What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.

What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.

What do we know about Desire?

horizon

Calling do-overs on the month of Desire

It turns out Desire is intense and a little scary, because it is about making room to want, to allow myself to be someone who wants.

And this is a lot. I went and hid out in the woods for a few weeks with a very opinionated cat and many deer. I learned about spaciousness and about loneliness, I learned about craving, I learned about comfort.

Crossing through.

Now it is suddenly July and I am still making peace with Desire, and with the various desires of June, exploring what it means to let them exist. What happens when I let myself hear them, see them, feel them in my bones?

So let’s keep going with this. Let’s meet Desire and keep meeting her, let’s meet these missions with curiosity, patience, appreciation and fascination, letting these qualities infuse the passage from June into July, in the spirit of All Timing Right Timing.

June is DESIRE and July is ANTICIPATION, and these are clearly related. Noticing my apprehension and wondering what it would take to let it reconfigure into anticipation.

Deciding that this process of exploring my relationship with desire (in all forms) can be the just-right portal to whatever is next. What if Desire is not so much a quality but a superpower?

Entry for the entering

Taking a minute — or maybe even more than a minute (?!) for
{pause + breathe}
{pause + notice}
{pause + feel what is here}
because how can I know what I want or need
when I have forgotten where I am…

Join me if you like, and yes, reading counts as joining.

Hello to my forgotten heart

Sixteen breaths of hello heart aka how is your heart, friend
hi, forgotten heart-space and all the forgotten places of wanting!

(I forget but then I remember)

Thank you to Lisa Mae for this piece of perfection in question-form, which returns me to the heart of it all (jinx!)

I can feel the immediacy and the elegance in how it slices through everything, the bullshit small talk, the half-lies I tell myself.

This question is a door and a returning, a clear and loving expression of [let’s get back to what is real-and-now], an invitation I will always answer.

How is your heart, friend?

A month (or more) for exploring Desire

This yearning to turn inward and re-remember, to feel again and new, this is also my hello to each new month that is incoming.

And of course it is also a greeting to all the Incomings aka the versions of self on their way in, the qualities they embody, everything we are inviting, right now, everything we are calling in, with love.

Focus

My focus right now is Powerful Foundation, and this is funny because focus itself is also a form of power and foundation.

And: this is how we mobilize, act, stand, fight if needed.

My mission is to learn more about incoming me who is currently taking the form of a glamorous gorgeous assassin. I want — no, I FIERCELY DESIRE — her wildly intimidating qualities and superpowers, including:

stealth! tactical! fierce! balanced! sexy!
unapologetic about the above as well as everything else!
every single movement or non-movement is efficient, powerful and graceful!
amazing boundaries that border on magic!
can cut through bullshit with a glance!
wants what she wants!
trusts her instincts!

Some clues / Some noticing

These are clues for me and maybe some will also be clues for you:

  • CLUE: the thing that was the solution is not the solution anymore (?!)
  • CLUE, related to above: this is not a bad thing, it is just new
  • CLUE: adornment has meaning
  • CLUE: just add intention
  • CLUE: begin from a powerful foundation
  • CLUE + massive insight: It isn’t yes vs no, it’s yes vs clue, and because everything is a clue about a yes, I keep things in my life that are Less Than Yes so that I don’t forget my actual yeses, but then these clues just CLUTTER MY DESIRE FIELD, does that make sense?
  • CLUE: home is a stronghold, what else is a stronghold
  • CLUE: “no need to push here, your body will be ready when it’s ready” (apparently I needed to be around someone who said this nineteen times in an hour and a half)
  • CLUE: A Critical Mass of Wild Extravagance
  • CLUE: Sometimes wanting is scary, sometimes just admitting that I want is scary, sometimes I am scared of how much I want to be wanted, and it is all okay, desire is a powerful narcotic and also a powerful healing, and it gets twisted by culture, and it makes sense that we can feel conflicted about all aspects of it, points to us for paying attention to everything that comes up and recognizing that these reactions are understandable!
  • CLUE: A round hobbit house door is very unexpected
  • CLUE: do it like an assassin: the assassin doesn’t sweat the small stuff, the assassin executes the small stuff (I am murdering my to-do list, and it is hilarious)
  • CLUE: X begins where Y Stops
  • CLUE: Sometimes the fastest way to activate a superpower is saying “ACTIVATE!”

My missions for the month of Desire and beyond

Operation Stay Curious
How can I welcome my desires with warmth, while getting clear and grounded so that I can easily and efficiently differentiate between wishes and clues?

I am ready to be the queen of discerning what is a reverberating heart-space FUCK YEAH 120% TRUE YES versus what might be a clue about or towards a possible future yes.

(A hint, for me and maybe also for you: turns out most things are clues!)

And so we invite in the superpower of I Can Appreciate A Good Clue And Still Wait For My Yes.

This secret op is dedicated with great love to the memory of Anthony Bourdain and the superpower of receptivity to all good surprises

The Whirling Missions
Feeling a fit of Congruencing coming on (when we make internal changes, our external space feels dissonant, every step towards making things more harmonious is a big deal), but what if this doesn’t need to take place through having a a fit? What if it can just be a good fit instead?

I am calling this a whirling for now, like a dervish, let this be a good fit through a whirling of spirals and circles, a healing through roundness.

These missions are also about receiving orders (from deep inside, the Glamorous Assassin), and then executing these orders, like an assassin, with lightness and efficiency, what happens when I approach my day in stealth bad-ass mode, glowing and intentional…

Powerful Foundation
This is about feet, this is about strongholds, this is about press down to go up, this is about moving from stability into possibility as Melissa says.

This is about channeling the most fearless version of my glamorous assassin self, Janelle Monae meets Emma Peel meets Trinity from the Matrix, unstoppable glorious action, and it all comes from this foundation of a new relationship with feeling powerful in my presence.

And yes, this is about boundaries, and I know this because two days after naming this op, I had about seven hundred boundary-related challenges and we know how this works when you wish for a thing and then immediately get the opposite of it in the form of a challenge.

A story, part i

A while back, my dance teacher’s teenage step-daughter asked her, “Who’s that one student of yours, you know the one, she looks like a sniper…

And of course Jen knew exactly who she meant, and this story delights me because yeah, I look like a sniper, but also because apparently I am terrible at being incognito, to the point that a fifteen year old blew my cover.

A story, part ii

Last week I told my dance teacher about this secret identity that is incoming, how I want to feel my way into this Bond girl assassin self, wildly intimidating and mysterious, who even knows whose side she’s on, she’s so powerful and compelling that it doesn’t matter.

In fact, she’s so powerful and compelling that she stops making sense in most settings. You are not surprised to see her at the gala at the embassy, even though she doesn’t have an invitation. But at the supermarket she is out of place.

I said I want to embody her essence so completely that it seems completely bonkers when I am seen in a supermarket, sure maybe I’m inconspicuous when I need to be, but also devastatingly dangerous and suspiciously glowy.

Jen was like OH HELL YEAH WE ARE DOING THIS, and proceeded to give me a bunch of homework in the form of assassin-related dance drills on things like using the secret diamond in the heel of my shoe to cut a perfect circle in glass, and how to hold my body while carrying a champagne flute on my way to elegantly murder someone deserving of my wrath.

We called that one flutes and glutes, because I am the funniest, and this might become a future workshop, just saying…

A story, part iii

The next day around lunch time I was at the supermarket, and a checker guy IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT AISLE yelled over to me, “hey what’s going on this isn’t your usual time to be here!”

I actually haven’t been there in months but yes, I used to go in the mornings when I was cat-sitting in the neighborhood, and he remembered. So. There it is.

Complimentary

Someone I love is truly the world expert at delivering compliments, his compliments are so completely themselves that even if your monsters think they are ludicrous and over-the-top, it doesn’t matter because his words are so pure in their love that they cannot ring anything but truth.

What he says is truth, both for him when he says it, and just in general.

Like it or not, you are compelled to believe every spectacular thing he says about you because of course he is right, and then you walk around all day like YES, I AM REALLY GOOD AT EXISTING AND I DO HAVE AMAZING HAIR, and it is seriously the best feeling in the entire world.

His marvelous compliments are somehow always delivered at the exact right moment in the exact right tone, built-in effervescence, and they make me want to fill the world with even more wildly extravagant but completely true observations about everyone I love.

Here’s a text from him that made me smile for a week:

“Havi, listen. You are perfect. You are sexy. You are ruthless. You have excellent grammar. You are a glorious, striking, green eyed marvel. I will see you at breakfast.”

I now feel this much enthusiasm about everything that is a yes.

Also about you, person who reads and hangs out here:

I cherish you. You have palpable sparkle, that’s why we twinkle at each other so well.

I am thrilled that you exist and that the internet is bringing us into each other’s orbits.

Also, your hair is amazing, and I don’t even have to see it to know this, because I can just feel the truth of this.

What is the beautiful truth in Wild Enthusiasm?

I think this wild enthusiasm is how I am learning to differentiate between a desire and a clue.

The more I tell the truth about what is beautiful, wonder-inducing and a joy to be around, the more I know what (and whom) to treasure in my world. To treasure and to keep.

And the more I acknowledge what glows, the clearer I am on what does and doesn’t need to be in my life right now.

I have become someone who appreciates enthusiastically, and this is also helping me get through this dark and terrible timeline of awful heartbreaking news. My heart still hurts, all the time, the news is devastating, and also I am finding more joy in small beautiful moments.

The joy is sustaining me, and it is becoming part of the Powerful Foundation that will help me mobilize. And this is secretly what I desire (Month of Desire) more than anything. To be in my power, do what’s right, and not lose myself in the pain.

What does Fearless look like?

This is the next step in the mission of Welcoming Desire.

I don’t know the answer to this yet but I have been dialoging with Me Who Is Afraid and Me Who Is Fearless, and it turns out that both of them are very wise, loving and funny. I like them both.

Me Who Is Fearless has some killer intel though, and she is helping me get closer to my desires as well as knocking things off my to-do list because nothing intimidates her, and it is amazing.

And when I find myself in a perception of stuck/lost, which is a natural and normal part of any secret mission, I let these parts of me talk it out, until perspective returns.

Come in, superpower of Perspective Returns! That might be one of the most important pieces in this mission of exploring Desire.

Some current secret and not-so-secret desires

Some of these are encoded which is a form of the practice of Safety First as well as the practice of Make It Play, both of these can be very useful (and stealthy!) approaches to desire

+ Gain In Strength (for things like Standhand and Playup!)
+ More power, less effort aka relax into strength
+ I Am Of The Ground But Live In The Air And This Delights Me
+ Love more / Trust more / Wish more / Pause more
+ The Right Dress For The Gala (this is a proxy, but…)
+ The Right Tool For The Job
+ The Right Job Given The Tools
+ Villianness!
+ Stealth Ship Design
+ My backup plans have backup plans but also I don’t care about plans

Questions, asked with love.

What is this month called Desire
and what does it mean to be okay with wanting
and what else do I know about fearlessness?

Let’s seed these for now, and let intel percolate, as we do.

Let’s trust in the process of asking and desiring, trust that this is all helping us prepare to mobilize.

Invitation for this post!

You are welcome as always to share !!!! in the comments or anything sparked for you, or process what needs processing, maybe through skipping stones.

We remember that People Vary, we meet ourselves and each other with kindness, we don’t give advice. This is space for process, and process is unique, and more importantly, internal. We can always use a proxy or cover story if we need one.

Lots of heart-glow over here for you and everyone who reads, thank you for being here with me.

Readying to mobilize (a journal entry)

Entry

This is a post about Mobilizing, a word that is charged up for me right now. This includes the internal process of readying ourselves, to the extent that we can, for whatever is needed.

