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.

Capers! Capers? Capers!

Capers?

Capers is the name I have given to anything in the category of “things we might try when things feel stuck”. Or when I find myself deep inside of the perception that Everything Is Stuck.

Things We Might Try is a big category (and should be) because Hey Let’s Try Things is what we do, it’s how we practice self-fluency.

Haha, wow, just linked to a post I wrote NINE years ago, wild, time is a funny thing.

Yes, I’ve been here for nearly fifteen years and this is something we think about a lot.

We try things.

We try things, we try things, we try things.

It’s what we do.

Then, if we want, we try other things.

We use what works for us.

If a technique isn’t our yes, we can toss it, or who knows, maybe it’s a clue for a future self. Maybe it’s someone else’s technique, and that’s great. Yay, people vary.

We keep the techniques we like, and we use them until they stop working for us.

Even a good technique for you is only a good technique for you until it isn’t.

Nothing is wrong with you or with the technique if it stops working for you — if anything, that’s a sign of positive growth. What got you here won’t get you there! Time for the next version of Hey Let’s Try Things!

We try and observe and play.

An important part of trying things is that as we try things, we notice what is working, and note what we might like to try next or instead.

And, this is maybe the most important part:

We remember that it is all a grand experiment.

This grand experiment of being a human in a body in this challenging, often-overwhelming world.

Back to this very fun word!

Some people call these “exercises”, and I do not, because exercise is not a word I find appealing, if anything it lives in the category of Something I Am Extremely Unlikely To Do.

I can’t remember when we starting calling these capers (I suspect Metaphor Mouse was involved), but it is a marvelous word. An activity or escapade, typically one that is illicit or ridiculous.

It is much easier for me to generate enthusiasm for an escapade, double-especially for an illicit or ridiculous one, than it is to do an exercise, which sounds boring and painful and To Be Avoided At All Costs.

In contrast, a caper feels like a light-hearted adventure, like Audrey Hepburn in an extravagant hat flirting outrageously. High jinx!

Play is healing.

I like to channel a playful mindset because otherwise my tendency is to not do the things that help.

And when things are the most [perception of stuck], that’s when I really need a technique or “exercise” to get things moving and help me shift perspective.

Of course, it’s also when I’m least likely to try anything at all that could help, because it’s so much easier to slide into default patterns, to disassociate, or somehow end up reading The Entire Internet.

So no guilt if any of that is a little too familiar. It makes sense that we avoid what is helpful. And this is also why it’s so useful to have some capers in our toolbox all ready to go.

You might even like to keep a list of favorites, maybe even as part of the Book of You. Mine is called Try This, Babe!

You do not need to call them capers.

You can call these whatever you like, it’s all just Possible Forms for exploration and discovery.

Anything we try is useful because we tried it, even if what we get is “okayyyyy do not need to do that again!

Not everything is going to work for us, and even though that can be enormously frustrating, it’s not a bad thing at all.

Our self-criticism monsters love to seize upon this as proof of failure: “See? You tried a thing and it FAILED MISERABLY, yet again, and that’s why you shouldn’t try things!”

Guess what, monsters, trying things is just a way to gather useful intel. If we try something and it doesn’t get the hoped-for result, it was still a useful experiment, and we get ten thousand points at least for being curious and trying something in order to learn more about what might work in the future.

A grand confetti parade in our honor for trying anything at all, seriously we are total stars for trying things.

A reminder for our monsters about the point.

The point is not any given technique.

The point isn’t even whether it works or not, again that’s just useful intel for our practice.

The point is trying [a something] with curiosity, intention & presence…

The point is everything that is revealed in the process of being someone who experiments.

What a loving way to care for ourselves, trying things. Sometimes this means creating extra safety. That’s okay too.

Here’s a secret.

Anything can be a caper if we make it conscious and approach with curiosity.

I don’t want to say that it doesn’t matter what you try, but it almost doesn’t matter. See what pulls you, and investigate.

There’s no wrong way to be intentional about how we interact with ourselves, it all counts, we’re just learning more about what works for us to best take care of ourselves.

Want to try a caper or two?

Pick a caper, any caper!

This post has been a very long introduction to some capers I like to play with.

You are welcome to make these yours, change them up, make alterations and substitutions, replace as needed.

None of these is a one right way. They are just clues, arrows in possible directions. The path is all yours.

These are offered with full trust that whatever brought you to this moment is important & worthy, whether you know what that is or are in the process of figuring that out.

Your reasons and adventures, just like your capers, don’t have to look anything like mine, being in process benefits us all! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Capers! Here are some I like…

Intention/entry/invoking

Time to pause and contemplate how we want to enter whatever it is we are beginning, invoking the qualities and superpowers we wish to invite in and embody, what do we know about how we want to be while we are in this process?

Cover story

We can invent a story about Why We Are Here, using the first thing that comes into our heads, then explore our cover story!

A recent retreat guest told me that she doesn’t get how proxies work but was willing to play with the project of “designing a marshmallow factory”, and oh wow did we learn a lot of extremely cool shit about designing a marshmallow factory, all of which turned out to be very relevant to everything else we were working on.

It’s such a good cover story that I am still working with it two weeks later!

Change your place change your luck!

Can I change my setting or some aspect of my setting? Where I’m facing? What I’m looking at?

Any shift in perspective in the physical is a useful experiment. This can even be a symbolic shift.

My special brain finds it hard to focus on most things, and having some blank space really helps. In order to type up this post, I moved a bunch of things into the next room so that all I see if I look up is a jar filled with flowers. I didn’t change my place but I changed my view.

Secret identity / try on aspects of an incoming self

What do I know about an incoming self, what do they want me to know about the mission, what are their insights & superpowers, what would they like me to try?

Go for a clue walk

Any form of look-or-wander through your space (or take yourself for a walk) with the mindset of noticing, anything that sparks or draws my attention is a clue.

We can also interview our clues by asking them what they know or have to show us, possibly related to a current project/mission or just in general!

Writing on the body! with a finger-tip or any wand-like object

I like to choose a word (READY!), quality (TRUST!), image (a CROWN?!) or a power phrase (I AM FIERCE!), and then write/draw it on my body and around my space, letting it echo and reverberate with intention.

Return to sender! Bye, energy that’s not mine!

Whoooooooooosh goodbye to other people’s energy, expectations, projections, anything that is not supportive of my clear calm internal space, give everyone their kittens back or just set the kittens free.

If it still feels like people are hanging out in my headspace, I imagine shedding my force field like a snake, then I call in a new one and give them the old one to play with like a decoy.

(And if this makes no sense, let it be a future clue to land later?)

Soothing / activate the parasympathetic nervous system!

Shaking, rolling, yawning, breathing DOWN to counteract the way we sort of jump out of our skin when startled, these are all good.

Anything that down-regulates the nervous system is good practice, get down on the floor and breathe for ten minutes or for a song, etc…

What else can we do to smoothe and soothe? There are so many techniques out in the world, what works for you?

Skip a stone

Stone skipping is my code word for journaling prompts, here are some favorite stones:

What do I need right now?
What needs to change in my kingdom/environment?
Where is the treasure?
what needs to be eliminated & what needs to be illuminated

Lately I have been doing a triple-skip situation where I choose one question and drop it into consciousness to be answered by Incoming Me, my current project, and the current theme of the month. Then I write down what each of them has to say.

For example, yesterday my question was “What do I not yet know about Reclaiming My Power?”, and I asked it of Circe the sorceress of the enchanted garden, the Month of Gleaming, and the project of Oh Wow This Is What It’s Like When There Are Are No Piles In My Space.

