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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.


The Playground!

So after all the complicated, agonizing, beautiful process of giving birth to a tiny sweet thing, I have been slow about sharing pictures.

Mostly because my lovely Playground baby keeps being added to.

Latest addition: a crazed pirate monkey on a tree!

But also because I have felt … shy. I don’t know.


It seemed like it’s finally maybe the right time to talk about this space that I love so much.

And a bit about what it means to have a physical home for everything I’ve been teaching both online and in various places around the world these past six years.

The Playground has its own style.

I’m not sure how or when it happened.

But after a certain point, the First Mate and I could assess in a second whether something was Playground material or not.

The Playground had somehow developed its own distinctive style that was really hard to explain and really easy to recognize.

You can see the elements but I’m still not sure if it’s … describable.

Let’s see.

Copper bells, 40s Hollywood-style lamps, pirates, trees, deep reds and oranges, dark wood, pre-school art, sparkliness but also very contemplative and meditative.

If you close your eyes, it feels deep and expansive, it feels like yoga, it feels like sanctuary.

It’s kind of like … Glam Pirate Zen.

Or, really, Glam Pirate Pre-School Zen.

Anyway, it’s awesome. And special. And it has its own way of being that is completely and utterly Playground-like.

The Playground is coming into itself.

It knows what it likes. It knows what it doesn’t like.

We are learning funny things about systems and boundaries.

When I talk to grown-ups I say that I have a Center where I teach.

If it’s people who seem pretty fun I might add that it doubles as a yoga studio for pirates. But that’s such a small piece of what it actually is.

Anyway, I can’t describe it at all. But it is my favorite place in the entire world.

Being there makes me happy. Showing people makes me happy.

11 things I adore about having the Playground.

In no particular order.

  1. It’s home.
  2. Everything looks exactly the way I want it to look.
  3. It is a place where silliness is a good thing.
  4. It’s like getting to go to pre-school. Except as an adult.
  5. I’ve definitely had a lot of business situations where I’ve come up with something brilliant and innovative and then other people take the idea and repeat it without doing anything to make it their own.

    I find it tremendously reassuring that this particular thing is so completely mine and so completely uncopy-able.

  6. Now I have a place to go to when I write.
  7. It’s the perfect hey are you one of my right people experiment: people either ADORE it to pieces or they totally don’t get it.
  8. The ridiculously high ceilings and the fact that there are chandeliers and the general I cannot believe how fabulous this place is of it all.
  9. I can roll around on the floor all day long.
  10. Buying things like bubble-blowing solution and robot-dinosaur juice glasses is now a business expense. And since I don’t buy fun things for myself (yes, I know, working on it), having this baby to get presents for is a very good thing for me.
  11. As much as I love all the magical things that happen in the various online environments that I have created, there is something intense and powerful about being with your people, in one space, at one time. It’s just amazing.

And when it’s a special space — one that is charged up with all the Old Turkish Lady yoga and Shivanautical epiphanies and deep transformational play … even more so.

Would you like to see some pictures?

These were taken a while ago so we have various new additions since then, but it gives you a sense.

A peek!

The bottom four photos were captured by the amazing Elizabeth Halt.

That is all for now!

If you’ve been to the Playground and want to chime in about how delightful it is, you are so very welcome to.

And if you haven’t but you want to be all excited with me, that is lovely! Appreciated! Very, very much. I am a happy proud momma to this crazy, wonderful space.

[ALSO! I finally wrote a HAT for the Rally. The Rally! The Projectizing Rally! I am extremely worked up about how fabulous this is going to be. Also, it starts Monday so you still have a tiny window of a chance to join us. But read the page anyway because it was fun to write.]

And should you like to mail the Playground a love letter: you can send it via The Fluent Self, Inc, 1526 NE Alberta St #218, Portland OR 97211


44 Responses to The Playground!

  1. Chris Anthony
    Twitter: noellejoyeux

    Hee! Oh, it looks just like you. Bravo.
    .-= Chris Anthony´s last post … Everyday Delight 7 – New Perspective Edition =-.

  2. Liz
    Twitter: lizziemcg

    Yay! It’s gor-ge-ous! The more monkeys the merrier. And is that a dragon I spy on the cushion? Excellent. It looks like the perfect sanctuary. Congrats!
    .-= Liz´s last post … Unbogged =-.

