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.


wild into wonder

very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (or 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 360th consecutive week of wishing, come play!


I pulled a card — a stone skipping card:
what does my project wish I knew

my project whispered to me that it exists to be a sanctuary for me
it intends to both become a sanctuary and to be the process
by which I learn how sanctuary works
though mainly right now it wants me to just
stop caring about the “tasks” I think are related to the project
and instead focus on getting the feeling in my body
the feeling of sanctuary inside me
“go and learn”, it said, “come back to me once I am fully formed”

such an intriguing conundrum

do you see? in order for me to
[make/create/build/invoke] this sanctuary, to call into being
this safe space that exists for me and only for me,
I need to not be there until it is ready for me

my project said I need to
run this mission from my cockpit and not be onsite,
which makes sense on the one hand in both logical and intuitive ways, and yet
oh sudden panic at the thought of being away from
the one place that is safe space for me
and how can this be asked of me
to exit the safe house in order to learn about safety
scary stuff especially in this moment when
now feels so eerily reminiscent of Then
and yet I can also feel the rightness of it
my project is so very wise and I feel how it glows
steady love for me

what do I know about sanctuary

sanctuary is about glow and wonder and intention and deep breath
transformative space
the beautiful mystery of how it is that certain
structures and forms become a container for
transcendence and magnificence
sanctuary is about what happens in those remarkable spaces,
the spaces that allow for these moments of

places like the Playground
(the retreat center I tended for five beautiful years
a place of great magic and wonder)
or Astoria at the very northern tip of the Oregon coast, where I invariably receive
brilliantly clear messages about what is indicated and what is next
it is always right for me to go there and always a little frightening
which makes sense because sanctuary is about SHELTER and AWE

shelter, meet awe

shelter is the safety
awe is the wonder: tingling and trembling
and each supports the other
we come into sanctuary to feel safe
inside of big moments of Presence
it can feel so vulnerable and risky to be that present with life
sanctuary says: enter here and breathe this moment
you are held in love

more more more, tell me more

writing is Sanctuary (for me), and writing requires sanctuary
dance is Sanctuary (for me), and dance requires sanctuary
and, funnily enough,
the place I am building that is taking its sweet time coming into being
just told me it exists to be a sanctuary
for me to write and dance

peaceful place

I shared with agent spalding
how frustrating it is for me, in moments,
this current state of
[everything in my life has been in boxes since february
and I am on the move and I just want space for me]
he said: well there’s no real solution to the chaos
that’s just the nature of the adventure you set yourself on, (you know this)
what if you stop trying to solve everything and
do only what pushes you towards your place of peace

ahhhhh my place of peace

proxy mission

I need a proxy mission for what I am doing while I sojourn
during operation G.O.O.D. aka Get Out Of Dodge and find the good
because this is what is indicated
my project is inviting me to
go be in the places I need to be while my sanctuary comes into being
my own personal writing-and-righting retreat
what’s my cover story?

here it is

my fake secret mission is that I build sanctuaries
of course I do
I’m an interior designer (the most interior!)
how does this work
I sprinkle a dust that is not a dust and it
changes the light and allows people to see the holy holiness
that was already there

but also I really do this in real life
like with the playground which was a medical records facility
filled with cubicles
I saw its magic in potential
and cleared space for it to be what it wanted to be

what are the superpowers

the first step in agreeing to a mission or embarking on a voyage is
calling in the superpowers
naming them

come in, come in
superpower of writing is my sanctuary
superpower of I make sanctuaries for creative self-expression
superpower of resonance
shoulders down / trust life / breathe deep
I stay in my cockpit

all the superpowers I need for this mission: activate!

what needs to change in my kingdom?

this was the next stone-skipping card I drew from the deck
prioritizing sanctuary
this is what needs to change

treating myself differently
taking myself on retreat for writing and righting
ha and Writing Retreat anagrams to Treating Writer and Rewriting Treat
it also hides the words GRANT, WANT and RAW
raw wanting is what I want
granting myself [whatever needs to be granted] is what I want

the foundation: where it changes

claire-of-the-mysteries said I need a foundation
so many delicious meanings of that word
and she is right

a foundation that is a home
a foundation that is a body of work
a Foundation to hold the work I do here and to provide my salary
so when I wish to build sanctuary, I am also wishing for a new foundation

as in dance so in life

I always have an idea of what I want to work on in my dancing
and then have to laugh at how I have fooled myself
yet again into thinking this is about technical ability,
when invariably dance is just reflecting back to me
what I most need and desire in life

three wishes with my genie of a dance teacher

jen: what three things do you want to focus on
me: feeling the floor
jen: okay let’s call that your relationship with gravity,
your ability to draw power from the ground and trust this

me: and relaxing
jen: being peaceful and at home in your body because you know
nothing can go so wrong on the dance floor as to be irreparable

me: and connecting with my partner
jen: or so connected to yourself through
awareness of your body, power and presence,
beautifully in control of what you contribute,
you can let someone experience you, because you choose to,
choosing when and how, according to what suits you


