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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.

 

Reflecting on the month of Reflecting

February is both the shortest and longest month, it always seems (for me, at least) as though it will never end and then suddenly it is gone.

Let’s reflect. Which is extra appropriate, since this was the month of Reflection and Reflecting.

I’m feeling tired and cranky and not particularly in the mood to reflect, so I’m going to do this like a messy awards ceremony, like the Oscars, which I did not watch, or whatever the other awards ceremonies are, I missed those too this year, as I do every year, so I do not actually know what I’m talking about, but I plan to give out awards to various February things in my life, and you are welcome to join me if you like.

What’s been working?

My monster committee believes I do nothing but navel-gaze, no matter how much I manage to get done in a day. They think I am steadily moving away from yes instead of towards it. They think I am trapped in fear-paralysis (I am, at least sometimes, definitely more often than I would prefer to be, though usually it’s because of them.)

So I did a lot of noticing and reflecting on this, for example how everything on my list gets zapped from my mind once it’s done, so that no matter how hard I work, nothing seems to ever count.

I decided to start tracking ALL THE SHIT I DO, aka ALL THE SPARKLEPOINT-WORTHY SHIT THAT I DO, which is everything, including the really small things, aka all the progress that the monsters instantly erase because each individual action seems so small, and because they like to say that I spent the whole day screwing around and puttering instead of doing the IMPORTANT things.

It is good that they want me to do the important things, but it is not helpful that I let them minimize everything I do.

My friend Agent Emdee recommended an app called RememberWin, and I am using it to keep lists of everything I do. These are not to-do lists. These are THIS SHIT IS DONE lists. Naming as it happens.

It is a good way to remember that actually I am constantly doing things. This is also helping me remember to celebrate, something I am notoriously bad at.

For example, yesterday it turns out that I actually did THIRTY SEVEN THINGS, all of which have meaning and are important, and any of which could have easily turned into iguanas (stuck things that are unappealing for no clear reason but they just are). And I did them. But apparently when I don’t note these tiny victories, I think I’m doing nothing, when actually I’m sweeping the floor and postponing an appointment and washing dishes and looking up a resource and making soup and so on.

Ten thousand sparklepoints to me!

Funniest thing about the month of Reflecting.

That time I spent a week looking for a room I could use with a mirror.

Because there is no room to learn how to keep a hoop around my waist in a motorhome.

Most unlikely thing I did this month.

Spend an afternoon shooting guns in the desert. Not something I ever thought I would do, but hey, when in Utah. I am still a neurotic eccentric urban jewish writer at heart, but it turns out that shooting at cans and making them fall down is a good time.

Hardest parts of this month.

Intense waves of hurt and anger. Learning more about how waves work.

The odd and awful feeling of loneliness when not alone. Wanting to be wanted.

There is so much racism here in southern Utah, and now this is something I encounter every single day instead of occasionally, and it is heartbreaking, and I never know if the answer is exit or punch people or educate, and the answer keeps changing, and so does the question. I second-guess myself a lot.

Best decision this month.

Motorcycle boots. They were for a motorcycle ride which got postponed, but it turns out I just feel 10,0000x more badass in motorcycle boots, and also more comfortable.

Also I started walking in circles around the RV park, and this turns out to be very calming for me. The circles, and the walking.

Best secret ops this month.

Operation Tabula Rasa. Operation What Would Alastair Reid Do. Operation Clear The Path To Clear The Path.

Things that are reflective.

Stars, reflective tape, lights.

I also found a really good library, which is a place of reflection. A well-lit place of reflection. That was unexpected and perfect. Thank you.

Things I am reflecting on (and making wishes about).

Kickboxing. Pole dancing. Hot springs. Quiet under the stars. What does it mean to get lost on purpose. The note that past-me left for me says GET OUT AND BE HARD TO FIND.

Superpowers I had.

Extreme Bravery!

Giving myself sparklepoints for Extreme Bravery!

Walking My Way Through.

Waves Pass and I Am Still Here.

This moment is worthy of being celebrated, and so am I.

Connecting.

Trying New Things Just Because.

