First of all before anything else, let me say that if you are or have been dealing with an alarmingly strong case of the Inowannas lately, you are not alone, friend. It is extremely in the air, every single person I know is going through this right now. I’m on an extended tour of Inowanna Land myself.
A fortnight, at least, of The Inowanna Iguanas. The inowanna-ing is turned up to eleven, and that’s how it is.
So, blame it on the moon, blame it on the stressful self-perpetuating news cycles, blame it on the extremism in plain sight, in peripheral vision. Blame external culture for acting like January is a good time to Do All The Things, even though it’s dark and cold in this hemisphere, and time for summer fun on the other side….
All that to say:
Let us not blame ourselves if we are in a stuck spot or a challenging moment right now.
We’re in it together.
Let’s breathe acknowledgment & legitimacy for all forms of [not doing things or not wanting to engage, or not knowing what we want or not knowing what to do with all the wanting], whatever is going on for us.
A breath for right here right now, it is reasonable to be in Inowanna territory even when it’s not particularly fun.
If you’re in it too, leave a note in the comments! We’ll start a club!
(Rumi, Rumi, Rumi)
Maybe this is item zero though:
”Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” — Rumi
Acknowledgment and legitimacy, again, for the ruins, the ruined, the perceptions of ruining and things ruined. How truly disorienting it is to experience something disintegrating.
Where there is ruin, when we are inside of the falling-apart, when everything seems wrong, chaotic, bewildering, messy and tangled…
That’s where we are, in the ruins, in the ruining. And maybe you too can hear the familiar monster cry of “oh noooooooo it’s all ruined, you’ve ruined everything, again…”
Where is the treasure? (What is the treasure?)
And just in time, while climbing through the ruins, here comes Rumi with the reminder:
In this space, this space of ruin, there might just find something that belongs to us.
That something is a form of treasure. And then there’s the hope for treasure, which is also treasure.
Sometimes even just remembering hopefulness is kind of a big deal tbh.
What else is treasure?
A beacon, a clue, a missing and surprising piece of wisdom or a dawning realization, a release, an undoing, a new pathway or perspective revealed, a glimpse into Wild Clarity.
Or one of my very favorite though also most annoying forms of treasure, the incredibly obvious epiphany which sounds completely ridiculous when you try to put into into words, but IT’S IN YOUR BODY NOW, you’ve experienced this super cliche-sounding thing in such a visceral way that the wisdom is now embodied.
It’s yours. Amazing.
The process of looking is itself revealing…
If you are looking for a powerful stone to skip, try this one…
Where Is The Treasure? What in this can I treasure?
Stone-skipping is what I call “journaling prompts”, because good god that is a remarkably cold and unimaginative way to describe a practice of magical transformative cool shit.
Try it, you can even play with this stone in the comments if you want to keep me company.
A quick reminder about process!
Of course, as always, we practice Safety First.
Here too is a place for remembering Acknowledgment & Legitimacy: we don’t need to be in a hurry to get to the treasure point.
We certainly won’t force ourselves to seek treasure if what we need first is recognition that wandering the ruins can be extremely not awesome, understatement of understatements.
If things are shitty right now, we meet the experience of [yes this is shitty] with as much presence and tenderness as we can muster in that moment, we make space for it.
We can even remind ourselves that it is completely reasonable and understandable to not want to look for the treasure. Speaking of Inowanna Season, not being in the mood to seek any treasure is legit.
Okay let’s talk about funnier things for a bit, even though yes, there are ruins and so much Inowanna. There are some funny parts too, I will tell you about them.
Wishes for Witches.
I’ve been having an extremely witchy few weeks, even while traversing the ruins.
Just odd little things. My brain was getting a little overwhelmed with retreat bookings (sidebar to say we’re booked end of February through mid-May but if you want to come in the fall, take a look and sign up as soon as you can, we still have entry prices up for a bit!!!), and I wanted a paper calendar. I work better when I can scribble notes everywhere and touch things.
So I wrote ACQUIRE A PAPER CALENDAR on a post-it and stuck it on the table, and then went to get the mail but there was nothing for me, instead there was a brown paper packet for someone else. I asked if I should forward it to Utah, and they said, no, don’t bother, it’s just a calendar, don’t need it.
