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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.

 

Friday Round-up: a ritual is born

Most of you know that I’m pro-ritual. Big on rituals. Basically, the more the merrier.

Because they’re powerful and grounding and stuff. And because they gently nudge you towards having a more conscious interaction with time and how it passes.

Blame yoga, blame the Jews. I don’t know what the deal is. I just really enjoy the repetition of something, and having it be both familiar and new at the same time.

Anyway, Friday is my biggest ritual day because it’s the end of the workweek, and there’s the Jewish thing and that’s just how I do things.

There are the cleaning rituals and the bread baking rituals and the picking up books from the library rituals. There’s yoga and computer-back-up and master-minding it up with my friend Janet. And then meditation and candle-lighting. Fridays are intense.

But my favorite comforting Friday thing to do is Reviewing The Week That Was.

Perspective is trippy.

Sometimes when you Review The Week That Was, you realize you’ve totally left stuff out. And then you think, Oh boy, how did I repress that so ridiculously fast?

And other times it seems like a week that you thought went by in a flash was actually full. And not just full, but full of wonderfulness.

Or maybe a week that — at the initial moment of summing up — seemed like good times, actually had much more than its share of hard.

Anyway, taking that ten minutes or so to reflect is really one of my favorite things. I don’t mean this in a “Gee, what have we learned?” kind of way. It’s really more about noticing and observing and recognizing. And remembering. It’s useful.

What I’m getting at.

I thought it would be an interesting exercise for me to do some of my Reviewing The Week That Was here with you. To check in.

But out loud instead of just in my head.

And if it ends up being something that’s not horribly boring, maybe we’ll make that a wee little ritual of our own. Just tossing some of the hard stuff out there (in no particular order) followed by some of the good stuff.

Not some phony, forced “count your blessings” thing. Because yuck. But just noticing. Letting those “Good grief, what did happen this week, anyway?” moments dissolve. Letting little slivers of memory surface.

And if you want, you can do a little check-in too and report some of the good and/or hard moments of your own week. If you feel like it. You don’t have to.

As we say in the world of teaching workshops, you’re allowed to pass.

Okay, I’m heading into ritual territory here …. starting … now.

Some of the hard stuff ….

Healing can be slow.

I had a “let’s see where we are” meeting this week with my chiropractor. Haven’t made nearly as much improvement there as I’d hoped. Which is frustrating.

He tried to cheer me up by saying how flexible I am, and I was like, hello I’m a yoga professional.

I mean, a decade of daily stretching makes it easy to touch your toes the same way that being in Portland and having $1.75 in quarters makes it easy to catch public transportation to the Roller Derby.

But then during the treatment, listening to other people there moaning and grunting in pain, I realized, you know what? It’s still pretty great that my body is happy and pain-free. So not everything is in ideal alignment yet … but working on perspective.

Not being in Germany is weird.

Whenever I come back from my annual month of teaching in Berlin, I really just want to be in Berlin. Making peace with the fact that I’m actually not in Berlin has also become a kind of ritual for me. Right now still in the hard.

The world: it is full of pain sometimes.

A story I read about the life of Danielle, neglected child, is heart-wrenching. Neglect isn’t even the word for it. Ay. Awful.

She’s described as a “feral child” in this fascinating/depressing article from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. Just that concept alone is pretty hard to take in.

It’s pretty inconceivable that stuff like this can happen, period. But right next door to real, live human beings who for whatever reason weren’t able to do something? With the knowledge of authorities who for whatever reason didn’t do something? Ugh.

The kindness and good-heartedness of the family who took her in — while I’m not crazy about their methods — is completely inspiring. I still kinda wish I hadn’t read this though. So much pain.

Some of the good stuff ….

I won a thing!

Getting the weird-and-cool “successful and outstanding blog” award thing from Liz Strauss, and thereby getting acquainted in a “Hi!” sort of way with Liz Strauss and some other fun people: neat.

Still amazing, after all these years…

A dear friend from junior high school days found me on Facebook and we’ve been catching the heck up.

There’s some hard in this too. It’s hard knowing that I haven’t always been there for her. It’s hard knowing that one of the hands-down smartest, most talented people I’ve ever met has been bowled over by so many challenges that she hasn’t yet found a way to use those gifts.

But anything hard there is softened by how completely blissful it is to be back in her life, sharing her thoughts and words. Amazing.

Speaking of friends …

I’ve been hanging out a bit online with Emma McCreary aka @CheekyBoots if you’re a Twitterite. We know each other from both Twitter and Biznik. Yay, internets!

And this week she wrote a sweet, thoughtful post asking whether we really need to be aggressive to get sales — which was inspired by my sleaze-non-sleaze kosher-marketing continuum post. Yay, exchange of ideas!

Actually, I’ll get to meet her in person this Wednesday and am completely psyched. Yay, new friends! And for the record, she also has a duck. We could, like, have a playdate for our ducks. Don’t tell Selma I said that. She’ll freak out.

The way to my heart: through my stomach.

My gentleman friend — who as it is cooks up a storm of deliciousness for me every single day — made an especially mind-blowingly, neuron-meltingly tingle-worthy ratatouille. I may (finally, he says) have to marry him.

Life is beautiful.

If you really want a dose of pure joy, take a look at this.

My friend Myra Klarman, a seriously great photographer, spent an afternoon taking pictures of Suzie. Suzie got a “Make A Wish” chance to be a frog-charming princess, rather than the kid with leukemia. She’s doing better, gott sei dank.

Seriously, go look at these gorgeous and charming pictures (bonus: volunteer frog). They will make you so, so happy to be alive.

That’s it for me ….

You’re totally welcome to join in my Friday ritual if you feel like it and/or there’s something you just want to say out loud too.

Happy weekend. Happy week to come.

15 Responses to Friday Round-up: a ritual is born

  1. GirlPie
    Twitter: TheGirlPie
    says:

    Nice idea; I’d always resisted the review because I didn’t need the pressure of “behind on this, delayed on that, gave away too much of the other” etc. But the way you broach it seems more about checking the mirror and being appreciative rather than judgmental. Thanks for the new ritual~

  2. Myra Klarman says:

    Thank you for including Suzie + her frog in your round-up! The power of blogs to spread goodness and inspiration never ceases to amaze me. And you never cease to amaze me.

  3. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi
    says:

    Yay! Thanks, guys. You rock. And to everyone who emailed me.

    Yeah, I think “reviewing” comes with a lot of pressure (What if it turns out my week completely sucked? Why would I want to take stock of all the things I didn’t accomplish?). I know a lot of people have negative church/synagogue/family associations with it. A lot of have-tos.

    My version is definitely about letting some part other than the have-tos have its say. Easier said than done, maybe, but still worth a try.

  4. Lydia, Clueless Crafter
    Twitter: Art_Style
    says:

    This week has been a little sad.

    I’m suffering from a low after a high.

    My husband and I just celebrated our 1st anniversary last weekend and now the excitement is over.

    We’re back to normal, living life without a pending celebration.

    I’m having such a withdrawal.

    Yet, I know there’s more love in my life than ever. Perhaps, I’m not opening myself to the real love that comes after the festivities die down. . .
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Crafting a Classic Tablescape: Guide to Linens =-.

  5. […] day late, but Thursdays are now devoted to Crafting my Life, and as the fabulous Havi says ‘traditions are important‘. And so today I decided to review September. Because I learned a lot of stuff in September, […]

  6. […] a weekly ritual that has become known as the Friday Chicken, a little check-in moment that started about a year ago. After years in the kitchen, and because we’re all about the march of time here, the idea of […]

  7. […] a weekly ritual that has become known as the Friday Chicken, a little check-in moment that started about a year ago. After years in the kitchen, and because we’re all about the march of time here, the idea of […]

  8. […] Oliver's poem "Gratitude" (in What Do We Know). And do my own little tradition (with a hat tip to Havi). Italicized* questions are from Mary Oliver’s […]

  9. […] Oliver's poem "Gratitude" (in What Do We Know). And do my own little tradition (with a hat tip to Havi). Italicized* questions are from Mary Oliver’s […]

  10. […] Oliver's poem "Gratitude" (in What Do We Know). And do my own little tradition (with a hat tip to Havi). Italicized* questions are from Mary Oliver’s […]

  11. […] Coach I've ever not really met but feel like I know person ever. Plus, I totally borrowed her Friday Chicken ritual. […]

  12. […] reading Amber Strocel’s Crafting my Life weekly blog thing and I agree with Havi Brooks that rituals are important, I’m going to totally rip them both off and (try my damnedest to) do a weekend inspiration […]

  13. […] By the way, the format of this update post is inspired by Havi’s Friday Chickens. […]

  14. […] reading Amber Strocel’s Crafting my Life weekly blog thing and I agree with Havi Brooks that rituals are important, I’m going to totally rip them both off and (try my damnedest to) do a weekend inspiration […]

  15. […] Brooks, of The Fluent Self, says that traditions are important because they help us measure the passage of time. In addition, they ‘bookmark’ a […]

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