What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.

 

120

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 329th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

glowing

I made butter this week from fresh cream
in a jar
not sure exactly what I was expecting
but the butter that emerged from this experiment:
holy god

so exquisitely glowing with [BUTTER ESSENCE]
I placed it in a red dish
next to half a stick of leftover store-bought butter
which suddenly looked phony, tired, a pale anemic imitation
of my butter

my butter was a rich golden yellow
and tasted of life and magic

I made a mushroom omelet for lunch

with my gorgeous butter
this is a not-uncommon lunch for a Havi
but everything was different this time

the mushrooms sizzling in the richness of butter
an entirely different form of alchemy taking place
this omelet redefining omelets forever through flavor: incredible
almost agonizingly so
my enjoyment in consuming… borderline inappropriate

I didn’t feel drawn to add cheese or spiciness
it needed no adornment
the sensual experience of taste so all-encompassing
that my thoughts couldn’t drift

pleasure demanded presence
it asked for all of me
to be there with it

pleasure asking for presence

my two favorite things
combined

they work so well in combination
{PRESENCE + PLEASURE}
I’m not sure yet but I think
this week’s wish might be about combinations

combinations of qualities
and combinations of ingredients

* possibly my three favorite things
since three hundred and twenty nine weeks of wishing wishes
have eased me into the idea that asking is not only okay but
wild, beautiful and holy

touch

I go through my home
touching everything
not only because I am a Wild Sensualist
(and also on the unicorn spectrum)
but because I am trying to feel
what wants to come with me

I am preparing to move from
three thousand square feet of home into
one hundred and thirty six square feet (plus bed)
of suiteness/sweetness
and so it is time for fearless intentional choosing
and asking the right questions
with love

what is 120% yes for me?

that is the question my brilliant friend Agent Annabelle asks

I am letting myself be guided by her yes-question
as well as the beautifully rebellious words of three other wise women
all of whom love pleasure as much as I do
and all of whom understand:

allowing yourself to be someone who loves pleasure
and admits to loving pleasure
is both complicated
and wildly subversive

we live inside of a culture that censures pleasure-taking
disapproves of delight for its own sake

but I have tasted the transformative healing power of pleasure mixed with intention

and so I am turning away from the finger-wagging culture of shame-guilt
and The Game Is Rigged,
away from the entire world of
[Get Things Done and Be More Awesome and Do Epic Shit]

turning inward towards my own glowing jewel-heart
nourishing it with presence and pleasure
choosing joy and wild fearless being:
letting being be equal in meaning to doing

tingly

Marie Kondo says everything in your home loves you and wants you to feel
like you are in love: tingly sensory pleasure
and that if this isn’t how you feel when you touch an object,
then it needs to go

so that it can love someone else that way
who will love it back that way
or so that its essence (love) can come back to you in a
new and better form

either way, you touch and love and let go
in order to actively cultivate
that full-body joy-spark sensation in all aspects of your life

or at least that’s the idea…

taking pleasure

Gloria Steinem says, only buy what you fall in love with,
she described the pleasure of acquiring sheets for herself as orgasmic

she says it took her until the age of fifty to realize that
you are allowed to make a home just for you —
home is not just reserved for the people who made
the expected/usual choices
and ended up with Families
(or something that more or less falls into that category)

she says, “we think there are two choices, be free or settle,
but that’s a lie;
birds need a nest and they still fly”

she says she takes so much pleasure now in her nest

this is what I want

a pleasure-nest
for delicious rest and retiring into things that
support freedom

resting until all the lies and distortions
become so apparent
that we can just laugh them off
seeing right into their infrastructure without being at all impressed

what a beautiful wish to wish!

I want to be a pleasure-taking nest-building clear-seeing
free spirit in all things

(with an orgasmic relationship to sheets)

please yourself

Nigella Lawson says you must
please yourself to please others
and this is true for all forms of both creating and being

As I said to Grace, with great feeling:
Nigella is a subversive POET OF PLEASURE,
why are we not devoting our lives to studying
the hidden wisdom in her books that are purportedly about cookery
but really about JOYFUL ALIVENESS

