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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 Check-in #39: the pirate queen edition

Friday chickenBecause it’s Friday AGAIN. And because traditions are important. In which I cover the good stuff and the hard stuff in my week, trying for the non-preachy, non-annoying side of self-reflection.

And you get to join in if you feel like it.

Yep. It’s Friday.

Here’s the chicken.

From the Jew-ey vegetarian anti-frog pirate queen who talks to monsters and has a duck. A duck who pretends to be a monkey.

Just be glad you aren’t me, is all I’m saying.

The hard stuff

Our neighbors are moving. Sad face.

So we finally have neighbors that we love.

When I put out the word that magically united me with my dear, beloved Hoppy House, I was pretty much just hoping for neighbors who didn’t play the drums or have parole officers.

There was definitely at least a small part of me who was convinced that with my luck I’d end up next to a drum-playing parole officer, but mostly I figured it would be okay.

What I didn’t count on is that we’d fall madly in love with our neighbors and then those neighbors would move to Denver.

Not fair!!!!!

Okay. Yes, I realize that a perk of Denver is that we can also go visit Sonia. And now we do have an excuse to go to the Roller Derby Nationals if we’re not in Berlin then.

But I am not ready for the silver linings! I want my neighbors back! *throws tantrum*

Making stupid (and expensive) mistakes in my business.

I don’t know if I’m just tired. Or not paying attention.

But too many really ridiculous and costly errors this month. Inattentiveness and making assumptions and not explaining things well enough to the people on my team — except that as of this week I no longer call them a team (but that’s a good thing so we’ll talk about it in the “good stuff” part).

Not happy about that. But yeah, stuff to work on.



I spent half my week with various coaches and/or wacky energy healers working on getting better at the “boundaries” thing and the “respecting my time” thing and the “saying no” thing.

Yeah, progress.

But still at least twice a day I find myself turning to Selma and saying “WHY DID WE AGREE TO THIS?!”

So …. not there yet. My stuff.

Moving on to stuff which is good.

The good stuff


We (by which I mean me and my gentleman friend and my brother and my duck) went to visit my favorite uncle in the woods.

First of all, woods!

Man, I love those giant trees. And the quiet. And the air.

And my two favorite dogs in the entire world (Bobby and Gus!)

Though we will make another sad face for my two second-favorite cats in the world (Mattie and Little Bear) who are no more.

We went to the newt pond! We played Balderdash! We wandered!

It was so perfect and so relaxing. And there was much goofiness.

Also, my uncle will say things like “Let me go get some apples from my coffin” or “how many pine needles do you like in your tea?”

And I think, oh yes, you are related to me. LOVE!

No more frogs! (part 1)

After all my ranting about the stupid frog-eating metaphor, I taught a class this week for my At the Kitchen Table program on how to deconstruct sucky metaphors and build new ones that serve you.

It was seriously fantastic, and I almost never say that. But it rocked. And people were having the most astonishing results (even though I only ended up teaching half of my wacky metaphor technique).

Astounding. Seriously.

No more frogs! (part 2). Or: I am a pirate queen!

So after I rewrote the (ew ew ew) frog-eating metaphor on the call, I was pretty buzzed.

But then Cairene made me take it up a notch and got me to stop thinking of my team as a team.

It’s a long story and deserves its own post. But let’s just say that I no longer run a team.

I am a pirate queen! With a monkey!

Yes, I know this makes no sense. So just rejoice with me in the wacky.

And then I promise that next week (or soon-ish) I will explain the whole thing and it will make sense.

Maybe. Kind of.

Never mind. The pirate queen doesn’t need to apologize for not making sense!

I went to a party and didn’t hate it.

My neighbors? The ones I madly adore who are moving to Denver? They had a party for goodbyes.

I am not a party person. I am also not a goodbyes person.

And it was still really fun. Fun. At a party. Shocking, I know.

