Hello, July

July.

Juillet, luglio. 

Month before my birth month. Month of Oregon’s early summer.

Month of deep green, of hectic fuschia roses up and down my block, of water fountains in the parks, of pollen in the air.

Month of late, blooming, endless twilights.

July, I wasn’t sure I was ready to say hello to you, but I am now. July, you are very special to me. 

Hello, July.

One year ago this month I wrote about the hardest thing, and about knowing the next steps. May-and-June last year were about secret-keeping; only in July of last year did I become capable of telling the secret I held tight in my heart. 

Only in July of this year (last Saturday, in fact) was I able to say the other secret I held tight in my heart.

Only in July of this year was I able to take off the numb armor that carried me through the silent, fearful months.

July is secret-telling. July is map-finding.

July is untying all the knots.

Everything is the same. Everything is different.

I am back in July. Except where last July I was inside the labyrinth, this July it feels like I have stepped out of it. Finally. Has it ever happened this way for you? It’s as if I never appreciated the clarity of the air, the sheer beauty of the world and the wonder of my own body, until now. 

It’s astonishing.

Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn cool. I feel good. I have love. I have my family. I have freedom. 

This July is deep knowing.

Deep heat. (And still deep chills, because this is Portland.) 

Deep in my bones, knowing what I want. Deep in my bones, trusting that I will get it.

Deep, delicious anticipation for the thrills of myself and the thrills of summer. The bottomless picnic basket! Gliding down the hill on my bike! Deep delving into the cool of the library stacks.

(Deep coughing too, let’s not forget the tonsillitis — it’s not all perfect.)

July has been a deep undoing of a tension inside my belly that I didn’t even know was there. 

And deep not because it’s all super egotistically important (though yes, that too), but because it is deeply felt. Even the most shallow thing resonates hugely. My life is big and that feels amazing after the tightness and fear.

July, I never would have predicted you. I wouldn’t have known to ask for a July this amazing — I wasn’t quite sure I deserved it. July has expanded my sense of what’s possible.

What else could I want?

I’m still practicing making these desires bigger — I’m incredulous that at some point my anticipation for some cool new thing (the concert in the park, the week at the beach, the longest bike ride) will be overtaken by the awesomeness that is actually doing that cool new thing. 

July, can you please be the seed I plant to remind me when I want to get back to this feeling of possibility and anticipation and deep glee? You’re like the culmination of all the good things.

July, you can be the best example ever that Future Me really has figured a few things out, even when I’m stuck in the mud and convinced she’s floating off in fairy land. 

July, you can be my buddy. Thanks for being so damn awesome.

 

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Hi, Seedhouse readers, I’ve missed you! I’ve been processing up a veritable storm over on the Floating Playground lately, maybe I’ll come back soon and tell you about it. It’s pulled my attention inward in very, very good ways. It’s been epic. Just like this year. Just like July. Come say hi, if you’re still reading, and tell me about your July? I’ve missed this space. xo

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mini Project Cards — a gift for you!

I made something for you! And here it is!

Mini Project Cards 

(Click that link to download!)

Mini-Project Cards! This is something I designed to help you find more clarity and ease to the kind of thing that’s bigger than a task, but not quite a full-fledged project. Or maybe it’s the kind of project that just wants a little bit of help along the way?

These cards have been helping me get through smaller projects (I need to write that thing!) and somewhat complicated tasks (That difficult email I have to send!) for a while now, so I made some to share with you!

Check it out! Here is a picture of two of my mini-project cards in action:

Two different cards, one showing the front with the codename, the other showing the back with more details to groove on!

How to use your Mini-Project Cards

Go ahead and print out a sheet (here’s that link again!) and cut it in half, then fold each card down the middle. Or print out multiple sheets, enough for however many things you want to work on.

Got it? Great! Here’s a description of how to fill them out, if you need some help along the way. Or skip down to the next section for ideas about how to use them.

Codename: Awesome

On the first side, give your mini-project a code name! I use code letters, or symbols, or funny meaningful-only-to-me names. This name will help you identify your project when the card is flipped over, without scaring you away with too many details or too much reality if it’s a scary thing you want to do.

On this side, leave the How did it go  section blank for now, you’ll come back to it when you’re done, to take some notes and focus on the qualities of exiting and finishing.

