A few months ago I was doing some especially-badass and obscenely-challenging shiva spirals, flailing around like a madwoman.

And when I was done, there were words in my mouth.

It was like a secret message.

A private mantra, just for me.

And I have been attempting to live by these words ever since:

Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue.

Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue.

Conscious entry.

I’d thought I already knew what this meant, but it turned out that there were all sorts of things about conscious entry (and self-reflective exits) that I hadn’t thought about.

Of course, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to explain any of this very well today since we all know that epiphanies are stoopid.

Or, at the very least: there is a kind of hard-earned full-body wisdom that cannot always be transmitted in words.

But I have completely changed how I enter things.

I do way less.

I do way less. But I do it more deeply.

And more gets done. Everything is slower, but the results are faster.

It’s taken a lot of self-questioning, internal negotiating, and practice to get to the point where I even let myself play with this. I mean, it’s so counter-intuitive l can hardly stand it.

Weeks of monster-talks and changing the video game just to be able to try.

Which is kind of perfect, because those are actually examples of conscious entry themselves. That — combined with rigorous scientific testing, has convinced the Monster Collective that conscious entry works. For now.

They don’t like it. And they don’t understand it. But it works.

On the bus.

About two months ago I started using conscious entry for the bus. In all sorts of ways.

I mapped out what I wanted from a bus ride. I made safe rooms (safe houses, really) for all the versions of me who have had painful bus experiences.

Rituals to interact with the body-experience of having lived through all those horrible bus rides of dread, fear and doom.

Me who had to go to that awful summer camp. Me from high school. The me who had to take the bus to work in a place where buses exploded, and she was so miserable that exploding seemed like a nice way out.

I connected to the qualities that I wanted from my relationship with being on a bus (grace, ease, safety, harmoniousness, being transported, grounding, flow).

There were dedicated bus mudras (something I’ve been doing these for over ten years) and breathing patterns and secret code word reminder phrases.

And that was just the beginning.

I’m not going to tell you about the weird stuff.

But I will say this:

Unhinged people don’t accost me on the bus anymore. I always have a seat — usually to myself. People make room for me and give me space. They smile warmly, but they don’t talk to me. Unless I want them to.

It’s trippy.

The thing I wanted from conscious entry was to not hate riding the bus so much. But I’m actually enjoying myself. This is weirding me out like you would not believe.

And I’m using the bus time to practice being present. To radiate peacefulness.

To play with conscious entry some more: interacting with the experience that is waiting for me in the place where the bus is delivering me.

It’s the same mindful destuckification work I’ve been doing for the past nearly-seven years, but it’s deeper.

Here are the questions I’m asking.

This is how I approach things now:

And when I say “things”, I mean everything. Eating breakfast. Writing a blog post.

If I were going to enter this experience as I wished to be in it, what would I do for myself?

How does my approach to this experience change when I want to enter it as I wish to be in it? What will I do differently and why?

What will I do now to set things up for then?

What will I do now to ensure that the way I enter this experience is congruent with a) how I want to feel during it and b) with the qualities I hope to receive from it?

It takes more time but somehow everything takes less time.

This morning I asked Slightly Wiser Me what would help me write this post if I only had a short amount of time to do it in. She told me to wear the purple wig and light the candle.

I rolled my eyes. But I did it.

And then I knew what to say.

I’m pretty sure that next time she’ll tell me something else, and we’ll giggle about the wig and candle thing. But talking to her is a form of conscious entry. For me. Your forms might be different.

It’s just another way to prepare for the voyage so that the voyage will be amazing.

There isn’t a right way. It’s your practice. Your kingdom. You will have to experiment.

The point isn’t what you do to enter. No wigs required.

It’s that you’re entering with intention. It’s the curious, loving, playful, investigative approach.

And every single thing that happens is different because you have established your presence in it differently.

People respond differently because you’re there differently.

Play with me? And comment zen for today.

Let’s take this question:

What could you change now to be more present for the thing that is coming?

And see what happens. You can play silently or out loud. It all counts.

As always, we all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. It’s a practice.

We let people have their own experience, and we don’t give advice.

Love to all the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers and everyone who reads.

The Fluent Self