Ta da! I wished a calendar and it appeared. And then this kept happening. Like an extension of being The Namer Who Names, I had somehow become the Wishmaker Who Makes Wishes, or the Witchmaker Who Makes Witches.
It was weird.
And it kept getting weirder.
Not to mention that I felt silly for not wishing more and better…
My friend (a theater person) was in town and they joked that it’s like that icebreaker game where you pretend everyone is going on a picnic for no apparent reason, and then you try to remember their name and what they are bringing on the picnic, except this is going on a picnic with the universe.
Witching hour / on a picnic with the universe
It became a hilarous extremely goofy game, and we played it everywhere we went.
I am going on a picnic with the universe, and I am bringing Panache, Steady Breath, Intention, Receptivity, Dedication, A Compass, Coffee and a Wish For Wild Clarity.
The universe is coming on this picnic and bringing surprise ease, really good solutions, tremendous luck, untangling, the just-right spatula, some bowls, an affordable handyperson, what is the degendered word for this!
And, eternal request ticket, yes please to lovers who can communicate (I know, what?!) and do so clearly and lovingly, who respect my hermit nature and want to buy me earrings. This is both a very general and very specific request, but it’s what I want.
And may all that is not useful, not relevant or unworthy exit my space and my life smoothly and swiftly, amen.
Haha okay, back to the picnic.
Anyway, friend and I were on this metaphorical picnic, we hiked in a wildlife refuge and recited picnic elements.
I took them to my favorite chocolate shop and it was closed, we ended up at a cooking supply store where I found the just-right spatula (hand-carved wood, local artist, simple, pleasurable to touch, unique). The next day a box arrived with the bowls: apparently past-me ordered some a long time ago and forgot.
My heating unit stopped working because pack rats ate some wires and then I nearly set the place on fire messing with the old thermostat, which blew the transformer, but the calm and knowledgeable good human who showed up to fix things introduced me to his buddy who is, you guessed it, an affordable handyperson.
Meanwhile three different people exited my life smoothly and swiftly, and while it was mostly unexpected and one of these exits was quite painful, this too was also clearly part of the blessing, the ask and the answer.
Next time I will specify smoothly, swiftly and without all the crying.
The tangled and the untangled.
I have been writing wishes.
And, as you might know, I believe wishes are about process, learning about myself through examining my relationship with desire. They aren’t about getting the thing I asked for, though that is cool and fun, and yes, I still want great lovers who buy me earrings and who can use their words like grownups please!
The point of naming wishes though, at least for me, is to be engaged in self-study as a form of self-treasuring, to reveal the treasure (and the qualities!) inside of the wanting, to bring playfulness and curiosity as I undo all the rules I have acquired that say it is bad to want.
Anyway, I’ve been writing wishes about my conflicted desire to hermit. After four years mostly on the road, all I want to do is cocoon. But how does that work, in practice?
What about all the [monster-objections] and practicality and loneliness and logistics and what about groceries? Etc.
At the gate.
Then a thing happened and I locked the gate to the property for the first time ever, and something else happened, and much agitation and again, tears, and all I want to say about that is:
There is some treasure for me in the ruins here, and it is the treasure of the reminder not to try to solve things while angry.
Anyway, embarrassing details aside, I locked myself onto the property and couldn’t leave, and I don’t know anyone (well, I did know someone but they were self-exiting per my earlier wish), and even if I climbed the gate, it’s still a TWELVE MILE WALK walk to a hardware store and back which might not even have what I need to get the gate open again.
And then, you guessed it, I had ten thousand panics and monster-fits about how I have RUINED EVERYTHING.
I slept on it.
A couple times in the night I woke up in a monster-panic about What If I Can Never Leave, and Everyone Will Know I Have Fucked Up Everything, and No One Loves You Enough To Come Find You.
But in the morning I sat with Incoming me and a notebook to skip stones. The answer was right there.
The writers of The Havi Show are so hilarious: I witch-wished to be a hermit but was too conflicted to commit to the wish, and then managed to force myself to actually be one!
What is more marvelously symbolic than accidentally locking myself in while trying to keep everyone else out, and yes, this is related to everything.
A spell for a spell?
