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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.


This is where I live.

This is where I live.

This is my body.

It houses me.

And not just me-now but all of the versions and aspects of me. And the infinite internal worlds that I am a part of.

My body is the home of my creativity, my strength, my desire, my boundaries, my entire experience of being alive.

This is where I live.

The absolute worst, most destructive things I can feed my body: guilt, shame, self-recrimination.

The healthiest and most loving things I can feed it: spaciousness, appreciation, boundaries, acknowledgment, movement, rest, permission, amnesty.

This is where I live.

I have not always treated this home especially well. Actually, I spent most of my twenties trashing the place. It’s okay. It was a necessary experience.

And one day I remembered that this is the only place I get to live.

I care for it to the best of my ability, which is always changing. It’s a process.

Still I commit to lovingly maintaining it. My life work includes getting to know all the hidden spaces and neglected corners.

To repair where I can. To lovingly accept where I can’t.

All houses have odd problems and structural weirdnesses. You get to know them. You work around some things. You make peace with other things.

I can have love for this home even if … okay, yes, this isn’t the kind of porch I would have designed for it. My pain. My process.

This is where I live.

My body is also the home of my business.

That’s because any business or job requires presence. Which starts in my body and my relationship with my body.

It’s not just about letting my body make executive decisions. It’s about recognizing that this container is the hub of everything.

Everything I do to support it supports my business.

Everything I do that is not supportive — even if it’s a sacrifice I’m making for my business, sabotages my business.

Here’s what’s good for my business: sleeping, moving, walking, dancing, flailing, yoga, massage. Long, slow, deep breaths. Noticing.

Here’s what’s never good for my business: rushing, panicking, forgetting where I live.

This is where I live.

Sometimes caring for your home means setting firm expectations, and kicking everyone out.

Yesterday I was at dance class and forgot that my home is my home.

I spaced out and started letting the instructor set things up her way in my home. It was not good.

I took a break so I could talk to my home. This is what I said:

“Hey, this is our space. It exists for us. We know it best. I am so sorry that I forgot. I will never push you. I will listen, ask questions and commit to supporting what you need to feel safe, strong, powerful and loved.”

This is where I live.

This is where I live.

It is the safe space from which I am able to do the things that I do, as well as the place where I practice intentionally not doing.

It is the home of my essential me-ness. Where all the bits and forgotten Havi-pieces come together.

Where I hide. Where I fall apart. Where I recover. Where I grow. Where I play.

I learn this and re-learn this and re-learn this.

This is where I get to live.

It houses me.

It houses me.

Comment blanket fort…

We all have our stuff. We all have complex relationships with our symbolic homes and internal space. We’re working on it. It’s a process.

If you’d like, you can notice things about your relationship with this place you live. Or share what you’re trying. Tell us what helps you spend more time there.

We don’t tell each other what to do or how to feel.

We give other people room to have their stuff. We take responsibility for our stuff and for our choices/reactions. We put our attention to the patterns and needs behind our thoughts and questions.

We play. Even though this stuff is hard. Which it is.

Love to the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers and everyone who reads.

p.s. Plum Duff! Take a look. Password: extraraisins

26 Responses to This is where I live.

  1. Emily Landry
    Twitter: emilylime

    I needed this today. Thank you so much.

  2. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket

    I have a lot of stuck and hurt in the whole idea of loving my physical house (as in, the four walls and roof of my non-metaphorical) and it’s only just now occurring to me how many connections this has to my body-house as well. Similar stucknesses. Similar patterns of hurt. Similar patterns of why-can’t-I-be-elsewhere.

    This means, I think, that the healing of one is also the healing of the other. That learning to inhabit and love one is also going to help me feel peaceful while inhabiting and loving the other. Not fighting where or what or who it is. Being in it. Healing or loving the bits that are frightened to relax into that being, too.

    I think of this sometimes as practicing my gratitude, but it’s only something I’ve done for the non-metaphorical house: I appreciate its spaciousness, its comfort, its strength, its presence as a fortress against cold draughts, its openness. Even when there are all kinds of other things about it that I am frustrated about and make the whole thing seem senseless.

