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 350: Slather it on.

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.}

And happy THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY weeks of Chickens!

What worked this week?

Letting my body run the decision-making.

Many decisions wanted my attention this week, for example, where I might want to be in May when my traveling companion and I part ways for a week.

Turns out that decisions get surprisingly simple if I let my body make them for me. It’s so much easier when I just say no as soon as I feel the no, instead of trying to figure which option is cheaper or more convenient. 

Boston: does that give me joy sparks right now? No? Fantastic. Thank you. What about San Diego? Yes to joy sparks but no to this adventure right now. Okay, done researching that!

 
Then I was offered a very fun sounding mission for those dates, to combine a secret dance op with a rendezvous in Brooklyn and possibly a trip to Montauk and a chance to see two beloved fellow Agents, and it was all very exciting, and I couldn’t decide what to do, except then my body said, “Sweetie, what are you even talking about, this can be so easy, we just want whichever option involves the least amount of effort and logistics, and the most amount of ease and sleep.

Ta da! Decided. Brooklyn will have to happen some other time. For now I am going to choose according to the Mission of Less, because of course my body is right.

Next time I might…

Notice when I go into researching mode.

Often when I am trying to figure something out, I just start gathering intel because that’s something I know how to do.

Research mode whooshes me into my head, and I forget about the point of what I’m researching, which is joy and delight and presence and desire.

Remember that tuition is just that: tuition.

On Tuesday I’d narrowed down the location for my secret op: either Connecticut or Texas, long story. The east coast op required a decision that day. Hm, it didn’t require, the price was going to go up by $20 the next day. Not a huge sum of money, it’s just a mental thing.

For a moment it seemed the $20 could work as a clue. As in, “Oh well, I didn’t decide in time so I guess I’ll do the other op instead!”

Except then the other op mysteriously went up in price without warning too, by the exact same amount. Apparently $20 just is the price of learning to get out of my head.

I need to stop trying to calculate yes, and get back in my body so I can feel my yes!

Tuition is tuition, and $20 is a screaming deal if it reminds me to stop focusing on Logistics and listen to my true yes, because that’s the real op behind this op anyway.

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 are 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. The first day at the races and then the night of no sleep. A breath of easing and releasing.
  2. Today is Day 30 on the road, with a grand total of five showers, and I am really craving a long bath with bubbles right now. And clean hair. Then my favorite pants in the entire world acquired a weird white stain on the butt, a stain which not only did not come out at the laundromat, it is now permanently glued in. My traveling companion, who acquires clothing maybe once a decade, does not understand why walking around with a white blob on my butt means the pants are ruined, but they are. A breath for fresh, clean, crisp, new, better.
  3. The gigantic thunderstorm and accompanying tornado-warning (REMAIN INDOORS!), along with a few other things, kept us in Chico for most of the week instead of beautiful Yosemite as planned. A breath for acknowledgment, legitimacy and for remembering that if I’m not there, it was not my bus.
  4. Getting back to body stuff after two months of knee injury: I am in terrible shape and get tired easily and my body is cranky, and that’s just how things are and I don’t like it one bit. A breath for not having to like it.
  5. I am currently in a complicated and uncomfortable situation which requires allies for support and good counsel, and I do not know who my allies are in this yet, and this is very frustrating. A breath for trust, and for asking.
  6. The situation in the building where the Playground lived: still unresolved and increasingly irritating. A breath for loudly stating my No (and my Yes) on this, and for surprise exits.
  7. Hahahaha I was saying all day that I feel so POWERLESS about this [frustrating situation], and also about the fact that I am somehow still logging twelve hours a week on work stuff even though this is my sabbatical time, and then the next day we were in Chico and the city was literally without power for half the day. I got to take aerobics in the dark with no fans while we all listened to tinny music from someone’s phone! And then all of Chico basically just took the day off and headed to the diner. A breath for being able to laugh about Powerless.
  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. May I choose to trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. Suddenly on Day 25 of Operation True Yes aka Six Month Road Trip, I got so much intel about Yes. Day 25 delivered in such a big way. Useful intel for in life in general and the current ops, and this is incredibly exciting. A breath for getting through all that no to get to yes.
  2. Yet again something which seemed to be an obstacle is in fact the opposite of an obstacle! A breath for joyful recognition.
  3. Knee is healing up well. Even when it’s unhappy, it’s still manageable. And it is much happier than not happy right now. A breath for healing.
  4. Making plans for the missing week was a fantastic exercise, because it required me to get much better at No vs Yes, which is the entire point of Operation True Yes! I’d been approaching this whole thing from the perspective of “yeah I could make this work”. Then I upgraded to “but this other thing would be nicer and I would prefer that”. And now I finally get it: I can approach EVERYTHING from Do I Want This. And if it doesn’t elicit that deep strong knowing of I Want This, then I don’t want it. Not just for the first week in May either. A breath for this.
  5. I really like traveling with the beautiful boy. I really like holding hands. I really like having a wild, hot, full-of-good-surprises affair with the beautiful boy. A breath for NARBAR (Not A Relationship: Better than A Relationship) and for these big happy smiles.
  6. I was brave and asked for help. A breath for the healing in that.
  7. I think I know what I want now. A breath for this.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Breakfast dates at the diner. Roasted cauliflower in the camper. My amazing housemate tracked down a new pair of my favorite pants in the world, for $25, because he is magic, and will sending them to a secret drop where I can pick them up. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thankful for joy, presence, pleasure, Shmita and this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Wham booms, wisdom, superpowers, salve and FBOTW!

