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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 #138: I can celebratorily abscond with the best of them!

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: birthday chrysalis

Here’s what I want:

I want to Abscond for my birthday and go into a chrysalis. Yes, I still find that word to be cheesy. And the last one worked so well that it was kind of scary.

I want to disappear into the best nest ever.

But I also want to do things that are CELEBRATORY and communal.

Ways this could work:

I could do an OOD.

I could investigate why I am resisting this so much.

Oh, wait. Is it guilt that everyone in my company is working their asses off to get our new space open while I run away? Is it terror that the Millions Of Things That Need Doing will not get done? Is it the fear that something at the Floop will break? Is it confusing now with then even though Now Is Not Then?

Yes, yes it is. It is all of those things and more.

So I could play with that and find out more about what the resistance needs.

I’ll play with…

Coloring with some monsters, using the monster coloring book. And of course using the manual to talk things out.

Talking to the Director about why this is important.

Thing 2: Marking things that need to be marked.

Here’s what I want:

In addition to my birthday, and The Fluent Self turning six (but kind of sort of seven!), this week also marks ten years since the day I got divorced.

I want turning inward, reflecting, gwishing, time for cheshbon nefesh.

Literal translation: soul accounting.

I want to mark these things by being beautifully present for them.

I want spaciousness and yoga and mostly just time to let everything show itself.

And I want to take time to be appreciative of things like FREEDOM. And how my divorce experience changed everything in my life for the better, even though it really and truly sucked at the time.

Ways this could work:

Inside the chrysalis.

Time being magic. Pockets and slots.

But I also think I want some kind of public celebration for some of this. I have to figure that part out too.

I’ll play with…

Skipping the stones in a garland, so that I end with the question I began with.

Thing 3: More cloth for the new Playground, please!

Here’s what I want:

We’re doing ceiling treatments for two of the new rooms, and we need cloth.

Specifically: all shades of greens, blues and purples.

Ideally about a square foot in size. Or a foot in length and then half that in width. But whatever, bigger, smaller, anything you have. Cutting up old t-shirts could work too.

Ways this could work:

I’ll play with…

Asking you guys.

Here’s our mailing address:

The Fluent Self, Inc
1526 NE Alberta #218
Portland, OR 97211
United States

And also THANK YOU, everyone who has already donated cloth to this project — Casey, Audrey, Susan, Barbara, Laura, Foxy Jess, anyone else that I might be forgetting!

Thing 4: Courage.

Here’s what I want:

To connect to courage and trust and internal strength.

Ways this could work:

I can use some of the boards at the Floop for this.

I’ll play with…

Talking to the monsters and finding out what I’m trying to protect myself from. Because maybe there’s a better way to accomplish that.

Thing 5: To answer a question without answering it.

Here’s what I want:

Actually there are about three questions that I need help with.

Ways this could work:

Connecting to the qualities. Remembering that not everything requires a response. Caring for myself first.

I’ll play with…

Doing some Shiva Nata on this situation, and seeing what it reveals.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

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

I wanted things to be easy, fun and magical. And they mostly were. Which I find astonishing. Need to ask that one more often, apparently.

Then I wanted the embarking of the Floating Playground (the Floop!) to go smoothly, and thank god it did.

I wanted to do something for Now We Are Six, so I wrote about it. Still sitting with this one. Maybe some sort of small virtual celebration?

Also I wanted directives from the Director, and that happened some but not as much as I’d like. Re-asking, and committing to getting quiet enough to listen.

I planted something for the Secret Escape, and now I’m working on that.

There was an ask for the first Painting Party at the new Playground and it’s happening. See: the Frolicsome Bar.

And I wanted everyone happily not-being-me. I suspect that a number of people at the Floop are working on that as a secret project of sorts, so that’s good too.

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!


19 Responses to Very Personal Ads #138: I can celebratorily abscond with the best of them!

  1. VIVA says:

    I’m only writing because I was inspired by the image of blue, green, purple ceilings! Then, since I’m here, I figured a VPA might help clarify and simplify my to-do list with an underlying to-receive list!
    I have a need for ease. (That rhymed better in my head.)

    What I want…

    Cleared decks (physically and mentally, whoa maybe even emotionally) for focusing on my visitor. Yay, visitor!

    Ways this could work…

    Doing the mental first, because my cold doesn’t want me to move furniture right now. Then, attacking the paper piles. Then, when desperate and realizing the paper is not important to make room for the visitor, frantically moving the freakin’ Nordic Track out of where the bed needs to go!
    Wait, maybe I’ll start with the heart of the artichoke and move the big things first!

