This Naked Mind: Burning Man and a Book


“I deserve peace and calm, I deserve peace and calm, I deserve peace and calm, I deserve peace and calm.”

Welcome to my 2018 Burning Man decompression. I’m opting for some alone time, tapping my temples and talking to myself which happens to be a scientifically reputable form of therapy called ~emotional freedom technique~ It’s like self-hypnosis and it’s the jam if you want an increase in creativity, ease symptoms of PTSD, cPTSD, child abuse or making yourself trip out without taking any illegal substances. “Get high on your own supply!” is the message you will hear from Sonya Sophia, this gliding fairy god-mother of emotional literacy and self-awareness. Self-transcendence too, if that’s your thing.

Even though they are starting to all run together, I remember discovering EFT on the playa in 2012. I had a visceral experience of a process of turning my own lovey-doviness in on myself. Im not going to get in to it but it had some serious Mother Mary vibes and I was not on de druuuuugs.

Be my own Daddy!

As it turns out, that gay shit makes me nauseous. Nauseous like being at the peak of a roller coaster, nauseous like I’m waiting on a difficult conversation, nauseous like the thought of giving up a bad habit, nauseous like rolling up to the gate of my eighth burn.

“Mooooooooooove. Mooooooooove into that feeling of fear.”

That’s what they say.

Even though it was in 2012 that I was provided yet another tool of self-mastery, I was like, “Great! cant wait to show the kids, they’ll love this!” As for me, the strategy I chose in life was to hug my knees as I lopped over a ledge and rolled  right down the path of least resistance.


It’s just that it’s everywhere.

“I don’t think you are an alcoholic but I do think you drink when you feel powerless and you felt powerless then,” my therapist pointed out to me back in February when I first listened to Annie Grace’s “This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol

maybe even listen to it twice over

Like Sonya Sophia, Annie Grace is all about getting in touch with what’s alive inside your beingness.

She then pummels the reader with science.

Then she’s like, “Go! Free spirit! And discover for yourself! Listen to my magic words and let them move your beingness! Bibbitty bobbitty booooo!”

This tends to be my method.

I thought this Burning Man journey was going to be about my relationship to alcohol and my commitment to sitting with myself in discomfort. “The pinch” my awesomely sober but now dead dad called it. I thought I was going on pilgrimage to patch some wounds and do a few emotional push ups in a dusty land of familiar novelty.

This will be good for my brain!

The theme was iRobot and there was a washing machine that rolled up to and flirted with my friend and then just about faced my buddy and rode away. Yes, someone created a flirty washing machine to roam the playa just asking for attention. Any alcohol craving I thought would be a central inner battle was smothered in the morphing kaleidoscope of raucous hilarity.

I went to Burning Man and I didn’t drink.

My heart bled profusely but I was considerably more hydrated than years previous.

I’ve got that going for me.

This guy said, “I had 100 problems when I drank and the day I quit I dropped 50 of them.”

Mmmmm hmmmmm.

I’m integrated!!!

Or at least I’m integrating.

Definitely met some people that dug new grooves in my brain. Grooves that open me to new feelings. A possibility of feelings that kinda make me nauseous.

And here I am, post-burn 2018, back home and tapping. If you were watching the process  you would sense something akin to watching a person rock back and forth in the fetal position and talk to themselves.


That was my eighth burn, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.


This is not a festival. Hello! I was reminded before traveling by the website. Burning Man is not a festival, kiddo. Burning Man is a metropolis, a world-wide social experiment, a community.

A famous quote from a famous veteran said something about this being an event both fun and optional that is neither fun nor optional.

I have hit veteran status and those words are alive in in in

in in in in in


B E I N G N E S S.

Peak shook.

I am laughing but it is not without reverence.

I left my eighth burn softer and stronger.

I’m definitely still bleeding.

A virgin friend waddles next to me on bones she broke Thursday night, down a lantern lit chalky road, away from a blazing man effigy, alive with childish excitement about how good it’s gonna be next year.

I live for moments of tenderness and creativity and depth.

Even if it’s all in my head.

#Metoo Part I: Clarity and the Rhinoceros Revelation

Have you ever been about to go to sleep and something, a dream, a falling or whatever startles you awake and you jump?