me: ohmygod wow yes this is what I want how did you know
she: because we just danced together and I listened

wild into wonder

I want to access my wild fearless panther self
and wild my way into awe and wonder
I want to use wonder to channel wildness
and wild my way into wonder
and wander back into wildness

don’t acquiesce

do you know what dance is?
it is elusive magic, vulnerable intimacy, and I cannot define it but
here is a beautifully concise explanation from Brandi Tobias:

dance is filling time and space with movement

the music dictates the time
the lead suggests/reveals/envisions/sketches the space
and the follow decorates that space through choosing how to move
I am currently working on following which means
if my partner is the architect, I am the interior designer
Jen said yesterday that all my dance challenges come from
not trusting my design skills

she said: don’t second-guess your instincts
don’t acquiesce
don’t let someone else tell you how to dance your dance
or how to fill and decorate space
this is your domain and you need to know
that no one else in the world can do it like you can

back to the playground

most people don’t know this
(I feel as though I am whispering a secret here!)
but my business is actually about space
the sweet inhale-exhale relationship between internal and external space
and how anything you shift in one
creates a rippling effect through the other

I teach this (through intentionally-not-teaching)
in a variety of ways, for example, through
modeling my own process here
reflecting on my week, exposing-and-exploring wishes and wish-seeds
I write these posts so anyone can come here and get a sense
for how I approach the space of my life,
how I interact with the space around me and the spaces inside of me,
not because my way is the right way, but as one possible example of how to do this

I teach through intentionally-not-teaching because I don’t believe in teaching,
I don’t want anyone mistaking me for source when they are source

not like anything else

I live the mission of my business through designing
peaceful other-worldly spaces that are not like anything else
both online and in real life
places imbued with safety and sovereignty and spaciousness to just be
I create spaces that are quiet, contained, magical enough and different enough
for us to turn inward and hear-and-feel ourselves
what we need, what we desire, with beautiful clarity,
so that we can take care of ourselves
in this moment now

there it is

so apparently I already am someone who builds sanctuaries
and I just didn’t know it
Jen was right: I don’t need to become a decorator
or learn to be a better one,
I need to give myself permission to be completely at ease in my job,
sure of my ability to play

what do I know about my wishes this week

if it is true that I already have what I want
and do not know it
(like how I already know how to make sanctuary because it’s my job, I just forgot!)
then my wishes are not to have or receive anything
but to reveal how what I want is already here
in seed or in essence, in quality or in spirit
and maybe also just here
what if what I need most is available to me

so this is a wish to
see what I am tripping over
and remember truth:
wonder is here if and when I want it
wonder and awe and magnificence
and my most wild peaceful at-ease-in-this-moment self

may it be so!


I am in astoria and it feels so good to be back here
and my whole body was saying no no no please no don’t go back to portland
stay here four more days
and all the signs were lining up to agree with my yes
— a prediction of 102 degrees in portland sunday (39 celsius!)
but 75 (24) here where the columbia river meets the pacific ocean

but still I wanted to logic my way into a decision
and weigh all the pros and cons
instead of listening to the decision
that had already been received

this is the superpower of hearing-and-receiving the next indicated step
so you can imagine how hard I laughed when I looked up
this month’s superpower
because guess what it is….

the superpower of the next indicated step is revealed to me

May was WILD with its wild door, and sexy fearless powerful presence

June is WONDER which is so very perfect for a mission about Sanctuary, and hahaha the next indicated step is revealed to me, yes yes yes, this is all I need and this is right

thank you, past-me, for being such a good namer and calling this into being

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called boundaries and bells

this wish is helping me listen to my yes and trust life more

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading, including any stories you wish to let go of, any adventures you wish to welcome

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

11 Responses to wild into wonder

  1. Sue T says:

    This is so beautiful, Havi!

    I am wishing for the safety and awe of Sanctuary among many challenges right now.
    – Watching the spoons marching out of the house as I arrange one after another, can’t-be-delayed-any-longer, previously deferred (expensive) maintenance on my house, which of course is my physical sanctuary. Strangely enough, now that I have started on the big projects, I don’t seem to be as afraid of the expense and the deciding … my attitude is now just do them all, don’t try to be overly frugal, cheap is too cheap to support Sanctuary. ” … listening to the decision that already had been made.” Yes!!!
    – Wondering if the medication I am on for newly-discovered, probable, Lyme’s disease and/or its co-infections, is causing new problems with my vision. Wondering if the medication is going to stop the infection so I don’t get the horrible chronic symptoms that so many people here in the East Coast states are having. Wondering if the bills for hospital admission as an “outpatient in observation” are going to send my blood pressure skyrocketing. Still, I am grateful for the high fever that led to the (probable) diagnosis in the absence of other symptoms, given that the rash wasn’t found til five days later and didn’t look typical. Thanks to my body (my temporal Sanctuary) which appears to be fighting this off!
    – Wanting to get back to some necessary gardening/yard work without re-exposing myself to ticks. Gardening (unless it is too hot) is a kind of Sanctuary.
    – Noticing Sanctuary-supporting house management skills in the midst of all the delayed-maintenance planning. Wishing for daily actions in this realm while still dealing with a bunch of new doctor’s appointments.

