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.


Do we need to sacrifice a chicken here?

I sincerely hope not.

That would suck.

Especially since I’m a vegetarian. Especially since tomorrow is the Friday Chicken and I’m certainly not sacrificing that one.

Okay. This is not really a post.

This is really more just a sustained kvetching session about how wrong everything is going.

Normally I would save that for Friday but this week has been so completely challenging that I really can’t wait that long. Yes, I am aware that Friday is tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m not sure that complaining is going to help. But it’s less bloody than the animal sacrifice solution. And if it doesn’t appease the gods, at least it might make me feel better.

So. The Catalogue of Woes. Yes, woes. Woes that are not fair not fair not fair!

Also known as the list of things that are making me cry and run to the Angel Refueling Station.

Also known as …

The list of things going horribly wrong in my business this week.

One word leads to complicated, expensive, hair-tearing mix-up.

One. Word.

A one-word mistake made months ago by someone who doesn’t work for me anymore pretty much took over my entire week.

The person coordinating my workshops accidentally wrote one person’s name instead of another person’s name in my itinerary. But we didn’t realize that this had been the mistake because there was already so much confusion.

So first there was a conversation like this:

Famous person who I totally admire: “So … are you staying with me at my hotel in Santa Fe?”
Me (looking at my itinerary): “Uh … it looks like I’m staying with [another famous person who I totally admire] in Albuquerque.
First admired famous person: “Oh, so you changed the original plans and didn’t tell me?”
Me: “Ohmygod! I didn’t even know there were original plans. All I know is what my assistants put into my itinerary. Uh-oh?”

Note: I mention the famous thing not so you will be all impressed, but because it’s somehow scarier to have people I want to work with and biggify with feel upset with me.

Anyway, eventually we got it sorted. But it took a crazy amount of time to have my people figure out what happened and of course I am the one who pays for that time.

Which sets off my internal “you know, if I’m going to have an emotional breakdown anyway, I could do this myself and be just as stressed out but at least not be throwing money away” stuff. Pattern. Ugh.

Hosting mix-up.

My hosting for a bunch of sites almost didn’t get renewed because of a ridiculous internal misunderstanding.


Impossibly complicated tech problems.

I’m pretty sure Mount Hood is in retrograde again.

Or, as my gentleman friend theorized:

Maybe Hoppy House is directly in the center of some kind of technology-snarling vortex?

Quite possible.

About a hundred things going wrong with my Kitchen Table forum environment. All at the same time.

None of which the tech person can solve. Heads are so going to roll.

And of course the whole thing is made infinitely more complicated by various (and nefarious) communication problems.

Too many people working for me. Systems need work.

Looking at this week, it kind of seems like this:

I pay person one to bring a problem to person two who takes it to person three who shrugs his shoulders and says he can’t do anything about it.

Then I wonder why my staff costs are so high.

Yes, you are right. This is a stupid way to do things.

Not even sure how to describe this one.

My new phone has a built-in answering machine.

Keep in mind that I never answer phones and I don’t even know the number of my office line.

I give everyone my Google Voice number (the one on my contact page) and that forwards to my cell, which I also never answer. Genius, I know.

Then one of my assistants lets me know if there’s a message that’s important that she can’t take care of on her own. That — may it never happen — never happens.

The only time I turn on the volume on my office phone and set it to actually receive calls is when I’m expecting a call related to an appointment.

Anyway …

This particular phone with its stupid built-in answering machine takes messages from random people calling wrong numbers. And then it blinks red which drives me crazy because I am highly sensitive.

And then I have to put things on it so I don’t have to see the flashing.

And now? It randomly spits out messages. As in, I am sitting at my desk (which is a chaise lounge, so I’m actually on it) and out of flipping nowhere it starts playing my messages.

My irrelevant, pointless, spamtastic, not-for-me-anyway wrong number messages.

At inappropriate times. Of course.



I’m almost positive the chicken-sacrificing thing definitely doesn’t help with this one.

But the hormones? Not. Helping.

Okay. I’m done with my list. For now. I think.

I will just say (because Selma is very clear about wanting me to mention this) that no ducks were harmed in the writing of this extra-complain-ey post.

Also no chickens.

Finding the re-set button?

Some days you (and yes, when I say you, I mean me) are just kind of out of synch with the world yourself.

And pretty much all you (we) can do is to stop doing, and — as my friend Michael says — wait until you can catch the next wave.

Some things I try to make the wave-catching happen a little sooner:

  • take a nap (big, crazy resistance to this one, but it pretty much always helps).
  • ten minutes of Shiva Nata wackiness.
  • forty-five minutes of Non-Sucky Yoga (the first fifteen are iffy).
  • remind myself that I’m allowed to feel upset, frustrated, annoyed and anxious.
  • write a long list of everything that’s going horribly wrong.*

*I’m not sure that posting it on your blog is what you’re supposed to do with it, but oh well — I definitely feel better now.

Extra-special Comment Zen

You know what I would LOVE today?

Some empathy.
Some tut-tut-ing.
Some “ohmygosh that sucks!”

That would be pure bliss.

“Poor you” is also acceptable, as are internet hugs.

Here’s what I really cannot handle right now:
Please please please do not tell me that things aren’t really “wrong” and that they are exactly as they should be.**

**That may or may not be true, but right now they feel wrong and that’s where I am, so if you could just meet me there please.

And definitely no implying that I should be feeling grateful for all the stuff that is good in my life. Oh, and you know what? Let’s just say no advice at all and leave it at that. Thanks!

Also, using the word “learning experience” in a way that does not express understanding of the awful irony involved? Noooooooooooo! Hmmm. Maybe I am getting better at this being specific thing.

Thanks for being with me today.

70 Responses to Do we need to sacrifice a chicken here?

  1. Kelly Parkinson
    Twitter: copylicious

    Oh, I see you’ve got a hand-knitted bag filled with empathy from Fabeku there. Here, let me just stuff some more comfort coins in, and here is a tut-tut dispenser for ultra-fresh mood-breath. Very sorry about all of this…

    Kelly Parkinsons last blog post..copylicious: @sarahjbray Thanks so much for the RT! I was hoping a designer or two could adapt this! (We’re all in the same garden!)

  2. Jocelyn says:

    I am going to suggest my all-time favorite comfort song for when life feels like a mess: “Calling All Angels,” by Jane Siberry.

    I was feeling totally raw recently. I was driving my daughter somewhere in the car, and she was about to plug in her iPod and start playing the mostly hideous songs she plays (about F-this, F-that, bitches, ‘hos, etc.). I told her I needed her to put on something soothing.

    She thought a minute. “I know what you’ll like!” she beamed. I silently thought, “I wonder if she has ‘Calling All Angels’,” but then didn’t even ask, knowing she wouldn’t and not wanting to spoil her pleasure.

    So of course, what song has she found for me? Ahhhhhhhh!

  3. Meredith says:


    OK – I am fine with all the gone-wrong stuff. Sympathy. Hugs. (and one more, just cause). Really. Hugs and a cup of tea, and a small bowl of fresh raspberries and strawberries. And a special magic time-bending ticket to spend as much time as you need in your Angel Refueling Station without any time passing here (so you won’t have to worry that you are getting behind).

    But Mount Hood – retrograde? Mount Hood’s not moving, at least not relative to you. Plate tectonics is pretty clear about that. OK – I’ll admit I’m being a little literal minded here. My only defense is decades of science classes (and two degrees in geology).

    This comment probably hasn’t been very funny yet. And Mount Hood retrograde does get your point across in Havi-speak. I do understand. But I can’t help but feel like Mount Hood has been accused of wearing a color that is so “last year”. Maybe you have already “sacrificed that chicken” and insulted all the foxes on Mount Hood.

    Here is my prayerful hope that all things in Havi-verse will be aligned tomorrow and everafter.


    PS: I have to put a photo in front of my iClockRadio in order to block the LED numbers. They are too bright to let me sleep well. (Just to let you know you have “sensitive flower” company.)

    Merediths last blog post..An Entrepreneur’s Story About Changing Tactics

  4. Jocelyn says:

    Oops! Realized it might seem like I’m not following your instructions because I forgot to say this song (Calling All Angels) IS a biiiiig, generous, enveloping hug!

  5. Lisa says:

    Oh Havi! That all just sucks and sucks some more. I’m sending you hugs, and hopes that things start turning right-side-up soon and quickly.

  6. Katy
    Twitter: katytafoya

    No, please, let’s not sacrifice the Friday Chicken! Havi, it sucks that you seem to have so much going wrong this week. It really can throw a gal off. I think it must be in the stars as I’ve had some technological messes coming my way as well. Best of luck and enjoy upcoming trip to Santa Fe (it will blow your mind with its beauty and energy).

    Katys last blog post..6 Week Strategies for Social Media Success TeleClass Starting 7/22

  7. Paul
    Twitter: venderleys


    I think all the little lights they put on things are meant to drive us mad, or sleep deprived. My electric toothbrush flashes blue like a possessed nightlight when it charges at night. The alarm clock oozes an olive green that someone may have one thought was reassuring, but ain’t. And the “smart” cell phone flashes this perky little red light whenever a new email or message comes in (I welcome the ~5:00 pm one, that’s usually Havi’s!)

    There’s a time and a place for lights, and I find that more and more we’re putting light where they shouldn’t be, when they shouldn’t be.

    If the lights aren’t enough, my home phone’s had an attraction with fax machines. It would silently ring sometime between 2 am and 6 am, and the answering machine would silently turn on, and that annoying fax beep would echo down the hallway, cause we have one of those phones that broadcast the message as we’re getting it. Got so I turned off the answering machine. Anyone wants to leave a message, they call our cells. The cells know when to shut up.

    Trying to empathize as best I can. I don’t take on as much as you. But now, as I’m waiting to hear how Writer Havi marshals her helper mice to chew on the cords to all her miscreant machines, may I say: NAPS ROCK!

  8. Riin
    Twitter: happyfuzzyyarn

    Oh, honey. Yeah, sometimes life just sucks, and it really is unfair.


    Riins last blog post..A Finished Object

  9. Sherron
    Twitter: sherronann

    Wow, what a week you’re having! Sustained kvetching allowed, ’cause, well, it’s YOUR blog! I got the “learning experience” lecture from a coworker today. I was not amused and did not feel learned or experienced. :-(

    SO – One of my dogs, JoJo, is a chocolate lab-mix-y kinda girl who was abused and abandoned by some horrible person (who I hope is suffering through personal plagues of biblical proportions). It took her a while to warm up to me, but now she love-love-loves me. When she gives me doggie hugs, she presses her whole body into me, like she can’t get close enough to me. It makes me think of that Tim McGraw lyric, “like ice cream melting, they embraced”. JoJo tries really hard to melt into me, and you know what? It’s the most wonderful, healing feeling. Her doggie hugs make both of us happy. So, here’s a hug from JoJo just for you: {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HHHUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGG}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    I hope your week gets better!


  10. Mahala Mazerov
    Twitter: LuminousHeart

    Oh dear, poor thing, hugs, so sorry.

    Here is a little story I hope will cheer you up…

    SAINT Therese is walking home exhausted and hungry after a long day of caring for the poor. A wagon races by, one wheel hits a puddle and splashes cold, wet, muddy water all over her.

    “G-d,” she cries out (they were on speaking terms)”What more do You want from me? Do I not care for those in need and express my unending devotion to You?”

    “But Therese,” G-d is genuinely puzzled, “This is how I treat all my friends.”

    Therese waves her fist to the heavens, “Maybe that is why You have so few friends!”

    While you try to catch the wave, know that you are loved.

    Mahala Mazerovs last blog post..Help Wanted

  11. Nancy says:

    I knew we shouldn’t have let you leave SF. It’s never sucky here. Ha ha. Sorry it’s been a bad week. Hugs and thanks again for a great workshop. (If you think of your week as starting Sunday, maybe it won’t be quite as totally sucky feeling..?)


  12. Stacy Brice says:

    I’m late to the party due to my surgery, but wanted to pop over to let you know that I hear ya…loud and clear, and really feel ya–on ALL of this. And if anything I have/am/know can somehow help you with some of it, just reach out.


  13. spiralsongkat
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about the rough week you’ve been having! It’s easy to empathize, because so much of what you’ve described is just the kind of thing that would send me diving under the covers for a while.

    Here is my hope that you’ll find yourself on calmer seas very, very soon. In the meantime, I think cheese makes an excellent sacrifice — especially melted offerings, thought that’s just my opinion.

  14. Mark W. "Extra Crispy" Schumann
    Twitter: MarkWSchumann

    I think I’m the champion of wrong-number calls. My home/office/cell number is one easily-misdialed digit off from that of the main switchboard at Cleveland City Hall.

    Fortunately, I’m an extreme extrovert:

    “No sir, garbage pickup is not delayed by Halloween. Thank you for calling.”

    “Yes, you can recycle styrofoam, just not for curbside pickup.”

    “If you were born outside Cleveland but within Cuyahoga County, you can get the birth certificate from the County.”

    And so on.

    But that’s me. It would suck to get all those calls and not have my weird energy for talking to people. Havi, have you considered forwarding all your calls to me?

    Mark W. “Extra Crispy” Schumanns last blog post..MarkWSchumann: Classic @havi: "I’m pretty sure Mount Hood is in retrograde again." http://bit.ly/10DZ8v

  15. Alicia says:

    Here’s a hummy hug (close your eyes and both hum the same soft, low pitch – very soothing)

  16. skip the chicken – grab a tequila (with me)!

    will be in portland August 1 – 13 teaching a yoga therapy training and at some point, I need my night off.

    (yes, this yoga has said it now – a night to not be so yogi-ish.)

    come join me!

    Soleil Hepners last blog post..You can Stop the Recession. Help a friend.

  17. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Extra-Crispy Mark – I really, truly do want to forward all my calls to you!

    That story reminded me of one apartment I had in Tel Aviv where the phone number was the same as a radio station in Jerusalem that for some reason never gave the area code with its number.

    So people were CONSTANTLY calling in with song requests. And yeah, after a while we would just say “We’d be THRILLED to play that song for you” and then hang up. Sometimes we would even play the song …

    @spiralsongkat – melted offerings! I LOVE that. I need to use that. Maybe it should be a fake band (The Melted Offerings?!).

    Or maybe I should just have more cheese. Thank you. Yay!

    @Soleil – PORTLAND! Awesome.

  18. Anna-Liza
    Twitter: Divina712

    A little late, but here’s some love anyway. And you know what? Having to deal with PMS at the same time as all the other stuff? That puts it way past “unfair” into “actual persecution by The Universe”.

    Anna-Lizas last blog post..Pollyanna Is Waiting for the Sand Sharks to show up

  19. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    I’m of course very very late (almost caught up, though!), but here’s for you anyways: {{{hug}}}. Of course I hope things are better by now, and this hug stands as a cherry topping off a delicious sundae. :)
    .-= Josiane´s last post … Unphotographable* =-.

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge