What's in the gallery?

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.

What's in the gallery?

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.

Use What You Have

Labneh

Image: Three glass jars filled with labneh made in my tiny trailer kitchen, rolled in spices, preserved in golden olive oil. Behind them an array of cooking utensils framed by blue New Mexico sky. The Labneh Maker is a proxy identity I called on in a moment of need, now a regular in my pantheon of selves, I can write more about that process later, lmk in the comments if that’s something you want!

The first concussion of 2021 gave me five gifts, that I know of.

Possibly more, probably-for-sure more. Truly that concussion is the gift that keeps on giving, especially if you are a German speaker and you want (need) to capitalize Gift and receive this word in another form or meaning, Gift in the sense of poison.

Five gifts, poison or antidote, or possible poison-and-antidote together, here ya go, a full combo plate of the wronging and the righting, not sure yet, who can say.

Five gifts, only two of which I was able to appreciate at all at the time; my appreciation is a late-blooming flower, which is to say that it is a flower blooming in exact right timing, its own.

And LATE is a judgment I will not make about flowers, or appreciation, or most things these days.

All timing is right timing, because it is and because it has to be, all the more so in concussion life which is also recovery life, one breath at a time life, aka regular life, just with heightened awareness of [fragility, beauty, our complete and utter lack of control over anything at all].

Things take their time.

Things take their time. They just do. Use what you have.

Then.

Before First Concussion (BC), back then in the Then of it all, I was doing a shocking amount of sundulations each morning.

Sundulations is a name I invented for my undulating sort-of sun salutations, abbreviated and flowy, a trance state that doubles as assassin training, but mainly provides a way to entrain my ADHD brain, a way to get in a groove so I can get anything (something?) done in a day.

I put myself through these paces, giving myself an layered experience that is steady, repetitive, grounding, playful and reassuring, and then I am able to function, somewhat, and focus, somewhat. I take what I can get.

My practice of sundulations is a gift (and also ein bestimmtes und besonderes Gift) from the pandemic, though don’t make me find anything to appreciate about the pandemic, I’m not ready for silver linings.

You know what, fuck silver linings, we’ll get there when we get there.

Except

Anyway, SCOOBY DOO FLASHBACK, I was up to 1,111 morning sundulations and headed to close out June with a count of 22,000 sundulations for the month, except…

Except I got into it with an aggressive and possibly haunted dining room chair, and that little tussle (you should see the other guy, no actually I’m sad to report that the chair was unharmed) put me into bed for twelve days.

Twelve days later, and I was able to haul myself through three sundulations, though I was unable to remember why sundulations mattered, or why most things mattered, in fact I am still not entirely convinced regarding these matters of which practices matter, but I knew there was much to be rebuilt and rededicated, strength training included.

Rebuild and rededicate.

Numbers

It took until October to feel strong and capable in my body again, obviously the second concussion didn’t help much, though Second Recovery was less fraught.

Anyway I closed out October with the glorious and beloved superpowers of Finishing Strong! Brave & Stalwart!

And I am not making predictions about November because if I have learned anything about anything, it is that nothing can be predicted, nor should it.

But if current trends continue, which they might, and assuming I do not get in any fights (knock on hard objects, but let’s not knock on them with my face this time), then November might look like 21,000.

So let’s say it took me half a year of training hard to regain anything like the strength levels of then.

Except there is no back, there is only here, and maybe a here plus intention plus hope regarding what’s next. And there is no better, if I am going to be impressed by 21k then I also need to be impressed by any non-zero number, as well as by rest mode, hibernation mode, chrysalis mode, all the many forms of waiting it out.

Everything is fake and

It’s like Drew Carey’s everything is fake and the points don’t matter, some of you might be too young for that reference, but the point is the practice, and not the numbers, and yet the numbers are also sometimes like a guide rope.

A guide rope? Is that what it’s called? I am flashing on the cave of the Minotaur, and something about Huck Finn, and oh, maybe a Trixie Belden mystery involving spelunking? Okay, now I am googling “what do you call the rope people hold onto in a cave”, that for sure is the wrong turn of phrase but how else do you say this?

Ahahaha maybe this is an additional gift/Gift of concussion brain, I am completely at peace about not knowing what anything is called anymore, I just ask the computer, and if I don’t have signal, or the internet rabbit-holes are unfulfilling, then I use what I have, and describe.

What you reach for when you are in the dark…

What is the rope for?

Here is what I wanted to convey with that image:

I like keeping track of my sundulation numbers, even though the numbers don’t matter, because the tracking is like the rope that will help me find my way through the cave, something I can grasp.

The rope is not the same thing as the solution, it is not the answer or the way through, it is the reminder that I am in the process of moving through, and that this process is safer than it feels.

The rope is for comfort and steadiness and hope. I am not alone, someone put this rope here for me, past me or future me, someone set things up for me with love and care, and I may have forgotten how this and everything else works but I am finding my way at the pace of right now.

Does that make sense? Maybe.

Mariah Carey is right

During first concussion, my brain was on strike, which, to be clear, I approve of, what a baller move, at any time, and it simply would not agree to do most of its usual things.

Like, where is the supermarket I go to at least twice a week? NO IDEA

How do I stand up without holding onto a wall? WHO KNOWS, WHY ARE YOU STANDING UP

What are things called? I DO NOT KNOW AND DO NOT CARE

Why would I (do a thing, any thing, something someone is asking me to do), and why do people want these things from me anyway? WOW, A MYSTERY

What was I like in the era BC (Before Concussion), what did I care about, what was important to me? WHO CARES, I DON’T KNOW HER. Like, full on Mariah Carey levels of I don’t know her.

Writings in the cave

Strangely, the one thing my brain was really good at in this time was remembering words in Arabic and French. I had been attempting to slowly improve my vocabulary in my fourth and fifth languages-to-be using an app, a slow-going and painful process, but also a bit like another rope in another cave, or possibly it’s the same cave, there might only be one cave.