  3. Since I’m currently in the process of giving my laboratory a facelift, I completely sympathize with the agonizing-ish-ness that happens in the process. You’ve given me inspiration though. Thanks for sharing!

    PS I just found your blog and am addicted already…Thank you for existing!!
    .-= Chrissy @ Eat Your Career´s last post … Quitting and Job Hopping and Coaching- Oh My! =-.

  4. Andy Dolph
    Twitter: acdolph

    WOW! I’m so excited to come visit The Playground some day in person (soon I hope!!)

    It’s wonderful!

    .-= Andy Dolph´s last post … Changing direction- a new website- living in my own skin =-.

  5. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Glam. Pirate. Pre-School. Zen.

    I am in love.

    And yes, isn’t it wonderful when fabulous playful items get to be business expenses? I have had that experience too. (Kazoos!)

    I am really, really happy for you, Havi. There is something magical about claiming a space, dedicating it, and making it your own.

    Oh, this tears it: I am going into my studio tonight, no matter how late it gets, no matter how tired I feel. I will sit within its cool blue walls. I will play my piano and my guitar. I will sit in my special chair. I will gaze at the art. I will reassure myself, and any monsters who may be hovering nearby, that it is safe, not only to claim a space for me, not only to have a space for me, but to use it. Daily, even.

    Thank you!
    .-= Kathleen Avins´s last post … Did anyone ever tell me there’d be days like this =-.

  6. Nathalie Lussier
    Twitter: NathLussier

    Aww Havi!! This is just incredible. I love love love it. :) The vibe is even transmitted via internet very well, and you should be a proud playground-mama. :)
    .-= Nathalie Lussier´s last post … 11 Reasons Why Juicing is Amazing for You =-.

  7. Kathleen Jaffe
    Twitter: biznicillin

    Ooooh, this is gorgeous! I love the color scheme, the uncluttered space… I want to hang out in that room. Well done!
    .-= Kathleen Jaffe´s last post … Open thread Thursday =-.

  8. kerri twigg
    Twitter: kerritwigg

    It’s coming together quite lovally.

    Things I think at first glance:

    * I want to peek in the refueling station.
    * I want to turn the ship wheel? can we? (I taught art appreciation in an art gallery for years — and it always bummed the students when they couldn’t touch the cool stuff).
    * I think we should be able to roll in all of our offices.

    and has Selma complained about the lack of a pool? Or does she does dislike getting herself wet?

    If I came, I’d like to bring my own floatable helper and perhaps they could meet up and pass on good ideas to us?

    I’ve only taught in person and great spaces help — although the improv class in a boat house during a storm was pretty awesome.

    Thanks for (bravely) sharing the space.
    .-= kerri twigg´s last post … My education- Grade nine =-.

  9. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    Havi, your new baby is so very beautiful! And it looks like so much like its parents too! :-)

    Lovely, lovely baby. Thank you for sharing photos. I’ll look forward to cuddling in person one of these days.

    Love, Hiro
    .-= Hiro Boga´s last post … Remembering Hiroshima =-.

  10. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    I remember seeing Elizabeth lying on the ground taking that pic of the lovely Selma! Oh, and the pirate monkey on a tree is a perfect addition! Ah, sweet Playground, I miss you so…
    I love that you now have such a delightful Playground in your life, Havi. It’s really uplifting to see how much joy it brings you. :)

  11. Julie
    Twitter: julieclarenbach

    This is BE-YOU-tiful! I love it!

    One day I will come to Portland and I will get to see it in person. It will be a great day.

    Congratulations on your Glam Pirate Pre-school Zen space!

    .-= Julie´s last post … Moving beyond “talent” and “skill” =-.

  12. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    Oh! Just seeing the photos makes me feel calm and happy and excited all over again. Your Playground is fabulous. It is so much like its parents, yet still its very own self. I love it. (Especially that pirate monkey on the tree.)

    .-= Elizabeth´s last post … the walrus said =-.

  13. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket

    Ack, just when I think I can’t possibly get any more excited about the Rally, you write this post and my brain starts blooming and exploding with joy and excitement and energy!

    Love the pictures. So perfect. I never could have imagined it and so exactly perfect.

    Question for those of us with laptops possessing questionable batteries: power access? Or better to shift to paper?
    .-= Jesse´s last post … The What and How of a What and How list =-.