So … feeling hopeful that I can still be an introvert and a loner and just my usual HSP — highly sensitive person self … and still (you know, once in a blue moon) do something social and not suffer through it.

My gentleman friend made home-made pasta again.


This doesn’t really have much to do with my week but VERY LAST REMINDER!

Last chance to sign up for Stuff Havi Thinks You Should Know About How to Get Really, Really Great Testimonials, Recommendations & Referrals class.

At this point all I want to say is: 4.5 hours of my time and recordings and notes and answers to your questions at $54* means it’s one fortieth of what the price would be if you were paying my consulting rates. I know.

* $54 = including the blog reader discount which you get if you can answer one question and yeah, I even pointed you towards the answer yesterday.

So if it’s speaking to you, read this and sign up while you still can. :)

That’s it for me …

And yes yes yes, of course you can join in my Friday ritual right here in the comments bit if you feel like it.

Yeah? Anything hard and/or good happen in your week?

And, as always, have a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious weekend. And a happy week to come.

21 Responses to Friday Check-in #39: the pirate queen edition

  1. Willie Hewes
    Twitter: williehewes

    Ooh, oooh, me, me! I have some hard!

    My boss sent me home from work today for making too many mistakes. My performance is apparently unacceptably awful, and I’ve been more or less told to write a plan for “what we’re going to do about this.”

    I feel terrible. Yes, I have been making mistakes, because I’m distracted by stuff and I don’t really care about the work, but I have been trying. I didn’t think it was THAT bad. It seems the harder I try, the worse I get.

    I know what you’re all thinking, by the way. You’re all thinking: aha, a job she doesn’t like, a talent she can exploit, it’s itty-biz time!

    And you may be right. But that is just way too scary to think about. There is no way I’m gonna live in that cardboard box, ok? Good. Glad we’re clear on that.

    The good stuff

    I have a big rock. I was sort of vaguely looking around for a monster maybe, or something, but no, I got a rock. It tried to intimidate me for a bit with how big it was, but when it was done with that, we just sat in the sun. It was cool.

    My mate walked in to me meditating, which annoyed me, but I used it as an excuse to rope him into coming with me to pick up my books. We had fun together.

    My workmate doesn’t like my boss either. We had a good moan about her. Pointless, but it makes me feel less alone with my awful.

    Hooray for the Friday Chicken! I love it. I can’t WAIT to hear about the pirate queen thing, by the way. It sounds awesome.

    Willie Hewess last blog post..Leek and Sushi not currently in stock

  2. kball says:


    Goodbyes are hard; I so hear you about the neighbors. Having a wonderful community around you is sooooo important, and its so hard to have even a part of that leave.

    Hard Stuff:
    Moving out of the first appartment my wife and I ever rented together. Goodbyes (for at least a while) to all of our amaxing bay area friends.

    Good Stuff:
    2 days left until 3 months in Guatemala with my wife. A couple of really good meditation sessions. Basking in the love of all of the people sending us off.

    kballs last blog post..My doing-mind

  3. Andi
    Twitter: annaline_39

    The hard:
    Yesterday, while doing his census job, Marty lost control of the car and ended up in a ditch/side of a hill. Meaning the car is no longer straight, and needed to be towed to the dealer. We are waiting to hear if it is fixable. He lost his jobjob in December of 2006 and there is no savings account to replace our only car.

    The good:
    No one else was involved in the accident, so there will be no lawsuits in the future, and no bills from hospitals for things that weren’t covered by our insurance.

    The yellow quilt is coming along slowly, but it looks like what is in my head. I am excited about pulling out the airbrush again to make layers on the top.

    Figuring out the tension problem with the sewing machine was the bobbin thread being too thin.

    Chris at Donkey said I could bake more for them to help fund the car repair/new car.

    I took Izzy to the library to smell the lilacs there and found the felted pin my friend Steph had lost.

