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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.


We are the mighty mighty nature crew! And other true stories.

Roses all around.

Music stirring, scent wafting, a perfect rainbow slicing through the fountain.

Sweet captivating magic in the air.

Flash Waltz.

It works a bit like a flash mob, but without anything planned or practiced in advance.

The instructions were to show up in the Victorian rose garden: dancers and musicians. The musicians were given the name of a book of waltzes they’d be playing from. That was it. You just show up.

We made our way down the narrow garden paths, surrounded by roses, gathering under the meeting point of four trees.

Eighteen musicians and maybe twenty five dancers.


They began playing waltzes.

We began dancing.

No gender rules about who leads and who follows, you just ask for the role you want. Sometimes lead-follow switch in the middle of a dance.

This isn’t fancy ballroom waltz with ramrod posture and flair. This is social waltz, peasant waltz, cross-step revival waltz, the kind people do for the sheer joy of life and aliveness.

There is always a certain magical something that happens when creative play engages. That shiver-moment of shared connection.

It expands.

People felt this and flocked towards us, not in the flash mob way of “hey this weird cool thing is happening” but because it had a pull of meaning. A pull of life.

Life is happening here!

Little kids joined in, because kids all know how to dance even though they don’t, because they do. Some of the waltzers danced with the children too, and showed them how to feel it: one-two-three da-da-da, and we were all in the slow, sweet rhythm of the music.

Full contact laughter.

There was so much laughter, because laughter and magic and joy go together.

The kids were giggling happily, and then so were their parents and the dancers and the onlookers. Not the laugh of hahaha what is happening this is nuts. No, the laugh of oh how beautiful it is to be here in this moment.

I was dancing with a woman whose name I can’t remember, one of the musicians, and next to us was Jorge dancing with someone visiting from North Carolina; he pulled us into their pairing and walked us through an unfamiliar round folk dance that involved lots of turns and bowing.

A melody or two later, Scott and I collided with another pair, which is easy to do on these narrow intersecting paths, where there’s no Line Of Dance the way there is in a ballroom.

He apologized, and the barefoot woman who was probably in her mid-sixties shouted back, “NO WORRIES! Waltz is a full contact sport!”

And we all laughed and laughed and laughed, because it is. And also because that is the most ridiculous thing to say. Ridiculous and improbable and true.


The musicians played for an hour (including an original waltz that one of them had composed!), and then they did a reprise of the first waltz, and then they played Goodnight Irene, which everyone sang as they danced.

It was one of those Moments where you just feel connected. To community, to joyful creative self-expression, to love.

When it was over and we all wandered away, I played and splashed in the fountain, feeling peaceful and happy and abundant in all things. A fountaining-over of joy.


I read this story. The story-teller befriends a couple getting married, by mistake, and it gets increasingly weird and beautiful.

I hope it is true. It fills me with delight.

There is a thing my father says, I can’t remember what it is from: “Not only is this story true, but it also happened.”


Joyful activism.

Steve Lambert, a wonderful art-activist and thoughtful human, did this project in 2007.

Here’s what he said about it.

“When I do stuff I arguably ‘shouldn’t’ be doing, I prefer to do it in the light of day. If I get caught, I don’t want to run or hide. I want to say, ‘Hi! Oh this? Yeah, I did this.’ For example, if you wanted to paint over a financially predatory billboard, it’s just a whole lot easier if you do it at noon with a ladder and write “Will You Marry Me?” In fact, everyone loves it. Neighbors come by and get excited. They cheer you on. That’s how I like to work.”

There is so much I could say about this, but for now just this:

Activism and advocacy and bringing our light (and our self-fluency) out into the world in order to make a difference, these are things that can be really challenging in so many different ways, and I like remembering that they can also be joyfully defiant, playfully noncompliant.

So here’s to sparkly dissent, and all the magic (and power) in Unlikely Combinations.

More about artistic activism, if this is something that excites you.


Yesterday Richard and I were walking through the park on the way to a secret op, and there was a summer camp group of kids who looked to be about eight years old, on a field trip with backpacks.

They were marching in a line, chanting at the top of their lungs, with POWER:

Everywhere we go! People want to know!
Who we are! So we tell them!
We! Are! The Mighty Mighty Nature Crew!

We Are The Mighty Mighty Nature Crew!
And we’re going to win at camp! BECAUSE WE’RE AWESOME!

And this repeated.

Such delight.

Joy for mighty things.

Every single person walking in the park was smiling from ear to ear, partly because it was so adorable, and partly because, while tiny and sweet, they did seem mighty.

They were so loud, and so impassioned about being the Mighty Mighty Nature Crew

And even though no one had any idea what a nature crew is, or what they do, we were all thoroughly convinced of their mightiness.

I want to walk around with my crew of selves, all yelling WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY HAVI CREW!

With Wise Me at the front of course, and then all my selves. Writer Me and Dancer Me. Scared me and Tender Me. Some of my selves might need to be carried by stronger selves, on processional thrones or elegant litter vehicles with hidden compartments, and some might be resting in their safe rooms, but we are all marching in spirit.



I feel Enthusiastic about small life-affirming connection moments between people.

I feel Enthusiastic about rejoicing in other people’s expressions of what they feel moved to express.

I feel Enthusiastic about magic and about truth.

And also I feel Enthusiastic about feeling Enthusiastic!

So I am convening an Enthusiastic in this post and in the comments so that we may enthuse here together! Yay!

Come enthuse with me!

You are invited to enthuse in any way you like.

It can be Calmly Enthusiastic, Quietly Enthusiastic. Wildly and Ecstatically Enthusiastic. Sweetly Enthusiastic. Powerful Steady Grounded Enthusiasm. Dragonly Enthusiasm. Mighty Mighty Nature Crew Enthusiasm.

Choose your flavor or flavors, they are all welcome. Including the most unlikely combinations.

Mainly, the invitation is this:

I am feeling joyful about surprise moments of human connection and shared joyfulness, about smiles with strangers that don’t have to mean anything other than delight in shared aliveness, about powerful self-expression, about conscious interaction and presence, about moments.

And I want to share this and bubble enthusiasm together!

And maybe collect some more moments, some more true stories that also may have happened.

You can add your own. You can just delight with me about how special it is that we are human and we can connect and feel and know. You can say yay and huzzah! You can share anything that sparked for you.

And even in those (very legitimate) moments when we get disconnected from ourselves and from aliveness, we can take a breath or eight breaths and slowly remember. There is beauty in the world. There are growing beings who feel their mightiness and haven’t forgotten yet. There are real changes that we can make here.

A big glowing of love from my thank-you heart for everyone who reads,

This is safe space for creative exploration and sharing! To maintain the integrity of that, we abstain from advice, we make space for people to have their own experience, we meet each other (and ourselves) with love, to the best of our abilities. Everyone belongs!

24 Responses to We are the mighty mighty nature crew! And other true stories.

  1. Mary Tracy
    Twitter: MaryTracy

    Beautiful. And this, I believe, is the new consciousness and new “way of being” that will change the world.

    *enthusing quietly*
    Mary Tracy recently posted… Weekly Log #55: Floating Wish

  2. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    A thing that I can’t share publicly just happened, and i’ve been squee-ing & twirling with delight!

    Love, love, LOVE people who *get* enthusiasm, sparkle, joy, playful.

    {Couldn’t tell if your story of the flash waltz was a dream, flash fiction, or *what*, but it *felt* AMAZING. And I don’t even enjoy partnered dancing.}
    Pqw-orange recently posted… 3 dream fragments: 8.13.15

  3. Kate says:

    I am having an enthusiastic about the candles I want to make, which I’ve been floating around doing since I started the Business Thing seven(!) years ago, and now they feel like the right thing to do, this is the right time to do them, and I am being supported in the doing, and that is a pretty awesome thing.

    And YAY for flash waltzing! That sounds absolutely delightful.
    Kate recently posted… 8/18 — Project Log: Hair Adornments

  4. Rhiannon
    Twitter: rhiannonlaurie

    Oh I love this! All of it!

    I have a more self-contained thing that still gave me a flavor of this enthusiasm.

    I’m currently on the shores of Lake Michigan with a variety of family and the other night we built a camp fire.

    First, how it was built: we just did. Some of us stopped a game of Cards Against Humanity and started walking down with firewood. Others found some paper and kindling in a box in the cabin. Someone else grabbed chairs. I don’t know who brought the marshmallows. We found some hangers for roasting them. I walked down with the little one, and everyone else was happy to go slow behind us.

    Then after the fire was lit and the sun had gone down and everyone who eats s’mores had had a few, my dad mentioned that when he was little and he came to this cabin, they used to sing around the campfire.

