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!
!!! To wild self-treasuring and witchy wishing !!!
Tell me where to send my money!! (Please read as me squealing with joy, not being bossy!)
This post came to me in perfect timing and i was so delighted to be reading it on my way home!
<3 <3 <3
Treasure. Hope. Untangling. Visions.
Breathing and carving space for all of these.
I would like to spend 19 minutes a day doing witchy wishy space carvings yes please.
Witchy space carving please!
Oh yes, sparks!! Sparks for wild self-treasuring, sparks for 19 minutes a day of shared witchiness, and sweetly sparkling someday-dreams for centering at the center. I envision this centering sometimes when I am in bed and soothing (smoothing!) myself to sleep.
This morning while I was journaling and daily anxieties were bubbling to the surface, I suddenly realized (Wild Clarity!) that *so many* of them were variations on the theme of what will people think of me?/will they like me?.
Who am I when I don’t worry about what people think of me?
I want to remember what that feels like, and then I want to deepen into that knowing, and never forget it again.
Thanks for the reminder that this is the season of the Inowanna Iguanas. It’s so good to be in good company. * <3 *
I can’t carve Space from the outside. I’m inside Space. So I’m starting from the Inside, Out. I think I will keep light, And darkness. And sparklepoints, happiness, warmth – my Space has to be Warm, Dang It! – love. Respect. The concept of inside/outside seems important to Crux, the play. (And / means boundary? as well as versus?)
Dibs on the lasers and force fields! (There’s an infinite supply, even of the rainbow ones.)
I am seeking The Rules for Showing Certain Others Respect. I have a list for one group and probably should learn Spanish for the other.
As for your offers, Havi, We Shall See.
Yes to INSIDE/OUTSIDE and the Crux, have been playing with these themes a lot! I am all for carving out from the inside!
SUCH sparks for the Inowanna Iguanas, I spent my entire therapy session today talking about this. Especially as we enter my last month of leading my company, the conflicting “I WANT THIS TO BE OVER ALREADY” and “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS ENDING” voices are having a tough time inside of me.
Chicago had some forced hermitude of our own (my office was closed Weds and Thurs and I didn’t leave the house for upwards of 40 hours) but I found myself really enjoying it while others chafed with cabin fever, I am ready for more of this. More time just in my own space without a massive to-do list. Yes please.
Hello all! I love the idea of respect for the psyche! I also need help in changing my email address.
Also: I don’t see well enough to do the capcha thing. I flunk every time. After 12 chances I just gave up. I’d reached my limit. I’d certainly appreciate some help with this. Also, a note for the future Gray lettering looks fabulous, but it’s hard for me to read it.
I would LOVE to do some wild self-treasuring, and the 19 minutes a day would be awesome if I could get myself to do it???
The precedent of self-respect in the psyche: I came upon a powerful lesson in this a couple of weeks ago, which is still resonating with me. I am trying a new approach to things I don’t want to do, which is to be curious about the experience of the doing, what would it be like? What is this like as I am doing it? Instead of the fear, dread, ennui, etc. engendered by all of these tasks/experiences. They turn out to be way more fun and interesting if I can skip the ongoing critique of my behavior and accomplishments and just notice in real time the ACTUAL experience.
Plus, I have quite a few ruins lying around me at the moment. I wander through the rubble and tidy up a few little scraps here and there.
So many joy sparks!
Seeding many wishes today! Clearing/cleaning out what wishes to go, making space for what wishes to come in.
Feeling witchy as I make wishes tonight.
I’m here for wild and/or witchy groups. My word this year is “space” – making it, holding it, taking it up, outer, etc… and i’m making space for my witchy/crafty/naturey self as well <3
thanks always for the beautiful slips made out of permission. yes to inowanna, i have that. ruins, yes. treasure, i hope so. tired. now. witches for rest, witches for energy, witches for pointing our hats towards the sky and our base towards the earth. may our true love count.
love from a beloved lurker
I am traversing ruins in this time/space with an unexpected amount of calm. I am in a little space past me carved for me, within a space past me-and carved for me-and, and this is helping present me carve space for future me which is helping me-and carve space for future me-and. Knowing this is treasure, here, now, in these ruins.
Also Untangling. The yarn requires reminders to relax.
I am terribly late for the picnic, but ohh myy… Ruins *swoons* I so needed to think of the [painful and/or deteriorating situations] differently and this just does it beautifully. If I think of [painful situations as Ruins, I can acknowledge the devastation and suffering, as well as juxtapose the beauty and Treasure such as seen in ancient ruins. *glows gratitude for this Witchy Perspective*
The Gate Story was so powerful, wow. I don’t know that it’s the same, but this week I realised that my ambivalence about Space vs Connection (see **back story below) is actually about Freedom of Expression. I’m allergic to being put in a box, to being Judged, or Pressured to be Other than I am (which is not the same as wanting permission to behave badly; I will always seek to be accountable for my actions and attitudes), and I’d rather be on my own than Boxed! Until I get back in the ring because I seek Connecton. Le sigh. But along the earlier revelation, Gate Story helped me looked at it more clearly too, so thankyou *smiles*
**Back story: I value connection and crave intimacy, yet run a mile easily and live/act like a loner (despite having excellent social skills), so am constantly in this moving toward/running away dynamic, which is confusing and disruptive.
Another heart glow for the Untangling Spell. I can see I’m vainly trying to Untangle said situation/s, and this helps me gently blow Breath and Ease into it, and remind me of Magical Self who actually *does* have some influence *inhales*
As for Carving a You-Shaped Space… *more swooning as she sighs and exhales and settles in to said space* Deliciously perfect *shakes head in amazement.
And finally, after much rambling (*narrows eyes at Shame and asks her to sit back*), I would love Witchy Us-Shaped Spaces too! (I may have to give myself an extra Minute before or after so I don’t feel deprived though!)
Sweet Warmth and Breaths of Gratitude to you all,