  14. Lindsay says:

    Robot dinosaur juice glasses sound fantastic!
    There should just be more robot dinosaur accessories in general. :)
    Yay playground!

  15. Melanie Baker
    Twitter: melle

    It’s lovely! My favourite is the pirate tree monkey. Though it makes me slightly regret not putting an eye patch on the sockmonkey for you. :)

    What a wonderful space.
    .-= Melanie Baker´s last post … Lessons from the unapologetic fringe =-.

  16. Jill
    Twitter: scabbyrobot

    This is so great! CONGRATULATIONS!!

  17. Tori Deaux
    Twitter: ToriDeaux

    OMG. This is even more awesome than I’d imagined, and Selma looks so HAPPY!

  18. Darcy
    Twitter: darxyanne

    Glam Pirate Zen sounds so marvelous. What could be more marvelous than that? Oh, Glam Pirate Pre-School Zen, that’s what! Thank you for sharing photos for us far-away folks. The Playground is beautiful! Sending love!
    .-= Darcy´s last post … A day worth writing about =-.

  19. Jane
    Twitter: JaneOfArdis

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! :)

  20. Mona
    Twitter: monagrayson

    Yay! So happy for you and the playground and all the fun!
    .-= Mona´s last post … How To Eat Raw Food When Your Family Doesn’t Want To =-.

  21. Dave Rowley
    Twitter: asmallfield

    Dear crazed pirate monkey on a tree, I can’t wait to meet you!

    Havi, Your playground is beautiful and inviting and fun! Glam Pirate Pre-school Zen = the perfect combination. I’m so happy for you, also happy for me (and everybody else) that such a place exists. Woohoo!
    .-= Dave Rowley´s last post … Gypsy Fire work in progress =-.

  22. Bridget
    Twitter: intuitivebridge

    I’ve been to the playground, and now sometimes I visit it in my dreams. It’s fabulous, and it inspires me to do.
    .-= Bridget´s last post … Owning the Room =-.

  23. Celeste
    Twitter: burnkitty

    I only wish there were more pictures of the Playground. And I can’t wait until I get to actually go to the Playground. If you can’t tell, this means I love it.

  24. Pearl Mattenson
    Twitter: pearlmattenson

    Baby pictures! OOHING AND AHHING…. so beautiful.
    If the Gerber baby had a playground-this would be it.
    Soooo enticing.
    Thank you for sharing.

  25. Marie
    Twitter: snakecharmers

    I am dazzled by its beauty. Or maybe just by Selma.

  26. Rupa
    Twitter: theyogaofliving

    Wow, Havi. I’m smiling from ear to ear. Congratulations, dear girl.
    .-= Rupa´s last post … One Who Can’t Dance Blames the Floor and Other Useful Proverbs =-.

  27. pink
    Twitter: tarynblake71

    Nice! Now I want a description for my office decor that’s as fabulous as “Glam Pirate Preschool Zen” — must think about this. It’s very goth. Except for all the bright pink.
    .-= pink´s last post … Wishcasting Wednesday 81110 =-.

  28. Riin
    Twitter: happyfuzzyyarn

    I think Glam Pirate Zen is playing at the Michigan Theater next Thursday. Of course you know it’s just one guy.

    I so want a robot dinosaur juice glass.
    .-= Riin´s last post … More woolly goodness- and I suck at blogging =-.

  29. Kristen
    Twitter: write_spirit

    What an amazingly beautiful, play-full space you’ve created! The energy of delight that pours from your pictures brings tears to my eyes.

    Congratulations, proud momma :-)

  30. Yael Grauer
    Twitter: yaelwrites

    Oh my God, Havi!! This is beautiful!!!! I bet it’s even more awesome in person. Mazel tov!!! :)
    .-= Yael Grauer´s last post … Unplugged Or- How Not to Turn into a Computer =-.

  31. Señor Pantalones
    Twitter: sparkyfirepants

    Pirate monkey. Chandeliers. Lamps on the floor. Red. More monkeys.


    Yay you for YOUR space.

  32. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    You guys rock. Thank you!

    And I realize now that I totally forgot to put in anything that shows scale — those lamps come up to my forehead. And I’m kind of on the tall side.

    @Chrissy – mwah! Thanks!

    @Andy – oh it would be lovely to have you at the Playground someday. Yay.

