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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 Chicken #286: fred astaire in a helmet

Friday chicken

Where I cover the good and the hard in my week, visiting the non-preachy side of ritual and self-reflection.

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for Friday}

What worked?

Attentiveness to clues…

Sometimes it is ridiculous how many times something needs to hit me over the head before I pay attention to it.

I went for a walk in the park with Richard and he went on this long crazy tangent about Wappen, which are kind of like a coat of arms or a shield. He talked about it for so long that I finally thought, okay, this has to be a clue.

Then Max mentioned the word pageantry, along with an image, out of nowhere, of… more Wappen.

And then I ran into a design problem that was also an organizational problem. Solved it. With Wappen.

Lots of these moments over the course of this week. Something would come up in a number of different contexts, and then I would need that very thing, which I never would have thought of, and I’d remember it because it had just shown up.

The word synchronicity is over-used, and also one of those words that has had the specialness sucked out of it, however I will use it here and imagine clocks striking….


Hit the ground. Close eyes. Wait ten minutes.

Things are better.

Rally is the place where I remember to do this.

Next time I might…

Remember Day 2.

It’s kind of like Day 4.

It is that point in the middle where it starts to feel like everything is going wrong.

It’s just the middle.

This is what happens in the middle. It is because things are changing.

A wise thing a dance teacher said this week.

Applicable to life as well as dance…

“It is just not worth it to be afraid of people.”

That was Jon, again.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. Extreme low energy. A breath for letting go of things that need to be let go of.
  2. Websites were down on and off all week. Hackers, blah. Stuff, blah. A breath for maintaining calm.
  3. So much W while I am trying to let go of W. A breath for how big this is, and how much support I am craving.
  4. Hormones taking me for a ride. A breath for everything going slower than I want it to.
  5. Uncovering memories. A breath for presence.
  6. Scary dreams and more scary dreams. A breath for release.
  7. Wanting a thing to be done, and it is not done yet. A breath for trusting in All Timing Is Right Timing.
  8. Inhale, exhale. Goodbye, mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. The upside to exhaustion is that I napped very many naps this week. A breath for permission.
  2. Svevo was here! Shabbat dinner with Agents Em Dee, Mueller and White, and then Svevo and Noah showed up too. A breath for companionship, and getting time with people I adore.
  3. Two hour techniques workshop with Jon, my favorite dance teacher. A breath for the pleasure that is floating.
  4. Dance dance dance dance dance! Country two step is getting easier. Nightclub two step is starting to be fun. Oh, and my favorite dance instructor unceremoniously kicked me and my dance partner up to the intermediate level. And then that turned out to be way easier than I’d been anticipating. A breath for play, my favorite thing.
  5. Words, creativity and silliness came together to solve a big scary thing for me this week. I have a Blodgett and I am going to meet it! A breath for magic, and a new commitment to reversing an old pattern of self-neglect.
  6. The best clues! Like when I thought, “Okay, I need a clue about the Blodgett”, and then Agent White drove us right past a place I have never seen or heard of, called Blodgett Dental. Or when a dance instructor suddenly, completely out of the blue, asked me a direct question about my secret non-dance-related wish that no one knows about. A breath for joyful laughter.
  7. I am totally quitting W! And a bunch of other things that don’t begin with W. And I am doing this by becoming allergic to W, so that it doesn’t even occur to me to do it. Also, so much Bell Time is freed up by not W-ing. A breath for new beginnings and for possibility.
  8. This week is Rally (Rally!), and Rally is solving lots of things for me. Haha, solving is not even the word. Ten minutes into Rally, and I had a Big Vision about the Playground. Half an hour into Rally and I had an epiphany that made me giggle for about the rest of the evening. I love Rally. A breath for trusting the rabbit holes.

WHAM BOOM! Operations completed.

The phrase Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code that means: this thing is done! It is often shortened to wham-boom. You may also shout (or whisper) other joyous words if you like.

My op this week was Operation This Is The Last Hat, and I finished it! It took so much less time than I’d been expecting too. Amazing.



Powers I had this week…

I had some fire snake superpowers this week…

And I had the superpower of Knowing What Needs To Be Eliminated.

