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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.


On sabbatical. Not from blogging though.

I’ll just say it. Selma and I aren’t going to be answering email this year.

Yeah, I’m putting in a header just to have a little space around that.

It’s an experiment. A let’s see what 2009 will be like without email experiment.

Actually, I’m thinking of it as a sabbatical.

<Homer Simpson voice&#62 Mmmmmm. Sabbatical.

And since I know that this announcement is going to freak people out, which will then — oh the irony — produce crazy amounts of email questions …

I’ve taken the liberty of writing a FAIQ (frequently asked imaginary questions). A fake FAQ, if you will.

No one’s asked them yet — that’s pretty much what makes them imaginary. But I’m answering them, just in case.

I’m definitely feeling nervous and anxious about posting this, because I’m needing some reassurance that things are going to be okay between us. I know some of you will feel hurt and disappointed … and you’ll also be needing reassurance from me that I’m still going to be here for you.

That’s what the questions are for. For you. And also for me to talk this through and find my own peace inside of it.

Gah! Nooo! But I have questions I want to ask you! What am I supposed to do?

I definitely get that this feels uncomfortable.

Here’s what I’m thinking. It used to be that you’d have to hire me at about a thousand dollars a month because that was pretty much the only way I worked with people.

Luckily now there’s At The Kitchen Table With Havi & Selma which is a much, much less expensive way to hang out with me and still have a place where I’ll answer anything and everything.

And if that’s not the place for you yet, we can hang out here on the blog. And on Twitter.

So my email to you will just be ignored?

No, of course not, sweetie! Not at all. Marissa (my wonderful personal assistant) will be responding to things.

If you don’t know Marissa yet, let me just say that she’s much, much nicer than I am and she gives great email. So you’re actually better off with her anyway.

Trust me. You will love Marissa. She is my favorite everything ever.

And the only thing I will add to that is that she’s not, you know, Dear Abby or anything.

So my thinking is that it’s not really fair to burden her with things like “How can I lose ten pounds this month?” or “What should I name my website?” or “Here is the entire history of my life. What do you think?”

So you’ll probably want to keep it to more administrative stuff.

Wait just a minute! Have you been having Marissa answer me all along and pretending that it’s you?

Uh, that would be dishonest and icky. So no.

If an email has my name at the bottom, it’s me. If it’s signed by Marissa, it’s her.

But what if it’s an Ask Havi question?

Honey, I’m sorry.

I have over sixty partially-answered Ask Havi questions in my Ask Havi folder.

Over sixty. That means if I post one a week for a year, there will still be some left over.

I’m feeling a little overloaded here and I’m really needing some breathing room.

If you’re at the Kitchen Table and you have a question that’s too personal to bring up in the forum environment (sneaky plural avoidance), then yes, send it to me.*

*Write in the subject header something like “super personal just for Havi” so Marissa knows not to read it. And I’ll answer it (anonymously) here on the blog.

Other than that, I’m not taking any more Ask Havi questions this year. I just can’t. I’m truly sorry.

Are you going to Tim Ferris spam me?

Good heavens no! No no nooooo!

I don’t hate Tim in quite the way that Penelope Trunk hates him (that’s some quality hating, by the way), but I do agree emphatically with every single word of her Point #3.


A pox on the house of Ferris for propagating the online disaster that is the automated “Sorry, this looks like an answer but it’s really just an announcement that I only check email at 4pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and days when I wear red socks” email message.

When Marissa writes back to you, she may end up referring to this very post that you’re reading right now — so that you don’t think I’m only not writing to you when in fact I’m actually not writing to anyone.

But I promise that you will never ever get a robot-sent “Thanks for contacting us. We’re sorry we have to clog your inbox with an irrelevant automatic message about how we’re more efficient and streamlined than you are” message.

Because argh. Also, I get that I’m not a heart surgeon or anything. I know that people can mostly wait a couple days for an answer. And anyway, most of you know about my 100% guilt-free email policy already.

What if I need to write something personal?

Add to the subject header that it’s super personal and Marissa will know to file it in the “Just for Havi” section and let me know that I need to read it.

This is stupid. Just because you got a bunch of criticism last week is no reason to stop answering email.

This has actually been in the works for a while.

When I was sitting with my “here’s what I’m needing to happen in 2009” thoughts (my version of New Year’s resolutions), getting away from email was something that came up loud and clear.

