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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.



So the other day I’m in the surgery room waiting to have stitches taken out —

— and before you completely freak out because you are my mother, let me reassure you that it was not a big deal at all and it was just a thing being removed by the dermatologist and it was completely benign and I’m okay mom, I promise

and I can hear the doctor (it’s a he*) talking to the nurse (a she) in the next room.

*Not because it matters to the story. Just so you’ll know who I’m talking about when I use a gendered pronoun later.

It’s not related to anything in particular, but I absolutely have to share this conversation with you because it was so completely insane.

Not even exaggerating. More insane than the conversation I had with that cab company in Texas.

And then I have to tell you about the other thing that happened. Because that was pretty great too.

The conversation in the next room.

The doctor: Don’t we have any scissors around here?
The nurse: I don’t know.
The doctor: It really seems like we should have scissors.
The nurse: I don’t know. I don’t see any.
The doctor: Didn’t we order some scissors?
The nurse: Oh, that’s right. We did. We haven’t picked them up yet.
The doctor: Well, we’re going to need scissors, you know.
The nurse: We should have some somewhere. They’ve got to be around here.
The doctor: Yes, scissors. I need scissors.
The nurse: I think they’re around here somewhere. Wait —

Sound of crashing and stuff falling over.

Me (in my head): Oy Vavoy.
The doctor: Oh dear.
The nurse: Well, I just walked right into you, didn’t I? Dear me. Well, at least the floor is clean.
The doctor: Do we at least have suture scissors?
The nurse: What?
The doctor: I need suture scissors.
The nurse: Indeed you do! You have a patient waiting in surgery in room 3.
Me: Uh oh. That’s me. Room 3. Crap crap crap. They don’t have scissors. What am I doing here?

The one-sided conversation in my head.

This is me, talking to myself. But when I say talking to myself, I mean talking AT myself.

Okay, sweetie. We’re good. We’re good.

What do we know about this situation? We know that you’re feeling nervous and needing some reassurance. And that’s legitimate. It’s understandable.

We know this doctor is very competent. You wrote a personal ad for him, remember? He did a lovely job putting the stitches in. You like him.

Sure, the nurse is a bit of a flakerooney, but at least she’s really nice. And anyway, you didn’t say anything about that in your personal ad, so yeah, you know …

Kind of funny, actually, because weren’t you just telling your Kitchen Table-ers about how important it is to be specific?

Okay, sorry. That was kind of obnoxious. I don’t mean to be lecturing you. I guess I’m just nervous.

Maybe we can just work on making this whole experience more comfortable. What can we do here? What would help?

Yoga breathing. Check. Mudra. Check. Grounding. Check. Centering. Check. What else?

The two-sided conversation in my head.

This is me, talking to myself. But when I say talking to myself, I mean talking WITH myself. Like group therapy, except that everyone is me.

Kind Sensible Loving Me: Okay, what are we feeling? What are we noticing?

Scared Tiny Me: Fear.

Curious Me: Is it ours? Does it belong to us?

Observer Me: Some of it is. A little. The rest is just residue. It’s in the room. It’s other people’s fear that they’ve left here.

Healer Me: Is this something that has to be here? Can I get permission to clear it out? Or to let it be cleared out?

Unsure Me: Maybe. Hmmmm.

Cruise Director Me: Alright. Anything that isn’t ours? Anything that doesn’t need to be here? You can go back to the earth and dissolve. You don’t need to be here anymore.

Twenty-five Year Old Me: Man, you are such an embarrassing hippie freak. How can you stand to be around yourself?

Right-Now Me: Sweetpea, I know this is hard for you when I’m all kooky and weird. I’m just going to remind you that we don’t have to believe in this stuff for it to help.

Reasoning Me: You know what it’s like when the energy of a room changes. Is there a reason why we can’t let that happen now?

Scared Tiny Me: Because I’m scared.

Kind Sensible Loving Me: Oh, my love. Oh, that’s hard. I am not going to try to talk you out of feeling what you’re feeling. Come sit here and be loved.

Long story short.

I finish talking to myself.

I clear the fear and the discomfort out of the space.

Then I remember how Hiro suggests calling on your allies in situations like these, so I asked for some helper mice to come to the rescue. Or at least to keep me company. To help me feel safe and supported.