Flip it over! Your mini-project has a description.

Give it a more descriptive title on the flipside. This is a brief description of what you’re going to do! Go ahead and fill that in.

Tools and Resources

What’s going to help you on the way? Usually my mini-projects aren’t starting from scratch, or there are specific tools I need to gather first. Documents? A specific email? That one really awesome red pen? This is where you write that stuff down, to make sure you have everything you need before jumping in.

Qualities and Intentions

The awesome reminders of why you’re really doing this, or the secret protection words that will keep you safe as you do it. Sometimes I might be resentful of amending that grant budget, but I do love things like clarity, renewal, preparation and ease. Put those things here so you can remind yourself as you go!

Steps & parts of your mini-project

This the stuff you know you need to do. Or guess you’ll want to do. Think through your project a little bit — write down the obvious stuff, and perhaps leave some extra room to add steps as you go (most every project, no matter the size, has extra steps!).

Now what?

I like to fill mine out in the morning, when I have three or four things I really need to work on, but there’s just too many details rushing around in my head to get clarity. What are these projects? How can I get deeper into them?

So I’ll fill out my cards, and lay them out on my desk so I can only see the mini-projects’ code words. When I’m ready? I pick one out. I flip it over and re-read what I wrote there. I think about the qualities, like the fastest meditation ever, just a quick reminder to my brain that there is awesomeness hiding here, even on very mundane projects. Then I assemble the tools I want to work with, and I dive in.

Any time I get bogged down or remember to take a quick break, I think about those qualities, and connect to the goodness at the heart of my project. (I’m looking at one right now! The qualities of this blog post are: Sharing, Mirroring, Helping and Giving.)

And when I’m ready to move to the next thing, I pick a new mini-project card. Kind of like picking a card from a tarot deck — sometimes I let fate decide for me, sometimes I know what I’m in the mood to work with.

You may want to fill out just one card, and then go into your task. You may want to fill it out after you finish a task, to remind yourself of what went into it, or take notes for next time. You can fill one out in the middle of a project, to take a breather and figure out what to do next. Or you may want to ignore my cards entirely and make up your own version, on index cards! On pretty paper!

However you use them, keep in mind this is just one tool among many, many others, to help you connect to the essence of what you want to do, the intention behind what you want to do, and to support you with the right resources and reminders as you go along.

And when you’re done? Huzzah! Throw some confetti! Scribble down a few things on your mini-project card, in that big blank area on the front. Leave yourself some clues for next time, or give yourself space to vent about how that one thing really didn’t go according to plan, or simply draw yourself a little picture of yourself, happy and done with your mini-project.

Why clarity is awesome

When your project or your idea has natural flow and rhythm, that’s awesome. Sometimes it appears on its own, but sometimes projects need a little help. I use mini-project cards to bring more mindfulness, guidance and gentle structure to my work. Maybe they’ll be helpful for you, too?

They’re not perfect, of course, because I am not a fancy designer and we all have dreams a little bigger than our mundane computers are capable of translating, yes? And while they might not fix every project, or clean your kitchen when you’re done baking cookies (unless that’s your mini-project?), they can help you bring a little more awesomeness and mindfulness to the stuff you want to work on.

Enjoy!

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I would love to hear back if you try them out! But of course, I will love you no matter what, and not only on Valentine’s Day, my lovely friends, because I believe in you and love you always and everywhere. xo! (Am I a little full of love today? Yes, I am full of love. Let me tell you, making something and giving it away is a hit of happiness for the brain, on any day!)
Posted in Projectizing, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Being in the awesome, sitting with the hard

Yesterday I had a fantastic day. An unexpected, hard-and-good-wrapped-up-in-one day, because I went to a special playdate at Havi’s Playground! Of course.

I spent a precious several hours with a small group of lovely local Rally-grad people, in the quiet, humming Playground, projects going on all around in different shapes and forms: it was really cool to work on my project (my really awesome project! which is a gift for you! but more about that in a second) and be in a space which supports me and that I love so deeply. Ahhhhhhh deep peaceful sigh of happiness.

What’s that? A gift, you say? 

Yes! I made something for you. A small, helpful thing. I love it and I want to set it free very soon!

But first, I need to process yesterday. It had a lot of good and a lot of hard in it. So this is the space where I do exactly that, and you get to follow along if you like.

