Majestic Sails

An explanatory preface because we are doing something new today!

There are three posts in this post.

The Collected Works / Nothing Is Wasted / Courage Is Coming

You could also say there are no posts in this post, since the first is an invitation, the second is an edited reprint of a post I wrote seven years ago, one which didn’t make it into the ebook of Collected Works, and the third is a sort of preview for the next post, along with another form of invitation.

But this is the form that wanted to come into being, and these are the things that I want to say right now, and here we are. I used blue boxes to differentiate between the three sections, and also named them accordingly. And I am thinking of this like a matinee of small shows.

May it be received with love…

( Sail is closed as of August 27th. <3 )

Collected Works, Majestic Sails (Part I)

I made an ebook of Collected Works, a beautiful, lovingly curated and edited collection of SEVENTEEN* of my all-time favorite essays from the Fluent Self blog over the past twelve years. The best of the best.

And I added Breathing Space pages in between for notes or clues, or if you feel inspired to do some stone skipping or any other processing of your own. Or use as a door to take a break and reset.

* Okay actually eighteen, because I combined two of my Writing To Walls posts into one, though maybe actually nineteen because I added the Flow Chart of Spaciousness, and anyway, 190 pages of good things.

Top ten reasons for why you should get this!

There are probably more, but let’s go with these:

  1. Reading this book is a healing, it was for me, and each time I read it different words appear like acupuncture needles in the exact right spots, something releases, something is undone, something is rewritten.
  2. This book is full of clues – each time I read any piece in here, I receive another clue, pointer or direction for my own healing and process.
  3. The scribbling pages, aka “Breathing Space”: a wonderful practice in resetting the etch-a-sketch, returning to yourself and integrating the material, a shavasana but for reading-yoga.
  4. These in-between pages also give you a container of space/time to process on your own, and do your own writing-and-rewriting. Of course you are all writers (and righters too) whether you know this down to your bones or pretend you don’t. I know there are a lot of people in both categories who read my blog, so I am glowing love for all of you, the writers, the righters, the ones who don’t or won’t or can’t yet identify as either.
  5. The post contain lots of links to other posts I’ve written over the past however many years, so if you read this online you will arrive at so much other goodness.
  6. You can print it out and have 190 pages of wisdom and love beside your bed!
  7. There are LOTS OF PUNS, like, seriously, a lot, and at least one of them will make you smile or want to engage in ridiculous wild wordplay with me, because this is one of the small but meaningful joys of life.
  8. I am currently dealing with [hard situation] and EVERY SINGLE POST held at least one clue for me, even though I didn’t plan it that way at all! As if past-me was leaving bread-crumb trails of wonder and delight, release and renewal, star paths. I realize this might sound at the very least overly intense, but I believe with my whole wild heart that whatever you might be going through right now, there are clues here for you. You will also seed even more clues for future-you, and that is a beautiful thing, self-perpetuating star trails of love and wisdom, a labyrinth to walk as many times as you want…
  9. Reading this may make you want to WRITE! It might make you feel JOYFUL and EXPECTANT AND TINGLY about writing. And writing/righting is both healing and revealing!
  10. I miss writing and posting on the blog, I want to return to that sharing process-and-legacy, and for that to work, the blog needs to be funded. So even if no other reason speaks to you, consider this a donation to The Fluent Self, investing in the continued work/play/treasure of self-fluency flowing into the world so we can deliver more magic.

This book was available for the first half of the month of Courage (August)


What happens next!

Saying yes to anything is a door, and so we pause and breathe, because that’s what we do at a threshold, entering as we wish to be in it. Then you press the beautiful button.

Then you will get an email from us with a download link to the book, which you can read at your own pace and time, because the superpower of All Timing Is Right Timing applies extra to magical things, and this is definitely a magical thing.

all the small-printables

  1. Here are my thoughts re buying stuff online: it is very easy to get sucked into the rigged-game world of frantic pressured decisions and accompanying doubt-panic-dread, so let’s not do that. That’s not fun for anyone and it is certainly not how I want to do business. Let’s do the *opposite* of that, let’s pause and breathe and remember what is important, getting back to ourselves and feeling our quiet warm yes of the moment. This way we can experience what it could feel like to buy something from love. This feels more harmonious and sustainable to me, more conscious, grounded and heart-centered, and I hope it’s also much less stressful for you.
  2. We don’t do refunds or returns here, and we have a page about the thought process behind why that is, in addition to the administrative aspects.
  3. We make everything with so much love, and we love that you want to be a part of our work, because these gift shop sales allow us to keep writing and sharing. Thank you. We love you.

Nothing Is Wasted (Part II)

This is an edited/updated reprint of a post I wrote in September, 2010, and it wanted to be shared today, so here it is.


Like most epiphanies, it sounds obvious and even kind of stupid when you say it out loud, but it’s still a gleaming piece of truth, and now it lives in my body as a source of comfort:

Nothing is wasted.

Nothing is wasted.

I spent five years as bartender in south Tel Aviv.

In some pretty dive-ey places.

I knew artists, writers, musicians, local celebrities, surfers, motorcycle gang members, counterfeiters, drug dealers, tour guides, cab drivers, Moroccan mafia, and people who didn’t come in without bodyguards.

Once someone tried to follow me home. Once someone took my phone and smashed it against a wall. Once someone threw a vodka bottle at me (I ducked). Once I nailed someone in the face with a stack of about fifty coasters and didn’t even get fired, that story is in the book of Collected Works that I just told you about…

I learned a lot.

I learned a lot about sovereignty. About not taking other people’s shit personally.