What is needed?

Oh, speaking truth, taking the steps as they are indicated, unhesitatingly standing up for what is right in these troubled times. Not to mention taking care of ourselves so we can do this work.

This is from my journal

In other words: a window into one possible form for process and internal exploration. I received all kinds of good and unanticipated intel from this, and hope you will too.

may it be received as it was written, with love

From my journal…

I am in a remote location at a safe house.

There are a dozen deer outside the window, peering in, seems like a good omen.

The word reverberating through my space is Stronghold.

The place where you regroup, the place where you go to regroup.

This itself, the place and the act of going there, is a form of recovery.

And yes, the location might be internal.

Recovery

Recovery is a word that goes deep and has at least two meanings:

+ healing
+ finding once again something you thought was lost

It wasn’t lost for good, it is returned, recovered.

New in this moment and also rich in the sweetness of what is familiar.

This time-and-space of Stronghold, for me, is an exercise in reconvening and reconfiguring, chrysalis time.

I am recovering because this is how I prepare, and what I am preparing to do is MOBILIZE.

And I am here to learn more about what this all means, both the preparing and the mobilizing. We need to recover the missing ones, we need to recover ourselves.

How can my new understanding of stronghold facilitate new forms of mobility?

Mobilize to rise

These are hard and scary times out in the world: our powers are needed, our recovery is needed, our strength and courage and stance are needed, let us figure out what needs to happen so that we can mobilize and act.

Let us prepare (a form of conscious entry) so we can be more present and engaged in both internal space and out in the world.

This is the op. Operation Further Reductions x Gain In Powers.

What does this mean to me? Let’s find out.

What does Reductions mean to me?

The magic of Less

Intentional + Strategic + Tactical + Efficient

A sauce: all flavors are intensified by the process of reducing down to essence

And it is about Know Your Inventory, aka if I know what I have and if I only have things I cherish, then I have a personal relationship with all my belongings, and they aren’t “belongings” anymore…

And it is about Clear The Path To Clear The Path, removing distractions in all forms so that I can see what is, and feel the action that is coming.

What is Know Your Inventory?

Of course it is about Intentionality and Luscious Minimalism and True Yes, sure, all those things, and also in some strange sense that I can’t quite put into words yet, this is about remembering that my belongings and I are a family or a gathering, a team, colleagues in magic-making.

The objects I choose to have around me are in relationship with me. We are each other’s familiars, we are wand and kettle, broom and cat.

Or, here is another image as it flashes across my mind: the familiar path through the forest behind my uncle’s house where he walks (slowly, and backwards) each morning and each evening, and how he knows every tree.

Maybe my belongings can be like tree friends.

And maybe they are not belongings at all and really we belong to each other, or at least right now we do. What is special and right and true, what belongs in my circle of tree friends? What do I cherish?

What is welcome in this imagined domain of forest space?

Mmmm. Forest bathing is also a form of recovery, and now I am thinking about that luscious and completely involuntary long exhale that announces itself when I find myself walking among the trees, and then we twinkle at each other in acknowledgment:

I see you, tree-friend. I see you, fellow being, fellow channel of love-source.

Yes! This is the feeling I mean! What it would feel like to perceive and treat everything I “own” as talisman, tool, ally, comrade, friend.

What would it feel like to be more aware of my allies in mobilizing, whether people-friends (hi) or tree-friends?

What relationships and connections need to be cleared out or asked to grow?

Powers

Oh! Can I feel the powers that come when I remember that, just like trees, we have the ability to tap into a shared powerful underground network of roots and resources.

Taproot powers.

Drawing power from the earth and returning power to the earth.

What are the Powers that come from (Further) Reducing?

So many, but off the top of my head:

+Clarity +Discernment +Grace +Vision +Grounded Knowing +Loving What Is Mine

+Perspective +Possibility +Powers Multiplied +Integrity +Freedom +Movement +Flow

+Prowess +Gravitas +Adventure +Fierceness +Shoring Up Boundaries and Foundation

What does Further mean (or what might it mean)

Further is more, raise the intensity with steadiness, or gather in and keep things on low flame, also with steadiness, as a way to pace yourself because the experience is intense enough as it is.

Sometimes we meet intensity with intensity, sometimes we meet intensity with the loving acknowledgment that this is all a lot and we need to go take a nap. There is room for both of these in {Further}.

One is not right. One is sometimes right for certain circumstances and the other is right for other circumstances, and figuring out when we yin and when we yang, well, this is part of the experiment of being alive.

What else about Further?

Further beckons.

Further says please continue.

Further says every step counts and every rest counts.

Further says know yourself and how you best travel.

What do I know about Further Reductions

Further Reductions is about immersing so much deeper in the practice of True Yes: both getting clear on what is currently yes, and removing everything not supportive of yes.

Further Reductions is honing my ability to discern what is a yes versus what is a clue towards a yes.

I can appreciate clues and follow them, but I also don’t need to keep clues — OR PEOPLE — in my life as placeholders for yeses.

Instead I can make room for incoming yeses through acknowledging the clues and then moving them out of my space as needed.

What do I know about Gaining? What is Gaining?

The addition that comes after the subtraction.

Strengthening. Nourishing. Imbibing. A Coming Together. The result of training powerfully and intentionally.

Receiving and meeting what is next on the path.

What do I know about Gaining Powers?

When I gain power, it isn’t necessarily that I have new powers (though sometimes I do), it’s more that I trust myself and my instincts in ways I could not before.

I am more grounded, more stable, I feel the ground. It is the opposite of what happens when I disassociate and disappear.

There is such a thing as Grounded Floating, this is one of the new powers I am in the process of gaining as I reduce-reduce-reduce what is in my headspace.

Part of what I am gaining is an enhanced ability to feel, sense and notice my relationship with the ground.

I am learning to feel at home with my own fierce power, my witchy knowing, my tender heart.

What kinds of things am I thinking about Reducing?