Before I begin, know that these are my reflections, offered in the spirit of working on my stuff and without placing obligations on anyone. Because that is part of the Fluent Self culture, always: we may do it in the company of others but we are each our own sovereign kingdom, each in charge of our own experience, our own peculiar noblesse oblige, if you will. In the best way!

Being with the different-ness

Every visit to the Playground is about playful experimentation, right? It’s a place of safety, play, learning about yourself and how you do things, and messing around with new things.

Yesterday’s visit to the Playground was an extra-specially experimental experiment in sovereignty and permission, as it turns out, because unlike every other time I have been to the Playground, there was no group work, no Shivanautical flailing to start with. No announcements or group introductions. And it took me a while to figure out why and how that made it so different.

The door simply opened, and we went in, and each worked in our separate spaces, in whatever way we pleased. Did I want to talk with other people? My choice. Did I want to start out with a little Shiva Nata? My own, perfect, sovereign choice.

It was completely, utterly open and up to me.

And it was kind of scary.

I spent time with the uncertain part of myself who wasn’t really sure, was Havi going to bring the group together like at Rally? If not now, maybe later? And I gave love to the scared parts of me who were wondering, Did I get it wrong? Did everyone else but me know to expect this?

Familiar patterns: outsider syndrome, fear of change, perfectionism. Hello my old friends, let’s figure this out together.

What I didn’t do: give the nervousness much power. I just noticed the nervousness.

I decided that if my sovereign self wanted to participate in any togetherness-activities, I could jump in when they happened. And then I decided I already knew what I wanted to do, which was to make a little nest and get in it and write.

So I did. Into the nest I climbed, and it was lovely.

And it was still a little sad.

Because it was different, after all. I sat with the different-ness and wondered.

What is it like to enter without being led?

Because that is an utterly new thing to me (or that was my perception. What part of me has done this before?). I know a bit about entering, oh yes. But apparently I hadn’t yet practiced entering the Playground without an expectation of being led. Interesting.

I found myself wishing for Rally — the being-together parts, with the wise and wacky (in the best way!) guidance of Havi, with quiet project work-time as an equal counterweight to boisterous, laughter-filled fun.

Furthermore, there’s this: if I wanted boisterous, laughter-filled fun, truly madly deeply, then yesterday I didn’t know how to create it. I am aware now of many (many!) ways I could have fulfilled that particular desire. Me-from-yesterday did not map her way there, however.

I also discovered that I wasn’t ready to do Shiva Nata by myself in front of others. Or to seek privacy in the Refueling Station and do it there. Or to make a sovereign request to any of the many teachers I was surrounded by to lead a small group practice.

It’s kind of hilarious to me, in hindsight, to see how obvious some of the solutions were. None of them occurred to me. Very silly! But if I laugh, it’s only to send an invisible hug to Me-from-yesterday, for her reality of not knowing how to access these things.

I was busy being with the qualities of meeting the unexpected. And all of the everything that entails, for me, on February the eighth in the year 2012, the clues and patterns, patterns and clues.

Being in the awesome

But let me back up.

Because all of this processing-the-hard-stuff was mostly in the background, or happened afterward. It’s still pretty amazing that I got to spend time enfolded in warmth, comfort, safety and belonging. I was spending time with this gift I made to share, and thinking about how I want to release it out into the world. I was spending time with anticipation and delight.

I was drawing and learning. Taking the occasional nap. Visiting all the different places of the Playground and giving it love and being receptive to the bright colors and playful awesomeness.

Can I just mention — I worked on my project next to an enormous box full of blankets. This was the best thing ever. Warmth! More warmth! Bolsters and support! As much as you could ever need!

I got clarity on the next steps for this project. I got to have lunch with the lovely Larisa and hear about her amazing project. I got down to the exact, distilled essence of my project.

And then, and then. At the very end.

Havi took us all downstairs to visit the new Playground space in her building.

{ space for my awe and all the magical unsayableness of it }

Okay I’ll say this: it is so spacious. So filled with possibility. Her plans for it are so filled with excitement and magic! We filled it with good scents and happy delight and beautiful music.

It was a very magical moment and I felt incredibly blessed to be there.

