So there’s this thing that tends to happen when your brain is all scrambled, which is that the part of you that is excessively sensible forgets to weigh in.

It’s awesome.

Because then you get all the stuff you would normally never say. Much of it surprising. And some of it actually astonishingly true.

You challenge your brain. You cross the midline. You jumble things up.

And then you ask questions to see what you know.

The question I asked last week was a new one. Well, at least I thought it was a new one.

“Where is the bridge?”

Where is the bridge?


So we were at the Destuckification Retreat and we were doing some Shiva Nata, which is super-smart brain-zapping craziness of the most absurdly wonderful kind.

I can’t remember which day this was. If our practice was silly or deep or completely transcendent.

Or some combination of all of those.

Either way, we were seriously scrambled.

Everyone grabbed a notebook and I started asking questions.

And then we got to the bridge.

Where is the bridge? The first realization.

This is what my challenged-out twisted-around mixed-up brain wrote in response:

“I’m right underneath it.”


“I’m right underneath it.

Which is making it hard to see. That’s why I can’t see the bridge. Because my boat is right under it.

I’m passing through this transitional thing so the bridge isn’t where I was looking for it.

And because of the nature of transition, I can’t see that I’m in transition.

But now I know where it is, so I can orient myself to this change. Everything is better when you know where the bridge is.

So. I’m not waiting for it. It’s here.”


The silent sounds of synapses connecting.

Snap. Zap. Bing. Zoooooooooooooom.

Got it.

Where is the bridge? The second realization.

Almost as if my pen knew what it needed to say before my brain did.

Everything I wrote was unexpected.



The bridge is not only the thing my pirate ship is directly under. It’s also at the front of the boat.

It’s where I should be. On the bridge. Because I am the pirate queen.

But I have been neglecting my navigation because of distractions. Because of pain. Because of survival stuff.

I need to be both more in charge and also more hands-off at the same time.

Which I could do if I were spending more time on the bridge. Of the ship.


Like that.

What would the pirate queen do? Be beautiful. Be both visible and invisible. Be on the bridge.”

Where is the bridge? The third realization.

San Francisco.

It was Shiva Nata and some dreams and some stars that took me from Berlin to San Francisco four years ago. And that’s how I met my gentleman friend. Kind of.

Anyway, the first thing that happened right after that? The Golden Gate Bridge told me how sad it was.

Yeah. That was sort of bizarre. Anyway.

So I launched a project to help the bridge. And between my fear monsters and some people in my life who tend to know exactly what to say to encourage those monsters, the project died.

It died the sad little death of all projects that aren’t fortunate enough to have someone to believe in them.

I spent Christmas Day on the bridge. And then that was it.

But what my synaptically-super-connected brain was telling me was that the project was not gone. Not forgotten. It had just morphed into a brand new thing. A new incarnation.

That what I was doing now was helping people find bridges. Make connections. And not just in the brain but everywhere.

Where is the bridge? The fourth realization.

Right before San Francisco, a bunch of real-life things conspired to make going there actually possible.

And one of them was someone from there who came to one of my very first workshops and asked me about the bridge.

He was talking about a linguistic bridge. A metaphorical bridge. A conversational bridge.

But of course he wasn’t. And my brain finally figured it out.

Last week. On paper. As a buzzing whirring mass of tiny Shivanautical epiphanies began whizzing by almost too fast to catch.

The bridge in question was the question.

In other words, asking where the bridge is turns out to be the thing that helps you find the bridge.

Bridges reveal themselves when you ask them where they are.

And why ask?

  1. it is useful to know what you are currently between.
  2. it is useful to know what your options are for making connections between here and there.
  3. just like how (very often, at least) there is no shoe, sometimes there also doesn’t need to be a bridge — but it’s hard to realize that without asking.
  4. once you know where it is, you can reposition yourself in relation to it.

You can change your orientation.

Back to the bridge.

The bridge is where I find the midpoint.

The bridge is where I say this is what I’m feeling and I give myself permission to feel it.

The bridge is the part of my ship where I belong.

Where I know what is mine and what is not mine. Where I can make the big navigational decisions and also the really tiny ones.

And all of that is a fragment of what my brain told my fingers to tell my pen to spill into my notebook after fifteen minutes of Shiva Nata and one question.

Comment zen for today.

Would you like to play? Yay. Play with me!

You are more than welcome. You don’t even have to be a Shivanaut. You don’t have to do or be anything.

Except ask where is the bridge and then write down what comes to you.

You can also not play. Or play and not share. Or comment about something else entirely. I don’t mind. My duck and I like you just as much either way.

The only big thing is that this is a safe space to play, which means we don’t throw shoes, and we don’t give advice. I’m going back to the bridge to have a tea.

The Fluent Self