A number of things have become startlingly clear for me this week…

In some moments, this feels more like reassuringly-startlingly-clear and sometimes more like alarmingly-startlingly-clear.

Though often both at the same time… accompanied by abrupt laughter that sounds a lot like mine.

This is a known and documented thing that can happen at Rally. (Rally!)

And it is happening, to me, hard.

Except clarity isn’t hard. It’s just clear.

Two Stars.

There are two skills I need to acquire, and fast, according to Incoming Me.

Incoming Me is the version of me who has already integrated the qualities I’m ready to learn about. Known aliases: slightly-slightly-future me, or slightly wiser me.

I have been admiring these skills, and the graceful competence she exudes while using them.

Admiring from a distance, because they kind of scare me. And because they are like stars.

Distance: another word that starts with D.

Distance: their glow is so palpable that even from far away I can tell something intensely special is happening.

So these are skills about lightness and also skills that are lights. Showing me where to point my ship, illuminating the waters I wish to sail through.

Hello, gorgeous incoming skills, superpowers-to-be.

Here they are:

  1. The skill of: I am not afraid to ask. For help, support, wants, needs. In fact, I like asking for things, it’s mysteriously fun and easy. Possibly not mysteriously at all?
  2. I am not embarrassed about anything, ever, past, present or future.

Hahaha. Wow, right? You can tell right away how intimidating these skills are for me too. I frame them in opposition to what they are not.

They are not: afraid, embarrassed, hesitant. They are not: the things I apparently think I am.

These skills seem impossibly far away, too far and too hard to sail towards, never mind into and through.

And yet Incoming Me says I need to act on this, now, immediately, and once I do I will realize the skills are already here. She is wise, and a little annoying.

Wisdom. It makes me think of confetti. Why is this crap in my hair. Oh, wait, the whole world is being transformed, look at this magical moment…

So there is a me who asks, and asks more, and is okay with this.

Asking rhymes with basking, she said. Start there.

Bask = sit in the sun, revel in, soak up, relish, take pleasure in something.

Exactly, she said.

She basks in asking. She takes pleasure. She takes pleasure in. She lets it in. She lets light come in.

In the form of sun, and also in the form of lightness.

She also lectured me on this a bit…

“You love basking. You already know how to be at home with accept-and-receive, appreciation, presence. You say that you don’t like ‘admitting’ to it, except guess what, admitting is always wrong verb.

“Like with glamour. You don’t need to ‘admit’ to being glamourous or loving glamour, you radiate glamour and a love of glamour.

“You don’t need to admit to a new readiness to practice receiving. No. You glow receptivity. Glow receptivity. Be receptive to glow.

“You spent a year getting ready for this, remember? Receiving and Glow were both WEST in your compass.

“You don’t need to learn how to be okay with basking to be okay with basking.

“You just glow love. Simple and sweet. You do this already through your work. Now let people glow love back to you. You teach through living. Live it.

“Do not be lopsided in your tendencies, there is no yoga that is only exhaling. People want to say thank you. Take down the wall that says they can’t, and that is called basking. Asking is just being receptive to appreciation. Glowing.”

Then we argued, just a little.

She was right, about everything.

Also she’s basically decided that I can learn this the hard way or the easy way. This feels like the hard way, but apparently it’s the easy way.

She wants me to tell the true story (stories) of Operation Resilience, the four months I spent homeless a long time ago. Halfway between homeless and hidden-homeless. Halfway between secrets and secrets. Something that explains many things.

She wants me to ask for things — to bask in asking — every day, all the time.

She wants me to get paid for my work, and is very upset that I haven’t been doing this. This was the main thing we argued about.

Backstory: Nearly four years ago, I opened the Playground, my amazing center in Portland. It’s the blog come to life, but with chandeliers and a lot more brightly colored cushions and also it is magic. Big success. Then we expanded, and that was a Spectacular Flailure, yes, flailure, of truly impressive proportions.

Useful, hard, glad it happened. And I also went without a salary for a very, very long time.

Incoming me wants me to invest in me the way that I take care of my business. I pointed out that this is a very nice idea, but actually it’s not an option.

Then you can’t be in charge, she said. It can’t be your job.

And then I thought I heard her whisper it’s not supposed to be your job right now. But I can’t swear to that part.

Me: Fine. Then who is in charge?

She: Barrington.

Me: Barrington. Huh.

Barrington, if you do not know, is my esteemed traveling companion and partner in adventuring. She is highly capable. And not entirely real. Though also very real. Much like incoming me.

My father likes to say, and I do not remember who he is quoting, “Not only was that a true story, but it actually happened.”

Sometimes my sense is that Barrington is a true story who hasn’t happened yet, who is waiting to happen. Maybe she is waiting for me to happen upon her, in which case we will become a true story together.

Anyway, Incoming Me wants me to bask in appreciation. She wants money coming in that is not for the business, but for Havi doing things that support Havi, according to Barrington.

That might be more dance lessons. It might be a new orange comforter. It might be things that scare me a little, but not in a bad way.

I said I’d process this over the next couple Rallies, and she said are you fucking kidding me, and I said hey this is big stuff, and she said yes, yes it is DO YOU WANT THESE SKILLS OR NOT.

I said tomorrow, she said today. Then she said I love how brave you are, and then I cried, a lot. Because I don’t feel brave, ever, but I must be because she trusts me to become her.

Barrington’s Discretionary.

I am going to keep talking to the me who knows.

And in the meantime, there is a link that Richard made for me. It goes to a place where you can, if you want to and are in the mood and this timing feels like right timing, glow a thank you in whatever sum you feel like.

Barrington is in charge of this, which is good. Because I am going to need some time to get used to this idea.

I will also say, even though I assume you know it: this is one possible form for glowing appreciation towards me. It is not the only form.

I am aware (though I would like to get better at remembering this) that many, many, many people come here to receive things they need, and that they are all glowing appreciation for me all the time. Receiving, and letting it land, is up to me.

My thank-you heart feels all the ways that my work and I are appreciated, not just the ways we can see.

My thank-you heart also glows appreciation for Barrington, for incoming me, for Operation Resilience, and for the past two years which have been a roller coaster of loss and grief. My thank-you heart wants to become a basking heart, glowing receptivity.

Exhaling appreciation, inhaling receptivity.



Yes to appreciation, glowing, sparks sparked. No to advice. Yes to flowers. Big heart of love for everyone, the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers, everyone who reads.

The Fluent Self