They might all have different things to share, or they might all say the same thing, and that’s useful too!

A plan for monsters!

This kind of intentional internal-investigative work is *likely* (cough) to bring out the many self-criticism monsters because a) it goes so strongly against cultural programming, and b) it is so easy to have shame/regret about how we are doing it wrong or not enough or fucking it up, so let’s come up with a plan to remind ourselves that all this practicing and noticing counts.

My usual monster-plan is to send them on an adventure or give them a task, or I will just have my Internal Scientists show the monsters The Science.

The Internal Scientists: “Ah, thank you, monsters! We have noted your objection to the cover story caper on the grounds that it could take too much time, and we absolutely appreciate your desire for speedy progress on the ops. In fact, this desire has the full support of the Institute for Havi Getting Things Done. And, OUR STUDIES HAVE SHOWN that a playful approach actually solves things for Havi faster, so we need you to hold off here to not compromise the scientific experiment in progress, thank you!”

For more support with monsters, we made The Monster Manual & Coloring Book!

Congruencing

What are five things that could be made more congruent/harmonious right now?

Tiny adjustments, literal-but-also-symbolic things like clearing the table, or physical shifts like postural adjustments, taking a break to recline on the floor with eyes closed…

What adjustments can we make in our internal or external space? What landscape shifts can we set into motion, either in the hard (IRL) or the soft aka the emotional, mental, energy, spiritual?

As Incoming Me loves to say, small shifts are big shifts.

Put it in a compass

Anything that is not working today, what happens when we put it inside a compass?

Playing with a compass is one of my all-time favorite capers.

Maya koshas

In yoga philosophy there is the concepts of the five bodies, in addition to our physical body we have:
+ an energy body (breath! prana! circulation! feeling body!)
+ a mental-emotional body (where we perceive and think and interpret and feel feelings)
+ an intuition/discernment body where our wise knowing lives, this is how we channel, through accessing our instinct, feeling what is true
+ a body of truth-spirit which is the truth of ALL IS WELL RIGHT NOW pure presence this moment here-now

Whether you are into this or not, we can use techniques that work on one level to influence other levels, we can choose which body to focus on, trusting that there will be good ripple-effects in and out…

Extreme self-treasuring: a practice of small increments

For example, sixteen breaths, what would our fairy godmother set into motion right now, small shifts in internal or external space

and if monsters about this because self-treasuring got back-burnered due to the stresses of life, what tiny things can I do to express love for myself right now, can I glow acknowledgment and legitimacy, can I make myself a snack, can I breathe and remember that self-care and self-treasuring can take many forms and tiny steps count

Investigating a mystery (or a proxy mystery!)

In something today is not working, how would I approach that in detective mindset?

How can I make things better for either me now or future-me based on the evidence at hand, if this feels way too close to home, I can choose a proxy mystery, like the mystery of Why Are Trees or a mystery related to any of the clues I have found, solve for X!

Exit as we wish to continue

Checking in at the end of a day, or a week or a segment of a project.

What have we noticed/perceived/experienced? Are there any notes we wish to leave to our future selves? How can we express APPRECIATION for everything we did and tried to take care of ourselves in this time, honoring our beautiful intention and loving hearts! <3 <3 <3

Review!

What’s been working lately?

And what might I try that is new and different?

Let’s play!

You are welcome/invited to share any !!! or anything sparked for you, play with any of the ideas here, name some capers you like or things you want to play with more. They can be from anywhere because, again, anything can be a caper. Or maybe you want to invent a new word for these!

And of course share this with anyone who could use any of this.

Also: QUESTION!!! DO WE WANT A ZINE OF THESE????

In the meantime, let’s do what we always do here and remember that people vary. We meet ourselves and each other with compassion here. We are on permanent vacation from advice-giving and care-taking. In other words, this is not like the rest of the internet, and that might be my favorite part of being here. Love you, friends! Love that you are here with me.

The Magic in Devotion / Devoted to Devotion

Fluent Self March - the month of Magic

Yes, that’s a bobcat outside my window…

It showed up at Rally! More about that to come. First some breaths for the quality and superpowers of Devotion!

Questions of Devotion

What am I devoting myself to?

(And why?)

(And is this my yes?)

(And is this current?)

(And what happens when I immerse in the devotion?)

Devoted to the question itself

What happens when I devote myself to devotion?

Can I live the question, to paraphrase Rilke, without needing to know what is on the other side…

Or maybe there is no other side, just concentric circles rippling out from this question as it drops into consciousness, a stone skipping in the waters of mind, in this body of water, this time period in which I am dedicated to the devotions of Devotion.

Unanticipated consequences (not a bad thing, just a thing)

In the month of Devotion, I also became the witchiest witch, a sorceress in an enchanted garden.

This was an unanticipated and possibly unintended consequence of devoting myself to devotion, but maybe also a secret wish, the witching-wish of the self who already sees herself as a wild witchy wonder.

Cat-like

Strange things happened this month, an unexpected snow-storm in the desert, a long crack in a windshield, a bobcat suddenly appearing and napping contentedly on my porch in the sun. A sign, or possibly a familiar, a pantalaimon-esque vision, hard to say.

It was a magical and wild moment.

A wild cat patronus to keep me company as I transform into a panther myself.

A striking moment (of magic)

Wild cats are strange and beautiful, fully embodied, self-contained.

Something else: they are striking (both meanings), and they are patient because patience is what leads to the striking, they know what they want. I often know what I want but I will hide it from myself.

This too is part of the devotional secret ops: patience and trust in patience, desire and trust in desire. And of course allowing the process of becoming to take as long as it takes.

Process (Devotion —-> Magic)

I didn’t have a plan or an agenda for what Devotion might lead to.

I was devoting myself to the Devotion itself, the experience of devoting.

But it turned out that Devotion was a form of magic, and that devoting myself to being in the magical experiences was the next indicated step of being someone who is devoted to devotion.

Asking these questions became devotional practice.

Naming my Complete Willingness Units became devotional practice.

Breathing, crying, cooking, walking outside to be in awe of the sunset. Devotional practice.

And the month of Devotion brought me to the month of Magic…

What needs to happen backwards?

This is another question for witches and also for engineers: reverse-engineering, working backwards, turning around (or upside down), walking backwards for proprioception, focus, epiphanies and memory.

When I go the other way (Widdershins!), I remember what I want, I return to center.

Opposites balance. Reverse to reconfigure.

Change your place to change your fortune.

Change the setting. Begin again.

Favorites

In yoga and dance and movement there is always a favorite side, one that just seems to work better. A yoga friend, Cynthia, calls this “the side that is a little more joyful”, ah hello joyful side.

In skateboarding there’s goofy and regular.

I once took a tap dance workshop for lindy-hoppers (I am neither a tap dancer nor a lindy hopper but I like cross-training and learning new things as long as they are in the category of “I don’t care enough about this to mind that I am terrible at it”), and the instructor said something like “now you’ll discover that one foot can’t learn choreo!”

But there is a trick for that. Kind of.

I don’t know if this trick helps me learn better but it helps with the frustration, and not being in my frustration helps me learn better.

Also I have a special brain that learns at its own very unique and non-linear pace that sometimes is not even recognizable as a pace, so I will take all the tricks I can get.

Getting tricky with this trick

Instead of thinking “good side vs bad side”, it’s JUST AS EASY to think about our favorite side and second-favorite side, and I highly recommend this approach because it leads to very good things like smiling.