Notes for next time

I went to the Playground this time having written invocations, mapped out parts of my project, and spent some time with gleeful anticipation. I prepared my house so it would be a perfect welcoming place to return to, afterward. My own brand of goofy out-loud self-talk and singing in the car. I want to do all of that (or the right version of all that) next time, too; without it I don’t think I would have been prepared to meet the hard.

But next time? The next playdate at the Playground is next Tuesday. I now know so much more about how I want to enter: all the usual stuff but also, special back-up safety plans, and different tools.

And I want to write a new entry in the Book of Me about What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do.

And I’m going to take Me-from-yesterday out for a beer and explain to her what was going on, and we are going to laugh about it until we pee. Awesome.

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Although I know I’m not alone, it’s still a weird vulnerable practice to write about this kind of hard stuff, especially in a public way. Hello you, if you’re reading, and thank you. Very, very soon I am going to tell you about the thing I made to give to you. I can’t wait! Eeeee! Until then: thank you for sharing this space with me. xo

Posted in Interview With A Mirror, Projectizing, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Being with the slow

Slow.

Slowness.

I’m declaring it my theme of the day.

(Actually, my body declared it the theme looooooong before my brain and my heart caught up. Because of the slowness, you see.)

I wanted to start the day with: energy and enthusiasm!

I had such excitement in my heart last week at this time but I could tell last night, when I wrote another Very Personal Ad about how I wanted this week to go, I felt…off.

And then that feeling was still with me this morning. Sigh.

I could feel it in my joints and my skin. Slow body.

And then: slow commute. Slow brain.

Sigh.

(Slow sigh.)

So instead of resisting it, I’m saying hello to this place, which is deep, deep immersion in this pool of exquisite, unavoidable slowness. It can be wonderful, of course, to go slow and be slow, to know slowness deep in the bones.

But I’m saying hello to the difficult parts of it, too.

I’m saying hello to my resistance. Hello to the sighing and the wishing-it-were-different.

I’m noticing: it seems harder to feel supported when I have this very slow energy in my body. Harder to feel like all my careful entry and exit work is having an effect.

I’m noticing: I feel fearful of slow. Fear that whatever I accomplish, slowly, won’t be enough.

Slowness – even when it’s mindful – feels uncomfortably similar to non-mindful slowness. You know, that slumped-over zombie feeling when it’s hard to separate the feeling {slow} from the judgment {lazy, unmotivated, not trying hard enough}.

I know it’s a different, more aware kind of slowness today. But I still hear those echoes. It’s hard.

Slow is not alone…

Slow is more than just a speed. It has helper qualities. Cousins and acquaintances, if you will. Travel companions. Secret cheering squads.

I’m thinking about these friendly helper qualities in order to help invite slowness in, just a little bit more. Some of these qualities are obvious, some less so.

(With the caveat that of course, your own qualities of slowness may be vastly different. These are my personal helper qualities today, that’s all.)

The helper qualities of Slow

Care.

Go slow, take care. It’s easier when you go slow. Care with your body; care with your mind. With the objects and spaces around you. With your words and your actions.

Largeness.

This one took a big of unpacking before I could explain it to myself. I just knew this morning, This slowness has largeness in it. Sometimes large things move very fast, of course, but like a large ship starting its engines, moving can take a great deal of energy. Slowness can be how a large thing starts out: investing more energy.

The largeness inside today’s slowness might be: plans and projects I have in mind. The largeness of beginning another week. The largeness of the many things in my heart and my brain that have to come with me into the day, carefully, if I am going to enter with mindfulness.

Preparation.

When you move slowly, you can spend more time anticipating the next thing. Today, I spent time with so much slowness in my morning that by the time I hit that slow traffic snarl, it seemed exactly right because I already knew the theme of the day. I said to myself and out loud to the traffic, Yes, exactly!

Slow preparation is sometimes what’s needed. The slowest longest shower. The slowest longest walk. And partly this is because of the other helper quality of slow…

Recovery.

Slowness can be preparation, but sometimes it’s just a right relationship to your resources. Not forcing yourself. Doing what you can with what you have. The conservation of energy, because you don’t have much of a choice. Slowness is a way to recover from what has come before.

 

The secret ally

The most important quality hiding behind all of this is trust.

This has been a hard one to figure out today.

I have to trust that I’m doing the right thing. I have to trust that going slow is what I need, and remember that by fulfilling that need I’m also building trust with myself. I’m practicing trust in order to clear the way for the kind of excitement and enthusiasm that I keeping wishing for, and experienced so much of last week.