    @Kathleen – thank you! And we actually have six rooms including the Galley, so plenty of space to hang out. :)

    @kerri – we do have a giant sink that Selma could, theoretically, swim around in … though I try to avoid bathtime with her because sometimes she doesn’t empty out completely. And then there are Awkward Moments during class. Floatable helpers are most welcome!

    @jesse – so, in the main room the plugs are all filled with lamps and such, but in the treasure room there are six outlets and some more in the hall, the library and the galley, so I’m sure you’ll find good places to juice up. Can’t wait to see you!

    @melle – KISSES! And thank you for the sock monkey – he is such a superstar and he loves it there. You are brilliant.

    @Dave – aw thank you, my dear. Hurry up and come down to the land of Port!

    @Yael – thanks, sweetie. Appreciated!

    And for all of you, more pictures to come. I promise.


  33. Gilbert (@CrazyOnYou)
    Twitter: CrazyOnYou

    For some reason (that I cannot entirely fathom) I expect to see a Maltese falcon and Harpo Marx. Maybe I’m channeling Noir Zen?

    Any way, like everybody else, I lurve it. It’s so… you. Playful, peaceful, powerful and piratey (which isn’t a word, but ought to be).

    And, if you haven’t already asked your monkey his name, can I suggest you see if he answers to ‘Stu’? After all, He’s Just One Monkey.

  34. claire
    Twitter: claireofRA

    I love the pirate monkey and tree! So great!

    Thank you for sharing the pictures. What’s so cool is all the space. Doesn’t feel cluttered at all, pretty minimal even (at least from these glimpses), but definitely with a particular friendly vibe.

    I’d love to visit some day. As a pre-school dropout, it might be just the thing. ;)
    .-= claire´s last post … Life of Art SitRep 27 =-.

  35. Heidi Fischbach (@curiousHeidiHi)
    Twitter: curiousHeidiHi

    Dear Playground, I cannot WAIT to meet you. I adore you and your proud pirate parents so much. Love, Heidi
    .-= Heidi Fischbach (@curiousHeidiHi)´s last post … I was interviewed! By a blonde chicken! =-.

  36. Kirsty Hall
    Twitter: kirstymhall

    Oh, oh, it’s adorable. I desperately want to visit.
    .-= Kirsty Hall´s last post … Money- business &amp how to avoid magic pill thinking =-.

  37. James | Dancing Geek
    Twitter: dancing_geek

    It’s sooo beautiful! *happy tears*

  38. Michelle Marlahan
    Twitter: lovewastingtime

    oh, havi… congratulations. your baby is so sweet and unusually calm for this age.

    dear playground, welcome to the world! you were born to do great things. i look forward to meeting you.

    .-= Michelle Marlahan´s last post … the power of =-.

  39. Lilly
    Twitter: pdxlilly

    I love The Playground, it was quite an honor to visit. I loved looking at the neat glassware, art pieces and decor. The space felt really really clear, like this is the energy of a place where the real stuff happens.

    Havi you are a beautiful person. So much clarity came to me after your class. Thank you.

  40. Char Brooks
    Twitter: Charsfirststep

    Mazel Tov on your brand new beautiful playground – that is so you. It really looks like a very special place. You did it!!! You made it your own – yeah you and your first mate!!!

    .-= Char Brooks´s last post … This- That and The Other Thing =-.

  41. lynn @ human, being
    Twitter: humanbeingblog

    I noticed the other morning that one of my neighbors has a Pirate Queen flag in her garage. I cannot tell you how tempted I am to borrow it for you. It is just that cool.

    I love the Playground. It is beautiful in the pics. I have my fingers crossed that you may do some small thing when I’m in Portland at the very beginning of October so I can come see it and swing in the hammock.
    .-= lynn @ human, being´s last post … If I go through with it =-.

  42. Elisa says:

    I love that tree with the monkey!
    .-= Elisa´s last post … Peace =-.

  43. Sarah
    Twitter: edgetocenter

    I can love the Playground from here, yes? Yes. I love you, Playground! I wish you could meet my magic room with the clouds on the ceiling, and have invisible tea, or whatever it is that rooms drink when we’re not watching you.

  44. Danielle
    Twitter: somaphile

    Havi! It’s beautiful and so full of whimsy. I can’t wait to see it live in person.


    .-= Danielle´s last post … Somaphile turns one this month =-.

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