Fluent Self June - the month of Sanctuary

Photo of The Wild Wild Nest by me! If you come retreat at the center, this is the bonus writing nook / napping nook, and this is your beautiful view!

What is possible? What comes after possible?

There is an absolutely remarkable concept in Feldenkrais that never fails to make me stop everything and gasp as I immediately reassess how I approach anything I’m working on.

It is so simple and so beautiful, and it breaks my brain every time:

“…make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant”


Undoing the hierarchical approach to progression

The idea is not that we have to get to elegant as quickly as possible.

Maybe we won’t ever get to elegant, who knows, maybe elegant is a breath-taking point on the forever-horizon, does it have any less value if it inspires us to keep moving?

Something else worth keeping in mind: Our progress is not always linear and the timeline of how we progress might not make a ton of sense.

One movement

I just spent an entire year trying to figure out how to make a movement happen in my body, and the whole time I was like, oh wow I hope I can figure out how this works so that I can move on to MASTERING IT, ta da!

And, hahaha, that isn’t how it went at all. I did figure out the movement (after about ten months of daily practice), and now sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.

Some days I get to play with the mystery of “ah, now it is possible, can we add ease?”, and other days I’m thinking, OH CRAP I’VE LOST IT, back to square one.

Except it isn’t square one at all, it’s entirely new. A trick of perspective: what is familiar makes us think we have slipped back into Then, when actually this is Now, and Now just happens to be familiar because there is something important in the familiar.

We forget and remember, this is how it’s supposed to work

We forget and remember, and each remembering is layered, holding all of the information from the past rememberings. Each remembering brings us closer to wholeness, I believe this.

Anyway, sometimes we’re working on making something possible, sometimes we’re working on making it easier, sometimes we play with the alchemy of ease into elegance.

But the idea isn’t to get to elegance and be done. Being at the ease-to-elegance section of the continuum isn’t privileged over making the impossible possible.*

* I mean, sure, it is privileged in external culture, which is where we live, however is not privileged in this concept, which is one of the reasons I love this concept.

Wherever we are, right now, in this very moment, is a good and useful place to be, and the wisdom that will be revealed in the current passage is exactly what is needed.

A breath for approaching with ease

That is to say, let us take a breath for approaching with ease (lightness), even when nothing is easy (ow, this is hard). It might not be easy, and we can still breathe for easing.

Here is the crux of this concept for me:

In everything we are doing at all times, we are somewhere on this continuum, figuring out how to make something possible, then how to make it easy, then for that ease to become infused with grace.

At any given time, I will be bouncing back and froth on this continuum, because each impossible-to-possible yields a new impossible, and because my perception of What Is Ease and Easeful will change and shift depending on the circumstances.

And because everything changes, nothing is static, we are in a dynamic process with life and aliveness.

Meeting frustration (omg so much frustration)

I am someone with a special brain.

To be blunt here because this is a place I feel safe being blunt, I don’t feel desire to expand on that last sentence too much — in my experience, the world is made up of people who find diagnoses immensely comforting and liberating, and people who do not, and I absolutely fall into the latter category.

But let’s just say that I excel in the World Of Concepts, and have trouble making sense of the World Of Things.

And a lot of the time this is no fun, because our culture places an extremely high value on the goings-on in the world of things.

Everything I love takes place in a world I don’t understand

This is especially frustrating for me as I am deeply passionate about so many pursuits that exist in the world of things (dance! movement! agility! I want to hang upside down from silk! I want to ride a motorcycle!), and it always seems as though I have to work ten times as hard to achieve a fraction as much.

I have a very high understanding of the underlying concepts that imbue these pursuits, but this understanding does not help me embody them.

And also I have been running this business for the past nearly fifteen years, and, guess what, businesses also live in the world of things, and I have so much trouble in the world of things, and [ten thousand monster stories about how I am constantly screwing up everything all the time because I can’t figure out the tech or I lose the thread, or executive function dysfunction, etc].

So how do we meet frustration?

The way we meet anything.

With a Meeting.

That is to say: with Presence, Curiosity, Intention, Breath. And a container of time-space for practice.

