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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 #134: Studies Have Shown

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!

Oh man, big stuff is happening!

We have a date to sign the lease this week for the new Playground space.

(The current Playground is still going strong, the second one is bigger and crazier and will be the home for a fabulous new thing.)

We have a date to start painting.

Everything is moving. It is all very exciting/terrifying/wonderful. Anyway…. hello, week! Hello, very personal ads. I really need this.

Thing 1: Creating, entering and exiting a chrysalis.

Here’s what I want:

Yesterday my morning glow-sitting (that’s what metaphor mouse and I call “meditation”) informed me very emphatically that I need a chrysalis.

I may possibly have rolled my eyes.

More specifically:

It seems I have crossed some very significant internal bridges over the past few weeks, and now the Director and I are very close. The Director is the version of me who can run the new and gigantic Playground Cooperative that we’re opening.

She’s calm, capable, competent, confident, wickedly funny and completely, delightfully, unapologetically sure about what she wants.

She has the superpower of knowing that Nothing Is Wrong and that perfect simple solutions are there for the asking. She wears awesome shoes.

We’re really close to each other now. And the thing that’s needed is the biggest and most important step:

A safe and sturdy CONTAINER of three days and three nights of complete seclusion, during which I become her and she becomes me. Or really, I become more her and she becomes more me. Anyway, it’s a chrysalis.

Apparently this is what I get for thinking that a nest might be too over the top. Great. Something even more cheesy and dramatic. I find this hilarious.

Ways this could work:

I can do an OOD about this and get the monsters onboard.

The monsters are seriously skeptical about the whole thing, which is a sign that yes, it *is* as crazy as it sounds and also it’s important.

I could decide to go dark.

I could check into the Hidden Hotel.

We’re going to need tools. So tools!

I’ll play with…

Assuming that this is important and that it does need to happen.

Because information delivered via glow sitting always turns out to be worth listening to. As rigorous internal studies have shown.

And committing to finding a way.

Thing 2: Shhhh secretive invisible Playground play days.

Here’s what I want:

Today I’m telling twenty people — twenty people who live near the Playground and have already rallied so they know how to have strong force fields — about two invisible secret play days happening at the Playground this month.

One of which will include an Enthusiastic. Yay!

I am hoping that some of these beautiful people will be able to join me in playtime magic, even though it’s super last minute.

Because the Director said that this was the first step. And that it’s VERY important.

Wenn schon denn schon. Im kvar az kvar.

Ways this could work:

I’m making the wish and putting it here.

I’ll play with…

Resting in the hammock in the Playground’s Refueling Station.

Visiting the new Playground space and the current Playground space (soon to be the Playground Caboose), and talking to them about play.

Thing 3: Tu B’shvat

Here’s what I want:

This Wednesday is Tu B’shvat.

Tu B’shvat is the birthday of the trees.

Isn’t that completely delightful and magical and play-worthy? I think so too!
I want to celebrate.

Ways this could work:

Secret play day at the Playground, of course.

Dates and figs and almonds.

Visit the park.

Ask the trees.

I’ll play with…

Writing a love letter.

Like the one I wrote EXACTLY two years ago to the current Playground.

I just reread that one and did you know? Everything came true, only a million times better than I could have possibly imagined.

Thing 4: Answering the questions.

Here’s what I want:

I have some questions that I’m sitting with right now.

They need time and space.

I need time and space.

I want safe ways to go inward and investigate.

I want time and a process.

Ways this could work:

The chrysalis could resolve this.

A cafe date.

Planting the wish.

I’ll play with…

Doing Shiva Nata on it and generating some creative epiphanies.

Thing 5: Closing all the doors.

Here’s what I want:

There are still more things that need closing.

Still more doors that don’t need to be open.

Let’s move on this.

Ways this could work:

Lots of stone skippings.

Asking curious, loving questions. Patiently.

I’ll play with…

Asking for help from a Negotiator.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

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

I had an ask about reconciling my desire for seclusion with my desire for community. Progress! Feeling good about the upcoming Enthusiastic and play days, and about my chrysalis as things that have emerged from last week’s ask.

Also I noticed that this week it was much easier to give time to Emptying and Replenishing, which gave me more space for being with people.

I wanted more overlap between the blog world and the PDX world and my roller derby world. Nothing to report on that but as the next bout gets closer I will update.

Then I wanted to fill out more forms (shhh, that’s secret agent code for doing yoga), and, ASTONISHINGLY, I forgot that I asked this. But I filled out forms like mad all week. So it totally worked. Yay. I re-ask this one, because it’s been amazing.