Reduction can take many forms. For me, right now, thinking about reducing in terms of:

+ Pare Down (do I need this and love this, do I know where it lives and how to find it?)
+ Delete (phone numbers of ghosts, texts from then, photos etc taking up emotional or energy bandwidth)
+ Shred (piles of papers from then, some projects are more like wishes or clues, what is their new home)
+ Remove Distractions
+ Goodbye to people who are not welcome in my life or in my heart or in my head

What is my purpose in Reducing?

+ Clear Headspace*
+ Clear Visual Space
+ Know My Inventory

* yes I want to check social media to know when and where the riots are, and what urgent situations require our attention to mobilize and act, and I can’t function when this devastating input is constant throughout the day, reducing input includes making designated time-space to ready myself to receive the input

What do I want from Reducing / what will assist me in Reducing?

+ Time that is blank (shavasana, meditation, bath)
+ A view that does me good (forest, water, horizon)

The Reduction Incantations, again

(I wrote this back in April when this secret op was still brewing for me in idea form, and rereading it now reminded me that April me was so very wise and I love her forever.)

REDUCTION in releasing: let go of ballast to soar
REDUCTION like a sauce: you have less but you get more (taste! intensity! delight!)
REDUCTION of down to basics
REDUCTION as INDUCTION
REDUCTION for RE-GROUNDING
REDUCTION is release to receive
REDUCTION through exhaling to let it all clear out
REDUCTION like reduce distractions aka Clear The Path To Clear The Path
REDUCTION like a fire sale or a moving sale
REDUCTION is Luscious Minimalism, Less to Yes, Pleasure In Freedom

let’s welcome in the new and better, now there’s space for it

What else is important here?

This op holds so much but especially letting go of what is old and not-yes, while becoming — and feeling, perceiving that I already am — exponentially more powerful, more formidable, balanced, grounded, more at home in my body, myself and the world, ready to stand strong for what I believe in.

I am here to enter into chrysalis with Incoming Me who embodies FEROCITY and STEALTH PANTHER GRACE, who is wild, self-sufficient, finds pleasure in challenge, knows when and how to rest.

Further Reductions means know what I have, know what I need, feel what I desire, and easily differentiate between a fuck-yes vs a clue towards a future yes.

Gain In Powers means learning to feel at home with my strength, get ten times more formidable, powerfully grounded and embodied to march out into the world with a solid force field and stand up for what is right.

Why am I here?

I am here to make space for the new, get clear, release stale energy, and practice What We Do Not Feed Will Not Grow.

I am here to learn about what I cherish, to act on that, and I am here to cherish myself while I learn.

Come, courageous heart. We are here.

Full trust.

I have full trust that whatever brought you here is good, worthy and important, the meanings, discoveries and adventures in your own secret ops don’t necessarily have to overlap with mine.

Everything we investigate will be for the benefit of all, I feel this and know it in my heart.

Other big words, powers and clues I am calling in through Further Reductions

ALCHEMICAL
EMBRYONIC
DESIRE
STAY CURIOUS / STAY FORMIDABLE
ELIMINATE TO ILLUMINATE and ILLUMINATE TO ELIMINATE
GO FORTH AND WRITE FROM YOUR POWER

A chorus of angels

There is also something here about recognizing that trying and attempting are infinitely more valuable than I give them credit for.

I want to meet each perceived failure or moment of stuck by conjuring a glorious cascading of sparklepoints and imaginary glitter confetti because yes, paralysis is an understandable response to terror and also good for us for trying things at all.

A chorus of angels shouting encouragement every time I try whatever it is I’m trying:

“FUCK YEAH GOOD EFFORT GOOD HEART WE FUCKING LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE PERFECTION EMBODIED RIGHT NOW YOU BEAUTIFUL FUCKING SOUL IN A GLORIOUS HUMAN SHAPE WHO TRIES THINGS!!! HAVI BELL BROOKS, YOU ARE ABLAZE WITH LIFE! LOOK AT YOUR WILD HEART, TRYING THINGS AND LEARNING FROM TRYING!!”

Solstice.

It is solstice and we are ready to MOBILIZE. 

We will prepare a reduction.

We will taste tastes and smell smells.

We will move our bodies in a way that helps us feel the ground.

We will come up with a plan for when and where we show up, and stand for the things that need standing for.

(I think or at least hope we all know what needs standing for, but here is an excellent example of praxis and demonstration: the Fifty Licks ice cream truck showed up at the protest of ICE offices in Portland to give away ice cream to protestors, and just so happened to park directly at the exit blocking any ICE employees from being able to drive home. This to me is inspiration in this rough week.)

Brave things are being asked of us, friends.

Brave things are being asked of us. Courage and integrity and a devotion to what is right, this and more is and will be asked of us, and this is true in the United States where I currently am and which is in a frightening state of criss, and it is true everywhere.

I am taking this transition time of solstice and the next month of chrysalis time to ask what needs to be (further) reduced, in all aspects of our lives.

What needs to be reduced and what powers need be gained, what is to be eliminated in order to illuminate?

What do I make space for? What am I clearing out that will help me act with clarity?

This is about integrity, congruence, harmony, presence, grace, aka the good stuff of life that is not necessarily easy.

What will support us in mobilizing while staying grounded, clear, discerning and devoted to life?

I will take this question and all these big feelings to my notebook, to my tree friends, to the labyrinth, to the protests, into sun salutations at sunrise, into scribbling before bed, into calling on all the allies in the world to help comfort and rescue/recover the missing and imprisoned children and refugees we can’t and won’t stop thinking about.

Let us prepare a reduction, breathe our way into steadiness and next steps, trust our powers (the ones we have, the ones we are gaining in as we name them), and act.

Invitation for this post!

You are welcome as always to share !!!! in the comments or anything sparked for you, or process what needs processing, maybe through skipping stones for solstice.

We remember that People Vary, we meet ourselves and each other with kindness, we don’t give advice. This is space for process, and process is unique, and more importantly, internal. We can always use a proxy or cover story if we need one.