    <3 to all the wishers!

  2. Jennifer @UnchartedWorlds
    Twitter: unchartedworlds

    “I sprinkle a dust that is not a dust and it
    changes the light and allows people to see the holy holiness
    that was already there”

    mmmm how beautiful!!!!
    Jennifer @UnchartedWorlds recently posted… Bi erasure and the many names of May 17

  3. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    !!!!!!! and <3 to infinity

    I've been writing and righting a lot myself lately. It helps.

    Sanctuary is so important and beautiful. Thank you for being a beacon.

    I'm doing a lot of wishing for best possible outcomes lately. If you are reading these words, I will gladly include you in my wishing, if you wish. <3

  4. Grace
    Twitter: simonethinks


    this entire post is too much, even from you!!

    “well there’s no real solution to the chaos
    that’s just the nature of the adventure you set yourself on, (you know this)
    what if you stop trying to solve everything and
    do only what pushes you towards your place of peace”
    <—- thank you for solving my entire year.

    "dance is filling time and space with movement" <— this, too! I don't actually dance-dance but I refer to everything in life as a dance, because it is, so YES
    Grace recently posted… First things I understood about hashing

  5. Scout says:

    “what if you stop trying to solve everything and
    do only what pushes you towards your place of peace”


  6. mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium


    What I want: to dance to and in the sea (both real and proxy)

    Ways this could work:
    * shoes off
    * different map?
    * different sails?
    * adjusted mast?
    * less cargo in the hold?

    Warm wishes to all y’all.
    mechaieh recently posted… “Like a river that’s begun / to love its journey”

  7. Leni says:

    Love this! so many sparkling moments!

    May was Wild for me, lots of new doors opening. I look forward to all the wonder.

    2 new Ops have landed:

    Operation Wonka’s Golden Ticket: I have 6 weeks to enact an investigation on what my soul and spirit needs, which is gonna necessarily involve revelry of deep kinds. this is birthday month, my kids are gone and i NEED to party. NEED to cut loose, out from under the weight of grief and anger and exhaustion. So i’m embarking on this very cinsciously, and I call it Wonka’s Golden Ticket because i sense the next few weeks will be full of wonder and pleasure, and if i am a good child, i will come out at the end with all the prizes. And if i act like a brat, i will be carried out early by oompa-loompas. metaphor mouse has rarely delivered me so much intrigue but i am really excited

    Operation Scary Sequins – I am going to overcome SO MUCH programmng and fulfill a lifelong dream, and take that darn burlesque avanced class and do the thing. Class is not ntil August so i have time to practcie and get ready. i have statted working on the routine. this is so scary. but i’m doing it

  8. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sanctuary
    yes yes yes
    there is awe in the sanctuary
    and sanctuary in the awe

    I was so exhausted when I woke up yesterday morning
    that I couldn’t speak straight
    and so went back to bed
    and slept for three hours

    what do I want?

    what do I want?

    what do I want?
    an extra hour in the mornings

    what do I want?

    what might help?
    socks in bed

    what might help?

    I was watching Star Trek last night
    and someone who was on the verge of making a very bad decision
    cancelled their retreat
    and made the very bad decision
    and I remembered how this happens all the time in Susan Howatch books
    how the clergyman who thinks he’s got it all under control
    and he just needs to do X Y and Z
    before he goes off on the retreat that his spiritual director has recommended
    and then of course X Y and Z go horribly wrong
    (this also happens to the spiritual directors
    in the books where they’re the narrators
    which just goes to show
    that none of us has all the answers)

    I have a retreat scheduled
    (and by ‘retreat’ I mean
    ‘three days of annual leave
    with no plans’)
    but not until after X Y and Z

    I was looking back through old journal entries
    and found one from 2012, which said
    ‘I am fine, but I have been very tired’
    and that’s interesting
    because the story that the monsters like to tell these days
    was that I had plenty of rest before I started commuting
    and that clearly wasn’t the case
    I’ve been tired for a very long time.

    I have lots of spaciousness
    it’s all arranged in ways that make it difficult for me to use it

    I would like
    to not be tired
    to be rested
    to be awake
    to be vibrant
    to be with it
    to be full of energy
    Kathleen Jowitt recently posted… 100 untimed books: same sex

  9. Amy says:

    So many !!!!!!!!!!!

    I feel sanctuary in your words. In my hopeful response to these possibilities.

  10. Puck says:

    I just came back from a Silent Gardening Retreat in a monastery that was the Sanctuary I needed in the moment (thank you past-me! you take care of present-me so well!) and came back to this post about sanctuary! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm -hearts-and-pebbles-

    I have started naming my weeks and days as you have and there is a kind of magic to it that I love.

    Something reminding me to breathe and yes, shoulders down. And yes, I deserve quietness. And yes, I don’t apologize for my anger. And yes yes yes to everything that is sweetness inside me.

    Thank you.

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