pretty light on a rainy day, green fields & wildflowers

A clue about enjoying the beautiful light, the green fields, the wildflowers after the rain.

Happy Wednesday! And happy new moon…

Last week we talked about naming the contributing factors, as a practice of pre-recovery or clearing the decks for recovery, and before that we covered approaches to narrowing the gap of the meltdown

Today we are talking about new moon wishes, new moon rituals, talking to ourselves, clues where we find them.

Glowing love your way from bed, which is where I have been this month.

New moon wishes / new moon rituals

Ushering in the new moon with scent & newness

Last year, on the new moon of the Hebrew month of Elul, I made several batches of loose incense, one of which I called Burn After Naming, a hilarious and perfect name, flawless, no notes.

It served me well all year, and now the jars are empty, and it is new moon in Elul again. Welcome, moon. Welcome, month of Elul.

I have a variety of new moon rituals, always in flux, and one of them is checking in on where I’m at and also naming new moon wishes, so let’s talk about both.

Rituals of re-filling & replenishing

New moon is when I make facial oil which I also use as hair oil and general moisturizer. It’s when I switch out the water filter and replenish things that need replenishing.

I like to bake something if I have energy. I like to clean out the refrigerator and do any kitchen congruencing. And then anything symbolic, some kind of SMOPL aka something meaningful on a personal level…

Rituals of recalibrating aka checking in

As I mentioned last week, I have been mostly in bed since July 21, after a pretty big PEM (post-exertional malaise) crash, which is to say, I had a small amount of energy, overdid it because of extenuating circumstances which autocorrected to extenuating circuses, that’s certainly something, and am paying for it big time.

So, on the surface, maybe not too much to check in on, since I have been hardcore resting and incapacitated.

Except then I remembered that one of my biggest wishes from last new moon was to give myself more credit. Can I give myself credit for resting? That might be the hardest thing for me.

The challenge of giving myself more credit (or any credit?)

Wow, this one is so challenging for me.

Even with decades of practicing separating my sense of self-treasuring from the external expectations of “productivity” and the neverending monster-list of things that must be done. It’s just hard.

It is hard to give myself credit for rest. And yet, that’s mostly what I’ve been doing, out of necessity. So extra points (sparkly ones) for resting.

Is it what I wanted from this month? Not really. Is it what needed to happen? Here we are.

New moon wishes

What do I need to accompany me to equinox? What is this next month about and for?

  • Reduce & Destroy
  • Do what works, do more of what works
  • We Do Grounding Things
  • LUTW (legs up the wall!)
  • Morning rituals, make chai and journal on what would help
  • Earlier to sleep, no matter how much napping happened
  • Take your vitamins, babe
  • What can we let go of, recycle, keep it moving
  • Keep asking: What’s working?

What’s working

Morning rituals, taking it slow.

Appreciating the beautiful nature that surrounds me, the gorgeous light at different times of day, the wildflowers all around me.

Journaling in the yellow notebook, even if I just ask the same question over and over, even if I don’t have the answers I want, just the practice of writing and waiting.

What’s needed

Something about how every project has like a minimum of fifteen steps, but I only ever have enough energy to make one or two of those steps happened, and so it gets stalled.

I need a new way of approaching these, and new forms of support.

New moon wishes, take 2

I want someone to come help me take down the shed, so I can make room for an RV pad or camping spot for visitors.

Hmmm, I don’t know if I have energy to go for a walk, but maybe a very patient walking partner exists who can go with me on a short and slow walk.

Wishing for clarity and insight to help me through this challenging period of no energy no clarity no focus, and wishing for compassion towards myself during this time where all I can do is be in bed and recover from the many things I am recovering from.

Kindness, mercy, sweetness, love. Can I breathe these for myself?

Talking it out

Lately I have been conversing from bed with an incoming self or element of me who goes by TSoB, it stands for Tough Survivalist of the Bunkhouse.

The bunkhouse is how this self refers to my tiny metal house, formerly known as The Dragon, the good ship Libra, and other names.

This self is very calm and steady, they love to garden, they are a loner cowboy type, they find joy in the little things, they have what I would describe (but they would not) as a very profound gratitude practice.

For them this is more about just really seeing the beauty in the moment, cherishing the stunning setting of where we live, and appreciating how we are surrounded by beautiful nature, they enjoy this isolation and they don’t think about the payoff.

