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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.


Friday Chicken #255: everything that needs to get a little softer

Friday chickenWhere I cover the good and the hard in my week, visiting the non-preachy side of ritual and self-reflection.

And you get to join in if you feel like it.

This week, this week. So hard.

Well, for me.

Lots of challenge. Lots of pausing to breathe eight breaths.

What worked?

Pausing to breathe eight breaths.

Again and again and again.

Doing it with companionship.

A fellow agent. Texting a friend. The frolicsome bar (what I call our facebook page).


Setting up my day around when I get to descend to the floor for yoga and breathing.

“I don’t have to like it.”

This week I got lots of information about what I need to do in order to take care of myself.

And I did not like it. Lots of resistance, lots of frustration.

This phrase was a huge help to me.

“Okay, here’s some more information about what I need, and I don’t have to like it.”

Legitimacy. Permission. Acknowledgment.

Here’s where I’m at. I don’t have to like it. Here’s what I know. I don’t have to like it. This is how I feel. I don’t have to like it.

Next time I might…

Act in accordance with what I know to be true.

But I’m not there yet. So maybe not.

Next time I might remind myself of the consequences of not taking exquisite care of myself.

Next time I might give myself even more tenderness and compassion for the process of making changes.

Nap more.

Lots of process requires lots of rest and integration (for me), and this was one of the things that got pushed aside this week.

The hard, challenging and mysterious.

  • Truth this week was simple and obvious, and I did not like it.
  • Too many things.
  • CAN I GET A PROGRESS REPORT ON THIS PLEASE. I do not know why it is so difficult for me to ask for information, but it is.
  • Too much socialize.
  • Too much input.
  • Too much output.
  • Too much noise.
  • Too much everything.
  • Realizations about how much is too much right now (apparently anything), and having to readjust.
  • Sometimes being an HSP is hugely limiting.
  • I had to miss a thing I’ve looked forward to for six years because I couldn’t handle the noise levels.
  • I am not happy about the 15th.
  • Seeing a thing I did not want to see.
  • The Rose Garden. As in: the arena.
  • I do not want to be doing any of the things I am doing right now.
  • Seeing how much I have moved away from what I want, and not knowing if that is part of the labyrinth and actually I’m getting closer, or if I need to start again.
  • Aaaaaaaauuuugh misunderstandings, they are the worst.
  • Nightmares about then.
  • Sadness about then.

The good, reassuring and delights.

  • Truth this week was simple and obvious.
  • I have a lot more information now about what I want and need in life. I don’t like it yet and I don’t have to like it, but at least I know.
  • When I act in accordance with this information, things get better.
  • I learned a lot about internal rules that I have that keep me from acting in accordance with this information, and this will help me undo them.
  • I got to spend time with lots of people I love this week.
  • Love.
  • Companionship.
  • Eight breaths.
  • Joy and freedom are my allies.
  • I ate a peach, and it was delicious. Summer. SUMMER. Delight.
  • The Ballroom. It is a clue.
  • An old friend came for four days and we got to reconnect.
  • Strawberries in the garden.
  • Deep intensity of feeling.
  • Writing.
  • Even though I do not do well in social situations, it turns out that if I madly adore each person involved, then it is much easier for me. There is hope. Actually, I am fine in social situations while they are happening. It is after they end that I feel exhausted and miserable.
  • Dance.
  • Adoration.
  • Moments of pure trust.
  • Questions that were the right questions.
  • Idaho.
  • Silence and pleasure.
  • This bus is the best damn bus ever. Worth waiting for. What else in my life is worth waiting for?
  • I am ready to trust my process as a human being. Yes.


A superpower I had this week…

The superpower of seeing what I want and what I don’t want very, very clearly.

And a superpower I want next week.

The superpower of retreating.


This week’s salve is the salve of softening.

Everything that needs to get a little softer just gets a little softer.

These salves can’t be seen, but the production factory has delivered enough to me to distribute by way of the magic of the internet, so help yourself. There is enough.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

Background. Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once invented hanging out at the Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.

This week’s band is:

Schutzblech Mixer-Mixer.

They are the fender-blenders of east Germany, and they make a lot of noise.

And, not unsurprisingly, it turns out that this band is actually just one guy.

Hallo Hallo! I am saying Hallo Hallo. ANNOUNCEMENT.

I am going to recommend the Monster Coloring Book and Manual. It makes things better.

That’s it for me …

Join my Friday ritual in the comments if you feel like it. Or call silent retreat!

We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. And we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever (or not) and it’s no big deal.

10 Responses to Friday Chicken #255: everything that needs to get a little softer

  1. Leni says:

    hello and cluck!!!

