This is a letter to you.

It might be just the thing. It might also not make sense right now. It might speak to a tiny seed for later.

You might think it’s not for you because of situations and circumstances, but actually it is for you.

It is a letter for Slightly Future You, but you can read it now.

It is a letter for a version of you, the one who will be there when you decide to maybe yes maybe yes yes yes yes go ahead and journey to the Playground.

The you who will set off on a Rally (Rally!). Or a play training. Or another adventure entirely.

The point is: this is for you. Eventually.

My dear,

My dear,

There is something I have to tell you. It is a wonderful and a hard something.

When you sign up for this experience, you are saying YES to our grand adventure together, as well as to all the possibilities that it holds. Or at least a YES to meeting those possibilities and getting to know them.

You are saying YES to the voyage.

And there are some hugely important things about saying YES to a voyage that no one ever really talks about. We need to talk about them.

1. Saying YES to a voyage can be pretty freaking terrifying.

This is normal and to be expected. There is a very good reason for this, trust me.

2. A voyage — especially a voyage like this one — changes you.

There’s really no good way around this.

It just does. It changes you.

3. Not in a bad way.

It’s not like you become someone else.

You’re still you. It’s just better.

You become more of yourself. Filled up with shining, radiant you-ness.

Almost as if you’re suddenly…more at ease with yourself. More there. More at home in your life, and more at home making conscious, loving changes in your life.

Congruent. Present is another good word.

4. But you know what? Change is scary.

Even the very best kinds of totally-good-for-you and desired change are scary. Even the changes that you have hungered after and wished for.

And this deep, powerful becoming-more-you identity change is extra-triple-quadruple scary.

Internal shifting. It’s hard stuff.

5. Because there are parts of you who are deeply invested in these changes not happening.

What do I mean by parts of you?

Old fear and old hurts.

Sad, scared, younger versions of you who forget that now is not then.

Grooves of patterns. Samskaras. Neurons running down their familiar pathways. Assumptions and habits. And Fuzzball monsters.

They don’t want you to have this experience. They don’t want to lose you.
And they suspect that once you do this, they won’t be able to keep you paralyzed with fear anymore.

6. Forces in motion. Equal and opposite reaction.

So in that moment of making a commitment to the forces of positive change, you’ve set something in motion.

And that something includes all the forces of resistance that DON’T want it. Ack! No motion! Make it stop!

You have invoked the wanting, and with it you have woken up all the aspects of you who are afraid of what will happen when you get it.

The desire is fighting with the fear of what is desired. And you might perceive this as: anxiety, stuckness, heart-palpitations, dread, paralysis, doom, oh-dear-lord-what-have-I-done?!

I repeat: all of this is normal. This is okay. The resistance is a sign that you really do want it. But yes, it is not fun.

7. And the experience has already begun.

You’ll think that the voyage is happening on the dates you’ve marked off on your calendar but that’s not true.

The adventure and all the trepidation/panic/excitement that goes along with it does not begin when you arrive at the Playground.

It’s happening from the moment you sign up.

It’s happening from the moment you decide.

It’s happening from the moment you know. Maybe even the moment before that.

Something has been set in motion.

8. I have to tell you something else.

Even if you’ve never done Shiva Nata (which is fine), I think you’ll understand this:

People who are not shivanauts think that they are their patterns.

“I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m anxious. I’m upset. I’m freaking out.”

As if: This is a truth about the universe that I have identified, and it is completely factual, and this experience is the entirety of my being. It defines me.

While people who do Shiva Nata know that everything is a pattern.

Fear. This feels familiar. Oh, right. Pattern.

“This is information. This is useful. This is normal. This is interesting.

“So. How can I interact with this? What elements do I recognize? Where are the gaps?

“How can I lovingly, intentionally and creatively acknowledge and interrupt this pattern so it can be rewritten?”

You can decide to approach things that way too. Anything. That’s what this site and my six-year-old business and my entire life are all about.

9. Call it by name.

In that moment of anxiety about saying YES to the adventure, you can name it for what it is:

This is me, going through the normal thing that happens upon saying yes to the big adventure. And I get to interact with this experience. It’s not happening to me. I am approaching it.

10. Choose conscious entry.

Several years ago, I did a training in Israel with Dharma Mittra, and he said this beautiful thing about yoga poses.

Try to enter and exit a posture as you would want to be in it.

This concept made my brain explode and also I really did not like it.

I already had my grunt-and-struggle ways of getting in and out of things. All this attention to entry and exit seemed like just another thing to feel guilty/sad about.

But later I appreciated this. Conscious entry. Conscious exit. It’s what we practice at Rally (Rally!)

We do it here on too. In the Friday Chicken, the weekend VPAs, the saying Hello, Day or Hello, Month or Hello, Moon or Hello, Rain.

So in this moment of YES to a voyage: what if you entered as you wanted to be in it?

If you want to feel calm, peaceful, energized and sparkly-excited at Rally, call on those qualities when you press the YES button.

11. Like this:

What if you intentionally made space for the fear and the worry?

You can make safe rooms for yourself.

You can find out why now is different than then.

You can call for a negotiator or use metaphor mouse or color in a monster or listen to my Emergency Calming The Hell Down audio.

You can experiment and play. Without diving into the hard and the scary, acknowledging its existence. Interacting with its existence. Staying at the edges.

You can get grounded and centered for the YES, knowing the fluttery butterflies are part of adventuring.

You can know that you are loved and adored. You are welcome and you belong. I do not expect anything of you except for what is already there.

You are ready. And the adventure will happen as it needs to happen.

That was my love letter. And here’s the blanket-fort comment zen.

Working on your stuff is hard. I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but this for the past nearly seven years and it’s still hard. Less hard. But still.

It’s a practice. It takes time and repetition. We make room for the hard and painful parts. We give ourselves and each other spaciousness and permission. We take responsibility for our experience.

We don’t tell each other what to do or how to feel. We pause (paws!) and breathe. We bring the hard parts to the fountain.

The Fluent Self