What's in the gallery?

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.


these are my roots

very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (also known as a Vision of Possibility & Anticipation) each week to practice wanting, listening, getting clear on my desires

the point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), it’s learning about my relationship with wanting, accessing the qualities

wanting can be hard, it is easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons for that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

this is the 326th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

the things we don’t know yet…

when I was in high school in michigan
I had the tremendous good fortune to study american history
with a young brand-new teacher who was intense and passionate

not just about history
but about systematically undoing
all the bullshit we’d been imbibing before we got to her

she convinced the school to acquire college textbooks for us
and we learned the things that don’t usually get learned
and unlearned the rest

for example we learned

that the “founding fathers”
were not good people so much as they were interesting

we learned about the mechanics and horrors of the slave trade
and how we betrayed and trampled the native american populations
and the ongoing aftermath of both of these that is swept under all the rugs

the awful sad stories of internment camps in the second world war

xenophobia, manifest destiny, imperialism,
the hilarious myth of american exceptionalism
the studious ignoring of desperate cries for help
the unwanted and sometimes insidious intervening

she taught us to be wonderfully skeptical, curious always

and she taught that you can absolutely love the place you inhabit
without being docile, or agreeing to its acquired mythology,
and you can expect better, and agitate for better

(thank you for this treasure)

and still there is so much we didn’t learn that year

so much

the textile mills in massachusetts
and the young women who worked impossibly hard hours there — 5am-7pm
a 73 hour work week operating heavy machinery

the worker’s strikes and the fight for labor reform

the fascinating life of Emma Goldman (“the most dangerous woman in America!”)
and other strong outspoken women who were agitators and troublemakers

what the suffragettes went through —
imprisoned, mishandled, force fed through tubes,
labeled as traitors, for wanting equal rights: to vote
and to do things as shocking as wear pants

the fire at the triangle shirtwaist factory
women workers (immigrants: jews and italians) jumping to their deaths
their employers kept the doors to the stairways locked
out of fear that god forbid someone might take a break
during her nine hour daily shift

this is a history of intense oppression of workers

and also a history of people — my people — taking a powerful stand towards change
and we never talked about any of it

I’m thinking about this in several contexts right now

1) today is Day 209 of Shmita

I’ve been working non-stop for twenty four years — since I was fourteen,
and now I’ve had the gift of two hundred and nine glorious days
of Not-Work, immersed in this experiment of letting my fields be fallow,
and the main thing I’ve learned is that The Game Is Rigged:

even in our modern convenience-filled world
and even with the plentiful magic beans I’ve been granted,

as a legal citizen, as someone who is white and well-educated and able-bodied and owns a washing machine, just for starters, and without kids or anyone else who requires care

still, even graced with so many advantages,
and this immense treasure of time off from my job/s,
just the work of day-to-day life
— acquiring food, preparing food, cleaning up, laundry, decision-making —
just this is already a full-time job,

and that’s the best days,
the ones with no chronic pain or unexpected life stuff

2) the cult of too much

for years when asked what I do for a living, my answer was:

“too much”

or IWOM which means “too much and top secret and I either can’t or don’t care to describe it”

but really everyone I know, the self-employed included,

  • does too much
  • works too hard
  • puts themselves last
  • pays themselves last
  • puts up with unreasonable conditions/expectations and other unsovereign bullshit (both from clients/bosses and from themselves)

3) we are terrible at setting expectations of what is enough

hell, even people who are much better-compensated than we are
also have this same problem
of not setting clear, sovereign expectations
for what is fair labor, and instead internalize this stress-shame-pain cycle,
and companies never revise their expectations

because their expectations are never challenged, though also yes, because they see people as expendable

4) the problem of “women’s” work

because women’s work is invisible, unvalued, unappreciated
and we know this
and still collectively forget it each day

and we are told by productivity-guru-time-management-experts
that we all have the same twenty four hours in a day
and the usual bullshit

said more often than not, I think, by men who
forget they have someone at home quietly doing the dishes
and picking up their socks,
someone who is never going to say

the game is rigged

do you know how my business started?

ten years ago I started this site, and a parallel site
one was for working on our stuff:
our pain/fear/monsters/doubt
so that we could inhabit and embody our internal worlds, and make them
places of peacefulness

the other was the non-profit side of this, for going out into the world
and bringing our self-fluency to projects
that could heal the world

because, as far as I was concerned, there is an intimate connection
between tending to, mending and healing ourselves (and our selves)
and glowing healing-mending into the world

never got to that part

it was always in my thoughts,
but the game is rigged, and there wasn’t time for it

and also I noticed that the only time there was pushback
on this blog was when I talked social justice

so I let it go

man, you should have seen the reactiveness and defensiveness
when I dared to point out that amazon is an exploitative dangerous company

and people thought it was gross when I talked about menstrual cups
which is funny, because

you know what’s actually gross?

