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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 #17: the “you can’t make me” 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.

Won’t you?

Oh, hooray. I knew you would.

Let’s do this thing.

The hard stuff

Not having shelves yet.

It’s just part of moving. But it makes everything a little harder.


You’re “supposed to” like it and I don’t.

Actually, I resent anything that messes with my work, my routine and my yoga practice.

I also resent most things that requires me to put on shoes.

Of course it ended up being really, really fun and I had an amazing time. And at the same time, I’m still thinking maybe next year I should just leave town.

Or admit to everyone I know that I’m an anti-social barefoot hermit and that you really, really don’t want me at your party. Hmm, would anyone believe me?

The flood of email I haven’t answered yet.

Apparently every single thing I wrote this week (except for the Item! post on Wednesday) triggered something deep in almost everyone who reads this blog — I got insane amounts of email reaction, some of which was extremely emotional.

I haven’t dealt with it yet. I’m sorry. You’re all in my thoughts. I love you all. I’m just not ready (yet) to sit down and answer these.

Not everyone is honest.

One of the crappy, challenging things this week was learning that stupid, annoying life lesson again. The one I have trouble remembering.

Anyway, apparently someone found an unlocked backdoor into one of my products and decided to pass the link around in an online forum.

Wow. That sucks. And yes, I know. I know.

I always figured, what the heck. If someone’s going to work the system, they’re going to work the system.

But now that it’s actually happened … I just feel disappointed. As in “Yeah, I knew I should have had a better lock on my bike, but I really like all the neighborhood kids who hang out in my yard.”

So I’m doing the thing I didn’t want to do and moving it all to expiring links.

Sorry, guys. I know it’s no fun to get that “you must download this right this second” message when you buy something. But this feels like something I need to do to take care of my right people.

The wrong ones shouldn’t be here anyway. Please don’t give me advice on this — I don’t want it … but if you want to give me a hug, that’s cool.

The good stuff

Michael Chabon was in Portland!

Michael Chabon! In Portland!

So my gentleman friend and I went to see him speak and it was fantastic. We’re both fans, and he’s a terrific speaker, very funny, with that wonderfully wry, twisted Jewish humor that you don’t get a lot of in the Pacific Northwest.

What was weird, though, was realizing that he and my gentleman friend are contemporaries. Michael Chabon is three years older, but he’s so obviously a total grown up.

Whereas I think of my gentleman friend as … you, know, kind of like me. A person. But not like, an adult.

It’s not like either one of them is especially mature and sensible. Nor are they especially immature or insensible.

So I don’t know what creates that distinction. Is it because Michael Chabon has four kids? Because of the Pulitzer? Because he’s on a stage and we’re in the audience?

But I digress. It was awesome. Michael Chabon! I’m assuming you’ve already read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but you really should also read The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.

Caveat: you might need someone who speaks Yiddish to explain a lot of the jokes but it’s still a good read even if you miss out on some of the subtext.

Which I probably shouldn’t have said, because I can feel the “email flood” expanding right there. Whoops.

I has a friend!

Jen Hofmann, whose life-changingly fantastic Inspired Organizing course prompted me to write the very same personal ad that drew me and Hoppy House together, made a big crazy trip to visit me.

She got the official tour of Hoppy House and oohed and aahed appropriately.

And then we spent four hours at the kitchen table drinking tea and talking about everything under the sun. I heart Jen. What a blessing.

A chunk of unpacking! Done!

I think it’s now fair to say that we are mostly unpacked.

Starting to feel like I actually live here. Hoppy House! Turning into Hoppy Home?

We shall see.


Despite all my neuroses documented above, it was a heck of a good time.

Dana the Spicy Princess
and her charming husband “Ranch Boy” (don’t ask) are really, really fun.

Everyone there was lovely, and we all got to say things we weren’t grateful for, which is right up my alley.

And the food was out of this world. Dana made an artichoke-cheese-something-or-other that was yummy. And there were potatoes and sweet potatoes without sugar and salad dressing without sugar. And my beloved brussel sprouts.

At the three other Thanksgivings I’ve been to, being vegetarian and sugar-free pretty much ensures that the whole thing will be one, long miserable ordeal. This was great.

I’m a grownup and you can’t make me!

As some of you know, I don’t play charades. Well, I also don’t play board games.

The thing I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:

The ability to say “Wait, I’m a grownup. You can’t make me play board games!”

You can’t make me! You can’t make me! You can’t make me!