The insane volume of stuff coming in, combined with the fact that some of it isn’t very nice, has just made it easier for me to step away.

The time I spend there takes me away from my true business of helping my Right People. Yes, sometimes I am helping one Right Person via email, but that’s not my path.*

*Translation for those of you who speak business and not yoga: it just doesn’t scale.

However, I will also add that lately I’ve caught myself self-editing when I write posts in order to cut down on future email. Which kind of sucks and I really don’t want to end up there.

For example, I was recently writing a somewhat goofy, light-hearted post and I wrote “There are only two types of people in the world.”

And then, instead of taking it somewhere amusing, I was already completely regretting having written it — maybe half a second later — because I could already picture the fifteen emails I’d get.

You know, saying things like “Well, actually there’s only one type of person in the world” or “How can you be so shallow and narrow minded?” or “Actually, there are never just two types of people in the world.”

So I didn’t write it.

I know, right? To hell with that.

But I really just want to hang out with you. And I can’t afford to join the Kitchen Table yet.

Twitter. I’m there a lot. And here. I’m here like, six days a week or something.

Aren’t you sad? Won’t you miss us?

Yes. Very much.

I have met some of the most amazing people ever through the beautiful and surprising things that come into my inbox.

In fact, I have even become friends with some of the very cool people who have written me anonymous Ask Havi questions or just wrote effusively to express joy and love about what I do here.

So I’m definitely aware of what I might be missing out on and yes, that sucks for both of us. I’m sorry. This is a thing I need to do to take care of myself so that I can keep showing up here.

But what about Douglas who just turned eighty and writes those fabulous letters to your duck? Is there no exception at all to this madness?

I will still write to Douglas. Though probably by snail mail.

But I have more questions.

I’m sure you do. I’m sure we’ll be talking about this lots.

And I hope sincerely that you know how I adore you and how much love I have in my heart for you. I’m still here.

This added chunk of time that I’ll have is time that I get to devote to (excuse me, about to be cheesy) my mission in the world. To work on being able to help my Right People on a larger scale.

Some of it I’ll spend at the Kitchen Table, yes. But a lot of it I’ll be spending figuring out how I can be a part of bringing good stuff into your life, seeing as how you’re one of the many neat people who hang out here with me.

This sabbatical is intended to bring only good things to both of us. That’s what I’m hoping for.

I’m still feeling a bit apprehensive about posting this, but better. Definitely better. So … internet hugs all around. And thank you. You know why.

41 Responses to On sabbatical. Not from blogging though.

  1. Maryann Devine
    Twitter: maryanndevine

    Oh, Havi, no worries!

    It always sort of floored me that 1) you actually wrote back, that 2) you wrote back so quickly, and that 3) you wrote back with a thoughtful and thought-provoking response that would have taken me hours to put together.

    So, thank you, thank you, thank you, and now: give yourself a break!


    Maryann Devines last blog post..Are Comments Cool on Arts Blogs?

  2. Tara
    Twitter: blondechicken

    Big internet hugs!
    Like Maryann, I was pretty surprised you personally responded! And I’ve emailed with Marissa, she IS fabulous; your Right People will love her!

    Other than general Yay-Havi-ness, I just wanted to let you know that I think this is very brave and VERY smart. As a business-gal myself, I know that you need to focus on the things that make you feel sparkly and that help the Right People. Reading hateful or whiny or even happy email is probably not sparkle-inducing. Congratulations on recognizing that!
    More big hugs!

    Taras last blog post..New New

  3. Sonia Simone | Remarkable Communication
    Twitter: soniasimone

    Man, I am going to need to create something like this. I cannot stay on top of what’s coming in, which of course makes me the world’s most giant and evil hypocrite. (Also bad, cruel, heartless, cold-hearted and wrong. So as you can see, not good.)

    The Penelope Trunk hating is really good. But even in my most self-questioning moments, I don’t worry about becoming Tim Ferriss. But that might be because I’m evil.

    Sonia Simone | Remarkable Communications last blog post..Why This is the Best Time to Finally Break Free

  4. Kyeli says:

    Good for you, knowing what you need and taking the action to get it, even when it’s scary. I’m proud and inspired! (:

    Kyelis last blog post..The Spiderman Contrapositive

  5. Lisa Firke
    Twitter: lisafirke

    Wow. Paradigm-shifting wow.

