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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.

 

Preparing for the voyage.

A few months ago I was doing some especially-badass and obscenely-challenging shiva spirals, flailing around like a madwoman.

And when I was done, there were words in my mouth.

It was like a secret message.

A private mantra, just for me.

And I have been attempting to live by these words ever since:

Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue.

Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue.

Conscious entry.

I’d thought I already knew what this meant, but it turned out that there were all sorts of things about conscious entry (and self-reflective exits) that I hadn’t thought about.

Of course, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to explain any of this very well today since we all know that epiphanies are stoopid.

Or, at the very least: there is a kind of hard-earned full-body wisdom that cannot always be transmitted in words.

But I have completely changed how I enter things.

I do way less.

I do way less. But I do it more deeply.

And more gets done. Everything is slower, but the results are faster.

It’s taken a lot of self-questioning, internal negotiating, and practice to get to the point where I even let myself play with this. I mean, it’s so counter-intuitive l can hardly stand it.

Weeks of monster-talks and changing the video game just to be able to try.

Which is kind of perfect, because those are actually examples of conscious entry themselves. That — combined with rigorous scientific testing, has convinced the Monster Collective that conscious entry works. For now.

They don’t like it. And they don’t understand it. But it works.

On the bus.

About two months ago I started using conscious entry for the bus. In all sorts of ways.

I mapped out what I wanted from a bus ride. I made safe rooms (safe houses, really) for all the versions of me who have had painful bus experiences.

Rituals to interact with the body-experience of having lived through all those horrible bus rides of dread, fear and doom.

Me who had to go to that awful summer camp. Me from high school. The me who had to take the bus to work in a place where buses exploded, and she was so miserable that exploding seemed like a nice way out.

I connected to the qualities that I wanted from my relationship with being on a bus (grace, ease, safety, harmoniousness, being transported, grounding, flow).

There were dedicated bus mudras (something I’ve been doing these for over ten years) and breathing patterns and secret code word reminder phrases.

And that was just the beginning.

I’m not going to tell you about the weird stuff.

But I will say this:

Unhinged people don’t accost me on the bus anymore. I always have a seat — usually to myself. People make room for me and give me space. They smile warmly, but they don’t talk to me. Unless I want them to.

It’s trippy.

The thing I wanted from conscious entry was to not hate riding the bus so much. But I’m actually enjoying myself. This is weirding me out like you would not believe.

And I’m using the bus time to practice being present. To radiate peacefulness.

To play with conscious entry some more: interacting with the experience that is waiting for me in the place where the bus is delivering me.

It’s the same mindful destuckification work I’ve been doing for the past nearly-seven years, but it’s deeper.

Here are the questions I’m asking.

This is how I approach things now:

And when I say “things”, I mean everything. Eating breakfast. Writing a blog post.

If I were going to enter this experience as I wished to be in it, what would I do for myself?

How does my approach to this experience change when I want to enter it as I wish to be in it? What will I do differently and why?

What will I do now to set things up for then?

What will I do now to ensure that the way I enter this experience is congruent with a) how I want to feel during it and b) with the qualities I hope to receive from it?

It takes more time but somehow everything takes less time.

This morning I asked Slightly Wiser Me what would help me write this post if I only had a short amount of time to do it in. She told me to wear the purple wig and light the candle.

I rolled my eyes. But I did it.

And then I knew what to say.

I’m pretty sure that next time she’ll tell me something else, and we’ll giggle about the wig and candle thing. But talking to her is a form of conscious entry. For me. Your forms might be different.

It’s just another way to prepare for the voyage so that the voyage will be amazing.

There isn’t a right way. It’s your practice. Your kingdom. You will have to experiment.

The point isn’t what you do to enter. No wigs required.

It’s that you’re entering with intention. It’s the curious, loving, playful, investigative approach.

And every single thing that happens is different because you have established your presence in it differently.

People respond differently because you’re there differently.

Play with me? And comment zen for today.

Let’s take this question:

What could you change now to be more present for the thing that is coming?

And see what happens. You can play silently or out loud. It all counts.

As always, we all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. It’s a practice.

We let people have their own experience, and we don’t give advice.

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

26 Responses to Preparing for the voyage.

  1. Eve
    Twitter: evejacques
    says:

    Wow, this is great. I need to take this away and THINK about it. Thank you. Xxx

  2. Erin
    Twitter: ErinCNBusby
    says:

    I love how your posts have a tendency to pop up when I need them. Permission to refuse to let employers encroach on my off-time has been one of the top issues of the day, and it’s lovely to remember that yes, slow and sovereign is effective and legitimate. The theme of the week has been, “You train others to treat you in one way or another, through action or inaction.” I remember hearing a Deepak Chopra lecture where he was talking about free will once, and he made the statement that choosing Option A or Option B of two presented options isn’t free will — both are already contained within the seed pattern — and that actual free will would transcend the seed and be purely authentic, and much less emotionally bound. It’s been interesting, and fun, and stressful, and guilt-inducing, and all manner of things, to stop and observe myself making choices lately. I may or may not make the same choice that I would have if I hadn’t been consciously, actively acknowledging the choices, but that there is intent makes such a difference, both in how I feel and how others respond. Not all the responses are happy or supportive, but my attachment to being a pleaser is so much less that that just becomes another interesting thing to observe. There’s a lot more to what you’re saying, too… I just wanted to say, thank you for sharing the mantra, because it’s beautiful and apropos.

  3. VIVA says:

    I need advice.
    I have dread in entering. I know I’d like calmness and flow, but I trip over dread on the way. Dread of being mediocre or exposed or setting myself up for very high expectations in future. Slightly wiser (?) me says “Just do it” and my throat gets tight.
    My novelty-seeking angel/monster is drawn to the idea of doing a ritual — exactly once (hence, not a ritual).

  4. Romilly
    Twitter: deromilly
    says:

    @Eve Me too. Think. Digest. Rings so true.
    Romilly recently posted… Monday Treasure – Dame Judi Densch…

  5. […] and plan ahead for next time, with extra rest and love. What Havi has been writing lately about conscious entry and exit is so apt, too. This is all about gentle noticing, processing the process, and playing with […]

  6. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket
    says:

    I’m so very intrigued by the idea of “I do way less. But I do it more deeply. And more gets done. Everything is slower, but the results are faster.”

    I’m with everyone else…I need to do some more deep thinking about this, for sure. About ways to make it real for me, too. Ways to practice this.
    Jesse recently posted… In medias res and in medias satis

  7. fairbetty
    Twitter: fairbetty
    says:

    wow… unhinged people accost me everywhere… not just on the bus… so… I would like to figure this out, please :) It would be good not to be accosted.
    fairbetty recently posted… Today is World Vegetarian Day!

  8. Tapley
    Twitter: tapleyruth
    says:

    Wow. Lots of food for thought here. I am intrigued. So I played around with this concept with something relatively straight forward – lunch! Here’s what I got:

    Think about the qualities that I want to experience as part of lunch.
    nourishment. connection to body. mindfulness and presence. refreshment. pleasure. relaxation. grounding. peacefulness.

    What can I do/say/think that will connect me to those qualities, or assist in invoking and transitioning to these qualities?
    be mindful of my body as I walk to to the back for my lunch break.
    take slow, deep breaths with the intention of accessing a more relaxed state.
    take a moment before I actually start eating to ground – “here, now, this”
    make a conscious effort to be mentally present as I prepare my food – perhaps by naming things

    Is there anything that I want to put in the pot that will benefit from these qualities?
    hmmm. right now just the idea of bringing more of these qualities into my daily life.

  9. Simone
    Twitter: simonethinks
    says:

    I want to enter a day as I wish to inhabit it and exit the day (i.e. fall asleep) as I wish to continue! It makes preliminary buzzy sense in my head right now but I think the understandings are going to fractal-ify and multiply as I think about this.

    and… Plum Duff! Excitement! I want to go to every Rally ever! Mini VPA here: I want to know if I can afford to do (what feels like) a giant trip to the other coast three times next year. Not only in terms of the monies, but in terms of… everything else. Arrgh. Must be answered soon because Plum Duff ain’t forever! But feeling rushed and pressured never does anything good so I’m going to take a deep breath and let signs and insights come to me. Yes.
    Simone recently posted… Inner Genius’s shrink-representative arrives.

  10. Miss P.
    Twitter: chemieemma
    says:

    I wrote in my VPA’s for this week that I wanted to examine entry and exit more closely. The work I’ve done so far has been rewarding. Maybe this is just what I need.
    Miss P. recently posted… 30 gwishes for the 30th year

  11. VickiB says:

    Havi, this is something I needed. And Tapley’s use of it for lunch was a perfect illustration of how to do it. Now I want to go away and apply it to everything!! But since haste and hurry make mess and worry, I’ll start like Tapley did with something straightforward. The errands, maybe. The grocery shoppping.

    Slightly Wiser Me tells me that Loving and Compassionate Me and Playful Me are going to get in on this. Picture me wrapped in a feather boa buying furnace filters.

  12. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah
    says:

    I love this further explanation & examples of what you mean when you talk about ‘entry&exit’

    It also reminds me of the way Paolo Coelho describes the ‘Aleph’ in his latest book: a moment that is now but also contains the past and the present. Being completely here&now&present but also that moment being the transition moment.

    Oh sight the overwhelming epiphany of it.

    Let’s try one :)

    *********************************************************
    Enter!

    What could I change now to be more present for the thing that is coming?

    *** What is coming:
    – the closing of a big door that is also a transition door (=proxy!).

    *** How I’d like to feel while I am closing that door (qualities):
    – supported. strong. with back-up systems. calm. like there is enough time. confident. like walking. like people will only comment on what i want them to comment. like my work is appreciated. like i am enough and good at what i do.

    *** If I were going to enter this experience as I wished to be in it, what would I do for myself?
    – I’d book one long glorious weekend away to start on the sorting. I’d print words on colored paper. I’d design a structure that can contain the words. I’d cherish every sentence.