Ahhhh maybe it is the cave I’ve been lost in since early March 2020, or maybe I was always in a cave, who can remember, but a saving grace of 2021 was discovering that giving ten minutes a day to language learning does something good for me, I needed that particular rope and did not know it.

Anyway, in the time Before Concussion, I would routinely get 92% accuracy on my daily vocabulary tests, mainly because (ADHD!) I am impatient and don’t always pay attention, but after my brain went on strike, boom, 100% every day in a row for months. I couldn’t make a mistake.*

*In this one particular area.

I occasionally mix up a word now and then but it’s rare. I can’t remember how to say pretty much anything I want to say in English, but for whatever reason I don’t forget words in Arabic or French. They are vivid and alive to me, and I feel tender towards them, sweet word-seeds in my mind.

Cooking-writings

Kitab u’tabkh is a cookbook in Arabic, and what a beautiful and perfect name.

Kitab, like the Hebrew word Ktav (writing), and Tabkh like the Hebrew word Tabakh (chef) or Mitbakh (kitchen), this word now exists in my brain like Cook Writings or Kitchen-Scribbles, more poetic and more meaningful than cookbook, a better word. Cookbook has the rhyming going for it, but otherwise wow, kind of boring.

A bonus concussion gift-Gift was the way I got extremely into cookbooks, I like looking at them even more than reading them, a stack of cookbooks, filled with sorcery and potential. What a wonder to feel excitement again.

Hand on heart sigh of thankfulness and relief, I like things again, not many things, but cookbooks, and their Arabic name.

Another gift: the way words in Arabic and French feel right to me in a way that words in my other three languages do not, there is a clarity to the newness. Does that make sense?

Hand on heart sigh of thankfulness and relief for this clarity, any clarity-port in a storm.

Seconds

I am not sure what gifts the second concussion of 2021 has given me because I am not ready to consider that question yet; there is a time and a place for the naming of gifts, a slow-release sweetness that comes in the form of thankfulness and re-emergence, but that’s not a process that needs to be rushed. It can’t be actually.

I will name the gifts when the time is right.

It will happen, because I am the namer who names, forever inspired by the naming process (Kitchen Scribblings for cookbook, absolute genius), and so I have to trust that I will know when the time is right for that particular naming, not yet, not now.

This steady clarity I have re Not Rushing, in matters of Thankfulness and in all matters, is one of the gifts of First Concussion, and I will take it. Thank you, deep knowing, thank you, thank you.

Not rushing

I am not rushing, and I am not beating myself up about the not-rushing, and this is important.

Right now I am pretty mad about Second Concussion, and so I’m making space for that, this too is part of compassionate Not-Rushing.

Use what you have

Sometimes morning sundulations give me clues, and sometimes they give me a sudden peacefulness, and other times they give me very clear intel, occasionally in the form of instructions but often more like a guiding phrase. A guiding phrase? Less like a mantra and more like that rope you hold onto in the cave.

The other week, they gave me USE WHAT YOU HAVE.

This phrase reverberated, circling, the way we used to ring a singing bowl in the dome, a great echoing.

I didn’t lose my count. I kept flowing. USE WHAT YOU HAVE incorporated itself into the phrasing and pacing of the movement practice, which is based in word-poetry, like everything else I do.

Like this: I am the fierce spell-caster of fierceness and I USE WHAT I HAVE, I am the wildest wildcat and I USE WHAT I HAVE, I remain grounded in my clarity and I USE WHAT I HAVE.

Incoming Incoming

My favorite gift of First Concussion is that it gave me two new Incomings, two selves or aspects of me I had not known about before and possibly never would have gotten to know without having my mind (as I knew it previously) go offline, only to return altered.

Concussion Me, who also goes by their nickname Zero Fucks / Zero Quarter Given, is so much more fun than I ever could have guessed. Concussion Self uses they/them pronouns. What can I say, they are smart, hilarious, extremely refreshing and truly give zero fucks.

Concussion Me excels at saying no.

Concussion Me does not see the point of politeness, niceties, placating, all the “Please Like Me!” things that I do almost unthinkingly as survival strategies; instead they get straight to the point and don’t care if anyone else has opinions about that.

Then my Villanelle Self emerged while binging all of Killing Eve in the first week of bed rest mode. Did I know I have a hot, fun, manic-depressive murderous sociopath side to me? Not sure how I didn’t know that, she is so fun, I don’t know how we ever did Monday Meetings without her.

Monday Meeting

I convene a Monday Meeting nearly every day, not just on Mondays. The Monday-ness is more of an idea. It’s the meeting that matters.

And this is not a meeting like the boring meaning of meeting that happens in a board room. This is a meeting like an encounter, and who I am meeting is myself. I meet my selves, my Incoming selves, we get to know each other, we talk shit out.

Sometimes the meeting is two minutes, sometimes an hour or more. Often I just ask my various selves for counsel on literally anything. What are we making for lunch, yes/no to a post office run, which cookbook to read next. We meet up and meet again.

Lately when I ask them for advice, they don’t want to give any. They want me to use what I have, which turns out to be, and this is hilarious, that exact phrase: USE WHAT YOU HAVE.

The Selves weigh in on Use What You Have

Villanelle self: “Use the safe house, for starters. You’re a devastating dangerous bad bitch with a GETAWAY safe house, you are basically Angelina Jolie as Mrs Smith, your cover is amazing, your hair is perfect and the trailer is space to recuperate, so use what you have.”

The Labneh maker: “You have everything you need to make labneh, and what you don’t have is a refrigerator so it’s now or never, let’s get into a groove, food is ritual, and We Do Grounding Things. Use what you have. Use the hook where your bottle-opener lives to hang the cheesecloth with the sheep milk yogurt. You don’t even drink wine, you don’t need to see the bottle-opener, you just like the Arabic and French words for bottle-opener.”

