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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.


Very Personal Ads #109: there will be tea

very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal! Very.

Each week I write these VPAs to practice asking for what I want. And to get clarity on what that really is, even when asking feels conflicted.

I always get useful information about my relationship with various aspects of the ask. Join in if you like!

Thing 1: my new morning thing

Here’s what I want:

The other day I had this massive understanding — a shivanautical Moment of Bing, in fact — about the whole “morning begins at night” thing.

And now I can’t find a link to where I’ve written about morning beginning at night. Is it in the Dissolve-o-Matic maybe? Does anyone remember this?

So I’ll probably have to write about it. Remind me.

But anyway. it was a clear vision of this morning ritual/something, which I prepare the night before. That way it’s both an exit practice for the day that is ending and an entry for the day I’m about to begin.

I love this! And I want to actually use it.

Ways this could work:

Not sure yet.

Maybe I’ll play with this at Rally (Rally!) which starts tomorrow night (!) and use the ridiculous assemblage of arts and crafts.

Maybe I can throw together a beta version based on my dazed post-epiphany notes and scribbles.

It might also help to talk with slightly future me about how this new morning thing has helped her, and what she thinks I should know about it.

My commitment.

To be receptive to many different ways that this could work.

To invoke the spirit of play. Play!

And to mess about gleefully, instead of trying to “get it right”, despite knowing that such a thing does not in fact exist.

To have a tea date with the monsters. And possibly not show up. But to invite as many negotiators as are needed.

Thing 2: obscenely ridiculous platform shoes

Here’s what I want:

So the stage at the Playground is not as high as I would like it to be.

Especially when we have twenty five people who all need to mirror me during Shiva Nata. And even though it’s Tall People To The Back, of course everyone wants to be in the back.

Which makes it hard to see properly.

What I really want is a higher stage. But in the meantime, I want some crazy high shoes.

Like RuPaul shoes.

And yes, I normally teach barefoot, but come on.

Ways this could work:

Suggestions and favorite shoes? Leave them here.

I could poke around downtown.

In the meantime, I am just throwing it in the pot.

My commitment.

To be silly and have fun with this.

And, of course, to not do anything high-impact when I’m wearing them. :)

And more monster tea dates, of course. Because Yoga Teacher Me is not liking this idea at all and is throwing shoes. They’re just little cotton slippers but I want to make sure that she’s okay.

Monster Tea Dates. Just one guy?

Thing 3: Setting the dates for next year’s Rallies!

Here’s what I want:

To decide on all the dates for our Rallies (Rally!) for the upcoming year.

Except that each time I start to do this, I freak just a leeeetle bit out over the fact that it’s already practically 2012 which is totally the future, and then I have a little aging crisis.

That’s entertaining!

So let’s not do that this time.

But I really do need those dates.

Ways this could work:

I’m thinking I can OOD it.

Ideally at the Rally.

In some sort of creative and amusing way. And again, monster tea dates, etc.

My commitment.

To have fun with this if I can.

To be patient with myself if I can’t.

To explore and find out what’s hiding in there. But without poking!

Thing 4: using/implementing/reviewing new system

Here’s what I want:

This past week I spent six hours revamping my systems for the Rally Orientation and some of the other parts of Rally.

This still needs work. But I won’t have time to play with it for a while.

And on Monday night I get a chance to see where I’m at with this.

So I want to observe and take notes, while not reserving judgment because this whole thing is still such a work in progress.

Ways this could work:

I can use the green pen to take meta notes in my Rallying notebook.

And I can do a spangly Revue at the end.

My commitment.

To appreciate me-from-last-week for getting this together in time for Rally #12.

To do what I can to help me-from-next-month who will be doing Rally #13.

To do this with popsicle permission slips and amnesty and ease — it’s a process and this is where I’m at with it.

Thing 5: excitement for Laura and for Maryann!

Here’s what I want:

Two of my people are quietly doing especially neat things right now.

Laura announced her Secret Boutique and it is gorgeous and amazing.

Maryann is doing a Day of Secret Playdating, which is going to be fantastic. She will also be at the September Rally if you want to meet her in person.

I would love to see lots of positive attention and excitement for these two beautiful projects.

Ways this could work:

I can tell you about them. You can visit and spread the word.

My commitment.

Excitement. Happiness. Rejoicing. Delight. Firgun. Another thing I need to write about, apparently!

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

Just to update you on what’s happened since last time.

I wanted stuff to happen with Island Time, and boy did it ever! Island Time has been one of the most incredible experiments I’ve ever done.

Then I wanted to spread the word about Colleen’s thing and that’s happening too! Right on.

I also had Oodles of OODs! And I still do. But progresses were made, and I’m feeling good about this even though there’s still a ton of work to do.

The next thing was about putting together a collection of Rally-relevant blog posts. Which I did. But it was so absurdly long that now I’m feeling conflicted about what happens next.

And I wanted people to come with me on the walk in Overlook Park, and I ended up going with Casey. So yay. Thank you, VPAs. And thank you, commenter mice and Beloved Lurkers!

Comment zen. Here’s what I’d love today.

Things that are welcome! Your own personal ads, small or large. Updates on past ones if you like.

Leave your gwishes! Throw things in the pot!

Things we try to keep away from: the word “manifest”, telling people how they should be asking for things, unsolicited advice.

VPA amnesty applies, of course. Leave yours any time between now and next Sunday (or whenever, really) — it’s all fine by us!


17 Responses to Very Personal Ads #109: there will be tea

  1. Kaleena
    Twitter: Kaleena

    Rally dates for next year? Yes! It would be a long trip for me, so that would afford me much needed planning.

    I’m Gwishing this week. I’m Gwishing HARD. I’ve decided that this is the week to start sending out poetry submissions to an online publication I’ve been eyeballing. This will be a really big first step for me. I will accept any and all good mojo that may be tossed in my general direction.


    What I Want: To Complete A Short Story This Week

    There has been little progress on the fiction writing front. A few words in the novel, but that’s about it. I have two shorts in the works and both have come to a halt. Getting stuck in the writing quickly morphed into a general stuckness. I would dearly love to finish or at least come close to completion.

    Ways This Can Work:

    -Get back on that Shiva Nata pony. I played with Level 4 earlier this week (lots of fun!) but I haven’t been – oh I don’t bloody know – committed? Time has been short lately. I will set more time out for this. It’s like a VPA in a VPA (INCEPTION!!!!).

    -To play with my FABULOUS new Stone Skipping Cards and roll around in my Play Spray like a cat getting high on cat nip.

    -To look at this Wall of Mine and be a Fox Designing a Video Game. I just reread that post this morning. Amazing how posts that seemed simply reasonable at the time can strike you as so profound later. Throwing myself against this problem hasn’t worked. Now I have to be crafty. I have to develop a willingness to experiment with other ways of doing this.

    Love for everyone and their precious VPAs and Gwishes.

  2. pat says:

    I like this new way of thinking about shoes! Not all shoes are bad! Shoes that are thrown = bad. Shoes that are fun and enable you to do something cool and/or useful = good!

  3. Cori says:

    “And now I can’t find a link to where I’ve written about morning beginning at night. […] Does anyone remember this?”

    Yes, I remember that … I guess I’m a librarianish lurker mouse, temporarily decloaking! There’s a little mention in the Shiva Nata starter kit: “Ten Tips: Starting (and sticking to) a home practice”.
    Cori recently posted… A Poem in Praise of Bees

  4. seagirl says:

    I seem to be in a slack tide. In between the rushing in of the high tide and the going out of the low tide. Just resting, drifting. Not even having anything I want to VPA about.

    Good gwishes to everyone this week.

  5. Katie Hart
    Twitter: yogiconomist

    Steve Madden makes some great platform wedges: http://www.stevemadden.com/CategoryItem.aspx?id=143&nav=384&np=127_282-143_384

    For the yoga teacher in you, you might like Jambu’s sporty wedges: http://www.jambu.com/2011/Spring/Products/Sporty-Wedge/index.htm
    Katie Hart recently posted… The Daily Grind

  6. Lurker Mouse Caroline says:

    Just echoing Cori above, ‘morning begins at night’ is tip number 8 on page 29 of Getting Started with Shiva Nata (love it, love it, love it!)

