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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.


The Pirate Queen Vacationing Notebook: part II

So I was on Official Non-Emergency Pirate Queen Holiday last week.

And shared some of my journalings from the Official Pirate Queen Vacation Spiral Notebook.

Today: more bits of potential usefulness — related to my business (running the pirate ship), but definitely stuff you can apply to non-business-related stuff too.

It’s pretty unedited and unfiltered, so I hope it makes sense. Also some most of it might be kind of weird.

What am I wrong about?

Okay, so moments of deep spiritual understanding tend to be about how we know nothing. That we are wrong about everything.

That everything we have thought and believed up until this moment is false.

Or not necessarily false, but incomplete.

Viewed through the wrong filter. The wrong color lens. We have misinterpreted. Everything.

It’s that shivanautical moment* when the matrix comes apart. Everything is reduced to its pieces and then the pieces become the new form. Yay, Socrates, etc.

* The point of understanding. All disagreements reveal themselves to be misunderstandings. You realize that everything is connected. And you can’t even put words to any of this because these realizations aren’t meant to be heard with your ears.

Where am I going with this?


What if we took this as the standard hypothesis when working on anything stuckified? What if this became the automatic starting point?

Assuming that everything I know is false ….

Assuming that, for example, the idea that I have to work all the time is false …

Assuming that the way I’m going about things isn’t necessarily helpful …

If we change the filter, the lens, the approach, the reflections … what do I get?

What am I wrong about?

Starting here. Assume Tim is (possibly accidentally) right, and I could get by on only four hours of work a week.

What would that look like?

I don’t know. Okay, pretend it had to happen and I have no choice. What goes? What has to move?

1) We turn down everything.

Seriously. Everything.

And I get a blank permission slip to say a firm, gracious no to anything that comes my way.

2) The journal feeds the blog.

Instead of writing posts, I turn my journaling into posts. Which is something that happens occasionally anyway.

So the good and the hard turn into Chickens. The wishes become Very Personal Ads. Challenges become Inowanna Iguanas and the word-play turns into Metaphor Mouse adventures.

Daily writing does double duty, and we skip the Occasional Posts of How-to-ishness for a while.

3) Cut down project, products and programs to the essentials.

This will require considerable help from Cairene.

Many things will need to change shape. And a lot of work will need to be done in advance.

But it’s not impossible.

And is actually kind of a useful thing to do.

Deconstruction for new creation. Patterns into pieces.

If we have a year to plan, it’s do-able. Maybe even six months.

4) Change your presence

More essence of you and less actual you.

Teach by modeling what you do instead of explaining what you do.

Be a super secret spy. But let everyone in on what being a super secret spy actually means.

And what does four hours even look like?

I have no idea. So let’s try to break it down.

If Monday through Thursday each included sixty minutes of Patchworking (the Game that is still waiting on the right name), could that work? What if there were one day of work?

But it wasn’t called “work”?

Because what I really care about is rest and play. And the creation that happens when they meet up.

Hmmm. I’d have to document it.

I see some possible starting points, though.

Again, if I’m wrong about everything, what is true?

My immediate presence is not as vital as I think it is. Not even slightly.

But my essence is more vital than I think it is.

This is the unexpected truth about invisibility.

The machine runs without you but it runs because of you.

What needs to be visible: personal experience. What can remain invisible: the mechanics.

And sometimes this is reversed.

What do I know?

Everything I’ve cut out of my life so far has only made my world better.

Like dumping the Dreaded Noozletter. And giving up on email. Like letting most of my staff go. Like replacing “meetings” with Drunk Pirate Council.

So. What’s next?

Interesting how much that question both excites and terrifies me.

Alright. Here’s what I’m not cutting out.

The blog. I love having this space to write and interact and mess around.

It’s my own personal playground.

Right. The Playground. That stays too. I love having a creative space to teach in.

And the Kitchen Table. It really, truly is the best thing ever.

Also my extremely exclusive, mostly secret Mindful Biggification program. Because the stuff that happens there is extraordinary.

So if the elements remain, what needs to change is how they all fit together.

And that’s what I need Shiva Nata for: to take apart the matrix so that I can see what the possibilities are.

To get down to the elements again.

And here’s what I know so far about what I don’t want:

I don’t want groups of certified Fluent Self coaches — an army of little Havi-clones. Absolutely not.