Highest High Regard self: “It may appear that now is a repeat of then (living in a tiny trailer without adequate heat) and yet, every aspect of this now-version involves Enhanced High Regard, from the physical to the mental-emotional. This is new. Use what you have = use your vision. And get creative. Sure, you don’t have a chair, but you have an inversion trainer, throw some cushions on it and it’s a chair. Is it the most High Regard version of a chair? No, but we are where we are, a symbolic chair is the first step.”

The Desert Assassin: “Your powerful training is working, early to bed is working, ritual is working, you have a Steadiness you couldn’t imagine a year ago. Use what you have does not mean “make do”, it means use what works: grounding ritual, supportive habits, tinctures, anything that makes you stronger.”

The Sorceress: “You have your place to do your particular magic, now we consecrate it and work with it, good job getting us here. Use what you have means use the symbolic meaning of what is here, each object is here for a reason, channel the qualities, stay attuned to intention.”

Villanelle Self: “First of all, when I said I would kill Hélène with the tiny chair, I was being silly and lightening the mood, it was a playful moment, like a panther yawning, a way to casually demonstrate my prowess and my boredom, but if I’m gonna use what I have, I’m gonna use the most interesting thing I have. Anyway, USE WHAT YOU FUCKING HAVE, what is not clear about that?”

Concussion Me: “Why are you still asking us for clarity when you already have your extremely clear Clarity, you were given the answer, and now you’re requesting the next answers when you haven’t done anything with the first answer. The instruction is right there, kiddo. Use what you have. You don’t need to keep asking for examples. LIVE IT AND FIND OUT.”

Use what you have

Do you get it, babe? They really want me to get it.

They’re like, okay, you were given a really sturdy rope to lead you through the cave, and now you’re asking for a new rope. YOU HAVE THE ROPE. OMG JUST PLEASE USE THE ROPE.

Use what you have, and what you have is the phrase Use What You Have.

What you have is the UKC

The UKC is the Usual Known Clarity, aka when my movement-meditation practice gives me the same information as before. Ah, here we are, the Usual Suspects!

USE WHAT YOU HAVE
STAY FIERCE AND DEVOTED TO YOURSELF
LET EVERYTHING SOLVE ITSELF
PAY ATTENTION TO HOW IT ALREADY IS SOLVING ITSELF
DO LESS TO GET MORE
WE DO GROUNDING THINGS
PRACTICE IS FRACTAL, SO TAKE A STEP, ANY STEP
WE TRY THINGS
RECOVERY HAS ITS OWN PACE

Okay but

Okay but what if I don’t like what I have?

Use what you have.

What I have is fury, grief, two concussions and a bewildering lost year. And the aftermath of these tumultuous experiences, which is also a form of cave, rope not included.

On the other hand, I also have the gifts from concussion.

Gift as poison, but sometimes it’s the poison and sometimes it’s the antidote, and I feel a fondness towards German for both ruining and re-rescuing this word with a rewriting, and isn’t that how we always rescue things around here? The righting that comes from using writing to bring about a rewriting.

We write things and right things. Write the spells. Right the ship. Wind in our sails again.

In the hard vs in the soft

Hard and soft are my terms for differentiating between those things and practices that are tangible, in the physical plane, versus everything invisible, from feelings to concepts to spiritual qualities.

Use what you have. What do I have?

In the hard: I have sheep milk yogurt in the process of becoming labneh, I have a glorious array of spices in which to roll the labneh, I have olive oil to preserve the labneh (who even needs a refrigerator), I have a not-a-chair that can act as a chair, an incredible view, friends who check in on me.

In the soft: I have my resilience, I have my rituals, I have my practice of We Do Grounding Things And This Is Enough For Now, and the knowledge that these grounding things have fractal effects, I have the companionship of my incoming selves, I have a theme for this coming year (Emergence & Recalibration), I have a hopefulness I was not able to channel a year ago, the blessing of perspective…

Some presents I am trying to be present with…

Here are five gifts from First Concussion that I am sure of, and that I have come to treasure:

  • Villanelle Self, she just wants to have dinner with you, she’ll kill you later, but she won’t, but she could
  • Concussion Self and their full commitment to I Don’t Know Her, no point in missing the Havi that was, whoever she was, now is now, we’re here now, let’s do this
  • The way my physical practice was just demolished, and how that meant needing to rebuild from zero, and all the frustration in that but also all the learning in that, finding the rope and holding on for dear life
  • Discovering that new brain delights in Arabic and French
  • Not being able to do anything included not being able to attempt to please and placate any of the narcissists in my life, which resulted in an abrupt and powerful break of a whole tangle of old unhealthy patterns

Concussion Self weighs in

Concussion Me: “I mean, if you’re not going to exit a situation on your own, then a concussion is a great form of forced evacuation actually. Each day is a gift, maybe with a new form of poison but also a new antidote. Use what you have. And what you have, my love, more than anything else, is a clear knowing about what you don’t want. All the decisions you have been trying to make do not need to be made, they have already been received. Clear your view. Discover what remains.”

Here now, with you

As you know, we don’t do forced thankfulness around here, not on American Thanksgiving and not ever, as far as I’m concerned it’s an act of violence to force ourselves to find treasure in pain when we aren’t ready for that exploration.

And at the same time, we know from experience that sometimes naming the good helps us feel tender towards ourselves.

So we don’t push, we just notice and make room. Sometimes naming what is hard makes it easier to remember what is good.

I am feeling fullness in my thank-you heart about being here, and about reaching some perspective on what I’ve been through and what is important to me.

Concussion me says to just keep writing, as a practice, and so I will.

Thank you notes & dedication (double meaning)

This post is for Lorinda who sent me money every single month this year, and each time I was brought to tears by the notion that people want to support my work even when I am not sharing it, even when I am mysteriously lost or missing or on far-off adventures. This faith in me, and this continued loving unconditional giving kept me going, so much gratitude for this, thank you for wind in my sails.

A huge thank you as well to Agents Lavery & Sloan for helping me out in a tight spot and reminding me of the Trade Winds aka the superpower of receiving support to set yourself up for ease of passage.

