-want-to-let-go-of I had in mind though.

No idea. Not that it matters. It’s a good question that is always in fashion. Timeless.

Whoosh. Goodbye. Releasing.

During my five year tenure of play at The Playground, I let go of many things. In fact, that magical wonder of a space facilitated all kinds of releasing.

It even came with a secret elevator shaft which we used specifically for that purpose. Whoosh!

Energetically/symbolically, of course, not literally. The door was sealed off, though the stunning old-fashioned bell still worked on occasion.

It said BELL on it. It was perfect. I miss the Playground.

And here we are.

Here we are in the Year of Easing & Releasing, my Shmita year.

Over the past several months, I have let go of more than I ever thought possible. Sometimes beautiful and painful shedding, sometimes release like liberation.

Write about the thing you don’t want to let go of.

It’s a great sentence.

And I don’t know that I don’t know what it is I don’t want to let go.

I mean, I bet I do know. At the very least, I suspect many things, and probably more that I’m intentionally hiding from myself because it feels safer to convince myself that I don’t know.

If this year of Operation True Yes has taught me anything, it’s that I generally know a lot more about most internal mysteries than I’m comfortable admitting.

For whatever reason though, I’m not entirely ready to process this question yet. Which is okay. All hesitation is legitimate. And the way we play here — always — is Safety First.

We are here to heal pain, with acknowledgment, legitimacy, appreciation, love, creativity and play. Not to poke at it or force anything.

Self-inquiry should get to be as non-violent as possible, I feel strongly about this!

I’m going to try two things.

The first is that I’m going to proxy this!

I’m going to pretend that [the thing I don't want to let go of] is carrots, since that’s the first thing that came into my head.

That way, I can ask the question like this:

What do I know about these carrots that I don’t want to let go of?

I can also ask related questions like…

  • What happens when the carrots exit?
  • What are some things that have helped me let go of carrots in the past?
  • What changes (or in what ways do I change) when I become the person who lets go of carrots?

And the other thing?

Company. I’m inviting you to play with me here.

I’m leaving the question from past-me here for all of us to play with for ourselves.

Kind of like what some people call a writing prompt and I call skipping stones.*

* A better image/metaphor for me, and also I find it almost physically uncomfortable that the name for such a powerful creative endeavor would be so bland. But that’s me. Call it what you want!

You can write about a stand-in thing (like carrots, except whatever comes up for you), and you don’t even have to know what you don’t want to let go of, though you might. Assume/pretend you don’t know, and just focus on [carrots] or whatever your version of [carrots] is.

And I whisper a secret here…

The most important question here is not “What is the thing I don’t want to let go of?”, and it’s not even “What do I know about the thing I don’t want to let go of?”.

It’s this:

How can I approach this with kindness and permission, acknowledgment and legitimacy, presence and love?

Approach is everything. We come to these questions with curiosity and affection, and we also are committed to making sure we feel safe.

Play with me? And helpful notes on commenting/process.

There is a reason introspection is hard! It means looking at what is, which also involves separating from what isn’t.

This means that as we turn inward, we often encounter monsters and Ludicrous Fear Popcorn, and all our misperceptions and misinterpretations. No wonder people avoid it like the plague.

And now you also know why I put so much emphasis on playfulness, and safety, and playing at the edges.

As for releasing, well, probably nothing is more fraught than that.

For very reasonable reasons.

We remember that we all have our stuff. We meet ourselves and each other with as much love and understanding as we can muster. We lovingly refrain from giving advice! We are here to play, and whoosh sparklepoints with each other.

And speaking of the beautiful and important practice of Safety First, I wanted to say in case anyone forgot that you can always post a comment: a) silently, b) under a secret name or even a secret email address, c) in code!

So feel welcome to take some breaths or play with a question or share anything sparked for you, or express appreciation/sparklepoints, or deposit a pebble of “I read this and I am here!”

My thank you heart is full of love and appreciation for everyone who reads. You are an important part of this space. ♡