    What I’ll play with…

    Thinking of this more abstractly, as qualities: ease, attention, clarity, connection. These guys are putting on their tiaras and getting ready for the ball!
    I’ll imagine myself as the conduit for things getting done, rather than the doer.
    I’ll talk to my anal retentive inner child who used to organize pencils in height order…but I’ll make sure she is strictly chaperoned by the good-enough mantra (a tall, graceful, kind and smiling woman). Warmer than Professor McGonagall, FYI.

    Wow, that sounds pretty easy. The flow and simplicity is already working.

  2. Kate
    Twitter: CameraKate19

    I have two asks this week, one more in the hard and one more in the soft.

    Thing 1: A trip!

    Here’s what I want:

    I am hoping to take a little trip in 2 weeks! It seems like it’s going to work out, but I am waiting on a couple things to fall into place. So I would like this to come together with ease and flow and harmonious timing.

    Ways this could work:

    I could get a response from the person I’m waiting for a response from. I could call them instead of waiting for the response. I can find and buy plane tickets I can afford that are at the right time.

    I’ll play with:

    Trusting and not forcing things.

    Thing 2: Slightly Future Me

    Here’s what I want:

    I just realized that I have been doing a lot of preparing for Slightly Future Me lately. Except I really don’t know much about Slightly Future Me. She is hazy and indistinct, and while I sometimes have very clear ideas about what she wants and what she will need, I would like to have a better idea of who she is.

    Ways this could work:

    Havi’s Director is sort of a model for me for this. Though I know that Slightly Future Me is not the Director (and doesn’t want to be!) I really love the idea of knowing who Slightly Future Me is. I would like to have a conversation with Slightly Future Me to find out how she identifies herself.

    I’ll play with:

    Looking for clews from Slightly Future Me. Noticing what feels congruent with Slightly Future Me. Continuing the process of ten things gone. Letting go of things I’ve been holding onto for reasons that aren’t mine. Elevator Shaft!

    *colorful sparkles for all the VPAs*
    Kate recently posted… Andy Approved: Chicago Passport Agency

  3. Square-Peg Karen
    Twitter: squarePegKaren

    I think every word here in VPA#138 made my smile bigger (and I wasn’t even smiling when I got here) …

    the colors of cloth to decorate the Playground ceiling sound divine (I’m hearing that word in a weird way, can’t spell it the way I want to say it–something on the order of the way one would say dah-ling for darling) – and being a cloth queen (who loves those particular colors) I’m going to cut some pieces to send (and smile MORE thinking that maybe colors from my little spot out here on the east coast will wave to folks visiting the Playground).

    Happy birthday to you, dear Havi – and to The Fluent Self. And a bittersweet nod, bow and hug to the marking of your divorce. Picturing you wrapped in shimmering opaque chrysalis energy, outside time, gathering “courage, trust and internal strength”.

    p.s. I am SO glad you’re having a birthday – so glad you exist and shine your Haviness; what a blessing you are!
    Square-Peg Karen recently posted… Snowflakes, Self-care and Gardening

  4. Judy says:

    Happy birthdays of all kinds Havi.

    Progress on last VPAs:

    Wanted more clients and got 2!

    Now for today VPAs:

    1. A cool,slightly structured tote-type bag to carry my stuff when seeing clients. Not a briefcase look at all, and not a beach/canvas or luggage looking thing either. Right now I’m using a great looking one, but its sac shape lets everything flop around in it. That doesn’t work.


    Well, maybe someone who’s reading this knows of something or even makes them. I could go to Etsy, but I usually find that overwhelming. I could keep my eyes open when I’m out and about. Someone could give it to me as a gift.


    When writing the description I noticed that my quest for the bag that has the right amount of me, style, structure and originality is also about the qualities I want in my life right now. So, my commitment is to working with those qualities, spending more time investigating what they mean to me and where I can find more.

    2. Someone to buy my house. This is an ongoing VPA and we’ve gotten many visitors and some second lookers. All good. Keep’em coming – especially the person/people who fit.


    Well, doing all the “hard” actions. Could probably spend more time with the “soft” like getting clearer and clearer about leaving my lovely house.


    Process all feelings around this anticipated transition. Silent retreat.

    That’s it for now.

  5. Hannah Savannah
    Twitter: Hannah_Savannah

    * Sending over some love for the VPA’s to come about *

    I have two asks, like Kate! One more soft and one more hard.