    Good for you. We’ll be okay. And Marissa does give great email.

    Lisa Firkes last blog post..Sleights of Hand: DavidSolomon.net

  6. Fi
    Twitter: fibowman

    I think this is a smart – and brave – move. For the last few months I’ve been working really hard on letting go of stuff that was dragging on me, making me feel like I ought to be doing it (even when I enjoyed it) instead of what I really wanted to be working on. The hard part is the letting go without guilt. I’ve had to say, ‘no’ a couple of times and despite the angst of getting that word out (nnnnnooooooo! comes out kind of like a strangled gargle) the sky did not fall and no one hated me. At least, if they did, they haven’t told me .

    I just wanted to say, Havi, that I’ve just found your website yesterday and have had a really lovely time delving into your archives and poking in your cupboards to find out about you and Selma (isn’t she a pretty thing!). I’ve bought your way-cool Procrastination Dissolve-o-matic, and your post about Twitter inspired me to get of my procrastinating arse (oh god I don’t have TIME for this!) and sign up to it this morning. Still no clue what I’m doing with it yet, but that’ll come. I’ve also told my creative partner all about your site and no doubt she’ll show up here too soon!

    So thank you for all this great stuff, and thank you for the fabulously evocative “destuckification”. I keep rolling it around on my tongue and in my head; I’ve been walking around muttering it to myself like a mad woman: destuckification, destuckification, destuckification…

    Fis last blog post..Book review: Finding Your Own North Star

  7. JoVE says:

    Excellent. And sending a good message to all of us about the fact that sometimes we just need to chop some tasks out of our day to make it manageable. And that setting priorities and then focusing on the stuff with the best returns is the way to go.

    JoVEs last blog post..my needles are on fire

  8. Emma Newman
    Twitter: emapocalyptic

    This is another stormingly good example of why I filed the link to your blog under “People I want to be when I grow up” as this is something very sage to do.

    Only big love, big respect to you for doing so utterly good for yourself. And because of the kind of person you are, ultimately what is good for you is good for us too, so please, no feeling guilty or worried. Only lighter and clearer. Only forwards.

    Emma Newmans last blog post..The ultimate freedom

  9. Fabeku says:


    You are smart, brave, connected and clear. This is good for you, and I dig it 100%. We still love you, still love your duck and we will, no doubt, love Marissa too.

    You help people in so many ways, including a step like this that shows people how important it is to take care of oneself, so that we can continue to help other people and do what’s in our hearts. You inspire me.

    100% support, 100% love and a bunch o’ hugs tossed in for good measure.


  10. Joely Black says:


    Like everybody else said, basically. I was stunned and amazed that you actually replied to my garbled nonsense. I was even more STUNNED and AMAZED when you responded to me leaving garbled nonsense on your OLD POSTS. Dude! Nobody does that. Nobody. But you did it. That you took the time, when you were snowed under with other people, to respond to me leaving random responses on old posts just floored me. Really.

    I can see how nervous you must be doing this – and I can feel how nervous I’d be making such an announcement. I have a hand. You can hold it. I don’t have a duck. But I do have a bear.

    How are you supposed to save the world if you don’t look after yourself first?

    Joely Blacks last blog post..One of those random update posts

  11. Zoe
    Twitter: zoewesthof

    I feel a bit redundant commenting, but I too was amazed at how quickly and personally you replied to my e-mail. I think your sabbatical is brave — how could we fault you for seeing to your own well-being? If e-mail were to push you over the edge, then none of us would benefit from your words, be they in e-mail, blog, or kitchen table.

    Zoes last blog post..Do You Really Understand Creative Commons?

  12. Here you are again at the head of the honking V-formation of people transforming their lives.

    Way to go, Havi. And may we all be inspired to live more simply and enjoy more freedom in our lives.

    Hugs to you,
    – Jen

  13. A.J. Pape says:

    Having never met you, this post already makes me love you. Looking forward to seeing you on Twitter. I don’t know if the no email policy extends to reading these comments or not, but I see you as another voice for authenticity, passion, and caring. And YES we can’t help everyone, nor even everyone who asks. And we don’t need to, as you so beautifully communicate in this post.

    In my view you did it with firmness, humor, and grace.