Lots of heart-glow over here for you and everyone who reads, thank you for being here with me. There will be a June (Month of Desire!) post coming soon as well. Come hang out with me here when you can because it helps me write when I remember that people are reading!

(on the) horizon

horizon

where to begin when I can’t stop going in circles?

let’s pause and ask a different question: when is it useful to go in circles?

when the circle is a labyrinth, a spiral, a compass

aka my favorite things

okay, let’s breathe into the roundness and begin with a clue

into the circle

a clue and a beginning

if you put cattle in a rectangular enclosure, they do not like it

but make the edges round and the world makes sense again for them

doesn’t that sound sweet and amazing, the world making sense again

even for a moment

shape = home

horses too: give them roundness and they’ll stop freaking out and know exactly what to do

they will lope in a circle once you give them a circle

nature doesn’t do rectangles or square edges; those shapes are baffling when you are a mammal

and I am (a baffled mammal)

same

we are mammals, and so it makes sense

it makes sense that we too are calmed and comforted by circles and archways

rounded edges and contained spaciousness feel good

we circle home and circle back

we are circulating (breath) + circumnavigating (the sun)

can you feel how we are homing our way home

obviously the People Vary principle applies, if charts-graphs-lines, structured cube things etc are calming for you, good intel for making joyful adjustments!

calmed by roundness

back to cattle and horses: angles disrupt the flow of a moving herd, but it is so much more than that

the radius of rounded corners prevents anxiety and keeps them calm

arches and circles and round shapes are familiar, they bring us home

see also: Temple Grandin on humane livestock handling

roundness is the encompassing compass

arches and canopies

all month long I thought about horizon

and now I have a better understanding of the image past-me chose for this month

transitions can be intense but breathe and love this rounded archway as you cross through

what if horizon is not just possibility embodied but also a passage of roundness

a passage through and into roundness

emergence + beginnings + home (what is home?)

and really if you think about it, we came from roundness

this can mean so many things but let’s start with these: cells, womb, source

O

Georgia, Georgia

we literally push our way out of a rounded aperture into the world

a round door into the world

and I just had a vivid flash of imagery, it is wonderful and bizarre and I probably shouldn’t share it but here it is:

vulva is forever Georgia O’Keefe flowering, but the vagina (canal!) is a perfect hobbit house door

Georgia on my mind, yup, all kinds of things on my mind…

let us passage our way through the round

Martha, Martha

because Tom Waits knows about longing (sound)

and looking back instead of forward

this is related to horizon too and I don’t really wish to say more about this now

but it’s a reminder for me to let what was be what was, over and done

eyes up, babe: the road ahead is beautiful and, more importantly, it is yours

(other) things that are or can be round

a compass / a labyrinth / sound / an orgasm / a bell

this is also a list of things that reverberate

and a list of all that is holy, playful, joyful, real

a list of what this Havi Bell loves most in life

really it is the perfect list, no more lists are needed ever the end amen

what else is round or rounded

+ river rocks (which are really skipping stones!)
+ when you blow a soap bubble and it floats above you, perfect and iridescent
+ a porthole
+ a button
+ the reverberating om which is also a homecoming
+ love*

* this last one might be a synesthesia thing, in the category of huh, well, this is true for me

love, for me, is always round

and, while we’re at it, let us appreciate kidney-shaped things like a baby’s feet and sometimes a swimming pool

nature abhors a vacuum and has no time for a box

this is funny to me right now, nature is constantly like, “you know what, fuck your right angles

I can’t stop thinking about this intrinsic mammalian need of ours for roundness vs how we actually live

aka cubicle culture and city planning on a grid

we construct boxes to live in, we drive around in little boxes

and we are anxious and do not know why

roundness: enter here

I am happiest in round spaces but you know this already

do you remember how once I whispered (here!) about this secret knowing

I am made of round houses

just round the edges and all is well

the horizon is unknown and unknowable and also, somehow:

what if all is well?

and I am well

also I am a well

in the sense of [body of water] and in the sense of [source / connection to source]

a well of well-being, a bell of bell-being

roundness for resonance

what happens when the edges are wrong

like the confused cattle I have been winding myself into a knot of [nothing makes sense]

and then the monster chorus starts in with their repetitive chant

aka Everything Is Hopeless, Again, Because You Fucked It All Up

the right response (for me) is always in roundness, a circle of safe space

I place myself inside of a compass and breathe my way to peacefulness, presence + glow

a returning and a remembering

I want to share with you some of what I learned in this month of horizons

(1) my friend Alon took a three year period to recover from Situation X + solve Mystery Y, and ON THE LAST DAY he suddenly knew the answer to all of it, now this happened for me after three years of mostly wandering-and-wondering and letting my house go which means now I live nowhere (haha, even more so than ever before), the Month of Horizon came in and I suddenly know both what I want and where I want to be

(2) everything got solved while walking backwards, I will tell you about this next time

(3) my uncle built a tiny hexagonal cabin in the woods when I was very little, it is made of roundness and magic, I visited it yesterday and the path was so overgrown as to be invisible but my body remembered how to get there

(4) it is time for TRUTH-TELLING, to get out and be hard to find but also to stop hiding

(5) so here it is: I am the witchiest-witch in my full witchiness which is to say I am maybe a forest nymph and definitely a panther, and, just like the hexagonal cabin, I am made of roundness and magic

(6) I will read labyrinths for you, more on this later

(7) my heart is full of love, for you, and for life, and for this wild adventure of each day is a door