It helps me remember that I can choose to approach the experience of being in my body as something that is interesting and playful as opposed to just constantly frustrating.

Trying things as a someone in my body is not always super fun. This month involved back pain and shoulder pain and sad-heart times.

But I am devoted to Curiosity and Presence, and I like learning more about my container, getting to know my favorite side and my second-favorite side.

I like rolling around on the floor learning about [embodied] and [here now] and [all parts of me are worthy of love even if sometimes this is hard for me to remember or act upon].

Switching sides

I spent a month sitting cross-legged in my second-favorite way (yes), and now it is my favorite way and also I am more flexible now.

Things change.

Or: Things can change.

Or: Sometimes some things can change.

It can be useful and interesting to play, observe, take notes, try things, try other things. If this brings us joy.

Many happy returns

This month I spent a lot of time with the concept of returning to center, and learned that a lot of return to center turns out to be return to sender.

Like when I get a sudden mystery-migraine and it is just the energy of the world, or someone trying to be in my head instead of using their words.

RETURN TO SENDER!

What a marvelous spell. All that is mine returns to me, everyone else’s energy goes back to source.

Ha, it is yet again a devastating day for my imaginary enemies (my current favorite phrase, via @iankarmel) as I am returned to my center, everything else has been returned to sender, and I am migraine-free plus my hair is perfect, ta da, a glorious day of successful devotional secret ops.

Some days of course less glorious than others…

But that too is part of the process of devoting yourself to devotion.

Sitting with [x] is not always fun, no matter the [x]. And it also isn’t required. We can change our approach, switch things up, play at the edges, take a detour, go the other way around, add magic.

Minutes

This month I devoted myself to Wild Clarity and being a sorceress (proxy, maybe).

Each morning I sat for a seven minute meditation: inhaling WILD and exhaling CLARITY, and then following whatever thread came up and breathing that.

I AM A SORCERESS / I AM A WILD CARD / LIGHT HEARTED / I CAN BREATHE LIGHT

The Devotion Sutras

I don’t know what this means but I found it on a note I wrote to myself in the middle of the night.

Maybe breathing quietly for seven minutes in the morning is a devotional sutra.

Sometimes when I am breathing these breaths, I feel the need to make a sound and always, exactly when I am done making sound, the bell rings.

Spells and bells.

I am a resonant bell, devoted to Reverberation and Clarity.

Entwined

It was that crappy day that rhymes with you-can-call-me-Al-entines day. Something-something Entwines Day.

To be clear: I like being solo, and also I insist on it. In fact let’s take that a few steps further; this is not about being content, although yes, I am content.

This is what I want. My life, on my terms.

And while I enjoy pretty much all aspects of The Life Solitudinal, especially being the sorceress of the witchy secret garden in the desert, I do not like this particular day. It is very much a return to sender sort of day.

So I devoted the day to investigating love, to discovering how I love.

More specifically, what does it mean to really and truly be the love of my life, to know and trust that I am my greatest love?

What does it mean to know and trust that I am always my greatest love?

What does wild self-treasuring (treasuring myself wildly, treasuring my Wild self) look like when I do not entrust this job to anyone else?

While lovers may come (they are welcome, hiiii) to treasure me and shower me with love and adore the form that holds me, that is different than the work of my life which is to cherish myself, to meet myself with the greatest tenderness and full-hearted admiration.

What does it mean to whisper to myself with love, all day long, and mean it?

You, my greatest love, my heart love, my bell of bells, this marvelous and fully magical being who is the container for this life.

The fruits of my devotion, and devotional fruits

What would Devotion look like if I were devoted to this Wild love of self?

Would I pile citrus fruits for my love who loves orchards and abundance? Would I buy her a bottle of wine with a name sure to delight her, smiling to myself, thinking of how she takes such pleasure in words and play?

Would I light candles just for her and whisper words of love? And what are words of love if not Devotional Spells?

My heart as a cauldron of love that is all for me. My breath a bell of reverberating love. My body as a vessel of love. All mine. Be mine, true self.

I kiss my palms and feel my own love radiate inward, outward. Devoted to cultivating this love.

Devoted to my magic

This is, of course, about the usual themes, even as it feels new:

Presence. Grace. Quiet.

The thrill of sky and mountains, horizon, possibility, expansive breath.

Remembering to pause, slowing my gazillion miles an hour mind-waves to sync up with body and breath (ah, the paradox of slow and steady is actually the secret to making speedy progress).

Creating sanctuary for myself while also committing to not hiding my sparkly essence from myself or the world.

Protecting my glow and my glow-state, everything that enhances my ability to access glow-state.

And of course trust in right timing, aka the superpower of What If All Timing Is Right Timing, which is the antidote to the monster belief that Everything Is Wrong.

Congruence

Congruencing is the word I use for any form of making things more harmonious.

Sometimes this looks like washing dishes and folding laundry. Sometimes this is changing my position (new favorite leg), or moving a book to a new location.

I love the feeling of Yes Everything Is 10% More Congruent.

I am very often not in the mood to do the work of Congruencing itself.

Approach

When I remember to congruence like a sorceress — WHY YES I AM THE WITCHIEST WITCH, AND ACTING ON MY CLEAR INDICATED INTEL IS MY ACTUAL MAGIC, it brings me so much joy.

And yet — and this is the reprogramming of my life, so often I approach it eiher as a chore (ugh I have to clear this crap up because I can’t focus), or I fall for an old monster-story that says I am “procrastinating”.

Reality though is that clearing the path to clear the path is an effective way of getting to the projects I think I’m avoiding. It’s creating a state of Wild Clarity & Receptivity & Enhanced Powers/Skill/Magic that supports both me and my projects.

Some wisdom from The Sorceress

“You are getting so much right. Your experiments are grand and good, especially in devotion and ritual. Your instincts are so good.

You often experience your visceral allergic reaction to incongruence as a negative, and you think that your ADHD is essentially this but misnamed.

You are not wrong, my love, and sometimes it really does feel like disruption is your kryptonite. However, the flip side of that is that you always know what needs Congruencing, and this knowing is your superpower.

Do you understand? You are an interior/energy design genius, your art is in knowing exactly how spaces should feel inside you and outside of you.

Can you trust your instincts, celebrate this superpower and act on it?”

Asking questions (of Devotion and Magic)

Me: Please help, I don’t feel witchy or powerful or anything at all, I feel so distraught and lost.

Slightly Wiser Me: Ritual is the path, babe. It’s what you and the Sorceress share. You do it because it’s calming and grounding and helps you with your mission of Return To Center. She does it because that’s how she lives, and also because that’s where the magic lives, in the meeting places of Repetition and Intention.

Me: I can’t feel anything right now.

Slightly Wiser Me: If you want resonance to do its work, rippling outward and inward, you need to gather and make a circle, strike the bell, hear the bell, reverberate and BE REVERBERATED, be belled, feel it move through you.

(Haha I typed “feel it love through you”, and this is even better)

Asking is/as Devotional process

Me: I still do not want to do what needs to be done. I care so much about my projects but just cannot seem to focus on any aspect of any of them and I don’t know what to do about this Perception of Stuck, aka my favorite band, it’s just one guy.

Wiser Me: One step at a time, babe. Keep returning to center. Keep breathing and brewing. There is good intel in the perceived stuck just like there is good intel in the perceived crisis. You’re allowed to feel frustrated.

Me: But what do I doooo!?!?!