Thank you to Amanda who managed all the way from Utah to get me painkillers in Arizona during First Concussion. Thank you to Darcy who set me up with all the episodes of Killing Eve.

Thank you also to everyone who bought things from the gift shop or gave any sum of Appreciation money to Barrington’s Discretionary this year, it was received with love, you are all wind in my sails, and I needed that reminder, so thank you for the love and the reminding.

Play with me in the comments! I LOVE COMPANY!

You are welcome to share anything that sparked for you, notice what you’re noticing, skip a stone, or brainstorm ways to Use What You Have!

You can always use a made-up name in the comments whether in service of safety or playfulness, however this will drop your comment into moderation, which I do not check every day, so we will apply patience to that process and really to every process. What if nothing is wrong?

We are all going through what we are going through. We make this a sanctuary by not care-taking or problem—solving for other people, we can offer each other warmth and witnessing and trust that this is enough. Thank you for being here, it means so much to me to be able to process in companionship. ❤️

How to liberate glow powers (and other mysteries)

The week that was and is

I am finding myself in a huge amount of resistance to reflecting on my week in any form, which is probably related to The Many Mysteries & Great Unknowns.

Which seems to indicate that it would probably also be clarifying and useful to do some of that reflecting, haha, and also wow I really don’t want to do it.

So I think I am just going to just quietly name some of these mysteries and possibly some triumphs, maybe also some goal-wishes or some desired superpowers, and see what happens.

As always, we are channeling Amnesty Forever & Safety First!

It’s just a practice, we can’t do it wrong. It’s reasonable and normal to resist things that help, and we can always reconfigure or rewrite any ritual in any moment to suit the needs of the moment.

A breath for remembering this.

Among the many mysteries…

The Mysteries of Time. How does it work, where does it go, what is happening while I am staring into space for hours?

The Mysteries of ADHD. Existing outside of the bounds of time can be its own glorious superpower but what about when I need to be at a place for a thing in the timeline that other people follow?

The Mystery of the List, and how it keeps getting longer, and how much I want to set it on fire and disappear.

The Mysteries of External Praise & Hustle Culture: I had the thought this week that workaholism works almost exactly like an eating disorder. As in, this might literally kill you but everyone will applaud you for it the entire way until your inevitable collapse. Everyone is trying to control something inherently outside of control, I don’t wish to participate in the culture of this, it’s actively horrifying to me, but also that’s the world we live in.

The Mystery of Why Do I Keep Falling For Workaholics when this is at odds with the entirety of how I want to live.

Related: The Mystery of I am drawn to the familiar, and what is familiar to me is bad for me.

The Mystery of what am I going to do, and where and for how long, when everything is unknown.

The Mystery of No, Really, I Deserve Better, This Is Not High Regard.

Related: a good simile is hard to nail but I’m gonna need the many lovestruck poets of the desert to do better by me. Approach the goddess bearing gifts! A poorly crafted simile is not a gift, it is a burden. I guess that was a metaphor but whatever, I’m not the one bombarding people with rhyming couplets.

Related: How do men get the wild outrageous confidence to send these unsolicited and alarming texts, and where can I buy some of that by the bottle?

Wishes, Goal-wishes, Desired superpowers

Pare Down & Get Agile.

Stay Glowing, Stay Wild.

Clear & Well-Oxygenated.

Best parts of the week:

+ New world record (for me) of 856 sun salutations in a day
+ Going into a trance state of sundulating and seeing all the connections between the words and the wishes
+ Epiphanies & clarity in the labyrinths and the float tank
+ Floating again for the first time in 14 months (bliss)
+ Seeing friends again (bliss)
+ Desire (ditto)
+ Dessert (same)
+ the flower crowns on the saguaro, the light on the mountains
+ visited by the sweetest bobcat (always a good omen for me)
+ a favorite person joined me for a day of errands, and made the hard things easy and sweet

Useful if not enjoyable

+ revisiting experiences & situations that used to be yes, and discovering that they no longer support my commitment to being Held in High Regard

+ I stated my yeses and received not-yes, and so I extricated myself swiftly, good job, ten trillion points to me.

Hard/challenging/painful elements of the week:

+ I take back what I said last time about welcoming hot poet spring! Unsolicited unwanted intimacy feels like such a violation sometimes, all the more some when it gets you wrong.
+ The Great Unknowns, how are there so many of them, and still constantly changing?
+ The Endless Errands, same.
+ Boundary challenges, so many of them, still, and new ones.
+ The eternal question: how do I protect my desires when my tendency is to be “flexible”, which invariably turns into people-pleasing?
+ Still doing a weapons check!
+ After giving someone a third chance, they cancelled on me three times in a row…
+ It’s so boring being sad about this!
+ A mutual favor turned into full time project management, and I am overwhelmed by it.
+ I don’t know if it’s second vaccine or perimenopause, but my cycle is an hellish nightmare of agonies right now
+ I do not wish to end up as a name in the paper in one of those terrible stories involving a man who got angry about perceived rejection (“he was so quiet and so sweet, she should have been nicer to him”), but unfortunately all these men sending me unsolicited poetry know where I live, and my current gig requires politeness, and so I default to placating. I am nice-nice-nice, when I shouldn’t even have to be, and I triple-check all the doors just in case. Fuck all of that forever.
+ And I’m off! But where is next?

Some wisdom from this week’s magical practices

From the float

The waters said:

RELAX FIRST
LOGISTICS IS NOT YOUR NEMESIS, JUST DO INTUITIVE LOGISTICS!!!!!!
DO LESS TO GET MORE,
WITH INTENTION,
ALL THE TIME

THE STORM, THE CALM, THE VOID, LET IT COME AND GO AS IT DOES, YOU JUST STAY WITH RITUAL & WISHES & STEADY CONGRUENCING TOWARDS HIGH REGARD

IN STORM, IN CALM, IN ALL OF IT, YOUR SORCERY REMAINS THE SAME:
REST
DO LESS
CONGRUENCE
SPELL YOUR SPELLS

DO LESS TO GET MORE IS HIGH REGARD AND VICE VERSA

YOUR STILLNESS IS YOUR SORCERY

Insights from movement practice

My sundulations (undulating sun salutations) were so powerful this week, and I flew through seven hundred in seventy five minutes, and had an absolutely incredible moment during round forty when I was already in full trance state.

