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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.


Barrington’s Discretionary.

A number of things have become startlingly clear for me this week…

In some moments, this feels more like reassuringly-startlingly-clear and sometimes more like alarmingly-startlingly-clear.

Though often both at the same time… accompanied by abrupt laughter that sounds a lot like mine.

This is a known and documented thing that can happen at Rally. (Rally!)

And it is happening, to me, hard.

Except clarity isn’t hard. It’s just clear.

Two Stars.

There are two skills I need to acquire, and fast, according to Incoming Me.

Incoming Me is the version of me who has already integrated the qualities I’m ready to learn about. Known aliases: slightly-slightly-future me, or slightly wiser me.

I have been admiring these skills, and the graceful competence she exudes while using them.

Admiring from a distance, because they kind of scare me. And because they are like stars.

Distance: another word that starts with D.

Distance: their glow is so palpable that even from far away I can tell something intensely special is happening.

So these are skills about lightness and also skills that are lights. Showing me where to point my ship, illuminating the waters I wish to sail through.

Hello, gorgeous incoming skills, superpowers-to-be.

Here they are:

  1. The skill of: I am not afraid to ask. For help, support, wants, needs. In fact, I like asking for things, it’s mysteriously fun and easy. Possibly not mysteriously at all?
  2. I am not embarrassed about anything, ever, past, present or future.

Hahaha. Wow, right? You can tell right away how intimidating these skills are for me too. I frame them in opposition to what they are not.

They are not: afraid, embarrassed, hesitant. They are not: the things I apparently think I am.

These skills seem impossibly far away, too far and too hard to sail towards, never mind into and through.

And yet Incoming Me says I need to act on this, now, immediately, and once I do I will realize the skills are already here. She is wise, and a little annoying.

Wisdom. It makes me think of confetti. Why is this crap in my hair. Oh, wait, the whole world is being transformed, look at this magical moment…

So there is a me who asks, and asks more, and is okay with this.

Asking rhymes with basking, she said. Start there.

Bask = sit in the sun, revel in, soak up, relish, take pleasure in something.

Exactly, she said.

She basks in asking. She takes pleasure. She takes pleasure in. She lets it in. She lets light come in.

In the form of sun, and also in the form of lightness.

She also lectured me on this a bit…

“You love basking. You already know how to be at home with accept-and-receive, appreciation, presence. You say that you don’t like ‘admitting’ to it, except guess what, admitting is always wrong verb.

“Like with glamour. You don’t need to ‘admit’ to being glamourous or loving glamour, you radiate glamour and a love of glamour.

“You don’t need to admit to a new readiness to practice receiving. No. You glow receptivity. Glow receptivity. Be receptive to glow.

“You spent a year getting ready for this, remember? Receiving and Glow were both WEST in your compass.

“You don’t need to learn how to be okay with basking to be okay with basking.

“You just glow love. Simple and sweet. You do this already through your work. Now let people glow love back to you. You teach through living. Live it.

“Do not be lopsided in your tendencies, there is no yoga that is only exhaling. People want to say thank you. Take down the wall that says they can’t, and that is called basking. Asking is just being receptive to appreciation. Glowing.”

Then we argued, just a little.

She was right, about everything.

Also she’s basically decided that I can learn this the hard way or the easy way. This feels like the hard way, but apparently it’s the easy way.

She wants me to tell the true story (stories) of Operation Resilience, the four months I spent homeless a long time ago. Halfway between homeless and hidden-homeless. Halfway between secrets and secrets. Something that explains many things.

She wants me to ask for things — to bask in asking — every day, all the time.

She wants me to get paid for my work, and is very upset that I haven’t been doing this. This was the main thing we argued about.

Backstory: Nearly four years ago, I opened the Playground, my amazing center in Portland. It’s the blog come to life, but with chandeliers and a lot more brightly colored cushions and also it is magic. Big success. Then we expanded, and that was a Spectacular Flailure, yes, flailure, of truly impressive proportions.

Useful, hard, glad it happened. And I also went without a salary for a very, very long time.

Incoming me wants me to invest in me the way that I take care of my business. I pointed out that this is a very nice idea, but actually it’s not an option.

Then you can’t be in charge, she said. It can’t be your job.

And then I thought I heard her whisper it’s not supposed to be your job right now. But I can’t swear to that part.

Me: Fine. Then who is in charge?

She: Barrington.

Me: Barrington. Huh.

Barrington, if you do not know, is my esteemed traveling companion and partner in adventuring. She is highly capable. And not entirely real. Though also very real. Much like incoming me.

My father likes to say, and I do not remember who he is quoting, “Not only was that a true story, but it actually happened.”

Sometimes my sense is that Barrington is a true story who hasn’t happened yet, who is waiting to happen. Maybe she is waiting for me to happen upon her, in which case we will become a true story together.

Anyway, Incoming Me wants me to bask in appreciation. She wants money coming in that is not for the business, but for Havi doing things that support Havi, according to Barrington.

That might be more dance lessons. It might be a new orange comforter. It might be things that scare me a little, but not in a bad way.

I said I’d process this over the next couple Rallies, and she said are you fucking kidding me, and I said hey this is big stuff, and she said yes, yes it is DO YOU WANT THESE SKILLS OR NOT.