I don’t think I’m going to give context for these conversations, I just want to share some of what has been unfolding between us as we go back and forth…

On loneliness

Havi: How would I even meet someone who shares my values at all never mind specifically regarding covid conscious living and covid safety???

TSoB: Yeah I get it, it’s like you already you know you have to immensely raise your standards so they are even remotely palatable, and you’re wondering how that will mesh with how hard it is to connect with anyone to begin with.

Here’s the deal. Staying true to these values will actually make this process easier because you are so clear on what you want and how you are to be treated, and what kindness means to you, which is something newly important to you…

Havi: Okay but what if [doom thoughts about how I will never connect with anyone in any way ever again]
TSoB: I might not be the right person to consult on this because I genuinely don’t care if we’re alone forever, especially if it means not pining after some loser clown who doesn’t even text you back unless you remind them you exist, you know? I simply do not care. If someone great shows up, god bless, and let them really prove themselves, that’s where I stand on this.

On baseline self-respect, but also on the next level of self-respect & self-cherishing

Havi: Alright then in that case how can I embrace Hermit Life and this mode of extreme isolation, and also hmmm, I know I am dancing around this question of raising my standards to some next level self-respect? Or do you not know how to explain that because you already live it…?

TSoB: I think I’d start with where you already excel and just turn it up:

a clean home
rituals of gleaming, rituals of good scent
delicious food, beautifully plated
continually working towards the Clarity of Yeses in whatever little ways
meeting small comfort goals & small aesthetic goals (making chai in a your favorite pot)

The point is: Luscious Rituals, live intentionally, exactly how you want, steps towards your yeses, soon you will have a working shower, onward to each beautiful next step, yes, make more loose incense. You need so little, and you can do so much with less. It really is the little things.

It really is the little things

It really is the little things:

wake up ten minutes earlier (or five)
add in two more minutes of meditation, two more minutes of foam rolling (or one minute)
make L’s chickpea recipe, make M’s tortillas
make a beautiful ritual of wiping down the table before and after the meal
get rid of three things as often as you can
you never want to shave legs and then when you do it, you feel amazing
who can brainstorm with you on projects and timelines?

These are just some examples of little things. Focus there.

Start small, stay small. Small is good right now…

What else? (Or is that even the right question here)

Havi: Alright, I see some starting points, what else?

TSoB: The else isn’t as important as the little things…

Once you do a few little things, the next ones will be obvious.

It all comes back to the original question of self respect, believing that your space matters, your process matters, having a conducive environment matters.

A conducive supportive environment for you, not for guests or clients or lovers or imaginary people, but the idea you yourself get to have this. You have been fighting this since forever, in part because you were raised to believe that it could all be gone in a moment…

What are the priorities?

TSoB: Again, start small, keep it small…

prioritize your well-being, treasure & cherish yourself,
shave legs, wash hair, rinse, repeat
do the things that help, then do them slightly more often, or slightly more of them
focus on small steady increases of the good things
and keep reducing

I know the [challenge with project of the month] has been a low blow and really disheartening, but also you are so brave and you keep trying and standing up for yourself! Good job.

Give yourself more credit, and then keep giving yourself more credit.

What do you do when you’re feeling unenthused and hopeless…

Havi: Gotta be honest here, gotta say I’ve been feeling pretty unenthused and hopeless about everything…

TSoB: I’m sorry, babe. I guess there’s no good way to say this, because it doesn’t sound kind, and my intention is to glow kindness into the parallel world where you are, but it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. Let’s not turn feeling hopeful or enthused into another should or obligation, that’s boring.

You feel how you feel and that’s temporary and of the moment, and it’s true for you right now

Do the things that help because they are the things that help….

Do the things that help because they are the things that help

Do the things that help because they are the things that help.

Do incrementally more of them, and that’s it.

Your joy will return, it just will

At some later point in time, your joy will return. I know this and you don’t have to know it, you don’t even have to trust me on this if you don’t want to. It’s just the truth.

And until then, well, you’re just tending to the ship.

Keep tending. I’m with you.

A forever reminder

These are the comforting words of the version of me who is the Tough Survivalist of the Bunkhouse, and I have written them on a post-it note by my bed:

My joy will return. It just will. Until then I’m just tending to the ship.

Keep tending, keep tending.

You did great today, good job, give yourself more credit

Havi: I’m feeling high anxiety / stress / worry about this [project], I feel overwhelmed and am wishing yet again that I had someone to talk this out with, someone who has time and ideas and can think creatively about options, I feel really stuck on this.