Wiser Me: You’ve got this, love. You follow the next indicated step. Glass of water. Load of laundry. Listen to your breath, the ocean waves of your body. Ask for a clue. Look for a clue. Hold steady to the thread of truth: you *are* the witchiest witch, whether you can feel it or not, so what can you do to support your ability to be magic?

Wiser me was right, the magic returned

I just forgot how to let my own magic work on me.

My magic works through not trying to force it, but letting myself feel it.

And what are these troughs of depression/disconnect/ADHD brain fog if not a form of temporary amnesia? I forgot my own magic, I forgot about Devotion, I was trying so hard to generate excitement that I forgot to return to center.

Like the assassin in The Long Kiss Goodnight, or the protagonist in Memento, I forgot the mission because I forgot who I am. So now I leave myself notes at night to help morning-me remember.

And in these notes I also remind myself that the forgetting is normal, understandable, and temporary. The forgetting is part of the remembering, I learned this from Esther Gokhale, and forgot it, until right now…

To wake up and read about WHO YOU ARE

My morning reminder note looks something like this:

Good morning babe, you are a wild majestic Sorceress regaining your glow powers and your GLEAMING and your Wild Clarity, you are the first and only Havi Bell Brooks to ever be here on this planet and in this life, you are a wonder of aliveness, here is a list of the morning rituals and missions you are excited to wake up for…

Lately I don’t need the note, and this is exciting, but I like finding the notes.

A tiny story about magic

Every seven years since I turned seven years old, a family friend sends me the same present, no matter where I am in the world or what complicated logistics are involved in having it delivered to me.

This month I turned forty two, which is not only a multiple of seven, but also the answer to Life, The Universe & Everything. Anyway, it was a quiet day out in the desert, and then someone came down my dirt road and asked me to sign for a mystery box, and you guessed it. It was the gift of sevens. Like magic!

Some qualities of magic: Ritual, Receptivity, Attentiveness, Wonder, Remembering the Remembering.

The unknown

At yoga, C said, “Let us face this wildly uncertain future together, since this is the only kind of future there is.”

I laughed, and honestly I am the only one who ever laughs at her jokes, if they are jokes, haha who knows, maybe that’s just another word for Uncomfortable Truth Delivered Wryly.

But I receive these truths with humor, because laughing is part of how I want to face this wildly uncertain future with you and with myself, with the Sorceress, and with the bobcat on my porch.

Laugher for the magic. Laughter as a form of devotion. Laughter as invitation and initiation. Come play with me, friends, I could use the company, let’s practice self-fluency through being curious about what is and what could be.

Come play in the comments!

I treasure this space we’ve made for play and exploration, here’s how it works!

We remember that people vary. We meet ourselves and each other with compassion. We are on permanent vacation from advice-giving and care-taking. In other words, this is not like the rest of the internet.

You are welcome/invited to share any !!! or anything sparked for you, play with any of the ideas here, name some wishes or call in some magic and superpowers. And of course share with anyone who could use any of this. I love that you’re here with me.

And a pre-announcement!

It’s about a wish! I want to devote 19 minutes of Devotionto a project or goal that is craving my attention. And I want to see what happens or changes, what magic will come over three months of ritual, devoting myself to Devotion itself.

And I would like company and playmates and community, so I’m putting together a group offering for this, will send out an email soon if you are on the list. Let me know in the commments if this is something you are excited about!

Oh! AND! There is now a Fluent Self instagram account, so come hang out with me there if that is a place where you like to play.

xoxox

Visions / All That Is Envisioned

Fluent Self December - the month of Vision

Item Zero

First of all before anything else, let me say that if you are or have been dealing with an alarmingly strong case of the Inowannas lately, you are not alone, friend. It is extremely in the air, every single person I know is going through this right now. I’m on an extended tour of Inowanna Land myself.

A fortnight, at least, of The Inowanna Iguanas. The inowanna-ing is turned up to eleven, and that’s how it is.

So, blame it on the moon, blame it on the stressful self-perpetuating news cycles, blame it on the extremism in plain sight, in peripheral vision. Blame external culture for acting like January is a good time to Do All The Things, even though it’s dark and cold in this hemisphere, and time for summer fun on the other side….

All that to say:

Let us not blame ourselves if we are in a stuck spot or a challenging moment right now.

We’re in it together.

Let’s breathe acknowledgment & legitimacy for all forms of [not doing things or not wanting to engage, or not knowing what we want or not knowing what to do with all the wanting], whatever is going on for us.

A breath for right here right now, it is reasonable to be in Inowanna territory even when it’s not particularly fun.

If you’re in it too, leave a note in the comments! We’ll start a club!

(Rumi, Rumi, Rumi)

Maybe this is item zero though:

”Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” — Rumi

Acknowledgment and legitimacy, again, for the ruins, the ruined, the perceptions of ruining and things ruined. How truly disorienting it is to experience something disintegrating.

Where there is ruin, when we are inside of the falling-apart, when everything seems wrong, chaotic, bewildering, messy and tangled…

That’s where we are, in the ruins, in the ruining. And maybe you too can hear the familiar monster cry of “oh noooooooo it’s all ruined, you’ve ruined everything, again…”

Where is the treasure? (What is the treasure?)

And just in time, while climbing through the ruins, here comes Rumi with the reminder:

In this space, this space of ruin, there might just find something that belongs to us.

That something is a form of treasure. And then there’s the hope for treasure, which is also treasure.

Sometimes even just remembering hopefulness is kind of a big deal tbh.

What else is treasure?

A beacon, a clue, a missing and surprising piece of wisdom or a dawning realization, a release, an undoing, a new pathway or perspective revealed, a glimpse into Wild Clarity.

Or one of my very favorite though also most annoying forms of treasure, the incredibly obvious epiphany which sounds completely ridiculous when you try to put into into words, but IT’S IN YOUR BODY NOW, you’ve experienced this super cliche-sounding thing in such a visceral way that the wisdom is now embodied.

It’s yours. Amazing.

The process of looking is itself revealing…

If you are looking for a powerful stone to skip, try this one…

Where Is The Treasure? What in this can I treasure?

Stone-skipping is what I call “journaling prompts”, because good god that is a remarkably cold and unimaginative way to describe a practice of magical transformative cool shit.

Try it, you can even play with this stone in the comments if you want to keep me company.

A quick reminder about process!

Of course, as always, we practice Safety First.

Here too is a place for remembering Acknowledgment & Legitimacy: we don’t need to be in a hurry to get to the treasure point.

We certainly won’t force ourselves to seek treasure if what we need first is recognition that wandering the ruins can be extremely not awesome, understatement of understatements.

If things are shitty right now, we meet the experience of [yes this is shitty] with as much presence and tenderness as we can muster in that moment, we make space for it.

We can even remind ourselves that it is completely reasonable and understandable to not want to look for the treasure. Speaking of Inowanna Season, not being in the mood to seek any treasure is legit.

Okay let’s talk about funnier things for a bit, even though yes, there are ruins and so much Inowanna. There are some funny parts too, I will tell you about them.

Wishes for Witches.

I’ve been having an extremely witchy few weeks, even while traversing the ruins.

Just odd little things. My brain was getting a little overwhelmed with retreat bookings (sidebar to say we’re booked end of February through mid-May but if you want to come in the fall, take a look and sign up as soon as you can, we still have entry prices up for a bit!!!), and I wanted a paper calendar. I work better when I can scribble notes everywhere and touch things.