If I wished/witched myself into this, how do I wish-witch my way out?
Through finding the treasure in the ruins, of course, and with a spell.
So I breathed a compass spell: I AM FIERCE I AM FEARLESS I AM POWERFUL I AM STRIKING I AM OF THE EARTH I AM WILD I AM GLOWING AND ALIVE.
And my friend wrote an Untangling spell, which I read to the gate and the lock and myself:
settle the disturbance
unbind the knot
from wondrous Breath
Things open when they open.
The lock opened after about twenty seconds of playing with it.
All was well.
And I got to experience a different kind of hermit-time.
I also learned what is actually important to me inside of that hermiting-wish, the treasure in the ruin of realizing that I’d forgotten my wish was really about freedom.
And I learned some things about patience, breath, groundedness, and untangling.
Untangling is generally not one of my superpowers (my special brain is useful in the world of concepts but I am often mystified in the world of things), but what if wishing for Untangling was my introduction to this superpower?
A new precedent has been set.
I went to a yoga class and the teacher said, “Use blocks to help support this pose even if you think you don’t need them, it sets a precedent of self-respect in the psyche.”
SET A PRECEDENT OF SELF-RESPECT IN THE PSYCHE.
Inject that superpower straight into my veins, please. I want to breathe this and circulate this and know this completely.
What would it be like if a precedent of self-respect was set in my psyche, how would I treat myself, what would my boundaries look like, how would I respond to [situations].
Who am I when self-respect is just set as precedent. Mind-blowing. This might be my favorite clue from the month of Vision and Visions.
What if Wild Self-Treasuring begins with very simple declarations of self-respect?
A scribbled clue in the form of a Martha Graham quote about “carve a place for yourself in space”, this to me is about presence and intention, claiming and reclaiming, being in relationship with space.
And of course, setting a precedent of self-respect in the psyche, because you have to decide that the space is there for you.
To make a you-shaped space in space means believing that this is something you get to do.
Carving to me has a magic to it, this is about making the space for the experience, making space for all of it: for the ruins and the treasure in the ruins, and all the possibility in between.
And it is about changing space (or the experience of the space) through breath and process and wishing and noticing and committing to the untangling.
This is the heart of self-fluency, the relationship between our internal and external space, and everything we do to play with one that influences the other.
The act of carving space…
What if space is waiting to be carved, for example, a path as yet unknown, called into being through being envisioned…
I was reading about German expressive dance, and someone describing a movement as a Leuchtspur (a spark or streak of light) in space, showing the path through creating the path.
Which of course is the superpower of clearing the path to clear the path.
Incidentally, this is why cleaning or researching is not procrastinating, because as writers and creatives, we clear space, it’s what we do, and procrastination itself is just a guilt-word, a tool of the rigged game.
I have so many visions for the year and can’t wait to share them with you.
Does anyone want to do a repeat of the two weeks of Wild Self-Treasuring group that we did last year to make it through Rhymes-With-Eerie-Canalentines Day?
Would anyone be into a group of [secret alliance of witchy wish-makers] and spend 19 minutes a day writing wishes or skipping stones or really doing anything at all that requires carving space (ha) in time for process and magic?
What about coming to center at the center for a week of meeting Incoming You while I meet Incoming Me and we co-chrysalis together?
So many ideas. Let me know in the comments if you feel sparks about any of these and we will see what comes into the field of visions next month, I’m excited.
We made it, friends. Thank you for your company. I love having you here.
Come play in the comments!
I treasure this safe space we have carved for play and exploration.
We remember that people vary. We meet ourselves and each other with compassion. We are on permanent vacation from advice-giving and care-taking. In other words, this is not like the rest of the internet.
You are welcome/invited to share !!!, anything sparked for you, skip a stone, play with any of the concepts here, share excitement for what is yet to be envisioned, or in the process of coming into form. And of course please share the post with anyone who could use any of this.
Love, as always, everyone who reads and comments as well as all the Beloved Lurkers and fellow quiet friends, you are all appreciated.
CONFIDENTIAL TO AG: thank you so much for the secret package and the beautiful letter, I am thinking of you fondly, wishing you all the most pertinent and joyful superpowers, and feeling honored and happy to get to see (and use) your craft in action, your light is big!