    And the manifesting thing does work; I was looking at April’s Delicious Living magazine and saw a recipe for blood oranges. I had a fleeting “I wish I could try one”. And later in the week, guess what was available at The Farmacy! Tasty! :)

    Because I was paid for the images the restaurant in Canada is going to use, I was able to sign up for the referral class! Yay! :D

    Andis last blog post..Management From the Top Down

  4. Gadgetgirl says:

    The hard:

    My boss is out of town for over 4 months. My review, a stipend and and revisions to my job description to get me a wee bit more $ each month for work I already do are all in limbo. Emails regarding the status go unanswered. It really is a Monster sort of situation because if I appear to anxious and nagging about these items, he will only delay further just to torment me (past performance IS a predictor of future actions with him – and I’ve had my impressions validated by both people in AND outside of our department). And I realized this week that week that this dysfunctional relationship we have is very similar to the one I had with my father. Lots of bad baggage is coming floating to the surface. YUCK!

    The good:
    I bought the “Destuckification Station” this week. What a godsend!! Thank you so much Havi! It is really helping talk me down of the ledge so that I can retract my claws before sending out emails to the MIA boss. I’m also making forward progress on getting everything together to apply for a doctoral program. While is a big, scary thing, I also view as a ray of hope that I can move myself into a better position in a few years. As one of the people whom I consulted with on this said, it will be my “union card” for the university environment that I would like to remain a part of.

  5. Amy Crook
    Twitter: amysnotdeadyet

    It’s always hard to lose the good people to their just-right places. But your duck-monkey (wait, that doesn’t sound right…) will comfort you!

    The hard:

    Went to a networking thing at an hour I would normally still be asleep. Was bored, overly warm, awkward, and don’t feel like there were any of my just-right people there, but I may give it one more shot next month.

    Was woken up many times in the night by a certain kitten. Did not kill him. Might have been a close call once or twice.

    Nearly Done Project keeps being nearly done, but not actually done. Mostly not my fault, but a little bit my fault.

    Needed to paint but kept getting stuck in the downanna space. Worked on some other commission stuff, though, so that’s good.

    The weird:

    Was found on the internet by my ex-husband. This isn’t bad, just… weird.

    The good:

    Two people who loaned me money in March have elected to get their repayment in the form of commission paintings. This is awesome — more painting time for me, and less money going out.

    Put up the new spiffy stuff on my website, refocusing my efforts there.

    Thanks to another project, rent is paid for May & June, and bills for May, including a couple of treats like the Havi class and a limited-edition book.

    Signed up for awesome Havi class, thanks to the Stu/Selma discount.

    Spoke up during Ittybiz calls and felt like some good networking happened there, if only because people heard my name and I had something smart to say. And I was less awkward than on last week’s call, not that that would be considered difficult.

    Cats still snuggly and healthy and cute.

    Speaking of cute, have been re-contacted by a gentleman I am rather fond of, with whom I had one coffee date before we both got all busy and lost contact. Am looking forward to perhaps having a dinner date before 2010.

    Speaking of cats, I think they’ve got the right idea. It’s a rainy, icky day, and time for a nap before pub dinner and Wicked with friends.

    Amy Crooks last blog post..Are You Making It Too Hard to Give You Money?

  6. Barbara J Carter
    Twitter: barbarajcarter


    -Found out a Very Important Thing I mailed 3 weeks ago “never arrived”. They say “oh, we’ll just wait for it to show up.” I’m taking no chances and mailing a duplicate. Stupid mail.

    -It’s going to rain tomorrow on me and my art. I’m strongly hoping for LIGHT rain. Please?


    -I am ready for my art show this weekend. I am certain that lots of people will come and look at my art. I will work very hard, sell some paintings to my “right people”, and go home feeling tired but fulfilled.

    Barbara J Carters last blog post..Come to Calabasas for some art

  7. Shawna R. B. Atteberry
    Twitter: shawnaatteberry

    My good and bad are a mixed package. The good is I know writing Career Women of the Bible and telling women that women did work in the Bible and have families and the world didn’t end is My Thing. Now I just have to continue to destuckify. I’ve been talking to my fear and monster. They haven’t said anything yet. But that’s okay. I’ve resented, resisted, and stuffed them away for a long time. It may take them awhile to believe that I will listen.

    I also downloaded your sampler and Record Your Mind mp3, and I am looking forward to getting into both of them.

    I will be part of your crew any day. I don’t know what you would do with a feminist theologian, but if you ever do need one, I will be more than happy to have you and Selma as my pirate overladies. :)

    Shawna R. B. Atteberrys last blog post..Them and Us: Mental Illness

  8. JoVE
    Twitter: jovanevery

    Knowing how you feel about “coach”, I completely understand how “team” got the heave-ho. And for some reason you are looking a lot like a female version of Johnny Depp. (not a bad thing, I don’t think) I think I get the pirate queen metaphor. And who wouldn’t want to be part of that.

    JoVEs last blog post..Do you want help planning your summer?

  9. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    It sounds like you’ve had quite a week, both in the hard and the good! I’m rejoincing with you in the wacky of the pirate queen thing, and I’ll be happy to read more about it.
    A tiny suggestion: if you feel like it (maybe not now since you’re still in the hard about it, but maybe a bit later?), you could try writing a personal ad for the perfect new neighbours for you. If it works as well as the one for the Hoppy House did, that would be terrific!

    The hard in my week:
    – things moving slowly (way too slowly to my liking)
    – the sternum pain that doesn’t seem to want to go away anytime soon
    – the fact that I can’t seem to be able to just sit down and have the internal chat I want to have with myself, my body, and my stucknesses

    The good in my week:
    – getting a wonderful aerial view of the area surrounding a city I was visiting, thanks to a surprise helicopter ride generously offered by a friend of a friend
    – things moving slowly (at least, some of them are moving, even if it’s just by a tiny bit)
    – going away AND being back home
    Oh, I’m sure there was something else, but it escaped my mind! I guess that means it’s enough for today!

    A wonderful weekend to you, Havi, and to every one else as well!

  10. leah says:

    yarg, matee! So is everyday “talk like a pirate day” then? that’d be fun. i’m imagining selma with an eye patch.

    hmm, let’s see the hard: massive sense of overwhelm mid-week and surrendering to the fact that nothing gets done as quickly as i imagine it will. (what is wrong with my sense of time? it’s like i need glasses for time perception! oy!)

    the good: my articles in artful blogging magazine come out today. sold a good deal of art this week. trying to figure out how to celebrate instead of brushing it off like it’s no big deal. absolutely loving the warmer weather here in new england!

    leahs last blog post..Artful Blogging Magazine

  11. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Hey guys!

    Love that everyone is doing the chicken with me. Sounds like you all had a pretty interesting week too.

    @josiane – personal ad for new neighbors, that’s a great idea!

    @JoVE – that’s exactly how I hoped you would be picturing it!

    @shawna- I totally need a feminist theologian on board my ship. Couldn’t be more perfect! Also your “thing” sounds completely awesome.

    @Barbara – art show! hope the weather plays nice.

    @Amy – wow! that is a lot of hard, good and weird. So glad that you’re in my class. Fun!

    @gadgetgirl – ohmygoodness! your hard is really hard and your good is really good. Sound like you are having lots of big insights and that some of them are really uncomfortable, so wishing you lots of comfort with that.

    @Andi – Glad Marty is okay. Hooray for lilacs and finding lost felted pins.

    @kball – happy times in Guatemala! and say goodbye to the Bay Area for me too. I miss it.

    @Willie – you have a big rock! That’s good to know. And of course we won’t force you into ittybiz-ing anything. That would just be mean. I love that you know exactly where you are… and I’ll totally hang out with you there. :)

  12. Avonelle Lovhaug
    Twitter: avonelleL

    The hard:

    More people around the house this week, which makes it more difficult for me to concentrate on work.