    As a brand-new Shivanaut, ‘morning begins at night’ is imprinted on my brain (or it would be, but my usual practice time is actually around five in the afternoon. It refreshes and helps to clear away the debris of the day at that time!)

  7. Tapley
    Twitter: tapleyruth

    Thing 1: To feel beautiful

    Here’s what I want:
    This October I am serving as a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding. The bridesmaid dresses have arrived at the salon in Virgnia, so I need to get mine shipped to me in Texas for alteration (regardless of other issues, alteration will have to happen – bridesmaid dresses simply aren’t proportioned for women who are 5’1”). At the time that measurements got taken, and sizes decided upon, I was steadily losing weight. Since then, I have not only stalled on the weight loss, but managed to gain back a few pounds. So now I am really nervous that I was overly optimistic when I chose what size to get. What I want is to be able to fit into the dress when it arrives. I want any alterations to be to make the thing smaller (which practically speaking is so much easier than making it larger). I want to feel beautiful in this dress.

    Ways this could work:
    It just could. The dress could arrive and fit, end of story.

    I could destuckify the weightloss project, and my body could achieve the desired size and shape with ease and efficiency.

    My commitment.
    To spend some time with my relationship to beauty. Dancing, journaling, projectizing, learning.

    To be as patient with myself as I can be.

    To remember how very, very happy I am for my friend who is getting married.

    Thing 1: Health and answers
    Here’s what I want:
    I have had an ongoing physical thing for several months now. Not huge or life threatening, but disruptive. The solution the doctor has given me in the past – not so helpful. So I have another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. What I want is for him to be able to just give me a solution that works. Period. Well, what I want is for this problem to be over, solved, done with. Permanently. I am open to solutions other than one he gives me, but that does seem the simplest route at the moment.

    Ways this could work:
    He could have some other cream or whatnot, and that will work, and that is it.

    I could work through the internal stuck that is creating the external problem.

    Something else?

    My commitment.
    To keep having conversations with Me Who Has Solved This. Also known as Me Who Knows About Safety and Health.

    To look up Havi’s posts about approaching any problem from a bunch (5?) of different directions and see how I could apply that.

    To keep telling my body that I love it. And to mean it as often as possible.

    To get up the morning of the doctor’s appointment and spend some focused time preparing myself.

    Update on Last Time:
    Last week I asked for a system to keep up with the new stuff being published in fantasy fiction. And I came up with one. It isn’t set in stone, but so far so good. I also asked for plane tickets for the wedding in October – and that worked out wonderfully! I discovered that Reagan Int’l Airport is very nearly the same distance from the wedding site as BWI, and that made the plane tickets over $100 less!!!

    Have a great week everyone – may all your gwishes come true!

  8. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    Reading Nonviolent Communication for the first time.

    Destuckification mug handle broke off. It’s glue-able but it feels weird.

    “The gift you gave is gonna last forever”

    I don’t believe that. Michael Hutchence was addicted. I am not. But the music still claws at me.

    In the meantime?

    I NEED to write. I don’t know why I’m not.
    Risa recently posted… Tendrils of Workspace

  9. VickiB says:

    “Morning begins at night.” So true – an easy morning happens when I get things ready the night before.

    Related to that: “A good night’s sleep begins in the morning.” A sleep doctor told me that. Getting up at the same time each morning, and – eeks! – going for a walk early in the day help me sleep better at night.

    (There’s a little voice reminding me that we’re supposed to live in the present! Haha.)

    And special shoes! I love it. There’s something about shoes. The right shoes make the outfit, sometimes they make the mood, sometimes they help you get things done.

    Havi, you wrote: “So I want to observe and take notes, while not reserving judgment because this whole thing is still such a work in progress.”
    That made me blink. NOT reserving judgement? Aren’t we supposed to reserve judgement when we’re trying things out? Then I thought, no, you have to make some judgements about whether the thing is working or not, and what to do if it isn’t working.

