I have a wish.
I wish to devote more time — no, let me rephrase this, because actually I wish to devote more devotion…
Let’s try again.
I wish to devote more devotion to noticing and appreciating all the things I do or try, in the moment of doing them or trying them.
And not just that!
I also wish to devote more devotion to appreciating all the things I don’t do and don’t try because taking care of myself is more important, which means that the thing I am actually doing and trying is that!
I know. This is entirely new levels of everything.
So I am inviting you to practice/play with me, because I could really use the company.
And so the Communal Sparklepoint Society came to be…
It’s the Communal Sparklepoint Society of Everything Counts Whoosh Whoosh Wham Boom Wham Boom, and this is our first convening, and you are invited!
Here’s how it works.
We pause! We notice! We give ourselves enormous amounts of sparklepoints.
We whoosh them.
We give (or whoosh, if you prefer, which I do) sparklepoints for whatever we want, and we always grant them to ourselves, because no one else is in charge of how many sparklepoints we get. The more the better.
Sparklepoints are generously bestowed for any of the following:
- Doing something, no matter how small we think it is.
I got out of bed! Sparklepoints! Wham boom!
- Trying something, no matter how small we think it is.
Look at me, I just gave myself sparklepoints for getting out of bed! A thousand sparklepoints for that!
- Doing something that usually would be experienced as a negative, but today it gets to be a positive, just because.
I spilled water down my top while trying to drink it! A thousand sparklepoints for me, and double if I do it again! Today I celebrate not being able to get things into my mouth. So what! Today that’s a thousand points, and I am going to enjoy them!
- Not doing or trying things, because that’s what’s needed, or because of Safety First, or because it isn’t the time, or because it just isn’t happening.
A billion sparklepoints for realizing I wasn’t ready to respond to what X said, because I need to process some feelings! A billion sparklepoints for letting something percolate! Wham boom!
What else! More points!
We also get sparklepoints for messing up, whatever that means, because it’s learning, and it counts.
All experiments are valid! We get points for experimenting, points for investigating, points for noticing that everything went hilariously not as intended, points for science!
And we get very, very quiet secret sparklepoints (Safety First!) for having internal monsters and for thinking that we don’t get to have points because We Haven’t Earned Them or We Aren’t Allowed To Celebrate.
Guess what, monsterlets and various other internalized thoughts of other people!
Sparklepoints aren’t even real! Thus, awarding them willy-nilly doesn’t cause any harm other than potentially giving us a small burst of joy, which will probably help us be more functional humans.
Bonus sparklepoints for the following!
I am also thinking extra (possibly quadruple) sparklepoints should be awarded for getting up to do a thing and forgetting what it is.
And of course, we always get lots and lots of points for running away and hiding. Maybe even the most points for that.
Let there be sparklepoints!
A very brief history of sparklepoints and how they work.
Sparklepoints are a thing I made up because they are so much better than regular points. They glow. And they have a wonderful cascading effect — delivering all the visual joy of fireworks without the terrifying war zone sounds.
Instead of thinking (monsters!) that I have to finish something or accomplish something or be “good” at it, whatever that means, in order for it to be meaningful, this is a way to celebrate the parts of us and the parts of our day that don’t ever get to bask in appreciation and love.
That is the magic of sparklepoints: everything counts.
And this is the liberation of sparklepoints.
We don’t have to subscribe any longer to the idea that we have to postpone feeling okay about ourselves until…until what?
Until we have crossed off all the things on the never-ending list that is just going to be added to anyway? Until everyone else is happy? Until Impossible Levels of External Legitimacy have been granted and documented?
How ridiculous is that.
We recognize that we are here now. And in this moment, right now, we are our human selves, in the glorious, dynamic, ever-changing, sometimes intensely-frustrating process of figuring out how to be in this life.
And, to make it even harder, we are doing this within a world that puts an enormous value on accomplishing, and forgets that being, percolating, wondering, waiting, and being in process are all forms of treasure as well.
So we call in sparklepoints for all of these forgotten forms, and for all the parts of us who need appreciation and recognition now, not some theoretical later.
We roll around in piles of sparklepoints. We sprinkle them everywhere and toss them like confetti! We stir them into drinks. We drench ourselves in salve. We catch them on our fingertips, and we laugh.
Today needs more sparklepoints!
SPARKLEPOINTS for meeeeee for, among all the other things I am forgetting:
- I gave myself twenty minutes in bed this morning to do nothing other than stretch and yawn while listening to music! SPARKLEPOINTS.
decidedheard and received the decision not to go work out because I realized my body genuinely was not in the mood, and I trusted that!SPARKLEPOINTS.
- I remembered that earlier-me put the laundry in the washing machine! SPARKLEPOINTS.
- I brought up the clothes and hung them to dry on the drying rack! SPARKLEPOINTS.
