Secret Play Date #3: Future Me and the dance of the seven veils

Tuesday = Secret Play Date day! Hooray! I am just in love with the wonderfulness of this idea. Have you tried it? Really, it’s simpler than you think: one hour. No computer. Your creative scribblings. Your right brain comes out to play, and awesome things happen.


This week’s play date was a bit…thinky.

For the past week I’ve been facing down a deadline (with the most stubborn, grumpy procrastination attitude EVER) and also facing a distressing lack-of-change in another area of my life. A lack-of-change that was making me doubt my desire-for-change and my motivation and all of those attendant tiring thoughts that go along with that little downward spiral. You know the sort.

So I decided to doodle and think about both of these issues, and here is what I ended up with:

fuzzball monsters, bridges, et al

A monster map, and a small booklet, "a few important things i know"

That big scraggly blue creature there on the left holding up the GO NO FURTHER sign? She was the first thing I drew, and she was full of: doubt, uncertainty, discomfort, anger, misunderstanding, fear. Even though she’s poised directly over that big bright deadline (3/11! Yikes that really is soon!) she’s telling me to STOP, or else. She is where I am, right now.

Way over on the right you can see a hazy, indistinct person. She’s just a big question mark of confusion, but she’s holding the YAY balloon. That’s where I’d like to be.

By sitting down to doodle this all out, I realized just how distinct and scary and real the now is, and by comparison just how confusing and far-off the future me really is.

There is a bridge between the two, as you can tell. And there are qualities that I think might bridge the distance, too: rest, clarity, safety, that kind of thing.

But I could also tell that absolutely none of this was getting me closer to an idea of how to get there.

So I made a little book, as you can see on the right of the picture. A tiny book! Made using my wee stapler! So fun.

Because I wanted a special book in which to try to figure out what I know about Future Me who is so hazy and indistinct.

And because Havi has taught me all about how Future Me can send me messages and reassurances. And because I wanted a mini Book of Me.

The part where things get a bit wacko

(Hahaha, haha — because clearly up until now this blog has just been an absolute picnic of sanity, wouldn’t you agree? Please pass the crumbleschmumpets, thank you very much.)


Future Me started out reticent, far away, tenuous, and then she got really talkative and specific.

Let me start at the beginning! I asked about Future Me: What do we share?

Answer: Our history. (Though she tells it differently.)

Aha. Because what I think of now as unalterable truth is actually all about context and framing. So probably before I can get to Future Me I will unlearn and reform some key assumptions and ideas about myself and how I work.

Fair enough, I thought. That was a nice answer, thanks Future Me!

But I was desperate to know: What is the bridge between here and there? And because I still had just the barest, faintest, AT&T-est of connections to Future Me, I decided to do a little Shiva Nata on this question. Nothing much — just two minutes of basic arm whirling, number-scrambling brain calisthenics.

(Ha. I should have known.) Shiva Nata unleashed the very specific, very generous answers that were waiting. Since telling our history differently was not quite enough, I got this:

In the future, this now will seem like the first stage in a long series. Of hitting barriers, disconnection, lack of belief and overwhelm of doubt.

Not because it’s a problem that keeps reoccurring…

…but because these obstacles are like successive revelations as you penetrate the mystery of becoming Future Me.

Like the seven veils: this is the first one.

Tandava. The veil of the illusion of reality.


But wait! She had more to say when I asked What gets me through the veil?

Easy! Willingness to flail. Which is recognition of and reverence for the flailing, the mystery of it.

And: the Self Who Doesn’t Know must be as loved as the New Self Who Arrives.

This is the ceremony. Love of the self that Is and Flails is the birth of the new self.

Shiva wants to destroy the veil but requires the ingredient of a loved sacrifice.

What? Sacrifice?! Scary, but she had one last clarification. Or maybe it’s a muddying of the waters:

The old self doesn’t go anywhere: you become large enough to contain the newer self and learn how to bridge and stitch them together.

And at this point, the clarity of all these downloading messages devolved into a scramble about birthright and shining self and love and wonderfulness, and suddenly my Secret Play Date was over.

I felt like I’d just had a Mystic WooWoo Hippie Vision (TM), but I didn’t really think about it too much: there was a fire lit under me and I took that little sense of peace with me and banged out a first draft of the very thing I need for that troublesome deadline. Huh.

Meanwhile, what in the everloving bunny-hopping heck is going on

The seven veils? The beloved sacrifice? Wow. And I thought the exploding vision was weird.

I get that I have to love Flailing Me, the me who struggles with the obstacle. Maybe that’s obvious (is Don’t Love Yourself ever the way to do anything?) but clearly it’s something I needed to hear again.

And I get that all this talk of ceremonies and birthright has something to do with this particular kind of flailing being necessary.

But the final bit, the growing self who learns to stitch and bridge the two selves together…that’s not clear to me. Or not yet. It’s kind of a zen koan: the way through the veil is the way through the veil. The way to bridge the two selves is to bridge the two selves.