Happened to me right before I decided to share a deep dark story on facebook. I have watched BBC documentaries for entertainment since I was a child and was doing so to fall asleep one innocuous night sometime ago, before #metoo. If you want to open your eyes a little bit, go to Netflix, check out the BBC show “Africa,” episode 1, skip to the 20:15 mark. That is where I was. Eyes hardly open, night time chirping. Cutest rhinoceros  you ever did see drinking out of a lake under the twilight, we hear a famous British voice.

“Using the latest starlight camera, David Attenborough announces, “we can reveal for the first time, the rhino’s true charactah.” Larger view. “This young female seems nervous,” the British narrator describes the emotional state of a completely different species he can plainly see to the audience who can also plainly see. “The young female has an admirer,but she doesn’t seem keen on him.”

So then this rhino mofo comes back after getting some antlers stuck on his horn and that does it for her, she decides to give him a chance. Didn’t do it for me, I was never convinced, but it did it for this lady rhino, this guys extra effort. So she decides to give it a go. Don’t turn away, give it another minute. Yep, he disappoints. She’s over it, so she goes off and feigns sleep.  Then what happens? He waits a little bit then takes her anyway because he is a legitimate randy beast and they are about to go extinct?



He just trots away. Like a gentleman. Or like most members of all species across many a genus.

All the proof I need. Thank you Black Rhinoceroses.

Do you know what the Buddha said when he reached enlightenment and the devil came and attempted to reduce him with questions like, “Who do you think you are?!”

He said nothing. He touched the earth. Why? Because all of creation, the earth itself would bear witness to his enlightenment. If it is the truth, what does he have to prove to the likes of Mara?

Right then and there, on the edge of sleep, a big part of me just died and I don’t think that is a bad thing. Might have just been the itchings of 30. My first grey hair. And I got on Facebook and told a story, which I had considered doing at other points in the process because I am a writer and that is what we do, we write when the going gets tough. But I never quite had the limbic pulsing to shut off the blood flow to my prefrontal cortex. That is to say, I had thought about it but never pulled the trigger.


It can be inappropriate. It can become an addictive way of life for some, but sometimes, sooooooooometiiiiiiiiiiiiimes

it can be just the motivation you need to act appropriately.

Sharing personal things to strangers is not a safe strategy for many.

But it happens to be for me in this situation at this time.


To the outside world it didn’t look like I had it. We have a lot of assumptions about women and anger. Clarity  is not one of them.

So I got online, shared a story that shined a light on a really ugly scene that made people feel an array of pity, concern, anger and embarrassment. And all of our reactions gave me more clarity. Not a lot of queenly grace there, but I can’t regret it. I needed that information.

I had done all the right things. And still. Fed up.

Wanna know what happened when I took my black and white date rape report to the authorities? About how a man did to me what even a rhino wouldn’t dare do to one of his own? Hope for a minute. Doctors, police, detectives, listening even though I most definitely felt crazy. Validating me with statements like,” yeah, this is exactly what it looks like, we know, and don’t expect anything to happen once it gets to our prosecutor.” An arrest. Silence. Long silence.

Finally, I bug her because my police man ex told me that’s how it works if I want answers.

When I finally did get a hold of the Hawaii State prosecutor and she finally did agree to meet me with an “advocate” (who really served as an advocate for her) she started with a question.

“Abby, do you really think he needs to go to jail?”

Full stop. Crick in my back is tightening to a near pop as I lean a little to the right to try and ease it. The pain of her nonsense.

Not my job.

My job is care-taking, babies, old people, men.

I went to school for public and social health.

Didn’t our prosecutor have years and thousands of dollars worth of rigorous training that had qualified her to put in to practice all the 1 + 1’s of the law?

And besides, that wouldn’t have even been her job!!! What sort of beliefs about who I am made her feel comfortable putting that guilt on me?

I had believed and wanted it to be the people’s who’s job it was suppose to be, the judge and jury’s. Could you have imagined me up there, Judge Libtard?

“JAIL? You mean a place with no stars?!?!? Community service should do! And mandatory therapy! That should fix him right up! Smile, meet heart!”

There is a reason I was both victim and witness in this case and not the judge.


