Friday chickenIn which I cover the good stuff and the hard stuff in my week, trying for the non-preachy, non-annoying side of ritual and self-reflection.

And you get to join in if you feel like it.

I’m sitting writing this in the big red chair in the Hypothalamus.

That’s my new office at Stompopolis.

I say “new”. I’ve had the keys since March. But I don’t go in there.

I have issues with space. Issues with not having it. Issues with having it.

This is not new.

But that was the theme of this week, and so here I am, practicing. Hello, beautiful space that is both open and contained, that is just for me, that I have so much trouble growing into. Hello. Let’s look at the week from over here, and see what happens.

The hard stuff

The second saddest letter.

So last week I got the saddest letter.

And then one week later, at the same time, the same person sent a second letter that was basically an apology for the first letter.

A sadness-filled apology for how sad the letter was, for how sad this person feels that they wrote it, for how I must be feeling (sad!), for the entire situation (which, in case you hadn’t figured this out yet, is sad sad sad).

With — wait for it — even more apologies about the fact that they still stand by all the original sad things, despite the fact that yes, sad.

Ugh. The fact that this letter changes absolutely nothing might be even more sad than the letter or the situation or any of it.


More sadness.

Last Friday I did a hugely important, meaningful thing that I have been looking forward to for months. An amazing and transformative moment in the life of Havi.

And there were two important people that I had really been [hmmm. hoping? expecting to? some kind of happy verb!] to share this with.

Except neither of these people is really speaking to me right now. Because stuff changes and things die.

So. That was kind of lonely. And I felt sad again.

Luckily my playmate kept me company and was there to be excited for and with me. To appreciate what a big deal this is.

Thank goodness for that or I would have probably cried my way through the whole thing.

The week of misunderstandings and possible misunderstandings.

And worrying about misunderstandings!

This is huge core-Havi-issue pain, being misunderstood, and this week had so many misunderstandings.

One of these in particular triggered a massive attack of insecurity freakout, where the prevailing script was I ruin everything, and of course it was totally in my head, and of course it erased everything else.

So that took a while to untangle.

I am so upset about this!

Someone just wandered into Stompopolis off the street while I was deep in the zone of of working.

Someone who was not supposed to be there. Who shouldn’t have even been able to get into the building. In my space. In this sanctuary of magic that I have built for only beautiful things. With their shoes on!

I wasn’t prepared for it. I didn’t know what was happening.

Figuring out new signage and new protocols and new everything, but ohmygod I am upset about this.

Also all mechanisms fell through. Pirate crew were there but couldn’t figure out how to take charge of the situation. Because I hadn’t trained them to?

I had to run around for a while yelling in my head: No! I am the one with the ball! You guys have to tackle anyone who comes near me! Your entire thing is to help me stay invisible so I can do my important work of radiating culture from behind the scenes! Please help meeeeee!

And that was my stuff, and I had to go do a lot of work with it.

But mainly it was just another piece of information about SPACE, which was the pattern of the week.

Speaking of that…

The new version of Incoming Me showed up this weekend. Which was great. I’d been waiting for her and wondering about her and expecting her ever since Havi Bell landed last week.


Except she woke me up at 3 in the morning with a long list of things to do.

And her whole thing, as she told me, all perky and happy in the middle of the night, is helping me become the version of me who joyfully takes up her space.

So yes, that.

And then all hell broke loose this week as every single issue I have around space came rushing to the forefront.

At dance class I got squeezed out of rows, relegated to edges, every single time.

That thing with the building. Things online. Everywhere. That was what showed up. And I hated it.

Harmony (that’s what she’s calling herself, because she’s hilarious) said that this is my obstacle course. I don’t WANT an obstacle course!

She said I could make it a lot easier if I took the answer to one obstacle and applied it to all the rest, and I didn’t want to do that either, even though she is right. She’s hoping I will eventually take this as a fun challenge. Not happening yet. Still in my stuff.

So much grieving left to do.

Releasing and releasing and releasing.

Sometimes it feels like I will never be done crying for things that happened THEN.

This week was all about uncovering new wells of pain about loss. Layers that I didn’t know about.

Auuuuuuuuuuuugh the heat.

I do not do well in the heat. I am not that kind of flower. I wilt.

This week was way too much hot. Things annoyed me, which is a sure sign that it is too hot for Havi.

I actually slept with all the ice packs from the freezer, in a little circle around me.

Writing a difficult letter.

[silent retreat!]

Headache via Bolivia.

The two year old next door has transitioned from late night screaming temper tantrums that last for hours into a new thing.

The new thing is somehow, impossibly, even worse.

It is excited squealing and yelping that starts at about four in the morning.

It’s a good thing he’s cute. I will say that.

It has not been fun. Also, it seems like one of the main perks of not living in Bolivia is that you get to sleep whenever you want. So I am extra annoyed about this right now.

People not taking responsibility for their stuff.

And bringing it to me when it is not mine. All week long. And bringing it into my space, on twitter and facebook and in other forms.

Sometimes even people who have studied with me and therefore know that the main precursor to everything thing I teach is: Hey, sweetie. OWN. YOUR. SHIT.

Except they forget that part. Which is kind of the most important part, because without that you can’t do the part about process and play and exploration and creative discovery. You have to start from safety and sovereignty.

So there was boundary stuff aplenty this week, and that was exhausting.