(8) this month a lot of past wishes came true, things that have been long-wished-for and then they suddenly showed up just as the time came to sail off into the horizon

breathing the superpowers of horizon

+ expansiveness
+ clarity
+ presence: yes I am here for this adventure in progress
+ discovery elements
+ appreciating everything that is in the process of being revealed
+ rounded edges
+ clean clear boundaries benefit everyone, just round them
+ we can do this: breathe breathe breathe
+ how can I care even more lovingly for this mammal body
+ hey friend, how is your heart?
+ let us get to the heart of things
+ and let us do this with patience, trust in the winding path
+ chrysalis for safety, for emergence, for magic
+ there is time for {this}

hast du etwas zeit für mich? / dann singe ich ein lied für dich / Von 99 luftballons / auf ihrem weg zum horizont

glad you are here, friend

(invitation to play here + pre-announcement for play later)

announcements coming soon, including: labyrinth-readings! compass-poetry distance sessions (tell me what your compass is and I will do a deep-dive into it and share what I learn), and a shared online communal adventure related to my current Bond Girl mission of Operation Further Reductions / Gain In Powers

in the meantime, comments are open…
you are welcome as always to share appreciation or anything sparked for you, anything coming up about horizon, any wishes for the month to come

here’s how we meet each other here: with warmth, and without care-taking or advice-giving

heart-glow for you and everyone who reads: thank you for being here

buoyancy

(0) beginnings and opposites

I am thinking about [things],
and noticing my strong reluctance to share any of them,
whether here and with you or at all,
reluctance is an understatement,
I want more than anything to turtle and hide,
to run and not look back,
and so I am going to breathe love and
DO THE OPPOSITE

let’s be here now
let’s be here, now

(0, again) entry into entry

The intentional practice of
Oh Hey What If We Do The Opposite is
one way — not the only way, just a good way —
to interrupt a pattern, which is what we do here,
or at least a big part of we do,
so let’s honor the spirit of lovingly interrupting
these old and spiraling patterns

(0.5) words about words

I want to find where courage lives in me and share with you
some bits and pieces of what is
currently weighing on my mind*

[CURRENT] is a big word right now, as is [WEIGHS],
there might be an entire novel’s worth of information
to explore and unpack in just these two words alone,
but for now it is hard enough to
to sit here with you, breathe, share,
let’s begin where we can

yes this is important: we begin where we can

(1) ballast

I am thinking about the word BALLAST
aka anything we might let go of in order to rise up
or sail safely,
and also how scary it can be,
both the act of tossing-overboard
and the soaring itself,
the commitment required for that moment of
letting it go which is also the moment of
agreeing to embark, and not only embark but
directly into the unknown

(2) emptying

a flash of memory, a story I heard or read,
a couple decided to get rid of their belongings,
go live on the road in a tiny teardrop trailer,
they reduced to the most minimal basic essentials
but when the day came to set off, they discovered
it was still far too much, maybe two or three times
what would fit, they just started flinging things out,
left half their life by the side of the road,
they said they never missed any of it

(3) mixed

my own feelings with regards to this story are (at least right now)
complicated, chaotic, messy, uncomfortable,
I wrote and then erased many words around
the magic beans of privilege involved in
this particular genre of Letting Go,
how it becomes distorted and commodified

the entire culture of fetishized minimalism as #inspo can die in a fire as far as I’m concerned

(4) now

this is not theoretical for me at the moment though,
you could say it strikes close to home
though also far from home
as I now find myself
in this exact situation though not by design

(4.5) timing

my home is [gone] I have exited and do not yet know
where I might be headed

whatever does not fit in my car is not joining me on this mission
it has to exit my life because it cannot come along
though also because I am allergic to storage units,
and April has been an impossible game of tetris:
no matter how much I say goodbye to,
there somehow still seems to always be slightly more than a carload,
and this needs to magically resolve itself today

(5) hmmmm

there is another piece to this too
while solo adventuring is both most indicated and my actual desire,
I still find myself longing for a someone who will say
HEY THIS IS GOING TO BE — and is! — A GRAND ADVENTURE,
AND YOU ARE THE GRANDEST OF GRAND ADVENTURERS
as they kiss me goodbye and tuck my hair behind my ear,
glowing love for me and my voyage

noticing how painful it is to watch myself
wishing this wish, but then I remember:
I can let Incoming Me say this to me,
after all, she is my greatest love and I am hers,
forever-companions in wild aliveness and remembering truth

(6) uplifting

I am thinking about BUOYANCY,
the word for April, and how
it keeps coming up unexpectedly,
in every single yoga class I have been to,
the instructor will suddenly say
let your pelvis feel buoyant,
then a found note in familiar handwriting:

YOU CAN HAVE GROUNDING & BUOYANCY AT THE SAME TIME!

(6.5) flow

and now I am thinking about Virginia Woolf and
“I am rooted, but I flow”

(7) beginning with B

Ballast and Buoyancy and Bukowski
here is Tom Waits reading the laughing heart,
another heart clue, this one delivered by
someone who later revealed their own heart
in a way that was disorienting and disappointing
and scary

I am worn down from the work of boundaries,
another word that begins with b,
let’s breathe a new question:
what is the treasure in
being done with how things were?

(8) breath-blessing

breathing the blessing of agreeing to let trauma follow the door,
watch it unwind its way out of my body,
new breath, new balance,
the dance of ballast and buoyancy
being being being
a flower unfolding,
learning to trust again

breathing for my heart,
breathing for healing,
breathing for believing

(9) believing

I am at the coast communing with the bridge,
this is what I do when I forget about buoyancy,
the bridge told me the next step is believing

to believe I get to have so much more and better
than what I currently (there’s that word again)
accept as the bare minimum baseline of respectful,
believe this and keep believing it
until we no longer encounter any of the people who
think their wanting takes precedence
over me, my sense of comfort, my sense of safety!

believe this and live it
amen forever may it be so

(11) believe, again

a forever-clue from Maya Angelou:
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time.”

haha the thing where I’m like “oh yeah that was a red flag but it’s probably fine”, let’s stop doing that

(11.5) believe your heart

oh this clue from Marie Kondo:
“Believe what your heart tells you when you ask.”