So I’m trusting the slowness as best as I know how.

Writing here. Thinking about helper qualities. Letting the slowness go deep down into my bones and my cells.

Remembering that entry and exit and mindfulness take a lot of energy.

Letting slowness be the theme, and coming back to it, over and over again. Slow.

Slowness.

Even when it’s not popular, or easy.

Slower. (Does the word look funny to you yet?)

Even slower.

What can it teach me?

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It feels good to share this today. Honoring the slowness is a new one for me, so this territory is a little fragile.  As always, thank you for reading, friends. xo

Posted in Checking in, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My superpower this week: entries and exits!

This week has been different. In a few awesome and delightful ways:

Productive.

Not avoidant.

Presence. And presents, everywhere! (I’ll explain that later.)

Not fearing my office. Walking in with a smile on my face.

What changed? On the surface, not much.

If you spied on me during my work day, you might see me scribbling in my notebooks a little bit more than usual, perhaps.

And if you could spy on me in my car, on my commute to and from work, you might see me talking out loud like a crazy person telling my invisible secretary very important things using my expensive and invisible speaker phone.

Internally, though?

Big shifts. Reconfiguring my internal landscape, on a continental scale.

I’d like to thank mini-Rally last week with Simone for planting the seed. And taking a voyage through Havi’s amazing Art of Embarking course helped me deepen some of the work I was already doing.

But mainly what changed is this: I started practicing entry and exit rituals. And (just like Havi says!) it’s changed my life. Continue reading

Posted in Checking in, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

All sorts of scramble, with a side of extra flail

The mini-Rally yesterday with Simone was: awesome. Hard. Enlightening. Surprising! Full of learnings. Here’s a little peek into my practice and where it brought me — because there have been some big, important shifts, both external and internal.

 

Making my self & my space ready

As you read about here, there were preparations in advance. A love letter to the qualities. Saying hello to the door. I also wrote a letter to myself, to be opened in case of mid-Rally stuckness. All these were important: I spent time in delightful anticipation and excitement.

I also arranged to have an empty house to myself. I dressed in absurdly comfortable clothing. Invoking: permission, safety, freedom, spaciousness.

I built a blanket fort, of course.

By the bright window and filled with pillows!

And I gathered together the other important tools: Shiva Nata level guides from the Secret Lab, the Monster Manual in case of emergency, a box of art supplies, three separate books in which to write or draw.

And I did one  more kooky thing, which turned out to be key: I used a long turquoise sari to mark a big boundary around my fort. I decided that inside the space everything was safe and clear; all the mess of the house was outside the circle, and I didn’t have to worry about it or even look at it. If I needed to step outside the space, I would notice the boundary and consciously think I’m exiting the Rally circle and the same thing happened when I would cross back inside. Inside lived the magic. The turquoise boundary protected me. And it was spacious — big enough to hold the blanket fort and a space for me to stretch out and do Shiva Nata, too.

Simone and I checked in. I told her that my secret power and theme was: alignment! (Similar to the congruence that Havi has been writing about lately, but with additional qualities of attuning and guidance, somehow.) And then I turned off my phone and dove in.

 

Descent into the maelstrom

I could say here’s where I went a bit nuts but let me rephrase that in a more sovereign way: one of the things I learned at the mini-Rally was how difficult I find it to make Shiva Nata hard (because that’s where the most learning takes place) without making it scary-hard.

Because wow, I got scrambled. I giggled as I read from the level guide, shouting out the numbers to Level 7 (yup) while my arms whirled as fast as I could go, and kept going past the point of normal-confused-flailing right into sheer insanity. And then I found myself face-down on the floor, grinning into the carpet.

Here’s where I would have thought Uh oh, if I’d been coherent.

Instead, I sat down, opened up my notebooks, and panicked. 

My head was empty. My soul was empty. I tried to tune into my project and came up with a head full of static.

I wrote a little — I was too shaky still. I doodled a rainbow just to look at something colorful.

Then, because it seemed important, I jotted down all the potential projects on a big sheet of paper, and instantly was soul-crushingly depressed that everything was disconnected and incoherent. (I managed to forget completely that Shiva Nata’s job is to destroy the patterns in order to reveal new ones — haha, good one, brain! This is a normal part of the process, but I forgot about it.)