    Monday morning workmen are coming to start redoing my kitchen! We had to totally empty out the kitchen, and the result is a disruption of all of our usual routines. Yay! Because this ought to provide Shivanautical insights and epiphanies about home and comfort. What I want this week is for everything to go smoothly, and for me to be productive as I work around the upheavel. Since so much is out of place and will need to be put in place again, I hope to find some things that have gone missing.

    Last week I threw into the pot the idea of turning that upstairs space into a Playroom and that hasn’t happened yet. Since I won’t be able to do the usual things in the usual way, I’ll be spending more time upstairs and that could make it happen.

  10. jaed says:

    Something I do is to set up morning tea before going to bed. I fill the kettle, get out a teacup and saucer, and pick out a tea bag (whatever kind seems like it will be good for tomorrow morning). When I lurch out to the kitchen in the morning, it’s there waiting for me and all I have to do is flip the switch on the kettle, take the tea bag out, and pour the hot water a couple of minutes later.

    It’s oddly…settling, both at night (last thing I do before going to bed, quiet capstone on the day) and in the morning (pleasant tea!). Also for some reason my choice of tea flavor the night before always strikes me as just perfect the next morning.

  11. Angela
    Twitter: angelagayehorn

    I have been hanging around here long enough to know if this is the right place for me to place my NSPA, but here goes:

    I’d like a new tenant for our beautiful cottage and/or okay from landlords to be released from lease 3 months early with full deposit returned to us. Cape Town here we come! Yeehaa! ;-)
    Angela recently posted… The pros of exercising (there are no cons, only your flimsy excuses)

  12. Dawn says:

    Update on my very ask-y week last week:

    I wanted to better understand what’s going on with X situation, and figure out an approach that would work. I did a lot of thinking about this, esp as I approached the point where my stuff got triggered. Slowing down and breathing was the BEST solution, because it made me pause (paws!) instead of running around all crazy feeling the loss of time.

    For my 2nd ask, I did stay open to this thing that I wanted, but realized when faced with it, that I didn’t want *it* per se, but I wanted the qualities it offered. So I’ll be doing some more thinking about how to get those qualities, but I think I’m already on my way to incorporating them.

    Lastly, I used the strategies I mentioned, although for complicated reasons, I’m not sure they helped as much as I would have liked.

    This week, my primary ask is to be patient with myself during a transition related to the above last ask. It’s a last-resort-ish strategy that scares me, so I need to be patient, patient, patient. I vow to be patient. :-)

    My secondary ask is to continue the more intensive cardio work that I’m doing, and to pay attention to how my body and mood shift. I will follow a workout routine, and be mindful during and after each session. I may also journal the effects for future reference. I will also be grateful that my injury pain seems to be easing and making space for me to enjoy cardio work again.
    Dawn recently posted… Giving Myself the Silent Treatment

  13. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Last week’s VPA went well, and I am very grateful!

    This week, I just feel like throwing some stream-of-consciousness seasonings into the pot:

    Time to rest, and also time to work in the ways I want to work. Lots of cuddles, in a climate that makes them comfortable. Protection and regeneration in that One Sticky Situation. Scheming about systems, with clarity and fresh energy.

    I can map out my time. I can use my favorite productivity tricks from the Dissolve-o-Matic. I can flesh out the colorful characters in my head, and let them help each other.

    I commit to being present. I will do my best to notice when bits of me are wandering away or hiding in the closet. When I find them, I will ask them what they need, and listen for the answers.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Friday Fragments: The River Six

  14. Sue T says:

    Looking forward to meeting Maryann in September with the other Rallions!

  15. Laura Eliason
    Twitter: SaltyLaura

    thank you for sharing in the excitement Havi; I am filled with gratitude!

  16. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    VPA 1 – moving, emotionally

    I want to move through some of the pain graciously; focus on the good; find the good; know there is good and there is good for me.

    VPA 2 – lower or other expectations

    there is no way i will continue to perform under that much pressure. and so i will not and so i want to find a different way of relating to this work

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