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.


Wish 299: Around, not through. Or: These are the mysteries that do not need to be solved.

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

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. The point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and 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…


My life is full of mysteries, mundane and fascinating, small and large, and everything in between.

The mystery of why my scalp starts to flake whenever [boundary issues], the mystery of what happened during the missing year that I can’t remember, the mystery of Allergic To Chapstick (total fake band!), the mystery of why there is no word for adult children when there is so obviously a need for this word, and all the mysteries of rumba, and why do I feel so passionate about it.

For starters.

Give me half a day and I could come up with a hundred or so interesting mysteries.

In daily life I don’t get to play with investigating the majority of these mysteries, because I am busy with life-stuff, and, for the past ten years I have been busy with this business.

Now I am on Shmita, my sabbatical time, letting the fields lie fallow. No input, no projects, nothing but nothing. Just less and then more less. I am on a mission of less.

Suddenly my mind has been given so much time and space to explore mysteries, and for the first nineteen days of Operation True Yes aka Six Month Road Trip, that’s all I’ve been wanting to do.

Except exploring mysteries is scary, so I turned it into a kind of noir game.


Here’s how it works.

I brought it two alter-egos to be proxies or stand-ins for actual me.

Roxy Bell is a noir detective. She’s brash and fearless. She loves adventure. She does ten kinds of martial arts and rides a motorcycle to her office. Which is in a tree house. 

She has dedicated herself to healing, sorry, solving the cases and mysteries affecting her twin sister, eccentric clairaudient secret-psychic on the run, Mlle Honeybelle.

Mlle Honeybelle has mysteries. Endless mysteries. Roxy Bell solves them. I observe and listen and take notes while all my mysteries get solved.

It’s been fascinating, eye-opening and super fun!

Until suddenly we hit the rapids and it wasn’t fun anymore. Which is why this calls for permission, and not just permission, but a very specific kind of permission.


We are invoking permission to Not Have To Solve some of these mysteries, because they do not need to be solved, or at least, they do not need to be solved right now, or they do not need to be solved in this way.

This permission slip is the beautiful permission slip of spaciousness: we don’t have to be on the case.

It is enough to say: thank you, Operation True Yes, for giving me the time/space to start looking into these mysteries, and thank you, Roxy Bell, for being so wise and so down to earth, and so thorough in the collecting of clues.

And it is also okay to not want to look at some of these mysteries right now.


What do we know about this?

A permission slip to take some time off from mysteries is not at all the same as calling Roxy Bell off the case.

Because doing that, in true noir fashion, would just make her more determined to solve it. We don’t want to come in as the suspicious southern belle in the gigantic hat with the flowers, tell her we’ve changed our minds and there’s no case anymore.

And we are certainly not leaving these as Closed Cases, because they aren’t.

They aren’t Neglected Cases either.

These are just cases that are receiving a huge permission slip of Hey, These Do Not Need To Be Solved Right Now.

These are the cases that are will need to be solved over time, through very circuitous investigations that involve the principles of 1) Safety First, 2) Fractal Flowers, and 3) the more proxies the merrier.

These cases get the approach of non-approach. We are going around them, not through them.

Actually, this is a very noir moment.

This is the part where the detective has asked too many questions and stirred things up, and now it’s time to pause, lay low, let everything settle, see where it lands.

Now it is time to stay at the very edges, wait in the shadows, observe and re-assess.

And if nothing happens, that’s okay too. We are going to build the best safe rooms ever, and layer on delicious experiences of safety.

Here’s another clue: What if the Mystery is actually the Clue?

Like, for example, in the Case of The Missing Confidence when it turned out that it wasn’t missing because actually there is no such thing of confidence, there is just an absence of monsters (thanks to things like good internal communication and the aforementioned layering on experiences of safety and comfort).

The point is, sometimes something we think is a mystery is not a mystery at all.

Safety first.

Some of these mysteries are being put on hold because the trail is old and cold.