I love her assertion that choosing to feed yourself
lovely delicious simple-to-make
pleasure-things has meaning,
so that we may “enjoy life on purpose rather than by default”

why has no one said this before

or maybe that’s the wrong question

how have I not been able to receive this before
what have I been doing with my time
nearly four decades in this experience of aliveness
without realizing how vitally necessary and healing it is for me to
engage with aliveness
to say yes to pleasure

to hear my yes
and wait for it to hit 120%

what do I know about 120%?

it is so funny how this works
if something is 89%, that feels like a pretty strong yes…

but when you bump up the scale to 120%
I know it isn’t logical
but it just sheds the exact right amount of light
on things that really are not yes enough to warrant
taking up space in my life

playing with this has shown me
just how many situations and relationships I agree to in life
that are maybe 67% yes

120% changes things
it’s kind of exciting
and a little scary

it’s the difference between yes-this-is-good
and MY CUP RUNNETH OVER
because the joy sparks are so plentiful, so joyful, so spark-filled

what else about this wish?

may you live to be one hundred and twenty
is a thing that jews say

it’s kind of like shorthand for
“I wish for you a long, healthy, happy, peaceful life
that is everything you want it to be”

120 is a stand-in for
[all the good things]

there’s something more about this wish….

this intentional practice/pursuit/engagement of YES
is related to pleasure and to home,
freedom and nest,
adventure and security
wildness and plenty
sovereignty and rest

and the relationships between these qualities
and the joyful practice of LESS

intersecting

this is where yes meets less:
luscious minimalism

doing less in both time and space
choosing contained spaciousness
and naps as portal-bridges to healing

opting out of The Game Is Rigged
wherever and whenever I can

playing at the margins
taking fifteen glorious minutes
to make butter
[let “butter” = anything]
that alters my internal state of being
anything that asks me to taste, to luxuriate in this moment

my breath slowing

pleasure claiming me
as I invoke it
both of us (me and Pleasure) fully engaged
in sweet aliveness

choosing this
even — especially? — when things are hard
and vaguely terrifying
when I forget truth
in moments of numbness or pain, in dark and narrow places

I write words on my palms with my fingertip
feeling how they absorb into my body
changing the streams
letting my body transport meaning
we are made of water and light
and language

words travel and go deep,
so I choose mine deliberately:

LIFE / HERE / NOW / GRACE / THANK YOU

what do I know about my wish this week

it’s about sanctuary, as so many of my wishes are

except until now it never occurred to me that
choosing sanctuary can be pleasure,
and pleasure can be my sanctuary

safety first is my guiding light in all things
but what if that too can be joyful, pleasurable,
another way to I take care of myself with love:
120%

may it be so!

now

a friend is flying to Ireland and I texted “fair winds”
except autocorrect thought that fair wings was a better wish
wings for freedom
and for birds who love nests

everyone in my life is traveling right now except me (it seems)
and I am noticing a twinge of lonely-envy
so it is time to turn inward, again,
and remember that internal adventuring in my kingdom
is always available to me
endless realms to explore

what happens if I experiment with
pleasure-nests
in this internal space

trusting my own horizons

I will ask to rendezvous with Incoming Me on the turquoise metal bridge
maybe we will have a picnic
and maybe she will whisper her secrets to me
beneath the trees

superpower of yes to my yes, no to my no.

October - Be Bold More october (on the fluent self calendar) is BE BOLD MORE, with the superpower of yes to my yes, no to my no

how perfect that I set forth on the boldest possible mission — Yes 120 — in the month of be bold more, with this marvelous superpower that just glows with permission, curiosity, clarity and love

thank you, past-me, for choosing this for me

last week’s wishes

I wished a wish about quality ingredients

and then surprised myself by making the most luscious butter
which was both a quality ingredient
and an ingredient that released and revealed new qualities in me

thank you, process of writing about wishes, and thank you, me who asked

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share 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

30 Responses to 120

  1. Leni says:

    so much love!

    I have so little to say in response lately but your words move me. I love making a home and have to remind myself of so many ways i care for it and myslf (or dont)

  2. Nela says:

    “I want to be a pleasure-taking nest-building clear-seeing
    free spirit in all things”

    That *is* a beautiful wish to wish.

    This theme of releasing things that aren’t 120% yes from your living space is tangentially related to my wish and it’s been very interesting to observe your process over the summer, and the bits of wisdom from Marie. (I’m still in the phase of moving stuff into boxes and drawers away from sight, though.)

    I wish for a skill that I used to be very good at, and now I’m rusty because I haven’t practiced it in a looooong time.

