Last week I started making a list of things I know about nests.

Or really, as it soon became clear, a list of things I didn’t know that I knew about nests.

On the surface, I don’t have a lot of thoughts about nests. In fact, prior to last week, I would have described myself as INDIFFERENT when it comes to nests.

But I was using the idea of a nest as a proxy for a project I was working on. And a nest seemed like a good example of something that I don’t care about that might be important.

From my notes:

Nests are the embodiment of SHELTER.

Much like a sukkah or a blanket fort (or a cocoon), nests can be temporarily constructed for a purpose and then be released/shed/deconstructed/taken-apart.

Nests exist to be a container for a very specific purpose or place in time:

  • For a season.
  • For a resting period.
  • For an incubation.
  • For however long it takes to grow something.

Things can be nested inside of other things.

Also nestled, which for me has connotations of things like [+cozy] [+aligned] [+snug] and [+comfort].

Nesting dolls are containers for each other.

But they’re also containers (nests!) for mystery and surprise and delight.

There is something intricate about a nest.

For me, if I were breaking down the word into my personal associations (a la metaphor mouse), NEST would include:

[+intentional] [+craftsmanship*] [+gathered] [+organic] [+sheltering] [+slow process] [+transition] [+comfort] [+softeness] [+growing stronger] [+sinking into] [+release] [+shavasana] [+knowledge] [+experience]

* Though if a bird crafts it, isn’t that craftsbirdship? It kind of should be, if only because that is a crazy-awesome-looking word.

Nests are containers, but it’s more than that.

Nests are doors. Nests are homes.

  • The Playground is a nest for Rally (Rally!).
  • Rally is a nest for changing how you make progress on mysterious and not-mysterious projects.
  • The ship is a nest for the voyage.
  • The Refueling Station is a nest for releasing.
  • The (opening-next-month!) Floating Playground is a nest for process and for feeling like you belong in your life.
  • Shiva Nata is a nest for transformation and rewriting patterns (and for being the eye of the storm).
  • Hoppy House is a nest for learning how to feel at home.
  • My body is a nest for learning how to be at home.
  • My heart is a nest for hiding and for being loved.
  • My cells are nests for blueprints.

And so on.

Tinier and tinier.

Like nesting dolls. Or nesting nests.

How do you know that you know how to build a nest?

The knowledge for how to build a nest (or to invoke a nest) is very… internal.

This stuff isn’t covered in manuals. It’s a thing you need to remember that you know.

There are maps and plans hidden inside the bones of my wings, but first I have to remember that these things exist.

What is powerful about a nest?

Hidden strength.

What is useful about a nest?

Being separate and hidden.

(That could mean above or deep).

When is a nest not a nest?

When you are done with it, and then it can be taken apart or turned into something else.

What happens to me when I am nesting?

I am the complete cycle: mother and infant (in the archetypal sense, not in the about-to-go-to-Bolivia sense).

Caring and being cared for at the same time.

An internally directed cycle.

Also, any nest is really a nest-in-progress. Nests aren’t done. You can always tweak, alter and change. Lovingly maintaining a nest is part of the experience.

What else is a nest?

Well, safe rooms are a form of nests.

My relationship with X was a training ground for me to learn very specific things.

It wasn’t the soft comforting sort of nest, but it was the kind of nest that Mr. Miyagi might build to teach you how to wax on and wax off.

A bootcamp nest? Ewwwwwwww. Oyvavoy. Not that. More like how I’m Bruce Wayne, and the bat cave is a nest. Ahhhhhhhh. Got it.

Right now all the training that I’m doing to get mission-ready is a nest.

AND all the resting that I’m doing to get mission-ready is also a nest.

How do I know that I’m done with a nest?

Okay, so in my personal world of nests, there is no being unceremoniously dropped out.

That is a distortion. That is my pain experience. It’s from then.

In my world of nests, there’s a moment in which I know I am done.

And then the next adventure — which is itself a new and bigger nest — just appears. And the previous nest dissolves.

In I allow my nests to expand and contract as necessary.

And even when I’m flying, the experience of flying is a nest.

My relationship with the experience of flying is also a nest.

Every tree is a nest. Each new opening is a nest.

What is next?

Trusting what I know.

Trusting the nest.

Trusting the me who built it.

Play with me! The commenting blanket fort.

This is my process. It’s personal and a little vulnerable. What I would like: loving sighs. No advice, no analysis. Making space for my understanding of nests to be different than yours if that’s the case.

If you’d like, you can find out what you know about nests and use that as a proxy for something else you’re working on.

Or you can find out what you know about something else (like curtain rods or clouds) and that will probably tell you useful things as well.

Or you can sit here with me and drink tea. Or not tea. Whatever you like.

Usual comment zen applies. We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. It’s a process. We play. We make room for each other.

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

The Fluent Self