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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 RoundUp #6: the weird dream edition

Because 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.

The hard stuff.

Stress dreams? Really?

One of the things that used to suck about my life — and stopped when I opened my own business — is stress dreams.

I’ve had amazing jobs in my life. For example, working in a grapefruit orchard. In a vineyard. In a homebrew store. As a teacher. As a bartender. As a yoga educator.

And I’ve had terrible jobs. For example, working in a factory. Milking cows at three in the morning. As an office manager. As executive assistant to a nazi CEO. As a bartender. In a toy imports company run by the Moroccan mafia. Charming.

Yes, bartender shows up in both lists. It really depends on the bar. Let’s say we’re talking dive bars in south Tel Aviv. Let’s say people throw bottles at you and stuff.

Anyway, the stress dreams happened regardless of how good or how miserable the job was. The dreams weren’t constant, but they were there.

Whether it was endless barrels of malted barley, cows stampeding across my consciousness or having to make a round of passionfruit margaritas for a bunch of brain-dead jerks …. the stress: it showed up in my dreams.


Four years without stress dreams because my job is really great. Working with clients is a blast. Leading workshops is the best thing ever. Writing: I LOVE it!

And then on Tuesday I had a stress dream. A ridiculous stress dream. Enjoy:

I’d woken up (in the dream, yes?) and realized: ohmylord, someone guest posted on the blog today. Apparently I had inadvertently arranged for the first guest post ever to happen the same day I was going to launch a new product.

Sonia Simone‘s husband, who, in my dream, is called George (but in real life is not, and at that point I didn’t even know if she had one) left a comment saying he didn’t understand the post and that I shouldn’t be confusing my readers. And then I woke up.

I kind of have nothing to say about that other than that I’m going to make some changes in parts of what I do.

Because as far as I’m concerned, having a stress dream that’s even tangentially related to a job that you madly love is a sign that something needs to shift.

Though dreaming about Sonia is pretty cool. Sonia rocks.

The good stuff

Catching up with a dear friend

My beautiful friend Michelle Marlahan — eternally amazing person and probably the best yoga teacher in northern California — was visiting from Sacramento, hooray!

We spent a whole day together, giggled like school girls, caught up on our life adventures and ate crepes. Crepes! It was pretty freaking perfect.

(Also, I’m getting kind of crepe-obsessed. If you’ve received an email from me this week that’s crepe-centric, blame Michelle.)

People use my words!

I’ve been seeing Fluent Self vocabulary (“biggification“, “stuckified“, etc) all around the internets. On Twitter, in blog posts, in email messages, in the comments — everywhere!

It is indescribably awesome to see how people are taking my invented words and running with them.

In our “non-icky self-promotion for people who hate self-promotion” course, some enterprising people even started their own practice group and called it Collective Biggification. Oh, the fabulousness! (I may even write next week about the birth of the word “biggification”… we shall see.)

The “non-icky self-promotion course rocks!

Seriously, I’m having the time of my life. The course is full of smart, funny, interesting people. The work is so much fun and so powerful … Naomi and I are still buzzing over all the amazing responses.

And … people are still signing up.

Really, really cool people. Some of whom are people we are mad fans of because they’re internet-famous (I don’t know if I’m allowed to namedrop?) and we’ve been secretly admiring them from afar for ages.

Now they’ll all be spending some time this weekend listening to the recording of the first call, reading the notes, leaving comments on the (optional) homework pages, and generally kicking non-icky self-promotion ass. Love. It.

That’s it for me ….

And yes, absolutely join in my Friday ritual if you feel like it and/or there’s something you just want to say out loud too.

Yeah? What was something good and/or hard that happened in your week?

And of course: happy weekend. Happy week to come.

16 Responses to Friday RoundUp #6: the weird dream edition

  1. Sonia Simone
    Twitter: soniasimone

    Super . I’ll tell George, er, Todd you’re having dreams about him.

    Loving the course. Yo, people, the course rocks. Go sign up for the course if you wish to take a course that rocks.

    I always have the same stress dream–trying to catch a plane, and infinite numbers of increasingly unlikely things getting in my way. Trains, Planes & Automobiles, basically.

    It never occurred to me that there could be life without stress dreams. Amazin’.

    Sonia Simones last blog post..Objection Blaster Series #2: The Zen of Selling

  2. Tzaddi says:

    Can’t imagine why milking cows at 3 a.m. wouldn’t rock your world ;-)

    When you’re in Vancouver you’ll have to visit a Cafe Crepe or two http://tinyurl.com/4frynr (Do you have those in the states?)

    Oh, and thanks for calling the course “non-icky”. I sooo prefer that to “for wimps”. I haven’t been training at the gym so religiously to be called a wimp :D

    Have a great weekend!

    Tzaddis last blog post..A meeting with the Walrus

  3. James | Dancing Geek
    Twitter: dancing_geek


    Self-doubt, freaking out, panicking, lack of sleep, crying for no reason, feeling exhausted. Pissing off the people who’ve been paying my mortgage for the last 9 months. Feeling like a needy jerk. Lower back pain from yoga. Scanner panic and brain fuzz.