With some of these mysteries, we suspect it goes all the way to the top, which means we need to proceed with caution, wait for some evidence to come our way.

Some of these mysteries can wait because Shmita means less input, more letting go.

Some are in this category because we are too close to big pain, and some are in this category because it just isn’t the time.

And some of these mysteries just need time to percolate while my mind rests up and this about other things.

All of these reasons are okay and legitimate, and hence the giant permission slip to put these mysteries in the file of Do Not Need To Be Solved Right Now. To be put aside for safe-keeping.

Because ultimately that is my job and my only job, to keep myself safe.

Safety first.

I am not at all someone who believes that it is necessary or even important to remember all the traumatic shit that happens to us.

I am a firm believer in the ability we all have to heal past pain without going into it or uncovering it.

And I do not belong to that very hollywood school of people who believe that in order to let something go you have to go into the memory and re-live it. Sure, that’s one possible way. It’s just not the only way.

The mystery Roxy Bell was investigating this week was the Mystery of Tisantaphobia.

Or, if you prefer, The Mystery of Why A Girl Who Loved Tents Is Now So Afraid Of Tents That Just Hearing A Tent Zipper Close Without Even Being Inside It — Or Even Just Imagining Being Inside A Tent — Fills Her With Unease, Dread, and The Desire To Get As Far Away As Possible As Quickly As Possible.

This week we uncovered several new memories, useful ones, and slightly vertigo-inducing ones, and then there is a wall, and that’s enough. I don’t actually need Roxy Bell to find out what’s behind that wall.

She might find out, and that will be useful. Or we may never know, and that’s fine. It doesn’t mean we can’t do the necessary healing work for me-from-then and whatever she went through.

The Approach.

So it works for me to approach this mystery (and all mysteries) from the understanding of Safety First and Playing At The Edges, and Permission To Not Remember what may or may not have happened either in or related to tents.

I may work with a hypnotherapist on this, especially since my lover wants to downsize (see the Mission of Less) to a van with a tent-like sleeping area on top. And of course I will continue to use my usual techniques and do my own exploring, in my own time and at my own pace, with the help of Roxy Bell and all the allies who show up.

And either I will get to the point where tents are No Big Deal, or I will make my happy peace with the fact that hey, Havi is not a tent person, and then I will respect that and work around it the way I work around so many things in life.

Because, again, the most important part of my job as a functional human being on this planet is not solving all the things. Nope. My job is to take care of myself to the best of my abilities, and to meet myself where I am, right here, right now, with as much love, patience and understanding as I can offer.

Taking notes.

However, all that said, I am curious about this in a general way.

I mean, I went to summer camps for years and worked at camp, and slept in platform tents each summer. And most summers included a three or four day hiking or canoe trip, staying in actual small tents, something which I remember as being very fun.

So at some point that changed, clearly, because now I can make it maybe eight seconds inside a tent before fleeing in panic, and I would like to know when that shifted.

Roxy Bell was able to discount my previously held theories that this could be a holdover from Operation Resilience (homelessness) or somehow related to the weekly Saturday hikes in the Galilee that were a staple of my married life.

She also assembled a very impressive Timeline for me, and at some point when I feel more comfortable with this investigation, I will look at that some more.

I can compile notes and names of key people to interview, for this and other cases, if I feel up to it, not in the interest of solving them of course. Taking notes is not the same as investigating!

These notes are just to help the future detective, be that Roxy or some other Incoming Me, have all the current intel and memories up to date. Or I can also skip this part and trust that future me will be able to access vital intel in her own ways and her own timing.

I am taking this and my list Other Mysteries I’m Currently Not Solving, and dropping them off at the fountain, where they can be solved by love and by fractal flowers.

Ta da! Solved, by not solving.

What do I know about what I want?

I am enough. This is enough. Nothing is wrong.


My toenails are red. The beautiful boy just blew me a kiss. I am here.

Me: Hey, slightly-wiser me, what do you have for me?

