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We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


Very Personal Ads #133: doobie doo just filling something out

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

Each week I write these VPAs to practice asking for what I want. And to get clarity on what that really is, even when asking feels conflicted.

I always get useful information about my relationship with various aspects of the ask. Join in if you like!

Thing 1: Outward and inward and outward and inward.

Here’s what I want:

All of my gwishes this week seem to be about my desire for community, and about my desire for seclusion.

I am convinced that these are not even slightly contradictory, and that they support each other in important ways, so I want to spend some time investigating.

Ways this could work:

I can make lists of things that symbolize community for me, as well as things that stand for separation, withdrawing and turning inward.

And I can practice things on both sides.

Some old Turkish lady yoga for inward. Convening an Enthusiastic for outward.

Also some shivanautical epiphanies could just make everything clear and obvious. Or at least show me what the next step is.

I’ll play with…

Giving permission.

Practicing the art of wanting what I want.

Thing 2: Speaking of community…

Here’s what I want:

Okay, so I talk about roller derby all the time.

About my relationship to derby. About how outrageously great it is.

And I also know a trillion people in Portland. Or maybe I don’t know all of them personally yet, but they know me through this blog. Hi, lovely people!

I want all of us going to bouts and yelling our heads off and having the time of our lives. YES.

Ways this could work:

Maybe I’ll set up a pre-bout meet-up.

Kay’s bar, anyone? Maybe?

That way, people who would like to come watch roller derby with me could meet up with me beforehand.

I’m more than happy to explain the rules or why a penalty is a penalty. And I promise I won’t try to recruit you. Unless you want me to.

Probably the Frolicsome Bar (that’s what we call our facebook page) would be the best place to set up an event like this and let people know. But maybe there’s another way that I haven’t thought of yet.

I’ll play with…

Planting the wish.

Possibly doing an OOD on it.

Thing 3: Filling out more forms. Yes.

Here’s what I want:

Filling out forms is my secret agent code for doing old Turkish lady poses.

Because that’s literally what you’re doing.

Filling. Out. A. Form.

Except it sounds so incredibly boring to fill out forms that my monsters don’t make a fuss the way they would if I were doing something sweet and loving like shhhhhh-slow-gentle-yoga.

This week I would like to fill out lots and lots of forms.

Maybe just one at a time. Maybe at different points during the day.

Ways this could work:

Paul’s non-sucky dvd, of course.

Using the Playground.

Before bed.

After Shiva Nata.

In between transitions and doors.

I’ll play with…

Inventing a superpower to go along with this.

Thing 4: Erm…

Here’s what I want:

Extreme Recovery Mode. Aka Erm!

Which, coincidentally, is also the sound I make right before I remember to yell “Silent Retreat!”

(And then I run away.)

Ways this could work:


Soaking in hot pools.


Not everything requires a response.


I’ll play with…

Going dark.

Ten breaths.

Permission and amnesty.

Thing 5: The Floating Playground! The last day for Early Brunch.

Here’s what I want:

This weekend is the last chance for extreme Early Brunch prices on the Floating Playground.

I want everyone who wants to be a part of the Floop (yes, that’s its nickname, apparently) to joyfully find their way there.

Ways this could work:

I’m telling you right now.

I’ll play with…

Putting the link here: http://TheFluentSelf.com/floating

Creating a supportive, creative environment of welcoming and belonging for everyone who wants to play. Yay!

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

Just to update you on what’s happened since last time.

Let’s see. I wanted an old laptop to play DVDs on at the Playground, and a bunch of you were crazy helpful! Still sorting out the details, but yay people who can help! That was amazing.

Then I wanted to focus on making eating beautiful. That was challenging, but it definitely showed up. I was more conscious about which plates to choose and how to arrange things. It’s on my mind. Progress.

The Playground (the live one, which is about to expand to a much larger space) needs ongoing art supplies, and I said I’d think about that. I liked Anna’s suggestion of an arts & crafts potluck picnic. We’ll have to see what that would look like. I might write a future ask on specifics.

I wanted smoothness with the lease, and the building’s owners agreed to all of the changes we wanted to make in the last round of lease negotiations, HOORAY!

And I asked for a joyful Rally (Rally!), and it was extremely, extremely full of joy. Yet again, the VPAs sneakily make everything better under the surface while I’m not paying attention.

Play-filled comment zen. Here’s what I’d love today.

  • Wanted: Your own personal ads, small or large. Updates on past ones if you like.
  • You can also do these on your own or in your head. You can always call silent retreat!
  • Leave your gwishes! Throw things in the pot!
  • Things we try to keep away from: the word “manifest”, telling people how they should be asking for things, unsolicited advice.
  • VPA amnesty applies, of course. Leave yours any time between now and next Sunday (or whenever, really) — it’s all fine by us!


