I have been gone. And doing a lot of looking for space in the tight and narrow places.

In my body, mostly.

In the joints and between the fascia. Space between the vertebrae.

But also:

In my physical and emotional environment. Activating sources of support and comfort. Noticing what happens when I contract into fear or dislike.

Finding the words and actions that can act as a buffer. Going into the neutral zones.

And instead of explaining, I am making lists.

Where I’m messing around with spaciousness for the moment.

  • In a morning bath
  • In taking three slow breaths as I open the computer
  • Noticing as I type this that I have been kind of sitting at an angle and now my shoulder hurts so I am going to stretch out my shoulder and adjust adjust adjust..
  • Drinking water
  • While reading Maryann’s amazing post.
  • In trying to trust things.
  • And remembering to play.

And more spaciousness ….

  • In taking a break from typing.
  • In giving myself permission to not write something that I don’t want to write.
  • Time for an afternoon nap.
  • Cutting a walk short because of the tired. And without a lot of explanations.
  • Making wishes and writing Very Personal Ads.
  • Fluffing up the cushions
  • Saying BED! And then going.

And then the spaciousness on the plane ride back to Portland.

  • Not going to the post office with the big box of yoga blocks and toys, but having it be luggage. Cost the same. Less hassle.
  • The smile of the flight attendant. It was real. That was nice.
  • The generously large bathroom stall at the Asheville airport which had its own sink! A sink in which I rinsed out the shirt I had stained.
  • Not flipping out over having stained the top, which normally would be cause for agonizing.
  • Not being angry when my bags got checked. Responding without being reactive.
  • Wearing my crown.
  • Not taking it personally.
  • Enough time at the gate for a snack and a phone call.
  • Remembering what I need: autonomy, comfort, support, strength, freedom, trust. Looking for ways to have more of that.
  • Hanging out with Slightly Future Me on the plane.

And really the biggest thing was this:

Making a conscious decision to not go into victim mode with the TSA woman when my bags had to be searched.

I can spend a lot of time in victim mode because that’s the history but I didn’t.

Not a victim. Just two human beings. In an uncomfortable situation but here we are.

Showing her my labyrinth and the bells and the Schmoppet, and letting her admire my sovereignty boots. Not putting myself in the helpless role and not putting her in the abuser role.

We were even able to laugh. This is very unlike everything.

Though if I’d had to be actually physically searched? I’m pretty sure I would have lost it. Still, progress where the progress is. That’s what I’m paying attention to right now.

And since returning.

  • My rituals are back! I was so worried that they had disappeared forever but I was wrong. It turns out that they live at Hoppy House.
  • Getting up early to take a bath and tramp it up.
  • Going for a walk with Selma and the gentleman friend.
  • Cleaning at the Playground and making space for the new rainbow hammock that @herchuckness sent
  • Streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetching! But very slowly. Old Turkish lady style.
  • Checking in with Real Life stuff but only for a few minutes at a time.

At the dentist.

  • Trying not to use the word dentist.
  • Remembering that today is not ruined just because this is where I will be today.
  • Knowing that this is another space to do a little ju jitsu (or shivanautical deconstruction) with my pain and my victim stuff.
  • Making space before and after to not have to do things.
  • Remembering that this is a way of giving support to myself, and that there are other things I can do to give myself support while I’m in it.
  • Permission to not want to be there.
  • Legitimacy to the pain.
  • Wearing the invisible sovereignty crown.
  • Knowing that I’ll get to report back, if I want to.

Receiving a not nice letter.


Giving myself room for my pain. Giving them room for their pain.

Remembering that not everything requires a response.

And even if this one does, my main job during a barrage of flying shoes is to take care of myself first.



And then possibly other things.

We’ll see.

And comment zen for today.

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff.

We let everyone else have their stuff.

Playing is welcome. As is silliness, thoughtfulness, wonderings, practicing, noticing, metaphor-mousing, figuring out what’s next.

What is not welcome: unsolicited advice. Because not giving advice is how we let everyone have spaciousness for their stuff. It’s about consciously, actively not going into our default patterns of trying to make things better. Even when we really want to. We take care of ourselves instead.

Internet hugs all around. I’ve totally missed you guys.

The Fluent Self