the majestic elephant-feet of a giant tree appear to be almost in motion

The majestic sun-dappled elephant-feet of a giant tree appear to be almost in motion…

Announcement & reminder about the ebook!

If you’ve already given to Barrington’s Discretionary last year or this year, you should have received my ebook (by email) on how I approach and plan my year, how I think about time and am in relationship with time. The feedback on this has been lovely and heartwarming, thank you!

And if you gave to Barrington but didn’t get it, I am so sorry if anyone fell through the cracks, please email me at my name at this website, Havi AT fluent self DOT com, with any emoji, and I will send it.

You can still obtain a copy for now, as a thank you when you give any sum to Barrington’s Discretionary Fund, and I hope you enjoy and find lots of clues in there!

AND! Blog subscription news!

Thanks to the sunsetting of Feedburner (RIP Feedburner), a lot of people have not been getting posts in their email anymore, and I apologize about that.

Here’s good news: If you were a confirmed subscriber, you’re probably seeing this post in your email account right now because we are using a new plug-in and supposedly everyone has been migrated over, so if that’s the case, hi, I missed you, and you don’t have to do a thing.

Though if you want to catch up on / binge-read essays from me from the past couple years, they are at, the password is starlight, enjoy.

If you aren’t subscribed to posts but you want to be, you can click right here, or scroll all the way down to the footer and click on the orange RSS icon.

Doing that will pop up a new page on the Follow.It site that allows you to subscribe via email, via newsletter, or via RSS reader. (It says you can “expect 50 stories a week”, and yikes to that, but that’s a number they made up – it would be shocking if I post here more than once a week.)

Okay, that was a lot of housekeeping! Let’s do this. A breath for beginning. Here we go.

Imperceptible Movement

The tree

Cate asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, and the thing I wanted to do, other than see a person (Cate) for the first time in what felt like forever, was to set off on a pilgrimage to hug a particular tree.

Okay, fine, any tree. I was up for a tree-hugging mission of whatever form, but yes, there was a certain tree I have been day-dreaming about. I wanted to meet (and hug) this tree, and I wanted company.

The tree-hugging mission involved a hike, and thanks to Long Covid, I can almost never make a good guess about how much energy I will have, if any, but also:

I have been training for this.

Training for visiting a tree. Training for all of it.

Training for this moment

Now that I have been sick for twenty seven months, and it’s less a matter of “being sick” as a situation that I find myself in, and more “this is just my life”, I have been getting to know this version of me, learning about the ebbs and flows of existing like this: chronically ill and still here.

Trying to stay attentive, fluid, adaptable, curious.

Trying to channel whatever might help with figuring out what I need, while not judging myself for needing it – to the extent that this is possible, when is possible, and no, it is not always possible.

I will be honest

I will be honest: Sometimes I hate needing so much, both in general, and also regarding needing so much recovery time specifically.

What is possible for me and when? These are the questions, both in relation to what I might have energy to do, and how easily I am able to receive the answer that is.

That’s one part of the training. Asking the questions.

The next part

Staying receptive to the known information, and receiving the answer that is, not fighting the answer that is. That’s another part of the training.

Letting things change. One day like this, one day like that. What if this can be neutral input? And if it can’t, can I conjure some more compassion for myself until it can…

Staying hopeful, maintaining fierce hope in the face of [the many seemingly not-hopeful things], this is also part of the training.

The hope is not about recovery, because what’s that. The hope is about hope.

The hope is about hope

Hope as a way of being, hope as a resilience practice, hope for its own sake.

Maybe I won’t get better but maybe things around me will get better, and maybe I will get better at adapting, who knows, so many things are possible.

So many things are possible, miracles abound, I don’t know what I don’t know, and so I breathe and tend to the hope-sparks. When I can.

Hoping my way towards a version of me who can cope gracefully with the harder days. The me who loves the sea.

All this is a form of training.

What is possible

I have been learning more about what is possible for me (or might be possible) when, and what facilitates a state of [possible], and what preparation and recovery are required to support [possible].

