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


Chicken 328: reprieve x2!

Friday chicken

A look at the good and the hard in my week, a ritual of reflecting.

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for Friday.}

What worked this week?

Renaming things.

I didn’t want to go to the Post Office, until I decided that USPS stands for Universal Sovereign Perspective Service, and then it was easy! Who doesn’t want some sovereign perspective? By post!

Similarly, everything got better when I remembered that Halloween can be turned into Hidingween. Or is that Hideoween? Actually it was more like Snuggle-o-ween.

I do not like this trick-or-treating thing. Loud knocking on the door triggers my PTSD, and I have a long list of things that are asking for my time — providing noisy sticky-fingered small people with candy does not make the top fifty.

Usually I turn out all the lights and hide in the dark. This year my housemate was out being social so I had to have Hidingween by myself.

Except then the beautiful boy came over, and hiding is more fun with two people.

Next time I might…

Choose steadiness.

Often I choose things that are not steadying (twitter, for example) because sometimes they are steadying or have that effect, and because I need a pause, and then I use an unsteady thing as a place to push for steadiness pellets.

This hardly ever works.

I want to remember to choose things that are actually steadying: get on the floor and breathe.

Steadiness from the north. Steadiness to the east. Steadying the south. Steady in the west.

To allow myself to be held by steadiness instead of grasping for steadiness. Also sometimes I wake up my lover because I forget how to access steadiness, and then I don’t know how to say that this is what I want, so I want to get in the habit of breathing, remembering, asking for a hug.

If you feel drawn to leave comments on aspects of my week, I will take love, hearts, breaths, pebbles, I do not need advice or cheering up, though presence and sweetness are appreciated. Hearts or pebbles work great if you don’t know what to say, often I don’t know what to say either so we’re in the same boat.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. Grief. It just is. A breath for permission.
  2. Worry. I forget that I can seed a new song in my head. A breath for comfort, may we all have as much of it as we need.
  3. I feel the big changes coming, and with them some big decisions. A breath for perfect simple solutions, turnarounds or escape hatches: whatever the answers are here, may they reveal themselves in right timing.
  4. This week it seemed like everything that could go wrong did, and I was too tired and overwhelmed to remember that Nothing Is Wrong. I am convinced there is no greater challenge in life than remembering that Nothing Is Wrong. Nothing Is Wrong does not mean force yourself to stick with things that are horrible. Practicing Nothing Is Wrong often means changing the things that feel off, that is part of what makes them not-wrong: thank goodness this frustrating situation pushed me to interact with it and make things better. A breath for patience, magic, sweetness, changing things up.
  5. Related to the above: This week all kinds of things seemed to be unwieldy, full of complications, expensive. Something I ordered for the trip (and paid $12 extra for it to arrive in time) turned out to be back-ordered, and then taking care of that involved another $85 and half of a day to sort out. My monsters were a Greek chorus with their steady chant of “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, You Never Make Progress On Anything, Everything Goes Wrong”. A breath for trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.
  6. And in the ongoing theme, the continued encounters with all the ways I relinquish my sovereignty, compromise my desires, neglect to state my preferences, avoid opportunities to treasure myself. Sovereignty challenges everywhere. I find myself afraid to state what I want, or acquiescing to a not-really-a-yes, because it seems easier, or neglecting to insist that people hold up their end of the bargain. Yet again, a breath for trust and more trust and even more trust after that. And for practicing.
  7. Too much work. Work and worry. Got myself all tangled up until my body was giving me the emergency warning signals of Impending Emotional Breakdown In Thirty Seconds To Twenty Minutes. A breath for knowing where my edges are, and for understanding that sometimes I’m going to test them and this is part of life and aliveness.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. At some point around noon on Sunday, I suddenly realized it wasn’t Monday! I had a whole extra day. REPRIEVE! Also the clocks changed, so a sneaky extra hour of sleep, which means DOUBLE REPRIEVE. Reprieve x2! Superpowers of that, come in, come in. A breath for suddenly perceiving/receiving extra spaciousness.
  2. Operation Tranquility Recovery Magic, current status: ACTIVATED! Any longer and I would have probably fallen apart so hard, so really this was the exact right moment. A breath for a well-timed escape hatch that is also a Grand Adventure.
  3. Running away to visit my Uncle in Eugene. A breath of thank you for exactly what I needed, and for the magic that is being loved unconditionally.
  4. The person I want to have grand adventures with is the person who wants to go on grand adventures with me. How lucky is that?! A breath for all the sparks.
  5. There are so many supportive people in my life. When things started unraveling this week, I had Annabelle and Marisa to text wise, compassionate, understanding reminders of truth-love. I had Richard to do acupressure magic on me and come with me on all the errands. A breath for allies, resources, friends, love.
  6. Everything is okay. A breath for everything being okay, and for remembering.
  7. My wise body knows what is good. A breath for moving, stretching, breathing, getting on the floor.
  8. Thankfulness. Heart full of love. Wise friends gave good counsel. Tiny miracles everywhere. So much sweetness in my life, so much kindness, so much generosity and permission. So many things are beautiful. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. A full breath of 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 took care of six thousand billion errands this week. Finalizing the 2015 Fluent Self calendar design (year 4!), and it is absolutely gorgeous. Operation Clear Bell is still in effect, as is The Sultry Speedy Chicken of Sanguine Secret Ops, Operation Tranquility Recovery Magic is good to go, and I am trusting the fractal flowers. Wham Boom.