    It’s the ability to space-time-travel to a dimension where I don’t have all the pressures of the present, worries of the future and burdens of the past. Where I can create stuff from my wild imagination like there’s no tomorrow.

    I used to do that as a kid all the time, and then later as a somewhat-grown-up occasionally, and now I’ve found myself in a situation where I don’t do it at all.
    I don’t go so far out of my reality as I used to, it’s basically all just dancing around this point in time where I am. And I need to kick myself a bit farther out, but without psychedelic drugs.

    So I’d love to have that dimensional travel superpower back.

    The wall I run into is that:

    a) doing stuff my child self would do makes me feel weird, like it doesn’t fit me because I’ve outgrown it

    b) I suspect that the reason I became so adept at dimensional travel is because I was running away from something (pain)

    So what I would like to learn is how to access that power in a way that doesn’t require pain to stimulate me, or push me into it.

    And also I would need to access it in a way that doesn’t require me to imagine I’m a child, or do any of the things child-me did to get into the part (like, collect rocks and sticks that look like items my other-dimensional self needs, etc).

    How things are different from then:

    1. I have my own place to live (that I share, but I’m alone a lot of the time)
    2. I have a lot of pretty jewels, crystals, books and all sorts of things tiny me could only dream of
    3. I have the means to get more of such things, if I find something perfect
    4. Also pretty dresses
    5. I can speak actual English, not fake English
    6. I have friends that are just as wacky as me (some of them more)
    7. I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want
    8. I have a computer and the internet
    9. I have all my own tools (toys) and don’t have to sneakily “borrow” from mom
    10. I like my name.

    OK, there’s no risk I’m going to slip up and descend into childishness.

    Here’s where that tangent with space clearing is.

    – Too much stuff reminding me of pressures, burdens and worries in my space

    – Not enough things reminding me that I’m a fabulous dimensional traveler (a gadget, a magic stone, a piece of jewelry, a secret book of codes that open portals? I have a wooden Sailor Moon Stick replica, but she isn’t much of a dimensional traveler, so that doesn’t work.)

    – Not enough things reminding me of certain dimensions that I enjoy spending time in and go back to

    – Stuffed, stuffed, stuffed. Not enough empty space to contain the features of the dimensions I visit

    What my wish is really about is POSSIBILITY and MAGIC.

    The things I think are possible are what I see around me, and those don’t inspire me and I don’t want to work toward any of them.

    I need a vision of a possibility so outrageous, that it pulls me in over my head and it makes me want to elope with it.

    Also, this requires my witchy abilities to engage because at the moment they’re all kinda “whatever, nothing to do here”. So I need a challenge that will kick those superpowers in the shins and yell “try catch me!” and run. And then I’ll have a reason to use the superpowers for good.

    This got super long so I’ll just stop here and see what else comes up in my journal.

    Thank you, thank you <3

    • Ravenstar says:

      “I need a vision of a possibility so outrageous, that it pulls me in over my head and it makes me want to elope with it.”

      Oh *wow*, what a beautiful wish. I love this so much, thank you!!! <3

    • Margaret says:

      Me too! and WOW, multi-dimensional intentional travel!!

  3. Kariel says:

    This is pretty astounding for me, and makes me feel wistful. At this point in my life (though NOT at other points, which is a sadness in itself) I can’t imagine going for a 120% yes. 50% or 60% seems like pretty much the best I can do.

  4. Christina
    Twitter: tentativequinox
    says:

    I had exactly your butter situation happen this week with music.

    I’ve been taking a voice masterclass where we prepare songs and then work them in class.

    This week someone in class brought in the 300 Penguins song from The Craigslist Cantata musical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp_CVWwTWeQ (this version is good too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbGwdTxL_2A) and I sat there grinning from ear to ear while simultaneously tears gathered at the edges of my eyes.

    And even though I thought I’d been understanding what Marie Kondo’s notion of sparking joy meant, it wasn’t until that moment that I ‘GOT IT’.

    This is the direction I move in, this is the energy I bring close, have in my space, direct my artistic practice towards — always towards joy. The things that make me laugh and cry at the same time and gives me that feeling — more please.

  5. Vica Pota says:

    The next six to twelve weeks are going to involve daily doing of things I’d prefer not to be doing and will be doing anyway. We’ve been here before and we know that even though the things are things we don’t want to be doing that must be done the problem is not really the things but the dailiness of the daily doings.