I had no balls for this. And I’ve never had any interest in going to school to be a judge.  Justice is hard work and shouldn’t be left to the victims.


And that is why I me-tooed.  I’m fed up and CLEAR AS DAY! Tired of loved ones getting raped on and good -hearted people being left to pick up the wreckage while sociopaths skip around looking pretty and causing chaos. Yes, all sexual assailants are sociopaths, as this rhino demonstrated for all of us, because one has to jump through several dehumanizing hoops in order to make the choice to steal a person’s sex. Even if that person is female. Or it’s some impulsivity problem. Why is the weight on me, a haole from a strange land, the actions of this man’s criminal violation of my body? Why didn’t the justice system take care of it? Black and  White. About the easiest date rape scenario ever. Asleep. Hour and a half been asleep. Sober. Witnesses willing to testify on a consistent story. Freakin’ DIARY ENTRIES. What in the world? This is why #metoo had to happen. This is why sex stuff is now on social media. Because people in our system of Justice put politics before service. Its a joke. I was intimidated TWICE  out of pursuing basic justice while my sexual perpetrator was emboldened to continue his narcissistic abuse.

How do we reach someone committed to a sociopathic path? There is only one way.  Consistent social accountability. Justice, even gentle and kind, really goes a long way.

A narcissistic game always unravels in the light.

Now I understand more deeply my responsibility to  strengthen my inner fortitude in order to continue to shine a light on narcissistic frameworks and take a stand for my own inner integrity.

Would be nice if our system could be trusted to do its job but I never saw any evidence of that.


No Bad Days For Days!

The other day I was at the beach and I was sitting with this guy and this new couple and we laughed about something and this new couple walked off smiling at each other and I was smiling at them because even though this guy is best friends with the 47 year old man who Brock Turnered me and even though he blamed me for it, I actually like quite a lot about him and believe he deserves this beautiful new girl he is finally with. I was legitimately just thinking “Wow, sure is great to be me when I see this guy like this and it  makes me feel affirmative and happy and whole and I want to know this girl more because I can tell she is actually cool” when this other chick who I know doesn’t have much respect for me sort of slowly dances by and says to us, “Isn’t it nice to see people so happy? You know,” and she looks at us, “some people don’t like to see other people happy. Isn’t that weird?”

And my new friend looked at her quizzically and said, “Like what do you mean? Oh, yeah like jealous people!” And I wondered if she was trying to send me a shaming message because she deduced that since I felt so strongly that my perp should be held socially accountable for his actions against me and should be guided to stay-the-hell-away-from me, I couldn’t possibly want him or his friend to be happy. I could have easily been selfishly paranoid though because trauma, even  small kine like major betrayal, has the effect of making you more self-centered, no matter what, at least temporarily. That is just the physiology of it.

No bad days!

People like me don’t have that luxury, but you know what? I’ve never wanted living only with what we usually call positive feelings to be my end all goal in life. I’ve always felt that that positive insistence is just also sort of a lie. And kinda a mean lie at times. As my favorite comedian said, “Oh, that’s so nice of you, you go up to people in wheelchairs dancing? ‘Look what I can do!'”

Bliss is my inherent baseline but that doesn’t mean I shove the clouds away when they start rolling in.

The other day, or yesterday actually,  I was packing up the van with a mother I deeply admire and I said “It’s a perfect day for the beach,” without really thinking about it because I was happy it was chilly and a little windy and threatening rain. Her face did a funny flash and then she smiled because she knew what I meant.

My body is like the Hawaiian Islands. Even when the clouds roll in, I am so grateful to call my body and my heart my home.

I don’t ever want to insist that I have nothing but good days left in my life because really, that’s pretty damn selfish of me when the world is burning.

And sometimes, I may look recklessly emotional, but I am on to something powerful and moving.

Have you ever seen Kill Bill Vol. 2? The end is my favorite. My mom looks just like Beatrix Kiddo when she sobs. She got her little girl back but she had to murder her man and she’s sobbing tears of everything.

I had a night recently where I did just that. All night. And I wrote a little bit. And I kept just saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” because my heart feels so full and good and hopeful and even though I clean up everyone’s poop for a living, even though the guy I have a crush on doesn’t even look at my snap stories, and even though my car drives like a bumper car, I feel so rich and full and moved by everyone in my life and finally at home again in my heart and body.