She: Isn’t it fun kicking yourself off the case?
Me: I’m not sure, actually.
She: This is the perfect time to not need to solve things. Feel into the superpower of that, because it’s a good one. This is the next piece!


I took an improvisational jazz workshop with Kara Franzel this weekend, it was wonderful, and this was my favorite part:

She asked, What’s the opposite of Strong?

And the answer, get this, is Soft. It’s not weak, it’s soft.

The superpower of delighting in plenty

March - Receive More The quality for March is RECEIVE, with the superpower of delight in plenty.

I am open to receiving all the treasure of these mysteries, as well as all the treasure of not having to solve them.

I delight in the plentifulness of the mysteries, as well as the plentiful help and support that I have in Roxy Bell, Private Eye, and the kind, loving people in my life who love me just as much when I can’t go inside a tent.

Things I find helpful for intentions and wishes…

Nap, dance, write, play, labyrinths. Get quiet. Sweet pauses, yes to red lights and purple pills, thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Skip stones. Body first. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths in eight directions:

Adventure. Rest. Horizons. Security. Passion. Sweetness. Clarity. Presence.

Ongoing wishes.

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat. Things to play with someday.

Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. I think like a dancer. It’s so perfect it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS. I have what I need, and appreciate it. I am fearless and confident. I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, no big deal. I am ready to come into my superpowers and receive.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka LESS…

I have been carrying less with me, sleeping more, smiling more, and today I chose to deal with something by intentionally not dealing with it at all because it is not mine.

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more. Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

If you want a Playground mug with a pack of stone skipping cards inside it: $30 + $12.65 shipping = $42.65

Just send a note and we’ll set it up. Ask Richard for international shipping.

Keep me company?

Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads. In any size/form you like, there’s no right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.

Here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.


10 Responses to Wish 299: Around, not through. Or: These are the mysteries that do not need to be solved.

  1. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Beautiful, beautiful. Easing and releasing!

    You know what? Those will do nicely for my gwishes this gweek. Beauty. Easing. Releasing. YES.

    May I feel the beauty everywhere, with all my senses. May I believe in ease everywhere. May I release my fear of [scary thing], and anything else that needs to be released. And then, let me return to beauty, everywhere, inside and out. Thank you. <3
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Ready for spring.

  2. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    What I want: to get back into the pool. To get back on the bike. To feel strong rather than skittish about yoga.

    What I might try: wearing dresses that work with a sports bra (so I can go straight from office to studio). Snacking at three. But-and also:

    >>now it’s time to pause, lay low, let everything settle, see where it lands.<<

    This rang a bell with me, so to speak.

    Warm wishes to all y'all.
    Mechaieh recently posted… from the There’s a Poem in This folder

  3. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt

    Yay Roxy Bell! Yay Mlle Honeybelle!

    I am very intrigued by ‘no such thing as confidence’. It feels as if it might be true, but it is a very big shift.

    March is meant to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but it seems to be doing this the other way round. It is magnificently windy today, and also my seasonal depression has shifted all in one go, in an amazing leonine awakening. I forgot the world looked like this! My wish is to trust in this and not to cling on to it, not to be so scared that it’s all going to change that I get stuck myself in false changelessness. Receive more!
    Kathleen Jowitt recently posted… Wednesday What Are You Reading

  4. Mary Tracy says:

    The references to noir detectives made me think of Lemony Snicket’s “All the Wrong Questions”, which is very much noir detective based, though entirely tongue-in-cheek.
    Mary Tracy recently posted… I Hated Humans. And What I Did Next.

  5. brooklynchick says:

    “My job is to take care of myself to the best of my abilities, and to meet myself where I am, right here, right now, with as much love, patience and understanding as I can offer.”

    This. 1,000,000 sparklepoints for this awesomeness.

  6. Rachel says:

    Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes!

    My primary gwish for this week is to feel safe. I already AM safe, and I know this. But I don’t FEEL safe, because Transition Anxiety Monsters. Also sleep deprivation, body stuff, and caring so much it hurts.