I am the Proprietress of a magical ballroom, and I am not worrying about that either.

Superpowers I want.

Sprprised By Focus and also: Oh I’m Actually Good At Receiving.


The salve of good at receiving. Or, as I like to call it, Generously Receiving.

This salve eases the process of letting in good. In a way, it works like a force field strengthener. It only lets in qualities that you want, in amounts that feel safe and comfortable.

And suddenly receiving feels uncomplicated, sweet, simple. It might be my favorite salve right now.

These salves can’t be seen, but the production factory delivers enough for distribution by way of the magic of the internet, so help yourself. There is enough.

If you are not a salve person (today or in general), you can have this in tea form, pill form, as a bath, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

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

Background. Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once invented hanging out at the Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.

This week’s band via dance class:

Epic Foxtrot Collisions.

It’s a klezmer band, and their new album, Put Your Helmet On, is a smashing success. You’d never guess, but it is actually just one guy…

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

No announcement today! I thought I would be able to share the announcement with you today. Soon, soon.

Come play if you like…

Join me in the comments. Some of us share hard and good, some of us say hi, or maybe we’re on silent retreat. My ritual doesn’t have to be your ritual. Whatever works for you. Almost three hundred weeks of this and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We don’t give advice.

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

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever you like, it’s no big deal. And I am blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers. I love that you are here too.

20 Responses to Friday Chicken #286: fred astaire in a helmet

  1. Marialena says:

    Hi Havi and the Chickeneers! This is the week of the epic cold that won’t let go. The aches and the sludge. Knowing it’s not working but not knowing how to set it right. But I’m playing with P again and she’s playing back. Maybe it’s not impossible.

    Wonderful Friday to all!
    Marialena recently posted… Wordless: tower with wooden slats

  2. seagirl says:

    Friday! Chicken!

    The Good:
    Spending time with my spreadsheets and projections. Calming and playing with possibilities.

    Remember old half finished projects that now have a way to be finished and a place to go once they are. Shipping!

    Keeping my seat. Sovereignty.

    A shopping service that mails me clothes and got them all right. A breath for not having to go to the store.

    Visioning with clearer eyes.

    The Curious:
    Turning a battleship takes time, even when all engines are firing in the right directions. Getting an airplane in the air takes time, even when the doors are closed and the guy has taken the wheel stoppers out from under the wheels. Having a baby takes time, even labor has started and it feels like its already taken a long time. Big (or tiny sweet) important things take time. My job is to keep turning, taxiing, breathing.

  3. B says:

    “Epix Foxtrot Collisions”! “Smashing Success”! Two of the best phrases I’ve heard all week :) Thank you!

  4. Amye
    Twitter: amye

    There is a thing that I have just found in the Playground.
    It is a phrase.
    “It is folly to assume that my awesome lies dormant.”

    It is so perfect that I had to share it once again.

  5. Katie Hart
    Twitter: yogiconomist

    Cheers, Chickeneers!
    Katie Hart recently posted… On Sleep

  6. Sarah G.
    Twitter: sarahemily

    realizing I’m in day 2 of rehearsing this show (metaphorically) just made everything so much better.

    And I love that band name. Second favorite ever, after “Continuum of You”

  7. PhilH says:

    Heya chickens,

    Epic Foxtrot Collisions. Nice. I once went to see a crazy punk, gypsy, pirate klezmer band and the floor was like a mosh pit. I might take a helmet next time.


    1. The rest of my family has been away this week and I found myself in a surprisingly multifaceted encounter with loneliness.
    2. Self examination and realising that something I have told myself is a strength, i.e. authenticity is sometimes just a combination of laziness and lack of creativity in drag.
    3. A couple of malfunctions caused by other people turned what was going to be a very productive day in a totally different direction
    4. Obsessing over confusing identity obsession.
    5. Too much walrus wrestling, not enough flow.