The map of sad disconnected projects looked something like this:

Look at all those sad little lonely islands

Some of them seemed to cancel each other out. Disparate visions of my life. And no energy to pursue any one of them. Some of them were projects so large and overwhelming, I felt insane just attempting to put them on the map.

But I kept journaling.

I kept asking myself questions. Noticing and writing down the sad and/or insane thoughts passing through. What am I scared to lose, by following this or that project? Why the lack of energy in general? How do I get into greater alignment with what I want?

I took a break to read the letter I wrote to myself, in case things got hard and I needed safety. (Thanks, past self! Good idea.) It helped a little when I read, Where you go is the right place. What you do is the right thing. 

I released an expectation: This does not have to make me money, or even make sense; much like Secret Play Dates, it’s not about an end result but rather the practice of spending time with this part of your brain. The artist brain, the symbolic brain, the dreaming brain.

I kept journaling.

And then the connections started to pop out of the background. Oh, obviously projects A and G are connected. I drew a little tentative bridge between them.

I kept journaling.

Another bridge. A delicate little vine to another island. Better bridges, interwoven. Purposeful excited arrows! Special circling cocoons. Petals and marquee lights!

The mind map now looked like this:

Bridges and ecosystems and projects that are friends with each other!

And I felt tremendous relief. Clarity. Oh that special sneaky Shiva Nata/rally magic — it might not give you the thing you wanted, but it will be the thing you need.

And I got to hear how Simone’s mini-Rally went, and be in that special post-Rally hum of excitement with someone who understood and was willing to listen to my mostly coherent thoughts about it. Ahhhhhhh.

It was my own little journey into the inferno, perhaps. E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle: and then we emerged to see the stars again. (I find it interesting that I used that quote just last fall to describe another little rollercoaster of a project!) The stars. The stars are very important, that is what you need to know.

 

What came next: a few realizations

First, I thought I was going to come here today and tell you all about how I have been Simone’s secret business coach for the last month. (Exciting, right? I have so much excitement about that! Noticings and ideas!)

Instead, I want to tell you about how much I desperately need to coach myself out of where I am now. And this goes beyond momentary confusion: I have some big, scared, sad parts of my life right now. They need acknowledgement and attention. Some of it is related to this and also to the secret thought (special awesomeness: today, oddly enough, just like when I wrote that last post, there were eggplant parmesan leftovers for lunch) even though the weird power of alignment actually makes dealing with the secret thought a little bit harder.

Most importantly: I can’t show up with my whole self in my side projects and possible business ventures if I can’t show up with my whole self in my day-to-day life, either. And I need to learn more about this.

Some of this work will be internal. Counseling and pulling away from things. Intentional work.

Some of this work will be external: writing about parts of it here, and working on specific projects (there will be a tiny quilt! mark my words!) that were dreamed up during this mini-Rally as part of the process of moving forward.

I came out with lists of things to write. Excitement about other things! As part of my post-processing-process, I wrote a letter to my future self, for her to read on a day when she’s not quite sure what the hell happened at the mini-Rally or why the secret theme of alignment was so important.

I’ll write some of the things I dreamed up. I’ll read that letter. I’ll sit with my art supplies and my fabric supplies some more, too. I’ll let savasana help me to integrate and rest after all this energetic noticing and learning.

It’s going to be a big year.

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Thanks for coming along on this odd little journey through my interior landscape! Stop by and say hello sometime, I’m grateful to you for reading, as ever. xo

Posted in Projectizing, Rallying, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Today: saying hello to the door

I’ve learned some things from Havi about Doors. About the power and awesomeness of saying hello to something, making peace with what it is, in order to make room for what comes next.

Earlier this week, I wrote a love letter — a Save the Date! — to the qualities I want to play with at Monday’s mini-Rally:

Trust, Play, Creativity, Surprise.

Insight, Safety, Flow, Openness.

And secret themes behind the qualities: Being-ness. Self-ness. Enoughness.  Wholeness. Wholeselfedness.

That was the invitation. The invocation. Naming the path.

But it wasn’t the door.

 

This is the door

This weekend. It will be: two days of being home, before Monday’s day off of work (thank you, Martin Luther King Jr.!) when Simone and I will hold ourselves a long-distance mini-Rally. This weekend will be: two days away from regular weekday routines. And then after that will come the special Rally headspace of play and delving deep and exploring.