A lot of it is stuff I’ve written about here already: recommitting to ritual and routine, doing so much less, doing less to get more.

Doing less while inviting in more presence, more intention, more compassion, more (or any) grace. Staying devoted to Loving Clarity, aka recognizing what is, but recognizing it with kindness towards myself.

A lot of it is building in more entry (rest) and exit (rest), and making peace with the idea that anything I do will send me back to bed for a while.

Small gains

Every day I walk and jog in my kitchen. I spend time on the balance board, do slow stretches, and backwards-walking. Practicing the art of small gains; assassin training on the micro level.

I know that I am so very lucky that my body agrees to do these things and mostly enjoys them.

Similarly, I know that I am lucky I already had a daily movement practice of decades in place to support me, a practice which miraculously preserved itself beneath the surface, even when I had to spend several months mostly in bed. A thanksful heart for all this.

I also train through not-doing

I also train through early to bed, resting as much as possible, practicing 10% More Relaxed, doing the peaceful, grounding, quieting things that help.

Each day, I say to myself: WE TRAINED FOR THIS.

Because we did.

Slow to the point of imperceptible

The tree was even more majestic and magical than I had imagined it might be when curiosity pulled me into its trajectory, and it was truly a delight to meet this tree and share many hugs.

The tree was enormous and serene, deeply rooted, arcing powerfully skyward, but its magnificent elephant-feet (pictured at the top of this post) conveyed a sense of motion, almost as if we’d caught it mid-step.

I liked the feeling of this, a sort of deeply grounded momentum.

As if the tree was drawing energy from the earth and moving itself. Moving itself! And moving so slowly as to be almost imperceptible, and yet, at the same time, moving with great power and conviction.

Great power and great ease. Imperceptible grounded movement.

Tree-style / assassin-style

Now there are some superpowers.

What would a tree do? Move imperceptibly, almost invisibly. Stay grounded and steady. Draw power from the earth.

What would an asssassin do? Move imperceptibly, almost invisibly. Stay grounded and steady. Draw power from the earth.

Movement is happening, even when I can’t see it

Isn’t it fascinating when things are changing/healing/moving/evolving, and we don’t realize it yet?

I find this reassuring. Movement is happening.

There is forward momentum, change is happening, good things are coming, the wishes are set into motion, moving with power and grace. It’s just a matter of fine-tuning my perception.

Entry / middle / exit / recovery / more recovery

Just as I had to come up with a plan of entry (rest first) and exit (rest to recover) to support my visit to the tree, everything requires a plan for resting before, during and after.

I am currently dealing with a fairly major family emergency. Flying is not an option because of a combination of issues most of which are health-related. So I need to drive across the country very slowly.

(Clarification! I will not drive slowly, I will drive at a reasonable and legal-ish speed; what I mean is that I can only do a few hours at a time, and might need additional rest days in between.)

Which means: I need a plan. A plan that involves a tremendous amount of rest and recovery, for the before, the during and the after.

The planning of a plan

But even the planning of the plan is something that wears me out, and it too requires resting up to be able to plan, and then resting to recover from doing planning time.

This feels almost ridiculous when I put it into words, except it’s also just my reality. My ridiculous reality.

Or as another friend calls it, the ongoing shitshow of magical unfolding.

What can I learn about Invisible Movement / Invisible Momentum

How do you plan a plan when you have no energy to plan, and when you physically can’t do that much? When there’s no way to know if one good day will be followed by another one?

I am invoking fractal magic: may each step be activating thousands of other steps, may the imperceptible motion on the surface be enacting deep waves on other planes of existence…

Patience (I Play The Long Game)

Similarly I am practicing patience, like a big cat: I Play The Long Game.

Patience, and trust in right timing. I am practicing Choose Calm, Choose Ease. Continually reminding myself about This Can Solve Itself.

Cherishing my wishes for a better solution, more ease, more grace, a third way, a new path, and placing them gently into the wish-cauldron.

