What we do here:

Work on our stuff. Dissolve stuck. Play. Experiment. Rewrite patterns. We take sometimes-heavy things* and we make them more fun, playful, manageable.

I also write about my conversations with walls and monsters, and what it's like to work on a pirate ship. Good times.

* Sometimes-heavy things include: mindfulness and presence, pain and trauma, business-growing, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity


Friday Chicken #296: the most beautiful of red lights

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 this week?

Shorts, weirdly enough.

So I have to give some background for this. Whenever the weather gets warm, it takes me forever to adjust to suddenly seeing my shockingly white legs. I’m pretty sure this is residual low-grade trauma from living in the middle east and constantly having people say things to me along the lines of “my god, I can’t even look at you, it’s disgusting, get to the beach immediately”.

Anyway, I have been wearing short shorts to my morning dance class as part of an experiment I am doing in growing my comfort zone in a variety of ways. It has required extreme force fields of bravery.

It turns out there’s a fantastic side effect of this practice: I am used to seeing my legs and do not feel the need to hide them. So on a beautiful sunny weekend, I wore a sundress and flip flops. Sprawled out on a beach towel in the park and wrote while the Spy did yoga nidra. And I didn’t care about my legs.

I breathed and connected to my thank you heart. Thank you for legs that are strong and beautiful and full of life. For legs that take me where I need to go and allow me to dance.

Doing the opposite.

I noticed when I was going into habitual behavior, and played Choose Away. Or: Do The Opposite Thing.

This required lots of soothing for small, scared me, and that was useful too.

Next time I might…

Pause and breathe.

Always a good plan.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. I made progress on a secret mission that scares me, and then learned more about why it scares me. A breath for encountering things you weren’t expecting to see.
  2. It is hilarious, in so many ways, that I am going to a huge swing dance convention. I need to find a way to take care of highly sensitive, PTSD me, as well as deal with the monster crew. A breath for choices.
  3. Sometimes you want a thing and you can’t have it — or at least not right now, and maybe not having it is good for you and you still desire it. A breath of comfort and letting that moment of wanting be what it is.
  4. I came to a realization that required action, and this was full of fear and sadness for me. A breath for sad, scared me and for courage.
  5. The most beautiful red light said STOP. So many tears. A breath for endings and for comfort.
  6. Oh my sad aching heart about this ending. A breath of trust and love, one for my heart and one for the other heart involved.
  7. I undid the old pattern about numbness that came up last week, and uncovered a different one (in a variety of forms) that has to do with seeking soothing from an external source, forgetting that I can give comfort to myself. A breath for patience and slow healing.
  8. Some things just take time. A breath for letting things take time.
  9. Inhale, exhale. Goodbye, mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. A glorious sunny day, the first real taste of spring. A breath for a beautiful day, and for the first time ever that I did not go into my stuff about summer coming.
  2. A taste of high impact. Still being gentle on the ankle, but I was able to bounce just the tiniest bit this week. Lindy hop. Aerobics. Not quite back to jumping but feeling more like gazelle state. A breath for pleasure.
  3. Closing out the dance floor Saturday night. A moment where everything is just-right. A breath of pure delight for this experience.
  4. Acting on the realization that required action. Doing it anyway, in the moment of knowing what is needed, present with the fear and sadness, interrupting all my usual patterns, doing it with love. A breath for what a powerful experience this was, and a hundred billion sparklepoints for scared, full-hearted me.
  5. The most beautiful red light. A breath for stopping everything in order to treasure a moment and be treasured — become treasure — in that moment.
  6. My dear friend Jane, one of my favorite people in the entire world, was in Portland and I got to see her and be near her, and it was the most wonderful, special thing. I wish it could happen more. A breath for love.
  7. Finished a big project! A breath for movement and turning corners.
  8. So many good things. Dance classes that are challenging in just the right ways. A wonderful card from Leni. Surprisingly not worn out, given circumstances. Marisa is back! Marionberry-pomegranate-blueberry smoothies. The joy of having the exact right bag for the occasion. Things are good. A breath for deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

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.

I finished decorating Say Everything Twice (Say Everything Twice), and it is going out to the people in the Year of Emerging And Receiving very soon. Possibly tomorrow. And I set up a Pop Up Practicum at the Ballroom. WHAM BOOM.

I put Operation Houston It Is The Vicar on the back burner for a bit, and I am working on the Mission of Xs and Ys, which I will take to Rally next week.


Powers I had this week…

I had the superpower of Taking Pleasure In Small Moments. And the superpower of noticing when the front of the V was getting hijacked by Tiny Havi who operates on fear, because she is still tiny. Got to practice some self-forgiveness in a big way.

Superpowers I want.

More of the above, of course.