    A.J. Papes last blog post..ajpape: @havi Quote: "That’s some quality hating, btw." Amen. Nothing against Tim (never met him) but loved how PT broke it down. http://is.gd/fwYR

  14. Dawn says:

    I totally get this. I can’t help but feel like one of the lucky ones who got a *very personal, very devoted, mind-altering* response from you. But your voice comes through so clearly on here in a way that few blogs accomplish. So we’re lucky to get what we get.

    You’re fabulous for modeling such great self-care. I routinely take media fasts because I’m easily overwhelmed at being inundated with…data. Which isn’t to say that people’s desires to change their lives or deal with their stuff is merely data. Of course not. But it’s good to know your boundaries, and then to articulate them with such good intentions.

    And when I think of it, it *is* pretty incredible that you interact with us all as mindfully and consistently as you do. It must take tremendous amounts of energy. Here’s hoping we help you replenish your stores!

  15. Cairene
    Twitter: thirdhandworks

    This is a Good Thing in so many ways.

    Havi takes care of herself (most important!), thereby taking care of us. Excellent self-care = expert care of your biz. It’s win-win.

    Havi demonstrates leveraging time and resources. (Sorry Marissa – I’m sure you are much *much* more than a resource). Getting help = helping more people.

    Havi shows us the practical side of biggification. As in: this is how you do it without going crazy.

    Rock on, sister.
    And watch and learn people. Watch and learn.

    Cairenes last blog post..BOM – Day 3

  16. Sonia Simone
    Twitter: soniasimone

    @Jen, you made me laught with the honking v-formation. I like that.

    Sonia Simones last blog post..Do We Really Need Brass Balls?

  17. Mona says:

    You’re awesome, Havi.

    I was just musing yesterday that I wish everyone would email me in just 140 characters like on Twitter. It makes replying sooo much easier. And takes so much less time to read the messages.

    For instance, my question to you about horizontal hand movements vs. going on and doing vertical even though I don’t have the horizontal down…

    It could have been a huge response…but you managed to cover it all in just 2 tweets and it was just what I needed. Nothing more.

    So I’m SUPER excited for you going off e-mail this year.


    I TOTALLY get what you’re saying here:

    “There are only two types of people in the world.”

    And then, instead of taking it somewhere amusing, I was already completely regretting having written it — maybe half a second later — because I could already picture the fifteen emails I’d get.

    You know, saying things like “Well, actually there’s only one type of person in the world” or “How can you be so shallow and narrow minded?” or “Actually, there are never just two types of people in the world.”

    So I didn’t write it.

    I know, right? To hell with that.

    Sometimes thoughts like that get met by “mismatchers” who are always looking for the exception to what we’ve said.

    Mismatchers are great people to have around when you’re about to launch a space shuttle and you need to know whether or not everything is in place…

    They can look and find the things that are out of order right away…

    But when you’re just sharing an insight, or making a joke, or being yourself…sometimes it’s…well, not as great.

    Maybe we’re just trying to share an idea and we weren’t putting it up for complete truthiness dissection, right? It was just a way to show one side of things.

    So – I can relate. I’ve done that same kind of censoring. And I’m glad you won’t have to go through that mental tug of war anymore. Or at least as much as you did when you were doing emails. *wink*

    So squidgy hugs and all sorts of comforting stuff to you…

    I fully support your no e-mail decision. And like I said earlier, you’re awesome.

    Monas last blog post..monagrayson: So while he’s gone I’m gonna go jam on some writing…cya!

  18. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Jeepers creepers.

    I don’t know what I did to deserve such a kind, loving crowd of readers but man, I hope I keep doing it.

    Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the out-pouring of love and fabulousness. It’s so cool that you’re using this as a model. Completely inspiring.

    @Mona -Squidgy hugs to anyone who says squidgy hugs! Thank you!

    @A.J. – What a neat thing to say. And hi!

    Mad love to all of you — and thanks for the “general Yay-Havi-ness” as Tara put it.

