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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.


Directives from the Director.

So over the weekend the Director told me that I needed a chrysalis. To hide in.

For three days and three nights.

And she was right. As she invariably is.

Her track record of being right is pretty stellar.

So I listened.

And then, from deep inside of the chrysalis (which turned out to be a very sexy hotel room), I listened some more.

What do you wish I knew about your mission?

That was one of the questions I asked the Director.

Hoping that she wouldn’t mind being interviewed.

Her mission is mysterious and puzzling to me at times. Her devotion to me and my happiness is unflagging. Her passions are deep and all-encompassing. Being near her is both a wild rush and indescribably calming at the same time.

I love the Director. I love her and I can’t wait to become her, and a good deal of the time I don’t understand her.

Not yet. So I asked.

Here is what the Director said:

My biggest wish is for you to be able to enjoy the fruits of the unique culture that you have created for others.

Look at what you have made.

You have given birth to an impossibly beautiful and exceptional world of permission, safety, delight, wonder, sanctuary, fun, creative play, acceptance, belonging, grace, silliness, power, trust, curious and loving exploration, magic.

But you do not partake of it. Not really and truly. Not to its depth.

You give it. You set it up. But for others.

You make rooms of amnesty for their questions and their pain. You make peaceful Refueling Stations for them to hide in and blanket forts for them to create in, but where is this world for you?

You were the one. You are the one person who really and truly knew how to dream up this magical world and then make it a living reality. You were the one who could give it a home.

And not just any home, but the best and craziest and most fabulously outlandish home ever.

You know the most about this particular kind of magical world of play and exploration and sanctuary because of how desperately you needed it to exist.

But you still give it away instead of living in it yourself.

You create cultures where it’s the norm that sovereign compassion is readily available for each person there but then sometimes you still allow yourself to be the exception. As if you’re saying that it’s still okay for other people to put their crap on you because you’re the one who’s strong enough to handle it.

Sweetie, this world you have made is for you.

The world and culture of magical permission, safety and play is for you.

I want you to live in it. To soak it up.

I want you to breathe it.

To be at home in it.

And for this to be the norm. Not an occasional blissful perk.

I see you buying presents for me, doing sweet things so that I will feel welcome, and that’s a lovely thought.

The thing is, I do feel welcome. Always. That’s just part of being the Director. I am welcome in my world.

It’s you who doesn’t realize yet that you’re welcome too.

I want you to do sweet things for you.

Not as a way of investing in the future. Well, yes, obviously it is investing in the future. But what I would really like to see is you investing in the future through investing in you-now.

And not just so that you’ll become me.

But because you-now are worthy of living in ways that are congruent and harmonious with the culture of the world you want to live in.

Like it or not, you are the Director.

You’re the director of an organization, the owner of a successful business, both online and a physical bricks-and-mortar space. You’re the CEO of a company that you built from nothing, a company that does amazing things in the world. You’re a creative, talented, unconventional, innovative woman in her mid-30s who knows how to make stuff happen. It is unbearable that you do not realize this.

What would happen if you acted like it, instead of pretending that there’s distance between you and this person that you already are?

I want the day to arrive…

I want the day to arrive when you want to act like it.

When you’re comfortable being gorgeous, fabulous, strong, courageous, successful, radiant, humming your happy hum.

End transmission.

And then she told me to look left.

I said, now?

And she said: NOW!

And I looked left, and saw the exact thing I needed to see.

She told me lots of things while I was in the chrysalis.

What to ask. Who to talk to.

Where to have a drink, and why it was important not to bring my notebook.

She introduced me to all the right people.

We did hours and hours of old Turkish lady yoga in the dark.

We whispered secrets and ate surprisingly delicious snacks. We turned our breath into vibrating light. We hummed the magical hum until it hummed down into our toes.

I said, now?

And she said: NOW!

Playing in the commenting blanket fort.

The Director is a version of slightly future me.

Sharing internal dialogue and internal process is an exquisitely vulnerable experience. Much like a tiny, sweet thing that is just coming into the world, it requires gentleness, protection and a peaceful environment.

If you would like to Enthuse with me about how I, as the Director, signed the lease for the new Playground space yesterday, that is very welcome. Or if you’d like to hum… :)

(We now have about 7500 square feet of incredible space for creative play, for Rallies and for exciting new ventures and adventures that are in the works).

If you would like to talk to slightly future you or hold internal investigations of your own, this is always a safe space to do that. As always, there is no need to do it out loud. Calling silent retreat is fine.

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. So if your stuff comes up, own it. Create safe rooms for yourself.

We make this a loving space by giving people room to have their own experience, taking responsibility for our experience, and not giving advice.

Love to all the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers and everyone who reads.

49 Responses to Directives from the Director.

  1. Simone
    Twitter: simonethinks

    A hand-on-heart sigh for everything here.

    And this is exactly, exactly right –> “an impossibly beautiful and exceptional world of permission, safety, delight, wonder, sanctuary, fun, creative play, acceptance, belonging, grace, silliness, power, trust, curious and loving exploration, magic.”

    You built it.

    You tend to this great big fire and we alight our own little candles from it. Then each of us goes on to light other little candles in the world…

    Okay I am going to go now before I say even more embarrassing things.
    Simone recently posted… Free HipGnosis cupcakes! (Or, a giveaway.)

  2. Kaari
    Twitter: kaarib

    Oh, yes. YES. This speaks to where I am too. It occurred to me that I love to help and cheerlead and support but I usually don’t think it’s okay for me to want those things. Been taking steps towards changing that for myself. (Floop is part of that, definitely.) Thank you for sharing.

    HUZZAH on lease signed! Exciting!

  3. Helen
    Twitter: bchezza

    Thank you Havi
    …for putting this very personal conversation out there…
    it is really helpful to me: Such a huge gulf sometimes between Dreaming the thing and Claiming the thing. For me the word in the middle of this (if it were a similar chat with my own director) would be Worthiness.

    Congratulations on your new Playground :-)
    Helen recently posted… Alchemy

  4. Max Daniels
    Twitter: maxdaniels

    Oh, Havi. Mmmmmm. That is my sigh of appreciation. I hope you can feel just how very much appreciation.

    I am enthusing! with you on the lease! YES and YAY! Stupendous!

    And everything the Director says: Mmmmmmmmm.
    Max Daniels recently posted… Your practice is whatever you say your practice is

  5. Corie Weaver
    Twitter: coriejweaver

    Oh, happy hand on heart humms, indeed. And thank you for being willing to share these conversations with us. Two nights ago, out of the blue, I ended up having an odd conversation with a bit of myself, and making her a fabulous library to live in. I haven’t stopped grinning about it. So thanks for showing ways things can be done.
    Corie Weaver recently posted… Bright Stripey Armor

  6. Susan
    Twitter: SusPup

    I am so enthused that I will have to type this in small sections. I keep getting inspired to jump up and do things! :)

    I am also doing the Happy Wiggle In The Chair Dance for your lease-signing!

    And I am also realizing that your relationship with the Director might have a parallel for me, and I want to explore how to bring Physical Me into alignment (or alliance?) with Online Me. Which sounds a little bit creepy but totally isn’t.

  7. Judy says:

    That may be the most courageous post I’ve ever read.

    plus enthusing – now.

  8. helen
    Twitter: SneakyEli

    Oh, I am so happy for you. I had very similar realizations about myself during this last week. It’s not that I’m acting to be like XX – it’s just that I am XX.

    And I am happy for you that you did not waste these last three or five years of your life but created this truly amazing place.

  9. Rhina says:

    So funny I was drawn to this piece. I’ve been thinking I need a chrysalis just about now. I’m working to build a culture, fine tune my language to attract the sublime migration of monarch butterflies. I’ve been wanting to live inside my language. I want to embody my culture. I’ve been wishing on ruby pumps, and I see synchronicity popping up everywhere. “I want the day to arrive…” to be home. I’m grateful b/c you’ve provided a home away from home, what home can look like. Inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  10. KNow says:

    En.thus.sias.tic!!! And hummmmmmmmmm

  11. Sarah
    Twitter: sarahemily

    This made me so happy to read.

    Enthusing. And a big hand on heart sigh. And love and admiration from a mostly-lurker.
    Sarah recently posted… The One Thing That Won’t Make Your Productivity Skyrocket (or Why I Lied to You in My Last Post)

  12. Sarah
    Twitter: edgetocenter

    I have a whole bucket of enthuses for the lease — hooray, hooray!

    I also kind of love the question “what do you wish I knew about your mission?” It might go in my stone-skipping deck, because I suspect that my monsters and me-from-thens have as many missions as slightly-future-me.

  13. Jane
    Twitter: JaneOfArdis

    Enthusing for having more Playground in the world! Champagne, pirate confetti, roses!

    And thanks for the little sparks this is setting off for me.
    Jane recently posted… February’s Seas

  14. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    New space! Lease! Yay! *releases hatfuls of sparkly ribbons to float and flutter all over*
    Mechaieh recently posted… quiet but not boring

  15. jessica serran
    Twitter: jessicaserran

    oh hum, diddy hum hum!!!!! wow. oh wow. this post resonates so deeply…

    enthusing and everything else that feels sumptuous!

  16. Beth Freeman
    Twitter: fantheember

    whee! big happy sighs, and hummmmmmmmmmmmmming!

    I feel like the Playground is humming right now, too. <3

    enthuse! I can’t wait to see the magic.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Havi – it is so permission-ful to see the process. And yay for Director=you!
    Beth Freeman recently posted… Yoga Post! Yogic 3-part Breath

  17. Cathy
    Twitter: cathyyardley

    This is just lovely. Enthusing, sighing, and just sitting with quiet happiness for you, and I absolutely love everything the Director said. Very powerful post.
    Cathy recently posted… Confessions of a Green Banana.

  18. VickiB says:

    I keep writing things in response to this post, then deleting it because it seems incoherent… I guess that I need to give myself permission to not make sense… and to write Random Happy Gibberish.

    Enthusing, humming, sighing, celebrating! In gibberish.

  19. Eve
    Twitter: evejacques

    Oh, Havi. SO MUCH LOVE.

    I hadn’t fully realised this about you, but it was niggling in the back of my mind that you often talked about being tired, and burned out, in spite of the awesome permission-culture you’d created. Seeing the Director talk like this to you, I want to enthusiastically echo every word she says. Yes! This! I think all of your beloved lurkers and commenter-mice would be overjoyed and inspired by you putting what she’s said into practice. Giving yourself more permission will give us more permission too.

    This reminds me of something. One of my other teachers besides you is Mary Poppins :) and if you think you have issues with following your own teachings, she has them far, far worse. She teaches the importance of family and play over work, but she’s constantly busy and sacrificing any hope of settling down with Bert because of her job. So I’ve internalised the attitude of ‘well SURE you can have fun while you’re just learning the ropes, but once you reach the really high levels, it’s pretty much all sacrifice.’ And then wanting to skip the fun and go straight to the sacrifice because I was the kid who sat in lessons reading ahead to the end of the textbook. But what if it could not be like that? The mind boggles!

    Again… just so much love to you. xxxxx

  20. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    *happy, reverent humming*

    This is so beautiful. It also makes me think of something that my sweetie has been saying to me for years: You are the woman you want to be. I know so much about the person I dream of being, there are times when I just ache to become her at last, and the thing that is both so simple and so challenging is that she is already right there, right here, all the time.

    Thinking now about ways that I can play with being the woman I want to be, as opposed to working on it — yes, yes, yes!
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… The shape of now, and a glimpse of things to come.

  21. J'aime says:

    OOH, what Eve said! “Giving yourself more permission will give us more permission too.”

    That feels true to me too! yesyesyes!

  22. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    Ohhhhh beautiful gorgeous amazing loving director, and yay hurrahs WOOO *scarf-flail* for the lease signing!! So thrilled!

  23. Mary
    Twitter: engagedbliss

    Hmmm. I love the sound of radical acceptance and I rejoice in your joy.

    Gentle hand-squeezing. [in an enthusiastic way]

    Mary recently posted… missing a wishful goal

  24. pat says:

    Yes! Enthusing. Humming. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  25. Sue T says:

    Whooosh! for the chrysalis,

    and Ta-rah-ta-rah-ta-RAH for the lease signing!


  26. claire
    Twitter: claireofRA

    A hearty congratulations on signing the new lease! I know it’s been an involved process for you. Brava!

    I liked this post very much.
    claire recently posted… Photographer’s Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age

  27. Lisa
    Twitter: LisaGillispie

    Yay for lease signing!!

    And big thanks for this post. I am feeling reassured and hopeful and encouraged. I look forward to meeting the Director!
    Lisa recently posted… Filling the Well

  28. Kim
    Twitter: avoidingkim

    Hummmmm. And yes, I see you and appreciate all your facets. (?? Seemed like the right word, but looks weird!)
    Kim recently posted… It puts its fingers on the keys and it types the words….

  29. Andy Dolph
    Twitter: acdolph

    more playground!! that is so amazinglyawesomelysupercoolandneato!

    I can’t wait to see it!

    and thank you for this post, it touched something in me in a deep way that I don’t have words for, other then to say thank you.

  30. Laura
    Twitter: flamenooregon


    Hand on heart sigh.

    This is beautiful; you are beautiful! Thank you for your bravery and for sharing.

    Yay for the director, yay for you, and yay for the new playground & all of the wonderful things happening!
    Laura recently posted… Viernes con una Letra | A La Puerta de Toledo

  31. Miss P.
    Twitter: chemieemma

    Hmmmm… Sighing, Humming and Enthusing! With capital letters!

    And @Eve… Hmmm humming sighs for you too.

    I’ll silent retreat on the rest.
    Miss P. recently posted… (Knowing vs. Allowing) What I Need

  32. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah


  33. Anna
    Twitter: annadraun

    Shyly hush-hum-enthusing and totally in awe as if I was attending a special, wonderful ceremony. One with graceful clowns and silent fireworks.

  34. Kaleena
    Twitter: Kaleena

    This post. I was smiling and slightly nodding my head until I reached:

    “What would happen if you acted like it, instead of pretending that there’s distance between you and this person that you already are?”

    Head Explodey.

    Then Kathleen Avins had to go and post a comment so beautiful that I almost started crying, so I’m going to sit in comfy corner on a pillow and play with some string or something until my brain can digest all of this amazing.

  35. Hannah Savannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    and also

    – yes yes yes to buying presents for all characters inside oneself but also for the ‘now’ and me-now.

    what can i do to enjoy today?

    and – enjoying today is a way of trusting i will be strong enough again tomorrow to enjoy tomorrow.

    thanks for writing the post :)

  36. Barbara says:

    I am welcome in my world….. I don’t know why, but this sentence made me cry…

  37. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    A hand on heart sigh for everything here, and a heart-felt yay of congratulations.
    Elizabeth recently posted… a different kind of homecoming

  38. Esme
    Twitter: TheRealSqualor

    A hand on heart sigh.

    Lately I’ve been asking myself, “What would my Luminous Self* be doing right now?” Sometimes I do the answer, sometimes I listen to the answer and then do something else. But treating ourselves like our awesome future selves is a great way to approach things.

    *My Luminous Self being sort of like the Director, a future self who is super great.
    Esme recently posted… The Forgotten Garden—Review

  39. Kateness
    Twitter: vildechayame

    Yay Havi! And yay Künstlerischer Leiter! And yay Playground Lease! Sending you a trained band of brightly clad imaginary enthusiastic spider monkeys to dance in delight at your triumph (as opposed to real spider monkeys, which would be unsettling and messy and probably not very good at dancing).

  40. Leni says:

    Humming heart sighs and LOADS of Enthusing! Hooray!

  41. Cherilyn
    Twitter: Bikeblisschick

    Wow. Humming. Witnessing.

    Many thanks for all the permission, zaniness and acceptance here. Congratulations.
    Cherilyn recently posted… Fitness Heresy #1: You don’t need to lose weight

  42. Meg
    Twitter: khunmeg

    Well, it seems that today my enthusing consists of tears.
    Mostly of gratefulness. But recognition too.
    *deep happy sigh*

  43. Char Broks
    Twitter: Charsfirststep

    Like so many others here, hand on heart sigh dearerst Havi and many thanks for creating this safe space for so many out in the world.

    I join the Director in her biggest wish for you – as you and she said right here in your post:

    “My biggest wish is for you to be able to enjoy the fruits of the unique culture that you have created for others.”

  44. VickiB says:

    Back again, to say how wise and loving the commenters are! Havi, thanks for modeling this for us and creating this space.

    And, like Jane of Ardis said, thanks for the little sparks this is setting off for me.

  45. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    @Kaleena — Sending you gratitude for your kind words, and a beautiful virtual ball of string that changes colors with your moods. (Mood string!)
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… The shape of now, and a glimpse of things to come.

  46. Heather K says:

    All I can say is WOW… and much happiness for you and for all of us that read.

  47. VIVA says:

    Yay for being the change you wish to see in the world! Much enthusiasm and encouragement.
    Sounds like there’s plenty of cartwheeling space!

  48. Cherilyn
    Twitter: Bikeblisschick

    I think I’ve read this entry about five times for all its beauty, comfort and power. Thank you.
    Cherilyn recently posted… Nitty-gritty bike date (why I need fenders)

  49. Simone
    Twitter: sustainobrain

    Havi, I love love love your blog. Because I ALLWAYS find just the right piece of heartwarming thinking I need. Normally it’s not an unknown post, but it’s one of which I have forgotten its existence. And when I randomly follow your links they bring me to just the right thing for me right now.
    Thank you.
    Simone recently posted… Glück oder Unglück? Eine Sufi-Geschichte

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