28 Responses to Very Personal Ads #133: doobie doo just filling something out

  1. Meg
    Twitter: khunmeg

    That thing about the desire for community, along with the desire for seclusion? I have that too. But when describing it to someone recently, I got a duh-you’re-crazy! sort of response. As if I’m out of my wits to want such a thing, much less make strides toward meeting those wants. But whatever. Because I’m doing exactly that. The making of strides, that is. And Gwishing. Which I don’t ever do publicly. Until this moment, of course. Just ever so slightly.
    It’s funny, I’m a Beloved Lurker who (very) regularly types in this box without hitting submit. And I’m not sure but it would seem the title of this post may have been read by my monster in charge of the No Comment Policy. And now I have the giggles at the idea of hitting submit… :)

  2. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    hi Meg!
    *giggling along*
    & saying hi to the No Comment Policy Monster, too
    (seeing a fluffly monster in a police outfit)

    hi everyone!

    oooooooooh i found a quiet moment just in time for VPA-ing. much excited about that

    thing 1: a certain kind of superpower

    situation: my supervisor sent an email full of anger. i asked my parents for help and they tried but also panicked because help! – a professor (*giggles*)

    what i want & qualities: Bruce Wayne style toughness. resilience. inside strength. lack of impressionability. protection. provision. self-reliance. understanding. strong boundaries.

    ways it could work: i could call upon the superpower(s) here. i could study strength some more.

    i’ll play with: i would love to have some help in this are. i could listen to people. i could keep in mind what the buddhist monks told me – we suffer more than necessary and let’s try to forget yesterday.

    thing 2: mirror pool time

    the situation & what I want: i iz traveling. not so easy to find lot’s of internet and/or me time. but i’d love to spend some time on embarking and reflecting and setting out on a new course. it’s hard work and i’d need to feel safe.

    ways it could work : i could sneak away half hours here and there. i could think to myself while travelng. i could pretend-sleep.

    i’ll play with – different roles. different reactions. theatre.

    VPA update

    I wanted calm traveling and i did not really get it but i learnt things; i did learn things.

    I wanted time for reflecting and that was hard, too. But I know i want it and that is useful to know. i wrote letters and that was useful.

    I wanted meetings and not so many happened but i realized that was better. not all meetings are good. sometimes meeting me is better.

  3. seagirl says:

    Yay vpa time.

    Updates on last week: last week I wanted some change with my assistant and being annoyed by her. I told her that some questions don’t need to be asked, and that if I’m not specific about how I’d like something she can’t really go wrong with how she does it.

    Then I hired an associate. Accidentally and quietly, so that the “No More Employees Monster” and the “Keep The Firm Small Monster” didn’t notice. And I think that since she will be doing work that I can bill handsomely, I will resent less the money I pay my assistant. This needs more meditation clearly.

    This week:
    All of my friends run. They meet at the gym, they run races, they run. I do not run. I don’t know why. I do everything else, but when I think about running I think about an elephant in sneakers plodding down the road. Even though when I bike I’m a gazelle and when I hike I’m a mountain lion and when I yoga I’m a yogi. It is odd. I’d like to run. I’d like to run a race. I’d like to do a whole triathlon and not just the swim/bike legs.

    Ways this could work: I could write down all of the things I’m afraid of about running and then point and laugh at how ridiculous they are. (Morning Routine Monster says this is no laughing matter.) I could sign up for the gym my friends go to and run next to them so we are always next to each other and no one is struggling to catch up. (Money Monster is concerned about this.) I could put on exercise clothes today and go outside for a walk. Doobie doo nothing to see here…

    Also, maybe there are people here who didn’t run and thought their bodies weren’t made for running but one day they ran a little, and maybe a little more, and now they run and they could share that here.

  4. VickiB says:

    Giggling about the “Chicken sandwich” I had: Layering email in with Friday’s Chicken. I read the Chicken, dealt with email, and then wrote and posted my Chicken.

    Sighing about “Silent Retreat: The Super-Power Version”. What Havi calls ERM. I’m thinking that if I withdraw from responding to others for a while – go dark – and spend that time in hot tubs and getting a massage and journaling, it would be like calling Silent Retreat and kicking it up a notch.

    Thing 1: Cabo Bojador

    What I want: to begin the initial field research for the Floating Playground. Cabo Bojador is the place I’ve been before; for now I want to do field work in the area around Cabo Bojador, to become more deeply familiar with the environs, before striking out on Leap Day for “Más Allá del Cabo Bojador.” I want to become better able to use the tools for my explorations, and to begin setting things up for the longer journey.

    What I’ll play with:
    Setting things up. I’ll choose some dates for the field work. I’ll block out the time on my calendar. I’ll tell people I’m not available. And I’ll enlist the Sandwich Gnomes to provide lovely meals for me while I’m involved in my field research.
    Listening to recorded books. There are some good but hard things that might get done while I’m not paying attention. Also distracting the monsters, I mean entertaining them, so they’ll pipe down and let me excavate.
    Being a Scientist who records what I find. Wearing a scientist costume: dark-rimmed glasses and a clipboard at minimum. Making notes about my findings and my process.
    Dressing the same way as the Toughest Guy I Know for when I have to face scary things. Maybe under a lab coat so I can be a Tough Guy Scientist.
    Note to self: look for a lab coat.

    Thing 2: EASE

    What I want: more ease. The basic acrostic for EASE is Elementary self care, Action, Setting things up, and Elegance (simplicity, dignity, grace).

    What I’ll play with:
    The new acrostic for EASE: Exercise, Aerobics, Stretches, Eating right.
    Looking for ways to make it easy to do those things.
    Stone skipping
    Asking Slightly Future Me what she did
    Putting it out here.
    Get the Butler to help me with some of the things that need to be done for this to happen
    Maybe I can do one portion of the basic EASE each day: Monday, focus on how I’ll do elementary self care this week; Tuesday take action on things that obviously need to be done; Wednesday figure out how to set things up for myself; Thursday do something to bring more elegance (simplicity, grace, dignity) into my life… and Friday report on it at the Chicken.

    Thing 3: Travel Plans

    What I want: There are travel opportunities and possibilities opening up, but most of them seem to have a catch… besides the usual ones related money and to MrB’s safety. Some of the impediments are things I can do something about – though I have to find a way to do it with integrity – and some of them are totally out of my hands – and some of them are things I’ve already chosen to leave to someone else… I decided not to go into detail here, things are too changeable, but I’d really like them to start coming together so I can get excited about them.

    What I might do:
    Make lists
    Pester MrB about his part of the planning process
    Make wishes and gwishes!
    Do reading and research
    Reconsider what I’ve delegated to others — if they are not willing to make the necessary decisions and take the necessary steps, what is the reason? Lack of interest in the travel, or not knowing how to do things, or what? Find out.
    Be curious, gentle, loving, and inquisitive, with myself and others

  5. VickiB says:

    Oh! Re travel: one thing that has already come together is arrangement for the February Rally (Rally!) (Yay!). So I can be excited about that! I think I’ll use that to practice being excited about the other things too.

  6. Corie Weaver
    Twitter: coriejweaver

    What I want: A play space that’s all mine, to make and color and be silly in. Or write, in quiet.

    What I might do: Talk to my sweetie about ways we can either rearrange the house, or rearrange times so that some times are his for playing, and sometimes are mine (super small house, with very few rooms).

    What I want: A mini-retreat. A time to feel pampered and special.

    What I might do: Stone skip on some things that might bring the qualities of pampering into full view. See if there’s a local place that isn’t terrifying that offers massage. Plan an at-home-spa day (or morning).

  7. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    @seagirl: I was not a runner. I had to run cross-country and track in middle school and it was the most horrible thing ever. I was slow and always last and my body did not feel made for running. I still remember the horridness of it. The people who liked running and were good at it seemed lean and lithe and speedy and I was none of those things. And then, the summer before college, I started running on the ski trails. I would always get lost so I would wind up running farther than I expected. It was glorious. I fell in love with running. With running longer and longer distances. I am still slow – that hasn’t changed – but somehow it doesn’t matter because I am doing it for the pure joy of moving outdoors. I still love trail running, and feel more like myself when I am doing it regularly, even when I take years off here and there. (I do not love non-trail running quite as much, though those five-fingered shoes make even non-trail-running not that bad.)
    Elizabeth recently posted… the dawning of the light, volume 4

  8. Melissa
    Twitter: Melissa Corbett

    Ooh, I want both the community and the seclusion too. I have trouble balancing both of these things, but that’s exactly what I want from it. Balance between the two. Enough of both.

    Things I want – progress on the story.


    Strength. Both in a physical strength training sense and in a awesome sense of being able to handle or deal with anything that may get thrown at me.

  9. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    Hello hello Sunday! Hello my gwishing self! Hello VPAs! Hello everyone joining in the VPA happenings!

    *waves enthusiastically*

    First, an update on my last VPA: the ommalB ritual. I don’t really know how it happened, but there was ease. Nothing in particular happened to the mountain, but I found the things I needed to find and my monsters stayed quiet about it.

    So now, on to what I want for this week:

    #1 – Space!

    I want this in multiple fashions and facets, from stars to being a mental astronaut to extra work on my tattoo to room in the apartment. I am putting it out there for my Slightly Future Self to determine which I should get when. But I do want it all. ;)

    Blooms for it:
    – I could discover the pockets in time and space.
    – I could find the names for my planet and my rocketship.
    – Slightly Future Me could leave a jewel-crumb or feather path behind her.
    – Tne Venusians could receive my report and give me help.

    What I’ll Plant:
    – I’ll Look for Clews.
    – I’ll watch the moon and Venus.
    – Maybe will do some Stone Skipping…

    #2 – Freedom to Name and Rename

    I have several – nay, many – aspects/ symbols/ items/ ideas/ people in my magic universe that need names. The flitter-muse needs a name, my Treehouse needs a name, Roll Call needs a whole bunch of names, my rocketship needs a name… I used to have that superpower, of discerning names, and it has gone on Silent Retreat! I was contemplating this yesterday and I remembered all the stories and conversations of renaming things, thus I want to have the ability to give myself permission to both name and rename when the time comes.

    Blooms for it:
    – The happy lightningstrike could hit me.
    – I could magically become okay with namelessness.
    – I could find the time to interview each nameless one.

    What I’ll Plant:
    – I wish to invoke qualities for each item.
    – I’ll come up with a few Costumes.
    – I’ll draw a Name vine.

    #3 – Continuing to Notice.

    Yesterday I read an email notification from the folks who do Nanowrimo and ScriptFrenzy, and it was like a flash of zen electroshock: I’ve been performing violence against my own writing process by participating in these kinds of events. I used to write a LOT more before I did Nano or the Frenzy, so now I’m wondering what other types of violences I’ve unwittingly done? Thus, Noticing.

    Blooms for it:
    – Becoming more present and more aware of self.
    – Seeing the process and not just the desired result.
    – I could set up an internal code via which my selves and my body can alert me.

    What I’ll Plant:
    – Lots of Force-fielding and Mirror, mirror on the wall rituals.
    – Remembering permission slips.
    – Lots of notes to ourselves to let go of Comparisons. (Thank you, Mirror Pool!)

    love love love love to all! hugs to those who want them!

    *waves a happy and heartfelt goodbye to VPA time – with toddler kisses!*
    Risa recently posted… Light Is Also A Key.

  10. Riv
    Twitter: PurpleshinyRiv

    Oo, I love sneakiness of “filling out forms”–and the No Comment Policy Monster! I bet he wears dark sunglasses and has really broad shoulders for blocking cameras.

    Thing 1: Finding the Mythical Cambridge

    What I want: OK, so a couple of days ago I was once again hit by a huge wave of I want to move to Portland so bad I can hardly stand it, but I can’t. I’ve made cozy, warm safe rooms (with pillows embroidered with “Now is not Then”) for the parts of me that are so very familiar with wanting the things I can’t have (or even wanting them *because* I can’t have them). Next, I noticed that what’s wrapped up in this wanting is actually about the qualities I ascribe to a romanticized version of Portland–a Mythical Portland. And that if I were to look at my own city with the same loving-longing eyes, most parts can be found here, too. The imperfect but emerging alliance between hippies and hipsters. Yoga. Wacky unschooling experiments. Indie bookstores and cafes. Art and music. Street festivals. Zines. Biking. So… what I want is to have extra-heightened awareness of the Mythical Cambridge that overlays Normal Cambridge, and to find ways to enter and participate in it wherever I can.

    Ways this could work: I’ll check the neighborhood cafe for the free zine of neat events. And maybe I could go to one of them! Take a shawl-project to the knitting hangouts up the street. Connect/re-connect with the awesome artsy people I’ve already found. Maybe people reading this live in the greater Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area and want to hang out on Twitter or in person :)

    I’ll play with: Imagining the way my neighborhood looks from an outside, loving-idealizing perspective. Grounding it in observation. Looking for secret doors. Being open to spontaneity and delightful weirdness! Putting art into the fabulous chicken machine in the bookstore.

    Thing 2: Workbrain

    What I want: To access flow, destuckification, and an unburdening of guilt at work. To be present and curious instead of intimidated-avoidant.

    Ways this could work: I’ve had lots of practice with destuckifying at home. I can turn some of that to this situation too. I know that leaving my (online, private) journal open for jotting down what comes up for me can be really helpful. I can close the door to my office and flail, stretch, or just breathe quietly without worrying about being seen or judged. I can invoke the “I don’t need to know all the answers all the time” superpower.

    I’ll play with: Being teacher-me and student-me. Identifying monsters and walls. Locating the treasure. But in all of this, starting with the safe rooms.


    To remember the doors. To find more play and laughter and silliness. To locate and deploy some fun little decorations for the studio/workbench area.

    Updates since last time:

    The sleep schedule re-righting has been working well. When I’ve been ignoring the 11pm bedtime and staying up until 3, setting a 1:30 bedtime seems to do the trick. I’m going to continue playing with shifting things earlier, using this past week as a template. As for the time-claustrophobia thing, I’m pretty happy with how that’s been going also. I’m now visualizing Tetris blocks that are sort of squishy and open and lumpy–so they don’t lock together to block out all air and light, they just nestle together comfortably.
    Riv recently posted… From my computer to paper to metal to paper

  11. Esme
    Twitter: TheRealSqualor

    What I want #1:

    For the workshop on my story to go well. As in, people are receptive when they read it and understand what I was trying to do, and when they write their critiques/talk about it in class they give really good helpful suggestions. And for me to not be overly nervous about it being workshopped.

    Ways This Could Work/I’ll Play With…

    Doing intentional entering into the workshop.
    Making sure to put extra effort into my critiques for other people’s stories.

    What I want #2:

    A good Imbolc. A ritual lovingly prepared and given enough time. Getting in touch with the divine. A lovely feast with the gentleman. All stress-free and fitting nicely into my schedule.

    Ways this could work/I’ll Play With…

    Plan ahead. Clean the space and ready the tools prior to when I want to do the ritual. Take deep breaths. Pray.

    What I want #3:

    A pair of five-pound hand weights.

    Ways This Could Work/I’ll Play With…

    A friend who no longer needs theirs could give them to me. I can check the thrift stores. Last resort, buy them new online.

    What I want #4:

    A beautiful shiny new story. Which is to say, I want to have good ideas, then write them into a wonderful story, revise, and get it sufficiently polished before the next due date.

    Ways This Could Work/I’ll Play With…

    Read short stories in the genres I’m interested in. Write/brainstorm every day. Draw pictures. Go for long walks. Sleep a lot. Do a ritual. Shiva nata. But mostly, do some writing and brainstorming every day.

    What I want #5:

    This is basically what I want every time and all the time. I want to be filled with energy and enthusiasm to do the things I want to do. I want to manage my time well in order to do these things. These things include (but are not limited to) eating well, exercising, going for walks, cleaning and decorating my room, writing, playing guitar, meditating, working on The List.

    Ways This Could Work/I’ll Play With…

    Finish writing the love letter to my Luminous Self. Use Up & at ’em! Take deep breaths. Be extra vigilant against procrastinatey activities like surfing the web and watching HIMYM. Do homework not at the last minute. Make lists, and read them frequently. Do the changing patterns dance. Re-read my VPAs halfway through the week. Read The List of Qualities. Dance to The List of Qualities?

    I’ve gotten some help on this in that I don’t have as many shifts at work this week, and I’m grateful for that.
    Esme recently posted… Porn for Bibliophiles

  12. Cathy
    Twitter: cathyyardley

    VPA #1: Staying the Course. I’d like to Revue January, and say Hello to February.

    How this could work: I could do a GOodbye January page in my Cruise Log. Could stone skip. Could remind myself that now is not then, and just because I’ve abandoned systems previously does not mean I will abandon something that isn’t working.

    Commitment: I’ll print out the page now and journal on it.

    VPA #2: Get back to Cruise Mind. I want to act like this year is “vacation” and not stress — I’ve been veering away from that as things come up.

    How this could work: Not sure. I could plan more “deck” time and pleasure reading. Or plan fun excursions. Or look at what really “needs” to be done versus what I think needs to be done. No idea — open to anything, really.

    Commitment: Do something creative. Read a few more books for fun.

    RE: Last week — I wanted more flexibility, and I did some more stretches. It doesn’t hurt to walk our dog anymore, so there’s something. Also, I learned that prep tends to lend more flexibility… if I take some extra steps, I don’t get that shot-out-of-a-cannon start to my day anymore. Yay, awareness and prep!

    Have a great week, peeps. :)
    Cathy recently posted… How to Build A Writer’s Support Network

  13. seagirl says:

    @Elizabeth, thank you thank you! I think I would love trail running! And when I imagine it, I imagine loving it. Maybe my feet do not like asphalt? I am going to say yes to trail running! Especially since we are having a snow less winter.

  14. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    Hello, warm wishes for wantings.

    Thing 1: for a peaceful transition and everyone to be able to find what they need.
    My mother in law is dying. She has had dementia for several years and is not in pain and it is alright. But I can see/believe that because I never really had a relationship with her before she started to fade, so I don’t appreciate what it is that the world is losing with her passing and the tragedy of her being afflicted with dementia in the first place. It also means that I can be here and clear for the family who ARE experiencing it that way.

    I’ll play with:
    – prayers, invocations, wishes, vibes, lighting metaphorical candles
    – presence: what is this person in need of? Also, ask them that question!

    Thing 2: Self-care. Systems. Support. Sortings.
    Same request as past month. Things that will support my capacity and energy, that will help get done all the things that are important to get done.

    I’ll play with:
    – slow’n’steady ACTION
    – remembering there is time, remembering there are 101 ways for everything to work out.
    – embarking, especially planting presents for future me

    Thing 3: Thing (thing!) care
    Some in-the-hard progress was made on my teeny tiny embryonic thing this week and it was good. I’m feeling a strong pull to keep going on it but I don’t think it would ACTUALLY be in anyone’s best interest. It’s a monster/worry/scarcity driven pull I’m sure. So I’d like to wrap it up and put it to bed for a while and to be okay with doing that.

    I’ll play with:
    – interviewing those involved (the project, Keeeeeep Goooooing!!!, and Slightly Future/Wiser Me)
    – remembering that it WILL happen and however it happens will be fine.

    Thing 4: scary projects
    I have two scary projects I’m avoiding like crazy. Money-dragon taming (with end goal of working out how to have him as my pet/treasure guardian and call him Casper the Friendly Dragon rather than his current form of Smaug…). And also some closing of doors, tidying of messes and making amends after my visit to the Hotel Stucksville. I want to get these DONE, and before baby arrives because getting them done will be a reeeeeally good present for Future Me.

    I’ll play with:
    – invocations, superpowers, circles of safety, being aware of mythology that I tend to buy into around these areas
    – shame-resilience. Reread and implement how this is done. Also, shaming-resilience: super-charged sovereignty!!!
    – do what I can, in the hard and the soft, to the best of my ability, within the circumstances as they are.
    – courageous gentleness.


  15. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket

    Ahhh yes, seclusion + community. Finding the right balance between the two is the ultimate introvert paradise (for me). Sometimes it happens naturally, other times it takes a bit more puzzling-through to make it happen. But yes. So important!

    VPAs, second week in a row for me, for the first time in quite a while!

    Report on last week: The purchasings happened! Gloriously and easefully! As did mindful re-entry! How glorious! Hurrah.

    The finding of the new therapist is still in progress, so I’ll continue to hold onto that VPA. There was also very good progress on the too-full pattern VPA that I wrote about, so I’ll hold onto that, too. It’s a big part of the re-entry and week’s mindfulness VPA, I know that now.

    And while I gave myself time to write about the important thing, and scribbled and drafted around it, I got very clear signals that it did not want to be published. So there is something more to happen on that VPA and I’m going to give it more space to figure it out.

    Okay. So here are a few gwishes and then my three VPAs for the week! Hurrah!


    – Attention & love to the downstairs rug!
    – Get to the glass tupperware store!
    – Sew up quilt squares!
    – Mail off the cards!

    With qualities of: ease, delight, flow, rightness. Yes.

    VPA #1: More information about the weekend flow

    Last week I started some deep entry/exit practices around my work week. I was mindful, productive, centered. It was beyond awesome!

    But my methods have not adapted well to weekend being-home time. I would like some more information and clarity about this.

    Ways this could work: I could find out where my perceptions (about time? about permission?) can become more flexible. I could invent some new methods.

    My commitments: To remember that I may not be ready for this stage yet. To keep practicing congruence and The Art of Embarking elsewhere so it can give me insights into the non-congruent places. To check in with Shiva Nata on this — perhaps a soul gardening hour this week on it.

    VPA #2: Discernings about the container

    Calling a silent retreat on the specifics of this, but well…this group meeting thing that’s coming up in February, is it the right container for me and what I want?

    Ways this could work: I could decide to participate without knowing right away. I could spend some time using my entry rituals and get some clarity that way. Is there some way that this needs a special entry thing in the way that the Floop needed my Sloop? I could pick which parts are the safe parts, and only participate in those? Ugh — so much resistance here. Clearly I need to spend some time getting clearer on the emotions connected to this before I’ll get anywhere.

    My commitment: To build lots of safety into this process for the me that is very scared — to practice the alignment exercise as necessary. To remember that experimentation is allowed. To do some research to see if there are good models out there for what I have in mind, too. To honor the commitment and the self-knowledge that has brought me to this point and not abandon it if this doesn’t turn out to be the right method for me.

    VPA #3: Continued success with the entry/exit awesomeness!

    I’ve been doing it for a week. The weekend happened. I want to get back into it! This is very important to me and very close to my heart. My heart’s desire.

    Ways this can work: This VPA is a big, big part of it. Using this as an entry ritual and discerning more paths of congruence and right entry. I can do all the things I already know about. I can read over some of what I wrote about it. I can print this out (as I did with last week’s!) and use it as the jumping-off point for the Revues in the special book. (Congruence! By the bushelful!)

    Other than that…it could just work. I could just slide into it the way I did last week, even if I can tell the energy isn’t the same. (Remember? Expecting it to be the same: pattern. Remember: never stepping in the same river twice.) More talking in the car, saying hellos and goodbyes, more daily schedules and more careful discernments of my needs, more mindful nourishment and giving myself bountiful time to review everything.

    And right now, tonight, I can spend some more time getting into my body. More time away from screens. Writing time before bed. Gratitudes for what has worked. Ideas and plans for tomorrow and for the week.

    My commitments: To be gentle. To pay attention to my energy and my body. To remember delight. To remember the practice of inviting my current/just-past self with me into the next thing (like the sleepy self comes with me into the shower). To focus on the qualities I desire: rightness, mindfulness, flow, delight, discernment. To remember that sometimes a project can look scary or awful at night, and to sleep on it and see what it feels like in the morning.