    Daily doings that can’t be delegated so I must be around to do them. Daily.

    At the end of twelve weeks, it will be midwinter and we will be deep in ice and snow and mud, and so more being stuck, more constraints, more not-going-anywhere.

    This reminder is gold:
    “…internal adventuring in my kingdom
    is always available to me
    endless realms to explore”

  6. Kate says:

    There is such beauty in this post. 120% yes to luscious minimalism, to having a nest, to flying.

  7. Peg
    Twitter: mogland
    says:

    Opting out of news. I need no more news. I would like more knitting and more reading, more drawing and looking at art. More protecting of my tired and sensitive brain. So my ask is of remembering. Remember to choose these things over turning on the radio, or looking at the web. And if I am too tired to process even these things, just lying quietly with eyes closed is the greatest gift to myself.
    Thanks for reminding me Havi, that opting out is possible, and that choosing is important xoxox

  8. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    !!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

    I've worked hard over the last year to bring into my life all the things (physical and situational) that bring me joy, simple, practical joy like a couch that I *love*.

    And still, I've been disappointed when low-energy, low-mood, whatsthepointitis, ugh ugh ugh everything *sucks*, feelings/perceptions/filters have come up, even after I've surrounded myself with beautiful, joyful things.

    Because, it's still a lot. For me! I'm not in a position to whittle down my life much more than it is and it's still often overwhelming. And while I work on bringing the shoreline (me) up to meet the tidal wave (this is a terribly disempowering metaphor!), often the joyful beloved beautiful blue couch isn't enough to stave off the internal blues.

    But what I've been experimenting with over the last week, and this is my wish, that it may become a more constant practice, is finding the *love*, which is always there, even when the depressive swamp waters wash over it and hide it.

    I open my eyes, and then OPEN MY EYES AGAIN.*
    (* Because I'm a witch and that is how you access the magic! This is a book reference for fellow nerds :) )

    I open my eyes and concentrate on exactly what I'm looking at – a beautiful blue couch with a puzzle spilled out over it, crumbs and a knocked over coaster, the matching cushions all akimbo, a damp towel my grandma gave me that she must have bought in the 1960s. Altogether it's a MESS, but if I open my eyes again, each of the individual things are beautiful things that I *do* love, and I'm given a choice.

    I can choose to see the whole that I don't love, and feel overwhelmed and too small and surrender to the shadow comforts of going back to bed and resenting my ex and playing candy crush. Which, believe me, I give into plenty.

    OR, I can focus on the fact that each piece is something that I love, and just zoom in on that love, on that feeling, hold onto it despite the riptide of other emotions (shame, fear, anger, confusion) like a thin, red thread to the core of my heart, and put a cushion back into the corner where it belongs. Sweep up the puzzle pieces into the box. Take the towel (still going strong, they don't make em like they used to, dinky pattern so retro!) and hang it up in the bathroom.

    AND LOVE THE THING, AND LOVE CARING FOR THEM, LIKE I LOVE MY CHILDREN, like the way I wipe their poopy butts with love and willingness and gratitude, when I can stay with the love, with the blessing, with the joysparks.

    BUT/AND it's a practice. A concentrated daily (hourly, minutely, secondly) practice.

    And my wish is for it to stay front of mind, to become a more constant presence and practice. To let love become prayer and to pray without ceasing.

    MAY IT BE SO AMEN

  9. elspeth says:

    Ohhhh. Yes to nests. Yes to being made of light and water and language, how beautiful to be reminded of this. Yes to joy sparks, yes to fearless choosing. Yes to home being the just-right place to be.

  10. Agent Annabelle Swell
    Twitter: maxdaniels
    says:

    omigoodnes, and many !!!!!!!!

  11. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat
    says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Beautiful.

    I have a wish to go deeper into myself, to be more deeply myself. I would like to use the time between November 1 and January 1 as a time of deep reflection and rest. This week, I would like to receive more clues as to how this may take shape.

    May it be so.

  12. Ravenstar says:

    Wonderful, beautiful post.

    Questions for myself:
    What if pleasure is the only “should”?
    What if choosing towards pleasure is the answer to all the questions?
    What if the *most* important thing is, in Mary Oliver’s words,
    “to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves”?

    My wish this week is to let these questions ripple through me, and see what answering ripples come back.