The word for that round is Liberation, and when I arrived at West in my compass (which is Glow), the spell that emerged was I AM READY TO LIBERATE MY GLOW FORCE!!!

And then that phrase just felt so powerful and exhilarating, even though I don’t think I am entirely grasping all of what it might mean, that I kept it echoing through the next round (Intensity), letting the words ripple through me and create new internal poetry:

I LIBERATE MY GLOW FORCE WITH FIERCE INTENSITY,
FEARLESSLY LIBERATING MY GLOW FORCE WITH ALL MY INTENSITY,
MY POWERFUL INTENSITY THAT LIBERATES MY GLOW FORCE,
I STRIKE WITH INTENSITY TO LIBERATE MY GLOW FORCE,
THE LIBERATION OF MY GLOW FORCE IS INTENSELY GROUNDED IN EARTHLY POWERS,
THE INTENSE LIBERATION OF MY GLOW FORCE IS WILD IN ITS INTENSITY,
I GLOWINGLY LIBERATE MY GLOW POWERS WITH MY GLOWING INTENSITY,
MY ENTIRE LIFE IS DEVOTED TO LIBERATION OF THE GLOW FORCE WITH MY FULL INTENSITY!!!

I would like more of this full body-mind poetry please. I mean, that’s the practice, and I do it every day, but that morning the word combinations felt so charged and intuitive and thrilling. More of that please.

What would I like from this coming week?

Spend more time outside.

Well-calibrated & well-oxygenated.

A joyful return to prioritizing Delicious Food, Beautifully Plated.

I make my setting lovely for me.

Close more doors.

Stay receptive to the glorious surprise moments of clear knowing, and mainly just trust myself so much more.

Appreciation

Thank you so much to people who sent me surprise Appreciation Money this week via Barrington’s Discretionary, it is always welcome and received with love, and if I can land in a place, which is the wish-goal of wish-goals, I can share more writing here, that’s my preferred way to fill time; writing and hopeful thoughts.

Play with me in the comments! I LOVE COMPANY!

Reminder that you can always use a made-up name in the comments whether in service of safety or playfulness, and a reminder that using a new name will drop your comment into moderation, which I do not check every day, so let’s apply patience to that process and really to every process. What if nothing is wrong?

We are all going through what we are going through. So we make this a sanctuary by not care-taking or problem—solving for other people, we can leave each other warmth or hearts of love or pebbles of witnessing.

🚨 WE HAVE EMOJI WORKING NOW!!! 🚨

How are we holding up? Anything hard and/or good or simply mysterious in your week that you want to drop here, any wishes or superpowers or anything else that wants to be named? Sometimes naming helps. Naming & breathing.

And if that’s not your thing, you can say hi, you can share anything that sparked for you or notice something that you’re noticing, or call in something you’d like more of for the coming week.

Love,
Havi

a week as memoir (a check-in)

The week that was and wasn’t and is

I am still yes to reflecting on my week, and also receiving a resounding no to sitting down to write about it in any known form, so: collecting notes, themes & thoughts from my week, some in the form of memoir titles…

Wishes, goals, goal-wishes & Desired superpowers

Pare Down & Get Agile.

Stay Glowing, Stay Wild.

More Clarity please (something about how this relates to being Well Oxygenated)

Strength to Strength:

Nailed April goal of 14,000 morning sun salutations (in under the wire! not always in the morning!), and now ONWARD & UPWARD, with a goal-wish that is so outrageous that I am not going to speak it yet, because it is the very definition of a Tiny Sweet Thing that needs some extra protection.

Best parts of the week:

+ Getting second shot
+ Turns out no longer constantly anticipating an agonizing death at every moment and every turn is having a huge impact on my sleep, I am sleeping eight hours uninterrupted, dream life.
+ Have been making some just absolutely inspired deliciously poor life choices, I think I have to recommend it.
+ Dessert in an enchanted garden with the person I have missed smiling at, see above.
+ Delicious things are delicious, a joyful, laughter-filled wandering through favorite outdoor places of magic, a pilgrimage to a new-to-me hidden labyrinth, fantastic vegan chocolate stracciatella ice cream from Monsoon.
+ Made sahlav (vanilla orchid rose-water coconut, cinnamon & pistachio pudding, fulfilling a deep wild nostalgia.
+ Suddenly everyone is writing me love poetry? NOT MAD ABOUT IT AT ALL. Hello hot poet spring, do your hot poetic thing. (That was not meant to be a line of poetry, but I’m leaving it as is.)
+ Everything is fluid & in flux right now, so just gonna flowwwwwww!

Hard/challenging/painful elements of the week:

+ Boundary challenges, so many of them
+ What do I want
+ Ahahahaha so many options (too many?) vs perception of running out of time
+ How do I protect my wants when my tendency is to be “flexible”, which invariably turns into people-pleasing
+ How to maintain morning practice in a place where mornings are defined by interruptions
+ Yeah that was a gun, okay, we are fine, shaking it off, onward (but are we fine, or are we just so used to saying “okay we are fine, let’s shake it off” that we think this is the same as being fine)
+ I Am Trash For Danger & Regrets: A Memoir
+ All I Can Do Is Sleep It Off: A Memoir
+ The many many mysteries
+ Being an enchantress is a lot of work, actually???
+ Everything is fluid & in flux right now, so just gotta flow, ugh
+ sigh & lolsob at how familiar this is, what would it be like to be able to hunker down into some safety

Some wisdom from the labyrinth that I transcribed

The labyrinth said…

Listen and know:

To live a life of sorcery and to be in love with life are THE SAME

What does this mean?
More ritual,
more precision and high regard,
choose your settings wisely,
be in places that nourish,
get rid of everything that doesn’t befit an enchantress
take your magic making and your settings very seriously

What would I like from this coming week?

Slow down, breathe more fully and intentionally, do less to get more, a joyful return to prioritizing Delicious Food, Beautifully Plated, more attention to setting & settings, epsom salts, be deliberate and formidable, reduce distractions, give everything more time, be with what is.

Appreciation

Thank you so much to people who sent me surprise Appreciation Money this week via Barrington’s Discretionary, it is always welcome and received with love, and if I can land in a place, which is the wish-goal of wish-goals, I can share more writing here, that’s my preferred way to fill time; writing and hopeful thoughts.

Play with me in the comments! I LOVE COMPANY!

Reminder that you can always use a made-up name in the comments whether in service of safety or playfulness.

We are all going through what we are going through. So we make this a sanctuary by not care-taking or problem—solving for other people, we can leave each other warmth or hearts of love or pebbles of witnessing.

🚨 WE HAVE EMOJI WORKING NOW!!! 🚨

How are we holding up? Anything hard and/or good in your week that you want to name here, any wishes or superpowers or anything else that wants to be named? Sometimes naming helps. Naming & breathing.

And if that’s not your thing, you can say hi or call in something you’d like more of for the coming week.

Love you,
Havi

Something about (a chicken?)

Something about checking in

I have had the phrase SOMETHING ABOUT in my head a bit lately.

As in: I don’t know what, exactly, but something about…

Something about a something!

Something about how I am finding myself in and out of moments of utter fog and startling clarity.

In other words, [Something About] is what I’ve got at the moment, a clue, a direction, a pointer, maybe.

And who can even know anymore which things are hard and which are good, how can we categorize anything when it’s all so confusing at the moment, so I am trying a slightly different format to check-in/chicken, and naming all things on my mind at the moment. Like an inventory. Of somethings.

Something about a (something about) and something about a check-in that is also a chicken.

For starters

Something about returning to ritual, specifically.

Something about freshness. Something about sorrow.

Something about beginning again, and the mysteries of re-emergence when there is no going back, and no “back” to go to, even if we wanted to.

Something about forgetting and remembering.

I made a mint simple syrup for the first time in twenty years and added it to a startlingly tart and bright lemonade that I made from the lemons from a tree in a garden in Arizona, on the property of the parents of a friend of mine from Oregon.

Something about paths and how they cross, something about sense memory, all the way back to my forgotten orchards that are never forgotten and always so close and too far at the same time, long gone, gone now.

What did I forget last night

I have to laugh about this because the main something about something that I wanted to tell you about has slipped my mind.

It is so odd to have been cursed by the gods with flawless recall of any conversation I’ve ever had, but to also have ADHD and not know where my keys are or what I was so clear on last night.

Something about it was until it wasn’t, and now something new.

Something about the relationship between mourning and demolishing

Something about grief, again.

Something and really Everything about DEFUND & ABOLISH, and more than that, and sooner, and how do we get justice when the system of justice is inherently unjust, and the casualness of the wrong-doing, the [overwhleming vastness] that is too much, to see and re-see how our culture continually harms black and brown kids in terrible ways, and the cumulative damage to the psyche from watching it happen over and over again, how is this still happening (I mean, I get that the system is designed for this to happen, but it’s still infuriating), this past week of murder after murder was so awful and so telling, and the “justice” so small.

This week was so much.

Something about impatience

I have lost my temper many times this week, and was abrupt and unkind.

Something about authority (experiencing helpless fury dealing with institutions and their uselessness, endless phone calls to resolve a mystery bill, and it is still unresolved but I am out of the ability to stay with this and stay embodied at the same time).

Something about sudden uncontrolled rage (mine), and how it still surprises me.

Example, I got so mad at a Keurig coffee maker, I don’t know why, it was just taking up so much space while doing so little and being unattractive to me and drawing the eye exactly where I don’t want it, so really this is more something about aesthetic sensitivity, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all.

Something about maybe I am getting mad at the small things because I can’t handle how mad I am at the big things.

Something about rage and spite as fuel, and how relatable this is to me.

Mysteries of X and not-X (what am I solving for)

Something about the mysteries of sleep, and of course how the longer they remain unresolved, the more moody outbursts I am likely to have.

Something about the mysteries of place.

Something about unknowns and waiting.

Something about a line in a song suddenly striking differently. “Once I could swallow the full (entire) moon…”

Something about poetry.

Actually, quite a lot about poetry. Most of my somethings, maybe. I don’t know.


Something about wishing wishes in the shower, and how this is the only place I like to wish wishes.


Something about how most of my moods can be fixed by adjusting the temperature or what I am wearing.

Something about the power of aesthetic pleasures.

Something about zen and something about emoji

After much much effort on the part of Richard, we did figure out how to make emoji work here (aha, something about ❤️ ☀️🌵⚔️ !!!!), so that is a delight.

However making this happen involved losing the last two blog posts and related comments (something about loss).

So I don’t know, if having those is important to people I could try to possibly repost them, maybe salvage some of the comments, or we could also let it be like a zen garden made of sand, and know or remember in our hearts how the sand made beautiful patterns that were then lost to the wind because they were of the moment.

(Something about taking a breath for the beautiful that is beautiful because it is ephemeral).

Something about second-guessing myself.

And then getting bored by that pattern, and then doing it again.

What is yes? What is known about yes?

If nothing is known about yes, surely something is known about no?

Something about wanting to be seen and known by a someone

Something about how someone who I thought knew me very well saying they don’t think of me as a hedonist, when obviously I am a Known Hedonist (but not to this person, so do they need to know me better or do I need to recommit to my Devotion to Pleasure, probably both…)

Something about my friends and how they, unlike former lovers, can always be counted on to text the best and most correct things (“wow how could anyone read you so wrong, you are a top 10 hedonist, you are the blueprint of hedonism, you prioritize lusciousness and sensual delight in a way that is INSPIRING!!!”)

Something about blooming

Thinking about walking somewhere with my cousin Itai, this is many years ago, and he said something about how I am blooming now, like in the sense of coming into my myself, flourishing.

This week I drove through saguaro national forest, as I do, and the saguaro are blooming, I got to see it happen, because I drove every day, so one day they had not bloomed, and the next day my tall beautiful friends had sprouted hats and crowns, soon with white flowers that will open, glorious.

The ocotillo are blooming too, speaking of plant friends who teach about boundaries and boundaries and boundaries, with love and patience.

Something about what have I learned since last they bloomed? A lot. Not enough. Something about that question more than the answer.

Something about what have I learned (or maybe what haven’t I learned) during pandemic life.

Something about assumptions.

Okay, maybe a lot of things about assumptions.

Hmmmmmm feelings

Something about getting a text that says “Still adore you” from the person who disappeared for nearly a month after saying they would never disappear again.

Something about feelings and something about being addicted to chaos.

Something about needing more reminders and never enough, tell me again.

Here + now

Something about finally landing.

Something about full powers.

Something about lusciously embodied.

Something about the solutions that show up when you need them, and how they are not the ones I tried to force or jerry-rig.

Something about the bliss that resides and hides in repetition, sort of a runner’s high, but without the running part.

Pleasure

Something about the best Bulgarian sheep feta drizzled in olive oil, something about the small joys.

Something about a poem a friend sent me, something about translations and renaming.

Something about the just right pillow and how it changes everything.

Something about the small pleasures can lead (sometimes) to bigger ones.

Something about anticipation, my very favorite drug, and finding new sources.

The freedom in the grief

Something about knowing there is nowhere I need to be, no one I need to take care of, nothing that needs me, and this can be very deeply depressing, or it can be beautifully liberating, and right now I am finding some joy in something that has been painful.

Come play with me in the comments!

Something about how much I love you all and appreciate your company and companionship in these experiments, these adventures into reflection.

You can regular chicken (name some hard/good in your week), or name some somethings about somethings, or whatever you feel drawn to do with lovingly reflecting on the week.

DID I MENTION WE HAVE EMOJI WORKING NOW?! Go wild. ✨

Reminder that you can always use a made-up name in the comments whether in service of safety or playfulness.

We are all going through what we are going through. So we make this a sanctuary by not care-taking or problem—solving for other people, we can leave each other warmth or hearts of love or pebbles of witnessing.

How are we holding up? Haha maybe that’s the wrong question. What kind of somethings are we having a something-about about?

xox
Havi

Seven depressions in a trench coat? (a check-in)

Seven somethings in a trench coat, probably (story hour)

I was journaling about FEELINGS and had the realization that they are all jumbled for me right now:

I think I can’t even differentiate anymore between pandemic depression vs regular depression vs breakup depression vs loneliness depression vs impending summer heat depression vs hopelessness re vaccine depression vs hopelessness re the govt wants us all to die depression SHRUG EMOJI!!!!

And I texted my friend about this, and she said, oh yes, the old seven depressions in a trench coat trick.

This made me laugh, so that’s how I’ve been referring to it and imagining it. Seven depression raccoons standing on top of each other’s furry raccoon shoulders, doing their best impersonation of a person, possibly wearing a top hat or something equally absurd.

And of course, I’m not depressed, which I know, with certainty, because the second I have the opportunity to converse with a human I like, I immediately feel better. And in my experience of depression, it’s not a thing we can generally snap out of the way I snap out of it these days when I get to talk to someone.

So it’s not that I’m depressed so much as that my opportunities to do the depression-ending thing (interact! with a person!) are so limited, due to circumstances, and when I don’t human contact, aka most of the time, the seven raccoons keep me busy with their raccoon shenanigans.

So I’m trying to remember this image, nothing is real, it’s just a gaggle of creative raccoons in a not-even-very-good disguise, and I can laugh about it, which also makes them laugh, and then they topple into a pile, giggling madly at their own ingenuity.

May we all giggle a little at our ingenuity when we can. Survival survival survival. Let’s do this.

Weekend Check-in, we made it.

Reviewing the week aka Chicken/Check-in is not only a reassuring ritual and fun to say, but another form of remembering, turning inward with attentiveness.

We can name what was difficult and name what worked, I find naming therapeutic. What am I experiencing and how am I experiencing it? All intel is useful.

Mainly we’re here to take a breath for having made it here. High fives all around and hand-to-heart appreciation.

If I neglect to name something big in the world, could be ADHD but also I’m keeping myself on this extended news break after spiraling hard.

Breathing for what was hard, challenging, uncomfortable, not fun…

These are in no particular order this week because they all feel weighted equally to me right now, for sure some are harder than others but I am perceiving them all as last straw material.

Got pulled over for expired plates (a problem I can’t solve anyway because of the pandemic), and while I conveniently and fortunately had a mask in my pocket, the police office who stopped me was not masked. IN A PANDEMIC, in a state full of dying people, did I mention that part. So if I die, please seek out Officer Reynolds in Tucson and at the very least make sure the world knows that all blame rests on him.

That is one very small example of the disconnect between my perception of reality and my wish to be protected and cherished, for my life to be valued by others as much (or ideally more) as I value it, versus the way everyone else is acting (like lives are expendable, and whatever, no big deal), this perception mismatch is so dissonant and overwhelming that I don’t know how to cope. None of this is new, it just feels intensified.

Another example: got a phone message from a friend saying he’s out of the country (?!) and flying into Phoenix (?!) tomorrow and do I want to have lunch in Tucson this week (?!?!?!) and, where is the part about keeping me safe, where is the part where I am protected and cherished, where is the part where keeping me alive is a priority?

Another example: a man touched my shoulder to get my attention and tell me his opinions about me, which I do not want, none of that please. But again, even not in a pandemic this is wildly inappropriate behavior, but this is life and death stuff, people. CAN WE FOCUS. On life.