TSoB: You did so great today, you made a giant rice dish for the week, you cleaned the kitchen table & the floor, you fed yourself well, you did an hour of bobcat stretching after several days of not being in the mood, you took a very long nap which was needed, you looked for clues, you’re doing so great.

The answer remains the answer

Havi: That doesn’t answer my question…
TSoB: And yet, that is always the answer: taking exquisite care of yourself, taking steps towards yeses, getting clear, clearing the path, journaling, noticing these small moments, resting like it’s your job.
Havi: I hate resting all the time.
TSoB: Sure, of course, and also the essence of living by It Solves Itself means you do actually have to really rest right now.
Havi: Okay and also I am still very overwhelmed and I don’t like it!
TSoB: That makes sense. Keep clarifying and honing the vision.

Keep clarifying and honing the vision

TSoB: Listen. You have had many projects that you’ve been able to pare down and simplify over the years, getting down to the basics, this can happen here too, clarity will arise, stay with the elements of your wish.

Stay close with the wishes, keep clarifying & paring down, Reduce & Destroy, stay with the mission.

You have already done so much, you can trust in the fractal garden. Keep wishing your wishes, keep making space for what you want, wash your hair tomorrow it will help.

And find a good obsession.

Do we want to obsess over the new moon?!

Why not. Any obsession in a storm.

New moon begins tonight (August 16), and I am thinking about rituals, and what I want to pre-make, pre-clean, what I want to take my time with.

I am thinking about how Rosh Hashana (new year for me) begins Friday September 17, so this month can be a month of entry and preparation.

This might be a month of rallying, or a chrysalis for the new moon.

What does this container of time look like and what are the parameters? Who is this witchy self of Leo new moon? What does this self care about? Let’s find out…

Talking to the self of new moon in Leo, new moon in Elul…

New moon in leo self: You know, TSoB and your other selves are right about infusing your space with scent, and also about the process of making these scents, this is a witchy ability much like spice blending.

The way you make a loose incense blend is unique to you, even if anyone could also use the same roots and herbs in the same amounts, it’s the you-ness, the suchness of self, that infuses a process, you can trust me on this if it sounds too far-fetched.

Similarly, making pudding is a beautiful gift to yourself, and a new batch of chai blend. We can take our time with new moon wishes, we will sort out our wishes or let them sort themselves out over time, we will keep taking steps towards Loving Clarity.

We will skip stones and listen. What is the treasure in all these unknowns?

What is the treasure in all these unknowns?

Havi: Possibility, clearing the path, an opportunity to let go of the old ways or old ideas, reconnecting with the practices that help, staying receptive to positive changes….

Leo new moon self: Honestly fewer changes need to happen than you think, this is ultimately about small shifts towards congruence, and trusting your instincts about what can go, feeling into the where / when of it all.

As usual the challenge is too much stuff in your visual space / line of sight, and once that gets cleared up and the energy shifts, you will feel so much better.

Anything else?

I was listening to an old episode of You Are Good, and Sarah Marshall described someone by saying “this is a story about a person who is trying to survive, and that’s their entire story”, and I feel that so hard about myself and wow, I want a new story!!!

This month includes the three year anniversary of moving to my property in New Mexico and I still do not have a working shower or a washing machine or a garden, and have very loud self-critical monster thoughts about all of this.

But guess what? Now is not then. So many things have changed for the better, for example I have indoor plumbing and am hooked up to electricity and have curtains, amazing.

Slow and steady, babe. Let’s see how far we’ve come and glow some appreciation for what is.

New moon wishes, take 3

Perceive the beauty all around me. Breathe and appreciate. Want more and better, while appreciating what is.

One step and then another step. Ask for help.

What would it like to be gracious with myself, to extend more grace to myself? Can I embody the kindness I am wishing for, and if not can I stay fascinated with practicing?

Lighting piñon resin and taking some breaths. It’s an honor to play the game, let’s keep going.


I’m currently working on bonus material about how I relate to time and map out my quarters, and am pretty sure I have all the parts that I think are important, is there anything you want to know more about specifically?

Drop any questions or thoughts here…

And! Anyone who gives to Barrington’s Discretionary (see below) this summer will get these by email as soon as I finish editing them…

Come play in the comments, I love company!

Share anything sparked for you while reading, or add anything you’d like to into the pot, the healing power of the collective is no small thing, companionship helps.

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. Working on some stuff to offer this coming year, but between traumatic brain injury recovery & Long Covid, 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