Friday chicken

Reflecting on both the hard and the good parts in the week that was…

It is Friday Saturday and we are here.

{a breath for today, for this space, for being here when we get here.}

We have reached SEVEN YEARS of this Chickening ritual! Sure, occasionally we chicken on a Saturday instead of Friday, but the chicken always happens. Past-me would not have been able to imagine this.

Thank you, everyone who reads: you are the reason I am still doing this.

What worked this week?


There’s this burlesque dance class I’ve been eyeing for a few years but too scared to try.

This week I decided to go on RECONNAISSANCE. Reconnaissance is awesome because all you have to do is check out the situation.

So if all I do is find the studio and go straight home, I still win. Or if I just observe the class, I still win. And if I walk through the moves and make ten thousand mistakes and fall on my face, which is what I ended up doing, I win. It’s reconnaissance!

Imagining that I was gathering intel on potentially scary things instead of making myself do them made it easier to gently sneak my way into doing.


I scheduled a photo shoot, and I was very nervous about it.

Then I remembered that the reason I was doing it was to document Shmita.

And the process of documenting my Shmita experiment seems vitally important, and also very natural, like, of course, why would I not want to have photographic documentation of this undertaking.

Names. Names are everything. Once I stopped thinking “photo shoot”, it was easy and light-hearted.

We drank tea. We teetered on teeter-totters and laughed, and it was the most relaxed I have ever been in front of a camera, so there.

Next time I might…

Talk things over with the internal scientists.

I had this idea this week that if I just brought enough bubbling positive energy to places I don’t like, this would transform the experience.

However my internal scientists have shown me all the data which indicates that these places drain energy, no matter how much joy and confidence I bring.

Not everything can be or needs to be transformed. Some places just need to be off the list, and I am slowly learning to be okay with that.

And the title of my upcoming Biopic if it were based on this week…

What Just Happened.. The Havi Brooks Story.