  1. that we have been socialized and brainwashed to think that bodies which come with uteri and ovaries are “gross”, and to not discuss how they function
  2. oh, right, the 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators dumped in the landfill each year just in North America
  3. or that each menstruating person who doesn’t use a cup, cloth pads and/or Thinx, will be responsible for 125 to 150kg of disposable menstrual products put in the earth in their lifetime
  4. that tampons and pads are hugely toxic and harmful to the bodies of the people who use them, and the companies who make them know this and don’t care

that’s what’s gross

that, and the fact that me-then learned to stop writing about
these things I care about tremendously

because it seemed more important then to be able to reach people
and distribute tools and techniques and qualities for
healing and self-fluency and Safety First,
than to alienate people through saying things they weren’t ready to hear

but I’m done caring about that now

last night

my beautiful lover, who, for reasons beyond my comprehension
is dead-set (yes, that is the word)
on working himself to death
had just came back from an incredibly stressful work weekend
five hours away

this was his weekend, which followed a week of impossibly hard work days:
drive five hours
work non-stop and all night in unbelievably tense conditions
without food or access to food
or taking a break
sleeping just a little, and then five hours back

he didn’t take the day off yesterday to recover
instead he worked from 7am-7pm
and then drove to his other client to…you’ll never guess…
do some more work

there won’t be time for you unless you take it

he: how is it that I’ve been going all day and still have work to do?
me: probably related to the reason you didn’t say “hey I worked a hundred hours this weekend so I’m taking my weekend now”? though also because The Game Is Rigged
he: yes
me: there won’t be time for you unless you take it
he: but there’s always more work
me: exactly, and it’s kind of nuts that after a ten day work week, you’d put in thirteen hours today, and you’re still going — you might want to call your union rep

that was a joke but it’s no joke

(like me, he runs his own tiny company so there is no rep)
(but really, we should all be our own union reps)
(and consult with these internal reps in WUSIT situations and also all the time)
(because good lord, the conditions we agree to)
(and only this week after TWO DECADES of this nightmare of being on-call 24-hours a day did he establish overtime rates)

what’s the solution?

I don’t know
I only have small clues

I can tell you that when I am off social media
the quality of my life/time is better for me
but even when I am completely off social media
the game is still rigged and I am still busy

I can tell you that when my lover and I lived in a nine foot camper plus bed,
that was a very human-sized space, as he would say
and it made so many things very simple
but even a tiny space still needs to be swept all the time
it’s amazing how much dirt and mess accumulates
when life is concentrated in one place

I know I need to get back to rooting and rootedness
back to my roots
breathe down to the root

here is a clue from my madeleine


so there is a history here
a history of agitation, advocacy, creative activism,
real social justice, stirring up the pot,
sticking it to the man, whatever you want to call it

I was born into a line that isn’t too far off from
Emma Goldman levels of dissent and trouble-making
russian-jewish rabble-rousers? that’s my father’s father’s whole family

strong women who said fuck-off to the patriarchy:
that’s my hungarian paternal grandmother who ran away at seventeen
took off for british palestine where she consorted with gun runners and did
wild impossible things in dangerous exciting times

it is time for protesting
it is time for pointing out over and over again
that The Game Is Rigged
it is time for internal decolonizing of all the acquired
external rules and assumptions and bullshits
it is time to reclaim internal space, reclaim force fields

to say no
take time back
claim space and time
marching in the streets
of my own kingdom

unapologetically, that is the key

My history, my roots
I want the firm rooted knowing that justice and freedom
in all things are important, and that I can speak truth
from steady source
without apologizing

I am really tired of everyone apologizing,
even the most flagrantly unapologetic women I know
apologize for things that ought not be apologized for

placating and reassuring are a subset of apologizing

my god, even Amanda Palmer feels the need to reassure
a very rude shoe-thrower

— newsflash to all shoe-throwers, not that there are any here,
it’s never okay to let your monsters write someone a letter —

that no, she isn’t crowd-funding her baby

though, really, why shouldn’t she

the question may be rhetorical but that doesn’t mean it’s not important:
why the hell can’t she crowd-fund a baby?

