Friday chicken

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

It is Friday and we are here.

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

Three hundred and sixty five weeks of chickening!

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

What worked this week?

Having good self-care instincts.

Or maybe I always have good self-care instincts and the trick is listening to them. Ooh.

Anyway, past-me wisely scheduled a session of bodywork magic with Wally for the day after my trapeze class.

And I took myself to old lady aerobics immediately after trapeze so that I could wave my arms around so they wouldn’t seize up. Also because it seemed important to remind my body that yes, there are things we can do together that don’t result in feeling helpless and incompetent.

Oh, and this wasn’t intentional at all, but I packed an easy-on easy-off sweatshirt, which turns out to be a very handy thing when your shoulders give up working.

Next time I might…

Talk to the monsters sooner.

My monsters were saying very mean things about my plan to try trapeze.

On the one hand, they thought I would be terrible at it (spoiler alert: I am!) and shouldn’t humiliate myself, and on the other hand, they thought it was shameful to sign up for the baby-steps remedial class, because that’s not adventurous. As they put it, “Either real adventure or get out of town!”

So of course I was avoiding talking to them, but once I did, I got so much useful intel.

They just love me so much and want to protect me from being laughed at, which is a reasonable desire, and they remember situations where keeping me away from mean people was important. Once we talked, things got a lot better.

I reminded them that it’s a very early class, so all the mean people will still be asleep, and that it’s a class specifically designed to be welcoming to people who feel anxious and uncomfortable about trying trapeze, so of course everyone there will be warm and accepting.

It was much easier to get through the experience of class having the monsters on my side. Next time we talk sooner!