remembering to ask, this is the heart-felt work of life

(x) nameless

this number doesn’t have a name because it is unknown,
a wild card number!
here is what it wants me to tell you:

the labyrinth said BELIEVE TO RECEIVE
and then it laughed
I heard a bell inside me

(12) bell-tower

my heart is a bell and my body is the belltower,
no, I am the belltower, all of me,
I am the home for a bell,
my mission is to create the best possible conditions
for resonance

for me, being a belltower is about inhabiting my body
(prowess for grounding)
(grounding for buoyancy)
but I am also a belltower of emotion
ringing and resounding, letting feeling reverberate through me,
and I am a belltower of mental clarity
and a belltower of ringing spirit
fully embodied and resonant, clear and here,
feet to crown

hello life: I am here for this moment

(13) what is a buoy

it floats but is also self-grounding
a marker and therefore a boundary (!)
not to mention
completely at home in flow-state

oh month of buoyancy
you hold so much more than I’d realized

(14) the rally of further reductions

I am deep-dive immersed in the missions of further reductions,
not only the letting go of everything that can’t come with me,
but letting myself get lost in the vastness
of exploring what else this might mean,
what is or might be contained within[Further + Reduction]

REDUCTION feels like magic, an incantation
FURTHER says please continue

(14.5) incantations

REDUCTION like releasing: again, let go of ballast to soar
REDUCTION like a sauce: you have less but you get more (taste! intensity! delight!)
REDUCTION like down to basics
REDUCTION like INDUCTION
REDUCTION like RE-GROUNDING
REDUCTION like release to receive
REDUCTION like exhale to let it out of psyche
REDUCTION like reduce distractions aka Clear The Path To Clear The Path
REDUCTION like a fire sale, or maybe a moving sale
REDUCTION is Luscious Minimalism, Less to Yes, Pleasure In Freedom

let’s bring in the new, now there’s space

(15) the wrong question

I am so tired of being asked where I am going next
and even more tired of the answer
I DO NOT KNOW I DO NOT KNOW
(stop asking please, I will know when I know),
okay so what is a new and better question

I want to experience this adventure of horizons
as buoyant and uplifting, exciting, expansive,
and yet constantly being asked and having no answer feels awful,
the question of where feels tight and cramped in my heart

maybe it is time for a really good cover story
maybe Question of Where is my cover band (cover band!)

(16) the price is right

A friend in Seattle said, and I am sharing this without context because
I can’t remember the context and also it doesn’t matter:

“The Price Is Right is basically the best sexual and romantic relationship I’ve ever had. THAT WHEEL. Will they get a dollar?! Will they go over or under?! The anticipation?!”

(16.5) a state of

this is how I want to feel about
not knowing where I am going, or when, or for how long,
I just want to reside in a state of delicious anticipation

(17) what if I have been wrong about everything

what if I have been wrong about this perceived high-stress
situation of not knowing what is happening or what the plan is?
what if this is actually a very fun, playful and fulfilling
situation of not knowing what is happening,
what if I could feel buoyancy, lightness,
excited sparks about the not knowing?

(17.5) labyrinth

I went to the labyrinth at the wildlife refuge,
and it said HEY DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT BUOYANCY IS,
it said, BUOYANCY IS THE PRACTICE OF KEEPING THINGS AFLOAT,
YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO FLOAT ON THE CURRENT,
YOU HAVE JUST FORGOTTEN THE PART WHERE YOU HAVE TO
PRIORITIZE KEEPING YOURSELF EASILY AFLOAT

(18) lightness: light and light hearted

then had this same exact realization in yoga with Em,
I have been making all the simple things complicated
and all the light things not-light,
what if I don’t need to solve anything,
just follow the next indicated step of[get outdoors, be in the sun] and listen to what is next

(yes) I will know when I know

I will know when I know,
flowering and emerging
floating and grounding,
sailing and seeding,
this is the life of buoyancy,
close your eyes,
breathe your way back to bell state,
awaken as a new bell
follow your light heart of light
go live in a light house
and fill space with light

ah what beautiful wishes
may it be so or something even better!

Announcement!

We need to hold a MOVING SAIL/SALE which is a funny (to me) phrase, moving the sails in order to move with the sails and be moved [somewhere], I cannot wait to find out what will move in me, and in us. Have not yet had time to sit with my heart until I feel what is most yes to offer, here is what came up in my scribbled notes for consideration so far, feel free to feel into what among this might be yes for you and share that in the comments if you like…

(1) bring back old products for this month!
(2) an shared online communal adventure (like the two weeks we spend on Wild Self-Treasuring) but for spring cleaning ops and other missions of releasing and clearing space!
(3) compass-poetry distance sessions (tell me what your compass is and I will do a deep-dive into it and share what I learn)

Invitation for this post!

You are welcome as always to share !!!! or anything sparked for you here, riff on or explore any of the themes, seed wishes for the month of Buoyancy and beyond.

We remember that People Vary, we take care of ourselves as we need, we don’t give advice.

Here’s how we meet each other here: with great kindness, appreciation and love.

Lots of heart-glow over here for you and everyone who reads, thank you for being here with me.

It’s okay to clean before writing. Writers clear space. It’s what we do.

Writers clear space. It’s what we do.

Someone made a joke on Twitter about a cleaning service staffed entirely by writers on deadline.

I get the joke, I laughed, I’m just so bone-weary of the existence of this entire category of “haha procrastination, look we’re procrastinating again” humor which, instead of punching outward towards our distorted culture of guilt and self-recrimination, punches inward, reinforcing the internalized cultural shame around Not Doing and Not Done Yet.

Writers clear space. It’s what we do.

This is not procrastinating, it’s clearing the way to be able to write what is coming in-and-through, but not here yet. Clearing space is one way to welcome in what needs saying.

This is what we do.

Here’s what I want to know.

How are we still agreeing to make ourselves feel bad for Not Doing when we could be dismantling this bullshit nonsense culture that says only Doing has value and anything that doesn’t look like the right kind of doing is a reason to feel embarrassed and publicly apologize for being terrible humans, let’s decide we’ve had enough.