    1. Time. I managed to start something that I have wanted to begin for a while and am now enjoying the process a lot.
    2. Time and silence. Time to meditate. I needs it and my head feels brighter and clearer now than it has in a long while.
    3. Opportunities for growth. Not just a euphemism for discomfort but some genuine optimism and opportunity to reflect on some measurable progress made last year.
    4. After a week of self imposed solitude, I made a date with a friend who I hadn’t seen for some time. The whole process was both simpler and more rewarding than expected.
    5. Family is back today. Bring on the joyful chaos!

  8. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Whew! Hello there, Chicken!

    Hard stuff:
    -Driving 9 hours for a client session (we are transitioning into closure) and then driving 9 hours back the next day.
    –Still settling into our new home. Unpacking chaos. Blargh.
    –Money remains tight.

    Good stuff:
    –It was a really *good* client session. Epic goodness!
    –Daughter was able to start at her new school this week. On her first day, she was invited to join the anime club.
    –Progress is progressing, and I am noticing.

    Thank you for the salve!
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… See you on the other side.

  9. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    Hard ~
    + I’m more and more convinced I need a ‘DIY residency’ thingy, so I can dive into a dark-but-fertile mood (that I can stay in long enough) to write poetry, but how will I pay for it?
    + Figuring out logistics is the bane of my existence, so in everyday life, I keep logistics to a minimum. Not possible, though, if I’m designing my own residency thingy.
    + Sent Unpleasant Letter 2. Didn’t really expect a response, but one arrived yesterday. I feel like I “won the battle, but lost the war”, which is not how I hoped things would go.
    + Took a risk and showed Spouse my Sketchbook Project before I mailed it back. (This edition is very experimental.) Spouse … didn’t like it. He is encouraging, in the abstract, of my art, but I want people who genuinely *like* it, and so far, there is no one like that, but me.
    + Recently received my latest rejection of poetry submitted for publication.
    + I wrote several exuberant letters to someone who has promised to write back. Who keeps telling me responses will be forthcoming. But, after weeks and weeks, there are no responses. (This has happened before with this person, who said she would do better.)

    Good ~
    + Spouse’s meh reaction to my Sketchbook Project wasn’t unexpected, and I’m not devastated, or even particularly upset. That’s HUGE progress.
    + At my latest poetry seminar, I’d not only heard of all the poets mentioned, but was able to recommend one that nobody else had heard of, Stephen Kuusisto. This was esp topical because SK is blind, and we had a blind poet in the seminar that day.
    + People in the seminar liked the poem I wrote in class. (Usually I don’t get much feedback.)
    + I’m having all sorts of epiphanies about what sorts of poetry I need to be writing.
    + I’m imagining myself doing things that would’ve been unthinkable even a year ago.
    Pqw-orange recently posted… risk change tcb

  10. Panda says:

    *Waves to Havi, Chickeneers and Beloved Lurkers*

    I’m Chickening the first 17 days of this new year. Yay for random check-ins!

    What worked: Avalon.
    Fire and water, both.
    Remembering that it’s ok to change course in the middle. Actually, not only is it OK, in a lot of situations it’s really what needs to happen for the best outcome for all involved.

    What to try:
    Being even more judicious of when to raise my voice.
    Use Tina Fey for the forces of good.
    More writing! (It’s already happening. Ooh, that was sneaky!)
    Try to simplify [things that seem to take an enormous amount of time]. Don’t focus on fast, focus on simple.

    The Good:
    +Savoring every bit of my two-week vacation from work. I may not have spent it “perfectly”, but I sure as hell did what I needed to.
    +Steadiness, even if it’s in a shape that I’m not able to sustain long-term.
    +Even though I haven’t put as much effort into things as I wish I had, there is still a lot of movement going on, on a lot of fronts. Yay trucks!
    +Finally filed the [thing], and today I went to the first of my two in-person dragon taming lessons.
    +So many friend and possible-friend interactions.
    +Other lovely things I won’t mention here.
    +Dulce de leche ice cream with Grand Marnier. OMG.
    A breath for all the good.