  19. Al says:


    Thank you for all you do! If I hadn’t listened to my friend’s words and viewed your blog, I would not have the courage to write this online for others to see…What I’m saying is your words, inspirations,kindness, teachings, etc have helped me try new things, new shoes, jackets, you get the point, I hope…

    And I just wanted to tell you that you have always shared and demonstrated such a wonderful ability to set healthy and necessary boundaries, regardless of how difficult the process is. One knows the incredible amount of energy that is involved in setting a boundary. You have articulated your boundary in such a gentle and loving way that it is admirable and something to aspire to in my own life. I understand and it makes great sense that you are not setting your limits because you care any less about us, but that you are doing so because of how deeply you care. Also, this is such a great example of taking care of yourself in a healthy way, which I personally can benefit from at this time. We all want you to have your desired life and to be happy, calm, and peaceful and to feel loved.

    Thanks again, hugs and much love to you and Selma!

  20. Stacie says:

    Really, Havi, I just have great amounts of respect for you – knowing what you need and doing it, even if there might be some people who won’t like it. You have a new baby now, and things have to change!

  21. chris zydel
    Twitter: wildheartqueen

    Hey there my most darling sparkly one,

    Well, I don’t have much to add to all the brilliant comments that you have already gotten from your many “right people”, except to say “GO GIRL!” You are brave and wise and honest and such an amazingly wonderful role model in how to take care of yourself and your vision..

    And you KNOW that I’ve been worried about you. Goddess knows, but imagining all the email that you must get that you think you need to respond to, even if it’s from people who love and value you ( not to mention the pains in the asses types) just made me cringe in sympathy for you. And I just couldn’t see how you were doing it and staying as sane as you’ve been! You must have boatloads, truckloads, planeloads of energy.

    Boundaries are a very good thing. You have a big vision that you are bringing into the world and it needs to be protected and fed with all the best of your amazing energy!

    So I applaud you, support you and love you more than ever for taking this bold and honest step . You are an inspiration!



  22. Karen says:

    What they said + hugs. And, Marissa (Buzz) is great. i just have such a hard time believing people can send such negative stuff in emails. It’s weird how the internet gives some people license to treat others worse than they would in person. Happy Sabbatical!

  23. This is awesome, Havi. Good for you. Honestly, you’ve seemed so incredibly stressed and exhausted on your posts, that I’m RELIEVED that you are taking this step. I hate the idea of you censoring your posts, or not being 100% there for your Kitchen Table, so I’m happy that you’re doing what you need to do for you. Big hug to you for taking care of you, and therefore, all of us. :)

    Diane Whiddon-Browns last blog post..Everything I Know About Writing

  24. Sandra
    Twitter: yoginisandra

    Dear Havi, all my best wishes for your sabbatical! I am wishing you all the best, happy insights, joy, and “Musse” for the stuff you love to do, be it in business or in private life (if there is any such separation :-) Loads, loads of love, Sandra!

  25. Fabeku says:

    I’m sorry for commenting twice, but I wanted to share something briefly.

    I’m having a hard day today – one of those “would rather curl up under a big blanket tent and not come out at all” days. Lots of stress. Ugh.

    Half way through the day I went back to this blog. It was one of those inner pull sort of thingies. And when I read the headline of your blog, I immediately felt calm. Why? Because this step you’ve taken is such a beautiful and clear example of taking care of oneself, and doing what you need to do for you.

    I needed that today. Just having this up on the screen while I worked has helped. Some sort of “calm by osmosis” thing.

    Like I said, you inspire me… not in a fluffy, abstract way, but a real, concrete way. And I really needed that today.


  26. Marissa says:

    Hello all! I’m the Marissa Havi’s referring to. (Also known as “Buzz, Havi’s Happily Busy Worker Bee” to Karen van Burkleo, as noted above in her comment.) :)

    I’m so excited to email with all of you, and shower upon you my liberal use of made up words (Can-Do-Ologist, case in point) and make sure that you’re still feeling welcome and safe and happy and completely Fluent Self-ified when you send an email my way.

    For those who haven’t met me yet, I’m a pretty nice gal who can be bribed to the hilt with White Chocolate Peppermint mochas, laughs freely at my own flailingness when I do that Shiva Nata stuff, and is far more likely to exclaim, “Son of a MONKEY!” when I’m mad than to swear, and I have no idea why that is.

    I’ve told Havi before that I just love “her people.” And I am really, enthusiastically grateful for the chance to chat with all of you, answer your questions, and just be a part of such a wildly cool place and superbly cool group of folks.