I guess that’s how it works sometimes — and I’m not one to argue with Mystical Future WooWoo Hippie Visions (TM) so maybe I’ll just kind of sit on this one for a bit longer, let it simmer and bubble.

I want to think more about: stitching together. Dipping into the future (the self who knows, who has already gone through this change) and then coming back to the safety of the present. Borrowing future confidence. Knowing that the bridge won’t be a bridge until I look back and see it.

Happy Tuesday, friends. Here’s hoping that you, like me, have plenty of eyerolls and grains of salt in the cupboard to handle any Mystical WooWoo Visions (TM) that may come your way.

About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
This entry was posted in Rallying, Sovreign Symbols, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Secret Play Date #3: Future Me and the dance of the seven veils

  1. Cyn says:

    Future Me is excited about all that Present You and Future You are cooking up at the Secret Playdates. Whee! Hope there will be more nooz of the Bridge and more Secret Playdates in Future Posts. And more awesome artwork. Me Likes!

    • jesse k. says:

      Thanks, Cyn! I’m having a lot of fun with these. Combining it with Shiva Nata was definitely a whizz-bang-wowee kind of moment. I definitely recommend this kind of freeflow scribble/doodle practice as a good lead-in to Shiva Nata. It made it far more helpful for me than starting with Shiva Nata then going to the journaling part. I needed Art + Shiva + Writing to unlock the tasty stuff!

  2. ohmygod. What an exactly right and perceptive (yes! this!) summing up of the deep, powerful, beautiful weirdness that comes from talking to your selves and flailing with Shiva Nata to facilitate those conversations.

    This feels so true and so familiar. And I feel really relieved and inspired reading it. It speaks to my need for companionship in these adventures and my need for curiosity and wonder and play. Thank you!

    • jesse k. says:

      I will happily count myself an adventure companion to the Good Ship Havi! So glad you felt relieved and inspired. It’s one of those where I only realized AFTER posting it just how truly wacky it could seem, and just how much I would depend on my fellow Flailers to get me 🙂

  3. sarra says:

    The ‘old self doesn’t go anywhere / you become large enough to contain the newer self’ thing – me, I’m by turns woo-ish (I’ve just remembered I had a physics/chemistry/biology class-friend who descibed my dress on hippy days as ‘woo-ey’!) and hyper-academi-theoretical, so I can’t resist saying that this {expansion + containment} metaphor is exactly something which blew my mind in reading about recovery models last year. To put it crudely!

    The specific mind-altering example was the theory of the ‘zone of proximal development’, which is – well, sleepy me can only think of it in those specific words right now, even though I know they’re not quite self-explanatory. So it’s slightly different, but rooted in the same (I think) concept of e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g – the inside becoming bigger.

    OH. OH. I hope you don’t mind, but I think I just had a relevation. If it helps toes not get trampled on, you can read it as drawn from & relating to my stuff, not yours, as indeed it is – but also it might might just chime… (if not I’m sorry about your toes!)

    Bridging and stitching. Because – maybe stepping out into the ZPD is a leap – because you trust the flail. Or at least a hop, or a self wearing a new outfit. Taking risks and feeling out-of-place. And the new needs stitching/bloodvesselling to the ‘old’ in order to be strong, sustainable, connected, not evanescent. (I’m a home for evanescence, me.)

    I’ve been doing brief solution therapy today so I’m thinking about bridging the forwards way too, not just backwards, after the leap. Ish! Not so good at steps myself.

    I’ve also realised that I’m typing in the middle of what might be the beginning of a whole big brain-restructuring. There is a bubbling thing inside me that says oh – I might grow in. Integrate. I can’t think of an exact metaphor, but some sort of internal limbic system is going on…

    (THANK YOU for your patience! x)

    • jesse k. says:

      Revelations never, ever, ever step on my toes 🙂 Promise 🙂

      I think I’ve heard of the Zone of Proximal Development, perhaps referred through less science-related fields though. When I took a pain management class we talked about the zone where you do your best learning (new but not extremely new material/zone/mode) and the zone where you’re so overwhelmed you retreat & regress (way too much new, not enough familiar). So yes, this concept = awesome. I hadn’t thought of it relating to this post but it TOTALLY DOES.

      Also, “the new needs stitching/bloodvesselling to the ‘old’ in order to be strong, sustainable, connected” is right now blowing my mind in the absolute best of ways. This is so, so, so crucial and true. Thank you so much for putting it this way! Bloodvesselling is exactly the idea I was thinking of — connections and neural bridges and synapses learning how to go in a particular new direction — that is the stitching and bridging that has to take place. The bridge doesn’t get built (like the bridge to Rally!) until you’ve crossed it several times. Then you know how to get there — how to be there — how to be the self that is in the new place, heretofore unfamiliar but getting less so by the day.

      Ahhh. Mutual revelations. I love this 🙂

      • Karen says:

        Thank you (jesse and sarra, both) for YummyNewMetaphors to add to my stew! It’s getting tastier every day! 🙂

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