Wait, another misunderstanding!

Sometimes people you care about are in their stuff!

And sometimes you want them to not be in their stuff.

Which is, ta-da!, your stuff.

So then you have to work on your stuff. You have to remember that it’s not your job to make it all better for them. That there are lots of ways to be present with someone who is in their stuff without taking it on.

Such is the work of life. Sometimes I feel really relieved that I have been in training for this for so many years. But man, misunderstandings are so painful.

The good stuff

Move those hips.

The beautiful cheetah of a dance instructor in my class is my only source of pop culture information. Apparently Elton John called Madonna a ‘fairground stripper’? Okay.

Anyway, that was the theme of his dance class, and it was awesome.

“I want us to dance like fairground strippers today! Kick it, ladies, like FAIRGROUND STRIPPERS! Let’s get those legs up, like fairground strippers…”

I have no idea what a fairground stripper is but that was a very fun class.

And now I am walking around swiveling my hips like a fairground stripper, it’s kind of great.

Plus you can add this sentence to anything. Kind of like adding “in bed” (or “except in bed!”) to fortune cookies.

It’s very entertaining. Much like a fairground stripper…


The coronation.

It went beautifully and smoothly.

All my wishes and asks came true.

Including the most unlikely ones. Specifically:

1) I asked that the experience be palpably better for everyone else involved because I was there.

Then we were all waiting in this cramped corridor and everyone was irritable. So I did a peacefulness meditation for the room we were going to enter. And the second I felt it fill completely with peace and knew that my work was done, they opened the doors and said: “The room is ready for you!”

And everyone was instantly happy, and someone even said, “Wow, this room feels so peaceful…”

Yes. Yes it does. Yay.

2) I asked that my process be differentiated in some way, that it stand out.

And it did. A highly unusual thing happened when my name was called, and it was very exciting! Almost as exciting as… a fairground stripper.

But really the whole thing. Doing it alone, on my own. Having the company of my playmate. Searching for clews. Taking pictures. It was perfect.

Playdating all the playdates.

Another week of being in play, as play, through play, with play, all forms of play. Almost as if I were a fairground stripper…

This week’s play had questions and answers, intimacy, shelter and sheltering and being sheltered, wonder, creativity and patience.

Play is changing things. And committing to playfulness is too.

Dance class, at least when I wasn’t in my space-related pain.

Beautiful subtle nuanced movements, new understandings, new inspiration, a new level of being able to be in movement.

Took a million classes this week. Like a fairground stripper…


Talking to Ez this week. Pronounced E-Z. Like a fairground stripper…

We don’t talk that often but when we do, we end up collapsed in giggles for an hour, being the funniest and having all the words.

My brother. The best.

Ahahahahaha of course.

There was no misunderstanding. Of course. Usual error! It all happened in my head! No explanation was necessary! Which is good, because I broke the pattern and didn’t try to explain.

I had the superpower of Everything Is Okay. Like a fairground stripper…

Physical therapy.

Well, it’s more like emotional therapy, that just happens through the body.

I cried and processed grief, as always. He instinctively knew how to do all the right things, as always. It was as if our nervous systems were completely attuned to each other, we were synched up with both each other and the miracle of healing. It was intense and important and exactly what I needed. Like a fairground stripper…

What a connection. It’s kind of like what I have with my business mentor, except with the body.

Met the new Incoming Me! And she’s amazing.

I love her. She’s wonderful. Smart, funny, kooky, wise, says all the best things.

She’s been so much help this week.

We’re tearing stuff apart. Like a fairground stripper…

Beautiful beautiful beach day.

And it was warm!

For the first time since moving to Oregon, I actually wore a bikini on the coast. No sweater! No anything! Just a bikini. Like a fairground stripper…

Also, all the five year old girls were jealous because it is a total minnie mouse bikini.

Also the beach was gorgeous and mostly deserted (except for those five year old girls and accompanying cluster of adults). I walked for hours. Played in the Pacific. The ocean gave me a healing. It was a hell of a day.

Marisa is back.

I got to hold her hand and smell her hair and tell all the stories and hear all the stories, and everything is good because of this.

And I am taking her to the beach. Like a fairground stripper…


You guys! Stompopolis is so amazing and we are so close to opening!

I had the best time playing there this week. Like a fairground stripper…

And as of this week, we are getting ready to start sparking the sparks online, so if you want to follow Stompopolis and the secret delight-filled goings on via the Twitters or in the hidden room behind facebook or look at photos on Instagram, please please do that.

We would love to play with you some more.

Playing live at the meme beach house — it’s the Fake Band of the Week!

Background? Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once translated “people will hate me and be jealous” to “they’ll hang out at my Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.

This week’s band is totally my brother’s fault.

Easy Goat Zonkers.

Can I just say that this one might be my favorite band of all time?

Though, of course, as it turns out… it’s really just one guy.

Hallo Hallo! I am saying Hallo Hallo. Announcement time.

Picture me wearing that crazy hat

Same as last time. The Monster Manual & Coloring Book.

Saved my ass a hundred times this week. And I watch people on the Floop use it to destuckify. You can absolutely tell who has the tools. It works.

That’s it for me …

Join my Friday ritual in the comments if you feel like it. Or call silent retreat!

We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. And we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever (or not) and it’s no big deal. Like a fairground stripper…

The Fluent Self