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.


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


About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
This entry was posted in Interview With A Mirror, Projectizing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Being in the awesome, sitting with the hard

  1. Sue T says:

    Thank you so much for writing about this!
    And thanks for the glimpse of the new Playground space!

  2. Simone Seol says:

    Ahhh!!! Loving hand-on-heart sigh for all of this. You are such a fantastic person and I feel so privileged to be able to call you my friend. ❤

  3. Rhiannon says:

    This is so beautiful! (I wish I had better word.) Adoration for the compassion and awareness and truth. I was feeling very similarly.

    Also, I thought that was you! I almost said hi a bunch of times but was very much in my stuff and like: “what if it’s not Jesse and it’s weird and…” So hi! Now we’ve seen each other in real life!

    • jesse k. says:

      Hi! *waves* I was also pretty sure it was you from your Treehouse book but I also had that uncertain-recognition thing happening. But hi! Real life hi! Will I get to see you next week, too?

      I read your entry about Bear Time and the whole idea of Bear Time made me so very happy 🙂 plus it was really, really cool to read about the playdate from someone else’s point of view 🙂


  4. Hey, Jesse! I hopped over here after seeing your post at Havi’s.

    Ooooh, so much fun at the Playground! Hoping to get there someday from Montana. It will happen. This feels shallow, but, erm, I’m hoping to get the source of your comfy tights. I totally love tights and they sound divine.

    Can’t wait to hear more Playdate reports!

    Take care–


    • jesse k. says:

      Hiya, Cherilyn! So glad you dropped by!

      I don’t know if your outrageously comfortable tights will be the same as mine, but mainly I wanted tights that did not constrict my stomach at all. The answer turned out to be ordering rights three sizes bigger than usual (!!!) and I ordered from, which features a good size range as well as an impressive array of colors. I’ll note here that though I solved one problem (tights too tight!) I think I went slightly too far — next time I’ll go with tights only two sizes bigger than my usual. The ones I have are outrageously comfortable, but they don’t always stay up! Hah. Next time I order I’ll be more specific with my intention, I think 🙂

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