Operations completed. Wham boom!

Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code meaning: this thing is done! Shortened to wham-boom.

I wrote so much this week! And I did obscene amounts of research for Operation Adventures In Reverberation. And had a very good idea which you will hear about later. Thank you fractal flowers, thank you Shmita, thank you Switch/Swoop. Wham Boom.

Superpowers I had this week…

I had the superpower of being excited about no!

And the superpower of crossing one street over. And the superpower of finding a bell when I needed one. And the superpower of putting out the bat signal and directing it towards Very Likely Suspects.

Powers I want.

The superpower of SUUTRAS (Sudden Unsolicited Upgrades of Treasure Radiance and Sweetness), something I adapted from Agent Annabelle.

I would also like the superpower of Seeing All The Best Exits and the superpower of It’s So Simple I Can’t Believe I Didn’t See It Before.

The Salve of Glowing Clarity.

These invisible salves are distributed here by way of internet magic. Help yourself! Take it in a bath, as tea, a cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

I said on Wednesday (a word which begins with W) that West in my compass is Glow. Right now I am using a double compass, so west is actually Glowing Clarity.

This salve heals scabs like they weren’t even there. It softens so tremendously that you don’t even notice the softening because it is so complete, you forget that these things even needed softening.

When you wear this salve, everything glows a little more clearly, because you are glowing clarity.

This salve is the perfect way to feel into your yes and your no, and to feel brave enough to stand up for them too, because why wouldn’t you: the clear path is glowing clearly, and so are you, with clarity.

This salve also has the hidden powers of its neighboring directions: Southwest (Crowned in Sweetness) and Northwest (Bold Presence).

I want to say that a little goes a long way, but I also want to say: slather it on, baby. Soak it in.

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 to us by way of a hilarious Adopt-A-Highway sign, and is called The Atheists of Butte County. The funniest part about this is that I’m pretty sure it actually IS just one guy.

And my upcoming Biopic…

Exfoliated: A Whole New Person. The Havi Brooks Story.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, aka the thing that keeps me from falling apart.

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. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!

W

Glow West.

Each morning I make a compass.

If I don’t know which way north is (or even if I do), I set north above me or right in front of me.

I assign a quality to each direction point, and I let them cycle around me, surrounding myself with the qualities and filling my space with them.

Every few months, or when I’m starting a new op, it’s time for a new compass, but for the past couple years, I have consistently put GLOW in the west.

One of the many lovely things about walking around inside of a compass is that street signs and highway signs become actual signs: they’re clues.

Each time a sign says WEST, I understand that to mean GLOW. So then I glow.

Glow west.

So west means west, but west really means glow. Glow, resonate, reverberate, expand, express, shine. Two meanings.

Most of my favorite W-words have two meanings.

There’s Well, like well-being and wellness, and also filling the (metaphorical) wells — well, yeah, all the wells

And wells, like water, like well-springs, like the fountain.

There is Wind. That could be, depending on how you want to read it, winding up or the winding road. But it could also be wind, like the west wind that whooshes and whisks away, wind like the trade winds, the winds that make adventures easier.

There’s Whip, which is the way you give your jammer a burst of speed and trajectory on the roller derby track, and there is whip, the impossibly sexy smooth move in west coast swing. It takes the lindy swing-out and elegantly removes the bounce, turning it into the most luscious rubber band double rotation of perfection. A dance with someone who has a sweet whip, there is nothing like that feeling in the world.

Whisk is a marvelous word. There is whisking like whisking away, and a whisk like the tool you can use to whip cream, or to make the bubbles in your bubble bath infinitely more bubbly, an excellent trick I learned from Agent Rosie. The German word for whisk is Schneebesen: a snow broom, this baffled me for hours the first time someone asked if I wanted one.