    Seeing action towards becoming financially independent, little bits of occasional validation, re-finding my best friend in mind maps, starting to see my own personality/voice develop, being able to kiss my knees in sun salutation (without help), having a cool pilates teacher friend help me sort out the back pain, having a cool best friend who I know will totally support my entrepreneurial efforts to talk to, feeling like there are more people out there in the world who get the real me.

    Man the last two weeks have been a ride – I just need to get a hold of the reins to try and steer a bit.

    James | Dancing Geeks last blog post..The Lazy People series

  4. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Sonia – Oh, yeah. Give George my love. I mean, tell Todd I’m sorry. I don’t know what I mean.

    @Tzaddi – You’re definitely not a wimp. My gentleman friend and I are over-the-top obsessed with the wimpy character from pop-eye. So what comes up for me with wimpy is “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!” Never mind. You have to see it.

    @James – Sounds hectic. And yay to all that good stuff. Knee-kissing! Rock on. Not to mention finding and trusting your true voice. That’s HUGE. Hope you’re doing plenty of back-patting on that too.

  5. James says:

    I’m a new reader. Here courtesy of IttyBiz. Really enjoying your perspective.

    I have stress dreams all the time. It never occurred to me that there was an alternative. Who knew.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Jamess last blog post..6 Ways to Get the Best from Freelancers

  6. Carole says:

    Another new reader who found you via Naomi.

    Hi! : )

    I like your Friday ritual, but I have to start with the bad so I can end with good stuff in my head:

    Bad: getting stressed over wanting more time to do the things I need to do. Lather, rinse, repeat….

    Good: Finally feeling that our newly-redesigned website may be ready to launch! (Okay, the blog is still pretty bare, but if I wait for that, I’ll find more things to wait for besides that….)

    Oh, and my daughter LOVES crepes! (For like three years now, she wouldn’t eat pancakes, but would devour a stack of crepes. Just last week, she finally decided pancakes are edible — but she still prefers crepes.)

    Caroles last blog post..Twitter Updates for 2008-09-11

  7. Tzaddi says:

    Ahh, I forgot that guy was named Wimpy. Hey, you mentioned Collective Biggification but I haven’t seen any other info on it. Did I miss something, or is it a closed thing?

    Tzaddis last blog post..A meeting with the Walrus

  8. Bad dreams are good. Stress dreams are good.

    No seriously. Recent research shows that we dream to help build our instincts and muscle memory.

    80-90% of all our dreams are bad. Thats why we have a built in mechanism of not remembering our dreams – which works most of the time. It would scar us bad if we remembered them all.

    In a research done, rats who didn’t dream at all (they were woken up as soon as they entered REM stage of sleep) fared very poorly in finding food in a maze. When left in an open ground, they didn’t even try running and finding dark corners (their natural instincts to survive – because open air leaves them open to aerial attacks.)

    In short, no dreaming = sucking at survival.

    So why do we dream? We dream because dreams provide us with a safe environment to train ourselves without killing or hurting ourselves.

    Just like pilots learn how to fly first in simulation rooms and not in actual airplanes, dreams teach us how to become better at what we do, without actually facing the hardships while awake.

    Thats why, bad dreams are essential!

    So don’t run away from bad dreams. Just tell yourself before going to sleep to not let you remember any of your dreams. And then don’t wake up suddenly (no alarm clocks set after 5 hours of sleeping time). It works most of the time.

    (I should maybe write a post on dreams…)

    Ankesh Kotharis last blog post..How Napoleon Bonaparte Built an Empire

  9. Rudy Kehler says:

    Great Friday ritual, thanks. Found you via George’s partner, Simone! :)

    Bad = domain registrar I’m trying to move away from messed up some more renewals.

    Good = delivered one project this week. Client ecstatic. Two proposals presented, clients excited to proceed. PBWiki interviewed me to feature our company as a case study! Started skipping rope again in the morning – feeling good about things.

  10. Hi, One of Naomi’s readers who has subscribed to you too now,
    That’s weird to hear about your stress dream. I had a dream on Your guys behalf Tuesday night just thinking about you!
    I really wanted to sign up for the program (but it isn’t in the budget just allocated a huge chunk of money for a different education thing right before you announced it)and I was thinking about it right before I fell asleep.

    Somewhere in the night I dreamt that my husband said I had a phone call from Naomi and I was like WHAT???

    So We are talking for awhile and I realize she is outside my window and I run outside and you are both there and I say “How did you get in my neighborhood?” And She says “We are always right around the corner” and you are holding your duck and You both looked very nervous and Naomi started swearing and I told her she would be great and not to worry and she put her head on my shoulder and I said “You both are superstars and don’t forget it” and the duck started quacking very loud in agreement and everyone laughed and Naomi said “We have to go” and started running away and said “Hurry up, catch up as soon as you can.”