    And so we did. Anything at least one of us knew – from Portuguese hymns to the Beatles to old show tunes to parts of fight songs people knew. Some of us sang well and some of us sang badly and no one apologized and everybody sang and everyone appreciated everyone’s singing.

    And then it was done and we went in.

    Not something reaching out in the world in the same way, but such a happy little time of peace and calm and beauty for me, and I do think these things are felt beyond their immediate circles.

    I am so enthusiastic for moments of calm joy!
    Rhiannon recently posted… I’m No Longer a Citizen of That Nation

  5. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    I am bubbling with enthusiasm for all of this!

    Here’s a magical moment I got to experience this week:

    A very gentle and dignified gentleman unexpectedly turned up for one of my music groups. (I had met him before, but not in that context.) While I was singing a song he knew, he indicated through eye contact and an unmistakable gesture that he wanted to take a solo verse — so I gave him his space, and he sang smoothly and gracefully. The effortless, unspoken communication and the sweet shared moment made me very happy. <3

  6. Kate says:

    I am steadily enthusiastic. A constant stream of bubbles rising to the surface of myself, popping and fizzing! I’ve been dancing around my apartment and feeling so in tune with myself, profoundly in the moment and grateful.

    I went out to see an excellent EDM DJ a few weeks ago and I danced danced danced wildly, enthusiastically, as if there was nothing better in the world (at at the time there wasn’t, really!). I danced goofy and sultry and mechanical and all sorts of moods, playing with everyone dancing around me. Flailing about and laughing. In moments like that I feel like I’m drenched in love.

    Lots of dancing flowers to you Havi, and everyone else who reads!

  7. Åsa
    Twitter: asaplesner


    I feel so much better now.


  8. J'aime says:

    Whee! The flash waltz makes me so happy! Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    I am thinking of the tango, and of how the late Roger Rees was celebrated for his enthusiasm, and how my earlier hopes for a long-term salsa partner didn’t pan out but how fun it will be to slide back into dancing circles once I get past this current crush of clustereffery.

    And in the meantime a friend sent me an unexpected note about one of my poems inspiring a new one by her, and photos I took at work are showing up in the publications of multiple departments, and it turns out I have cardamom in the house after all. The moments of unexpected encouragement sure help with negotiating with the monsters. As does the stunningness of the night sky, even one where the stars are faint and distant. And the company of sweet doggies. And the comfort of familiar sheets. And an abundance of paper and pencils. And… *enthuses on*
    mechaieh recently posted… August Moon: parting from the leaves

  10. VickiB says:

    We are Away, and the place where we are staying has a screened porch that overlooks the big swimming pool and I plan to spend a lot of time there, except maybe when they are doing something that requires recorded music at a high volume.

    I am very enthusiastic about this porch and this place and the big swimming pool.

  11. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    I wanted to change my fakebook name to ‘Claire Mighty’ because the married name and the ‘maiden’ name both feel ….not right. But they didn’t believe me and wouldn’t let me. Bah!, however I am Claire Mighty in my head sometimes. I am enthusiastic about the word Mighty!! It is a mighty word!. I always tend to breathe bigger when I say it.

  12. Chandler
    Twitter: AnagramPress

    I just got home from three weeks of wandering, and this is the best thing that could possibly be waiting for me to find. My whole trip was one huge Enthusiastic, filled with shared moments of joy and discovery, and now that I’m back I just want to SHARE THE AWESOME with even more Enthusiasm, in hopes of scattering small seeds of it to blossom in the hearts of everyone I love who didn’t happen to be there.

    And today I went to a wedding that was the most wonderfully non-traditional celebration of love and pancakes (it was a pancake wedding! This is not a proxy! The groomsmen flipped flapjacks on a huge griddle! The vows mentioned syrup!!), with small children reading Shel Silverstein poems and every table covered with white paper tablecloths and piles of crayons. I drew a gigantic table-sized Bluebird of Happiness for the couple, and basked in joy and memories and Enthusiasm. It was a collection of small joyful moments, each mighty like the Mighty Mighty Nature Crew is mighty.

    So much joy, and hearts, and pebbles, and flowers for you, for everyone here who reads, for the pancake couple, for the places I’ve just been, and for the Mighty Mighty Nature Crew.
    Chandler recently posted… On the banks

  13. Puck says:

    This is delightful. I want there to be more flash dances. <33
    Puck recently posted… falseprophet:






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