Next I wanted ERM (Emergency Recovery Mode), and that worked too! I feel terrific. And everything came together to help.

And I wanted to tell you guys about the end of Early Brunch for the Floating Playground. And I did. Today is the last day you can get half off tuition. We’re close to full. Maybe I will see you there.

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!


33 Responses to Very Personal Ads #134: Studies Have Shown

  1. Shannon
    Twitter: spiralshannon

    Before I get to writing my own VPAs, I have to toss this in regarding the chrysalis – I was playing with the idea of making felted cocoon necklaces last year, and put together this inspiration board: http://pinterest.com/polymathlab/cocoon/… you might enjoy taking a look, if they’ve been on your mind. Also, I can felt up a cozy little cocoon on a days notice – if you’d like me to make you a symbolic one either as a necklace or to hold in your hands/carry in pockets/set on your desk, just say the word. I can even make them glow by felting an LED inside…
    Shannon recently posted… Shopping in & out of Portland

  2. Esme
    Twitter: TheRealSqualor

    Hmm…I’m not sure there’s anything new to ask for. All the usual things. OK, here’s a couple:

    What I want:

    Boots suitable for wearing to work and for wearing in cold weather with nice clothes.

    How this could work/I’ll play with:
    The Storm Cellar is a good place to look, maybe Hope Thrift though I’m a little wary of shoes already worn by others. There’s always Payless.

    Also what I want:

    A new story idea. Something fun, not MFAy. Something magical. Something worth my time, not just written because I have a deadline. My goal is to have the story brainstormed and written in first draft by March 10.

    How this could work/I’ll play with:

    Reading other stories to get ideas. Using various journaling methods to figure out what I like about these stories and what I want for my own. A creativity ritual. Doing something toward the story every day. I could try spending two weeks brainstorming and three weeks writing.
    Esme recently posted… The Forgotten Garden and the Importance of Subtlety

  3. Michelle says:

    okay lets do it again. I love VPAs.

    1: energy
    I want to feel energized this week. Sleep will be an important part of that and having fun, spending time doing things I love, connecting with people. Just filling my energy back up.

    2: focus
    directing the energy to the things I love that I value and that are important to me. Maybe even clarity about what is important and making space for just being with my important things.

    3: compassion
    to be okay with not being energetic, to be okay with resenting my body at the moment. To give myself space to just be and to accept where I am. And most importantly to accept me as much as I am able to.

  4. Shannon
    Twitter: spiralshannon

    The birthday of the trees is so fantastically Shel Silverstein/Dr Seussian I can barely stand it. I am in serious adoration.

    My VPA #1: My studio is also our guest room, and currently a huge percentage of the floor space is taken up by a queen bed, which I’d like to replace with a futon or sleeper sofa. Budget’s low, though, and I don’t want friends to stop visiting because the sleeping surface is so uncomfortable.

    What I want: An affordable replacement that can comfortably sleep 2, with an easy way to get it to our house and to get rid of the existing bed.

    How this could happen:
    Our scrapper friend might get ahold of a good quality futon frame we can buy a mattress for

    We might find someone (though work?) who wants the bed.

    My trawling of craigslist could turn up a great deal with delivery for a futon

    Maybe a Portlander reading this might have the solution to one side or the other?

    VPA#2: Employing metaphor mouse! I have my first audition in a good handful of years this week.

    What I want: To feel confident, gently move through the anxiety, rock their socks off, and get the part.

    How this could happen:

    I’ve tried to get the audition scheduled for Wednesday, so that I can either go before or after the Tree Birthday Playday… what a great way to help take the edge off anxieties

    I could sit down and skip some stones about what makes me perfect for the part

    I could find a costume!

  5. Corie Weaver
    Twitter: coriejweaver

    Hello everyone!

    Update from last week:

    I wanted a play space – and I have one! We’ve rearranged and puttered and sorted, and I have a place with room to write and draw and play with things. Hooray for learning to ask!

    I’m still noodling with the whole pampering thing. It’s not the sort of thing I usually go for. Or allow. Or something. But I want it anyway, which makes me wonder if it might be Stuff related. Perhaps its time for an interview with pampered me, and find out what made it be ok for her to be pampered.

    This week:

    Thing the first.
    Meeting to go well.
    I have a meeting with a city official Monday that I’d like to go well. City politics here can be odd, and touchy, and I hate getting involved at all. But they’re the owners of land that I need a signature for.

    Ways this could work
    Be super prepared
    Make sure I can demonstrate how I’m actually making their job easier.

    Things to play with:
    Little pieces. Prepare in stages.

    Thing the second
    I need help with our non-profit. Heck, we need more hands on deck all around. But I know I need help with my section of things. Foster homes, people to staff adoption things, places to stash cats while I’m getting them ready for transfer, places to transfer them. Food delivered to foster families, and colony caretakers. And, I get panicked just thinking about it all.

    Ways this could work
    Keep asking. Figure out how to embiggen our group so that there’s more people to share the work. Figure how to get the board members more active.

    Things to play with:
    Stone skipping.
    Look for clews.
    See if we can find a way to put an adoption playpen at one of the local vets.

    Note: before I even had a chance to finish posting this, had an email from a dog rescue group we do a lot of work with. They’re organized, have lots of volunteers for different projects – and she’s willing to see what it would take to more or less clone the dog group for cats!

    Thing the third
    I want to make sure I’m present. I’ve got the terrible habit of thinking ahead, or worrying about things, or whatever. And I want to only spend the brain cells on whatever the other thing is, when its time to do that. Not when I’m doing something else! (or trying to sleep)

    How this could work

    Things I could play with:
    A timer – see if I can catch myself drifting into other things, rather than what that time is meant to be for. Maybe if I can catch myself when I do it, I can stop it.
    Corie Weaver recently posted… Time: Feeding, Consuming and Eating Time Sandwiches, with a side of Adventure

  6. Cathy
    Twitter: cathyyardley

    VPA’s. Oh, I need this.

    VPA 1: Closing loops. Clearing decks. Getting little nigglety buggy stuff DONE.

    How this could work: Not sure. Have list of little captures. Set a timer? Fun metaphor? Some visual? Reward? Someone to check in with?

    My commitment: To take little steps and report back next week.

    VPA 2: Relax. Unwind.

    How this could work: No idea. Alone time, maybe? Drawing clearer boundaries? Working in the soft? Could do crayon thing again, and perhaps some reflecting. Or read more. Make some kind of peace with the closing loops issue which is contributing to the wind-up.

    My commitment: To read for fun tonight. To close two loops today and create containers for other loops. Also create relaxation containers.

    Thanks, guys.
    Cathy recently posted… Confessions of a Green Banana.

  7. seagirl says:

    Update from last week:
    I wanted to run. And I ran 3 days last week (couch to 5K style). 2 in the woods one on the treadmill at the gym with my friends. I love the woods. I also got better shoes and running skirts, of course. And I joined the gym. And I ran on the treadmill between 2 very fast men and the only thing I worried about was whether they could hear my left foot clod-hopping, but they didn’t seem to notice. My right foot whizzes and my left foot clods. My left ankle is reminding me that we twisted it one time, and that may be why.

    So, to continue this VPA I’d like to keep my commitment to running 3 days a week, and to do the things that my body needs on the other days to keep it healthy. I think this is yoga and stretching and walking and gentle biking. And probably some ankle strengthening yoga balances.

    What else? I have everything else I need – new clogs arriving soon. Books galore. My cat. My friends. Things that weren’t supposed to be in people’s brains have been removed and they are going home to their families.

  8. Gin
    Twitter: subtleharmony

    VPA for this week… I want:

    1. To let go of this fear about what’s going on with my health.

    2. Good health.

    3. Energy – physical, emotional, and mental.

    4. Staying on track with getting some things done.

    5. To remember to be gentle with myself and give myself whatever good self-care I need (which involves saying nice things to myself).

    Ways these things could happen… Make an appointment with the doc to discuss what’s going on and possibly get tests done. Meditate more often. Remember to breathe. Look at my list of things that help me when I’m scared. Remind my fears that they have a safe space where they can hang out while I’m doing the work I want to do. Rest. Watch what I eat. Email myself nice little notes to remind me to say kind things to myself instead of the negative ones.
    Gin recently posted… sayin’ yes…

  9. VickiB says:

    What I want: I feel really really vulnerable today, and really anxious about it, and I’m freaking out. Right now. I want to be safe. I want to feel safe.

    What I am going to try:
    Asking for help here. Please help! In whatever form you can give it.
    Asking MrB for help.
    Calling my sister and my friend.
    Sending it to the Magic Basement Steps.
    Deflecting the negativity back to its source.

    What else I want: A deflector shield. Some protective gear. I don’t know.