    Thing 1: More conversations with my project

    I am loving the FLOOP. It feels like a safety zone. Also: there are iron walls of resistance around my project. I’d love to converse with my project and find out what that’s all about but also I’d love to follow the rabbit holes and converse with other monsters or selves I might encounter.

    Ways it could happen I could create space for it on Monday. I could scribble notes while in the train/flight.

    I’ll play with . Little spaces of time. Walks. How I experience time.

    Thing 2: A paper application

    A lot of tizmun & thinking would have to happen for this. But there’s a conference deadline in 10 days and I’d love to join that conference this year. It’s not an absolutely absolutely but I’d love some forward direction here as well as more safety for the paper to come into the world.

    Ways it could happen I could have 3 days devoted to the project but take it lightly and also have walks and coffees and nice moments with the project. I could deposit monsters in the Monster-watching Collective (also see 1).

    I’ll play with The fun of it. Ease. Qualities. Experiments.

    VPA update

    I wanted a packed suitcase, and for the first time in years I really took my time for packing. It became a metaphor for doing things slowly and having enough time.
    I wanted a short mini meeting and it didn’t happen and that even better. I wanted a safety zone and that is really happening – both in my new house, my temporary location and in Floop world.

  6. seagirl says:

    There was actual progress made on my silently retreated VPA! A boy talked to me last night and asked my name, which hasn’t happened in 7-12 years. I had the wrong wing man with me so there were no numbers exchanged, but still. And then a friend had a dream that I was getting married. Not to that boy, but still.
    Progress and movement in the general direction of the VPA.

    Replacing my VPA, and taking a silent retreat on it.

  7. seagirl says:

    Re-placing, not replacing.

  8. Cathy
    Twitter: cathyyardley

    Last week, I asked for conscious entry, which I pretty much got. Then I asked for progress on the book revisions and classes, and also a blog post on a silent retreat-y thing. Instead, got whomped with stuck. :(

    VPA #1: Destuckification, please.

    Ways this could work: I could re-read Procrastination Dissolve-o-matic again. Also, really explore resting & self-care since that seems to be an issue.

    My commitment: Go to bed early tonight. Make containers for working on this.

    VPA #2: Self-care & rest.

    Ways this could work: Not scheduling any outside excursions. Stone-skipping what it means to take care of myself and replenish. Exploring my metaphors.

    My commitment: to stone skip. Again, create the containers. And be curious. Expect that it will take time.

    Thanks, guys.
    Cathy recently posted… What if you couldn’t screw it up?

  9. Corie Weaver
    Twitter: coriejweaver

    My VPA this week is small, but large.

    Investigate the missing hellos! I’ve stopped doing my Hello, Day. And I’d like to know why. And I’d like to start again. (same with my goodnight, day and hello, sleep!) I know these are good tools for me. I know it doesn’t take long. But I need to find out why on earth for the last three weeks I haven’t been doing them.

    Things I can do: Interview the parts of me that are resisting this practice. See what they don’t want me to find out, and see if we can come to any sorts of arrangements that everyone is happy about. Sticky notes on the mirror and doors, if that’s what it takes to help remind me in the hard.

    Love and sparkles to all the VPAs, and happy birthdayness to Havi!
    Corie Weaver recently posted… Early Morning Adventure. With Bonus Cats.

  10. Mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium

    Thing 1: de-clinging. I want less clutter and more space, but I find myself struggling with the letting go of books, supplies, and other items I’ve held onto for so long because I hoped to get to them someday.

    Ways this could work:
    * Photographs or scans of inscriptions
    * Imagining the items finding their right people
    * An answer to “they’ll just end up in the dumpster!” demon: my house is not a storage container for things that no longer fit my life.

    What I’ll play with: picturing the space I want to inhabit. Staying in dialogue with Future Me about her needs.

    Thing 2: replacing anxiety dreams with a more restful loop. Seriously: just this morning, I woke up from yet another nightmare about an imminent exam for a class I’d skipped all term.

    Ways this could work:
    * exercising caution around any new commitments I’m asked to consider (I have two new projects starting this week and a meeting about a possible third, so there’s nothing subtle about what my subconscious is up to)
    * allowing enough time for sleep and naps so that I feel rested even if subconscious continues to revisit the You Lose, No Snooze reel.

    I’ll play with:
    * compassion toward Past Me re squandered resources and missteps
    * compassion toward / sovereignty around others’ projections/perceptions/requests of me

    Report on past VPAs:
    * good vacation — didn’t touch a lick of work.
    * not enjoying Project A, but recognizing/respecting my own needs in response to competing priorities/temptations. So, that’s progress.