(seriously, if anyone could do it, Amanda could)
(and babies, last I heard, are quite expensive and time-consuming)

I think it would be inspiring
it takes a village — what if we started asking for a village?!

and even Clementine Ford who is so justifiably proud of being
unapologetic that she straight up tells you
all the things she won’t apologize for
still feels the need to explain about her patreon:
“this isn’t an account to fund or support my lifestyle”
even though, again, what would be wrong with that

I mean, The Game Is Rigged

why not allow people to help with your life
so you can do your mission

I’ve read lots of patreon pages and have yet to see
men hasten to reassure people that they aren’t
just trying to get money for life through providing value

because men in general haven’t been as socialized to the same extent to think that’s shameful

I’m not saying men have it easy
(look, now I’m apologizing!)
see for example the case of my lover who couldn’t tell his clients
that he does in fact need to be paid more when they wake him up at 4am

we all get screwed by The Game Is Rigged
we all have to figure out our own way to subvert it

here’s what I want

and this is for me, you can wish (and do) what you like

  • taking — taking — time for me, every chance I get and then some
  • being fiercely unapologetic about everything I do to take care of me
  • no more supporting the system, I get that I can’t exit the system but I’m done giving money to Our Corporate Overlords and companies engaging in unethical practices (and yes, I get that this is most companies, and I get that figuring out who to trust requires the immense magic beans of time to research), if each dollar is a vote, I am going to vote louder
  • living smaller
  • choosing and valuing the qualities and superpowers of BEAUTY and COMFORT, and their healing magic
my mountain man lover who likes to sleep on the floor has been heard to say that “comfort kills”, though this also the person who is working himself to death, and what is actually killing him is his inability/disinclination to set clear expectations about how much work is too much work, so really a little physical comfort not only wouldn’t kill him, it might actually save him, but saving people is not my job, so that’s going to be up to him

anything else about this?

I just want to be clear
(because this is the internet and people twist words and meanings)
that I am not in any way comparing the injustices of the industrial revolution
to how we work too hard and too much today

this is not about comparison
this is about calling in the spirits, invoking the qualities and superpowers
of Sovereignty, Integrity, personal power: rebelliousness and rabble-rousing

what am I noticing about my wish?

like all good wishes, this is a wish about freedom
and about presence:
fully inhabiting and occupying this life and this body, claiming space:

may it be so!


orange table, amber bottle of a magical tincture, fuzzy blanket, quiet music, I am here

superpower of yes to my yes, no to my no.

October - Be Bold More last month was stand in my strength more, and october (on the Fluent Self calendar) is be bold more

with the superpower of yes to my yes, no to my no

nothing is more important than this

this is how I want to live in all things
even when it scares me

last week’s wishes

aka delicious space

that was the best wish I have ever wished, and it
was just the tip of an enormous wishberg
of internal information, desires, memories, associations
endless nooks and crannies to explore
as if just naming a wish
is invoking a magnificent library
that holds anything and everything
I could possibly know or wonder about the topic of my wish

thank you, process of writing about wishes, and thank you, me who asked

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share anything sparked for you while reading

deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, intel, possibly in code

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

wishes are never late because whenever you wish is the right time for wishing

here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: oh, wow what beautiful wishes

56 Responses to these are my roots

  1. I have only one thing to say: !!!!!!!

    Okay, I have one other thing to say, and forgive me if it sounds patronizing or (more likely) too nineties: you go girl!
    That Neil Guy recently posted… An App to Make You Happier

  2. Beth says:

    Oh my god.
    You have an amazing clarity.
    You make the impossible seem achievable.

  3. Lucky Lola
    Twitter: lirarenee

    I love this. I love you.
    I too, am here.
    Infinite variation. Perfectly human.