    Since I can’t make the current circumstances less chaotic, I will practice grounding myself and being the still, calm point that the chaos swirls around.

    Other gwishes for this week:
    – More intel about Operation Time Branches
    – Finding another pair of hands to help with a project would be great.
    – To meet the most important deadline of the week, even if I don’t meet any of the other ones.
    – Big, huge swaths of time Friday, and the ability to use them efficiently so as to get done the many, many things that must get done.
    – Rest and nourishment for my body. A strong immune system capable of resisting my co-workers’ germs. Peaceful sleep.

  7. seagirl says:

    What beautiful wishes!

    Nervous monsters this week. They think we are dumb and incompetent and should probably just fold up shop. Thankfully we met with a diplomat who calmed us and made us realize that we actually know a lot more than we think, and that the reason for the panic was the use of a tool that was far more complicated than needed. The problem with nervous monsters is their constant need to be fed. Working on this.

    My wishes for this week:
    To find more helpers like the one I found today, who wants to form a study group which means I will need to study which will make me smarter. Yay.

    To get some more intel on the Boy. From the Boy. To have the time and space to talk with him.

    For more clients. I have these new tools which give me more time to help more people. So, come on in.

    Update on last week:
    I wanted more. I got more. Maybe this week I will look for more and different. And I will say thank you from my heart.

  8. Leni says:

    Such beautiful wishes! I love the noir detective capers!

    Lately I’ve been asking lots of questions, and opening up investigations. I’ve also felt a lot of resistance to journaling, so I have not set them up as VPA. And yet, answers and clews come up anyway!

    Caper 1: Operation Fossil Fuel: How do I fuel myself better? I’ve been asking this question a lot, and resisting the number one top answer. But other intel has been available, and I’ve gotten some solid answers and put them into play: an earlier bedtime, working out every day esp AM cardio, tea and garcinia, Third hand Works. More things in the works. This needs to continue.

    Caper 2: Operation Floor Tiles: Why am I so ungrounded? Over the weekend I fell and kept falling, tripping, stumbling etc. It was odd, and I got hurt, but it’s mostly troubling because why am I so ungrounded? It also coincides with me asking questions re: how strong is the Foundation? I feel that Foundation has been very strong and cohesive, and lots of clews have shown that Foundation is as strong and as much in place as it ever has been. So staying open to new intel here.

    Caper 3: Operation Morning Phase. I have integrated a Morning Sit in my daily routine for several years now. This was a hard one to get to land, so I’m happy. But lately even after the full protocol, I still feel ‘incomplete’ and not fully ready to leave the house. I have been asking: how can I change/improve my morning sit? I didnmt want to lose what I did, just get more effect. This like many skills is subject to plateaus. I asked this question for several weeks and the clews are: increase the workout/cardio/yoga ( see also Caper 1). Sunday I went to a study group, and was reminded of some vocal toning, and when I added that to Morning Sit, BAM right answer. So happy when intel comes and is put into play.

    Other wishes:
    Golden Year Capers, this is genius how it turned out, I know the next thing to do, I am aware of my SuperPowers and how to deploy my tools. I am a writer because I write, I’m a dancer because I dance. Nothing is Wrong. Guidance is always available. There is more support than I think.

  9. Questing Lee says:

    Oh, what beautiful wishes.

    Eeepy! Eeepy! Eeepy! Running away. The Salve protecting me from Expectations caused me to notice an Abyss that I expected never to open at my feet and chasing me. Safety first.

    Yesterday’s Abyss was shown to be a black garbage bag attached to my shoe by a string. The Geek of the Week is Just Different, Not Worse than the Geek I Had for a Long Time, and the New Geek is on Speed Dial.

    I wish to notice when I am building Technological Fretwork and to notice the Sweet Calm when I drop my tools and quit.

    I wish to Remember to Call for Help. The Helpers help me keep from pulling my hair out.

    I wish for smoothness, calm and to remember to hug The Dude.

    I wish for Reinforced Boundaries to keep Anxiety out of my Space.

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