I said tomorrow, she said today. Then she said I love how brave you are, and then I cried, a lot. Because I don’t feel brave, ever, but I must be because she trusts me to become her.

Barrington’s Discretionary.

I am going to keep talking to the me who knows.

And in the meantime, there is a link that Richard made for me. It goes to a place where you can, if you want to and are in the mood and this timing feels like right timing, glow a thank you in whatever sum you feel like.

Barrington is in charge of this, which is good. Because I am going to need some time to get used to this idea.

I will also say, even though I assume you know it: this is one possible form for glowing appreciation towards me. It is not the only form.

I am aware (though I would like to get better at remembering this) that many, many, many people come here to receive things they need, and that they are all glowing appreciation for me all the time. Receiving, and letting it land, is up to me.

My thank-you heart feels all the ways that my work and I are appreciated, not just the ways we can see.

My thank-you heart also glows appreciation for Barrington, for incoming me, for Operation Resilience, and for the past two years which have been a roller coaster of loss and grief. My thank-you heart wants to become a basking heart, glowing receptivity.

Exhaling appreciation, inhaling receptivity.



Yes to appreciation, glowing, sparks sparked. No to advice. Yes to flowers. Big heart of love for everyone, the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers, everyone who reads.

15 Responses to Barrington’s Discretionary.

  1. Fab says:

    You’re so brave.

  2. Katana Leigh
    Twitter: artistkatana

    i also want to be brave. Not being brave is also not being fun. I am a fun. FAct!
    Katana Leigh recently posted… Nailpolish DIY: BMW Freehand Manicure

  3. Panda says:

    I am glowing such love and gratitude for you, Havi, and glowing a small, symbolic number. I’m secretly gwishing that Barrington uses it to buy you what ends up being your new favorite lip balm. Or flowers. The spark in me recognizes the spark in you, because deep down we are the same spark. <3

  4. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    I am glowing gently, and appreciating you so much.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Reflection on re-invention (and raiment).

  5. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    Wow, I’m guessing that was excruciating to write & post. You are indeed courageous, which, to me, means Doing The Hard Thing Even Though It’s Really Effing Hard.

    I think your #2 Superpower sounds amazing, and I think I’ll try “working on it” for myself.

    The #1 Superpower … has not worked for me (yet?). But I certainly hope other people are having Excellent Experiences with it.

    (I am going to post this even though my monsters say I shouldn’t. I refuse to enter a shame spiral about this. Does that mean I am already using Superpower #2?)
    Pqw-orange recently posted… dreaming of islands in water

  6. simone
    Twitter: simonethinks

    Leaving a big bouquet of peonies.

  7. Fred Brown says:

    Hello Havi
    It’s Fred Brown in North Carolina. (You led a retreat at my location a few years back. Dance of Shiva, de-stuckification, etc.) I loved it and your energy!
    I was amazed and saddened to read Andrey’s open letter to the Shiva Nata community.
    Bless your heart. May peace prevail.

    • Havi Brooks
      Twitter: havi

      Thank you, Fred. I remember that beautiful weekend very well. I also felt amazed and saddened re the letter, though I didn’t read it and probably will not. May peace prevail indeed, that is the just-right wish. Big heart of love. <3

  8. Marialena says:

    I hope you remember how much you are loved and appreciated in all that you do!

    May you have all the flowers and dancing, and dancing flowers, and dances that bloom that you desire.
    Marialena recently posted… The tufted pua pua, yet another imaginary bird– or is it?

  9. Leni says:

    echoing Fred and glowing all the very pinkest of pink roses and freesia at you.

    thanks for all you do!

  10. VickiB says:

    Much admiration and appreciation for you, Havi. Your experiments and experiences yield so much JUICE for others.

    Weirdly, ever since I read the word “bask” I have been thinking of a basilisk, a benevolent basilisk beaming (something something) — I think it is guarding my force field — or maybe YOUR force field, not mine — so that only things that are benevolent and harmonious can enter. And I/you/we are basking in safety.

  11. Sue T says:

    @Havi, glowing a thank you to you for everything you are to the world (and also thanks to Barrington and Richard for setting this up)!
    @VickiB, yes, JUICE! And “only things that are benevolent and harmonious.”

  12. Questing Lee says:

    Dear Barrington,
    Thank you for arranging this portal. It prevented a Breach of Sovereignty. My monster of “Tell ___ your good advice, and that person will like you a lot!” named Brod Caster, has been bugging me to tell Havi to make one.
    In my dimension, I am throwing Havi a bouquet of flowers using your portal, to thank her for her helpful advice. (Throwing or presenting performers with flowers is a traditional way of showing appreciation for a masterful performance in the theater world, which is my metaphor for Play.) This bouquet is for finding her website and eliminating the Dread of Phone Calls that cut our cell phone bill almost in half.
    What is so cool, is that my tangible thanks reach Havi as a warm glow, or as whatever she needs the appreciation to be, much like the salves, which come out edible sometimes or as the Stone of TRUCK, however I need them.
    Thank you, again,
    [name redacted]
    (also known as Questing Lee)
    Questing Lee recently posted… Friday Chicken #278: Pleasure Is My Discipline

  13. brooklynchick says:

    You are very brave! Sending glows and sparklepoints!

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