I’m not really all that mature while standing up for my rights, but stand up for them I did. Ha! Life is good.

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.

20 Responses to Friday Check-in #17: the “you can’t make me” edition

  1. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    Havi, I’m so sorry that someone stole your bike and now you have to get a bigger, badder bike lock. A great, big, loving hug to you. May your right people surround you with love and appreciation, and your wrong ones disappear puffs of smoke.

    Love to you,


    Hiro Bogas last blog post..Happy Thanksgiving, Baby

  2. Sarah Marie Lacy
    Twitter: smlacy

    I’m with Hiro on this one.
    BOO to people who steal stuff.
    Like what the heck?
    You’re the nicest person ever. Go steal from some jerk instead, you big jerk!


    And I hope you get shelves soon :)

    Sarah Marie Lacys last blog post..Positivity Fridays: What a week.

  3. Melissa says:

    *big warm hugs* I’m so sorry someone violated your trust. It must feel awful and wrong and so dirty to be stolen from in such a personal way.

    I recently read on her site that Stephenie Meyer was writing another Twilight story, but a trusted confidant of her first draft leaked it to someone who posted it all over the internet. (I’m strictly telling you this so you don’t feel alone.)

    Yay for you with the unpacking endeavor!!!

    My week:
    Having a day off in the middle of the week,
    Spending yesterday with Joe and his family,

    My bank account being very out of whack and being charged enough overdraft fees and then my paycheck being direct deposited into that mess.

    Yesterday reminded me why I don’t spend it with MY family (we’re all not very fond of each other)

    Seeing a man today that held a sign: Homeless, Sober, Hungry. (I just wanted to stop my car in the middle of the intersection, hug him, and take him to a restaurant and buy him a steak. Unfortunatly, I cannot afford a steak dinner, and I was running late for work.) If he’s still there after work, I’m going to give him a few bus passes and the bus directions to the nearest homeless shelter.

    Melissas last blog post..Get It All Out!

  4. You and your Gentleman friend certainly made the day much more fun, and I can’t remind you enough how happy I am that you have moved into the Hoppy House!! YAY!!

    Any time you want vegetarian, sugar free yummy food outside of your wonderful house that is FREE, feel free to walk on by! Being the typical (well perhaps not SO typical), Jewish mother that I am, my raison d’etre is to feed, you and the world! *grin

    Sorry about the mean, thieving jerks out there! I would sic Ranch Boy on them if we could find them.

    Love you, and thanks for everything. D

  5. JoVE says:

    Yucky about the stealing thing. I also prefer to think everyone is honest and thinking about what the alternative would mean for how I live is way worse than having the odd thing taken. Hugs.

    I hope you get/find shelves soon so you can finish unpacking because sooner or later those two things become absolutely interdependent.

    JoVEs last blog post..Our new biology lab

  6. GirlPie
    Twitter: TheGirlPie

    Bummer on the theft, but I wouldn’t hate it quite so much if the thief had been a selfish bastard and kept the link like loot; but to hand out something that belong to YOU all over the forum (can we get that forum to punish that behavior?) is the worst… Odd that people who steal content would be stealing THIS content from YOU.UGH.

    But your new home, your new RL pals, your new soon-to-be-real project-in-the-works… all of is seems so tangible that I hope it outweighs the ‘net crap in the big picture.

  7. I agree, GirlPie! I can just hear this guy over at his forum… “Dudes! I just scored the coolest thing ever! Check it out. It’s from this super-cool chick who has this stuff that’s all about self-acceptance, and breaking unhealthy patters, and living with integrity and I just got her stuff for free! Help yourselves. I totally think I’m going to get a lot out of it.”


  8. chris zydel
    Twitter: wildheartqueen

    Hey Havi,

    So sorry to hear about the theft of your work. That’s one of those things that truly does suck. And of course you need to do whatever it takes to protect yourself. Big, warm hugs from me to you!

    This reminds me of a lecture that I went to with some spiritual teacher and he was talking about how we are all God and we need to open ourselves to seeing God in each other, and God is our true nature, etc. Nice stuff.

    But during the break a couple of people had their cars vandalized in the parking lot. When the lecture resumed these people were obviously distressed about the theft but were also confused because they were in that groove zone of “Everybody is God, so no worries.” and couldn’t understand how this had happened ( unless of course God had a secret JD streak that no one was talking about.)

    The teacher said that “Yes of course, everyone is still God, but some folks just haven’t caught on yet. So until that happens you need to lock your car.”