    My superpower today is “this pleases me”.
    And so it does.

    Such beautiful wishes. May it be so.

  4. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    1 yr out of h.s., I began working (as close to full time as I could get), and then I worked as much as I could for 25 years. Including FT while I attended college PT.

    If I wasn’t working, per how my parents raised me – I felt I didn’t deserve to exist.

    And then we moved to MD. I got laid off from my 1st job here. Unemployment (1st time). 2nd job – got fired. Couldn’t find anything else for well over a year. Stopped looking. Existential crisis for the next 4 yrs.

    Eventually realized I’m autistic, which is a disability. I’m not sure I can ever work for pay again. So… who am I? Can I deserve existing? What do I fill my time with that can be meaningful *to me*?

    Still struggling with all of it. But reading you every week, Havi, helps. So much.
    Pqw-orange recently posted… Reading List 11 of 2015

    • Claire P
      Twitter: making_space

      Disability prejudice/ablism is sooooooo deeply entwined with the work/shame oppression that exists in our culture, recursively seeding and reinforcing one another. Refusing to apologise for one’s existence, regardless of our level of ability (in each moment, which is dynamic for everyone) is political.

      AND, hello, the changing abilities of old age is coming for everyone who manages to stay alive long enough, and I often wonder why it is so linked with a loss of ‘dignity’. What does that even mean? WHY do we feel it is ‘undignified’ to require care? WHY do we insist that ability must ONLY increase to satisfy ‘dignity’? If a person can remain self-determined and is clear of internalised disability prejudice, would being cared for still feel so undignified? I am an advocate for self-determination including the sovereign right to decide on the timing and manner of one’s dying AND I wonder if some of the aversion to being cared for when elderly or sick and frail isn’t, for many people, an aversion to the shame that arises at the thought of it. And isn’t that evidence of how deeply disability prejudice runs? I don’t see these views as conflicting. If someone wants a medically assisted death I am supportive of that, and I also want to live in a culture where being cared for and experiencing dignity are not so seemingly opposed.

      • Claire P
        Twitter: making_space

        That is to say…. I do not believe the aging into or illnessing into disability would be SO painful if Living While Disabled/Differabled were not held to be/experienced as suspect, if not outright shameful.

      • Vica Pota says:

        We need a village for the care of the elderly and disabled too. We need a village for the care of all of Our Selves too. Think how much healthier we’d all be, and how much less stressed, if no one had to carry on alone and unsupported.

        • Natanya says:

          Claire and Vica, yes yes yes!!! How we treat our elderly and the lack of support systems for caregivers is horrid!!!!! And yes of course (lightbulb! thank you Claire) related to how we treat disabled/differabled, and the whole concepts of “dignity” and work and “abledness”. And of course this is related to fear of aging and women trying to look 35 forever, at great expense (on so many levels). Dignity needs to be completely redefined.

  5. Christine Myers
    Twitter: ladychrismyers

    How this resonates for me:

    An image, and I mostly get words, not pictures.

    Divine Feminine in lotus pose, root chakra glowing, eyes closed and one arm raised in a fist pump of Sovereign Yes.

    Soft and strong.

    Grounded and reaching.

    All are welcome at this table of Good.
    Christine Myers recently posted… Book Review: The Ghosts of Tsavo by Vered Ehsani

  6. J'aime says:

    *cheers* !!!

    Also, I thought about getting a menstrual cup ages ago, for exactly those reasons, and then didn’t because inertia. And I don’t like change. And I’m ordering that thing today, anyway. It’s worth a try, isn’t it, monsters? An experiment.

  7. Kylie says:

    Oh, THIS! Havi! Thank you for writing this today, when I’m in a particularly rabble-rousing state of mind and could thoroughly soak it up and enjoy it. Sending much love and appreciation.
    Kylie recently posted… Comment on the revelatory magic of curiosity by Kylie

  8. kathryn says:

    * stands and applauds *

    i love your articulation about this issue. i am currently having the experience where there are a lot of things i’m good at, a lot of things i _could_ do, but then there is a thing i _want_ to do, a thing i _crave_ doing. and i am trying to pull my hand back from the world that wants my attention to tell me what’s important, put that hand on my heart and say, “no. _this_ is what’s important.”

    i also had the experience last week of avoiding phone calls and emails because i would have started them all with “sorry ____” and i realized that not only was i NOT sorry, but that i was so fucking tired of apologizing i decided to never do it again.

    anyway, i love you. let us be rooted.