    For my metaphorical house, my body: I appreciate its protections, its stretches and new movements, its ability to heal, its quietness, its ecstasy. There are many more things about it that give me pain or sadness or angst or agitation. Maybe by connecting more to the good things (and I love your list of things you can do to nourish it, Havi! I need to make one of those for the Book of Me) I can inhabit both houses with more me-ness and more home-ness and more peace. xo
    Jesse recently posted… In medias res and in medias satis

  3. Eve
    Twitter: evejacques

    YES THIS. Stunning post, thank you.
    Eve recently posted… Damp chihuahua

  4. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    I am learning and re-learning and re-learning this too. It seems that the things that help me come home involve movement (running, yoga) – because doing something that I identify with the body helps to bring me back to wholeness – or non-movement (sitting, journaling) – because they help remind me of what I know to be true.

    I do get to live here. And I want to appreciate it more.
    Elizabeth recently posted… apparently i have a daily practice

  5. Susan
    Twitter: SusPup

    I really needed to see this today. Thank you so much.

  6. Jess
    Twitter: openlybalanced

    <3 <3 <3 this. This is my home. And I am so grateful.
    Jess recently posted… Our CSA Share – The Missing Weeks

  7. R says:

    This brings up a lot of resistance for me… for years I felt like I was just a mind being carted around by some automaton… I think this contributed to my depression greatly. I have gotten into my body a lot in the past couple years. I think I would like to explore my home more. The monsters are grumping about it so we will have to discuss.

  8. VickiB says:

    This is beautiful. And so timely. This month I am devoting a week each to four things; one of them is self care and taking self care to a new level. This post fits so well with what I want to do. I am going to add it to the Book of Me, and maybe read it every day during the week of self care.

    As Jesse said, my relationship with my body and my house has “Similar stucknesses. Similar patterns of hurt. Similar patterns of why-can’t-I-be-elsewhere”. And I’m realizing that getting help is not an admission of failure but an act of love. That loving myself and loving my house are the basis for doing everything else that I love. Because this, body and house, is where I live. Where I work. Where I AM.

  9. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    Love the post.

    I have to say I don’t feel anywhere near good at appreciating my body-house.

    My sister showed me a very good and respectful documentary about anorexia nervosa and it brought back so many memories of a few years in my teenage time when my life revolved around non-eating.

    That hasn’t been the case since then but the worry to go back into self-punishment was around for a long time.

    I didn’t know or notice that until I saw the documentary.

    It’s one thing to eat, it’s another to feel happy and appreciative and happy.

    So today all I want to do is be grateful to my body.
    Yay body. You take a lot from me. I am taking you on an outing this weekend to a spa place!

  10. Katie Hart
    Twitter: yogiconomist

    I have an on-going mind-body struggle. I remember an aerobics instructor (from 7 years ago) who used to say “mind over body!” as we were doing something intense.

    One of my daily struggles is to let my body have some time. My mind says things like “productivity! do more!”. When in reality I am more productive when I take some time for yoga or a walk.

    I forget this about 4 times a week. When I’m home from work and still have work to do … my mind wants to skip yoga. But if I go, the magically I have more time when I return or the work just gets done faster.

    Yet, I forget this truth all the time. Even with my husband reminding me.

    (there is a Doctor Who episode where the main characters remember a creature only while looking at it …the moment they turn away the creature is forgotten … hmmm)
    Katie Hart recently posted… My First Anusara Class

  11. Barbara Martin @Reptitude
    Twitter: Reptitude

    “It houses me.

    It houses me.”

    Havi, you are so smart. :)
    Barbara Martin @Reptitude recently posted… When Your Mind is Blank

  12. amy goetz
    Twitter: AmyCreatesStuff

    thank you for this beautiful reminder.

    such perfect timing as the shame and frustration and the why can’t you be different have been attacking my home this month.

    and now i think i will sink into the comfy couch and listen a bit before moving on with the day, because i have obviously lost the voice of my house in all the excess noise and i need to find it again so i can see what it wants.

    amy goetz recently posted… things faeries told me, the fourth

  13. Cherilyn
    Twitter: Bikeblisschick

    This post made me think of this poignant song.Enjoy.
    Cherilyn recently posted… I love it when I’m wrong: Biking in Kalispell

  14. Grace says:

    So perfect and timely! I’m currently trying to make a big step with where I live (apartment-wise) and there has been SO MUCH resistance. I can see the link now. Prob the key….thanks Havi :)

  15. Lisa
    Twitter: lra0403

    Thank you for the gift of this reminder, Havi.

    My house is not as strong as it once was. The past 4 years of almost-neglect (because of the obligations of school and work together) have taken a toll. Structural damages over the years are a factor as well. Some parts of the exterior sag a bit more than they used to.

    But I love my house, its character and strength, and all it has done for me in the past. It takes concentrated effort now to begin to repair what I can. But that’s okay. Thankfully I love the maintenance process, and renovation. My house is worth it.
    Lisa recently posted… Writing? Not Writing? Am I ? Do I ? Should I ?… Egads!

  16. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    Thanks so much, Havi :) Sorely needed, but I think you knew that.

    I feel such a strong urge to send this to a ton of humans I know, but I also know I have to be respectful and mindful of their process. Uninvited advice, etc.

    I could also use that mindfulness for myself… I have often said that I/my body have/has lacked structural integrity since I was about 7 or 8, which is true, but said lack certainly has not prevented my body from being an effective vehicle in which to experience my life. I want to start remembering that.

    In my “Survival Tips” book, which was like a mini ‘Book of Me’ I made in college, I have a page on Nurturances specifically for the body. Sadly, there are only 4 items on that page. Time to change that. (small wave to Leela who is so creative in that space!)
    Risa recently posted… Steve Was A Rock Star.

  17. Trish says:

    luv. this. post. luvluvluv!

  18. Ellen says:

    So perfectly timed! I have become more and more involved in learning about the Health At every Size (R) movement and this post sums up the attitude they are trying to teach! Thank you!

  19. eileen says:

    interesting how many people needed this today. thank you, Havi, I really needed this and you said it perfectly, in a way i could really hear. and like you said, “I learn this and re-learn this and re-learn this”. Sometimes hearing it in someone else’s voice at just the right time helps you come back to it. thank you so much for your sharing and vulnerability here. Your flippant, funny posts I enjoy but the ones like this really touch something deep.
    eileen recently posted… New online dollmaking class!

  20. Kirsty
    Twitter: abitnotgood

    This is exactly what I needed to read today, this week, this month… xx

  21. Lurker Mouse Caroline says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. And so timely, just as I’ve started on a bit of a renovation project on my own ‘house’.

    Bookmarking this one for my own Book of Me …

    Thank you Havi!

  22. Sari O.
    Twitter: Sari_O

    Thank you, from me too. Way too often I slip into the “brain transportation device” mindset about my body. I know better, and yet I ignore it.

    It’s funny, too. When I’m pregnant, it’s not just “this is where I live” but “this is where WE live”. And for some reason, it’s easier to take care of the body when it’s not just for me, but for someone else as well. As if there was something redeeming about the fact that you’re not just doing it “for you” – that’s selfish, right? In the same vein, taking care of my body for it to function better (i.e. be a better brain transportation device) is somehow more valuable than doing it just because it feels good.


    Thank you. <3

  23. Jennifer
    Twitter: unchartedworlds

    Lovely post, hurrah!

    @ Katie:

    My mind says things like “productivity! do more!”. When in reality I am more productive when I take some time for yoga or a walk.

    oh me too :-)
    Jennifer recently posted… Unsticking and anti-procrastination

  24. Denise
    Twitter: dcanello

    Beautiful, Havi. So….yoga is taking care of me and my business, not selfish time away from my business. Brilliant. Yea! A whole new way of looking at my body. Thank you.

  25. […] up with the pace of the helpful stuff over there. I’m still working on yesterday’s This is where I live, though I see there’s something else new again today that will likely be helpful but […]

  26. Tisha
    Twitter: renewallcoach

    This is such a lovely post. Helps me take a deep belly breath and let my shoulders relax. My body house has been deep in the throes of Bolivia this year…nursing, rocking baby through the night, making dinner with her on my hip.

    Thank you for sharing your words, your thoughts, your reminders. Love it. xoxo

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