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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.


Quiet goodbyes to 2012.

It feels a bit early, a bit raw really, to do any kind of review/revue of this incredibly hard and challengingyear just yet.

But I am feeling a strong need to PASSAGE, really and truly. Tonight. I am ready to cross through.

So in the interest of making this day a door, I will skip some stones with love.

What do I want to remember about 2012?

That I made it.

Not: “made it” in terms of success or (blah) goals. And not in terms of survival: not not-making it.

More that I made my way to the end of it with grace. That I was able to go through the hardest year of my life with presence, and sometimes even with laughter and vitality. I made it through. I crossed the hardest crossings.

I am here. And not just still-standing. Fully here. Appreciative. Even with all that happened.

What was hard about 2012?

Most of this has to be [silent retreat-ed] for a variety of reasons.


  • The crashing and burning of a long-standing and important relationship.
  • Insomnia.
  • The loss of four special friendships.
  • The loss of nearly ALL of my staff.
  • Nearly losing [X].
  • Heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak.
  • Long-lost stones (people) returning only to leave again, in the worst way possible.
  • Thinking Stompopolis would open in April but then opening it turned into the most complicated and layered mission imaginable.
  • The worst piece of news.
  • The greatest misunderstanding.
  • Discovering that person I thought was my most ardent champion — the person I thought believed in me more than anyone in the world, is not that person at all.
  • The loss of the [thing that sustains me]. Not the thing itself but my relationship with it, my work, dreams and visions.
  • All the barns burning.
  • Fear. Pain. Anger. Hurt. Sadness. Loss. Grief.

Thanks for the teachings, 2012. And I never want to learn anything in such a hard and painful way again.

But/and! Look at where I’m at…

Appreciative and grateful. Having deeply processed all of these things. Being okay with them and with where I’m at with them.

  • This is the year I rediscovered a lost part of me and reintegrated her.
  • This is the year that I became Havi Bell.
  • This is the year of receiving directives. And finally being able to listen. To follow through.
  • This is the year that I stopped neglecting myself.
  • This is the year that I put my attention to empyting and replenishing as a way of being.
  • This is the year that I stopped working myself to death and started working lovingly. An hour or two at a time. Sure, it happened because all my attention had to go to not falling apart. But I learned to work in healthy ways, in creative, fun Rally ways, as a way of being all the time.
  • This is the year that I learned that my worst fear isn’t all that bad, because now is not then, and I’m better equipped to handle it now.
  • This is the year of having the right playmate for the right kinds of play.
  • This is the year of the costumes and the bells and the delight.

These are also teachings. So thanks you, 2012, for these things that were delivered in sweetness.

What bits wisdom do I want to keep from 2012?

Stones go and return. And then they return again. Nothing that is truly mine can be lost. And the things that have come back are better than what I mourned losing.

The thing I fear cannot hurt me. The only thing that can hurt me is disconnecting from myself and not taking care of myself.

Even in the hardest of the hard, I was able to trust and give. To dissolve and radiate, to look for the clews.

Some things take as long as they take. And there is nothing wrong with this. Nothing is behind. You aren’t doing anything wrong, Havi.

Allies are everywhere.

Sometimes the purpose of a stone is not to be your stone, other than in that moment. It is to move you from one part of the river to another part. Such is the way of stones.

Many different costumes for many different things. Not one costume for everything. Same goes for identities or aspects of identity. Things can co-exist.

Be a bell. Ring anything you want to ring. Turn any room or building into a bell, and be a bell inside the bell.

Conducting always works.

All you need is an 8 Letter Word.

Being a spy is more fun than not being a spy.

I am done with so very many things. And that is okay.

Some of the best superpowers of 2012:

The superpower of singing the songs of the barns burning.

The superpower of remembering that six months from now I’m probably going to be relieved about the thing I’m currently hating. I can skip that part by finding the good.

The superpower of de-cobwebbing.

The superpower of not all progress is linear.

The superpower of turning anything into a compass.

The superpower of pre-emptive congruencing: doing away now with the thing that is going to be disharmonious or incongruent in a while.

What beautiful memories do I want to hold from 2012?

Being a gazelle.

Cannery pier.

The stairway in the Elliot. A beautiful apple from a bowl.

The time I fell and thought it was the worst thing and actually it was the best thing.

Beach day.

August 3rd.

Long lazy weekends with my playmate, having all the words.

Slow sweet yoga in Hoppy House, in the park, at the Playground, in the Director’s Room while on Chrysalis.

The best sandwich in the world, and the best temporary companion for eating the best sandwich in the world. Hilariously, that one is not a metaphor. Actual sandwich.


Singing in Stompopolis. Singing to Stompopolis.

Rallies and the Crossing.

What worked? Things I’m bringing with me into the new year from the old one:

Beach day and Fake Beach day.


Solstice and Equinox.

Slightly Sexy Ounce Dice Trice.

Next time I might…

Choose to hire people who are not in my circle of friends. That way, if they need to leave and/or stop speaking to me, I won’t make it about me. It wasn’t about me anyway, but it took me way too long (and twice!) this year to figure this out.

Remember that stones return.

Remember that the thing that seems like bad news is not bad news, and that I can investigate that.

Pause first. Paws! And then pause some more.

Goodbye, 2012.

This year I learned about upheaval, destruction, and everything falling down. And I also learned that I was safe and held the entire time, even when it was hard to see and feel. Sometimes it was really hard to see and feel.

I cried out my body weight in tears, over and over again. And I laughed. Bitterly at first, and then that life-laugh of I am here.

Let’s have today mark being done with this old way of learning. Let’s have the new transitions be sweet and (thank you, Max!) wonderfully mild.

May 2013 be radiant and, most of all, may it be peaceful.

And may I be able to learn things this year without traversing such stormy seas. May I meet everything that comes in with steadiness and presence. With ringing bells.

Play with me.

I am open to:

Playing along (in any form you like), hand-on-heart sighs, smiles, warm wishes for sweetness and delight in the new year. Any of the above.

Or anything sparked for you. Or things you want to drop into the fountain about your own year.

As always, we don’t give each other unsolicited advice here. Just love.

13 Responses to Quiet goodbyes to 2012.

  1. Maryann Devine
    Twitter: maryanndevine

    Maryann Devine recently posted… Next holiday season.

  2. seagirl says:

    Oh, Havi, just a hand on the heart sigh. And wishes for a sweet new year for all of us.

  3. Pearl says:

    Havi, hand on heart sighs and wordless presence acknowledging all of the hard that’s been in this year.
    Pearl recently posted… H&H: Sparkly Firefly Edition

  4. Lurker Mouse Caroline says:

    Oh Havi. In a year which for me and those around me that I love has meant in turn the loss of children, spouses, friends, parents, dogs and cats and jobs … this post rang so many bells (Havi Bell’s?)

    Hand on heart sigh for all the people going through all the pain, and a deep, sincere wish for 2013 to bring with it much needed peace, comfort, and, wherever possible, joy.

    Items I’d like to borrow:

    – The superpower of de-cobwebbing.

    – The superpower of not all progress is linear.

    – The only thing that can hurt me is disconnecting from myself and not taking care of myself.

    Wishing good things for everyone taking part in the Year of Emptying and Replenishing, and leaving New Year flowers here for all. Great big beautiful bunches, or perfect single buds in tiny vases, whichever takes your fancy!

  5. Andrea
    Twitter: gocreativedream

    Warm wishes for sweetness and for the discovery of an even better sandwich in 2013.

  6. Imbrium
    Twitter: nerdknits

    So much love to you and yours.

  7. Laura
    Twitter: SaltyLaura

    ringing and singing quiet goodbyes and hellos along with you.

    thank you. for much.

  8. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    I will ring my pineapple bell tonight — for you, for me, for all of us. It is a magical bell, and it welcomes wonderful things.

    Farewell, 2012. I kiss you on the forehead.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Permission to speak freely.

  9. Cat says:

    “The only thing that can hurt me is disconnecting from myself and not taking care of myself.” Love this one. So very true and very warm wishes to you and your great new year! Thanks again for prompting. I was going to sit down tonight with something similar, but you gave me a great outline to review things with so here it goes:

    I felt ready for major change last year and I do now even that much more.

    What to remember about 2012 –

    I made it a year out of the relationship with the ex-Narcissist. After 4-5 years of on and off, I managed a year and I didn’t fall for the same pattern when we had contact.

    That I can trust my intiution more than I thought.

    That I am more in the know of what I need to work on and with than I ever was.

    What was hard about 2012 –

    Getting rid of a handful of “frenemies” slowly but surely.

    Getting over ex-N

    Severe depression that lasted months.

    Living in the midst of clutter and chaos due to the above.