The Angry Bitches are Coming!


They are coming. The angry bitches are coming. And they are coming for my second favorite director! I was raised super Christian, to have a firm understanding that we have to be careful what we feed our minds. Film, advertising, TV, books, all of this shapes our understanding of the world and most of what sells is not nurturing to our higher nature.  I was taught to understand the power of film and then I spent a few years ignoring it. Now, thanks to #timesup, I am fuckin’ cogitating. I’m feeling fervently hopeful that we are going to alter the course of history, we are all undergoing a cultural shift. I feel uncomfortable and I am a rebel, made for this shit, I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.

My last ex, before he was my boyfriend, he really dated me. Like, earnestly. I have not seen this performance in Hawaii. I can blame my circumstance and my confusion, so for now I will. But this guy, so many dinners, walks and movie nights without him ever making moves on me. M I K E W H I T E as they say on instagram. Sigh. I remember how quizzically he looked at me when I expressed my fandom for no other Hollywood elite than Quentin Tarantino which to me really meant Kill Bill I and II and what’s to become of them.

“Yeah, I guess I’m just surprised because he,”

“-goes against everything I value?”

Yeah, violence.  And like a lot of us, I was captivated by his effusive ego. I drank it all right down, all of his fathead opinions. QT is right, I didn’t know shit about film, so I should listen to him, this savant. Mike introduced me to True Romance and we laughed at how curtly Tarantino’s acting takes us out of the movie.  Jackie Brown was shot in the town I had then just moved to. Pulp Fiction was always a NO. Uma Thurman reminded me of my mother, feet and all, and the whole Kill Bill shebang reminded me of where I came from. The overt violence seemed was excusable to me because of some idea of QT’s autistic genius. Plus, she overcomes and she wins. Not okay, apparently! But I know someone who was raped in the exact way Beatrix was raped and so the whole vengeance pomp mixed with that daddy/sensei/boyfriend/tormentor thing had me revved. Five years later, I was following Uma Thurman closely when I saw her reactive Instagram posts to Roy Moore, and as she gently followed up with a picture of her daughter, because public rage is still embarrassing.  We didn’t know it but we needed this formerly unseen layer behind the Hollywood narrative. QT and U best buddies, his angelic goddess muse!!!! Suck it up and suck it in, Uma you are a star and all thanks to the deep and abiding love of this awkward film profundity. Not quite. Now, New York Times OpEds are operating like group therapists and we are all like, wait, whats her perspective, really? It’s The Mother herself.  Yes, finally Uma spoke and she has done so with the keen emotional intellect of the daughter of a prominent Buddhist scholar.


Female rage, exciting when it’s Quentin Tarantino pageantry, embarrassing and uncomfortable when it pops up unannounced on our news feeds.

Most of us can agree.

I’m tuned in to what’s ahead for this team. According to her, Weinstein is still in therapy, which means he’s practicing what I’m practicing and what Uma is practicing. So, cool. All three of these players are highly intelligent, emotionally supported and zealously watched. I was going to write a blog on my recovery from deep shame but it looks like I’m going to need to grab some popcorn and sit back a bit because I believe, culturally, this showdown or kumbaya concert could be a downright game-changer.  Quentin Tarantino is not a sociopath and Weinstein is currently in training not to be a sociopath and Uma has been in anti-sociopathic training her entire life. I’m fired up for Quentin’s all time best method performance, finally. Authenticity is going to be his big break. (Yeah, that’s that fervent hope!)  And for Harvey, if he’s doing the work, “ruining his career” will quickly become simply, “changing his career,” which should automatically be the unintended consequence when one decides to abuse their power to such a degree in this great nation. Democracy! Checks and balances! Are we on the brink of creating a society that holds even powerful people accountable? Like we talked about in the beginning?

This is a real redpill moment for me, a consumer and a fan.  Genius fatheads are valuable. They make great artists and creators, and fun-time boyfriends quite frankly.  But this new layer, the female perspective?!?! I’m digginin’ it and I wanna hear more! We need all hands on deck, eyes wide, calling it like we see it. Uma gets it, I want to get it!


Edit: girlish hope. Rapey gonna rape, guys. Rapey gonna rape.