  9. Karensu Light_of_Summer
    Twitter: light_of_summer


    • Karensu Light_of_Summer
      Twitter: light_of_summer

      Oops! Those were supposed to be hearts, not question marks.

      <3 <3 <3 <3 <3!

  10. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Kim
    Twitter: avoidingkim

    I’ve been gone for so long (why?) but because there is magic I read this today and remembered why I love it here.

  12. Anna says:

    <3 <3 <3

    On a practical level I am fortunate to have easy access to organic cotton pads (made by Natracare). I compost them in my garden… mmm

  13. Margaret says:

    SING IT, SISTER!!!!!

  14. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat


    And yes, the wish that I find myself wishing this week fits beautifully with all of this:

    I want to breathe more deeply. This is about singing and using my voice and caring for my voice, metaphorically and also quite literally. May my breathing more deeply — remembering to do it, actually doing it, experiencing it, savoring it — serve as a fractal flower for everything in my life that needs more breath, more space, more love.

    Also, I support your mission. I am here. <3

  15. Kate says:

    Kate recently posted… 09/21 — Pirate Fest

  16. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah


  17. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    what I see
    is that Amanda IS crowdfunding her baby
    the crowd
    is one person
    who has settled on funding the project
    who happens to be a millionaire
    so it’s easy for him to choose that

    in cases where
    the immediate project support crowd
    is less able to
    assume the entire cost
    of the project
    should it be
    so verboten
    to ask
    the village
    to help out

    except that projects
    that are children
    and the carers
    of those children
    do not
    their keep
    on this planet
    to the story
    of the culture
    we live in
    right now

    to be a child
    or the carer of a child
    is to impinge
    on the energy and resources
    of people
    which is why
    single parents
    especially women
    get so much flak
    for ‘welfare’

    why is the idea of welfare
    in its essential
    form as a
    have become so associated
    with shame

    of the story
    that our culture
    tells us

    and who
    when we believe that story
    and how

    and culture
    is held together
    by agreement
    and each time we choose
    to believe a different story
    we strengthen that new story
    and weaken the overriding culture

    so choosing our stories
    with care
    and thoughtfulness
    and power

    • Havi Brooks
      Twitter: havi

      agreed x1000!

    • Havi Brooks
      Twitter: havi

      also: 1) I somehow temporarily forgot that amanda has a partner and about the resources he has
      2) can we please please please from now on refer to ALL situations in which there are two or more people raising and caring for a child as “crowd-funded babies”, just to see what happens if we start thinking of it that way

    • Vica Pota says:

      Confusion reigns and the game is rigged.
      and the carers
      of those children
      do not
      their keep
      on this planet
      to the story
      of the culture”

      And yet
      Amanda Palmer and
      and how many others
      are pressured by Society
      and Culture
      and Family
      to have children.

      To stop earning their keep.
      To stop having value.
      To give up their identities
      and their work in the world.

  18. Rudi says:

    What wonderful wishes & awesome thought-stirring thoughts!

  19. Leocadia says:

    I let
    The day
    Do the talking.

    The day had
    So much
    To say.

    The day
    Was filled
    With sounds.
    An orchestra
    Of instances
    Reaching out.”

    I came across this on Sunday when I had a hermit day and it felt so apt.
    Leaving hearts for this post.

  20. Rosie Braeburn says:

    RAWWR! what beautiful wishes. what beautiful writing. impact – with beautiful qualities and love.

    my lover and your lover share this work, work, never say no to clients stuff, and I, like you, see that it is not my job to save him. It is sad and heartbreaking to witness. It is coming to the point where my self care may mean removing myself from it all so I don’t have to witness it. it hurts.

    for me,I learned the hard way about setting employer boundaries, I give. I am as present as I can be. I watch my coworkers work 70 and 80 hour weeks, and I answer them no – I don’t feel guilty that I have boundaries. employer rents x amount of my time, my brain, my talents, but not Me, not my life. I don’t get replaced. I get respected. and promoted. and thanked for my clarity and presence and kindness. I wish I had not had to learn about this in a critical care bed via the emergency room. I don’t need to learn that again. [sending love and nutritious soup to me-then who did her best with what she knew]

    The game is rigged. My wish is for me to slice that rigging, one cable, one strand at a time. To never ever go back. and yes, to choose the qualities I want in my life. to, thread by thread, rig a new game for me.