But I would like other people teaching my techniques.

I don’t want to run communities. But I want to infuse them with goodness and hilarity. I want to participate in them. And to establish a culture of warmth and kookiness.

I don’t want to be the shepherd. But I want to dance the patterns.

I don’t want to be the boundaries. But I want to be a force who inspires their existence.

I don’t want to be the door. But I want all doors to open when I pass through.

Here’s what I’m currently finding challenging.

Not having anyone to emulate.

At most points in the life of my business, I’ve had someone else’s model as a guide.

Even if not an exact one. A general direction.

Like, “I want to build something sort of like so-and-so’s thing but more X and less Y.”

And now there isn’t anyone who fits that description.

The only ship I have to follow is my own.

That’s it for now.

Well, I have more notes but they make even less sense that what’s already here. I know.

But maybe some of these will trigger something useful/interesting for you.

And maybe the hopefulness of possibility will feel liberating rather than terrifying, though god knows sometimes those things go together.

And comment zen for today.

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. We let everyone have their own process and we don’t give each other advice (unless someone asks for it).

If any part of my processing-my-own-stuff accidentally stepped on your stuff, I sincerely apologize. That sucks. And it wasn’t my intention.

You’re absolutely welcome to share things you’re working on or currently figuring out (does not even slightly have to be related to the stuff I’m working on) or whatever else is coming up for you.

Hugs for the hard. And excitement for everyone’s projects and dreams.

29 Responses to The Pirate Queen Vacationing Notebook: part II

  1. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    Dearest Havi,

    Love this post… it’s illuminating (in the Jonathan Safran Foer kinda way).

    While you are not having anyone to emulate, I am very much emulating you in my recent projects.

    Setting up the idea ‘in the soft’ in my head, then explaining it, then taking a step back and let other people add to it. Metaphor mousing it out when things are hard.

    Here’s my favourite phrase, – I don’t want to be the boundaries. But I want to be a force who inspires their existence.

    LOVE from Belgium

  2. Alanagh
    Twitter: cinnamontime

    I’m clapping with excitement for you.

    I confess my knees knocked when I read “The only ship I have to follow is my own.” That’s probably my own stuff. You may find it exciting. It sounds like exploring, taking your pirate ship into uncharted territories. You may discover a whole new world, and plenty of treasure.

    I was tempted for a moment to go looking for names of people to suggest, that’s my fix-it hat reflex kicking in. I’ve taken it off and instead wish you well charting your own adventure.

    I especially loved “What needs to be visible: personal experience. What can remain invisible: the mechanics.
    And sometimes this is reversed.”

    Thanks for sharing your clarity on what you do want and I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

  3. Kerry Rowett
    Twitter: kerryrowett

    Ooh this is fascinating, thanks for sharing.

    I absolutely love the idea of starting with the premise that everything I know is wrong. I’m definitely going to do some work with that.

    I love this: “I don’t want to be the door. But I want all doors to open when I pass through”

    It’s so inspiring to see you following your own ship :)
    .-= Kerry Rowett´s last post … Sisterly love =-.

  4. Chris Anthony
    Twitter: delightineer

    Thank you, Havi. I feel like I need to do a similar thing too – like I’ve got a box full of puzzle pieces, and they all fit nicely in the box, but they’re not really connected properly.
    .-= Chris Anthony´s last post … Guest post- Personalized notes and rococo limericks =-.

  5. Sarah Tieck
    Twitter: WriterSarah

    Wow, Havi. This is amazing! I love how much room you are making for this vision. And, how gently you are asking questions of it — and letting it answer you as it will. I’ve been working on my own vision for my business and life and stuff, and it is not easy to make space like you’re doing — loving the example you’re setting :-) Enough to come out of lurk, even!!

    Hugs, Sarah
    .-= Sarah Tieck´s last post … Introducing Writer’s Inspiration Boost Teleclass- =-.

  6. Leila Lloyd-Evelyn
    Twitter: LeilaLEvelyn

    Brilliant woman! Thank you.
    .-= Leila Lloyd-Evelyn´s last post … How authentic is your voice What character traits -amp passion do you squash- sit on -amp crush =-.

  7. Sanders says:

    Wow! Wow wow wow!!!

    I am in awe… Sail on, Havi, and please do share the beauty you keep discovering.

  8. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Thanks, you guys. That’s so comforting.