    I also loooooove brussels sprouts and I’m so happy that you got to have some. I have a great recipe for them that I’ll send you.

    Glad to hear that Hoppy House is turning into Hoppy Home!

    chris zydels last blog post..PAIN FREE CREATIVITY

  9. You have a hard time believing that Michael Chabon could be anything like a contemporary because you still think of yourself as a kid. I know this because I’m the same way. I see other people my age and I find myself subconsciously thinking of them as being old because they have kids (I have two) or they have a job (I have work, but no job). I meet with my lawyer or accountant and I can’t imagine they’ll take me serious because I’m just a kid.

    I’m 32. I still don’t believe I’m not 20 anymore.

    And I don’t know what the hell is wrong with everyone else, because the Wednesday item definitely triggered me. It was profoundly fantastical.

    Johnny Truants last blog post..Unfortunately, pants

  10. BTW, I think CommentLuv is broken. I’ve written three posts since “Unfortunately, Pants.”

    Johnny Truants last blog post..Unfortunately, pants

  11. GirlPie
    Twitter: TheGirlPie

    @JohnnyTruant — Nope, comment-luv isn’t broken; “Unfortunately, Pants” is its favorite, that’s all.

  12. @GirlPie – Actually, I think it’s no coincidence that it’s probably HAVI’S favorite. She sabotaged the CL.

    What? Everyone’s not riveted by our sideline discussion? NO WAI!

    Johnny Truants last blog post..Unfortunately, pants

  13. Eileen
    Twitter: evalazza

    Aww, that sucks about people stealing your stuff! Big hug.

    I’m not sure I understand how people could STEAL something that is about being HONEST with yourself about your stuff.

    It reminds me of when a good friend of mine had a painting stolen from a group art show we were in. Like, is someone going to hang a STOLEN painting on their wall and really be able to enjoy its beauty, knowing where they got it? Ouch. Does Not Compute.

  14. Hilary says:

    I’m with you on the whole interfering-with-normal-routine thing. Fortunately for me we don’t do Thanksgiving in Australia – I don’t even know what it’s for. Thanking someone for something I suppose. But I have to try very hard not to get a little bit depressed at christmas time. You just can’t seem to pretend everything is normal and get on with things. People are in your face everywhere wishing you merriness and tinsel gets under your feet and in your hair. Something I am not grateful for is what I’m trying to say, though I am grateful for the oportunity to rant a bit.

    Hilarys last blog post..Passion in the soul that has everything

  15. Karen says:

    It’s so interesting how different people’s minds work–it would never occur to me to spread a link around. But, then again, I’ve been “teased” for being so honourable. I think I’ve become part of the minority in this land of entitlement. It’s too bad and to do it to someone with such good intention(s) just shows how lifeless that person is.

    What about “Mysteries of Pittsburgh?” :-)

  16. Lisa says:

    Oh Havi, that totally sucks. Sorry it happened to someone as awesome as you – maybe some of the people who got the link will love what they see SO much that they’ll come back and BUY all your products! Hey, it could happen! :)

    Congrats on Hoppy House – I’m glad you love it as much as you hoped you would

  17. Hugs,

    LifeMadeGreat – Juliets last blog post..The Value of Knowing Your Values

  18. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Thanks, guys! You’re all awesome for cheering me on and up and all the other ways you cheer me.

    @Hilary – Agree with you on the Christmas thing. I pretty much never am inclined to be “merry” and having it wished a thousand times a day can be tiresome. Also the tinsel.

    Though I figure what they mean is that they want everyone to be happy so I can kind of get on board with that. Kind of.

    @Eileen – EXACTLY! You totally nailed it.


    Love you all. Thanks for doing Fridays with me. It means a lot to me.

  19. Justin says:

    Was busy Friday, but hugs re: thieving jerk-noodles.

    Just a note: I’m saving to get Dance of Shiva for myself for Christmas because I sense the awesomeness and I want it. Thanks for making it available.

    Justins last blog post..Life is Improv: Topless.

  20. Sonia Simone
    Twitter: soniasimone

    Super grrrrr for you on the forum thing. Ptui.

    Re Chabon, it’s the four kids. That will beat the inner child out of anybody. I wish he could write two books a year that were as wonderful as Yiddish Policemen. I still wouldn’t have enough to read, but it would help. (I keep thinking of it as the Yiddish Policeman’s Other Ball, though. Which is bad.)

    Sonia Simones last blog post..Dumb Things Small Businesses Do #6: Ingratitude

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