There was some eye-rolling from my inner sarcastic zebra (don’t ask), but we got there.

My helpers and allies showed up. And we waited. Together.

Nu? So what happened?

The nurse comes in to take out the stitches.

Me (in my head): Nooooooooo. She’s doing it? Oh, disaster.

And then she starts to take out the stitches.

The nurse: Oh dear! Oops-a-daisy.
Me (in my head): Breeeeaaaaathe.
The nurse: It’s like I just can’t seem to focus my eyes. I should really have them checked.
Me (in my head): ?!??!
The nurse: Let’s put you at a different angle. Maybe it will be less blurry that way.
Me (in my head): Oh. My. God.
The nurse: Nope! It’s just me. Okey-dokey. Let’s see here. Is that two stitches or three at the end there? It’s certainly hard to tell!
Me (in my head): This is going to be really funny later, sweetie. I promise. In the meantime, just keep using your techniques and we’ll get you through this.
The nurse: Gee, I hope I’m getting them all. I might have left in one or two. We’ll ask the doctor about it.
Me (in my head): Oy.

But that’s not even the funny part. Or the strange part.

I look around at my circle of allies and helpers.

And they’re laughing so hard they’re on the floor. They’re just cracking up completely.

Falling apart.

And wouldn’t you know. That’s when all the really bizarre stuff started happening.

To Be Continued …

p.s. The stitches came out fine. No pain. It looks great. No worries.

I’ll call, I promise.

[Okay, if you missed the follow-up post, it’s right here: Scissors, Part 2. Enjoy!]

22 Responses to Scissors.

  1. Clayton Roche says:

    Isn’t there a blog you? I blogged journal-style a few years ago and almost instantly there was a blog-me.

  2. leah says:

    Oh my god! I can see why your allies would be rolling on the floor laughing, but I can’t believe the nurse was saying that stuff out loud! Geez!

    Glad you made it through o.k. xo

    leahs last blog post..CED Challenge Check-In: June 29 – July 5

  3. Avonelle Lovhaug
    Twitter: avonelleL

    What kind of sick and sadistic allies and helpers laugh at you when the crazy and blind nurse has sharp instruments near you?! I think you may need better allies and helpers!

    Thanks for making sure that we all know that you are okay. Otherwise that “To be continued” would have been really hard!

    Avonelle Lovhaugs last blog post..Avoiding the cone of silence

  4. Lori Paximadis
    Twitter: Virtuallori

    Lori Paximadiss last blog post..hey, turkey!

  5. Lori Paximadis
    Twitter: Virtuallori

    (That was some speechlessness.)

    Lori Paximadiss last blog post..hey, turkey!

  6. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Clayton – Ah, yes. Blog-me. Blog me is pretty much the one taking mental notes while everything happens!

    @Leah – me too!

    @Avonelle – oh, they weren’t laughing *at* me, though now I can see how it would seem that way. Sorry about that! Anyway, I hope some of that will get cleared up in part 2 when they get to talk a bit more. :)

    Thanks for looking out for me, sweetie. I totally appreciate it!

    @Lori – right?

  7. Lucy Viret (aka randomling)
    Twitter: lucyviret

    Wow. Havi, I am in awe of you and the way your techniques work. And your honesty about it all. You’re amazing. :)

    Lucy Viret (aka randomling)s last blog post..Love. It has teeth.

  8. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    Oh, Havi, I laughed so hard I had to grab my desk to keep from falling off my chair. Your story-teachings are brilliant, and draw me close like a campfire on a summer’s night. Thank you. I’m so glad you’re okay. The nurse too!:-)

    Love, Hiro

    Hiro Bogas last blog post..Power. Brought To You By The Number Eight

  9. sarah vela
    Twitter: orchid8

    you are freaking hilarious. i love you.

    sarah velas last blog post..On Mentoring

  10. dds says:

    “Not even the funny part”??? Are you kidding?! Dying for part two. (Let me guess…Kaiser? I used to love Kaiser so much before moving to Pdx….)

    ddss last blog post..Seattle Tourist Tweets (What I Did on my Summer Vacation)

  11. I’m laughing so hard right now! I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. But I have to tell you something that my husband taught me: It’s okay to ask for another person to take out your stitches if you think that the one doing the job can’t see what she’s doing! Really. It’s your body, remember?