And because I got what I asked for last week, I am seeding it again. The power of perfect simple solutions everywhere, to the point that it is just hilarious how plentiful, perfect and simple they are. With some sexy fearlessness on the side.

Salve. The Salve of Self-Forgiveness.

This salve is the most soothing of salves, because it soothes retroactively. It is working now and it is also working on then.

When I dab it on my throat, something softens in me. I take a deep breath. I see the actual circumstances of things I have been through and how hard they were, and how high my expectations were. I adjust my vision.

The salve dissolves and suddenly I am able to look at past-me, at whatever age, in whatever situation, and say: “Oh, Havi-then was doing the best she could with the intel that was available and the tools she had at the time. She couldn’t see the other options and she didn’t know how to take care of herself, and she was trying hard to survive.”

I glow love to the me-then who made different choices than the ones I think I would make now, and I stroke her hair and I breathe trust, steadiness and peacefulness for us. That is the power of this salve. I am recognizing now as I write this that it is thanks to this salve I was able to experience the most beautiful red light this week, so it is even a more important salve than I’d realized.

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 salve does not appeal, you can have this in tea form, as a bath, cocktail, 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!

My brother and I make up bands, which are all just one guy. The Meme Beach House is the venue.

This week’s band is called Emphasizing Bears, it is a gift from autocorrect (I was trying to write about emphasizing beats in the music while dancing) and I love it so much. Emphasizing Bears! They are loud and playing at the Doug Fir this week, and actually, they are also, as it turns out… just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am deep in an undercover mission to get better at receiving in all forms, or as I’m calling it: Glowing Receptivity and Being Receptive to Glow. Including the skill of gracefully accepting thanks.

It is related to my mission of Coming Out Of All The Closets and sharing about my personal experiences with not-sharing-how-hard-things-are.

If you would like to take a part in this and support me on my mission by sharing sweetness and appreciation for any aspect of my work, I would love that. You can do it with the magic of words, through the comments, or add something to Barrington’s Discretionary fund. (Explanation!)

And if the way you are glowing appreciation is quietly in your heart, I like that too. ♡

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.

Wish #246: Some thoughts on the nature of wishing…

very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal! Very.

Each week I write a Very Personal Ad (aka Vision-Possibility-Anticipation) to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. Sometimes wanting feels conflicted or just plain hard, and that’s okay.

At the very least, useful noticings about my relationship with wanting. It all counts.

Some thoughts on the nature of wishing…

This is my two hundred and forty sixth consecutive week of this ritual: uncovering a wish, processing it with words, sharing it with you.

That’s a lot of weeks. I have learned some things:

Wishes are exquisitely vulnerable, and so is wishing. Even wishes that seem like simple logistical matters. Wishes are tiny, sweet things. They require shelter and protection, time to grow and expand and reveal themselves. This revealing needs to happen in a way that feels safe.

Wishing, desiring, wanting. It isn’t just about vulnerability. This is a deeply subversive practice, what we’re doing here together.

I don’t know anyone who grew up having their wishes welcomed and adored. Our culture doesn’t really work that way. We are told that we are greedy for wanting, or that our wishes are inappropriate, too much, impossible. Wishes get trampled on early.

We don’t have built-in mechanisms for meeting someone’s wish with spaciousness and acceptance. Or even admiration: “wow, what a beautiful wish”. We find ourselves telling people why their wish isn’t reasonable, in an attempt to keep them from the pain of finding that out on their own. Or we resent other people’s wishes, because they remind us of our own wishes, the ones we have squashed down, made ourselves forget.

Wishes are like the line in the Natan Alterman poem… That melody still returns, the one you tried in vain to neglect…

So we are here to create safety. Safety and sovereignty.

What do I want?

Part of the rule of Safety First means protect your wishes and the process of wishing.

Sometimes I do this through writing in secret agent code. Sometimes I do this with metaphors and proxies.

Sometimes the practice is the safety. My wishes are held in this weekly ritual, this community of people who are kind, curious, patient, self-aware.

What am I noticing?

This week there are lots of wishes bubbling up, and I haven’t felt ready to write them down.

Partly this is because of a new craving for safe ground. There are people in my life (as well as people I don’t know at all) who go into their Stuff over things I’ve written, and don’t have the tools yet to process the Stuff, so they hand it to me. Wishes are fraught enough without that added layer of complexity.

I’m noticing how much I want to write about my wishes, and how I have not felt ready to bring them here this week. They need extra safety right now. Extra support. Extra appreciation. Extra love.

What do I want?

So of course I know exactly what I want, I just said it.

Safety. Support. Appreciation. Love.

This is the heart of the practice of wishing anyway: What are the qualities of the wish?

