What we do here:

Work on our stuff. Dissolve stuck. Play. Experiment. Rewrite patterns. We take sometimes-heavy things* and we make them more fun, playful, manageable.

I also write about my conversations with walls and monsters, and what it's like to work on a pirate ship. Good times.

* Sometimes-heavy things include: mindfulness and presence, pain and trauma, business-growing, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity


Wish 264: lovingly curated

very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal! Very.

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. The point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and accessing the qualities. Wanting can be hard, it is easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons for that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

What do I want?

The past few months of asking “What happens when I treasure myself?” have brought me to the realization that treasuring my space (both external and internal) is the thing I need to learn, the next mission.

Since my last visit to the Vicarage, I’ve been clearing all kinds of things out of my home and workspace and the Playground, letting them find their way to better homes for them.

I haven’t really had a name for what I’m doing, until Saturday morning when I awoke with this phrase resting in my mouth, a gift from the sleep fairies, or from my heart:

Lovingly Curated

It is both completely right, and also at the same time something is missing. It’s a partial name, or a partial concept.

So my wish for this week has to do with both the experience of Lovingly Curated (and being the loving curator), and learning more about this concept to have a better understanding of what it is that I want.

It is a wish about process, and a wish about approach, at the same time.

What do I know about this so far?

I just flashed on something and I’m not sure how to explain it.

When I opened the Playground (my retreat center), four years and three months ago, if you can believe it’s been that long, I had very strong feelings about what could go inside. I wanted things to be Just Right.

Gradually I realized that the best thing I could do for both the Playground and the people who come play was to let go of any kind of vision or rules about Just Right.

Richard’s instinct to paint walls in bright colors (crimson! wild orange!) was absolutely on target, even though it never would have occurred to me. Things came in — toys, costumes, decorations, that I wouldn’t have chosen for the space but they worked. More importantly, everyone used them and delighted in playing with them.

I watched Rally people invent brilliant costumes and build the most creative forts, from objects I would probably have vetoed due to attachment to Just Right. They found clues in books I wouldn’t have picked. They uncovered treasure in things I didn’t value.

This was eye-opening for me, and helped release rules about how it “should be”.

Flash forward to now. We have accumulated so much. And I haven’t curated. Unless I have a strong negative reaction to an object, it gets to hang out at the Playground.

Now I’ve reached the point where it is time to let things flow out again.

Flowing out again….

Last week while clearing things out, I found a Reflecting (shhh, it’s a collage, and for some reason I am allergic to the word collage) from November 2011 at a Rally.

I’d forgotten that I’d made it, and the theme was — GET THIS! — treasuring my space.

It was beautiful. And I’d pasted that delicious William Morris quote:

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

It is time to start curating again. Making conscious love-infused choices about what gets to live in my spaces.

What else do know about [Lovingly]?

It is both the right word and not the right word. I need some synonyms for lovingly. Fondly curated? No. Passionately curated? No. Adoringly? No.

None of those is even close to what I am trying to get at. Hmmm. What are the elements in here? When I say lovingly, in this context, what kind of lovingly is it?

Lovingly =

+intentional +presence +with love +sweetness +grace +warmth +really there for this experience + engaged +alive +interacting +charged +knowing that this mission is vital

So it’s about presence. Doing an action that is infused with love, in a way that is infused with love and with an intention that is infused with love.

Loving is the right word. And it is a love that is very engaged. Okay, I don’t know where this is going at all, and it’s still good to have this additional intel.

What do I know about this?

There is a lot of emotion tangled up in this.

Clearing out physical objects can be surprisingly fraught. Or not surprisingly at all, if you hang out in the world of people who think about “organizing” (oh that unfortunate word!) and related themes.

There is all the emotional dust that gets kicked up, as Cairene puts it, when you start to examine what’s in your space.

And the identity stuff. Questioning choices that past-me made, even though I know from experience that she was always doing the best she could to the best of her abilities with the intel she had at the time, and everything she did was for me-now. Agonizing about choices related to future-me, even though I know there are no wrong choices as long as I’m acting from love.

There is the usual parade of monsters who think this is all stupid, and the Time Gremlins who think it’s an extravagant and shameful waste of time.

Speaking of shame.

So much shame.

That’s the big emotion that gets trapped (and revealed) for me when it comes to working with my stuff about Space.

Space, Time, Money and Love. The four big themes where our pain shows up.

So there’s shame in here, and fear. Which means there is opportunity for release. It also means SAFETY FIRST and PLAY AT THE EDGES, because any encounter with big emotion requires as much safety as possible.

Lovingly curating my internal space means committing to making this experience safe for myself. That’s important too.

Where do I want to start?

Talking to incoming me, the one who enjoys being a Loving Curator, and finding out what she knows.

Skip stones as often as possible.

Dance. Intensity. Writing. Red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote.

Using the compass. Last week’s is perfect. Eight breaths: one in each direction.

Simplicity. Delight. Ease. Beauty. Anchor. Release. Glow. Wild.

Saying thank you in advance.

Thank you in advance!

Me: Hey, Incoming Me aka Slightly Wiser Me! What do you know?

She: Love the curation. Love your role as the curator. You are the treasure and you are the treasurer (and the Treasurer!). Making choices about your space is a form of exercising your sovereignty, you have yearned for this.

So this is a gift, not a chore. When you catch yourself turning it into a task, pause for breath, take the purple pills, and start over. This is an adventure, a passionate summer fling, a voyage you have longed for. Let it be that.

How does this relate to Tranquility?

July-2014Tranquility July is Tranquility in the Fluent Self calendar.

Superpower: Remembering that Now Is Not Then.

Tranquility is the companion to lovingly curated. This isn’t the kind of re-ordering I’ve done in the past where EVERYTHING MUST LEAVE. No violence or destruction this round. An emptying with calm and sweetness, curiosity and patience. Tranquility is my anchor.

Oh wow, what beautiful wishes.

Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat. Things to play with someday.
  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • I have the best time dancing in my ballroom.
  • This doesn’t require my input!
  • Ha, it’s so perfect that it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS
  • I have what I need, and I appreciate it. There are resources to do this.
  • Trust and steadiness. I can see why this moment is good.
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.
  • Ops: Real Seeing. The Protocols. Sip Hint Learn. The Panache Brigade!


At last week’s Waltz Brunch I had an absolutely incredible dance to this song . This is actually a perfect example of the question of curation. This is not a song I would normally listen to by choice for more than about three seconds, but during the magic of the dance, I heard it.

The longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss.

There’s a lot in that phrase, but right now what I am taking from it is that everything I haven’t done until now is not Terrible Choices or procrastination, as my monsters would have it, it is just the time I needed to take to make these new kisses sweeter.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka a wild abundance of dance partners…

Imagining my projects as dance partners has been unbelievably helpful. And at the Wednesday dance, I had an actual wild abundance of actual dance partners, which never, ever happens there. Especially since there were a million follows and people who dance way better than I do. That’s usually a dance where I do a lot of watching, and this week it was a place to do a lot of dancing.

I also wish to report that Operation White Out was a huge success with a (yes!) wild abundance of pretty much everything.

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I wish to whisper a whisper about the Monster Manual! It comes paired with the world’s best coloring book, which does so much monster-dissolving magic that even if you wait to try the techniques, you’ll still feel better about everything.

Self-fluency is hard enough, we need ways to to interact with the thoughts-fear-worry-criticism that shuts down creative exploring. And when people get the manual, I am able to me spend more time writing here. So if you don’t need help with monsters, get one for a friend. Or plant a wish that someone gets it for you! And bring people you like to hang out here. The more of us working on our stuff, the better for all of us. ♡

Keep me company?

Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads. In any size/form you like, there’s no right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play.

Let’s throw things in the pot! And: Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.


Chicken 313: we’re no strangers to love

Friday chicken

Where I cover the good and the hard in my week, visiting the non-preachy side of ritual and self-reflection.

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for Friday}

What worked this week?

Not having my computer.

This was an accidental discovery. Richard’s computer had to go to the hospital so I let him use mine and decided to work on projects that do not require typing, pixels or the vast rabbitholes of the internet.

