A series of rocks form a walkway across a creek leading to an incline with steps made of wooden beams. Rays of light cross the path…

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!

More housekeeping: You can subscribe to posts by email again!

If you aren’t seeing these posts in your in your email and want to, you can click right here, or scroll way down to the footer and click the orange RSS icon.

This will pop up a new page on the Follow.It site that lets you 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 more than once a week.

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

The slow steady art of Just Keep On Showing Up

It’s in the air

Or in the earth. I don’t know. Everyone I know has said some variation on “I have never felt this stuck in my liiiiiiiiiife” this week, and I myself have said it at least fifteen times.

It was useful to remember / remind people / be reminded over and over again that sometimes this is just a thing, a known phenomenon. It happens, it sucks, it will pass.

Dramatic fist to the sky

This week was the third anniversary of Stuck Boat Week, plus a wild full moon, eclipse time, all the many heartbreaking and horrifying tragedies of our world, and also this is just a preposterously long month.

So yes, this is a week that we, like a giant boat in the Suez Canal for example, might be confronted with what it feels like to be very much stuck.

Also my bathroom door got stuck for half an hour, which is a long time, and I did the dramatic fist to the sky of DAMN YOU, STUCK BOAT WEEK, once my friends reminded me that this is the week for things to be stuck.

That is such a lovely thing about friendship and about community. We can remind each other. And we can remind ourselves. I remembered, I calmed down, the door opened.


I spent a lot of the week taking naps, but the kind of nap where it’s more like, the nap takes you, and not the other way around.

What do you call it when you are so wiped out that there is no path other than into bed.

I am trying to stay attuned to the idea of It Solves Itself, and maybe sometimes sleep is the solution, and I mean this also like a liquid solution, something I am being immersed in. A brining, of sorts.

Maybe it’s catching up on the sleep lost during time change week, maybe it’s recovery from the winter of Witching Hours, and maybe my body is just reclaiming what it needs, and if so then good job, body.

Maybe it’s Stuck Boat Week, maybe it’s Maybelline.

Keep On

After a week of naps and snowstorms and wild winds and trying each day to do one small thing in service of Keep On Keeping On, something shifted.

Suddenly I wanted to be outside again. Outside, moving, breathing, not in bed. Huge.

It felt hopeful. I needed hopeful. Maybe you also need some.

So I took myself and this new [quantity of hopeful] on a short hike. There was snow on the inclines but not on the path. It was very muddy. I took lots of breaks because of the mud and the elevation. I crossed a creek on a bridge of well-placed rocks.

It wasn’t actually a bridge, but it felt like a bridge. That felt important and I can’t remember why.

I bravely let myself experience being alone with my thoughts (braver than the marines). I hugged several trees. And kept on.

Just Keep On

One of the trees seemed especially kind-hearted, which is a funny thing to say about a tree, they are all kind-hearted, but there was something about this one, so I asked it for any advice, any wise counsel.

The tree said, “Just keep on showing up.”

I asked if it wanted to expand on that, and it said, “Just keep on showing up.”

The usual questions

So I have been thinking since then about all the ways that I might keep on showing up.

Sometimes this is the question of where do I already practice this? where am I continually showing up? Aka the question of What’s Working?

Sometimes this is the question of where do I wish to be the person who keeps on showing up? Aka the question of What Is Needed?

What are the rituals and practices, what are the experiments, what are the fun obsessions, where do I wish to keep showing up, and in what way?

Zum Beispiel

Writing and being here is a way of continually showing up. Did you know that this August will be twenty years since I put up this website?! In internet time, that is positively ancient history, as old as the hills.

I kind of wish I could find the picture of me from 2004 that was on here, I remember that all my friends were like, oh no, you CANNOT put a picture of yourself on the INTERNET. What a time.

Small is a good place to start

It would be easy to turn Showing Up into another should, another to-do list, and I don’t wish to do that. My focus is small, simple, do-able, playful. Do less to get more.

So yes, there are small daily ways of showing up.

Washing dishes, sweeping the floor, stretching for the duration of a song. The metaphorical chop wood carry water of a quiet life in isolation.

Baking cake for Cake & Coffee Club is a way (for me) to keep on showing up, I am a big believer in the healing powers of cake for pre-breakfast.

Re-devote, rededicate, reset, restart

But I think my tree friend also meant that I need to continue doing what I’m doing: being bravely alone with my thoughts, and going for a slightly challenging hike.

And really, what am I showing up for when I do those things if not to recommit to being alive, to rededicate myself to aliveness?

Dedicating and rededicating, devoting and re-devoting. A reflexive act, doubled. I am devoting myself, to myself.

What else is a form of Just Keep On Showing Up

Intention + Repetition.

My slow and deliberate modified sun salutations and backwards walking on the rug. My daily ten minutes of practicing Arabic.

Even something like Taco Tuesday could become a ritual of Just Keep On Showing Up.

Why do I not do Taco Tuesday? Maybe it’s time to start. Or maybe that’s just a jumping off point for something similar-but-different.

Any ritual in a storm. It’s good to have things to look forward to. Let’s find out what they are.

Brainstorming / drawing board / an idea party

Each time I think of a way to Just Keep On Showing Up, I am adding it to my list. Adding it to the cauldron, into the pot. What else goes into the wishing cauldron?

  • Deep Unrelenting Empathy
  • A Glorious Return of [all of the things that help]
  • The Beautiful Magical Hourglass, it’s imaginary but I like thinking about visual time
  • It Solves Itself
  • Choose Calm Choose Ease
  • Welcoming simple elegant solutions
  • The path reveals itself / one next step is a fractal next step

The more I practice, the more I will remember. The more I remember to just keep on showing up, the stronger the practice.

What’s next

I don’t know, I am hoping and trusting that the fog of Stuck Boat Week will clear, but either way, the path is the path. Or: change the path.

In the meantime, I can focus on what I do know. there are practices that hold me and sustain me, and I can keep returning to them.

And if these practices aren’t doing it for me, I can change up any aspect of them or invent something new.

Lighting a candle for small shifts, new movement, the first signs of spring here in the southern New Mexico, hope sparks, whatever is needed most.

Let the right openings open in good timing, or something even better.

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