Friday chickenIn which I cover the good stuff and the hard stuff in my week, trying for the non-preachy, non-annoying side of ritual and self-reflection.

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

The hard stuff

Re-entry. Always the hardest.

Coming back from a Rally or retreat is often difficult.

All of a sudden the old things don’t work. You’re hyper-aware of everything that is disharmonious or incongruent. You miss being around people who get it. You miss being in an environment with space and autonomy and breathing room.

I’ve done this so many times. I was ready for this. And being ready helps a little, but not as much as you’d think.

I had clear and loving notes from past-me about how I will probably need to spend at least three days in bed staring at the wall blankly.

And also about how I will suddenly dislike everything and want it to be different. How all this is normal and okay, and when I eventually stop fighting it, then it will suddenly and magically pass.

So yeah. It gets easier but you know what? It’s still unbelievably intense. I am re-entering and everything is different, and it is raw and new and I want to hide away in a cocoon please.

Watching people you care about put themselves in painful situations.

You sit there with your heart full of love and appreciation, and you watch people just tangle themselves up in their stuff.

You watch them place unnecessary restrictions on the very thing that would bring them peacefulness and delight.

You watch them reinforce narratives that have nothing to do with reality.

You watch them construct rules about how they are willing to receive, to the point that they actually limit what you would otherwise happily give freely.

You watch them imposing external forms on a situation instead of allowing structures and containers to emerge organically.

And there is nothing you can do in this situation except continue to love quietly. And hope that they will come back to what is true.

This happened a few different times this week, and it is an awful feeling.

Discomfort.

I will silent retreat on this.

Needing to reconsecrate space.

Ditto.

Getting triggered.

And not able to explain what is happening in the moment. Being with someone who can’t understand.

Oh dear god, the misunderstandings. When will they end.

So many misunderstandings.

May everything resolve itself.

Pretty much any time I went online.

Between the elections and the world series and the hurricane and everything horrible, everything is horrible.

When I remembered to do sweet, loving things for myself that have to do with being here and now, with stillness and breathing, all was good.

When I went looking online to connect with something else, nothing was good.

Recovery.

It takes time.

The good stuff

Remembering.

Remembering the truth about how Now Is Not Then.

Remembering the superpower of Actually, Nothing Is Wrong.

Look at this.

Last year at the end of Crossing the Line, I spent three hours with my partner in crime cleaning up the Playground, because it was a fabulous disaster. Costumes everywhere, feathers from boas all over the place, blankets that needed folding, cushions strewn across the floor. It was fun, and it was also a lot of work.

This year’s group just kind of quietly put everything back on their own all the time, and by the time they left, there was hardly anything to do to clean up.

Things and situations can get even better than they already are. Even when I don’t do anything to change them. This is a useful thing to remember!

Replenishing. Also the Playground calendar was made by a twisted genius.

Seriously, me from a year ago is hilarious.

I turned the Playground calendar to November. And it’s the month of REPLENISHING.

Replenishing!

Are you kidding me? Could anything be more perfect? Because that happens to be exactly what I need right now.

And then, get this, at the bottom of the month, it says THIS:

Hiding is always okay and often useful. Safety first!

This was so completely what I needed to hear in that moment. Wise, loving and true. Also: relevant to my interests, as they say.

Thank you, calendar. Thank you, past-me. Thank you, seeing the reminder without needing to trip over it.

p.s. If you’re looking forward to a 2013 calendar, they exist! And they are even more beautiful and amazing than last year, if that’s possible. I’ll post pre-order information soon!

Things change.

Saturday was a not-fun day for me, and my playmate was also having a not-fun day, and so we decided to be irritable and grumbly together.

This cheered me up immensely, and then Sunday was beautiful.

Things are weirdly better than I think they are.

I made a list of everything that is better right now than it was a year ago, not expecting to find very much.

But actually, SO MANY THINGS. This was surprising, and also useful for negotiating with the monsters.

The Crossing.

We crossed.

It was a big passage. And extraordinary things happened.

It was so big that I can’t even talk about it. But everything is different now.

Conducting.

I was able to do the thing that helps. And I was able to do it consistently, every day, all the time, more often than I thought I needed it.

Avoiding Halloween.

Marisa came and we ate dinner in the dark and hid.

I was remarkably functional on the first day of recovery.

I was able to have a Puttering Day! Yay, puttering day.

I was vertical. Up and about. This never happens. It was great.

Flowers.

Flowers help.

I am taking really good care of myself.

This is still relatively new. I like it.

Walking.

Walking is the best. Triple especially if it takes place in crisp air and the sun is out and there are beautiful colorful leaves everywhere.

Noticing!

I am noticing all the useful things. This is exciting.

Morning in a turquoise towel.

This was beautiful.

Hello, November.

I had things to say for November, and I was ready to say them without needing a lot of time to agonize over transitions, and this felt sweet.

Found a new cafe.

It is delightfully quiet and subdued. There is a lot of wood.

And again, Nothing Is Wrong. The old cafe stopped being the right place and then the new place was there when I needed it, and the new thing is better.

Nothing is wrong. Nothing is wrong. Nothing is wrong.

Comfort and reassurance.

Thank you, Maryann and Robyn.

Thank you, everyone who has been sending sweetness in the mail. Cards and reminders of love. Hugely appreciated.

Hope.

Everything is very quiet now from inside my recovery cocoon, but I can see glimpses and glimmers of radiance.

The things that are coming are so beautiful. And letting them take their time is important. Letting me take my time is important.

I am remembering this and trusting it. For entire moments. For a breath and then another breath. And then for ten whole astounding minutes inside of a compass made of points of light.

Playing live at the meme beach house — it’s the Fake Band of the Week!

Background? Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once translated “people will hate me and be jealous” to “they’ll hang out at my Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.

This week’s band is also the name of a flavor of tea that I would like to exist:

Sudden Unexpected Jolt Of Peacefulness.

They harmonize. With everything.

Though, of course, yes, it’s really just one guy.

Hallo Hallo! I am saying Hallo Hallo. Announcement time.

Picture me wearing that crazy hat

There are a few shiva nata starter kits left but they are going pretty quickly.

We are close to rearranging everything in the shop. I am going to repeat my recommendation for emergency calming the hell down, before changes get made. Also, this was how I got to peacefulness this week, and I needed a lot of calm this week.

And, if you’re in Portland or the general area and you want to Duck Out of Thanksgiving again this year, information coming soon. We will have a Great Ducking Out day of fun, play and running away at the Playground. :)

That’s it for me …

Join my Friday ritual in the comments if you feel like it. Or call silent retreat!

We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. And we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

And extra wishes of safety and support to everyone dealing with Hurricane Sandy right now.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever (or not) and it’s no big deal.