    The good:
    Got our car that collided with a deer back (finally).

    And a check I was waiting on arrived today.

    And I did a bunch of decluttering this week. Both physical stuff (big city-wide clean-up day on Saturday so I wanted to take advantage of that. And virtual stuff in the form of dropping some RSS feeds and opting out of some newsletters. I’m hoping that plus some improved task management habits will help me to get more stuff done and feel less overwhelmed.

    Avonelle Lovhaugs last blog post..How to frustrate your users by making data entry annoying

  13. Hope says:

    Love you, Havi! Thanks for posting stuff like this every Friday. Always something to look forward to. And I admire your willingness to work hard to get unstuck. I’m learning to talk to my other personalities, similar to what you describe with the wall, etc, so reading your posts has been incredibly helpful. Thank you!

  14. Anna-Liza
    Twitter: Divina712

    The bad: Not so much bad this week, other than being in a down mood for no apparent reason for a day or so.

    The hard: argument with my husband making me wonder, now that I’m getting a teeny bit better (or maybe just more experienced) with my own stuckness, how do I go about coping with his?

    Starting to have those “recovering honor student” thought patterns around Dance of Shiva. I knew they’d turn up eventually, so not totally unprepared.

    The good: My deadline got pushed to Monday, which I think I can actually do.

    I *didn’t* hit the very large beaver which was crossing the highway just as I came over a hill … and there was no one in the right hand lane next to me, so I *didn’t* hit anyone else, either. And all evidence points to the beaver having made it to the other side in one piece.

    I get to go hang out with old friends tonight–while knitting away on my deadline project all the while, of course.

    Anna-Lizas last blog post..Pollyanna versus the Alpaca Zombies

  15. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    Hooray for pirate queen! I can’t wait to meet her and her monkey. :-)

    The hard: Wanting to be outside in this spring sunshine, running along the beach with those two dogs that I see having so much fun out there right now. Still walking with canes.

    The good: I walked a whole three blocks in the sunshine today! Yay!

    And I wrote two blog posts–one funny, one not. Sent out a newsletter. Mapped out a whole Voyager program with the help of the pirate queen. (Ahoy there, your Pirateness!)

    Lots of other good stuff sprouting.

    Much love to you, and see you at the Testimonials class on Sunday!


    Hiro Bogas last blog post..What I learned about the healing power of memory from a song and dance routine at my local theater. . .

  16. Havi, I have just one thing to say to you:


    Get ready for National Speak Like A Pirate Day. I’m coming over to visit!


    Wendy Maynards last blog post..Tips for New Bloggers to Get Started and Keep Going

  17. Aye, Captain Havi of the Black Pearl, that just sounds too perfect!

    Thought I’d just join in on the good, the ‘hard’ (and the ugly) and reflect a little bit:

    The ugly:
    On the day of our national celebration here in Holland a man drove his car through a crowd, killing 6 plus himself, wounding another 26 people in a mad attempt to attack our Royal family. Needless to say our wee country is in shock…

    The hard:
    With focusing on completing my ebook my attention has been inward these last few weeks, which has resulted in an absolute lack of income presently. Worry sometimes overtakes me even though I’m working my a** off to permanently change these inner currents. It’s one of my toughest challenges in an otherwise blessed existence.

    The good:
    I’ve got the best friends in the world! My brother’s birthday celebration was fun, light and full of laughter, which is just what the doctor ordered for him and his kids (his wife died 3 months ago). The weather has been fantastic and I’m happily soaking up the warmth and vitamins every chance I get!

    Bit of a week of extremes aye… and yet, love flows deeper in self-appreciation every day. Wonder-filled movement ;o)

    Maarten Elouts last blog post..Dutch National Celebration turns Tragedy

  18. Char
    Twitter: Charsfirststep

    Hey Havi:

    I hear you when you talk about being the Pirate and having mates on the ship. Much the same conclusion I’ve come to with various people that work for me lately. And, surprisingly, implementing this new philosophy – others have been very receptive to more direction and less murky-ness on my part.