  21. Do Mi Stauber
    Twitter: dmstauber

    Wow!!!!! And sparklepoints to me for the ongoing struggle to be free of, to rise out of, placating and reassuring and apologizing.

    Also sparklepoints to my phone’s autocomplete, which knows what sparklepoints are!

    We ate HERE!!!!!

  22. Vica Pota says:

    My wish is all about Q of L, for me and for MH and for the Helpful One. Q of L. May I recognize it and value it and not let anyone or anything stand between me and what I want for Q of L.

    The game is rigged, and I am sometimes able to insinuate myself between strands of the rigging and live according to my lights. More of this, please, more often.

  23. Questing Lee says:

    Oh, wow, what beautiful wishes.
    For you.
    For me, I have chosen Brazil. I have always chosen Brazil. I will drop my red velvet ropes and let you peer into my theater and see that Questing Lee in Brazil is always playing. And they stand outside and say, “We can’t touch her, she’s gone to Brazil permanently.” And all they can do is destroy my body.

    (Brazil, the 1985 movie.)

  24. Esme
    Twitter: TheRealSqualor



  25. Denise says:

    AMAZING as usual.
    Just wanted to share this cool website about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. I used to use it when I taught about the fire. I’m not connected to the website in any other way; I just think it’s a cool site.


  26. Rachel says:

    Um, yes. My brain is still exploding with the abundance of consciousness-filled gems that you’ve written about here (and in every post on your site). Yes.

    Say more about social justice. Say more about agitators and menstrual cups and The Game. Isn’t a big part of it that it riles people up? Keep on with what moves you and others will be moved, too.

    My wish today is to move toward living more unapologetically. How many sentences do I begin with, “Sorry, but…” ? Too many. Thanks for all the wisdom you’ve imparted and the bits of your soul that you expose here so that we can grow together.

  27. Chandler
    Twitter: AnagramPress

    Oh, this is pinging around inside my skull, hitting all the pain and pleasure points, until I’m just sitting here nodding, yes, yes, yes.

    Yes for the acknowledgment that if “it takes a village,” then OF COURSE that baby (all the babies) are crowdfunded. As they should be.

    Yes for recognizing that expectation/urge/need/justification/whatever-the-hell-it-s of PARTITIONING FUNDS, even if the partitions are imaginary.

    Yes for the acknowledgment of some magic beans that just landed in my lap this month, of a grant I received that is specifically FOR all the things I’m usually not allowed to apply for funding to support.

    Yes for Emma, and the Triangle Shirtwaist girls, and every other woman who worked for something—either publicly or privately.

    And yes to noticing how we work ourselves to death. How we are expected to work ourselves to death, how it is seen as noble. How “paying our dues” is a prerequisite to recognition or acceptance. I just found out today that a friend died over the weekend. He was an artist, just 29 years old, and while he had already accomplished so much through his work (including agitating for change every moment), he was still “paying his dues,” still viewed as something unfinished, untested. And still working too hard, I am willing to bet.

    And now I’m nodding in confusion, because my friend is gone, and we’ll never see what he could have done, and all the things you and I and we have stated above are still true. And even as I read and say these things, I look over to my drafting table and see the pile of work I’ve laid out for myself. Nodding to that grindstone at my side, the one I myself have put there. Wondering where to go from here.
    Chandler recently posted… The long view

  28. Julia
    Twitter: JuliaBushue

    This is beautiful and so are you!
    Julia recently posted… When all else fails, lie on the floor.

  29. Katie says:


    Of course the Game is Rigged, how could I have forgotten that? We need more reminding. I want to hear more about what I can do. I want to hear more about a world where I can nap gloriously, guilt-free.

    And wow, they have Thinx in my size!

  30. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt


    This post! This beautiful post!

    I want to say more, but I am typing on my phone

    before I start work today

    as a trade unionist

    for a trade union.