Adventurous Spirit.

Making perfect rice.

Change the date.

Superpowers I want…

Everything that is mine returns to me.

Redirected with Kindness.

Emeralds and Moonstones.

More Sweetness.

Everything Is Looking Up.

Regal As Fuck.

Yes I Know How To Use This.

The superpower of saying “back off, creep”, a la Traci Lords as Wanda in Cry-Baby, and the superpower of not even needing to say it.

The superpower of being a panther, a jewel and a ray of light.

The superpower of remembering that I already have all these superpowers.

Incoming me says…

Breathe. You’re doing great. Take in more oxygen. Give yourself a better view. Find your way back to the stars. Take exquisite care of yourself. Do more nothing. Do less, in general. Surprise yourself. Enjoy the boots.

Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe. The month of Pleasure begins tomorrow. Look at all you have done to ready yourself for this, all you have emptied out, while you thought you weren’t getting anything done. You have been preparing the ground for this.

In the meantime, February was for Light, Clarity and Insight, and you had all of these in spades. You had breathtaking sunsets against the red rock mountain backdrop, you had big understandings about no and about yes, you had so many opportunities to let go and clear out.

You were your own ally, you were a spark of light, a ray of aliveness, awake and clear, and I couldn’t ask for a better companion to cross through this door.

Invitation: come play with me…

You are invited to share this post and to share many !!!!!! about what is here,

Or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading…

You can also share how things have been going, anything you’ve noticed this month, awards you wish to award yourself, or glow massive amounts of sparklepoints for yourself, whatever appeals.

Safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

We remember that people vary and my process doesn’t have to be yours, and this is a good thing.

Here’s how we meet each other: with kindness, appreciation and warmth.

I’ll see you here and also for the March wishes, and I’m also writing a post about setting things on fire, which I might publish soon, we will see how I feel. Lots of love.

15 Responses to Reflecting on the month of Reflecting

  1. With your motorcycle boots, you will no doubt master “back off, creep” with an added superpower of imaginary kick-’em-in-the-shin. You are truly channeling Emma Peel, except without the catsuit.

    Meanwhile, in my tiny world, I have made tiny steps toward being creative again (I wrote a song! Go, me!) and started a bullet journal in the hope that organization will spur creativity. Perhaps I will knock over some virtual cans with my bullet journal.

    It feels good to slowly be feeling good again, to be stepping away from the need to step in and offer opinions where none were solicited. Even as the world continues to feel scary, I try to revel in the everyday extraordinariness of the people around me and to remember to be kind, to myself and to others.

    Marching into March with a small amount of hope and a flicker of light.

  2. Karen Tiede says:

    Hula hooping changed my life, 12 years ago. Now I own 100 hoops and rent them out for parties. Definitely was not on the plan when I left school.

    Motorcycling is changing my life, although I have no idea of where it will go. Crashed the very first time I drove, 40 yards into a ride, in first gear. Did the absolute least amount of damage it is possible to do when thrown from a motorcycle at 4 mph. Still very scary. The gear makes me look very badass, but it is scary because it has the smallest weight range of any expensive clothing I have ever owned.

  3. Karensu Light_of_Summer
    Twitter: light_of_summer
    says:

    Thank you for the lovely post, Havi!

    All the Yays for tracking and celebrating every thing we get done, no matter how small!!!

    Also Yay for COMFORTABLE Boots of Power, and for naming desired superpowers and remembering we already have them!

    I am currently having adventures involving Finding My Next Residence and Finding Ways to Enjoy Plenty While Spending a Lot Less. Good wishes and yay-alongs welcome!

    I am also more attentive to the news and to twitter and to individual politicians than I have been at any time since compulsory viewing of the Watergate hearings in Mrs. Waters’ Junior High Social Studies class. It is bizarre, but I am happy to report that I’m experiencing it with more interest and resilience and more of a sense of empowerment than I would have believed possible a year ago. I’ll take that Silver Lining with gratitude!

    Plenty to do, these days, for sure. May there be plenty of delightful play, as part of that!

    Sending good wishes to you all, for wherever you need them.