  10. Claire #3-I-think
    Twitter: nycu_cg

    I have figured out my gwish! It is, of course, a dear, old acquaintance, but it’s amazing how long it took me to face it and call it by its rightful name. All along I thought it was only a hobby, or a dream… a hobgobdream? It had become as large as the elephant in the room, minus the embarrassing side. Well… maybe I am embarrassed to have dismissed it for 20+ years, and afraid to really delve into something (my thing!) that I’ve stayed so much on the surface of, and so freely, without any requirements/challenges/deadlines or the tiniest failure… that surely when/if it becomes my Real Life occupation I’m bound to fail miserably, right?
    I choose to consider that figuring this much out is a baby step that I’m allowed to call progress.
    PS: OTOH I am procrastinating on the PD-o-M, of all things, about halfway through. I love the explanations, and the boxes! – almost everything makes perfect sense, BUT is it very bad that I don’t seem to relate… at all… to any of the physical techniques? Can’t I leave my body out of the equation? (yes, I will allow my younger self to ask in this naive fashion!) Very reluctant about the idea of rituals as well. *So* reluctant that the “knot” might be exactly there…

  11. larisa
    Twitter: larisakoehn

    What I want:

    1) a super quick integration elixer.

    I’ve been doing mad amounts of ritual and ceremony recently and the re-entry into daily life has been taking it’s toll. As in, total exhaustion and difficulty recovering from a too-long-lasting cough.

    2) clarity – regarding where, how and what to teach. It will include Shiva Nata (of course) and also all the nature/awareness skills awesome-ness I so love… format, location, etc, however, continue to elude me.

    Ways this could work:

    1) my body could just magically adapt and figure out how to integrate all the amazing stuff that results through ritual over the course of 1 (vs 2 or 3+) nights/days. Or, perhaps I could become more attuned to Spirit in my normal life so that the transition from ritual space to daily life isn’t so extreme. Also, totally open to other possibilities and to being surprised on this one.

    2) through surrender perhaps? And, keeping an open mind and being on the lookout for unexpected?

    I’ll play with:

    For both: surrender, acceptance (of my exhaustion, that this is currently my process/where I’m at), faith (that I’m doing the internal work now that will lead to more ease in my daily life…eventually), continuing to be as gentle with myself as possible and continually asking my body what it needs now and doing it whenever possible. Oh! And hanging out with trees too, of course (this is so much a part of my path that I forget to even mention it :). Long live the trees!

  12. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    Hello hello VPAs! Hello my gwishing self! Hello to the week to come, and hello everyone joining in!

    *waves and bounces at everything* *except the Superblow*

    First, an update on my VPA 133: I asked for space, and things happened in various and sundry REALLY surprising ways. This ask is still in progress so I re-ask it this week. On the other side, Freedom to Name and Rename turned into “Being Okay with Anonymity” and, since it’s a reframing of namelessness, I like that. Continuing to Notice went in an entirely different direction than I expected, so I am also reasking that one for this week.

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

    #1 – The House Quirktastic

    Whoooa the Space ask initiated a process of looking at new space to live, and the lovelyman and I found ourselves falling in love with it. And then and then, the agent wrote to tell us he’d be willing to propose a rent reduction to the owner. So now it’s not unaffordable, but with the caveat of wanting to move in in April. Wanting wanting!

    Blooms for it:
    – I could truly believe that the house called to us, versus just joking about it.
    – We could have struck the agent so well that he’ll fight for us.
    – It could just bloom on its own.

    What I’ll Plant:
    – I’ll imagine us all in the house.
    – I’ll start thinking about how best to coordinate packing.
    – I’ll keep talking to the lovelyman about how much we like it.

    #2 – Letting Go of Comparisons

    This was a Planting in last week’s ask and I realized that I wanted some extra boost, or oomph, to this particular one.

    Blooms for it:
    – I could start seeing the individuality rather than becoming tied up in the commonality.
    – I could start being able to compare myself to myself first.
    – I could find the key to forgiveness.

    What I’ll Plant:
    – I could start by untangling this from the “all qualities are one quality” aspect.
    – More buttmonster time.

    #3 – A Metaphor For Superpowers

    On Thursday, I think it was, I had the epiphany that I have some really odd Schtuff around the concept of superpowers. I am looking for Metaphor Mouse to help with this.

    Blooms for it:
    – I could solve the Schtuff.
    – I could come up with a metaphor that includes all of the RAAR-ness of the word “superpower.”

    What I’ll Plant:
    – More work on the Why?
    – Some kiddle playtime.

    love love love love to all! hugs to those who want them! And hurrah Happy Birthday to Trees!

    *waves a happy and heartfelt goodbye to VPA time – with toddler kisses!* Goodbye goodbye Sunday!
    Risa recently posted… Names Are Also Keys.

  13. Simone
    Twitter: simonethinks

    My life has been on a too-good-to-be-true stretch for a while now. The past week has been one of the most joyous and productive and liberating and filled with giggles and unlikely friendships ever. I slept like a rock, every single night. Going to my 9-to-5 job feels like it was a million years ago. I am settling into HipGnosis full time and it feels absolutely right.

    I am lovingly shooing away monsters who are like “THIS CANNOT LAST LONG, PREPARE FOR DOOM AND SUCKINESS FOREVER AND EVER” And putting out a bold VPA:

    May this coming week be EVEN BETTER than the last.
    Because why not? I’ll get to hang out with Kate and Andy the Bear (AGAIN).
    I’ll get to scheme and brunch and projectize with my other buddies.
    More wild flailing.
    More HipGnosis. I don’t even understand what could possibly keep me from having more amazing times.

    May this coming week be absolutely abundant and overflowing with: ease, permission, exuberant joy, deep rest, forgiveness, flow, love, friendship, self-care-taking and deliciousness.

    Simone recently posted… Strolling through the garden (psst, this is a metaphor!)

  14. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket

    I also love the birthday of the trees! I need to read more about this because it sounds so lovely — that is my gwish for the week: tree-reading.

    All my gwishes happened! Astounding and wonderful.

    VPA 1: I got more information about the weekend flow, though not in the way I was expecting at all. Of course.
    VPA 2: I am getting very clear signals that I’m still not ready to figure out the container issue. But it’s in progress, so I will re-ask this one.
    VPA 3: Also happened, in unlikely ways, and took its own course for sure. I will re-ask this in a moment, in a slightly different way…

    VPA #1: The next thing
    Entry and exit. More of it. I know it, deeply, even if it’s only been my practice for about, oh, two weeks now. But I want this to be a thing all the time, basically.

    So what is the next thing? Do I just…keep doing it? Is there a new thing I need to know about this? I have a weird nagging feeling about all this, so this is what I want to know more about it.

    Ways this could work
    I could revue more of the revues, which I’ve been resisting (aha, more exit-resistance, a clew and an important pattern!). I could ask Shiva to help me clear out some of the confusion cobwebs. I could simply live more days doing it, and thus add more experimental data to the database my monsters are monitoring to figure the whole thing out.

    My commitment
    To figure out the pattern behind the pattern. To tune in to the self who understands this better. To keep going. To keep singing my morning songs.

    VPA #2: Playground time! Playground time!!
    Oh man, something that I want so very, very badly. So badly, you guys. I know the way in, but it’s blocked.

    Ways this could work
    The schedule could magically resolve. I could spend time with the monsters and figure out what they need. I could write an OOD!

    My commitments
    To hold the essence of this gwish, which is: specialness, community, celebration, immersion, safety. And delight, of course! To know the essence is important and does not go away, no matter what happens with the actual tizmun.

    And a few new gwishes…
    More piano time.
    To make myself a piano reference sheet.
    Time to finish that blog post I started.
    To take the next steps with the quilt.
    More sunshine & sun naps.
    To have a secret playdate or spend some time gardening with my projectizing brain.
    Jesse recently posted… Being with the slow

  15. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    This week, I want: a few more very right people to enter the secret garden, people who love me and/or my work and want their year to be full of surprise, delight, and anticipation.

    How this could work: I could put the link here: http://tinyurl.com/6s24yu5 in case someone is interested. I could mention it if/when/where I am so moved. Someone or someones who were thinking about it could decide that they are a right person and the time is right. Magic and mystery and momentum.

    Things I will play with: Mostly, I want to delight in and celebrate the people who are already there, because they are amazing.

    I also want: to figure out what is standing between me and learning Spanish, or at least between me and remembering the words for the numbers 40 and 50.

    How this could work: I could flail and ask. An epiphany could come to me. Something could magically dissolve.

    Things I will play with: I am not sure. I think the most important thing is to acknowledge that I am clearly in resistance to something and let that thought percolate.

    Sending love to everyone and their VPAs.
    Elizabeth recently posted… the dawning of the light, volume 5

  16. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    The tag on the teabag I am about to toss out: “You must know that you can swim through every change of tide.”

    Well, then. Thing 1: swimming gear

    * Permission slips. Both for spending money on good gear and not spending money on things I don’t feel ready for.
    * Lightening the load by selling or donating gear no longer suitable for current body, current mind, current tides. Swimming is challenging enough without bargeloads of couldves and somedays to tug along.
    * Enough sleep
    * Accept help
    * Ask for help
    * Recognize that the people offering help and to whom I could ask for help are not the shoe-throwers from the past who immediately come to mind when I think about why I am skittish about asking for help or favors

    I’ll play with:
    * imagining those couldves and somedays going to someone more ready for them
    * being kind to Me from Then for being so interested in so many things, and so optimistic. Plus, we didn’t have DSL fifteen years ago — it made so much sense to Me from Then to hoard the books and build the files…
    * pretending I’m moving
    * some sort of adjustment to my bedroom. Not necessarily this week — probably deserves its own VPA — but I think there’s something to addressed linens- or space-wise to make it even more of a sanctuary.

    Thing 2: safe rooms for things that must wait

    * more permission slips
    * reminding self (and maybe sneakily updating resume/website/etc. in process) of the many things I’ve gotten around to getting to
    * writing the rooms into being. writing and sketching their blueprints?

    * a hairbrush that’s right for me
    * an eyeliner brush that’s right for me
    * good produce at the grocery store. I’d like to get back to Israeli salads for breakfast.

    Bonne chance to all!
    Mechaieh recently posted… quiet but not boring

  17. Do Mi Stauber
    Twitter: dmstauber

    I haven’t VPA’d for a really long time. I’m so glad I did. I was surprised to find that I had to really think to find out what I want—that the wants were pretty vague until I focused on them. That’s so valuable all by itself.

    What I want: The perfect metaphor for the superpower I’m going to start offering people very soon (!!!!). Because it’s way more fun if it’s a metaphor. And my Right People will like it. And then it can have an interesting, memorable name.

    Ways this could work: I could keep brainstorming. I could discuss with the monsters whenever they pop up and then go right back to brainstorming. I could get input from my amazing adviser friends (ooh, they need a metaphor too).

    I’ll play with: Letting my brilliant subconscious work on it. The tarot. My sleepy mind.

    What I want: A completely new haircut. Short and spiky and a little wild, but not needing any gel or hair dryer.

    Ways this could work: I could ask my friends with similar haircuts where they got them. Someone could recommend the perfect person. I could consider using gel if I have to to be spiky. I could find a hairdresser who gets that a woman might not want to look femmy. (Doesn’t seem like it should be too hard in Eugene!)

    I’ll play with: Making an appointment with someone already! Hair grows back!

    What I want: My new teaching/coaching website to be beautiful and congruent.

    Ways this could work: Step by step, like the last website I just made! I could write down a list of small steps. I could try things like different colors and fonts and change them if I don’t like them.

    I’ll play with: Trust. Playfulness. Curiosity.

    What I want: A clear path through a tangled medical situation.

    Ways this could work: New advisers could turn out to be truly supportive and creative. I could get clearer in my own mind. Possible bad news could turn out not to be true.

    I’ll play with: A big mindmap. Talking to the Responsibility Monster and the Defender Monster. A safe room.
    Do Mi Stauber recently posted… Raw History: Indexing Primary Documents

  18. Sue T says:

    @VickieB, gwishing a force field of safety for you.

  19. Judy says:

    I sit here noticing how hard it is for me to ask today, ask in general, but especially today.

    Instead of skulking away or reading other VPA’s with yearning, I decided to gwish for

    1: more kindness and compassion for the me who finds it so hard to say what she wants and then compares herself to others.

    Ways this could happen:

    I could journal. I could do yoga, the non-sucky kind. I could dance.

    My commitment:

    To keep coming back to the practices that help.
    To celebrate the birthday of the trees – I had forgotten how great this holiday is.

    VivkiB- I’m sending wishes for you to feel your way.

    2. A gwish appeared!
    For my right people to find me.

    Ways this could happen:
    Continue working on the website.
    Plan a new class
    They could just call
    My family and friends could send me someone they like.

    My commitment:

    To play with the critters and bring in the negotiator if necessary.

    Permission, permission, permission.

  20. Judy says:

    VickiB, I left out “safety”

    It should have said, “I’m sending wishes for you to feel safety your way.” Cause you asked for safety. But if the other works too – great!

  21. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    @VickiB — I have a gentle hug for you, and I truly hope it helps.

    What do I want this week?

    Many of the big things seem to be moving in the right direction. I want this to continue, with ease and grace.

    Ways this could work: Mindfulness. Baby steps. Self-kindness. Magical fairy wonder dust.