My body-mind is/are feeling happy and surprisingly tranquil, so that’s kind of neat. And those other projects turned out to be both more important and more complicated than I’d realized. That was actually good news, because it gives me intel to share with my monster crew who think I’m lazy and disorganized, and say if I “just took an hour to clear stuff out…”

Well, I got to spend three whole days on things they think should just take an hour, and it was useful to learn that they are wildly underestimating everything. Also I found some important clues.

So. Something that seemed like an Interruption actually turned out to be full of Treasure, in the form of unexpected good surprises. I want to remember this.

Next time I might…

Remember Rick Astley.

A few years ago I stopped clicking on posts with titles that sounded like they had really solid information.

Like, The Best Eight Ways to ____________.

Whatever the eight ways turned out to be, they were inevitably disappointing. Maybe three were things I already did, four were just stupid, and one was irrelevant.

Nowadays of course, it’s more like “YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT”, and it purports to be about something I care about or am curious about. And then, of course, the only actual astonishing thing turns out to be how completely unremarkable the surprise is, and how spectacular the waste of time.

Before my trip to the Vicarage, I had a habit of avoiding these links, and then every once in a while I’d click anyway, and be disappointed.

Since the Vicarage, my attitude is more like, Hey sweetie, do you really want this? Does this seem like it’s going to bring you pleasure?

After running some experiments, it’s clear that 99.9% of the time, there is no pleasure in the click. It’s basically a rickroll. Except less fun because that song is awesome.

What I’d like to do now is start humming Never Gonna Give You Up whenever I consider clicking. That will take me back to PLAYFULNESS, which is where I want to be, and away from this sensation of “ugh, really?!”

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. It was one of those weeks where Everything Breaks, in small, symbolic ways. Favorite sweater has a tear. My Bond Girl boots broke, unexpectedly, and my Cobbler of the Magic Powers can’t do anything with them. Papercuts. Bruises. Things are lost. A breath for transition and adjustment.
  2. Dark circles under my eyes. A breath for noticing this..
  3. I really don’t want to be online, it doesn’t do good things for me, and yet a large portion of my life happens here. And I love this space here. A breath for finding a new way to be here and not there.
  4. So much pain in the world. May peacefulness prevail. A breath for may peacefulness prevail, and for turning inward so that I can add peacefulness, like adding spices.
  5. Wild goose chases. A breath for trusting the process and for more letting go.
  6. Talking with someone I like, and discovering this person has strong unexamined opinions regarding a situation about which he is remarkably unknowledgeable and about which I happen to know a lot. I found this pretty distressing and did a lot of wheel-grinding before I remembered to wish him and everyone else peacefulness. A breath for this feeling of disappointment.
  7. Letting things go. Man, it is complicated. A breath for trust.
  8. Inhale, exhale. Goodbye, mysteries and hard moments of this week.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. The best gift: a poem and a pot, both beautiful, both made by Angela. The pot is so perfect that Richard said, “This is the most Havi pot I have ever seen, how did she know?!” A breath for pleasure.
  2. The qualities and superpowers I have been playing with for the past few months — Wildly Confident / Wonderfully Peaceful / I Treasure My Space — are starting to feel like home, and they’ve been working in ways I hadn’t even imagined possible. A breath for appreciation and wonder.
  3. My dear friend Colleen the Signmaker was in town and we had tea at the Playground, and it was so lovely. A breath for full deep heart love.
  4. I didn’t get upset about any of the breaking. I am letting things go, and I am doing it with ease this time around. Not that it’s easy, just that I am easing. With the help of things that are like purple pills. A breath for a new way of doing this.
  5. Operation White Out is happening! The notorious noir gunslinger is leaving Eugene and headed this way, we will be running experiments on invisibility and panache, while avoiding henchmen and WEARING HATS. A breath for adventure, companionship, silliness, play.
  6. DANCING! So much fantastic dance this week. A two hour Kizomba workshop that Anil talked me into had me completely enthralled. Between Saturday Night Fever and Sunday’s Waltz Brunch, I spent most of the weekend whirling around the dance floor. Swing, waltz, foxtrot, rumba, salsa, fusion, fun. Wonderful dancing, lovely people. Wednesday’s west coast swing dance was unbelievably great, maybe the best one yet, and then I went to see the Barn Door Slammers last night, where there was even more good dancing. A breath for sheer joy and delight in life.
  7. I am noticing patterns, clearing things out, letting so much go, and listening to the quiet internal voice. I always do this, it’s both my work and what I do, but right now it is happening in a more intense and intentional way than before. A breath for treasure, and for change.
  8. Appreciation and thankfulness. Thank you, kaleidoscopes. Thank you, kaleidoscope coloring book that I found when the quiet internal voice suggested reorganizing the library at the Playground. Thank you, risk-taking. Thank you, asking. Thank you, wonderful and unexpected answers. Thank you, good news. Thank you, yesterday-me and tomorrow-me, I love you both so much.Thank you, everything that brought me here. Thank you, red lipstick. Thank you, lovely surprises. Nothing is wrong. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. So many things are good. A breath for deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

WHAM BOOM! Operations completed.

The phrase Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code that means: this thing is done! It is often shortened to wham-boom. You may also shout (or whisper) other joyous words if you like.

I have been clearing stuff out like mad. Operation Kaleidoscopic Revue was a smashing success. As was my mission to Love the Loathe. Operation Basket Weaving yielded surprising results. And we are on schedule for the Secret Dinner. Wham Boom.


Powers I had this week…

The power of Everything That Is Mine Returns To Me. I’ve been repeating this over and over, and things are coming back. Or they aren’t, but it’s okay, because they aren’t mine. Found a beloved garment I thought had been lost at the Vicarage. Found a clue that I had been waiting for.

And I also had the superpower of wishing peacefulness (may peacefulness prevail!) when I found myself cycling through conversations in my head, I would like more of this and to do it faster. This is a good one.

Superpowers I want.

The power of finding the good, and the power of knowing that every moment is treasure. The power of knowing that sometimes the letting go is the treasure.

Salve. The Salve of Letting Go Is Treasure.

This salve softens everything, brings an ease and a lightness.

As it melts into your skin, you forget why you thought you needed to hold on so tightly to something that was done. Suddenly it makes sense that the things that don’t fit your life would find their way out. A warmth spreads through you, it is peaceful and tingly at the same time, and then there is this extra spaciousness as if you have more capacity to take in breath and let it go.

This salve has the qualities of Safety, Resilience, Undoing, Love.

These salves can’t be seen, but the production factory delivers enough for distribution by way of the magic of the internet, so help yourself. There is enough.

If salve does not appeal, you can have this in tea form, as a bath, cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

My brother and I make up bands, which are all just one guy. The Meme Beach House is the venue.

This band is called Institute Of Molecular Biology Potluck, they are from Rio de janeiro, their latest album is Smooth Science, it’s ambient trance music and actually the band is just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I spend a lot of time saying “ohmygod I want to go somewhere and WRITE, I want to go on a writing retreat” and then I never do that because of the part where hahaha I’d probably have to sit around with Writers and talk about what I’m writing.

And then I realized I could invent my own that would be exactly what I want. Price super low because I need to leave town for a couple of weeks. It is called a Righting Retreat.

Partly because that sounds less intimidating (to me), and partly because it is true. We will Right things.

Come read the page because 1) I swear a lot, 2) I make a pun that is also truth, 3) there is a cloud that makes me smile, 4) I can’t be the only person who longs for this, 5) I just made a thing and would love company, 6) there is an extra-extra-extra low price.

I need to check with Richard on this however I think there are two spots left

—-> http://www.fluentself.com/righting/ —-> PASSWORD: oneword

Come play if you like…

Join me in the comments. Some of us share hard and good, some of us say hi, or maybe we’re on silent retreat. My ritual doesn’t have to be your ritual. Whatever works for you. Almost three hundred weeks of this and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We don’t give advice.

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever you like, it’s no big deal. And I am blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers. I love that you are here too.