    @Hannah – I LOVE that you’re using techniques I’ve taught here. That is the best possible confirmation that staying with the blogging is the right decision. Thank you for that.

    @Alanagh – Thanks. And yeah, I’m definitely still at the knees-knocking point, though probably in retrospect it will seem like the natural, right thing to have done, etc.

    @Kerry – hug

    @Chris – what a perfect way of putting it. I definitely have the “box full of pieces” feeling.

    @Sarah – thanks, sweetie. I’m glad.

    @Leila – mwah!

    @Sanders – Hey you! I’ve been thinking about you all week. Watched the agonizing Ghana game hardly able to breathe. So hard. Sending love.

  9. Heidi
    Twitter: HeidiDobbs

    There must be something in the aether, as I’m feeling rather full of pieces and no idea where they fit myself.

    Though I also feel blessed and incredibly lucky to have someone like you to guide me… along with Hiro, and a number of others, who have truly inspired me. Now the trick is figuring out what of those systems works for me, what might need to be tweaked, and what of my own life can be thrown in to the mix.

    Which might explain why I’m feeling a little overly-full to bursting with ideas right now, and having a hard time focusing ;)

    Love the idea of the ship in uncharted territories… it’s definitely a potentially scary place to be, but oh! the excitement!

  10. Joe
    Twitter: joe_griffith_

    Havi, I luv this post!!

    Really enjoy all the pirate talk…you need a pirate ship? You can come sail away onboard “Destinay Awaits” anytime you like.

  11. Amanda
    Twitter: doriette

    Your “What am I wrong about?” section was exactly what I need to hear right now.

    It’s still not quite sinking in, but every reiteration hits a little deeper.

    Which, apparently, is what I need right now.

    Thank you.

    Hugs right back atcha!

  12. Roy Christopher
    Twitter: roychristopher


    Loving the transparency here. Thank you.

    I’ve been working on a bit of this myself. Here:

  13. Sherron
    Twitter: sherronann

    Ah, yes, not having anyone to emulate. That’s how I feel, too, except that I’m not as comfortable following my own ship as you seem to be. I’m going to have to take this idea for a walk in the park and make friends with it (because I absolutely detest the phrase “sit with it” for some reason).
    .-= Sherron´s last post … This is what I was born to do =-.

  14. dara says:


    My name is Dara and I have been poking out your site for the last few weeks. Your ability to articulate your inner world leaves me flat on the floor in awe. Your desires radiate a truth that few of us tap and permit.

    This post epitomizes the …., the …., THE FLUENT SELF!!!!


    .-= dara´s last post … Sacred Pussy =-.

  15. Wulfie says:

    Way cool. Way helpful as always.

    This idea rocks…What’s funny for me, personally anyways, is that I tend to always assume I’m wrong. But I lean it toward the I screwed up or will screw up area, which is leaning too far. What if I continue with the “I am always wrong” but lean it, instead, toward “that means I’m not seeing it all YET” which is way more uplifting, supportive and creative than the other way. Coolness.

    I dig your brain, woman!

  16. Juliet
    Twitter: julietk

    “Everything I know is wrong” — maybe resonating a bit as an idea over here as well. I have been feeling slightly too-many-pieces of late, as well. And I’m very much trying to work out how things look/where things go from here.

    What assumptions am I operating on that I don’t have to any more? I’ve spent the last two years trying to ditch some of those already (that I have to have a regular-type job, that I have to work 5-ish days/week, that I have to chase *those* sorts of things just because they might bring in cash…) but maybe there’s more that haven’t shown up on the radar yet as assumptions. I like this idea!
    .-= Juliet´s last post … I can has opposable thumbs- =-.

  17. Jane
    Twitter: JaneOfArdis

    The image of the Rosetta Stone popped into my head the other day (not something that’s particularly odd in my universe) and I suddenly wondered – what if I am mistranslating what I’m seeing in my life? Still pondering the consequences of this. And muddling my metaphor by thinking about lenses and filters – what if I’m accidentally applying some horrendous photoshop effect to the way I percieve myself?!

    One reason I love visiting here is the constant dynamism and searching and looking at things. Yay for this, and for the reminder that you can sail your ship somewhere else.

  18. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Thank you so much for sharing your process, Havi. I’m especially inspired by:

    I don’t want to be the boundaries. But I want to be a force who inspires their existence.