    I’ll play with: Old and new ways of consciously releasing worry. Gentle movements and positive thoughts. Hopefulness and faithfulness. Falling deeper in love with myself.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… The shape of now, and a glimpse of things to come.

  22. Max Daniels
    Twitter: maxdaniels

    Hello, hello, all! So nice to be here.

    @Havi, I loved reading your VPAs. Thank you. I had a little frisson of synchronicity when I read about the Hidden Hotel, because that is what I am writing about today. (Except mine is not hidden. It’s just a hotel. But I can still hide there.)

    My VPA this week is for ease, spaciousness and relaxation. I actually believed that the week after Rally would be ease-filled and spacious for me, because Rallyness and Playgroundedness will spill over.

    Instead, it felt like the most compressed, assaultive, belligerent week in years.


    So I am working with even stronger force fields. Like Vicki, perhaps some deflector shields and heavy-duty protective gear.

    Thank you all! So happy to be here.
    Max Daniels recently posted… Human salmon gives notice: Wayfinding Week 3

  23. Elizabeth
    Twitter: elizabethhalt

    VickiB: Sending wishes for all the safety you desire. When I need extra help, I like to imagine that my force field is surrounded by a herd of wild white horses. May your space be full of invisible allies, if desired.
    Elizabeth recently posted… shining good fortune down on you

  24. Melissa
    Twitter: Melissa Corbett

    Update – totally feeling the strength thing I asked for last time. I totally ran 12 miles yesterday and felt awesome afterwards (last weekend I did sick and felt dead and sore) Didn’t get much progress on the story, but started working on the cover for another story. Got the community side of my want and I think the two hours of running and playing on my computer while making the cover gave me that feeling of seclusion. So, yeah, totally got (most of) my VPAs from last week.

    immersion. I’m not sure what I (or my inner self) means from this. But I want it. That’s for sure, as soon as I thought what do I want this came into mind. Also, I’m not sure *what* I want to be immersed in.

    I explore what my brain means by immersion. I could relax and see what happens with this want and trust that it will take care of itself. I don’t know. Play?

    I commit to
    Sitting with this and trying to learn more about this want. Playing. Swimming and literally being immersed in water.
    Melissa recently posted… I(‘m) W(i)S(hin)G: Grad School and First Story for Sale

  25. Melissa
    Twitter: Melissa Corbett

    @ VickiB here’s wishing you safety. And I’m throwing in some pixie dust and sparkles for good measure.

    @ Max – hope your forcefields get strengthened :-)

    @ Mechaieh – if you’re in the sacramento-ish region i could hook you up with some swim caps and a pair of goggles. I have like a dozen swim caps right now. No swim suit though… I’m in need of a new one myself. and possibly a wetsuit, though that’s my husband telling me I need one vs. me actually wanting one. Though… a possible swim in Napa in April might mean he’s right.

    Anyway good luck to everyone in their VPAs
    Melissa recently posted… I(‘m) W(i)S(hin)G: Grad School and First Story for Sale

  26. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    @ Melissa – not in the region, but thank you so much for the offer!
    Mechaieh recently posted… quiet but not boring

  27. Sarah T
    Twitter: edgetocenter

    Last week, I asked to figure out what would be the perfect practice for me. I do not have it all figured out, but I did do a good experiment this week, which gave me some excellent clews. And I had some apparently unrelated (but probably not at all unrelated) epiphanies about things that could work better in my physical space.

    This week:
    VPA #1: Less tired!
    For a few weeks now, I have been saying “aaah, I am sooooo tired.” I would like instead to feel rested and energized.

    Ways this could work:
    I could check and see if I’m sleeping enough
    I could go on a hunt for clews about tiredness
    I could see if any monsters like it when I’m tired

    Things I’ll play with:
    Metaphors for rest
    Amnesty around things I might have to do if I weren’t tired

    VPA #2: Clarity about home
    I’m in a long-term dither about where I want to live (in a very micro way). Having the question open itself feels tiring, and a lot of other people have a lot of strong feelings about it.

    Ways this could work:
    I could think about qualities instead of options-I-can-see
    I could move the home mirror to somewhere I’ll see it more often
    I could do Shiva Nata
    I could decide not to decide

    I’ll play with:
    Checking on what my monsters are worrying about
    Thinking about how now is not then
    Sarah T recently posted… 77 Things That Don’t Completely Suck

  28. Susan
    Twitter: SusPup

    What I Want: More letting go, and more moving forward.
    Ways this could work: This is going to be a long process. I just want to feel as if I’m starting.
    I’ll play with: Meditating on the topics from the last two womens circles. Coloring monsters. Making long-term plans, even if they’re pie-in-the-sky dreamy types of plans.

    What I Want: To not drop the balls. Husband out of town, no babysitter, my volunteer shifts at school all happening at the same time, a meeting I’m being relied upon to set and run. I don’t, I really do NOT want to let anyone down.
    Ways this could work: I could just take it one breath at a time, one task at a time. Hush now, monsters.
    I’ll play with: Asking for help. Making beautiful lists that I will want to check and interact with.

    What I Want: Permission slips! To take care of myself, even when I’m solo parenting for 4 days. To not have to stop all self-care or self-improvement projects for the week. To relax and let things
    Ways this could work: I could go into Survival Mode and only address what’s immediately in front of me. Help could come from unexpected (or even expected) quarters.
    I’ll play with: Asking for help. (I am sensing a theme.) Coloring monsters. Ritualizing my bedtimes.

  29. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    I don’t want to tromp on anyone’s toes, so I will just leave these protective, lockable, uncrackable egg-rooms on the floor. They open only to folks here, with a kiss onda top. Inside there are cuddly pirrows and plushies and you can draw on the walls with crayons and pastels and markers and there are movies if you want them.

    I’ll leave them here. If you want them, there are plenty for the taking. :)
    Risa recently posted… Names Are Also Keys.

  30. Do Mi Stauber
    Twitter: dmstauber

    Thank you, Risa! I’ll take one!

  31. VickiB says:

    Thanking all of you for the help you sent my way. I tried to call both sister and friend and they didn’t answer the phone. I prayed, and journaled and then hid out in MrB’s den.

    I’m going to surround my force field with fierce bears. My patronus is a bear. I have a silver bear charm that is the emblem of the Order of the Golden Bear, which I can wear as a reminder of my power.

    It is so not like me to think this way BUT I think that the anxiety is because of a psychic attack from a certain asshat. The negative energy is coming from her direction.

    VPA: Thing 1: Resolution to the thing with HER.

    What I want: I can’t take action to resolve things; it’s up to her, because she chose to cut off any and all communication with me. I can be open if she wants to reach out, and be open to letting it get resolved.

    What would help: Making peace with the fact that I can’t fix this. Keeping myself safe.

    What I will do: send Good Wishes and Good Intentions her way. Pray for her and about her. Journal.

    Thing 2: February Ease.

    What I want: I want the Ease of January to continue. I want to Exercise. I want to give Attention to things that need attention. I want to Set Things Up to make life easier and more fun in February. I want to Eat Well…

    There is a decision that needs to be made, and each possible brings desirable opportunities; I want to make the right choice without being overly influenced by these opportunities. I want that decision to be made with EASE!

    Things I will play with: making lists, walking and looking for signs of spring, enlisting the help of the Butler, doing a Quality of LIfe Review, exploring around Cabo Bojador (metaphor!), journaling, meditating, praying.

    Sending love to all.

  32. Hannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    VPA well wishes for everyone
    special well wishes and safety force fields for VickiB

    What I want today

    Easy and time to chill. The past three weeks took a mega toll on me. There were too many shoes to remember. My force field took a beating and there were cracks. Today I want a quiet day in old-fashioned chilled traveling style. With great food and care-taking and EASE

    What I want for transitioning

    I am going to be flying 12 hours; and be in transport even longer. Then there will be cold and home and everything there was before i traveled. I would like it to be different. I would like to feel different, to be different.

    I have no idea how this could work but i’ll play with anything I can think of because this is the biggest thig I want.

    what else i want

    Joy. delight. surprises. enjoying all the little things of a day. lightheartedeness. an antidote to heaviness.

  33. OhanaMama
    Twitter: OhanaChronicles

    Ooh, I am loving this site more and more.

    A gwish from me: Swings hanging from my ceiling!

    My VPA this week:

    1) I want more arts and crafting supplies and space and inspiration.
    2) I want to have more time with my son.
    3) I want to find a few more participants for my book, and begin getting clarity on the unifying theme of the book.
    4) I want to see the ocean, I want to be on the beach.
    5) I want plenty of money and no debt and the feeling of freedom that could come with that. I guess I want the feeling of freedom, regardless how I get it.
    6) I want a new home closer to the beach, to share with my family.
    7) I want peaceful feelings toward someone who hurt me.
    8) I want my boyfriend to be well.
    OhanaMama recently posted… The Softening

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