Revisiting some wise important words of truth from past-me.

This post about secretly turning the rain into different colors. The technique I use there (not turning the rain into colors, though that is fun too) is a really good practice for me.


Powers I had this week…

I had the power of Getting On The Bus, and the power of appreciating the good.

Superpowers I want.

The superpower of Calm Steady Trust Is Mine At All Times, and I Do Not Need To Carry Anyone Else’s Fears For Them.

Oh, and I was at a dance class this week, and the instructor said, “Whatever feels good in your body right now, do that!” Superpower of approaching life like this please.

Other favorite superpowers: Permission slips everywhere. I Take Care Of Myself Calmly, Easily and Unapologetically. Acting on guidance in addition to listening it. Trusting That the Loving No Is The Door To True Yes! Delighting in Plenty. I am allowed to enjoy being adored. As much sweetness as I want. I see how beautiful everything is and I say thank you.Theatrical Spectaculars! I get a parade! Self-Ripening Wisdom. Everything…in style! And in grand fashion, because that’s how I do things, baby, like a fairground stripper! I Boldly Glow. Ablaze With Fearless Intentional Choice-Making. I Have Everything I Need. Wildly Confident, Outrageously Beautiful, Wonderfully Tranquil. I Do Not Dim My Spark For Anyone.

The Salve of Reprieve X2!

This salve contains little beads that release Expansiveness and Comfort at the same time.

When it softens into your skin, everything breathes more. You feel cozy and self-contained on the one hand, and as if you’ve been granted all this gorgeous spaciousness on the other.

This salve reminds you that there is time, because look, there it is.

This is a great salve for doing, using that extra window you’ve just been given, and it’s also a great salve for catching up on rest.

This salve gives my skin a dewy glow, it works a little bit like Rally (superpower of Rally Glow) in that it makes me better-looking just by being around it.

Bonus effect of this salve: not only do you find your own sweet moments of reprieve but everyone you encounter feels this permission and spaciousness too. Suddenly there are these little ten and fifteen minute pockets of buffer available.

It’s kind of like when you quit [habit] and suddenly there’s money in your pocket. In fact, that’s a form of reprieve too, so let’s add that into the mix. This salve does that too! Best salve ever. Have some. And then have some more.

That’s how this works.

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 comes via Wendy (thank you!) and they’re called Cleo and the Gap, they play sultry lounge music that is heavy on clarinet, and it’s actually just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am still recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, since they are keeping things good around here for me.

So I want to seed a reminder that this is a thing, and it helps, a lot. Not just with calming down in the moment but with building the kind of habits that allow you to change your relationship with whatever is scary or uncomfortable.

I hardly ever recommend these because the page is already many years old and needs rewriting. However, copywriting aside, this is still one of the best things I have ever made, by a lot. I have two boxes in my office full of the sweetest thank you notes from people, and so many of them are for this.

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 feeling quiet. My ritual doesn’t have to be your ritual. Whatever works for you. We’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way. Feel free to leave pebbles (or petals!), hearts, warmth, sweetness. Those always work.

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 278: pre-provisioned

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

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. The point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and accessing the qualities. Wanting can be hard, it is easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons for that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

I have trouble taking care of myself.

This is not exactly news.

No, let me rephrase this. I have a fairly well-documented history of neglecting to take care of myself in certain situations, and this is something I’m working on and playing with.

This is the process of becoming someone who treasures herself, who takes exquisite care of herself.