Because so often it turns out that you don’t actually want the thing you think you want, it’s the qualities. Often they can come to you in a different vehicle than the one you were dreaming about, and that turns out to be the exact right thing.

Plus qualities live inside of you, so they are something you can give to yourself. I can remember them, connect to them, breathe them, write them, talk to them. This takes practice too. And that’s okay, there is time.

So if I want more Safety, Support, Appreciation and Love, it is time to be curious about where and how I am not giving these to myself. They’re there, so if I’m feeling disconnected from them, that is a useful clue.

What am I noticing?

Just had a little catch in my throat, a moment of worry that my wishes this week will get lost.

So I think I’m going to write a sentence or two about each of them, so they can be heard. And to create some extra safety, I will let the processing of these wishes happen in invisible ink. Or on the Floop.

What do I want?

Another Jens.

Jens showed up in my life at the exact moment when I needed a Jens. My German was self-taught. Fluent enough to read a novel without the help of a dictionary, but I didn’t feel comfortable having a conversation. I didn’t have money for a tutor, and I didn’t know how to solve this.

One day Marius, the South African kid who worked at the nearby hostel, walked into my bar and said, hey this German guy wants to learn Hebrew, but he doesn’t have money, any ideas? I said, oh I’ll teach him Hebrew if I can practice German with him. By the time I moved to Berlin, my German was excellent and I felt completely comfortable.

And then a week after I arrived in Berlin, I met a second Jens (Jens II) who basically fulfilled the same role as the first Jens.

I want the dance equivalent of a Jens. The qualities of this wish? Play. Presence. Support. Trust.

What do I want?

Unconditional forgiveness of past me, at all moments in time.

This is going to require writing, time and a bunch of safe rooms. Qualities: Shelter. Support. Appreciation. Loving-kindness.

What do I want?

Operation Bell View.

I need to talk to someone who has done this (or done something like this), preferably a woman, and find out what I need to pack.

Qualities: Readiness. Support. Play. Adventure.

What do I want?

The Book of Xs and Ys.

This is my current mysterious project. I want writing time, thinking time, dancing time.

Qualities: Reflection, Presence, Trust, Appreciation.

What am I noticing?

The qualities I want are all related, a lot of them are the same.

All of these wishes are a combination of “I really want something” and “I’m not really sure how it works”. There is a lot in here about trust, patience, perceiving that I am supported, knowing that I am appreciated, being present, getting to play.

What do I want?

To let go of any stories about how people in my life are not supportive.

I can wish for that as much as I want. Of course external support is an amazing thing, and it is okay for me to want it. Ultimately though being supportive of my wishes and dreams is my job.

So if other people want to join me in meeting my wishes with joy and tenderness, they are welcome to. And if they can’t, then the main thing is that I am making sure my wishes have an environment of safety and spaciousness where they can grow and thrive.

How can the month of Strength help me with this.


This is the month of Strength — and seeing the strengths I already have.

So I already have the strength of Support, the ability to glow support for my wishes.

I need to keep doing that, more of it. Keep making space for my wishes, being curious, finding out what they need, providing canopies when needed, being a source of shelter, radiating sunshine, nourishment and sustenance…

I can ring the bell of support, the bell of sustenance. I can be the bell of support, the bell of sustenance.

Where do I want to start?

Interviewing Incoming Me. Skipping stones. Conducting. Dancing. Waiting. Praise and time.

Qualities of my wish:

Sustenance. Trust. Presence. Grace. Steadiness. Warmth. Glow. Receiving.


I asked my dance teacher if she could tell me when I wasn’t doing [X] because I sometimes forget to [X] enough, and she said, “If it’s easy, you’re doing enough [X], if it isn’t easy, you need more [X].

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat dreams. Things I’m working on, or might be, someday…

  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • I go out dancing at the ballroom.
  • This doesn’t require my input!
  • Ha, it’s so perfect that it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS
  • I have what I need, and I appreciate it. There are resources to do this.
  • Trust and steadiness. I can see why this moment is good.
  • Hawaii.
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.
  • This week’s op: Operation Bell View and Operation Pop It Up.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka it is real and it isn’t…

Silent retreat on this for now.

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I wish to whisper a whisper about the Monster Manual! It comes paired with the world’s best coloring book, which does so much monster-dissolving magic that even if you wait to try the techniques, you’ll still feel better about everything.

Self-fluency is hard enough, we need ways to to interact with the thoughts-fear-worry-criticism that shuts down creative exploring. And when people get the manual, I am able to me spend more time writing here. So if you don’t need help with monsters, get one for a friend. Or plant a wish that someone gets it for you! And bring people you like to hang out here. The more of us working on our stuff, the better for all of us. #9825;

Keep me company?

Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads. In any size/form you like, there’s no right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play.

Let’s throw things in the pot! And: Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.