Here I am.

Here is my stuff. Here is all that I’m feeling in this moment. Here’s what I’m noticing. Here’s what I know is true. (For me, right now, and in general, in a more universal sense.)

Here is what I want to remember and hold close to my heart as I meet this sensation or this experience.

If I do not know what’s true, or if I’m having trouble remembering what’s true, a useful question to bring up in this meeting is What’s True And What’s Also True…

I like to do this meeting with a Meeting. This makes me laugh because meetings sound boring, but what is more fascinating than meeting my self and my wise incoming selves?

Welcome to the 24th consecutive Monday Meeting

Well, maybe consecutive is not exactly right since these do not always happen on a Monday, but I do run this meeting every week, and quite often it’s on a Monday.

I also try to not schedule anything else for Mondays, so there is nothing to be done other than meet myself (where I am), or psych myself up for meeting myself and my selves.

The container of time-space that is the Monday Meeting

I like twenty to thirty minutes for a Meeting.

Often I combine this with Operation Glow Power aka luscious skin care practices, and put on a sheet mask for the duration of the Meeting. This helps me remember that I’m in Meeting Space.

I light a candle, put on my most badass desert assassin earrings, and prepare to enter: what does it mean to meet myself and how do I wish to meet Incoming me?

(What a delight that we get to meet and connect, what an amazing thing it is to have a Meeting of selves!)

Roll call / Role call

I always begin the Monday Meeting with a roll call which is also a role call! Haha, this cracks me up every time, love to start the meeting with my favorite joke. I’m on a roll! I’m playing a role!

But really: who wants to show up? Who am I and what is important to me right now? Who am I becoming? Who wishes to be heard? Only kind and warm-hearted allies are invited to my Meeting, this is not a monster negotiation, that’s something else.

We all announce ourselves. It’s a cast of characters! I am such a character, haha! And casting is a witchy joke…

Hi! Who is here at the Meeting?

The Desert Assassin: PRESENT!
The Sorceress: PRESENT!
The Designer: PRESENT!

There might also be a self who doesn’t have a name yet, in that case I just describe them: Oh hey, welcome, hi there, the version of me who is Gloriously Unbothered because they know that all the shit that’s happening in my life right now is not a distraction.

In addition to identities or selves, there might be current themes or projects in attendance, for example: The Month of Sanctuary is invited to this Monday’s meeting, as is the project of [current secret mission].

Statement of Purpose & Intent

I usually open the Monday Meeting with a quick invocation of purpose and gratitude.

Something like: Welcome! I’m so glad we’re all here. I can’t wait to get to know you better. Here’s to Reclaiming Our Glow Powers and the mission of a sustainable center!

Then we clink glasses with our magic potions (this happens in my mind), and I explain a little bit about what’s going on for me. Sometimes I just need to vent a little.

Opening statement from a Havi!

Me, to my other selves: I’m feeling immensely frustrated and helpless, friends. I’m in total sensory overload from this fucking loud dripping sink situation that makes me want to hurl myself off of the nearest cliff, the entire last two months have been been completely hijacked with unanticipated fixes to the center, the whole thing is so expensive, time-consuming, infuriating and exhausting, and I never know when I’m going to be able to work and when there will be contractors here. I can’t focus. And I’m completely overwhelmed by the stress of getting everything done before the monsoon comes.

Please guide me, please give me some reassurance, tell me this is not all a terrible mistake, remind me that Now Is Not Then, show me how demolishing can be a form of celebrating, remind me what is true.

I need perspective, and a big whoosh of resources and supportive positive energy. What can you show me?

The Desert Assassin Advises

The Desert Assassin: Babe, that’s so hard, you are such a star for putting up with this. What a test, what a training, and you are doing so well.

Can we pause for a moment and just applaud all you have achieved despite these extremely challenging extenuating circumstances?

So many wishes from previous Monday Meetings have come to fruition. We’re back on a good sleep schedule! We spend time in the garden each day, a huge wish! Morning practice is super consistent. Getting stronger every day. You’re a badass, and we applaud you.

Me: It’s so hard for me to see the good when all I can see is what isn’t working.