So here we are. This is the practice, and everything that takes me off course is also part of the course. So I’m working on two things, taking care of myself, and trusting that however long this skill takes to integrate is okay.

I am slightly allergic to packing.

This is problematic, because this year has involved quite a bit of gallivanting about.

Every time I use metaphor mouse to sort this out, I learn that packing is actually taking care of slightly future me.

In fact, it’s one of my favorite things: setting things up for her so that her life has more ease, more joy. Leaving sweetness for future me.

Like treats in the back seat. That sounds dirty. It’s not. Read the link!

The point is, I get that Packing is providing for incoming me. It’s provisioning, I word I may have made up because providing sounds kind of heavy but getting provisions is fun.

This is a way I can treasure myself.


This is partly about doing this for myself in advance, not leaving it until the last minute.

And it is partly about finding a new way to interact with my monsters and their insane expectations.

[Monsters: Packing should only take half an hour, how does it take you all day?! Packing should not be this fraught thing, just do it!]

I need to remember that these things can take longer — much longer — than I think they will, and this doesn’t mean I’m slow, lazy, incompetent or not good at life.

It just means I estimated wrong.

And let’s be clear about this too: one of the reasons I find estimating so challenging is because I’m doing it while under the influence of monster-instigated anxiety and false expectations.

I know what I want.

Do less.

Spend more time on entry. Pause more. Spend less time doing and more time considering how I want to feel, and how I want to be while doing.

More permission, more legitimacy, more acceptance, more peacefulness.

Ringing more bells.

How can I play with this?

I want to let go of fantasy.

Fantasy, in this case, is some variation on either “I will be completely packed a week before my trip!” or “Oh whatever, it will only take half an hour, just make it happen!”

I want to work with what I know. It takes time (for me) to adequately prepare for things, especially travel.

My entire childhood was spent thinking that we were about to move. It never happened.

Nothing drives me crazier than being in the pre-stages of a voyage, or someone I love saying they’re about to make [big life change].

Don’t tell me you’re going to come visit me. Either do it or shut up. For example.

What do I want?

Steadiness. Breath. Choosing towards me. Choosing towards taking care of me.

What else do I know about this?

It can happen in bits and pieces.

There is no way to do this wrong.

It’s an experiment.

What do I really want?

Same as always. To trust my instincts more. To trust my yes and trust my no, and act on that trust immediately.

To live by the sea.

Me: Hey, slightly-wiser me, what do you have for me?

She: I know how much you care about me. And I know that sometimes you can feel how much I care about you. Everything we do to connect and get closer is good.
Me: It’s like a hug moment.
She:Exactly. More hug moments. Remember that I’m right here, all the time. Ask me for help.


“Are you feeling lucky?”

The superpower of wearing my crown.

Last month on the calendar was the month of embarking, and trusting the voyage.

Now we’re in the month of Sovereignty, with the superpower of I do not wait in line for my own swing.

And, hilariously, this past week has been nothing but sovereignty challenges for me. Pre-provisioning is taking this whole being-true-to-my-truth thing to an entirely new level. It feels like a good way to practice, to get to know what I am like when I wear my own crown.

Ongoing wishes.

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat. Things to play with someday.
  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • I have the best time dancing in my 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.
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things, I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, and it is not even a big deal, yay.
  • I am ready to come into my superpowers, including the superpowers of knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, I Am Okay With Being Seen, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me. See also: The superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers. And adds panache.

Things I find helpful when it comes to wishes…

Set the intention. Nap on it. Dance it, write it, play with it, walk the labyrinth. Take lots of notes. Take deeper breaths, getting quieter and quieter until I hear what is true.

More sweet pauses, yes to the red lights, remember the purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots. Permission. Bright colors. Passion. Costume changes. Stone skipping with incoming me. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Lipstick. My body gets the deciding vote. And, as always, saying thank you in advance.

Give it to the compass: Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

Trust. Release. Love. Receive. Anchor. Crown. Glow. Boldly.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka joining the resistance…

I ended up having to move Operation Lacy Hips (anagram for physical) so I didn’t get to practice Joining The Resistance with my doctor. Except I went to have an eye exam, and they wanted my weight (they asked me three times), and I refused to give it and also made a note on the form that I thought this question was ridiculous.

Also I listed my profession as “unicorn”. So there’s that.

Oooh, and I 5MX-ed like crazy this week, and noticed that five minutes go by unbelievably fast.

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more. 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. ♡

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 and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.

Here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.