    • Nela says:

      “What if choosing towards pleasure is the answer to all the questions?”

      That is a great question! I’m writing it down and will contemplate on it.

      Thank you for sharing these <3

  13. Margaret says:

    Many ****** and !!!!!!!

    I wish there were a way to type flowers here too!

    I wish for love
    LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of love
    for me
    from me

    I wish to love my wishes!
    I wish love at ALL TIMES!

    I also wish for COURAGE.
    I will need much courage in coming days.
    I wish to courageously seek and courageously find courage within myself and courageously BE courage.

    I wish that every one of you can feel my enormous gratitude I am sending to you, for companionship here and so much wisdom!!!

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Katie says:

    !!!!!

    Just this morning I was thinking about freedom vs. security.
    Flying vs. the nest. Which did I choose, and why? And is there a way to reverse the decision or is it set in stone?
    I forgot that you can have both.
    My wish is to start seeing what that could look like.

  15. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium
    says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nesting and flying. Oh very yes.

    I am noshing on buttered toast with a hot toddy as I type.

    Some things I want:
    * to feel confidence in [a]
    * to newly inhabit the groove I once enjoyed with [b] and [c]
    * for [d] and [e] to proceed without glitch or hitch or ick
    * to get enough sleep in spite of my pattern of getting caught up in ludicrous fear popcorn blizzards when I feel battered by other people’s shoestorms

    What I could try:
    * I could impersonate (em-personate? em-body? mmmm-body?) Sovereign Future Me, who has the superpower of turning shoes into bunnies and berets and bouquets and balloooooons before they bruise anyone
    * I could go through with the plan I had been joking about, which would be to pack one suitcase with just enough clothing for the wedding and the business meeting plus a duffel for bringing back the clothes I might pick up at thrift shops or as souvenirs the rest of the week.
    * I could pack the stamps and spare towel now.
    * I could give myself permission to concentrate only on [g] during my spare time until it is done. Which is what me at 9:30 a.m. this morning wanted to do, in fact.

    Warm wishes to all y’all.

  16. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt
    says:

    Hurrah! for Nigella! and for the gorgeous orange October sunflower! and for butter! (which reminds me! I want to try making crumpets!)

    What do I wish?

    I wish to not feel ill. I wish to not feel guilty about taking the day off work because I feel ill. (Interesting data point: this illness is one that the NHS website says NO DO NOT GO TO WORK DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT and I still feel guilty.) Something interesting going on about legitimacy here.

    I wish to go back to bed.

    I wish for safety and clarity and disentanglement and love and trust and healing to be available for everyone who needs them.

    I wish for sweet completion of the mermaid project.

  17. seagirl says:

    So much good stuff here. And such beautiful wishes!

    I feel like I wish for the same thing over and over –
    – a word in response to all the words I put out there
    – answers
    – to find the thing that resonates with me, that I resonate with
    – something that is not an empty void.

    I’ve done what I can do today. I’ll return to the nest for now. My wings are tired.

  18. Vvvvvvviva says:

    So beautiful!!!!!!
    What rings my bell (if you will): pleasure mixed with intention. Seems like intention can even make productivity pleasurable, or pleasure productive. Or maybe productive pleasure has intention just a part of it, naturally.

    Resting in my safe pleasure-nest until the distortions can be laughed away and I can fly… yes!!!!

    Thank you!

    Also, it only takes 15 minutes to make butter? What a glorious investment.
    I recently told someone I don’t have time for a hug, which could be the dumbest thing I’ve ever said. In fact, I pretty much always have time to make orgasmic butter, so hugging is also a big yes!

  19. Linda
    Twitter: lindalevitt
    says:

    Yesterday I went to replace my everyday black pumps that are the standard wear to work shoes to perform Professional Person. And since the weather has cooled finally, the store was full of boots. I was drawn to and fell madly in love with a pair of boots way out of my price range. And they are in my closet right now. This VPA washed away the bits of guilt and fear of excess still hanging over me. Thank you Havi!

  20. Puck says:

    !!!! everything about this speaks to me!

    I need to learn more about this wish for myself. I need to sit with it and breathe it for a bit.

    • Havi Brooks
      Twitter: havi
      says:

      this is definitely one that requires breathing it, this one is still kind of blowing my mind with how both subversive and impossible it seems and also how important.. <3

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