    I’m glad it all worked out in the end.

    Colleen (bcharmer)s last blog post..Finding My Rhythm

  12. Natalia
    Twitter: nataliapresent

    That’s hilarious.

    And I love that you post so often!

    I would’ve asked her to please get the doctor maybe? Eeek!

  13. Riin
    Twitter: happyfuzzyyarn

    Yikes! There’s more?!

    Riins last blog post..Howdy

  14. Andi
    Twitter: annaline_39

    Is it sweeps week? Cliffhanger!? Oh, no. Glad it all worked out in the end though (thanks for the spoiler! :D)

    Andis last blog post..Her Name Is Lola

  15. Danielle
    Twitter: somaphile

    Oh Havi, I just love you to bits.

    I had to laugh with my head buried in my hands throughout this post. That part with the nurse taking out the stitches … that was a hilariously painful rendition of so many conversations I had with myself while I was an intern.

    I’ve often thought that to describe your work would be “it’s like group therapy for all the voices in your head.”

    I’m so glad to know there are other people with just as many kookie internal voices as I have (and an equally sarcastic, eye-rolling 25-year-old self).

    Love it. Love it. Love it.

    I’m so glad it turned out okay and can’t wait to hear the rest.



    Danielles last blog post..An update, a new blog and other yummy stuff.

  16. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Oh good!

    I was totally terrified that no one would find the humor in this and (even though, yeah, it kind of *was* disconcertingly horrible), the whole thing just hit my funny bone at just the right spot. Which is good, because it distracted me from the scary.

    @Natalia + Colleen – you are so so right. One of my big lessons right now is just asking for stuff out loud and giving myself permission to do that. So that is definitely something for me to think about.

    @Danielle – MWAH! Me too!

    Man, you guys are the best. Seriously.

  17. Andere Jessica says:

    No fair–you can’t leave us hanging like that!

    Annoying Process Question: are the one-sided and the two-sided (multiple-sided?!) conversations taking place at the same time? How can you tell who’s talking? I can hear that kind of cacophony in my head sometimes, but without those handy speaker-designations.

    Tell us the rest!

  18. Meredith says:


    I swear that your inner voices and helper mice and my inner voices and helper beings must have gone to the same inner voice and helper being/mice school back in the day. Whenever that was.

    “rolling on the floor, laughing”, yup. Sounds just like what goes on in my head.


    PS: See you in Taos. (hee hee)

  19. Kelly says:

    Noooooo! Don’t leave me hanging…
    Havi, thank you so much for giving me exactly what I needed in this moment – an awfully big laugh. Can’t wait to read the next installment. And very glad to hear you weren’t left with a big gaping hole – or worse, leftover stringy bits – on your skin :)

    Kellys last blog post..Binge eating doesn’t have to be the evil twin of depression

  20. Char
    Twitter: Charsfirststep

    You are so hysterical – and brilliant too to hear those voices talking with and to you, and able to identify whose who. And to ask for helper mice – who supported you by laughing at the whole scene with that part of you that could look at this and laugh.

    Truth really is stranger than fiction.

    Can’t wait for the next installment – it doesn’t get much better than this. I love how you can see through this so clearly with such humor.

  21. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Andere Jessica – ah, yes. That’s a super interesting question. I can go way way way into the Process Questions too!

    For me, in this particular case, the one-sided conversation happened first and then it morphed into a dialogue, which then got more and more crowded.

    But it wasn’t clamorous and cacophonous or anything. Everyone kind of went in turn and it was quite peaceful.

    But I guess I’ve been consciously hanging out with the parts of myself that talk with other parts of myself for so long that maybe they’ve worked out a system …

    Hope that helps a little. My guess is that it’s probably pretty individual.

    I know that Hiro Boga does a lovely exercise where she asks all the different aspects of her to exit the center of her heart and wait for her in a chamber. And then when she’s done meditating, she hangs out with them and they have a meeting. :)

  22. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    That must have been quite an experience! Some people are unbelievable…

    So there’s an upside to being so late in catching up with your blog after all: I can avoid the suspense and skip straight to Part 2! :)

    Josianes last blog post..Traveling Muffins

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