    Bonne chance to all. May your ads be answered and your gwishes come true.
    Mechaieh recently posted… Sunday morning

  11. Gin
    Twitter: subtleharmony

    My VPA this week is to somehow let go of (or get free of, or not feel so overwhelmed by) the fear and worry of something unpleasant happening to some of the very special people in my life. I’ll go silent retreat on details, but I’m scared of bad things happening with these people and I’m finding hard to deal with being scared about this.
    Gin recently posted… doing the new, facing the fear…

  12. Risa
    Twitter: lichtstrom_

    Hello hello, VPA time – I welcome you and make space for you.

    Gwishes for ease and peace upon your 3-days-until, Havi. :)

    Update on last week’s VPAs – I asked for more dreams and dreams I had, despite the plantings not sprouting. As far as emotional structures, I am thinking that my fatigue and sickness of the past week might be part of that. Currently playing with that idea. I didn’t do the work I expected on the Book of US, but one of the dreams I had *was* about my old therapist, and the US-team has been talking a lot about patterns and needs, so that is a wee bud and pretty solid soil-turning.

    I am simply rephrasing one of my VPAs this week:

    #1 – A Better Space

    My Space Magic actually failed to get the desired result this week, which was disheartening though I did get to the one thing I was most worried about. None of the blooms for this ask from last week even budded, and while I’ve sprouted thanks to this space, I found myself unable to remember to Embark for the new.

    So, new phrasings.

    Blooms for it:
    – I could find the perfect place in the Floop to unstuff or soil-turn.
    – I could find the mental space to do an OOD.
    – The right Space could find us.

    What I’ll Plant:
    – Continuing the thanks and psychic hugs to the current Space for being a shelter for the past year.
    – Thinking of qualities I want and consulting the Lovelyman about any qualities he wants – checking on congruent needs instead of assuming congruence.

    Tons of hand-on-heart sighs and love for everyone’s VPAs.

    Goodbye, goodbye VPA time, and thank you for being with me.
    Risa recently posted… Drama Is A Good Thing

  13. Amy
    Twitter: planbnation

    Hello, VPAs!

    The thing: More EASE and lightness and playfulness as I move through my days. So much of what I’m doing is good and yet I often don’t appreciate it b/c of an undercurrent of anxiety + leaning into the next thing before this one is done.

    More specifically, what I want is: Less feeling of Prometheus rolling a boulder forever, being on the treadmill that goes on forever. Less feeling of trudging stolidly forward, then checking items of a to-do list with grim satisfaction.

    How this could work:

    1. Do less + play with metaphors for doing less: Decluttering? Pruning? Thinning? Hmmmmm. None of those feel quite right. Will play more with this. Also: more No-Saying to help with the Less-Doing.

    2. A more specific part of doing less: Spend less time at The River (which in my kingdom, often goes by other names as well). Be more intentional about the time I do spend there. Embarked on this today; so far, so good.

    3. Play with metaphors and/or proxies for my so-called Task List. How about . . . Bunnies!?! I have five Bunnies to do today! Also, need new names for the specific Bunnies. For example, the taxes bunny is, maybe . . . Basketweaving! I have to work on my Basketweaving! Anyway, I will play with this.

    Mmmmmm. That’s it for now.
    Amy recently posted… In praise of erring

  14. Rhiannon
    Twitter: rhiannonlaurie

    What are my asks this week? Last week I was too sick to do anything and this week I was going to take off but now I want to do the things I didn’t do last week and it’s all very confusing.

    So let’s see…


    I would like clarity. And time spent getting it. And the results of having it. Like understanding and spaciousness.

    Ways it could work: I could hang out on the Floop. I could clean. I could go on long walks.


    Steps Forward:

    It would be awesome if I could do little bursts of incredibly effectiveness on a project. Because sometimes that happens and it’s always really cool. Bursts. of. Effectiveness.

    Ways it could work: Well, I’m holding space. Tomorrow, for half an hour. I could get enough sleep (no matter how ridiculous a number “enough” is right now).

    I think that’s a good start.

    Last week: I wanted to spend time on Y. And I did and I didn’t. But I talked about it a little in the Floop and that helped. And I wanted to recharge. Which I did my part of. But my body wants even more rest, so that’s where we are right now.

    Goodbye, VPAing. Taking with me possibility, trust, and intention. Leaving behind the parts of me that stay here.
    Rhiannon recently posted… Breaking Down a Pattern

  15. Loon says:

    Yay VPA!