- I paused for a Replenishing Glass of Water! SPARKLEPOINTS!
- I closed a bunch of tabs and then opened a bunch of other ones. DOUBLE POINTS FOR THAT.
- When I ran into Maxine at the store, I did not apologize for not having responded to her letter to me yet and instead just hugged her and smiled happily so she would know how delighted I am to see her. WHAM BOOM NOT APOLOGIZING AND JUST GLOWING LOVE: THOUSANDS OF SPARKLEPOINTS!
- I had a good idea in the morning and gave myself time to scribble lots and lots of notes about it instead of just the name of the idea, or neglecting it completely! A HUNDRED BILLION SPARKLEPOINTS.
- I have You’re Taking Up Too Much Space monsters and I know about them and I am learning about how they think, and sometimes I even remember to remind them that space is limitless, and so am I. There is room for me! MORE SPARKLEPOINTS.
- I cried when I felt sad! A TRILLION SPARKLEPOINTS.
- I wanted to write this post and then I didn’t want to write this post and then I got stuck and then I went and rested on the floor and remembered about ten reasons for why I had resistance! SO MANY SPARKLEPOINTS.
- SPARKLEPOINTS for noticing that where I am sitting is not comfortable, and also for getting up to pee. Yeah!
Why this is good, and also why this is hard.
Why this is good: It’s the opposite of the currently extremely popular [ass in chair] school of thinking, where it is desirable to be someone who handcuffs themselves to their goals. You’re apparently supposed to Do Epic Shit all the time, and Be Your Best Self all the time, and push so you can Get Things Done, and then you are allowed to feel good about yourself for having gotten to the destination — though who knows whether or not Current You actually even wants to be there. Thanks, Puritans.
So doing the opposite is subversive, and healing, and thumbing your nose to the patriarchy in a seemingly very small way that has big ripples in your internal world and the culture of you.
Why this is hard: Well, exactly.
We have so many inherited cultural beliefs like, oh you can only celebrate when you’re DONE, and only if it’s a big OBVIOUS accomplishment, and that things have to be DESERVING of accolades.
We are blowing that shit up.
What helps? How can we make this easier and less scary?
- PLAYFUL approach! Lightness. Silliness. Sparklepoints are inherently light and buoyant. And they are also wildly ridiculous. I find, for me, it is helpful to run around or skip or blow bubbles while whooshing sparklepoints everywhere.
- It is always easier to understand why someone else is deserving and worthy of sparklepoints, so practice delighting in other people’s joyful whooshing of sparklepoints. Say, “YEAH!” Throw some more sparklepoints in the air for that person!
- We can remember that Sparklepoints are infinite and always available. We can’t run out of them! And they cannot co-exist with scarcity monsters, because sparklepoints exist on the plane of Truth and Play. So let’s hang out there! We might still be convinced that everything else is severely limited, but sparklepoints are a starting point to play with that feeling of effortlessness.
- I like to tell my monsters that it’s an experiment, and they can’t criticize an an experiment in progress because it impacts the results. SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY, people. No peeking in the beakers, you’ll let out all the steam. So if they want to grumble about how this is pointless (ha, points!), or a waste of time, or (the horrors) Self-Indulgent, they can do that on a piece of paper or in the monster coloring book, or in a private room where we can’t hear them. But they have to respect the experiment.
- Here is a secret that I find helpful. And so do my monsters, actually. Allowing — and celebrating — the process of percolating actually dissolves resistance, which means you’ll actually be more likely to do things. And if you don’t do them, you won’t feel stressed, resentful and guilty, which means there will be way less resistance when you are ready. Here’s to percolating. It’s good stuff.
- We played this game a few years ago at the Frolicsome Bar, aka Facebook, and it was great fun. Join our little hideout there if you’re not there already.
- This post: We think we are late or behind or not good enough or avoiding, when actually we are emerging. The thing that is coming is emerging.
- My 2008 ranty rant of rantiness about National Anti-Procrastination Day and how repugnant I think this is.
- Let’s end this story about who is an X.
- The truth about avoidance.
I am feeling a lot of love and joy about community as something that is meaningful to me right now, so I would love a collective whooshing of sparklepoints for ourselves for absolutely anything and everything.
Including (and especially!) things we don’t think are particularly deserving of recognition.
Come join the Communal Sparklepoint Society of Everything Counts Wham Boom Wham Boom.
No, seriously: EVERYTHING COUNTS.
You can award yourself as many sparklepoints as you like for anything that comes to mind. You can whoosh a glorious whooshing of sparklepoints for me and for other people in the comments. You can surround yourself in sparklepoints and make sound effects!
Let us have an Exuberance of Sparklepoints, a Wild Extravagance of Sparklepoints!
How much secret glow can we bring into our world/s through this slap-dash spilling over of preposterous numbers of joyful sparklepoints?
Let’s find out.