About right people. And how to run a bar.

About managing (people, expectations, experiences).

About creating setting. And specifically creating culture.

About ambience and the power of everything that happens behind the scene. And about beauty and power, safety and pain.

What I’m NOT saying.

I’m not saying these experiences were good.

I’m not saying that everything is for the best. How could I know that. I am definitely not saying suffering is a gift. Or that we should be more grateful.

I would never say anything like that, I would never imply that our experience is wrong.

Just that — for me — it isn’t wasted.

I don’t need to spend more time on regret for each moment that wasn’t spent taking better care of myself or having better boundaries or doing something “meaningful” with my time.

All those moments have meaning. And they all came together to put me here now and headed towards where I’m headed. Not wasted.

Once I had a gig as a choreographer.

No, really. For a children’s folk dance troupe that performed all over the midwest.

I haven’t thought about that in years.

Even though I probably use those skills all the time …

  • putting things (insights, projects, programs, ideas, words) in order
  • creating sequences for things to happen in my business
  • working with groups to make the impossible possible
  • awesome high kicks for when we do Ironic Aerobics (totally optional) at my writing retreats

That job — and everything that went with it — has nothing to do with my life right now.*

And yet.

Nothing is wasted.

*That sentence was true seven years ago, but it is a ridiculous thing to say today, now that I am a dancer who dances every day, isn’t that wonderful?

Once I spent ten months climbing trees.

I know about things that you can only know from spending a lot of time by yourself up in a tree.

Nothing is wasted.

Once I spent three months in bed.

Near-catatonic depression.

Nothing to wake up for.

Only loss and grief and blankness.

Now I know what that’s like.

I can identify with things my clients and readers deal with, but without being in it.

And I have a different relationship with both fear and emptiness because I KNOW them. And with surprise moments of grace, because now I know that eventually they will come, and I know more about seeing, I keep notes about what brings me out of the dark places.

Nothing is wasted. Stay with us, please, stay with us.

So many things.

Big ones.

I have loved and been loved.

I have lost and been lost.

I have done terrible, terrible things. I have experienced moments of redemption.

Nothing is wasted.

And so many small things too.

I bake bread, name moons, cry, laugh, dance, list things.

Sometimes I feel afraid or envious or filled with fiery rage. Sometimes I feel peaceful and wild under the stars. Sometimes I forget how to rest and then I have to remember again.

Nothing is wasted.

Where the stuck happens.

Inside of resistance, guilt and blame.

In the moments of “But whyyyyyyyy is it like this?!” and “But whyyyyyyyyyy is it not already like that?”

When I don’t meet myself where I am.

When I forget to give legitimacy to whatever it is I’m feeling.

When I believe my fuzzy monsters instead of being curious about what is really going on.

When I forget that I have support and so I forget to call on allies and negotiators.

When I need to be right, and forget about all the good stuff that happens when I’m wrong.

And all other forms of fighting with what-is, instead of remembering that we are allowed to not like how things are in this moment. Observing the process not-liking is already creating space and changing the pattern.

And yet. Nothing is wasted.

So I can stop and remember again.

And if nothing is wasted, then we can extract the wisdom and the love, and release the pain that is attached to it.

But long before that, it is enough just to remember.

And in the comment blanket fort today…

We all have our stuff. We are all working on our stuff. It’s a process. It takes time.

This is tough territory. And again, I would never say that you are in any way obligated find value in any of the hard, awful things that have happened to you. You aren’t, and anyway that would be condescending, obnoxious and honestly a kind of violent thing to tell someone about their pain

So use this idea of “nothing is wasted” in a way that does feel safe and comfortable for you. And if it doesn’t do that for you, then let it go and do what you need to do for you, because nothing is more important than that.

*blows kiss*

Courage Is Coming (Part III)

Courage is coming!

It is the month of Courage, and I did something so courageous
(in my personal life, not my writing life)
that I immediately threw up six times
and then cried so hard that I gave myself laryngitis,
which is why I am now drinking slippery elm tea with honey,
and thinking about what it might mean to have the superpower of
Effortless Not Caring and Glorious Indifference,
and Glowingly Powerful Boundaries,
appreciating how brave I have been
and how brave I am
to meet this new door.

I have written a beautiful August post for the beautiful August door,
and I will post it in a few days when
August and I (and Courage and I) have had a chance to
get to know each other better.

Courage is coming, and so is the post about Courage.

Courage is coming.

Courage is coming.
Courage is here.
Courage is being restored as we speak,
with great love for the month of Restoration which taught us how.

In the meantime, I have a request for you (dear reader!)

A request! For you!

If you have already invested in the ebook (that is, invested in yourself and in our community here and this space and this magic, through acquiring the ebook), I would LOVE SO MUCH if you could share something in the comments….

For example, just that you have it and are happy about that, or something you noticed or received or enjoyed, or something about how beautiful it is or why you appreciate it or a piece of treasure you have gleaned, whether from reading or rereading or not-reading-yet, or via the act of saying yes itself, or a favorite thing about the book, or really anything else warm and loving that you wish to share!

That would mean a lot to me.

And it could be a sort of welcoming tea party for this collection too, which is a lovely image.

Invitation: Communal space! Come play with me…

You are invited to share this post and to share many !!!!!! about what is here,

Or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading…

Safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

We remember that people vary and my process doesn’t have to be yours, and this is a good thing.

Here’s how we meet each other: with great kindness and appreciation and awe, whispering (and sometimes shouting) oh, wow what beautiful wishes!

The Fluent Self