    The Hard:
    -Sooooooo much pain. Physical: Neck, shoulders, low back, left ankle, right ankle. Mental: many. Including incoming Spring Thing. Also, not getting effective sleep. All of these problems I’m flailing to get treated expect for my own practice with self-fluency, because I don’t have more than the most basic health care. Still waiting to hear if I qualify for state health care now that the law has changed. And I have judgments about myself about needing as much help as I need right now.
    -Astoundingly warm weather for January. This is the 3rd year of drought for this part of Northern California. The temperature is going from 24 F in the morning to 74 F at one in the afternoon. One of the schools I work at has their water fountains turned off, making it challenging to keep the kids hydrated. I am a big fan of sunshine, but the weather is wrong, and I can feel it.
    -I don’t like many of my money patterns, but it feels almost impossible to shift them right now. And right now, my monsters are screaming, is already almost too late anyway.
    -On top of the pain, I’m also dealing with a pile of Resistance to [doing certain things to address it].
    A breath for all the hard.

    Superpowers: I have developed a magical musical superpower: I am now sovereign and clear and permission-filled enough that when I hear a song that I don’t love, I either find something in the song to enjoy, or I turn it off/switch the radio station. It’s lovely.

    Going forward, I want the superpower of Everything Clicks. I want the pieces to shift enough that I can have a more-than-skin-deep understanding of how to do the things I want to do better.


  11. VickiB says:

    The Salve of the Week. Yes, I want that; I want Receiving as a superpower.

    What worked this week: Permission. I gave myself permission to do as much or as little as I felt like, and to nap when I wanted to.

    Next time, I might: Move more, walk, dance.

    Good things this week: Z showed me how to do something on the computer. B gave me feedback on my NaNo novel (finally!). I got the laundry caught up. Terrific progress on a project I had to set aside for a while.

    Hard things this week: MrB fell, and now, not related to the fall, he has a problem with his foot. Chilly in the house. Low energy. Aches and pains and not enough sleep.

  12. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    Another Good thing I forgot. One day this week, my brain felt full and I was sleepy at 4 p.m., so I allowed myself to take a nap. That stretched on for 4 hours. And was just what I needed.

    Now (partially inspired by Havi), I’m allowing myself to consider naps during the day.
    Pqw-orange recently posted… Hintd at? O wow!

  13. Max Daniels
    Twitter: maxdaniels

    Ooooh, thanks for that salve! I’m very much in need of knowing what needs to be eliminated.

    And thanks Amye, for the reminder that it is folly to assume my superpowers lie dormant! HA!

    And the reminder about Day 2. And how often I need that.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you all.
    Max Daniels recently posted… Wayfinder’s Quest Post #99: Stripper lashes and mermaid sex

  14. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    Cluck cluck.

    Some hard, uncomfortable and mysterious things:

    * 40-42 degree weather nearly all week. (That’s about 105+ in Farenheit). Exhausting, not assisted by poor sleep for me and the kids. We’ve all been pretty grouchy and overstretched.

    * Feeding the dragon meant not much gold again this week. Boring and hard for the parts of me that don’t cope well with pantry diet. Boooo!!

    * I got a fright and handled it badly. A long night of reflection followed.

    * Resetting boundaries, razor sharp and crystal clear. I wish we could all just get along.

    * tiiiiiiiiiired. huuuuuuungry. nowaaaanna washem dishes. nowaaaanna tidy up again. nowaaaanna stopem kids fighting.

    * fretting because I haven’t figured out how better to support Little Lad’s very limited strength and robustitude.

    However, there were good, fun and useful things:

    * swimming with friends

    * the cool change is here, and this week looks much more pleasant.

    * reset boundaries, razor sharp and crystal clear. And free of S.

    * S-fluency, including deeper appreciation of the essence of my desire that draws me towards S when not mindfully directed.

    * the book arrived, the book arrived! And I finished the other one and it was amazepants.

    * sweet words from cute boy. Ace.

    * more gold tomorrow and the dragon is already fed, thank goodness.

    * three days of half-load coming up.

    Happy weekend everyone. Cxxx

  15. ML says:


    – Feeling embarrassed about having feelings.

    – Exhaustion. And the wishing that I had more time to myself to sleep.

    – Avoidance of certain people.


    – An evening playing with my friend’s twin 6-year-olds. So much love and so many smiles!

    – Deep connection at my meditation retreat. A healthy dose of bliss, too.