    This week was a week in Miami s that it’s own hards and easies.

    What worked: excellent Exiting, with tea and melatonin (bedtime gets very much later in miami). not yelling at the kids

    Next time: i need to spend more time with my grama.

    the sucks:
    -leaving work for another full week, the 3rd in 3 months. i am grateful for the supprot but it doesnt feel comfortable.
    -worrying about my level of productivity at work with another week away
    -worries about my yard & garden in my absence. denver got very hpt and dry during my absence.
    -so lil brain sometimes, cooking cous cous thinking it was grits. dangerous wrong turns on the way to the aiprort.
    -going to Miami, the constant sad, the constant horror of the vst empty space left by my mom, and my utter inabilty to close the gap

    the good:
    -miami, the soft damp air, bougainvillea, the pool, mi gente.
    -my BF peeps, being back with them.
    -coming home
    -slowing down eneough to be with my kids
    -getting out the mat, being on the mat

  2. Dawn
    Twitter: dawnmarissa

    Oh, hello Friday. This week looked entirely different than expected, in hard and lovely ways. A chicken is just what’s needed, to remember how much the good balanced out the hard.

    What worked: Noticing the container. Noticing when I’m in my stuff, naming when I’m in my stuff. Noticing when another person is in their stuff, not telling them they are in their stuff so much as not taking it personally and redirecting attention to the container.

    Next time I might: Build in opportunities to replenish before I need them, just part of the plan. Aligning with the container as part of replenishment.

    The hard:
    – Unexpected trip, 24 hours of notice
    – Supporting my sweetie through grief & family drama
    – (Silent retreat)
    – My kitty getting sick while I was gone
    – Oh, the clean up of a kitty getting sick
    – Guilt-ridden vet visits
    – Me getting sick when I got back
    – Me having hives while I was there
    – Not wanting to do any of the work that is piling up
    – Anxiety about all the things
    – Not enough sleep
    – Wanting space to replenish, not feeling like I can have it

    The good:
    – Unexpected trip, full of the kind of random wandering that I love
    – Finding out that my sweetie and I travel well together, even under trying circumstances
    – Building deeper connection and intimacy with my sweetie
    – Baltimore’s Visionary Art Museum!
    – Best meals
    – The cutest pictures from our trip
    – Kitty sickness seems to be only a problem with changing foods
    – Finally getting some vet advice on other kitty matters
    – Only one day of sickness for me, when sometimes traveling has caused days of sickness
    – Taking space to replenish today, even though it’s confusing how to do it
    – Nothing at work has fallen apart yet
    – Hanging out with some good people as part of work
    – Rose Garden
    – Water & trees
    – Planning another trip already, for fun, not grief
    – Lovely Saturday brunch that seems like a year ago, but no, that was this week too!
    Dawn recently posted… Building Patriarchy on the Fields of Alaya

  3. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Sending you soft breezes, Havi. –*–*–*–

    What worked? Creating cushions of time for transition.

    Next time I might… Go to a salon and ask a professional stylist to henna my hair for me, instead of doing it myself.

    A hard thing: Hearing someone I love saying mean things about herself.

    A good thing: Treating myself to a new handbag that lifts my spirits.

    This week’s superpower: The power to do lots of little things that create big changes.

    Next week’s superpower: The power of being cool and smooth — that’s cooooooooooool and smoooooooooooth, with extra oooooooooooooooh. Perfect for summertime.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… A seemingly random question.

  4. Sarah
    Twitter: sarahneedles

    Cluck cluck, hello Friday! Are we here already?

    What worked: Being kind to myself.
    Letting myself sleep in a little on Thursday after a rehearsal that ended at midnight. Remembering to eat, despite the busy-ness. Warm showers. Spending extra time with M. Cuddling the dog.

    Next time I might: Take eight slow breaths first. Acknowledge what I do not have control over.

    The hard:
    – Having the worst catastrophe I have ever experienced in a tech booth during a show, and there was nothing I could do except wait. Important metaphor here.
    – So tired and not getting enough sleep. Bedtime routines out the window.
    – Lack of food security and forgetting to eat until the ravenous monster appears.
    – L is in a complete tailspin, and there is nothing I can do to help except continue moving forward.
    – Getting tangled in some old patterns with my family.
    – Doing something I love, and feeling far too old and jaded for my age while everyone else celebrated at the pub. Cue familiar monster scripts.

    The good:
    – Despite all the obstacles in our way, we’ve made it this far. I’m very proud of the cast. Cluck cluck mother hen!
    – Many sweet moments with M.
    – New job continues to be fantastic and productive and soul-affirming.
    – Managed to transform a zombie morning into a puttering-vacuuming-cleaning morning and felt better at the end of it.
    – The dog now comes when called and will allow herself to be brushed. Huzzah!!
    – Some lovely bonding moments with my family-of-choice, with lots of laughter and joshing around. Feeling safe.