There is Wash, like washing away, and also like in watercolor when you do a wash of color.

Oh, and there is Wax. Like wax and wane, with my friend the moon. Or like the wax from the beeswax candles my uncle Svevo used to make.

And Whiskey like the drink, but also like Tango Foxtrot secret code forever!

The Week of Why

When we got to W in the Alphabet Rallies, I did not expect it to become the Week of Why.

I’d figured Y would be the Week of Y. And therefore also the Week of Why. Silly me. Though actually Y turned out to be the week of Yes, so that worked out spectacularly well.

Well. Anyway.

We asked why. Over and over again. Ten times why. The good kind of why, not the wheel-grinding kind of why.

We were curious and we investigated. With wonder.

During the week of Why, I came up with the Very Partial List Of Things That Are Not My Job, which turned out to be Wisdom.

And we did things widdershins, and played Change Your Place, Change Your Luck.

It was also the week of Wishes.

And words.

Witchy wonderful words, whispered. Wow!

I love words, and I especially love whispered words.

Whispers are my favorite way to listen, and possibly also just the most wonderful word.

Oh, and waltzing. Waltzing words into the light, which is my secret metaphor for publishing.

And waltz like Waltz Brunch, my very favorite dance event in Portland and the only thing I currently miss about Portland, other than my housemate and Back to Eden bakery.

Wish. Upon A Star

Wishing is my favorite way to mix things up.

We hit three hundred weeks of wishes this week, and many of those wishes have changed how I live.

Ws I am letting go of:

When I let go of G, I also wanted to let go of W.

Now it is time to release some more Ws. Here we go:

  • Worry
  • Work
  • Wistfulness
  • Wockawocks (secret agent code for annoying problems)
  • Wells Unfilled
  • Weakness (in the sense of my perception of my sensitivities)
  • Weight (as a concept)
  • Whines

Whoosh! All of that can be let go and whooshed away, to the magical elevator shaft at the Playground, which still exist even though the Playground is gone.

Ws I am warmly welcoming in:

Mmmm, Welcoming.

  • Wings
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom
  • Wonder
  • Wander. As in Wanderlust and exploring and All Who [W] Are Not Lost.
  • Wells
  • Willingness
  • Wholeness
  • Water
  • Waves
  • Winning: Won-ness and Oneness.
  • Witchiness and being witchy. I recently learned that when I say witch, people do not understand what I mean, and that I need to say healer instead, so: okay.
  • Warmth
  • When (as in: if not now, when).

Wow. Also wise-cracking, like Barrington.

Wild.

When I was away on retreat at the Vicarage, I was looking for a name. I was playing with a proxy identity, getting to know wild me who wears a leather jacket and sunglasses and doesn’t care what anybody things, and I didn’t know what to call her.

Then they accidentally gave me the wrong room, and in that room, in a corner, high up above the doorway between the bedroom and the entryway, I noticed a sticker. It said EVE WILD.

Eve Wild became the secret agent name for Incoming Me, and we have spent a lot of time together ever since.

I even brought in a version of her to help me with my Rally Project during the week of W, here’s what I have in my notes:

I’m Agent Wild. I’m here to test shades of pink to find out which are the most Unrepentantly Disruptive. I am the Pink Witch! I am the Walrus! I take baths in olive oil.

Rally is fun. I miss Rally.

All the best words are W.

I mean, come on.

Whoa. Wicked. Whirl. Winding. Wabi-sabi!

Ohmygoodness, did you know that WEAR also means “to turn a ship’s stern to windward to alter its course”?! I feel so strongly about this, and also cannot believe I forgot wear like to adorn oneself in garments and costumes (clue: everything is a costume!).

Wear! I delight in dressing up, this is one of my very favorite things.

What else do I know about W?

W is two Vs. V + V. This means that W has all the superpowers of V, doubled. And it also means that W is a diamond, unpacked. W is an open diamond.

W is waves.

W is movement, repeated.

W is Writing, which is also Righting. The word writative means characterized by an inclination to write, and I have that pretty much all the time.

W is the reminder to glow, and keep on glowing ever westward.

May it be so! And come play with me.

This has been a meditation on words that begin with W.

If you want to whisper words or sound effects that start with W, go for it.

You are invited to add more W words, or peek over here for more W words. Like waldgrave, wayzgoose, williwaw, and wyrd (the personification of a fate or destiny).

And, as always, if you want to share in any of the qualities and magical words I named here, help yourself.

They work like the salves in the Friday Chicken: there is enough and there is always more.

Whispering loving spells that begin with W, for myself, and for anyone who wants…