    Feeling left out socially due to ex-N.

    Dealing with my mother.


    Dating again and not having it go well.


    What worked in 2012 –

    Putting myself out there artistically and making new contacts.

    Finding a new friend in an old aquintance who I like very much.

    Being able to help others due to my experience and letting go when I could not help and they sucked me dry.

    Learning about personality disorders and how to see through them so I don’t waste my time.

    Going to Montana for over a month and doing some healing.

    Being a little more outgoing and getting out just a tad more.

    Starting Ashtanga Yoga – if not for that I am not so sure I would be able to deal with SAD again.

    Started going with intuition and seeing it worked out for the best even when I second-guessed myself.


    Bits of Wisdom

    I’m not really alone and yes there are allies everywhere.

    It is possible to overcome and begin again.

    I am not always the one at fault but I can shoulder the blame if necessary.

    I’m not really missing all that much because I don’t go out all the time as a single person.

    The power of being present and being open to possibilitiy.

    It is ok to go with the flow and not have any expectations.


    Things I want to bring with me and improve upon

    Dealing better with men and even perceived rejection. Not getting attached to ideas because someone acts like they like me. If they have no follow through, so what. Other fish in the sea….

    Keep listening to my intuition but make sure it is the neutral voice I hear to be sure it is what it is.

    Keep getting out more.

    Get better at asking for more money for my artistic services.

    Take more time to stop and really think before I made a decision that might drain me or sidtrack me.

    Keep making art and improving upon it.

    Keep finding new healing methods. Something is going to work out eventually.

    Be open to love in all forms.

  10. Pam says:

    Ahhh Havi
    I must thank you so much for this space you have created. It is the best discovery I made in 2012.

    I am still busy exploring the archives, and I am meeting the most amazing people – through you.

    I need more time to process my … review of 2012 and to make my transition/passage into 2013. But I want very much to thank you for … wow… for so much. So much wisdom. So much fun. For reminding me that PLAYFUL is more than just OK – it is FABULOUS!!!

    And it is the way I want to be.

    I borrow a lot from you, these days. Finding gems everywhere on the site.

    Today – for moving forward into 2013, I would like to borrow…

    “Some things take as long as they take. And there is nothing wrong with this. Nothing is behind. You aren’t doing anything wrong, Pam.”

    Thank you.

    Off for a walk in the snow now – wearing my bells.

    Wishing you all peace, joy, wild playfulness and … grace in 2013.

    go easy -p
    Pam recently posted… May we be…

  11. brooklynchick says:

    WOW 2012 was so hard! Sending hand-on-heart sighs, smiles and warm wishes to Havi and to all the readers and to me.

  12. […] Havi’s skipping stones to say farewell to 2012 – it wasn’t as hard as 2011, but it was very much a year of […]

  13. Pearl says:

    Coming back in to share my quiet farewell.

    What do I want to remember about 2012?
    That this was the year when I stood up for people who needed me to stand up for them.
    And that I made it through the year with grace and integrity, imperfect but not giving up on my stuff.

    What was hard about 2012?
    – Single-handedly running the Yeti Appreciation Society (yes, it’s a metaphor)
    – The skidding-off-the-tracks of a longstanding friendship due to a major disagreement
    – Money problems
    – Abandoning nearly all of my self-care practices except as emergency techniques when things turned hard.

    What wisdom do I want to take with me from 2012?
    – It feels good to stand up for someone who can’t stand up for themselves, even when it’s hard.
    – Sloooooooow down – it feels delicious.

    What memories do I want to keep from 2012?
    – The memory of seeing “my” girls strong, healthy, and happy.
    – The feeling of a long, slow stretch untangling my tension.
    – The trust and love of a small child’s hand slipping into mine.

    What worked?
    – Intentional slow stretching and loving my body enough to give it that.
    – Being clear about what I feel and need.
    – Permission to write every day about what’s on my mind.

    (Interestingly enough, nearly everything that worked is something I learned here. So, thanks for that)

    What might I try next time?
    – Something to remind and encourage myself to keep up the yoga/meditation/communication/self-care practices in the good AND hard. Open to suggestions on this.

    – Creating space between the Me who is the chief officer of the Yeti Appreciation Society and the Me who Does Things that Need Doing. This might be temporal space or different costumes and titles, or ???

    What do I wish for 2013?
    Less drama
    Less anger
    More sparkle
    More love
    Pearl recently posted… H&H: Au Revior, 2012

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