    Wishing you all a Selmariffic evening…
    Marissa (a.k.a. Buzz)
    The Super Nice Can-Do-Ologist for Havi and Selma the duck

  27. YAY!

    This is SO great. I am completely in freaking *love* with this. I’m so very glad you are doing it. You are leading the way possum!

    AMEN to this sister.

    It’s funny… as business gets busier, I get more and more email. And really, I could sit and answer email all day – but that’s not my true business. And that’s not what my vision is.

    And sometimes I get panicky about not being at my email 24/7. And I just don’t want my life to be like that. Thank you so much for leading the path of doing this. I adore!

  28. deb says:

    Ditto what they all said. (And yes, Marissa rocks!)

    Can you believe I’d actually worried about you and all the emails and stuff? ha

    I’m VERY proud of you for taking this step.
    And for showing us what it looks like to take care of ourselves.

    All the best!

    debs last blog post..worried about layoffs? (start asking for help)

  29. Claudia says:

    Havi – I found your PRESENCE (sites) only a few days ago and can’t stop reading whatever you’ve written. I bought the Shiva Nata package and all of your thoughts and products are so incredibly inspiring. Live changing already. Thank you (and Selm) so much! About the sabbatical: First thing when I read the anouncement, I was a little bit afraid that you might close the blogs down. But not answering mails! Havi you’re so right! Although this probably means I’ll never get one, which of course is sad. BUT how in the world did you find the time anyway? The 20 or so mails I get per day are already overwhelming for me. Hardly to imagine how you managed to work through so much more. Admiring that you have the courage and strength to do focus on what feels right for you.
    So now you’re clear of coffein, sugar and mail. BRAVO. CyberHugs!

  30. Al says:

    Just to further reiterate, Marissa is a rockstar!

  31. Erika Harris says:

    Upside of the internet? It’s boundless.

    Downside of the internet? It’s boundless.

    Deep bow… for honoring yourself (with room to breathe) and for honoring your readers (with room to grow).

    All Love,

    Erika Harriss last blog post..An Open Letter to Social Mavens and Shivanauts

  32. Writing again Havi-liscious…
    This has totally envigorated & excited me today to think about all the ways that I can focus on what I truly need to do, serve people better, and nourish me and my structure.

  33. Dick Carlson
    Twitter: techherding


    Amazingly, I don’t have another single thing to say.

    Dick Carlsons last blog post..Best Viral Video of 2008 — Wasn’t!

  34. Char
    Twitter: Charsfirststep

    I too think everyone has covered what I have to say.

    Except for this one way I used your material today. I was supposed to plan a shower with someone who never got back to me about a date. I suggested we schedule it on three different occasions. Today, she informed me that the shower would be over the weekend and asked me to go in on a gift.

    Since she still owes me for another gift (to someone else)despite me reminding her twice about that PLUS I have Jen Louden’s Virtual Retreat this weekend, I simply stepped away from the shower saying that I wasn’t available as I have a teleconference this weekend.

    That means I won’t be sharing the cost of the shower or gift. Since I’m being a good steward with my money, that meets my need for conscious spending. I usually can’t hold on to that thread when it comes to these types of things. I get all balled up in what other’s expect me to do and wanting to be seen as generous.

    Well, I recently revised my policy on generosity and decided to only be generous where I really feel a connection to someone. I stopped being generous because that’s what I think other’s expect of me or what my ego says to do. I feel lighter and this too is because of working with your maerial.

    Second, I could extricate myself from this shower and move on with my life. No dwelling on what she might think or others or things of that nature that I would have “had to” work through in the past.

    Thank you for showing me how to set healthy boundaries more clearly and with less reactivity. I recently dropped a bunch of other activities that were draining my energy but I thought I should still engage in them to be supportive. One problem though – they all cost money and didn’t feel so supportive for me! Finally saw the light there too.

    Thank you is a total understatement for how much I appreciate your vision and your clarity.

    By the way, the kitchen table is everything and more that I’ve wanted in terms of structure and support of people that value similar things and have a sense of humor. You’ve done an awesome job with that and that is a huge contribution to the world!

    Thanks again.