    – Great visit with my mom and a clean apartment courtesy of my husband for the occasion.

    – Laughing. Lots of laughing and letting go of needing things to be MY WAY.

    – Appreciation for my work that lets me walk away mentally from work at 5pm and still earn wonderfully decent money to live on.

    – That my list of Joys far outweighs my list of Questionables this week — and if there were other questionables, I can’t remember them!

    Also…someone said the word “clues” today and when I heard it I instantly thought of you, Havi, and repeated it out loud like I had discovered one.


  16. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt

    Whew, what a week…

    The good:
    Seeing the Other Half of the Duet
    Long walk
    Yes we can do this
    Cherry trees
    It is easier this time around

    The good and hard:
    Coming out to and leaving the prayer group (or, at least, stopping going to meetings). They have all sweetly and spectacularly missed the point, and I have been very grateful for their kindness, but also for the salve of glowingly beautiful boundaries.

    The hard:
    Kings Cross Station.
    Period pain.
    Feeling alone.
    Waking up without my magic sunrise clock.
    There was not any printer paper and this feels like an awful betrayal.

    Holding on to integrity and pilgrimage and trust.
    Kathleen Jowitt recently posted… Fic meme: 2013

  17. Sarah
    Twitter: sarahneedles

    Oh look, an EPIC 14-day Chicken. How exciting!

    The hard:
    – Recovery mode, and all the stuff that drags along behind it.
    – Solitude, of the not-so-great-kind.
    – Pain: persistent, perception of, and phantom. See also: fear.
    – Resolving to decrease the amount of R in my life, and then seeing it everywhere!
    – Blocked.
    – FOMO, and existential panic.

    The good:
    – Communication, albeit in different forms than I was expecting. A lovely letter, some emails and fb messages. Overcoming my fear of “But how can I talk about normal things when [blank] is happening to me!?”
    – I am getting so much better at recovery mode. Sparkle points!
    – Getting to watch three movies I’ve been meaning to see for ages.
    – In a couple months, I’ll look back on these last weeks and be in awe of Past-Me.
    – Opportunities, and negotiating with the Perfection-Monsters.
    – Everything is going to be okay.

    This salve is the perfect thing! I think I’ll make some tea out of it. :)
    Sarah recently posted… Shlump

  18. Questing Lee says:

    Starting Friday and the Road Trip salveless because I could not remember that it was the Salve of Ridiculous Trust. Also could not remember the name of my theater, (The Producers Playhouse) but remembered its address: 1 Imagination Boulevard. Left my warm coat and hat at home and tissue paper that I should take because I’m allergic to their cats.

    The Good:
    A suspicious dearth of monsters. Maybe because I spent a lot of time on the weekend on their Christmas card to me? It needs only the lettering on the banner, the coloring and Brod Caster’s speech balloon filled in.

    The panorama with fog.

    People’s interesting rivers.

    Finding a guy inside my red rope maze.

    What was hard or mysterious?
    I do not like coming home to dirty, messy house, so I was cleaning like mad right before I left. Heckles said I should have had that done already and been packed already.

    I did not print out and check off my packing list.

    Entry in the Exploring the Infinity of Me Playbook: I am a Morning Person. Not in the sense that I’m bright and cheerful as the sun rises, but in the sense that I’m up and moving around at 5-6 am. My stomach shuts down at about 8 pm, and my brain at 10 pm.

    What worked:
    Wearing my hoodie and warm-up jacket and crawling into bed for a nap when it got too cold in the house of my hosts. Also, toilet paper for tissue paper. I did not throw a shoe at The Dude for not packing my warm jacket. I did not make any Fretwork or beat myself up about the things I forgot. I looked them up on my computer when I got home.

    Putting Almost Everything away as soon as we got in the door. No new iguanas!

    I completed a task. The Niggle assigned to it suddenly got a suit of clothes and returned to Nigglehome a hero. Um, it’s outfit was like a lounge lizard’s from the 70’s complete with aviator sunglasses and a swirly drink with fruit and a paper umbrella.

    What I might try in the future?
    Taking a drawing or cartooning course.

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