Meanwhile, the selfish governor of Arizona who was first in line for the vaccine has decided that the rest of us can die, and has made mask mandates illegal. That is to say, individual businesses can decide for themselves but cities can no longer make masks a requirement. There are no vaccine appointments available. This is going to be so much uglier than it needed to be. It’s just cartoon-villain levels of cruelty.

I trust no one, and I am constantly bewildered to discover how many people I think of or thought of as friends seemingly are not particularly concerned with life, with my life, with sustaining life at all, to the extent that we can.

And sure, obviously most of [staying alive] is some unknowable combination of luck & magic, generally out of our hands. We don’t control much, and probably less than we think. But I’m pretty sure we could also not fly on planes if it’s not an emergency and we could definitely not go out to lunch. Like, come on, the finish line is in sight, let’s just make it to the next whatever-is-next if we can.

Similarly, my mysterious and confusing fight with the person I used to smile at (from behind a mask, so it’s not even like we could see each other smiling at each other, it was just feeling the smile, and that was both too little and more than enough, awful and sweet, and I miss it, all of it) is unresolved and I don’t see a way out, which is ridiculous but also it is just neutral information that I happen to not like. For whatever reason, this is unresolvable. I hate that, and it also just is.

I did what I could, until I ran out of olive branches to extend, and then I waited for my supply to be replenished, with the knowledge that maybe it won’t be, but at this point I kind of don’t care anymore.

Yeah okay, that’s not true, obviously, I care a lot, but it goes back to the question of what helps me perceive that I am protected and cherished in a relationship, that my safety is paramount. Not this.

I miss live music so much, and maybe that’s a proxy

Does that make sense? I miss live music but missing live music is also a way to be sad about something indirect, something that is not the current sadnesses.

I am awake a lot in the middle of the night. I had a dream and in the dream someone stole all my rings, her name was Lily, I confronted her, and she gave them back angrily but before that happened there was a part that was very threatening, she had the choice to harm me or not, and it took her a while to make up her mind.

I am tired of explaining to people in my life why my safety matters to me, and tired of explaining why no one gets to be Switzerland on the topic of pandemic safety. This is about keeping people alive, and we can argue the small details but we can’t argue the big point anymore.

The iconic Miranda Priestly line from The Devil Wears Prada — “Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” —- feels very relevant to everything. Everything coming my way feels uninspired, and I wish I could explain to the world that it’s okay to take a season off.

It’s the first night of Passover tonight, and it is a lonely meditation on collective liberation.

Someone else wanted to lecture me this week on what is “unhealthy”, and yet again, it is something entirely out of my grasp to change, and yet again, the person doing the unsolicited lecturing is not the expert on what is healthy in general, never mind healthy for me. I am bored. Devote yourself to cherishing & protecting me or gtfo. Trying to live by this myself, and that’s a whole thing too, isn’t it.

Breathing for what was good, reassuring, joyful, sweet

I feel incredibly fortunate to be in good health right now, a breath for this amazing good fortune.

Talked my way out of an expensive ticket, using every ounce of privilege I possess. A breath for that.

More friends getting vaccinated, I feel hopeful and relieved at each shred of good news, may we all be vaccinated speedily and in the best possible circumstances.

The slow motion montage is what it is, but I am no longer in the slog of it. I don’t know that I’m in the fun, uplifting part, but I am just doing the things: taking my vitamins, doing my sun salutations, making sure there is nourishing food for me, keeping phone off, heading to bed early.

Listening to lots of music. Especially concerts, to remember what it is like to sing with other voices. My two favorites right now are this surprisingly cheery love song (in Arabic), and the sweetest and saddest sad-sweet song (in Hebrew), I couldn’t find a video for the version of the concert I’m thinking of, but the point is, I spend a lot of time thinking about the people who were lucky enough to be at these shows, singing their hearts out, in the intensity of the shared moment, knowing what a special moment it was, but not knowing that world would stop.

Have also been listening to Melissa Carper who is basically the queer modern patsy cline I didn’t know I needed? I love her voice and her humor.

Last week I told you that I bought The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty, I’ve read about sixty pages which is a huge win for me after a year of not having the focus for reading, and it is so beautifully written.

I am finding moments of focus, laughter, joy, pleasure, sometimes in very small ways but they all count, I am wrapping myself up in love, I am practicing, playing, experimenting, taking notes, trying again, living the practice, being the person who knows how to protect and cherish myself at all times, I am wishing my wishes and lighting my candles, and keeping tenderness for myself, holding myself close-close.

And I am reminding myself that so much of this big sadness is not mine, it belongs to the collective, to the swirl, the full moon big feelings, to the past, to the body-memories. I don’t have to carry it all. I only have to be with the part that is mine and right-now.

Still welcoming solutions that hold me in High Regard, inviting in new and better, in all forms.

I’m sure there is more good in my life than what I am able to remember in the moment, but I’m just trying to keep my focus on what’s working, seeding the seeds, trusting in what I cannot yet see.

Thank you again so much to everyone who sent me surprise Appreciation Money this week via Barrington’s Discretionary, it is always welcome and received with love, and if I can land in a place, which is the wish-goal of wish-goals, I can share more writing here, that’s my preferred way to fill time; writing and hopeful thoughts.

Play with me in the comments! You know the drill…

I love company! You can always use a made-up name in the comments whether in service of safety or playfulness.

We are all going through what we are going through. So we make this a sanctuary by not care-taking or problem—solving for other people, we can leave each other warmth or hearts of love or pebbles of witnessing. I still have not figured out how to get emoji to work in the comments, sorry!!

How are we holding up? Anything hard and/or good in your week that you want to name here? Sometimes naming helps. I have found for me that taking breaths while I name things helps a lot.

And if that’s not your thing, you can say hi or name something you’d like more of for the coming week.

Love ya,
Havi

The Fluent Self