When are we going to change our culture and the air we breathe?

What will it take to stop berating ourselves for [things that look like not doing the thing], and begin to celebrate all the ways that [doing this other thing supports doing the thing] even if maybe it doesn’t look like it on the surface but that’s only because we aren’t used to looking with wise and loving eyes…

The cleaning is for the writing!

When are we going to acknowledge, collectively and individually, that choosing cleaning when we think we are supposed to be writing is not in fact cleaning instead of writing or cleaning to avoid writing. It’s for the writing!

What is cleaning anyway?

We can use our wise loving writer-hearts and thoughtful writer-minds to feel into this question, use it as a writing prompt, let it skip like a stone in the waters of consciousness. What is cleaning?

You are welcome to share what arises for you when you give Writer You (or Artist You or Dancer You or Wise Business Owner You) this question, with clarity and compassion.

I will tell you what I know about cleaning…

It is clearing space for what needs to come in. Clearing out to invite in.

Clearing. Space. For whatever needs to come in.

In a symbolic sense? Sure, but symbolic matters. We’re writers after all.

And we are humans. Making a shift in external space always influences our internal landscape, and the same is true the other way round. In fact, sometimes the best thing we can do for writing-mind is clean.

What is cleaning?

Cleaning is TABULA RASA.

Cleaning is NEW BEGINNINGS.

Cleaning is SORTING OUT AND THROUGH.

Cleaning is a physical way to soothe the mental/emotional/energy craving for that sensation of blank space and open horizon which help us access our most creative selves.

Cleaning is a way to access quiet mind, set a new internal rhythm, our breath changes while we wash dishes.

Guess what, based on EVERYTHING WE KNOW about the creative process, all of this is exactly what facilitates insights and idea-sparks aka getting to the point where we can write what is asking to be written.

So why is our process a forever-punchline?

Because of culture, of course.

And I think, often we mock ourselves preemptively to protect ourselves from pain, we make fun of the cleaning before someone else can, because that’s what people will do, because people are shitty, and people are shitty because culture is shitty, and we end up with an entire world of haha I’m on deadline so look doing X instead of Y.

Let’s change that. Let’s set it all on fire.

No, X is not avoiding Y. I’m doing X for Y, I’m doing X because X supports Y, I’m doing X because the experience of X will make Y more magical, and I trust in my creative process as a human being.

Let’s go beyond letting cleaning be an acceptable door into writing.

Let’s celebrate the cleaning, or whatever it is we are doing while Not-Writing.

Let’s celebrate ourselves for cleaning as part of how we approach our writing.

ANYTHING WE DO TO CLEAR SPACE, INTERNALLY OR EXTERNALLY, FACILITATES THE CREATIVE PROCESS, AND SHOULD BE CELEBRATED INSTEAD OF MOCKED, THE END.

Cleaning instead of writing doesn’t need to be mocked by us, and it definitely doesn’t get to be mocked by others.

Writers clear space. It’s what we do.

It’s how we get to clarity. Clarity is important. And it takes as long as it takes.

Everything we do to support clarity is healing. Giving ourselves spaciousness, permission and compassion is healing. Let’s glow these qualities instead of criticizing ourselves for being in process, when process is everything.

Let’s celebrate process, which is complex, alive and legitimately hard a lot of the time!

The process is vital to the writing.

And — this part is important! — whatever that process looks like, it is valuable because it is process.

The less time we spend making ourselves feel bad about being in process, the sooner we will get clear about either what we want to say, or why it is legitimately hard/scary to say it.

Let’s breathe compassion for process.

Let’s breathe compassion because writing is intimate, vulnerable, challenging, real.

Let’s breathe compassion, and practice the radical subversive act of Wild Self-Treasuring in the form of celebrating everything we do when we aren’t writing, including and especially cleaning!

Footnotes.

  1. Let pretty much anything stand in for writing. If writing is not your [thing you have a possibly-passionate, possibly-troubled relationship with], substitute painting, lindy hop, embroidery, clogging, whatever fits for you. Sometimes I pretend I’m not a writer too!
  2. Let pretty much anything stand in for cleaning. Anything we do that looks like not-doing can be in service of the doing, and anyway, not-doing is valuable in its own right.
  3. Yes, I know we usually talk about punching up vs down, but I think inward/outward makes more sense here.
  4. The cultural blame/shame around Not Doing is nonsense, let’s stop agreeing to it in all forms.
  5. We often appear to be avoiding what we feel most strongly about, this isn’t a bad thing, it just means we care, and caring is intense, give us time.
  6. Let’s end this story about who is a writer, we are writers and we clear space, and we can give ourselves endless cascading sparklepoints for each dish we clean or whatever it is we are doing to support the creative process in any given moment!
  7. I originally wrote gleaning instead of cleaning, also an excellent clue!

{tl:dr}

Cleaning is a writing strategy and should be celebrated as such.

We are choosing towards our projects, wishes and goals through working on them in this secret, awesome, indirect way, which is a brilliant strategy.

We are choosing towards good things through this ongoing practice of the qualities of curiosity, patience, permission, and internally-directed compassion as we learn to trust our own process.

And everyone else in our lives can support this or be quiet about it, the end.

Share this!

Please share with anyone who needs this reminder or pass this on the next time someone tries to make you feel bad for choosing [cleaning] or anything else instead of [writing] or anything else.

Commenting!

I treasure this incredibly rare thing that we have here in the form of safe online space to play and explore.

We remember that people vary. We meet ourselves and each other with compassion. We are on permanent vacation from advice-giving and care-taking. In other words, this is not like the rest of the internet.

You are welcome/invited to share hearts, sparks sparked for you, anything you want to share on the topic of compassion for our not-writing selves in our periods of not-writing, or about claiming the writer identity with love.

Love, as always, everyone who reads and comments as well as all the Beloved Lurkers and fellow quiet friends, you are all appreciated.