    So I will say


    and come back later

    Kathleen Jowitt recently posted… Breaking the surface

  31. seagirl says:

    I didn’t leave a wish on the day this post came out. Which is always a clew that I am waiting for something to change or get better before I wish, or update on wishes.

    Last week I wanted more something with Code Name: 35. And I got it. A most wonderful day with him of taking chances and being brave and vulnerable and laughing and sharing stories and seeing our friends later.

    And now I have a wonderful opportunity to be curious about what might happen. And to remember to keep my heart open and to try to quiet the monsters who are trying to shut the door so I’ll be safe. I might make them some tea.

    So what I want is further travel down the road.

  32. Ravenstar says:

    The game is rigged, and the ways in which I am complicit with the rigging (unintentionally, because – rigged!!! but also some intentional because of apathy, or overwhelm, or lack of confidence in feeling like I can make a difference) are frustrating indeed. The apologizing thing – argghhh!!!! Like another commenter mentioned, the number of times I catch “sorry” coming out of my mouth for things I have ZERO need or reason to be sorry for is RIDICULOUS!!! It’s like a nervous tic, and it MUST STOP.

    So my wish, to start with, is to strike the word “sorry” from my vocabulary for a while. An experiment. The internal scientists are getting their notebooks ready. I can, of course, use the word if I do ACTUAL HARM that truly REQUIRES an apology, but otherwise no. Or *notice* when I do, and observe context, and reflect.

    My other wish is for sweet and smooth sailing for an upcoming substitute-goat-herding engagement. May it be fun and sweet and full of love and ease.

    Thank you for this post. The rabble is roused, and it is beautiful. <3

  33. Angel says:

    I have had so many favorite posts here through the years. So many things that have stirred me up and reminded me that even when I feel unseen and unheard, the truth that I feel is seen and heard (and felt!) by others.

    This, though?

    This is my Favorite favorite. So many reasons for this – but for now… thank you <3
    Angel recently posted… Counting On Us

  34. Tessa says:

    just reading this now, and want to say amen, thank you for this beautiful post, Havi. One of my favorite posts from you, ever. I have been thinking about you and your work nonstop as I write my thesis about restoring meaning & connection to our society (already cited you in one essay) and may have to cite this post now. <3
    Tessa recently posted… “Attention is not currency” by Sarah J. Bray

  35. Puck says:

    Everything on me says Yes to this!

    Thank you, Havi!

    It was so important for me to read this now, today, after such a week of hating myself in large part because of my perceived *selfishness*! How ridiculous to think that, but of course I’ve internalised all this shame and forgotten that The Game Is Rigged!

    Such a timely reminder. Thank you. ?

  36. Nela says:

    I hope for more words like this from you,
    more of the thoughts that had to be pushed to the side before

    we are ready.
    Nela recently posted… Sketchbook adventures: Aqua Ladies sketching process video

  37. elspeth says:

    Yes. Yes to this.
    I live in a completely income-sharing intentional community, where we crowdfund our babies, and the game is still rigged; we still have the Work Work Work mentality!

  38. vvvvvvvv says:


    Indeed, the game is rigged. Dishes need to be washed. I know I have “modern conveniences” but I also get full of resentment that the brain and heart I’ve been investing in building still have to wash dishes. OK, no point resenting what I have no control over, but permission to resent being unappreciated, please!

    Sorry is a word on my radar. Recently, I read that more women say “just” at work, as in “Can I just ask you a quick question?” Hey, dude, I’m going to ask you a long question. And I take up “your” time. And I take up space. And it’s ok!

    Our wish is beautiful, for being appreciated for our setting up the beautiful here and now.

    • vvvvvvvv says:

      Also, anger at the rigged nature of the game is permitted. And maybe anger leads to seeing the fear monster underneath (monster: maybe I’m not good enough, if I can’t get the dishes washed while working 100 hours. Maybe I deserved to be soul-level drained by what I get done and ashamed for what I don’t). Ah, so now there is a pink sad fluffy monster who needs to get her dishpan hands manicured while I fuel my genuine yes with self-appreciation and gentle loving self-care.

  39. Puck says:

    !!!! Yes to all of this. I keep coming back to it because it’s SO IMPORTANT and so vital. <333 thank you
    Puck recently posted… Wishes for the New Year

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