  35. Kelly Parkinson
    Twitter: copylicious

    Guilty!! I am the person with the annoying Tim Ferriss autoresponder. There are many autoresponders, but this is mine: http://awayfind.com. I know it may be annoying to get an instant response telling people how they can reach me right away if they really need to. But the alternative would be missing a meeting cancellation. Or something more sinister. I consider my annoying autoresponder temporary training wheels for both myself and my clients. Someday, maybe we’ll have little walkie talkies and truck-driver radios. And we’ll never have last-minute anythings. In the meantime, there will be annoying autoresponders. I’m sorry. Have mercy on We Perpetrators of the Annoying Autoresponders Who Do Not Yet Have Scalable Business Models. It gives us a little peace so we’re not checking email constantly, so we can write. Someday, we will turn them off. But that time has not yet come. I applaud you for turning off your email! Only good things can come of this. Now we’ll just have to keep everything to 140 characters or less!

  36. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi


    @Dick – That has to be the best comment in the history of comments. I giggled for five minutes and I still have no idea what you were trying to say.

    @Kelly – Mercy granted, sweetie. Of course, I didn’t even know that you had one because I have a thousand auto-delete filters set up to destroy anything that even looks like an out-of-office reply or a “not checking email message”.

    Which kind of defeats the point. I mean, it’s like spy vs spy or something.

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t secretly check email way more often than the autoresponders say they do. And it also seems to me like it would be easier to tell clients to send an SMS to say Meeting Cancelled than to regularly send no-content messages to hundreds of people.

    Anyway, thanks for the support, sweetie … and good luck training your clients to respect your time and not expect you to be at the beck and call of their every single emergency. I know it’s a huge pain — ESPECIALLY when you’re a copywriter or a designer and then your clients want you to be accessible at all hours.

    One of the reasons I love the month in Europe that my gentleman friend and I do each year is that his design clients are all asleep when we’re working. And because they can’t reach him when they need him, they totally stop having emergencies. Or bugging him about them.

    He’s way more relaxed and happy and gets more done. Then we come back and they start having emergencies again. Bastards.

    Hmmm … maybe you need an autoresponder that says “I’ve moved to gay Paree! I am reading this while eating croissant!”

  37. Tatty Franey
    Twitter: tattyfraney

    it’s very inspiring to read all about the changes your are making to your business. thanks so much for sharing with us. i promise i won’t bug you with email :) especially since i’ll be hanging out in the kitches. yay! thanks to you, selma and marissa for making it happen. it’s just all so much goodness it makes me teary!

    Tatty Franeys last blog post..The Week – Check-in #1

  38. Kudos, Havi. I applaud this. It’s like how I keep trying and failing to eliminate TV from my household. It’s an attempt to simplify, and it’s hard, and I think it’s great.

    The question is, will you answer DMs on Twitter? Because they usually come through email.

    It’s not that I’m trying to find a way to break the rules. It’s more that I’m trying to find the annoying loopholes like those associated with Lent.


    Hey! Look! CommentLuv is finally showing a different post!

    Johnny Truants last blog post..For those about to shop

  39. Havi,

    Congratulations on doing something positive for yourself. (I mean, we can’t have you ALL the time, right?)

    And as someone who is finding my mission (slowly but surely) I am inspired (as always) about how you are regrouping and getting back to the basics of your business/mission/lifegoals.

    Good for you.

    Monicarolevanss last blog post..Under Construction

  40. McCracken Poston
    Twitter: GeorgiaCracker

    I’m at Asilomar for the Trial Lawyers Conference and as my body is on Eastern time, I was rambling about at 4:30 a.m. reading the “Today’s Events” board. “Fluid Self Destuckification” kinds of sticks out there (talk about brilliant self promotion!) so I had to sit down in this tiny Arts & Crafts era computer room to check it out.

    Fascinating! I would very much like to learn more, but I can’t do two seminars simultaneously. Would it be possible to briefly meet you at the main registration hall at some point to learn more? I am a criminal defense attorney in Georgia stuck in a decade-long effort to write a book of a story I lived through (that has already been optioned by New Line Cinema). It seems that “Fluid Self Destuckification” might be right up my alley.

    By the way, I tried to send comments through your other method (click “flower”, click “tree”) but it just froze the computer.

    Please have your first mate let me know if I could “audit” a session today (Thursday) as my program does not start until this evening. Sounds like a more interesting seminar anyway!


    McCracken Poston

  41. […] an example of someone who did just that? Read about how Havi Brooks gave away her email – and read more about how she felt after a […]

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