    (Hear that, self? I think it’s time to shut down the screens and enter the before-sleep part of your Sunday.)

    Goodnight, all! Love and more love for all your coming weeks :)
    Jesse recently posted… My superpower this week: entries and exits!

  16. Miss P.
    Twitter: chemieemma

    I want to learn electronics and microcontrolering with the Arduino, I think. I know I don’t really have time for it. And I know that I have a tendency to infatuation with new craftynesses. And learning this would mean going into the local Hackspace with a valid project.

    So it’s all very confusing and I’m not clear on my wants and needs here. My VPA is that I want clarity on whether I want this, what qualities about this do I want, etc.

    I’ll play with journaling and the stone skipping cards, I’ll continue exploring how I could learn this Arduino thing. I’ll blog it and invite comments.

    I commit to prioritizing my needs above what I think my needs should be, or what others expect my needs to be.

    The other thing I want is to find a routine for my yoga teacher training. Entry, exit, food and practicing/homework/repetition. A week is a short time when I always have a full schedule anyway. It is also about really letting this thing enter my life.

    I’ll play with finding the clues and the cracks.

    I commit to patience.
    Miss P. recently posted… Courage – a hexagonal enchantment

  17. OhanaMama
    Twitter: OhanaChronicles

    I wish you ease in finding that complementary nature of your outward/inward want, Havi… I crave the exact same thing, particularly this time of year.

    I really appreciate this forum for my own VPAs- What I’ve realized since I shared last week is that my ask didn’t *quite* get it. I didn’t exactly articulate what I *truly* want. This will take practice. So here’s my closer-to-the-truth VPA:


    I want to earn at least 50% more income than I make now, for ease of life and giving opportunities.

    I want to not have a full-time “job,” but instead want to write a lot, spend time in nature, cook daily, practice yoga, run, play with my son, snuggle with my boyfriend, walk my dog, create, play around, inspire others… live more joyously and expansively.

    I want my “work,” or the thing(s) I get paid for, to be a part of my life that I love and choose, and not something I “have to do” every day.

    There. That’s closer.


    Keep writing, at all opportunities.

    Start asking for compensation for writing.

    Keep asking. Be clear.

    Stay open to sources of alternate income.

    Play more. Yoga more. Nature more. Run more. Create more. Live more joyously and expansively.

    Thanks for writing, Havi!
    OhanaMama recently posted… SpeedFreakMom

  18. Kate
    Twitter: CameraKate19

    VPAs to enter the week! Yay!

    Thing 1

    Telling people about new blog posts

    Here’s what I want:

    Now that Andy (my traveling teddy bear) has started his blog, I want to let people know when there are new blog posts. This is something that I probably need to work on more in the soft than in the hard, because it’s definitely more of a fear of (ack!) marketing and promotion than finding an actual system to tell people, although there is some of that, too.

    Ways this could work:

    I could post about it in our online Rallion community – and I could ask people there who have blogs how they do it.

    I could re-read relevant posts from the archive here – particularly the blogging therapy posts.

    I will start attaching my website when I comment here so the comment system does the neat little magic thing of showing the most recent post from your blog.

    I could start actually using Andy’s twitter account.

    I’ll play with:

    Reading (and coloring in!) the Monster Manual Coloring Book!

    Talking to Slightly Future Me to see how she did this

    Thing 2

    Exiting as I wish to continue

    Here’s what I want:

    To exit my year of being 30 with appreciation and reflection. This year was the best year of my life. I entered it as I wished to be in it (before I had even heard of that concept), and that changed everything in the most amazing ways. Now I would like to exit as I wish to continue.

    Ways this could work:

    I happen to have no work this week, which gives me a lot of time to play with this.

    I can hold a spangly Revue!

    I can write letters of appreciation to the people who made this year so wonderful.

    I can reflect on what was so awesome about this year and what qualities I want to bring into next year.

    I can deal with any iguanas that I do not want to bring into next year.

    I can do some serious Congruencing.

    I’ll play with:

    Interviewing Slightly Past Me
    Kate recently posted… O Canada!

  19. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    @Riv — Mythical Cambridge = brilliant. Thanks for the reminder to seek the magic on my own home turf.

    What I want: I want the good, grounded, peaceful feeling I experienced last night to continue and expand throughout the week, to help me feel stronger and more secure when challenges arise.

    Ways this could work: Conscoius entry and exit! Absolutely.

    I’ll play with: Remembering my magic words, which are also qualities, which are also my superpowers. I will breathe those magic words, and make a home for them in my body.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… The shape of now, and a glimpse of things to come.

  20. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    P.S. “Conscoius” = Conscious. Conscoius?! Who’s that? :D
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… The shape of now, and a glimpse of things to come.