    *** How does my approach to this experience change when I want to enter it as I wish to be in it? What will I do
    differently and why?
    – I’d approach it page by page, hour by hour. I’d have daily Chicken moments. I’d be proud and list all that went well instead of stating the problems. I’d decorate away and polish the words. I’d enjoy the process.

    *** What will I do now to set things up for then?
    – I’d write myself a letter of encouragement to read throughout the year.

    *** What will I do now to ensure that the way I enter this experience is congruent with a) how I want to feel during it and b) with the qualities I hope to receive from it?

    I can decore my calender of new moons and then keep the calender empty. I can schedule sauna days in between and regular breaks. I can keep doing what I am doing – assembling the right materials to thrive.

    And exit!
    *********************************************************

  13. Miss P.
    Twitter: chemieemma
    says:

    I think I found the perfect metaphor for this, for me: blossoming and seeding. The things flowers do before and after existing in their full glorious bloom.
    Miss P. recently posted… 30 gwishes for the 30th year

  14. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    Mmmmmmmm. Warm glow of yes-ness and welcome to these ideas, to the capers, and the ripples that are going to spread across the lives of everyone who connects with this stuff. Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

    xoxo

  15. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat
    says:

    Thinking about a Secret Project that excites me. What could I change now to be more present for this project?

    –I can anthropomorphize it. Give it a face, a persona. Or even multiple personae — a whole cast of characters to accompany me!

    –I can name and invoke the qualities I would like to have while working/playing with this project.

    –Sovereignty, sovereignty, and more sovereignty. Yes.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… If this were an actual post…

  16. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    Experience: an afternoon of focussed flow at ze day job.

    If I were going to enter this experience as I wished to be in it, what would I do for myself?

    Go for a walk
    Clear my head
    Eat something
    Move my body
    Tap and permit on the avoid-ey bits of me, if necessary.

    How does my approach to this experience change when I want to enter it as I wish to be in it? What will I do differently and why?

    I will be PRESENT to what I am doing, as I am doing it.

    I will trust that there is time for all the ideas and excitement that I am holding and that in good time I will be able to bring it forth.

    I will trust that in choosing to do good work this afternoon, the work I have agreed to do, I am choosing to support The Mission. That these choices are coming from a loving discipline, that permits my desire to other things this afternoon to exist, and chooses to do the work of ze day job for the next few hours, for the long-term good of The Mission.

    By caring for the vessel, we care for the mission.

    It is in Claire’s best interest to get this work done so she can release it from her burdensome To Do list.

    So that she can live in alignment with her values – with asteya and aparigraha. These qualities and disciplines are her natural state. Living in her natural state always ALWAYS supports the mission.

    Bringing the mission into being through stolen and hoarded time warps it. It speaks of fear.

    Is not necessary.

    Claire, you give fear power over you. Is not necessary.

    What will I do now to set things up for then?

    Write this. Mark my hands so that I am wearing mindfulness gloves. Leave this desk and return when I am ready to embark.

    What will I do now to ensure that the way I enter this experience is congruent with a) how I want to feel during it and b) with the qualities I hope to receive from it?

    Call on the part of me that trusts.
    Call on the me that is grateful I gave myself this experience.

    Trust
    Focus
    Power
    Choice
    Method
    Time
    Spaciousness
    Honor
    Alignment
    Authenticity
    Inevitability
    Gratitude
    Pleasure
    Claire P recently posted… It’s not about me. And that’s actually a really good thing!

  17. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space
    says:

    Aaaaaand, did pretty well. Huh, weird. Something Havi cottons onto really does work… Who woulda thunk it?? Ha!!

    Revue: computer work needs really regular breaks in position, not moving my body stops my (blood flow?) brain and breath. Loving discipline brings me up against my inner self-indulgent afraid of trusting two year old. Channelling my inner-parent. *sigh*

    Overall: got the vast majority of what I wanted to get done, done. Yay.
    Claire P recently posted… It’s not about me. And that’s actually a really good thing!

  18. […] Well there I was linking about over at Havi’s, where I always end up inspired to write a blog post [thanks] and generally end up feeling too […]

  19. […] to go before I start my project, I’ve been thinking a lot about Havi’s advice to ‘enter as you want to be in it‘, which I’ve really not taken. I’ve just been flailing along in the same state of […]

  20. […] do I want to enter into this time of working on my Goddess Planner and my art […]

  21. […] monsters and walls, learning the patterns with Shiva Nata, emergency calming techniques, how to enter and exit consciously. And a million other helpful things that I had never even heard about, much less practiced for the […]

  22. […] entry ritual (enter as you wish to be in it!) I dreamed up is that Simone and I will each write a letter (a save-the-date!) to the qualities […]

  23. […] Entry Wishes Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue. – Havi Brooks […]

  24. […] “Enter as you wish to be in it,” says Havi Brooks, one of my virtual teachers. I realize spending my year exploring Kind Promises is exactly that: I am attempting to learn the skills I will need for a life more affected by illness, disability and aging. […]

  25. […] I had decided that spending time reviewing and practicing conscious entry (thanks, Havi for the concept!)  for the week would make a difference. I told my very anxious brain the time […]

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