So I need to say hello to this door, name it and what it will be, in order to get through to Monday’s mini-Rally on the other side.

 

Hello, weekend:

You are good: a break in the flow of workday weekdays. Free-flowing time.

You are challenging: extended hours in which I must be very present with the toddler, and with her cousin who is coming to play with us both mornings. Being present by myself because for some of it, my spouse-person will be at work.

This could be easy. It could also be very hard. It will require a lot of sovereignty. Letting the Patient Delightful Teacher self be in charge even when the Cranky Adult Auntie would prefer to steer the boat. (Directly to the bar, if you please. Tom Collins ahoy!)

So. How can I get Patient Delightful Teacher me to show up? Brainstorming:

Lots of sleep. Planning ahead for possible sleep disturbances. Sleeping around the disturbances, in fact.

Back-up plans for when I need a Hail Mary pass? (Perhaps literal passes: passes to the zoo!)

Snacks: grapes, pretzels, popcorn. Note to self, stop at the store on the way home tonight.

Recruit allies as needed.

Engaging around activities (remember how they loved painting together?) instead of just opening up a toytime free-for-all.

Fresh air. However this can be done, barring the chill, the mud and the traffic.

Music. Dancing. Singing. Bring out the costumes.

And in the afternoons, of course, sovereign support in order to let the Patient Delightful Teacher rest. Literal naps. Getting outside. Asking the spouse-person to take over in the evenings when possible.

Hello, weekend. I feel so much more ready for you now that I’ve written this down. Ahhhhhh. Infinitely more capable of getting through with my sanity intact and my excitement sustained for Mini-Rally Monday.

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Left to my own devices, I like to pretend that every weekend is a paradise of sleep and fun, which is usually not realistic (aha hello there, sneaky undermining pattern!). There may be tantrums (of both the toddler and adult variety). Grumpiness and boredom. Laundry and dishes and errands. A case of the winter blahs.

I get my feelings hurt when I forget to acknowledge what a weekend may truly contain. Does that ever happen to you? It’s not a good feeling.

What does feel good: going into this with my eyes open. Practicing acknowledgement and proactive compassion. Building space for delight by planting gifts (plans and allies and snacks!) for my future self. Planning ahead. Sovereignty. Yes.

Thank you for reading, friends. Can’t wait to come out the other side and report on the mini-Rally! See you next week. xo

Posted in Parenting, Rallying, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Announcement! Three new things.

Announcement! Announcement!

Briefly and proudly: this week I spent some very fun wordsmithing time in crafting two new pages that now live on my blog header, and editing one more that was in need of an update. Click on over if you’re reading this via email or in a blog reader…perhaps you’d like to see?

I am delighted to present to you:

1. A new, brief page for new readers: New here?

2. A beautiful new page About my Shiva Nata Practice for curious readers both new and familiar (hi!). I’m exceptionally proud of this one. Please visit!

3. And a slightly updated About me page, featuring a more recent picture of me (and my daughter).

Can I just say how fun it is to launch new things out into the world? Even small, backend-type things? (This is me throwing some confetti: wheeee!!) It feels good to make something real that’s been living in your heart for a little while.

I’d like to think excitement and pre-mini-Rally anticipation are partly to thank for finding that perfect combination of energy, motivation and time to make these new pages happen. And this is my place to celebrate and make them public to my readers, so I can stop revisiting them gleefully and just trust that they are now available to anyone who wishes to visit and read. And throw confetti too, perhaps? (Again: wheee!)

xo.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Save the Date! A mini-Rally Monday

Today I am writing a letter! Specifically, a Save the Date. And I want to share it with you!

I am writing this letter to the qualities that I want to invite to play and ruminate and scribble with me on Monday, January 16th, 2012. 

Because that is the special day when fabulous hipgnosis genius Simone and I are going to be holding a mini-rally (Rally!).

But first, perhaps some background…

What is this mini-Rally?

If you read my blog, chances are you’re familiar with the concept. You may recall I have done this both at Havi’s magical Playground and in smaller formats with other amazing folks. I’ve done them by myself, even! It is a close cousin to Maryann’s Secret Playdates, too, which I also love dearly.

