Finding My Slash

…and I don’t mean slash fiction.

I have been slowly meandering my way through Brené Brown’s book “The Gifts Of Imperfection” for the past four months. The book makes me think, has me chewing on my own spirit and my own perceptions of reality. I find myself asking “what is this thing called life I am living” and “why do I do what I do.” You know, easy stuff.

There has been chewing, butt kicking, and the occasional moment of “uh huh.” There are exclamation points and stars etched in the edges, brackets and circles. This is a book I had to take notes in, not leave pristine. Will I loan it- yes, with the caveat that the next person do the same in their own color of pen.

In Guidepost 9 (it’s like chapters in part two), she asks us to examine what makes our work meaningful. For many years I have stood by the fact that I must have meaningful work, or else not do it. She argued another route… the slash.

You can be a poet/banker, carpenter/king. Any combination of thing is available if we dig in deep and listen to the fullness of our hearts. Listen to the silence that speaks at 3am and knows our best intentions at heart.

The funny thing is, knowing my ideal slash is an amazing tool for figuring out where to invest my juice. My spoons. My battery power.

I am an author/educator/performer/shaman.

Or perhaps an author/educator/shaman/performer.

Somewhere in there. I am called to reach out, connect, inspire. I have tribal affiliations. I touch hearts. I resonate in these forms through the guise of bard, poet, philosopher, blogger, priest, guru, and nice guy. But these four are the vocation known as my journey.

I keep being told to focus in. I mean really, does that shaman gig pay? If your income is really from the first two, do it smarter, do it wiser. Educate at intensives and big weekends only, do college lecturing mostly, write books that will sell 10,000+ copies only. Write that sequel to “Shibari You Can Use” already.

But a job is real even if we don’t get paid for it. Our juice fills back up *while* we are working instead of on the weekends when please oh please we are away from our work. I want my Work, not just my work. I want to thrive in my vocation.

The trick? Listening. I keep not listening, though I am getting better.

When I open up a file to write, what juices me up? What makes me feel juicy? Right now it is poetry. I am pouring it out of me like water, refreshing water that I feel like I am sailing on. The second is handouts and notes for how to teach, because there needs to be more skilled folks who can skillfully pass on information and wisdom to others. The third is my collaborative project with Mollena.

Note that “More Shibari You Can Use,” which has had the first 3 chapters and entire outline done for 5 months, has not moved in 5 months. Because today my spirit says no. It says it is not part of today’s work. Will it come out, yes, at some point. But right now, if I focused on it, I would not be listening to the authentic voice that governs over my slash.

So I let the words pour forth. I book gigs like Westward Bound, Fetish Fair Flea, and Kinkfest to teach at, that will fuel me. I stop and play, because sometimes my performance is for me. I sing and dance. I use my tarot card app for actual divination working. I love, and live, and dream as I work. Because I am Working.

I am Working, in my slash.


If so moved…




Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.


  1. Thanks for sharing. As I prepare to go back to school, while still working full time and trying to run an organization, I’m thinking about a lot of the same things. Glad I read this.

  2. Love this! (though I do have to admit I was expecting fanfic) I’ve been away from home a lot lately and now I find myself looking at all my piles of projects trying to figure out which to hit first and why… so this is really life affirming and validating.

    I’m not entirely sure what my slashes are yet; they seem to be mostly works in progress, none of them distinct but all of them pointing towards the same thing – making life worth living for myself and others.

    As a side note, you’ve always been a big inspiration to me. I first ran across your blog maybe a year before I found the scene and, well, to be redundant, I found it inspirational. Probably because of the intersection of slashes – so many things I can relate to and want to carry as a cohesive whole but that everyone else seems to think needs to be minutely compartmentalized. So yeah, thanks for existing and being you and sharing that multiplicity of being. It’s appreciated.

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