So I wrote ACQUIRE A PAPER CALENDAR on a post-it and stuck it on the table, and then went to get the mail but there was nothing for me, instead there was a brown paper packet for someone else. I asked if I should forward it to Utah, and they said, no, don’t bother, it’s just a calendar, don’t need it.

Ta da! I wished a calendar and it appeared. And then this kept happening. Like an extension of being The Namer Who Names, I had somehow become the Wishmaker Who Makes Wishes, or the Witchmaker Who Makes Witches.

It was weird.

And it kept getting weirder.

Not to mention that I felt silly for not wishing more and better…

My friend (a theater person) was in town and they joked that it’s like that icebreaker game where you pretend everyone is going on a picnic for no apparent reason, and then you try to remember their name and what they are bringing on the picnic, except this is going on a picnic with the universe.

Witching hour / on a picnic with the universe

It became a hilarous extremely goofy game, and we played it everywhere we went.

I am going on a picnic with the universe, and I am bringing Panache, Steady Breath, Intention, Receptivity, Dedication, A Compass, Coffee and a Wish For Wild Clarity.

The universe is coming on this picnic and bringing surprise ease, really good solutions, tremendous luck, untangling, the just-right spatula, some bowls, an affordable handyperson, what is the degendered word for this!

And, eternal request ticket, yes please to lovers who can communicate (I know, what?!) and do so clearly and lovingly, who respect my hermit nature and want to buy me earrings. This is both a very general and very specific request, but it’s what I want.

And may all that is not useful, not relevant or unworthy exit my space and my life smoothly and swiftly, amen.

Haha okay, back to the picnic.

Anyway, friend and I were on this metaphorical picnic, we hiked in a wildlife refuge and recited picnic elements.

I took them to my favorite chocolate shop and it was closed, we ended up at a cooking supply store where I found the just-right spatula (hand-carved wood, local artist, simple, pleasurable to touch, unique). The next day a box arrived with the bowls: apparently past-me ordered some a long time ago and forgot.

My heating unit stopped working because pack rats ate some wires and then I nearly set the place on fire messing with the old thermostat, which blew the transformer, but the calm and knowledgeable good human who showed up to fix things introduced me to his buddy who is, you guessed it, an affordable handyperson.

Meanwhile three different people exited my life smoothly and swiftly, and while it was mostly unexpected and one of these exits was quite painful, this too was also clearly part of the blessing, the ask and the answer.

Next time I will specify smoothly, swiftly and without all the crying.

The tangled and the untangled.

I have been writing wishes.

And, as you might know, I believe wishes are about process, learning about myself through examining my relationship with desire. They aren’t about getting the thing I asked for, though that is cool and fun, and yes, I still want great lovers who buy me earrings and who can use their words like grownups please!

The point of naming wishes though, at least for me, is to be engaged in self-study as a form of self-treasuring, to reveal the treasure (and the qualities!) inside of the wanting, to bring playfulness and curiosity as I undo all the rules I have acquired that say it is bad to want.

Anyway, I’ve been writing wishes about my conflicted desire to hermit. After four years mostly on the road, all I want to do is cocoon. But how does that work, in practice?

What about all the [monster-objections] and practicality and loneliness and logistics and what about groceries? Etc.

At the gate.

Then a thing happened and I locked the gate to the property for the first time ever, and something else happened, and much agitation and again, tears, and all I want to say about that is:

There is some treasure for me in the ruins here, and it is the treasure of the reminder not to try to solve things while angry.

Anyway, embarrassing details aside, I locked myself onto the property and couldn’t leave, and I don’t know anyone (well, I did know someone but they were self-exiting per my earlier wish), and even if I climbed the gate, it’s still a TWELVE MILE WALK walk to a hardware store and back which might not even have what I need to get the gate open again.

And then, you guessed it, I had ten thousand panics and monster-fits about how I have RUINED EVERYTHING.

I slept on it.

A couple times in the night I woke up in a monster-panic about What If I Can Never Leave, and Everyone Will Know I Have Fucked Up Everything, and No One Loves You Enough To Come Find You.

But in the morning I sat with Incoming me and a notebook to skip stones. The answer was right there.

The writers of The Havi Show are so hilarious: I witch-wished to be a hermit but was too conflicted to commit to the wish, and then managed to force myself to actually be one!

What is more marvelously symbolic than accidentally locking myself in while trying to keep everyone else out, and yes, this is related to everything.

A spell for a spell?

If I wished/witched myself into this, how do I wish-witch my way out?

Through finding the treasure in the ruins, of course, and with a spell.

So I breathed a compass spell: I AM FIERCE I AM FEARLESS I AM POWERFUL I AM STRIKING I AM OF THE EARTH I AM WILD I AM GLOWING AND ALIVE.

And my friend wrote an Untangling spell, which I read to the gate and the lock and myself:

Oh Breath
settle the disturbance
unbind the knot
weave spaciousness
from wondrous Breath

Things open when they open.

The lock opened after about twenty seconds of playing with it.

All was well.

And I got to experience a different kind of hermit-time.

I also learned what is actually important to me inside of that hermiting-wish, the treasure in the ruin of realizing that I’d forgotten my wish was really about freedom.

And I learned some things about patience, breath, groundedness, and untangling.

Untangling is generally not one of my superpowers (my special brain is useful in the world of concepts but I am often mystified in the world of things), but what if wishing for Untangling was my introduction to this superpower?

A new precedent has been set.

I went to a yoga class and the teacher said, “Use blocks to help support this pose even if you think you don’t need them, it sets a precedent of self-respect in the psyche.”

SET A PRECEDENT OF SELF-RESPECT IN THE PSYCHE.

Inject that superpower straight into my veins, please. I want to breathe this and circulate this and know this completely.

What would it be like if a precedent of self-respect was set in my psyche, how would I treat myself, what would my boundaries look like, how would I respond to [situations].

Who am I when self-respect is just set as precedent. Mind-blowing. This might be my favorite clue from the month of Vision and Visions.

What if Wild Self-Treasuring begins with very simple declarations of self-respect?

Carve!

A scribbled clue in the form of a Martha Graham quote about “carve a place for yourself in space”, this to me is about presence and intention, claiming and reclaiming, being in relationship with space.

And of course, setting a precedent of self-respect in the psyche, because you have to decide that the space is there for you.

To make a you-shaped space in space means believing that this is something you get to do.

(Magic)

Carving to me has a magic to it, this is about making the space for the experience, making space for all of it: for the ruins and the treasure in the ruins, and all the possibility in between.

And it is about changing space (or the experience of the space) through breath and process and wishing and noticing and committing to the untangling.

This is the heart of self-fluency, the relationship between our internal and external space, and everything we do to play with one that influences the other.

The act of carving space…

What if space is waiting to be carved, for example, a path as yet unknown, called into being through being envisioned…

I was reading about German expressive dance, and someone describing a movement as a Leuchtspur (a spark or streak of light) in space, showing the path through creating the path.

Which of course is the superpower of clearing the path to clear the path.

Incidentally, this is why cleaning or researching is not procrastinating, because as writers and creatives, we clear space, it’s what we do, and procrastination itself is just a guilt-word, a tool of the rigged game.

Visions

I have so many visions for the year and can’t wait to share them with you.

Does anyone want to do a repeat of the two weeks of Wild Self-Treasuring group that we did last year to make it through Rhymes-With-Eerie-Canalentines Day?

Would anyone be into a group of [secret alliance of witchy wish-makers] and spend 19 minutes a day writing wishes or skipping stones or really doing anything at all that requires carving space (ha) in time for process and magic?

What about coming to center at the center for a week of meeting Incoming You while I meet Incoming Me and we co-chrysalis together?

So many ideas. Let me know in the comments if you feel sparks about any of these and we will see what comes into the field of visions next month, I’m excited.

We made it, friends. Thank you for your company. I love having you here.

Come play in the comments!

I treasure this safe space we have carved for play and exploration.

We remember that people vary. We meet ourselves and each other with compassion. We are on permanent vacation from advice-giving and care-taking. In other words, this is not like the rest of the internet.

You are welcome/invited to share !!!, anything sparked for you, skip a stone, play with any of the concepts here, share excitement for what is yet to be envisioned, or in the process of coming into form. And of course please share the post with anyone who could use any of this.

Love, as always, everyone who reads and comments as well as all the Beloved Lurkers and fellow quiet friends, you are all appreciated.

CONFIDENTIAL TO AG: thank you so much for the secret package and the beautiful letter, I am thinking of you fondly, wishing you all the most pertinent and joyful superpowers, and feeling honored and happy to get to see (and use) your craft in action, your light is big!

Let Us Celebrate The First Rule Of Craft Room

Fluent self November - the month of Becoming

{Craft + Room}

At a surreal art fair that took place over a series of backyards, I went there with my friend Charlie (not really a friend, not really named Charlie), he was looking for Christmas presents and I was looking for something un-namable that I still have not found.

There was, inexplicably, a craft room. It seemed to contain mostly glitter. Four people sat inside drinking tea and not making crafts.

There was a tip jar, and a sign on the door with the rules of Craft Room.

The first (and only) rule of craft room.

This is what the sign said:

RULES!
1) Don’t Die

There were no other rules.

That was it.

I wish I had taken a picture for you, if only to prove that none of this was a dream.

(It was not, but could have been.)

This has become somewhat of an inside joke.

Like, a really inside joke.

Mainly between me and me, or between me and the aspects of self, the roles I try on, the Incoming Identities.

We are the gathering of [Havi Bells], the vixen-ey vagabond Bond heroine aka the Glamorous Assassin, the eccentric hermit, the writer-righter who is also the wanderer-wonderer, the copper queen out in the desert…

I don’t get out much, so really maybe all jokes are inside jokes.

Not lost.

“I think we might be lost”, says another friend.

“No worries”, I say, “there’s only one rule and that’s the first rule of craft room, we’ll follow it for as long as we can…”

It’s a pretty good rule.

I mean, as rules go.

Or maybe better said, an intention, set with love and hope, for this moment of right here right now.

Can we breathe a breath for RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW…

Again, not lost.

When I awaken in a panic, I mutter to myself — “FIRST RULE OF CRAFT ROOM! FIRST RULE OF CRAFT ROOM!”, over and over, until I have to laugh and remember to breathe again. It will all be okay. It’s just craft room.

Worst case we will over-glitter or spill some glue.

We can make tea. We can turn this into art. We can kintsugi the cracks (or turn them into windows, to expand on Leonard Cohen).

We can learn to marvel at process.

What does it mean to love the broken?

And, maybe more importantly, what happens when we can do this?

Sometimes I get a glimpse of what it means to be the person who can celebrate the unraveling.

We can practice this. Sometimes.

At other times all this is out of reach, and that’s okay too.

Sometimes all we can do is just breathe, one step and then another step, one pause and then another pause, this can all be solved and resolved, one step at a time.

A dream that was in fact a dream.

I had the most bonkers series of dreams last night, first I was in a vigilante girl gang, there were four of us in tall leather boots kicking ass and taking names. It sounds thrilling but it was also scary, we were in it to win it, and it turns out that winning it in those life or death situations is kind of high stress, understatement.

Then I was wearing a robe and talking, furiously, animatedly, to my mother, who is dead but in the dream she was not, about how awful it is to wake up each day and remember that Hillary Clinton is not president, and that the system will never un-rig itself because rigging has no interest in being done or undone.

And then I saw a cat on a shore stepping onto a velvet cushion, and watched as it sailed straight for its destination on the other side.

Throughout these dreams the common thread was that I was searching for missing words.

When I awoke, four words were waiting for me in my mind…

Actually it was three words followed by a phrase that was also an image.

+ Agency
+ Flexibility
+ Stability
+ Sure Footed Clear Eyed (like that cat)

Like that cat!

I’m in Arizona, home to jaguars and bobcats, and complicated border crossings.

I’m a panther, in training.

That cat from the dream was so majestic, so sure-footed, so clear about its direction. Even as the stepping onto the cushion was a bit wobbly, it had no doubt that this was the right move, and not just because it was the only move left.

I need some of that right now, that Wild Clarity, that Trust In Certaintly, all the superpowers of Purpose, Devotion, Dedication and of course, one step at a time, while remaining super chill.

Super chill because this is just a grand experiment in arts & crafts, and there is only one rule of Craft Room, and even that one rule can only be followed until a certain point (everything ends, and eventually it is long-nap time for all of us), but right now we are EMBODIED.

Yes, Embodied. We are here, in bodies.

And while EMBODIED might sometimes be hard, challenging, frustrating and certainly baffling and confusing, it is also treasure and a gift.

Everything we do to practice curiosity and grace as we learn more about what it means to be in conscious relationship with ourselves and our container, our breath, our be-ing, it all matters.

It’s a craft room experiment in a way. Play, notice, decorate, adorn, start again.

Sometimes I can’t write.

Sometimes this is because too much pain.

Sometimes I am afraid of what I will say.

(Insight: what if I avoid writing because the things I have to say are important? Haha and then I get sad imagining that I will say them and they will just disappear in the stream…)

Sometimes I get hung up on all the ways someone could potentially misunderstand my meaning, and oh no what if they use what I say to beat themselves up, and Must Solve All Potential Misunderstandings In Advance Forever!

Forget and Remember.

Wait, let us breathe and return to Leonard Cohen:

FORGET THE PERFECT OFFERING

What is the imperfect offering, lovingly offered?

Is that not also the essence of Craft Room?

Things have been hard lately, yeah?

Well, for me they have and for many people I know.

A pain-filled time.

But we made it here. We are totally embodying the first rule of craft room, even as we are all, at whatever pace and timing, also dying.

But for now WE ARE HERE, and this is a big deal.

A thousand billion sparklepoints to us for crawling and clawing our way through 2018, emerging triumphant by virtue of having gotten here.

Thank you for being here, with me.

And maybe someone reading this thinks that doesn’t matter? I just want to say, very clearly, that it does matter. It matters to me. Even if we haven’t met. We made it. We are here. And just that, nothing else, is a triumph.

A dream, not mine.

My friend K texted me this morning:

“I had a dream about you last night, and I have no memory of what exactly (something political?) but it felt like a triumph, and I woke up and thought: I have to tell Havi that I had a dream in which she was TRIUMPHANT!”

What an amazing dream/friend!

Yes, my word for 2018 was TRIUMPH, and what a bold badass word that is.

How am I feeling?

Well, this year has been very full. A lot of life in one year. Let’s find the moments of triumphant.

0) We made it. We’re here. To the best of our ability we are following the first rule of Craft Room. Hell yes.
1) After four years mostly on the road, I found my place, what a triumph!
2) I spent most of 2017 in a state of first shock and then rage and fury as new lies and betrayals kept revealing themselves in the most painful breakup of all time, and my big wish for 2018 was to stop loving or caring about the person who hurt me. What a good wish: it worked. I uncovered all kinds of pain and sorrow underneath all that anger once it was gone, but also realized this person truly wasn’t worth even one of those tears, good riddance to trash, combined with endless compassion directed inward towards past-me for falling for the long con while dosed up on pheromones, now we know better. Knowing better is TRIUMPH. Not caring is TRIUMPH.
3) For the past couple years I’ve been feeling unsure and wobbly about where I want to go with the business, what I want to offer and in what forms, The Fluent Self is nearly fourteen years old and there was a lot of upheaval when we closed the center. I spent all year seeding wishes for Wild Clarity, and now I have it.

A day of feasting.

I had been feeling anxious about christmas because it is always the loneliest and most boring day but now it is also the anniversary of two different painful betrayals.

I didn’t want to be alone, I didn’t want to be out. I just wanted to not go through the day.

But then a woman opened her car door into my mirror in a parking lot, and an exteremely entertaining interaction ensued, we decided to be friends, and since she is the only other jewish person I know in the entire southwest, I said COME OVER ON CHRISTMAS AND I WILL MAKE US PILES OF DELICIOUS FOOD.

Craft room.

In the mailbox were figs from my uncle. I sliced some into rice cooked with slivered almonds, and then stuffed red peppers with the mixture.

And I invented a tahini sauce with cardamom bitters, spicy date-honey, and vanilla-bean salt (!) to drizzle on top.

There were stuffed grape leaves too and olives and cheeses and spicy chocolate. And salat katzutz (chopped salad) topped with a fried egg.

It was all extremely delicious and my kitchen is a form of Craft Room.

We sat on cushions on the floor and talked about love and loss, watched pretty clouds sail across the skylight. We made it through.

Tabula rasa.

We don’t know what is coming. We can’t know. And we don’t get much of a say in it.

But we can be steady with intention, devoted to this conscious relationship with ourselves and our internal and external worlds.

Here is some of what I am seeding with love for this new year:

Devotion.
Dedication.
Embodiment.
Becoming.
Vision.
Arrival.
Purpose.
Fierce & Fearless.

I am ready to be not only triumphant but formidable in my triumph and in all of it.

May this all be for good, may it transpire in the spirit of play, with great regard for the rule of craft room.

Guess who is opening a new retreat center! Guess!

I will give you a clue in the form of this much enthusiasm:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(If you guessed me, the person who previously once upon a time ran two other extremely magical retreat centers, and then mysteriously dropped off the planet for like three or four years to process grief and identity stuff and the most painful breakup of all time, that is a really excellent guess and I fucking love you.)

It is here. The Secret Agency at Stargazer House. It is the center at the center and it opens and closes like a flower, just like us. We are only doing solo retreats this year, possibly back to groups in the future, have not decided yet.

Intro prices through Jan 14! And more to come about 2019…

A breath for Craft Room, for here-now, for this passage.

Hello, beautiful new year.

What witchy words and superpowers can we call on and in?

Resolutions Resolve!
Revolutions Revolve!
Roundness Rebalances!
Resonance Restored!
Re-entry!
Re-solved! Re-solved! Re-solved!

(Aka all the powers of SUDDENLY SOLVED but even better than that!)

And of course my current favorite: what is good for me turns out to work out well for everyone, my good is everyone’s good, the wholeness of the whole is the good of all, the collective and the solitudinal, all working beautifully in unison, may it be so.

Do you want to wish some wishes with me here in imaginary Craft Room?

You are invited to be here with me, in whatever form you like.

You can name any noticings from this year, or call in any desired superpowers, or share anything sparked for you from what I wrote here. Love and enthusiasm and [!!!] always welcome.

As always, we are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. Each of us is in our own process, and process is unique. Sparks of sweetness for everyone in this orbit, doing the work of self-fluency or letting it brew under the surface which also counts, it all counts, wishing you only good.

xoxo

Chiaroscuro / doors to and from the Magnificence

Fluent Self October - the month of magnificence

Delayed Reaction Magnificence

As you know, I spent the entirety of the Month of Contentment in a state of wild rage, and this rage was (and remains) extremely justifiable, understandable, necessary, and also I had some feelings about hmmm what is this contentment that past-me seeded with so much love and hopefulness, yet remained so out of grasp…

But then the following month, October, was mysteriously filled to the brim with Contentment!

DELAYED REACTION CONTENTMENT!

Welcoming all the delayed-reaction superpowers

Yes, I love this, let us call on the superpower of delayed-reaction superpowers.

What if it’s all just a slow-release capsule of healing…

May all the beautiful qualities of spirit that live inside of all our past wishes — whether named or unnamed, flow through us now.

Let these words/qualities, enter the bloodstream and the starstream and the life-stream, can we feel them circulating through our bodies and our lives.

And if we can’t feel right now, for our own valid reasons, can we imagine, trust, wonder, allow for the possibility of maybe-this…

What if [better late than never] is actually [oh what beautiful right timing right now]

October was the month of Magificence, and I spent so much of it in an unanticipated state of Contentment.

So perhaps November (the month of Meaning) will be full of unexpected delayed-reaction Magnificence! Yes, may it be so or something even better.

This contentment-state came to pass because, after all these months/years without a home base, I landed in a place!

And ohmygoodness it is an entirely different experience to devote each day to something other than figuring out where I will stay that night or wondering about the next night.

Reasons unknown

Not only did I land on land, this location is extrordinarily beautiful and also I was unable to connect to the world via my phone except in rare moments, and this break from having all that detail about how terrible things are, well, it was healing and useful.

I mean, who can rank the reasons, which contributing factor is most significant, I don’t know.

Somehow, some way, between the breath-taking landscape, the isolation, the quiet, knowing that I don’t need to pack up and leave, the loving dogs that are not mine but come to visit me each morning and nap — contentedly! — on my porch, finally catching up on sleep after seven restless months, I found my way to Contentment.

Or maybe Contentment came to me.

More on delayed + reacting

Guess what, my loves, I made an offer on new retreat space for us, a place where we can rally and gather our powers, a place to retreat into chrysalis and emerge triumphant, and where I can focus on my work of Writing & Righting.

So this is a long-time wish coming true now, and I feel joyful and expansive about this big yes in my life.

But there’s more to this which feels important, and this is the part I want to share with you right now:

When I received word that this is actually happpening, this huge wish coming to fruition, my entire body went weak, and I had to immediately crawl into bed for an emergency nap.

And then I stayed there for over fourteen hours, dozing and dreaming, it felt like the flu but I wasn’t ill, just wiped out. From relief.

Fourteen hours

Sometimes, often, we feel things after they happen.

I think these passing out was my body trying to process the accumulated stresses of four years mostly on the road (almost to the day) and seven months of no home base, everything I wasn’t letting myself fully feel while it was happening.

The intensity of not knowing where I was going to live, and then this news, brought me to this delayed-reaction falling apart. Nothing but good news and all I could do is cry and pass out, and then cry some more.

And this is okay, things land when they land, and also they land because they want to be cleared out, and body-mind recognizes that now it is safe enough to let this happen.

This happens

A wise friend reminded me that migraine headaches can be triggered by relaxation itself. Once the body finally feels safe enough to relax, everything that was being held starts to let go.

The relief of the painful being over makes room to feel the painful feeling that couldn’t be borne in the moment.

Or like this

Yesterday, Emily Nussbaum wrote, on Twitter:

”I suddenly got upset today, out of the blue, about Tree of Life. I don’t know if anyone else is experiencing this daily walling up emotionally against the news, in order to be functional and un-crazy. Maybe that’s the wall he’s actually building.”