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

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. I thought being offline would be hard, but it was so completely pleasurable that now I don’t really want to go back. Like, oh hey remember when I used to walk through that giant field of dog poop every day just because there were some pretty flowers there and I like flowers? Why would I want to do that. It’s not like there’s a shortage of flowers in the world. So now my monsters are terrified that I will not have a community for my business if I’m not out and about wandering in the shit fields every day. A breath for remembering that however this turns out, it’s going to be fine, and there are lots of ways this can go that won’t involve an either/or choice between destroying my business or being knee-deep in metaphorical excrement. Yes, a breath for remembering that, and for enjoying the quiet right now.
  2. I saw someone on the street, someone who used to be a close friend, and she gave the “I don’t want to do this” look and put on sunglasses and walked past me briskly. Which is a completely okay choice for her to make, obviously. Nothing is more important (in my mind) than self-care, and if her self-care in that moment was avoiding an awkward interaction with me, then I fully support that. It was also a moment of sadness, for me, and it also reminded me of leaving Tel Aviv. When you get to a point that a place has more people you’d rather not run into than people you’d love to surprise you, time to leave. A breath for love, trust, and safety, for everyone involved and everyone who needs it.
  3. I am under this weird curse or something right now, and every time my fingers touch a glass of water, it spills, and it doesn’t just spill, it goes everywhere, immediately, and soaks everything in sight. I guess that could be a metaphor for something, but it’s just my current reality. A breath for pausing, for getting centered, for taking this reminder to get steady, as well as the reminder that things spill and it’s okay.
  4. My passion for dance is back (“Ugh, finally“, say the monsters, forgetting that they actually used to be AGAINST both dance and passion), and there is a big gap between the activities/classes/training my heart is excited about versus what my body can actually do. Sometimes because of pain, injury, fatigue, HSP stuff, trauma and just not having the energy/spoons to do as much as I would like. Sometimes because of my OLD LADY KNEES that can’t do floor work, even with knee pads. Sometimes because I have to just be in bed. A breath for staying in a state of love, taking care of my body, cultivating the flame of desire while not pushing myself to do more than is good for me.
  5. Is there a name for this phenomenon? You know you will need something later — really, really, really need it — so you lovingly put it aside for future you so they’ll have it in that moment of need. And you are very intentional about this, you think: I AM GOING TO REMEMBER THIS. And then the moment of need comes and the only thing you can remember is that past-you very intentionally hid something for you, but you have no idea where, and you can’t find it or re-create the thought process of past-you, and you only remember the determination to remember the place, and not the place itself. A breath for needing something and not having it, and for This Is Why You Always Leave A Note.
  6. I have been on a mission to retire from being a Stew Maker, and it is unbelievable how often I find myself stirring a pot of stew. Very often it was a Comparison Stew, which is the least tasty stew there is. I’m back to dancing and suddenly I’m in the kitchen stirring the stew of Everyone Is Better Than You. Or the related stew of Seriously They’re Twenty Years Younger And Have At Least A Decade More Training So Why Don’t You Just Give Up. A breath for remembering that I quit this job, and I am no longer a stewmaker, and any time I want, in any moment, I can put down that wooden spoon and turn off the flame and exit the kitchen.
  7. Went to the local westie dance for the first time in ages, and had an absolutely miserable time, and had to work very hard to not stir the stew of Why Is It Like This. I think if I want to maintain my passion for my favorite dance, maybe it’s better to focus on other dances for a while until I find the kind of dance community that I want to be a part of. A breath for may this hard moment turn out to be beautiful.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week. May I choose to trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. The end of the heat wave. Temperature makes such a difference in mood, energy, ability to function, and somehow I always forget this. Cool air. Light drizzle. Walking in the park in the middle of the day. Doing some Star Training (the thing that used to be spirals) outdoors at 10am? UNHEARD OF. So much opens up when it isn’t too hot to do anything more than limply exist. Lazily teetering on a teeter-totter on a peaceful afternoon: heaven. A breath for this, and for a return to all-night snuggling.
  2. Dance and being motivated to dance and having energy to dance, oh this is so good, you guys. Such delight after these long months of knee injury and mysterious chronic pain. I signed up for a four hour blues-connection technique workshop, assuming I’d only be able to handle an hour, and then — astonishingly — lasted three hours and twenty minutes. Plus I enjoyed some absolutely transcendent dances just during the warm-up songs in between workshop sessions. My lover dragged me to the Portland Dance Festival and I danced my feet off until 4am, before we fell asleep in a sweaty, sticky, happy heap in the parking lot. Mainly though I just feel JOYFUL about feeling joyful about dance again, if that makes sense. I watched this video of a contra dance flash mob, and it had me in tears just thinking about the magical moments of people coming together, and seeing dancer friends I know. Even though what they’re doing is not even really related to any of the kinds of dance I do, I don’t know, just feeling this intense tenderness about how dance does something, how movement changes energy. A breath for this welling up.
  3. I did brave and scary things this week Marlena (Incoming Me) took me to burlesque class and hip hop, and we didn’t die. A breath for play and discovery and trying new things.
  4. Feeling fortunate to such many sweet and supportive people in my life right now. Whether it’s big life stuff like letting go of my home, or taking steps towards something challenging that I want. My sweet lover, my wonderful housemate, my wise uncle and my far-away friend Annabelle all cheered me on this week with encouraging words and endless warmth and love for me. I’m not really used to this, but I want to be. A breath for appreciating how special this is.
  5. I slept a lot. I mean, a lot. One of my big wishes for my Shmita experiment is to be someone who can do lots of nothing without worrying about something being wrong. Like, maybe I’m doing nothing because I literally can’t do anything else, and maybe I’m choosing to do nothing, but either way, I am able to experience it as a desirable place to be. That’s happening. Lots of staring into space. Lots of delicious percolating and puttering, and not calling it names. Our culture is big on name-calling, we like to call this procrastination or avoidance, when actually the labels just add guilt and make an otherwise useful process sticky. It is good to give things time and space to ripen. I’ve always felt strongly about this, but this is the first time I’ve been able to just be intentionally slow and meandering with life. It’s switching little connectors on for me, and big fractal flower magic. A breath for deep healing, for patience, and for naps.
  6. I am slowly getting better at remembering that I am not a stew-maker. A thousand sparklepoints for me for each and every time I choose not to make stew, start a stew, stir stew, or do anything related to stewing, and for each time I notice that I’m doing it and call a timeout. And another breath for love, because it really is all love.
  7. Last-year-me decided that this year would be the Year of Easing & Releasing, and ohmylord, this is changing everything in my life, and I am finally able to see how this is so very good. A breath for having found the joy and the freedom and sweetness in letting go. It took a long time to get here, but all timing is right timing.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Epsom salt baths. Shoulders to cry on. Marlena is witchy in the kitchen and blended frozen bananas with pumpkin seed butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon and himalayan salt. My lover whispers sweet words to me that happen to be just what I need to hear. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong, even when I think it is. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thankful for this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Wham booms, wisdom, superpowers, salve and FBOTW!

Operations completed. Wham boom!

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

I sorted through even more boxes, made gigantic progress on the BOLTHOLE op, coordinated with other Agents, and only cried ten times. We shall call that a successful mission, and I now award myself a hundred billion sparklepoints. Wham Boom.

Superpowers I had this week…

I had the superpowers of Noticing Useful Things, Annexing New Space Into My Comfort Zone, and being okay with being a High Sensation Seeking adventuress who enjoys very specific types of risk-taking while simultaneously being someone who likes to hide a lot.

And last week I wanted to be able to See Beauty Everywhere, and that happened too!

Powers I want.

I want the superpowers of Wildly Appreciating Myself and I Bring The Fun.

The Salve of Wildly Appreciating Yourself.

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

One of the things I’ve noticed in thirty eight years of being alive is that the best and most wonderful things about ourselves tend to be invisible to us, along with any magic beans of good fortune.

This salve undoes that effect, smoothly and efficiently, so that suddenly, in quick flashes at first, and then for longer periods, you can see what is magical, beautiful and effortless.

You notice the sweetness of your own smile, the things you are good at, the ways you are unique, and these suddenly seem important.

There is both a boldness and a tenderness to this salve, like a flower, and once you wear it, you see these things (and flowers) each time you turn around.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

My brother and I make up bands, which are all just one guy. The Meme Beach House is the venue.

This week’s band is called Breathing Is The Best Plan. Their latest album is Truth Be Told. They play acoustic emo covers of disco songs, and it’s just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, aka the thing that keeps me from falling apart. This is how I get through weeks like this one.

How was your week?

Come play in the comments. Share something from your week, take a breath, or just say hi! No rules, my format doesn’t have to be yours, we’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We don’t give advice.

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — jump in whenever you like. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!

The Fluent Self