But here’s what it will be like! Monday will be a mini retreat, a tiny rally. A couple of hours. A time set aside that is not too big and not too small — just enough time to build a blanket fort. Just enough time to flail a little bit on Dance of Shiva. Just enough time to wear my rainbow socks of possibility and have a gentle, madcap, brain-mapping date with myself. It’s a place and a time to work on projects both big and small, in sovereign, gentle, unexpected and often playful ways.

Rainbow socks of possibility! Not a metaphor. Actual socks.

If you’ve been to Havi’s wonderful Playground, you know it is a magic, supportive place. It is the perfect container in which to Rally — an activity or an event that is very difficult to verb-ify, but the kind of place where you can bring your fondest, most outrageous dreams or your biggest weirdest fears and get truly wacky, with strangers who are quickly your very close friends, and in the safest way possible you find your way to a better place with it all. Realizations both big and small.

Personally, I plan to work on some of the secret plans and super-secret plans that have been occupying my brain lately.

(Don’t forget: a project is a lot of things. You might know what it is in advance, or you might not. Read more here because Havi explains it so well!)

I am going to gather together my art supplies. My notebooks and drawing pads. I am going to make my space smell especially lovely and have lovely things in it (pillows! snacks! really nice pens!) that will support me in being as creative or restful as I need to be.

Because a Rally is always comfortable: it doesn’t force you to do anything or be anyone. It is a place in which you feel safe, even when you want to do something that scares you.

And also, we are going to make this magic space and time happen without being in the same room! Because Simone and I are planning a mini-Rally from opposite sides of our continent. We’re going to check in, and then for a couple hours we will separately flail and process, scribble and draw, rest and ruminate. And then we’ll check-in again (which is a very good exit ritual) and bring whatever awesomeness we’ve found into the real world. In safe ways, of course. I am really excited to see what happens!

One entry ritual (enter as you wish to be in it!) I dreamed up is that Simone and I will each write a letter (a save-the-date!) to the qualities that we want to join us on Monday. It’s a bit of a love letter, too, you’ll see.

Letter to my beloved qualities

Dear lovely beloved qualities,

I want you to know that Monday is coming very soon, and I want you (yes, you!) to join me.

I name you: Trust, Play, Creativity, Surprise.

I name you: Insight, Safety, Flow, Openness.

I name your secret selves: Being-ness. Self-ness. Enoughness. Wholeness. Wholeselfedness.

I love you, dear qualities. You are the magic that helps me make magic happen in my life. And I want to spend time with you. This is my official notice to you: this is your invitation. Won’t you come and play with me?

I can’t wait to find out what secret things you know and what unlikely new directions I might want to explore. I can’t wait to enter the very special brain-rewiring space that is Shiva Nata (which I promise I will make extra-scrambly and extra-interesting on Monday!), and the special sovereign selfhood space that is Rally, even in mini-form. Let’s you and me make the awesome happen.

Plans have been laid. Rumors are afoot!

Dear qualities, everything is conspiring to make this mini-Rally on Monday (January 16, 2012 at precisely 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time! Mark your calendar!) the best thing. I can’t wait to see you there.

Love always,

Me.

Want to play along?

You can write a love letter. You can mini-Rally! You can think up the quality or qualities you crave time with, and whether you just whisper it, whether you write it down, whether you carve it into stone or hug it into your stuffed rabbit, it’s at least the first step. I firmly believe that. That’s why I wrote my letter.

Maybe you want to write one too? Or maybe you are excited to play along at home, or to see what comes out of the mini-Rally. Friends and readers, I would love to hear from you, especially if you are excited (because I’m excited too!) and I can’t wait to write back and let you know how it goes.

xo!

Posted in Projectizing, Rallying, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Love for a sensitive self

Last night I found myself in a pretty hilariously typical situation for this time of year: the zany family dinner. Holiday celebration! On a weeknight! Hooray! Laughter and glasses of wine! Glittering decorations and oodles of good food!

Also: overwhelm. Panicky, HSP overwhelm.

Perhaps that’s no surprise. This year I’ve been learning more and more about my sensitive self: she is unpredictable. Some things that sound perfectly awful in advance turn out to be lovely and calm, when I get there. (This makes for the occasional lovely surprise, but can also make it hard to plan ahead, you know?) Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments