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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.


A gigantic block. And some destuckifying.

Here we go again.

If you’ve been reading this for a while, you know that I have long conversations with my stucknesses. I meditate a lot. I talk to walls.

And I occasionally let you eavesdrop on my internal dialogue.

This is because I have no boundaries secretly hope that you’ll be able to benefit from some of my crazy insights without having to go through all the hard stuff.

I also secretly hope that you’ll be so intrigued by this whole working-on-your-stuff process of learning about your patterns and how to change them that you’ll start building your life around this learning, instead of around resenting your patterns for being there.

But enough talking about my secret mission. And more about this gigantic block of mine, and the extremely weird things that happened when I took a look at it.

The wall of resistance.

Encountering the wall.

At the moment, I’m dealing with a considerable amount of physical pain. And my body has been pretty clear about the fact that it is not ready to go through the process of healing yet.

So the whole point of yesterday’s meditation-thing was to get some more information about that resistance. About the stuck.

And yet again, my block was a wall. A gigantic wall of resistance. It circled my body. It was just high enough that I could see over it if I stood on tiptoe.

Not that there was anything to see since everything else was pitch black.

And it was at least a foot or so thick. Gooey and gummy in consistency.

Darkness all around. Darkness and this never-ending Nothingness. Like a wall in the middle of outer space. Composed entirely of resistance and struggling-with-the-way-things-are.

When I tried to touch the wall, it was slimy and pulsating, with this zappy, almost electric energy. It was unpleasant being by my wall.

Letting the wall be the wall.

It was hard to figure out anything about the wall when the darkness around it was so thick and overpowering.

I said, “Let’s have some light here.”

The light came. It was just the right amount of light. Not harsh or intrusive, but not too soft or ethereal either. It was a sensible sort of light.

The wall tried to hide from the light. It was not liking the light. It couldn’t hide so it got all writhe-ey and wiggly.

I said, very firmly, “Wall. Listen to me. I am not trying to destroy you. I am trying to find out about you. No one is going to make you disappear. You are allowed to be here. We will even help you stay grounded for now, but we need to shed some light on this.”

The wall was still wiggling, but much more half-heartedly. More like a kid shifting back and forth on his feet than a full-on fidget.

Me: “Wall, you are safe. Here is what is going to happen. We are going to ground you and I am going to look at you. You can stay for as long as you need to stay. I will not try to hurt you.”

And then I had chords of light stream down from above to center it, and come up from below to hold it in place.

(This is not my style at all, but it’s a technique I learned from Hiro Boga, who does astonishingly powerful work, so I’ve been experimenting with expanding my repertoire of wacky.)

Seeing the wall for what it was.

Now that I could really see the wall without all the distractions of the darkness and the zappy, pulsating, fidgeting stuff, I discovered something.

I realized that my wall was translucent.

Beyond a dirty, grainy outer film, it was almost clear. And with all the light coming down now, you could see right inside of it.

You could see what was inside of it.

Because right there, trapped inside of the wall, was an enormous clock. I knew that clock too. I knew what it meant.

Oh. Stupid symbolism.

“Oh, wall,” I said.

The wall didn’t say anything. It kind of shrugged.

“Oh, wall! This is how you keep me safe. You have frozen time for me so that the bad things that are sure to happen won’t come.”

The wall stopped pulsing. It waited.

I said, “Wall, do you know what’s really happened as a result of your trying — which I appreciate — to keep me safe?”

The wall looked suspicious.

I said, “Wall, I also want to be safe. Here’s the thing though. Time doesn’t work for me. Time has become so constricted and constrained for me that I feel as though I never have enough. This wall is keeping me from what I need to accomplish.”

The wall was very still.

I said, “Wall, are you sure we need to wall it off from me like this? What if we didn’t have to stop time? What if there were another way of protecting me from things that might go wrong?”

And that’s when the weird stuff started.

The wall began to shift and soften — just in that one spot — as though molecules were scooting around in new formations.

And then the clock popped out of the top of the wall and came to rest in a new little indentation that hadn’t been there before, clicking and whirring happily and then POW!

The clock exploded and its little pieces went everywhere.

I was (forgive me for the awful pun I am about to make but I crack myself up) alarmed. No, it was scary. But only for about a second.

Because then there were these tiny, pretty golden flecks everywhere. Little fragments of time.

And I remembered that there will always be enough for me.

My whole body softened. I could breathe easily again. The wall didn’t seem as high. The dark wasn’t as dark. The light wasn’t something I had called upon. It was just there, lighting up the wall so I could see all of it.

And the wall itself seemed friendlier. Now that it had released the clock, it wanted to show me everything that it was hiding. It pulled me along to different parts, pointing out the stuck bits and revealing what was there.

A lot of stuck.

Next was the bag. The guilt/shame/money bag that taught me that collecting and saving are things you have to be ashamed of.

Once I’d looked at the bag, the wall released it. I said, there is enough. And breathed that enoughness into my body.

Next the pool cue that taught me that trying new things is bad. I cried. It came out of the wall. It split into pieces and disappeared.

Next a picture of a box. A cardboard box taped together and crumbling. It was underneath the bed of my ex. A reminder of broken-heartedness. Of hurt. The wall let it go.

And then there was nothing left inside the wall. And the wall opened up and made a space and a little round room appeared there. Like a room in a tower. A tiny little house within the wall.

I went in.

A place to breathe and learn.

At first I didn’t like being in there. There was too much pressure from my wall of resistance on either side and I was afraid it might accidentally crush this new space.

But I said, “Wall, you are hurting me. I need protection that doesn’t come with pain.” And it stopped.

I sat in this new space (on a red cushion, yes, I told you it was weird) and I said, this is where I will be able to learn about time, money, space and love. And about trying new things.

I said, this will be our new protection. Our safe space to be curious about these things. And this safe space will be there until it is no longer needed.

And then the wall was gone. It had somehow drained into the space below it … and all the resistance was cleared away.

The only thing left was this little Häuschen. This mini-sanctuary. Rotating in the orbit that was once the wall that surrounds me.

And I watched my sanctuary pod spinning in its place. Until I was done watching.

A note about comments:

These posts about my meditations and my talking-to-stucknesses are a way for me to let you to hang out in my process-thing. They are not an invitation to tell me what you think I “should” be doing to work through my stuff. They are a way for me to model one possible version of how someone might interact with their stuck.

You’re more than welcome to leave comments about your reactions and about your own stuff and about whatever else comes to mind. Please remember though that this is a highly personal experience that I’m sharing, and that I’m not looking for advice or how-to-ishness. Thanks.

31 Responses to A gigantic block. And some destuckifying.

  1. Isn’t Hiro awesome?

    I was on the edge of my seat (couch) reading this. You are a beautiful writer and conveyor of things Havi.

    Have you ever thought about writing a novel? I’m serious, I would eat it up (not really, but you know what I mean).

  2. Jim says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. I’m absolutely floored. That was an incredible trip.

    Not sure what else to say at the mo’. Other than thank you.

  3. Brendalee says:

    Thank you for taking me on one of your personal process-thing journeys. I’m on twitter and was following you (that makes me sound bad). I was reading a different blog but couldn’t resist the pull of the tweet. It was you and I love the way you write. So I immediately clicked on the link. I start reading what you written and I’m drawn in. Soon there’s a wall around me (I let you do the talking)and then the clock appears in it’s moment of transparency and I understood for myself it’s the clock that I’m afraid of. Something happens, you disappear and I’m back in front of my laptop worrying about time and trying to read faster. And then I clued in about the clock and the wall and all the other things hidden in the wall. I couldn’t finish the journey with you because my wall has different things it’s hiding. I read the rest of your post and I settled down inside. I know what I need to do with my wall and the clock. Time is to be embraced and not trying to race through every minute of it. There’s a whole lot more but I’m going to take the time (I love that word) and process it quietly and on my own. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to join you on your process-thing it has opened up so much for me in such a short (the word again)time.

  4. Terry Heath says:

    This is interesting, but honestly I’m still wondering about the wooden bowl from a few weeks ago. I really want to have an open mind and understand this really-interesting process of . . . uh, processing.

    When you said, “And that’s when the weird stuff started” I had to laugh. Like it hadn’t already been weird? Please understand I am in NO WAY mocking this process. I would love to understand it better.

    Is this a vision you have when meditating, and if so are you consciously guiding it or does it just happen? Then once it’s finished, how do you remember it well enough to transcribe it? Or does the vision come through the writing process itself (spoken like a writer, that)?

    Love it. Intrugued. But confused.

    Terry Heaths last blog post..Win-Win Thinking For Multi-Talented Fairies and Mortals

  5. rowena says:

    Oh, that’s just beautiful.

    Thank you for being transparent about your process. I too think it can help people with their own messes, and try to be as transparent as I can, myself.

    I love your visualization/meditation. I have done these, but only when led by other people. Personally, I tend to paint my stories, instead. Or I write them. And I help clarify by putting them on paper, one way or another, but this one was so lovely.


    rowenas last blog post..Flying Girl Remembers her Courage, or I Am the Adventure

  6. Lori Paximadis
    Twitter: Virtuallori

    I think it’s a real gift to be able to visualize your stuff and talk to your stuckness like that. Someday I’d like to be even half as good as you are at it.

  7. Alison
    Twitter: yarnscape

    These kinds of posts are my favourites of yours, without a doubt! I am skating around the start of my stuff, waiting for the spark that will start me. Stuck, undoubtedly, but inspired. Thank you.

    Alisons last blog post..31) That Gardening Itch

  8. Minna says:

    Thank you for reminding me of my own Häuschen. The last time I was there I was trying to clean up all the papers littering the floor. I’m certain that when I was there before it didn’t look that scattered.

    @Terry Heath obviously I cannot speak for Havi, plus she does a bang up job of speaking for herself. I’ve found that my dreams hold these places for me and then once I see them in my dreams I can visit them in my meditations. The information from the meditation fills in the gaps left by the dreams. I’m only still medictating five to seven minutes at a time though.

    Still I’m thinking it’s different for everyone and similar too, meaning everyone has spaces like these if you are open to them. My thoughts on the matter.

    I’d be really interested in knowing Havi’s thoughts on it as well.

    Minnas last blog post..Banks Just Aren’t That Into Property Management

  9. Kira says:

    Truly respect your ability to write such an eloquent description of your experience, and your choice to share it in this public forum.

    Very best,

  10. Carina Kadow
    Twitter: chalcara

    Thank you.


    I do have a small request though. Where can I start out learning that kind of visualisation meditation? It seems incredible useful for selfwork; I see how much it helps you and I’d like to follow your example – but I have absolutly no idea where to start.

    Just a name under which I could google it would be enough. “visualisation meditation” brings up alot of… iffy results.

    (Because the second “spiritual guides” comes up, I’m outta there screaming. My stuff, I know, but well… that kind of talk is waaaaay too wacky for me. Zazen-sessions are to wacky for me. I have a low tolerance for wackyness. :o

    And yes, I do follow hiro on hiro, but her webpage has only “hire me” and no way to try out if her techniques are a good fit for me.)

    Once again, Thank you.

    You have no idea how much your blog has helped me.

    Oh. And if there’s no answer to that question, that’s okay too – was worth a try. ;)

    Carina Kadows last blog post..Lessons learned in the gym

  11. Jill
    Twitter: scabbyrobot

    Whoa. Thank you for sharing.
    Lovely and wacky imagery!

  12. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Ahhhhhh …. thanks, guys!

    @Terry: Let’s see …

    Is this a vision you have when meditating? YES. Except it’s not so much visual as a sense perception.

    And if so are you consciously guiding it or does it just happen? I do not consciously guide it, except that in this specific one I did a bit when I introduced Hiro’s technique with the light. But I say what comes to mind and respond to whatever happens.

    Keep in mind that this is a pretty advanced practice, and that I’ve been doing this work for many years … it definitely was all a lot foggier when I started.

    Then once it’s finished, how do you remember it well enough to transcribe it? Or does the vision come through the writing process itself (spoken like a writer, that)? I have a phenomenal memory (thanks to Dance of Shiva, which has trained my brain marvelously). So I just remember it.

    The writing process helps, of course, but I’m kind of unconsciously writing it as it happens. I often know which meditations are going to be shared and which are just for me.

    Something else that the Dance of Shiva work has given me is the ability to access visual parts of my brain that I totally didn’t have before.

    Hope that helps …? It really IS that weird, so you’re completely allowed to laugh. I usually laugh too at the more insane bits.

    @Minna – that’s great that you have such a strong connection with your dreams. And short meditations are absolutely fine (if you ask me). :)

    Agreed on the “different and similar for everyone” part. For me I was always *very* closed off to these aspects of my inner whatever … until I got very into yoga and other forms of self-reflective, non-cheesy exploring things. But it took me a really long time to even try stuff without wanting to just assume that it was a waste of time or just stupid.

    I don’t think everyone needs to do the kind of work that I’m doing now, but I do think that the concepts (blocks can be talked to and even reasoned with, everything is a pattern, things can shift and change, fear is always a form of protection) are so incredibly useful.

    And this is one doorway into those understandings, even if people only peek in through someone else’s experience.

  13. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Carina – If I were you, I would start off doing a Yoga Nidra practice, which is just guided body awareness. No spirit guides or anything. Just shifting focus from one area of the body to another, and to different physical and emotional sensations. Very powerful stuff.

    (I wrote a bit about that here: http://thefluentself.wpengine.com/blog/habits/healing-heartache/)

    Most recorded versions are kind of annoying but I know Jen Louden recommends one that she likes. Or you could try finding a yoga studio that had a Yoga Nidra class.

    Obviously I would recommend the Shiva Nata work very, very highly because that is what brought me into this type of practice. It won’t teach you how to do it, but it will train your brain to process information differently, and take you into really deep intuitive and introspective states. It’s much easier to do any form of meditation if you do Shiva Nata.

    And Hiro’s work is absolutely the most powerful work I know. With her, you don’t need to see anything because she sees it for you. But yes, for you it might seem wacky. You may want to wait a bit if your wacky tolerance is low.

    You definitely don’t have to go in for spirit guides or whatever to do self-reflection, and I would never recommend that anyone do something that triggers a lot of internal resistance for them, because that’s pretty self-defeating.

    I mean, the whole point of “self-work” is that the information you need is internal, so you might as well find things that work better with the way you interact with the world.

    Hope that’s helpful … :)

  14. Sonia Simone says:

    These are so neat. I had a similar reaction to Jonathan, I could see you writing a novel.

    It made me happy when the wall started to show you things. Nice wall.

    Sonia Simones last blog post..Compassionate Selfishness

  15. Mike Stankavich
    Twitter: mikestankavich

    Havi, as your wall told you, the place where scarcity and time meet is a very scary and stressful place. I have developed a little affirmation that I often return to. I just say to myself “There’s always enough time to do the really important stuff.” Simple, but powerful. If you take a step back from being too busy, there’s usually something that can be classified as non-essential and thus deferred or dropped.

  16. Jessica says:

    Hi! I love your blog and I will perhaps be the most succent commenter on here when I say that your mixture of humor, insight and darn good advice is much appreciated. Take comfort in knowing that though you struggle with being “stuck” sometimes, you help others get “unstuck” with your words of wisdom.

    Jessicas last blog post..Funtown Lights Photo Triptych

  17. Sarah
    Twitter: WriterSarah


    I’m so excited you’re talking about walls. I just recently realized I have some walls in my world, too. I did a quick excited read, and now I’m going to go back and see what you did to destuckify. Thanks for this.


  18. Terry Heath says:

    @Havi: Thanks so much for the response, it helped! My questions sort of had Carina’s built into them (or behind them) so it’s great she asked and you answered.

    I’m really intrigued and am starting to see how Shiva Nata could be helpful to me as a writer . . . hmm.

    Terry Heaths last blog post..Win-Win Thinking For Multi-Talented Fairies and Mortals

  19. Jen says:

    Thank you for allowing us to see inside your process and continuing to share such personal awakenings.

    I am still working on speaking nicely to my stuckness. I find there is a layer of anger and guilt surrounding it and I respond to the stuckness (and it’s outer shell) by wanting to make demands of it. Sometimes it ends with me saying something like, “I’m sorry stuck, that wasn’t fair. I’m not ready for this today. Please let me try again tomorrow if I feel I’m ready then.” It’s a way for me to recognize it (the stuck), recognize where I am (not there, yet), and leave the door open for future attempts.

    I think one of my next steps may be asking my stuck if it would work through some role playing with me as I re-read Nonviolent Communication. I know my stuck wants to be heard, but I need to figure out what needs of mine aren’t being met before I think I’ll be able to listen.

  20. JoVE
    Twitter: jovanevery

    That is one helluva lot of stuck to get through in one session. Wow. I like that image of the little Hauschen inside the wall. And also that a pool cue was your image of new things. But mostly it is just, wow, what a lot of stuck.

    JoVEs last blog post..What is a doctoral candidate to do?

  21. Jocelyn says:

    I love these posts of you working with your inner stuff. Quite cool!

  22. Jocelyn says:

    BTW – apologies with a past transgression with unasked-for advice! Soon as I clicked submit, I could feel how irretrievably WRONG it was – the CURSE of instant communication… Then again, the blessing of instant communication is looking up and seeing one of your posts has just appeared! :-)

  23. Char
    Twitter: Charsfirststep


    This is so cool and I’m glad that you’re willing to explore your stuck-ness with us through your blog

    What follows is my personal experience:

    I was just thinking today of something that Steve Chandler says: “you don’t want to die with your music inside of you.”

    I’ve been sick for over 3 weeks with what appears to be a virus. It’s actually a major internal remodelling job going on inside my psyche according to my naturopath – that’s why allopathic doctor’s can’t find anything really out of line with me healthwise.

    Yet, I’ve been incredibly nauseaus, had a feeling of being underwater literally i.e. fullness in the ears, achiness in the jaw, etc. All of this began as a result of some pretty intense dental work I had a few weeks ago.

    ANYHOO, not meaning to hijack your blog here – what happened for me as I read this was I realized that somehow I had taken that remark of Steve’s and my stuckness said “well, let’s get nauseaus, have a little inner ear-play while we’re at it and maybe some congestion so that you can’t really find out if you even have any music in there at all.”

    I befriended this “sickness” of mine as I was reading your blog and realized that the “sickness” is actually fear of success in disguise.

    And that’s okay.

    I’ll stay with it and see what’s next. Like you say, there’s probably a good reason for this – maybe it’s just gotten a little twisted somehow and we’ll un-kink it together.

    So, back to your experience:

    The thing is, Havi – that I got so much clearer on my own stuckness as a result of reading about your experience.

    I especially liked your italicized note at the bottom that says clearly that you’re not looking for suggestions.

    And, one more thing about me:

    Neither am I. My naturopath refers to this as being “self referencing” which means needing my own feedback and reflections – and the peace and quiet to hear myself think.

    Must be why I’m reading so much less these days and writing so much more.

    Thanks for listening and also thank you Havi for being so transparent with us. Helps so much – it’s priceless!

  24. Wormy
    Twitter: SecretWormy

    Apart from your meditations reading like science fiction (which is just awesome), I always love the compassion you show to yourself, to your blocks and walls. It’s opened up a whole new way in which I’ve discovered that self love and compassion make me feel cherished.

    I love to read your posts about talking to your walls and blocks and weirdy nests of squiggling gooey things because you write with such wisdom about your vulnerability and finding someone who also believes that our blocks are there to be learned from rather than denied and stuffed in a corner, is just fantastic.

    More! More! I cry.

    And thank you. Again. As ever. :)

    Wormys last blog post..Revelations – not the ones from the Bible though.

  25. R says:

    Thank you, as always, for sharing this. Your work always inspires me to dig into my Stuff with renewed courage and vigor. I appreciate the way you put yourself out there.

    I want to be like Havi when I grow up!

  26. Bonni says:

    Well, really, it does help those of us who believe we’re alone: “And not only do I feel awful, but I am the *only person in the whole history of life* who has ever felt stuck and uncertain.” Oh, wait . . .

    And it’s cool since once you have a name or tangible concept of a problem, then you can start actually working on it. (I might have a bad grumpy day and sometime in the afternoon I realize: “Duh! I’ve had a headache this whole time. THAT’S what this is. It’s not angst and oppression; it’s that my head hurts and I should take some ibuprofen and I’ll feel better.” And it works. I’m happy the headache medicine works, but I feel goofy for not having noticed sooner.)

    So now I can start to conceptualize a base image from all of your descriptions, Havi — “hunh, are my problems a tall barrier/wall? dark? brick? thick heavy smoke that won’t go away? When I can see this wall, what do I do next?” (talk to it, compassionately, is your answer. I’ll admit that this is one of the few things I haven’t tried yet.)

    Anyway, here’s cheering you on for further success in your secret mission!

  27. Jen M. says:

    Havi, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

    This type of work is so deeply personal. Really, beyond sharing resources, no one can tell anyone else how to take these journeys, and I would never presume to.

    Just lovely!

    Jen M.
    JenniferLynn Productions

  28. […] tremendous field of possibilities, if we have the courage to challenge our beliefs. Where we often only see walls, there are no walls at all. They are simply opportunities for us to […]

  29. […] tremendous field of possibilities, if we have the courage to challenge our beliefs. Where we often only see walls, there are no walls at all. They are simply opportunities for us to […]

  30. […] a tremendous field of possibilities, if we have the courage to challenge our beliefs. Where we oftenonly see walls, there are no walls at all. They are simply opportunities for us to […]

  31. […] Brooks (of Shiva Nata fame) and what she does on her Fluent Self blog.  She has been sharing her conversations with monsters (or whatever they may be), and providing some great guidance of how we can interact […]

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