  4. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat
    says:

    Reflecting…

    This has been a confusing month for me. I’m still adjusting to a lot of changes.

    What has been working? Making the shift toward earlier mornings. A healthy dose of sheer stubbornness. Fifteen minutes at a time. Expeditions.

    What superpowers did I have in February? I definitely had the superpower of drawing energy from the beautiful view. Of wise containment. Of steady courage.

    March, I would like for us to share many powers and pleasures. Good expanding. Creativity expanding. Love expanding.

    Farewell, February. <3

  5. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas
    says:

    This post is all of the awesome, Havi.

    I have made “staying off Twitter” stick this time! We’re at 476 hours. All the time freed up is doing marvelous things for my concentration, and I’m no longer having nightmares about the world ending.

    ~A week ago, I realized that I hate everyone in my family who is still alive (I’ve been estranged from most of them for 11+ years). Which turned out to be excellent timing, as my mother wrote to me, again, and I had to decide what to do. Usually, I send her stuff back unopened, but this time, for the first time, I wrote back. And basically told her to get stuffed.

    I know what “my work” is, after trying to figure that out for my entire life (I’m now 50), and, even when it feels like not much is concretely happening, it turns out I’ve been making progress all along. The part of “my work” that is my writing is… improving, and for the first time, I have ideas about concrete things I can do to move it along more.

    I think I finally understand how life works. I’m pretty proud of myself, and all the things I’ve accomplished to get this far.

  6. Zr
    Twitter: zirconium
    says:

    !!!! ! !!!!

  7. Kate says:

    Stompy boots!

    Also getting lost on purpose is an absolute joy, even when one winds up stuck on the side of a mountain in the snow with a couple hefty deputies turning one’s trailer around by hand because any other method will result in the trailer falling down the cliff.

    This was the same night we learned you can fit two humans & two cats in a 30-inch-wide bed (for a fairly liberal definition of ‘fit’) because it was too cold to attempt to sleep in any other manner.

  8. Leni says:

    So much !!!! here for me! Especially about not celebrating the little things that become big things, and all the treadmill-ness and not-joy it brings.

    So much to reflect upon.

    My husband died on feb 25, after a long illness and hospitalization. altho it was no surprise, it has been a shock, to move and breathe into this new world, to encounter the new normal, everything is so fucking ovrewhelmning, and I am really trying to be such a brave little toaster, I was so brave In The Room, as he was dying, but it was the most horrible thing I have ever witnessed. May all beings be from suffering.

    I found myself uninspired to comment or even read much here the past few weeks, altho I was calling on so many superpowers and drawing on my compass. such a hard few weeks. I can’t even unravel my Feb goals and intentions yet, but I did have lots of time to reflect, on life and mortality, on the time we had together, on how much we loved each other, and how our love failed each other. It’s so much I feel I will be unpacking forever, and as painful as it is I want to write it out.

    there’s been plenty of suck:
    -hours cramped in the hospital, all his suffering, feeling powerless
    -going to Pcon and not feeling in a festive mood, no matter how hard I tried
    -the nitemare of the last week
    -you know I really teried to be brave and kind, but I ended up holding space for people who never met him to cry, and I was like what?
    -everything is surreal, and I feel slightly threatened by the Unknown, no matter how well we planned
    -overwhelmed by everything, including offers of help and support
    -in the 2 weeks since he died my laptop also died, his car needs a new battery, the back fence got pushed over in high wind, my dad’s attempts to help “fix” things at my house resulted in everyone of his projects in pieces or DANGEROUS.

    but not everything is awful:
    -he is no longer suffering
    -times of intense grief and loss are moments for grace, forgiveness and magick. all this happened
    -there is a new emptiness in my house, my life, my energy. I am not afraid of this emptiness. I am intrigued to see what happens with it
    -I sense this is an incredible opportunity for me to make positive changes in accordance with will
    -I am not running from my grief, I am very present with it, and that sucks but it feels real.
    -I had another piece of liturgy be released in an anthology this month.
    -there is so much clarity despite the overwhelm. so much clarity re: true yes and no

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