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

She loves adventure almost as much as she loves hiding. 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. You guys, I am terrible at trapeze. I spent fifty minutes of the ninety minute class just crying my eyes out because I couldn’t do any of the things. I don’t mean that I couldn’t do the tricks they were trying to teach us. I mean that I couldn’t figure out how to get up onto the trapeze. Not even because of fear. My body just couldn’t figure out the mechanics of how to do it, even after it was explained to me about twenty times. A breath for intense frustration, for all the challenges of my not-so-secret-op of figuring out how to love my unique pace of learning, and a million trillion sparklepoints to me for signing up, for showing up, for staying until the end.
  2. You know how you always kind of think, way in the back of your mind, that if you can’t figure out your life, you will have to run away and join the circus? It turns out that is not even a good back-up plan. If the circus was recruiting, and not sure why they’d be doing that in the remedial trapeze class for people who are freaked out by the regular beginner class, but if they were looking to sign someone up, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t take the only person in the entire class who couldn’t get up onto the trapeze. I guess I could be an exhibit, maybe, but it would be a pretty boring one. “BEHOLD the woman with the surprisingly high IQ who can’t figure out how to do a somersault until the instructor shows her twenty times in a row and breaks down every single component of a simple movement that all toddlers do for fun! OBSERVE as someone who spent a decade of her life teaching coordination techniques is unable to figure out how to wrap her foot in the silks, even though it was just demonstrated for her multiple times very slowly! GAZE UPON THE SIGHT of her as she stirs comparison stew while watching people who are six inches shorter than she is just hoist themselves onto the trapeze while she can’t even get her feet high enough to do more than brush it with her toes, because she does not understand the mechanics of how this works!” I need a new backup plan, because the circus is not interested in me. A breath of protection, trust, forgiveness, safety and shelter, for me and for anyone else who needs it.
  3. My entire body hurts. There are lots of reasons for this, and, thankfully, this week they are not related to chronic pain but to trying new things, so hey, at least that’s fun and new. A breath for healing and recovery.
  4. I took a beginning jazz dance class and it was even more challenging/humbling than remedial trapeze. A breath for the me who wants so badly to thrive and to excel, may she be held in love and sweetness and know that there is so much appreciation for her. Oh, man. This whole loving yourself as you are stuff is not for the faint of heart.
  5. So much change. I went with my lover and my housemate to drop off a bunch of furniture for consignment and did not want to let anything go, except I have nowhere to store it, and it is time for it to go, and I was not feeling expansive or gracious about any of these changes, and I cried a little bit about letting go of the mahogany table, and then it felt strange and uncomfortable to be in my bedroom without it, and I didn’t want to go to bed. A breath for remembering that Now Is Not Then, and this is not The Beginning of The Bad Times, and that it is safe to let go of everything that is not my joy right now, and to trust that there will be other beautiful tables in my life, this is not the last beautiful table.
  6. So many projects. So many moving parts. How am I busy all the time? A breath for taking care of myself.
  7. I had been so looking forward to Waltz Brunch, my favorite thing about Portland. It only happens once a month, and I’ve been on the road for six months this year and also I had a knee injury, so finally I am here and I can waltz, yay, except then I discovered that my dress doesn’t fit anymore, and neither does my back-up dress. Also I didn’t want to go out and take buses in hundred degree weather. But oh the monsters about my dresses not zipping up. A breath for remembering that all these new, strong, powerful back muscles that get in the way of zippers are just contributing to my general LUSCIOUSNESS, and that any dress that doesn’t look amazing on me is the wrong dress, and that all sizes of Havi are good, and also that waltz will happen when it happens, and it will be just right.
  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. I am the bravest person in the entire world! I signed up for TRAPEZE! And stayed for the whole class even though I couldn’t do it! I went to Jazz Dance! And stayed for the whole class even though it was hard! I went to burlesque and had to give up on the routine because I couldn’t be on my knees, but I went and tried! I did things this week that I have been dreaming and wishing about for years, and this was the week that I felt courageous enough to try them! A breath for this, and for many thousands of sparklepoints.
  2. Oh the FIERCE GRATITUDE (thank you, Carrie Ann Moss, for this perfect term) that I feel about my knee being able to move again, and the relief from chronic pelvic pain, and for having a strong, healthy, curious body that wants to move and learn and try things. Thank you, body! Thank you, bones and muscles and ligaments and tendons! Thank you, life and aliveness! Thank you, desire! A breath for joy, play, courage, wonder.
  3. So much sweetness and intensity and spilling-over-of-joy with my lover. A breath for this full and happy heart of sweetness.
  4. I took BIG SCARY WONDERFUL STEPS towards a variety of dreams and wishes this week. Giant progress on so many ops! A breath for magic, especially the magic of fractal flowers. And a breath for feeling ready.
  5. I did lovely Shmita things like skipping stones, walking in the park, taking long delicious naps, eating cheese, not worrying. A breath for how fun it is in those moments when you do actually just trust the process.
  6. One of my favorite dance teachers, who is not exactly lavish with praise, said “hey, good work today!” to me, on the day I finally nailed both turns. I feel incredibly excited about this, about the part where I perceive that my skills are visibly improving, about the part where someone else can see it too, about relinquishing the need for external legitimacy and still delighting in being appreciated. A breath for forward movement.
  7. This was just a beautiful week for me. I felt light, bubbly, joyful, hopeful, full of life and aliveness. A breath for THANK YOU.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. Second breakfast. Third breakfast. My brother is the best. Flowers from the garden. The Secret Sword Society is amazing. 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 emptied the basement, got everything ready for the sale of YARD, and did I mention that I am the bravest person in the world and went to a trapeze class, even though I was afraid I’d be terrible at it?! Yes! Calling that a successful mission, and I now award myself a hundred billion sparklepoints. Wham Boom.

Superpowers I had this week…

Last week I asked for the superpower of Wildly Appreciating Myself, and I had that!

I also had the superpowers of Being Comfortable Around People Who Are Feeling Temporarily Uncomfortable Being Around Me, and Following My Instincts.

Powers I want.

I want the superpower of Releasing In Love Because I Do Everything From Love.

The Salve of Endless Sparklepoints.

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.

Sparklepoints are a thing I made up because they are better than regular points. They glow. And they have a wonderful cascading effect — delivering all the visual joy of fireworks without the terrifying war zone sounds.

When I put this salve on my skin, I begin to give myself credit for all I do.

Instead of thinking (monsters!) that I have to finish something or accomplish something or be “good” at it, whatever that means, in order for it to be meaningful, suddenly I am able to believe deep in my body that it’s okay to celebrate all the steps in between.

This salve dissolves beautifully, and before you know it, you’re feeling joyful and appreciative about having wanted to do something, thrilled that you’re even considering taking an initial step towards something that might bring you delight.

In addition to being a very playful salve, this is also a secret sovereignty salve, and it restores all lost crowns.

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 Some Good Compasses. Their latest album is Resting Towards The Horizon. They play fiddle music, but without a fiddle, 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 life.

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