The Desert Assassin: What if that sight, that practiced attentive vision, is part of the training of this level in the video game? What if you are being asked to see what is working along with what is not yet working? Is this not the essence of being an assassin? SEE WHAT IS. You need Clarity in order to Take Out what doesn’t need to be there.

Me: Haha, to take out, huh? I thought we agreed these terms were Needlessly Ambiguous

The Desert Assassin: Haha, okay, let’s murder the fuck out of your to-do list, babe. I’m ready if you are. Reduce and release. End this. Let me do my job.

The Sorceress Advises

The Sorceress: It sounds like you’ve been trying logic over magic and it’s not really working out. What about we cast something new here?

Me: I honestly don’t even know what that means.

The Sorceress: Cast out what is not needed. Name what is invited. Are you not The Namer Who Names? Are you not the wild witchy wonder? You think you have a special brain, is that itself not a form of being a witch?

You know how to adventure, you know how to delight in life. Your magic is powerful. You only diminish yourself out of habit. You have made yourself small to be loved and adored, and it is time to be done with that unnecessary and unfortunate habit.

Be loved and adored as you are. Be loved and adored by us, your true selves. You are our greatest love.

The Designer Advises

The Designer: When you cannot focus, it is because your view is not conducive. Tabula rasa. Clear out. Change your perspective to change your luck. There are too many things in view. Empty and keep emptying.

You hold onto things because they are reminders and placeholders, but these are not the same as YESES. Release what is incongruent, disharmonious, old, unhappy.

Stay with your now-yes.

Me: What if I don’t know what my now-yes looks like?

The Designer: You’ll know from removing anything that might conceivably be a test from a witch. You are learning how to trust your instincts, and getting it wrong is just as useful and important as getting it right. All the points to you for investigating this!

The Project of [current secret mission] Advises

The Project: I know why you’ve been avoiding me, and I want you to know that it’s okay. I’m here for you when you’re ready. The bridges are being built. You don’t have to worry about timing, my love.

Me: That makes me want to cry. I don’t even know why I’m avoiding you.

The Project: You are learning about an entirely new relationship with time, and about putting yourself first. Stick with what’s been working. Keep talking to me. We’ll get there.

Me: What are my next steps?
The Project: Write a love letter…

The Month of Sanctuary Advises

The Month of Sanctuary: Thank you for all you did in the month of Gleaming and the month of Revealing. You have such a different relationship with the center and with yourself than you did before. You have set everything up to truly understand what sanctuary means.

Me: I’m not sure if I do.
The Month of Sanctuary: The retreats you are offering at the center are truly a form of sanctuary. The intentional practices you model for people are a form of sanctuary. Your refusal to be put into teacher-mode or guru-mode are also a form of sanctuary.

Sanctuary is the glowing quality of your heart, the counter-part to your love of Pleasure & Freedom. It is creating these layers of safety for yourself and your selves that allows you to pursue what really matters to you in life, and to live outside of [the accepted ways of doing things, the accepted ways of seeing].

Be a sanctuary for yourself, and everything will change from this.

Let’s meet ourselves, let’s seed wishes, let’s play.

You are welcome/invited to use the comment space to share any !!! or anything sparked for you about Sancutary or Monday Meetings or being someone who lives in the World Of Concepts when the expectation is that we get how the World Of Things works, or really anything I wrote about here (I know it was a lot).

If you want to talk to any version of Incoming You or hold your own Monday Meeting, go for it. You’re always welcome to play with any of the concepts here, name wishes, call in some magic and superpowers, whatever you need. This is, as always, safe space for play and process, we meet each other with love and we don’t give advice.

If you’re joining me in the practice of 19 minutes a day towards a something and you don’t know how to start, 19 minutes of Meeting the you who gives yourself 19 minutes a day might be an interesting place to start. Either way, CONFETTI PARADE for being in process, however long it takes to begin is however long it takes.

And of course share any of this with anyone who could use it. I love having company and I love that you’re here with me. Here’s to sanctuary, and Safety First, and meeting ourselves with attentiveness.

The Fluent Self