Shaking / it off

This makes me think about animals, but also about breath.

Animals often stay calm and still when something scary happens (a predator close by) but when the moment passes, they tremor.

Dogs do this and deer do this, they know how to shake off a scary thing by letting it rumble through their bodies.

We are mammals too, and just like we need roundness and organic shapes and stretching and moving and making sounds under the wild moon, we need to shake and tremble.

Sidebar!

If you are interested in this theme, you might read up on TRE (trauma release exercises), an excellent candidate for a self-fluency technique because it works on the physical and the mental-emotional at the same time, aka multi-directional healing…

But of course People Vary, and there are so many doorways into healing, so as always, the most important thing is know yourself, pay attention, may we meet everything with as much curiosity and love as we can muster.

If this is a clue for you, excellent. If it is not your bus, no worries.

Onward.

So many clues, so much radiance, so much to share about what I learned and noticed in the month of Magnificence.

The radiance sutras

Sanatana: the eternal thrum-hum of universe, we can feel it in breath.

Here is the beautiful reverberating Lorin Roche translation (you can read it here and buy it here)

Close the ears that track the outer world,
Open the ears of the soul.

The song of creation,
Sustaining, enlivening,
is thrumming in your body,
Whispering secrets,
Listen in.

Letting these words echo within me, remembering that contentment, magnificence, all of it, is in there somewhere, inside me, I can return to these places and this knowing with breath, even in (especially in) the scary hard times.

The eternal thrum-hum of universe is in me, circulating through me, hiding in plain sight, there in my breath, each one. Let’s breathe, sweet friends. Let’s breathe attentiveness to the fucking glorious miracle of aliveness, even when things are so hard.

Okay, let’s have another breath for delayed-reaction good!

DELAYED REACTION CONTENTMENT
DELAYED REACTION MAGNIFICENCE
DELAYED REACTION WISHES
DELAYED REACTION WITCHES (!)
DELAYED REACTION EMBODIMENT

A tiny prayer

We are here /
We were here and have been here all along /
We are remembering our being-here-ness right now

amen

Chiaroscuro

Is this not the most beautiful word?

an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on something…

How do I want to see the edges? Where is the contrast? What needs light and what needs obscuring?

The places where Clarity meets Mystery.

Let us dive into depth and definition, illumination, wonder, this is a word for the month of magnificence…

Wild in the wilds

So I just want to be clear that I have fully transitioned into a character in a Barbara Kingsolver novel.

I am an eccentric single woman in her early forties who finds herself living on land in a remote part of southeastern Arizona, inhabiting a tiny 72 square foot camper built by an artist with a past.

The land belongs to a mysterious taciturn older cowboy, I rarely see him but sometimes when I come home, I see that he has built me a firepit or left me a gift, a bowl of salad greens or a bottle of diesel. Ya know. Because I’m in a novel.

“Please no tarantulas today” is my morning prayer as I lift a large rock to empty my pee-jar into the septic.

But really my prayer is my inadvertent gasp of awe each as I open my eyes to a another impossibly gorgeous sunrise unfolding in front of me.

Really my prayer is each intake of breath at the wild SKY OF STARS.

Another Beautiful Day

This is my prayer, my comfort, my mantra, but also my code of resistance.

Arizona is full of border patrol checkpoints, not because of a border, but because the United States is Germany in the thirties.

Each day they stop me and ask “how are you today, ma’am”, and this is not a question I am obligated to answer because it is not about citizenship, but I have learned there are consequences to not answering their questions, or refusing a vehicle search, even though this refusal is, in theory, within my rights.

Engaging with them is an exercise in meeting their catch-22 world with presence, while trying to contain the rage, fury, genetic trauma and general reactiveness that could get me into trouble.

And so I say, “ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY, AM I FREE TO GO?”

Another Beautiful Day = code for “I don’t talk to gestapo, you fuckheads”, it is code that lets me appear to be playing the game so that I can pass this obstacle and do more important work in the world…

But it is also beautiful

The things that are happening in my country (in both of my countries) are awful and not-beautiful.

The desert is beauutiful. Breath is beautiful. Hope. Anything that sparks hope. Anything that reminds me to return to radiance, to the thrum-hum, to gain in powers and steadiness.

The door I didn’t open

For years I dreamed of opening a studio called Wild Honey Concoctions where I could do Interior Design (the actual kind) and Very Interior Design (the kind we do here) and make delicious chocolate confections made with honey.

But I didn’t. And now, in Arizona, I discovered the most perfect chocolate shop that makes chocolates from honey, and they are called Untamed Confections. Their tag line is GET WILD & DELICIOUS.

So it is done, and now I have the superpower of Now I Don’t Have To Do This, because it already exists.

The door I am opening

I am opening a [not-a-school], this needs a metaphor, but a SPACE, a witching center for Agency.

A Secret Agency for Agency?

A place for Clarity & Mystery, Sovereignty & Spells, Writing & Righting, Magiuc & Magnificence, transformative things and gains in powers.

There might also be movement (yoga, dance) but mainly there will be sanatana, listening to the thrum-hum of the universe under the wildest sky of stars, being in reverberation with life, and bringing in our most powerful Incoming Selves to do what needs to be done next, whatever that is.

The name will come

It is more fun than a training center and it is not a camp, but it is a place to be a secret agent, it is a place to take shelter, it is a stronghold.

Chiaroscuro again: shelter and mist are the good and useful kinds of obfuscation, the kinds needed in these difficult times, and agency is about clarity, glowing your light, thoroughly unimpressed by shadow, whether your own or the bleak things out in the world, inspired for action, attuned to the play of light.

We are changing the setting / we are changing our settings

Here’s to the superpower of Change The Setting, and Let The Setting Change You.

Here’s to the superpower of all meanings of setting:

{place}
{jewel}
{how we are set, like a clock or a machine…}

What can we illuminate in the right setting, in this gorgeous play of light, and in the light of our play?

Hineni

Hineni means I AM HERE.

I use it when I want to indicate that I am listening, to wise-me, to my heart, to universe, to the thrum-hum of being.

And sometimes I use it like a collective noun:

A Hineni of Realizations

Hineni rippling through me, I am a body of water, I am a body of breath-flow and magnificence.

Magnificence

These are heartbreaking times and so we recharge on these breaths of Magnificence, making space for the hineni, for the right here right now.

We breathe FIERCE & FEARLESS, we breathe for Another Beautiful Day, we breathe sky and stars and moments, the transcendent ones and the difficult ones.

I am practicing this. I am practicing playful engagement, while also taking my wishes seriously.

I am changing my setting to one of magnificence, and I mean this in all senses of setting. I am resetting myself, attuning myself, to the magnificence within.

The thrum-hum glow-hum of breath in me reverberating with life itself and in recognition of the aliveness all around, and in you. Is that itself not magnificent? I am inclined to think yes. And this yes is also a whispered prayer of the moment.

Pause to seed/breathe/be in companionship

You are invited to join me in seeding wishes, qualities, superpowers, whatever you like in the comments, maybe it will land now as we call it in, or maybe it will be more delayed-reaction good to come, fractal flowers for all of us.

Thank you for being here with me, breathing breaths and qualities and word-spells. Did you notice the exquisite chiaroscuro in the image from the month of Magnificence? Breathtaking.

And a question: if I started a fluent self instagram account with the glorious sunrises here and the questions in my journal, and little snippets of what is in my heart and on my mind as I practice the work-play of self-fluency, is this a thing you would be interested in? Let me know here!

xoxox