    Wondering how your beautiful arms, hands, shoulders, etc are doing? I hope they are healing and treating you well!

    The hard and soft are together this week as everything is moving along at a good clip:

    -I live in a housefull of floor length windows with a woods outside and very few walls – the house goes in a circle and each room kinda flows into the next. Anyway, my beloved dogs have wrecked every single screen with their nails. Been frustrated with this as too many bugs to open the windows. Good news was that I found a solution from a small hardware store here that offers PetScreens that should help and allow full air inside the house.
    -I ordered The Undivided Life CD by Parker Palmer as part of the Amazon Vine program to review it. It is absolutely excellent.
    -Bought Beyonce’s I am Sasha Fierce (her alter ego when she’s performing) and found out that I too am Sasha Fierce when I’m passionate about my life’s work! Who knew?
    -My oldest son is better and back home BUT not following up on his medical condition despite knowing that his vision may be affected. Annoying at best for me – and also empowering as I let go of having any control over this situation at all. The result – less worry for me and laughing more at myself for thinking that even if he does check on it, doesn’t mean the doc is right – plus, why I think I have control over my adult kids just cracks me up in general. Ridiculous notion!
    -Discovering some very helpful stuff http://www.perelandra-ltd.com which has been the missing piece to my own personal health care.
    -Getting prepared for a possible pandemic with water and having nowhere to store everything because my son has wrecked the basement. The good is he’s coming home this week from college and he WILL deal with it.
    -My back has been hurting again and I started up with my physical therapist – great move!!! Really helping.

    Have a great weekend.


  19. Jessica says:

    Bad: The usual divorce stuff will be on my list until it’s done and I don’t have to deal with it anymore. Having really annoying withdrawal symptoms trying to get off one of my too-many-meds. Makes me snappish and generally unpleasant to be around. I don’t want to be around me ;)

    Good: The divorce stuff will be over at some point. I will be off the meds for good at some point soon. I have two wonderful daughters and a bunch of really good friends who are helping me tons through this difficult time. I think I might know what I want to be when I grow up and it’s the same thing I wanted to be way back when before I decided to be “safe” and go to law school. Hopefully I can get past my stuckness and get to it soon!

    Jessicas last blog post..Listen to a friend even though it isn’t easy

  20. Sonia Simone says:

    1) Yes, please come visit Denver! We could do a retreat at my house and invite some nice people. The roses are really good all through June and into July. Just saying.

    2) Pirate Queen, I can see that. Will be interested to hear how that unpacks.

    3) Lot of yikes among the FluentSelfers this week! I send you all love and tulips.

    Sonia Simones last blog post..Objection Blaster #4: Why You?

  21. Christine says:

    Pirate Queen! Yay! Sounds like a lot of positive power and strength.

    @ Maarten: I feel so sorry for your country. I have seen it on TV. So horrible, so sad.

    Let‘s see. The week. I know I am late … Friday is long gone, but I want to stick to this (for me) new ritual. My good stuff and my bad stuff:

    Down mood and bad feelings moved away some footsteps (acupuncture works wonders sometimes, I love it). So at least I was procrastinating things and thoughts in a better mood than the week before. I got some stuff done (wow, nobody realizes that I am a big bluff package).
    BUT: I didn‘t get the important stuff done – I postponed a deadline (and because of that even lied to my customer; only a small lie but that doesn‘t matter and I feel horrible about it). So, I was not any wiser this week. I actually feel the next freak out moment knocking on the door … but today is already the „next” week and I think I am a bit better prepared now, having some “Havi tools” in my pocket.

    Oh, some great stuff: Family and friends – I am so lucky to have them! I got flowers all the week from friends to cheer me up or to say thank you for something I supposedly did for them. Flowers, family, friends, I like them. Very much.

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