    Superpower I had this week: Stupendous forward momentum! Leaping tall buildings! etc.

    Superpower I am invoking for next week: Everything in it’s own time.

    Soft blankets and warm wishes to all!

  5. Max Daniels
    Twitter: maxdaniels

    This might be the best thing I have ever read: “I am ready to trust my process as a human being. Yes.”

    YES. Big YES to that.

    And, that band Something Mixer-Mixer might be the best fake band name EVER.

    I am overflowing about my week. I will write about that later.

    But, basically: This is a pretty ok week.
    Max Daniels recently posted… Accepting my wobbly thighs

  6. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    What worked? Thinking, when I gave myself space for it. Breathing, when I remembered to. And impulsive friendliness.

    Next time I will: use a thicker towel. Pack pens and a dry shirt.

    Hard: Haunted anew by the times I was less than kind. Frustrated by the time I’ve spent on looking for things. Bug bites. Chemicals in my eyes. Navigating the wicked slippery slope between healthy-not-give-a-damn and turning into my mother. Figuring out the hat vs. wind vs. peripheral vision/sense of safety thing. The feeling jowly thing.

    Good: Cathy Yardley, whom I know from here, posted a lovely review of my book. And she has books too!

    Also, the woman in the mirrors in the yoga studio looks slim and graceful and determined.

    Also, there is a slice of a chocolate-pomegranate-raspberry-cream thing from my favorite bakery in my fridge.

    Also, 99-cent Wednesday at Goodwill. And my printer rocking legal-size demands. And my dog and partner being adorable.

    Superpower this week: being the quick brown fox who hopped around the project bogs

    Superpower next week: intertwining and offering tact and presence in ways that will be welcomed

    *drops some guilders into the fender-blender fedora*

    Warm wishes to all y’all.
    Mechaieh recently posted… momentum

  7. VickiB says:

    The hard:
    Nights of not sleeping
    Days of brain fog but not because of lack of sleep
    The guy who promised to fix the shingles that blew off didn’t do it
    Technology malfunctioning but apparently only for me.
    Having to cancel a planned treat.
    Spending a lot of time looking for things that I want/need to spend money on and not being able to get them.

    The good:
    A friend recommended a restaurant, and my class met there for a meal before the last night of the class. The food was outstanding.
    Receiving much praise from the students.
    My wail of woe on FB about the roof brought competent and affordable assistance — he wants to trade his work for Spanish lessons.
    Progress on ops and projects.
    MrB is no longer in serious pain, and he’s able to be more active, so we stopped the brain-clouding pain meds.

  8. TAZ says:

    I’ve missed some chickening, hope everyone is well!

    This was a week spent in two different locations, with the attendant anxiety travel brings.

    The hard:
    Missing people.
    An unexpected separation and subsequent grieving. Looks like we’re losing a friend of three years. And there is absolutely nothing I can or should do about this.
    Distressing news about someone in my family, and an onrush of anxiety/health stuff.
    Post-travel tiredness, which lasted for DAYS. Also three days of headache.

    The good:
    Really great to see all the old friends.
    Fun dinner with my old roommate, still the same after all these years.
    Permission to chill and skip the awards dinner and go to Shake Shack.
    Coming home, even if tired.
    Library book I had on hold finally arrived.
    Understanding that the tiredness is temporary, and giving myself permission to poke along at a slower pace.

    Have a good week!

  9. Kaari
    Twitter: kaarib

    Oh, THIS:
    “Actually, I am fine in social situations while they are happening. It is after they end that I feel exhausted and miserable.”

    That is why even when I want to do things, I still say no. Why I require so much time to myself. Why I am hard to pin down as to whether or not I will do a social thing, because I don’t know right up to when it’s happening whether I will have (to use a metaphor from elsewhere) the spoons to do it. It also gives me more information about why I was so unhappy about what happened to my four day weekend.

    Chicken! I am not there yet, but thank you for the words to describe what I hadn’t been able to articulate!
    Kaari recently posted… Perspective Shift

  10. seagirl says:

    Amnesty Chicken!

    The Good:
    The lights came back on. The shades went up. The sun came in.
    Made an appointment with someone who can help the lights from going out all the time.

    Also happy fun times with friends, running and jumping and playing.

    Ended the week with new clients!

    Lots of habitat unfecking today. Drawers and shelves are so happy.

    The Hard:
    Still looking. For lots of things.

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