  21. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    @seagirl: Yay! I hope you love it! Trails are softer than asphalt so I think it’s good for feet and legs. p.s. I am the slowest runner ever and I often feel like a cheetah while I am running on trails – strong and powerful.
    Elizabeth recently posted… thought for the day

  22. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    @Kathleen, Conscuious say ‘who I am is who you see me to be. Grasshopper’….
    #badstereotypes #hollywoodconfusion

  23. Sarah T
    Twitter: edgetocenter

    Seagirl, I was also totally and completely not a runner for a long time and then later I was one. For me, it turned out that the part I didn’t like was the one where it felt physically hard: huffing, puffing, wondering if I could do it, feeling tired after. And then one day I woke up and realized that I never had to run far enough or fast enough to feel that way. I mean, lions practically never chase me! That permission suddenly made it enjoyable for me. (Also, if you run in the morning, there’s this “you are one of us” nod that early-morning runners give each other, and I like it ridiculously much.)

    VPA for this week: Practice

    I have a religious practice that I adore but I haven’t been engaging in a formal way for a while.

    Because this practice is also connected with some very public pieces of my identity, my monsters have some ideas about what kind of a practice I really ought to have to avoid being a faker. I am pretty sure that my outward-facing work will be fractally fed by anything that feeds and supports me, so I would like to find a way of engaging in this practice that feels beautiful and supportive and lovely.

    Ways this could work:
    *I could come up with the qualities of the right practice for me right now
    *I could make a safe room for practicing-me where she doesn’t have to worry about what outward-facing-me thinks or needs
    *I could figure out who would be my ally in knowing that the perfect practice for me might have nothing to do with the kind of practice my tradition describes
    *I could ask slightly future me about it.

    I’ll play with:
    *Commitment-free experiments
    *Being curious

  24. Fruit Maven
    Twitter: fruitmaven

    I have the desire to be very famous for fruit (like the Martha Stewart of fruit but without the scandal and the bitchiness or better-than-you-ness) while at the same time have the desire to just do something very small and minimal and basic. I am also going to choose to believe this are not contradictory. I can want what I want. So be it.

    The above declaration is kind of my VPA for the week or the year or for my life.
    Fruit Maven recently posted… Name that citrus!

  25. Beth Freeman
    Twitter: fantheember

    I laughed and snorted about filling out forms! And then, I filled out some forms :D how perfect!

    WHAT I WANT: To start doing VPAs more systematically – and many forms of journal-ness.
    I currently write a lot! In paper journal, on electric journal, in idea-book, in my head. Stone-skippings after Shiva Nata.
    And they get lost, and I don’t remember writing. And while I know it’s the process, really… maybe a formwork would help me remember more? AND i want to keep working in Journals – how can I get them to the book of me?
    And sometimes, if I could have the bravery to blog some of the smartness? I could table this ask until I have a monster convo though.
    I could get VERY systematic about taking pics of journal and post to Evernote – which has a writing-search function… Online Book-o-me! (secret hidden wish: an iPod Touch 4+ or very old iPhone, so I can post via wi-fi, super-easily.)
    I could REVUE the writing, pull out essences and small quotes, and write those on BookaMe pages. As part of end-of-day writings?
    I could accept that things will be scattered – AND get tape-bookmark things and write tiny topics on them to put in the journals… ooo!
    PLAY WITH: There are many right ways. Finding the essence.

    I WANT: oh dear, I had resigned myself to no floating playground. and when genius idea struck… first thing I thought was, oh yay! maybe now I can afford Floop! So maybe I wasn’t resigned.
    I could implement idea easily, rather then scanner-flit away as I already feel happening.
    I could do the easy-for-me-internet parts, THEN go offline and talk/post fliers about it. [haha I just took a 3-hour break from the VPA and DID IT. Ahhh!]
    Let’s see!
    PLAY WITH: Trust. What needs to happen will happen. Floop or no floop, genius idea un-flop or flop.
    Sharing! check it out! http://fantheember.com/love/

    Hooray, magic!
    Beth Freeman recently posted… Possibility Dances

  26. […] I’ll start small. And hopefully build on that to make a healthy, unstoppable me. Havi Brooks has a great weekly “Very Personal Ads” ritual on her blog, and I think that’s […]

  27. […] excitement in my heart last week at this time but I could tell last night, when I wrote another Very Personal Ad about how I wanted this week to go, I […]

  28. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    My VPAs apparently require a safe room this week. They want a washitsu — one offering them super-pillowy quilts, plates of sushi and tempura, and a bottle of hazelnut sake. It seems my stucks have a LOT to say about the WTWCs as soon as I start trying to spell out the ways, and I’m feeling a bit ambushed-paralyzed-WAHHH-DON’T-WANNA (and yet also want-it-all and wanna-be-done-already) by all the options they’re whispering at me.

    But at least they feel like they could be genuine guide-ropes out of the Big Mire of Meh. That is a net improvement.

    Wishing all y’all a wonderful rest-of-the-week.
    Mechaieh recently posted… quiet but not boring

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