Whispering about them to my tree-friends and the sky when I take evening porch-breaths.

Holding onto the hope sparks.

Working backwards, working forwards, moving imperceptibly

Working backwards and working forwards simultaneously.

What is one step I can take today?

Practicing within movement practice

Something I like to do when I am on the rug is imagining a pose, for example, a boat pose.

Then maybe I do it and maybe I don’t, but the work has already happened while I was in the imagining.

It’s endlessly fascinating to me that my body works just as hard while imagining doing it as doing it. You can imagine something so hard that sweat pours off of you before you have even lifted your legs.

Sometimes I can even learn more about the pose or the movement through the imagining than through doing it. It is in imagining that I realize how much I need to engage inner thighs, or remember to relax my jaw.

We trained for this, with imagination, and with imperceptible movement.

Imperceptible, again

Another thing I like to play with, in my movement practice which often resembles a stillness practice, is moving as little or as slowly as possible.

Sometimes I can make the movements so small that I feel them but they might not be visible from the outside.

An imperceptible movement practice. Like the tree.

Like a big cat stalking its new toy, I can be patient and wait in the grasses, I can be poised, I can play the long game.

What if there is great power in moving the tiniest amount, an imperceptible amount, but with clarity, intention, patience? Drawing power from the earth, moving deliberately.

Keeping on keeping on

This helps me with the work of keeping on keeping on, in the face of the many heart-breaking things. I am the big cat, I am the tree.

You can’t see the motion, because it is currently in the before, the stored up potential before the kinetic burst.

Or because it is happening at an imperceptible scale, but with fractal and cumulative results. One small invisible step for a majestic tree, one giant leap for a cougar. One small invisible step in imagination, exponential movement that will propel me across the country when I am ready.

Or something like that. This is what I am playing with in my mind and in my movement practice, as I am resting, slowly planning, resting, slowly planning, resting and recovering from slowly planning.

Moving slow, for a good reason

Here is a clue via this excellent piece of dialogue from Will Trent:

“How’s it going down there?”
“Moving slow, making good decisions.”
“See, that’s what you want from a bomb technician…”

Moving slowly and making good decisions feels so important, and I think it’s because it’s about being deliberate.


Deliberate is the quality I am trying to channel most as I work on remembering to Choose Calm Choose Ease, and make my way towards simple elegant solutions.

How can I be extremely deliberate as I figure out how to slowly and steadily move myself across the country for an amount of time and then return, without wearing myself out.

There is something beautiful and compelling to me in this commitment to slowness, to unhurried precision.

To be clear, it also scares me, but maybe that’s because it goes against the external culture of pushing and striving, things I can’t do anymore even if I wanted to.

The perfect answer

I also honestly think this delightful quote might be the perfect answer to nearly any question.

Of course it’s very rare that I speak to a person because I live alone in the wilds and am often resting, but I sincerely hope that the next time someone asks me how I’m doing or what I’m up to, I can remember to answer with: “Moving slowly, making good decisions”.

Like a tree, like an assassin who has trained for this, like a big cat, like a wise and cautious bomb technician.

Deliberate and steady. Deliberate and sure of myself, because I trained for this.

Moving Deliberately & Making Good Decisions Monday

Each day I try to practice moving even more slowly, even more deliberately. Making good decisions, receiving useful intel, adapting as needed.

What day is it? It’s Moving Deliberately & Making Good Decisions Day.

Being slow and steady.

Being deliberate means letting the routine hold me.

What is useful / good / treasure about Slow Deliberations

Deliberate = intentional.

Slow = giving yourself adequate time to perceive more / gather more clues / notice what you notice / feel what you feel / notice that you are feeling the things that you are feeling, and so on.

In a way, moving deliberately and slowly is like having dedicated time for therapy or for journaling or for a conscious movement practice.

In other words, it’s about conjuring a container of time for breathing, noticing, self-reflecting — a container of time when you won’t rush or be rushed, because it is not the nature of the practice to rush.