    It was really strange. When I woke up I felt like telling her but then I didn’t. So all day instead I just kept thinking good thoughts for your class and hoped it was a huge success. But then you had a dream so now I’m telling you. I am glad its working out great!

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirationss last blog post..A Letter to the World

  11. Pamela Slim says:

    Love the dreams!

    I have been known to have whompers — all kinds of performance anxiety stuff, from the “I’m trying to present and yelling and no one is paying attention” to the “I’m on stage and realize I am in a thong.”

    I have started to use a really cool dream analysis technique I learned from Martha Beck:

    1) grab a notebook and pen
    2) take each relevant piece of your dream, and “animate” the person or object. So in Wendi’s comment above, she could choose the dream character Naomi. Or she could choose the duck.
    3) talk in 1st person about the person or object. So she could say “I am Naomi and I am —–” Or “I am the duck and I am —” Go nuts and let the thoughts flow. It is really bizarre what comes out when you just let each piece of the dream speak for itself.

    This can often tell you a lot about the meaning of the dream, beyond literal meaning of the characters.


    Pamela Slims last blog post..The growing email overload: more like killer algae or kudzu?

  12. Sonia Simone
    Twitter: soniasimone

    Ankesh, that is cool, I hadn’t heard that before, but it makes sense.

    Wendi, that dream sounds suspiciously like reality. ;)

  13. Sonia,


    Like Reality? I hope that by that you don’t mean that Naomi and Havi were really running around my neighborhood freaking out Tuesday night and I missed it. DARN! LOL!

    I know that I had anxiety because I REALLY wanted to be taking that class. And had I known about it two weeks earlier I would have made different choices. But…things work out the way they do for a reason and I am having faith that it is what it is for a reason and I am keeping my eyes wide open. I’m sure it will all be revealed in time. Also, In my heart as I was drifting off to sleep I was wishing them well and hoping for their success and I think it just connected me to them in a dream. I don’t really think it had a deap meaning. Just a dream of well wishing.

  14. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Wendi – Oh, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you that Naomi and Selma and I were running around your neighborhood Tuesday night. It just seemed like the perfect place to have a freak-out.

    No, wait, that never happened. But it could have. Good thing we have no idea where you live. We actually haven’t freaked out once yet, and now I know we can thank your well-wishing for that.

    @Ankesh – Agreed 100% on not using alarm clocks and also on using dreams as a practice state. Best way to wake up without the alarm is to go to bed early! I never use alarms. I mean, just the name is enough to give someone a heart attack, tfu tfu tfu.

    Not so much in agreement about asking not to remember. Dreams have a ton of useful information and repressing it can just exacerbate the thing that’s trying to get cleared.

    One thing that helps is to ask yourself before bed to help you feel safe and supported while working through your stuff. And of course to do relaxation exercises beforehand and stuff like that.

    @Pam – love love love the Martha Beck technique. Thanks for adding that!

    @Rudy, Carole, and non-dancing-geek James – Awesome. So glad you were here to join in my weekly ritual. Sonia is so cool. Pam is so cool Naomi is so cool. And always the people who pop by from their blogs are just full of coolness too.

    @Everyone – While we’re on the topic of dreams (Ankesh, you will love this), my teacher (Ukrainian yoga master) says it’s possible to get to a point where you can exert complete control over your dream state.

    In fact, he went through about a ten year period where he returned each night to the exact same dream state, where he would pick up in his dream where he’d left off the night before — and in fact was leading two parallel lives, one by day and one by night. How cool/crazy is that?!

  15. I do that with dreams, if I get up in the middle of the night, I just put my dream on hold and when I get back in bed I go back to where I was in my dream if I was enjoying it. If not, I ask for a new one or send it in a different direction.
    I haven’t used an alarm clock my whole adult life. I tell my brain what time to wake me up. It does. I don’t wish to be woken up by noise. It maks you forget your dreams.

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirationss last blog post..Dirty Dishes in the Sink

  16. Thanks Havi.

    Not too sure about going to bed early. I think it depends from person to person and their circadian rhythm.

    I work best when the entire world is sleeping.

    (I’ve tried multiple times to change my sleeping cycle – especially after reading Ben Franklin’s quote: “Early to bed and early to rise makes you health wealthy and wise.” But I’ve always found it very hard to do my best work whenever I get up very early.)

    I actually have this theory… people who were born during day time – work best during day time. And people who were born during night time – work best as night owls. (I’ve actually taken a poll with 12-13 friends and the theory has been held true by their answers. But a dozen people is nowhere near statistical significance…)

    On further thought – I agree with you – that repressing dreams is a bad idea. After all, scientist Keule had a breakthrough and came up with the structure of benzene in his dreams. (And legend also has it that Lincoln dreamt of being assassinated 10 days before his actual assassination.)

    But I still think that bad dreams are essential too. They play a role in sharpening your instincts.

    What you say about your teacher’s abilities to control his dreams is very cool though. That may indeed be the ideal situation.

    Ankesh Kotharis last blog post..How Napoleon Bonaparte Built an Empire

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