My favorite thing about Shiva Nata is not even the ridiculously clear information it gives about everything in my life.

It’s not even the permission to be terrible at something (you have to be terrible at it because being terrible at it is the way you get the epiphanies).

And it’s not the way it makes your patterns so completely obvious that they actually bore you, and changing them becomes something playful and silly.

My absolute favorite thing is the way it zaps whatever filters I have that normally obstruct internal wisdom and keep it from getting to my conscious brain.

Answers without filters.

When I teach, we do ten minutes or so of mad flailing. And then I ask questions. And we write answers.

This is how I found the bridge.

And this is some of what I learned last weekend from my brain talking to me without filters:

In what situations do I avoid doing things that would help me feel more comfortable?

WIth authority figures. Or people I perceive as authority figures.

In public interactions. Like buying groceries. Fear of being judged, chastised, corrected.

Also when I teach. It’s as if a certain level of physical discomfort is necessary (when that’s clearly not true).

How do I make myself more comfortable in my business?

Permission to not have to do things I’m not ready for. Permission to find work-arounds that help me feel safe.

More ways to hide! More barriers. More grounding. More time talking to my business.

How do I help my people feel more comfortable without sacrificing my own sense of comfort?

Being welcoming. Clear forms and structures. Letting people know what’s going to happen next.

If I had a giant permission slip … what would be different?

I’d never go to another dinner party again.

I would buy a dining room table even though it’s — gasp! — not investing back into my business. I would do resting-ey things without guilt.

Be barefoot always. Go to a spa. Dance all day.

If I didn’t care so much what other people thought …

My daily practice would be my work. More integration.

I would write more.

If I spent more time giving myself access to the qualities that sustain me:

I would have a lot of alone time.

There would be more dancing.

My soul and I would be best friends and we’d hold hands and skip down the street.

Ironically, I know that this stuff is what feeds my business too. But my brain still says that it would be neglecting the business to care for myself.

This is the classic example of when you know what is true intellectually, and no amount of verbal reframing can change things. Because you already agree with all the points being made.

But your body is in resistance anyway.

This is the pattern. And this is what I need to do Shiva Nata on.

What creates containment?

  • boundaries
  • ritual
  • acceptance
  • reflection
  • entry and exit points
  • reflection

All of these things come together to create sovereignty.

Sovereignty = necessary for containment. And vice versa.

Or: Whatever brings you more containment connects you to your sovereignty.

What would bring me more containment?


The Book of Me.

Having obvious structures/containers/rituals around things like going to bed.

Having the balls to say: “You know what? I changed my mind.”

Trusting that enclosed spaces are not prisons.

What do I know about useful boundaries? What boundaries are useful for me?

The one between me and my computer.

The one at the edge of my physical space.


Also nonviolent communication is a boundary: with words.

Doing Shiva Nata gives me that sensory perception of having a field of protection.

A moving circle of protectors.

Rituals that support me: what are some useful elements?

Music. Time. Writing. Having a prescribed end time. I need to know when it will end.


If I were able to be more accepting of myself and my stuff …

I would have more patience with myself in this moment right now.

I would give myself a break.

Both in the sense of calling a pause, and in the sense of giving myself permission to fall apart a little.

There would be much acknowledging of my own hard. And some forgiveness.

What do I know about reflection?

Things are connected.

Sometimes I feel a rush of annoyance and I know it isn’t mine. That I’m picking up on someone’s thing and not making a quick enough clear enough boundary.

If I am filling my space with me, what gets reflected back to me is grace and beauty.

If I am not, what gets reflected back is other people’s stuff.

So it’s not like this:

“Here is a boundary exists to keep me from their stuff and to repel their stuff back to them.”

No. It’s about reflecting light as a general way of being — both so that I can be filled with me and so they can see that it’s their stuff.

So reflection is connected to fullness. Interesting.

Then what about depletion? What’s that?

–> Fullness is to reflection what depletion is to distortion.

What happens when I get depleted?

I go into distortion.

I need to fill up on me again.

Safety — for me — is found in going inward. This is not true for many of my people, for whom turning inward feels really unsafe.

Working with people who are curious about their internal workings — about Very Interior Design — means finding ways to create safety for this process.

Entry and exit points: what do we know about them?

They need to be more defined. They need ritual. Transitioning is special. Moving out and in is a space where things happen.

These spaces are … huh the word that’s coming is “blessed” that’s totally not something I would ever say but okay.

I did not know that.

These spaces need extra love and attention. Rituals to start. Rituals to end. Rituals of re-entry.

Where do I find protection?

In the dance. In my self. In Hoppy House. In teaching. In writing. In asking to get better at receiving it.

Comment zen for today …

This stuff is from my notes and unedited for coherency. :)

I’m not sharing this stuff because I’d like advice because I don’t actually. I’m sharing it because I think the process is useful.

And I think some of these questions are useful. So even if you haven’t done any Shiva Nata today or ever, you can play with these too if you like.

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