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast

I know I have referenced the book Momo before here, which I have enjoyed greatly both in the original German and in the excellent English translation.

There is a character who is a street-sweeper, and he explains that if you rush the sweeping, you feel stressed and it takes longer, but if you go breath by breath, breathe-and-sweep, the road almost sweeps itself.

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Slow is present and engaged, and progress happens while you aren’t looking for it. There is a dance of Swift & Slow. But it starts with slow.

Just as my own movement practice yields gains even though often it looks as though I’m barely moving at all. I’m training. For this.

What else is good about Slow Deliberations?

For one thing, you can’t accidentally talk yourself into a decision that is not true to you if you are slow in your deliberations, if you keep asking questions and looking for the path of Choose Ease.

I know I can’t be rushed, not just because I don’t want to be, but because I will physically collapse if I try to do too much.

Adapting to this, and watching other people in my life struggle to adapt or even to remember that it’s happening to me, is its own form of training.

Either way, here we go

Either way, I’m moving slowly and deliberately, channeling tree-powers and fractal motion, moving with great intention.

Training and moving, training and imagining, training and breathing, training and wishing.

Let’s play with invisible and imperceptible motion!

Some ways we can practice and play:

Wishing wishes, into the wishing cauldron, into the pot. It is brave and beautiful to wish, to be present with the wanting, it can be a vulnerable admission to let ourselves want.

Using proxies: if it’s too hard or sticky or potentially painful to wish a wish, can we name a playful, silly, semi-imaginary goal and find out what steps we would take if that were our wish?

In actual movement practice: a clue walk, or any slow, small and symbolic movements. Gathering power, moving from the earth, it doesn’t need to be visible to be powerful.

Journaling and stone skipping, asking questions of a Slightly Wiser version of you, or the you who has already found the answer or taken the next step…

Doing anything that supports the training: hydrating, for example. Nap on it, dance on it, cry on it, rest on it.

What are the superpowers

I am calling in / on / up the powers of:

This is all in the hands of the sky, nothing for me to do here except light candles, choose calm, choose ease, and put it into the wishing cauldron with love…

The cowboy abides, we stay tough and do chores on the ranch, keep it moving, find beauty and any joy sparks.

It solves itself

If moving is where the ease is, what gets me moving? What supports movement?

Can I remember to let myself need what I need and want what I want.

How am I doing? Moving deliberately, making good decisions, asking over and over for Loving Clarity.

Remembering that this can solve itself, simple and elegant solutions are on their way. It might feel like they are moving imperceptibly, but they are on their way. Can I trust in the powers of deliberate imperceptible motion?

The solutions move towards me, I move towards them.

Come play in the comments, I appreciate the company

You are welcome to share anything that sparked for you while reading, or anything that helped or anything on your mind. I am lighting a candle for all of it.

Or anything you’d like to toss into the wishing pot, the healing power of the collective is no small thing, companionship helps.

Whatever comes to mind (come to heart?), let’s support each other’s hope-sparks and wishes…

Thank you to everyone who reads, porch breaths, the winding path, the many clues that land when they land, receptivity, keeping on keeping on.

New ebook alert!!!

Aka fun bonus material on how I relate to time and map out my quarters for the year.

Anyone who gives to Barrington’s Discretionary this week (see below) will get this by email as a pdf!

A request

If you received clues or perspective or want to send appreciation for the writing and work/play we do here, I appreciate it tremendously. Between Long Covid and traumatic brain injury recovery, things are slow going.

I am accepting support (with joy & gratitude) in the form of Appreciation Money to Barrington’s Discretionary Fund. Asking is not where my strength resides but Brave & Stalwart is the theme these days, and pattern-rewriting is the work, it all helps with fixing the many broken things.

And if those aren’t options, I get it, you can light a candle for support (or light one in your mind!), share this with someone who loves words, tell people about these techniques, approaches and themes, send them here, it all helps, it’s all welcome, and I appreciate it and you so much. ❤️

The Fluent Self