    I don’t want to be the door. But I want all doors to open when I pass through.

    Beautiful. Me, too!

    Also, thank you for linking to Hiro’s post on leadership styles. I hadn’t seen that before, and it’s excellent!
    .-= Kathleen Avins´s last post … The trouble with “middle vision” =-.

  19. Laura Roeder
    Twitter: lkr

    Yesssss! Thank you for sharing this.

    “My immediate presence is not as vital as I think it is. Not even slightly.

    But my essence is more vital than I think it is”

    This is something I’m working to get clarity on big time. And the whole what can we eliminate thing is a constant focus. Determining what you would do if you only had an hour a day is something I try to do regularly, it’s incredibly useful for seeing what is really important and what isn’t.
    .-= Laura Roeder´s last post … How to Generate Sales Leads in 30 Days Using Social Media =-.

  20. killermouse says:

    I relate and I’m loving “I don’t want to be the door. But I want all doors to open when I pass through”. Agree!

    Your right, we’ve all good our stuff – I just wish that sometimes I could give my brain a soothing, relaxing bath – because right now all it does is worry, make stuff up that doesn’t exist, worry about worrying…. it’s exhausting!

    Much love

  21. Alex says:

    “The only ship I have to follow is my own. ” – both terrifying and immeasurably powerful- set your compass and sail on!

  22. Hi Havi,
    I love this line…”if I’m wrong about everything, what is true?” What a wonderful place to explore.
    P.S. I just bought 4HWW, thanks for the reference…
    .-= Jim Greenwood´s last post … My- What A Big Steps Family You Have- =-.

  23. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    Usefulness and interestingness have been triggered. Thank you!

  24. Char Brooks
    Twitter: Charsfirststep

    i learn so much from you havi. i love that you are so in touch with what you’re finding challenging and that you are able to articulate it so clearly.
    .-= Char Brooks´s last post … The First Step- Know Yourself Well =-.

  25. lynn @ human, being
    Twitter: humanbeingblog

    What? I could actually be wrong about something? Or a lot of things?

    I spend so much of my time and energy believing that I am right (and convincing others) because if I am wrong I am bad and if I am bad I am unlovable and if I am unlovable well … And then I find myself in the same freaking situations (huh? pattern?) and shake my fists at the sky screaming WHY OH WHY AM I HERE AGAIN WITH THIS FREAKING WORK WEBSITE OF DOOM?! & etc.

    I so, so needed to read this, right now. Thank you for your vacationing thoughts.

    What if I’m wrong about needing a “real” job in order to have the life(style) I want to live?

    What if I’m wrong about needing a PLAN that is GUARANTEED TO WORK before leaping?

    What if I’m wrong about quitting a job that drains me and rarely feeds me (another pattern of relationships) being the first step to DOOM?

    And by the way, being able to see your process is very important to me as your reader. Not as in Hey Ya’ll, Here is My Process, but exactly how you wrote this post. I hope that doesn’t change.
    .-= lynn @ human, being´s last post … Ferrets and Cats in the Garden =-.

  26. Rose
    Twitter: celestialrose

    Thank you for posting this :)

    I was actually just writing a post about how I want to teach in the way you do – sharing techniques via the blog and kits and then retreats (i.e. not training for two years then teaching kids in classroom).

    Being reminded of the possibilities was just what I needed to hear today – thank you Havi.
    .-= Rose´s last post … Visibility- Out of the Mist =-.

  27. Havi, I’m enjoying your brainspill. You’re a smart lady, not to mention a hoot. Keep spilling.
    .-= Steve Hauptman´s last post … PS- The ice underneath =-.

  28. Monique Rio
    Twitter: Niquerio

    Hi Havi,

    An idea for the “wanting people to teach your stuff but not wanting clones” thing. You could have a workshop on how people who already teach personal development type things can incorporate your ideas in their own work. I could see it as “Here are some techniques you’re free to teach in your classes” or “Lets talk about how the fluentself philosophy fits with your philosophy”.

    Just a thought!
    .-= Monique Rio´s last post … Are You on the Master’s Path =-.

  29. Birdy Diamond
    Twitter: CrowTarotTours

    “The only ship I have to follow is my own.”

    SO with you there.

    Thnx for the mirror! Your stuff made a lot of sense – will have to go think now. :-)

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