    Last week I asked for groundedness to help with a big week, which turned out mostly splendidly, despite the exhaustion. I also asked for a summer job, I am working on this. I asked for finalization on the place that might be perfect. No luck with this, so re-asking this week. I also wanted clothes for the summer, which I didn’t ask for here, but had in mind. A friend of mine unexpectedly took my thrift-store shopping and said she has a few dresses to give me too. Hooray!

    Thing 1: The perfect place to live(code for: a place that has space for Bunny).

    Ways this could work:
    – Since I’m having trouble with time, I could dedicate an hour a day to house hunting and calling people up, and spread it out that way instead of devoting an entire day to it.
    – I’ve also been asking my Lovely People and Guardians, with wonderful responses from all.

    Things I’ll play with:
    – Saferooms for the me-who-is-disappointed and the me-who-is-afraid-to-ask
    – Trusting my instincts

    Thing 2: Time, or a time-turner.
    There is still so much work to do for school, and still a job and room to find. I need a way to make time for all of this, and the self-care, without it feeling as though I am imposing structure/restrictions and have another thing to manage.

    Ways this could work:
    – I could play with fractal-flowering things. This way, doing yoga doesn’t mean neglecting work, but more working on work.
    – I could try doing just one thing, like applying to one job, responding to one room ad, per day.
    – I could wear costumes for each thing, to have distinct beginnings and ends.

    Things I’ll play with:
    – Trying different techniques, letting go of the ones that don’t work.
    – Pretending I “have an extra day” – the whole leap-day exercize made something of an impact.

    Thing 3: Space for me-who-is-in-pain

    Ways this could work:
    – More yoga.
    – Setting aside an hour a day of doing absolutely nothing.
    – Meditating before bed.

    Things I’ll play with:
    – Permission to sleep for a full 7 hours, without waking up to study in between.
    – Writing letters to Bunny.
    – Writing letters to myself.
    – Permission to not be working all the time.

    Hand-on-heart sighs for everyone’s VPAs :)

  16. Kylie
    Twitter: kyliewriteshere

    Alrighty. Hello, Monday.

    What I want: More mindful movement with my next self-love letter for my people. Interacting with it was one of my asks last week, and that happened! (Yay!) Now I’d like to send it into the world as a new being to be welcomed.

    How this could work: Edits could be easy, and quick. The perfect images to accompany the words could present themselves. People could be excited about this.

    My commitment: To interact with this in a truly conscious way. To stay close to my intentions, and separate those from outside reactions.

    Thing #2: An easeful resolution to various tax and business things.

    How this could work: I could make time for this each day this week. I could remember to call on my allies. I could remember that I’m not alone. I could call on patience.

    My commitment: To know that I can do this, and do it right.

    Love to everyone’s VPAs.
    Kylie recently posted… pockets of joy: CRAYONS!

  17. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket

    Hello, VPAs!

    I am silent retreating this week’s VPAs, which are in my paper journal, but I did want to check in because I had completely forgotten that I wrote VPAs last week, squirreled away in my phone’s notebook!

    So just checking in to say I got my forcefield of calm, my Floop beingness (complete with an unintentional “wildly awake” quality, must be more careful what I gwish for), ease and spaciousness around my deadlines, and peace for my freaking-out skin! Amazing. Thank you VPAs, you are such a delicious container :)
    Jesse recently posted… Mini Project Cards — a gift for you!

  18. Esme
    Twitter: TheRealSqualor

    What I want:

    To have a writing retreat. I have some time off from school and work, and I think some writing seclusion would be a very good use of my time.

    Ways this could work:

    I could do it in my house, but would have to keep my roommate from talking to me too much. I’d have food and internet at the ready. I’ll at least need the food.

    I could go somewhere. Somewhere not noisy. If outside, it can’t be too cold. I’d want to be able to be there for stretches at a time, so I’d need food or to bring food, and a restroom.

    I’ll play with:

    Doing an OOD. Keeping it in the back of my mind, brainstorming.

    Progress Report on previous VPA:

    I wanted a great trip to Chicago that would balance touristy stuff, conference stuff, and social stuff. Everything went very well. It was indeed a great trip.

  19. VickiB says:

    VPAing late but there’s amnesty, right?

    What I want:

    Thing 1: To know.

    The Boomerang Boy is here and I’m having a hard time adjusting. A week after I said he could not ever move back home, his wife left him and he’s in my house. A week! He hasn’t officially moved home, it’s not like he has a room of his own and his furniture fitted into the house around ours, and taken over the remote. But he’s there, and he needs a ride to here and there, and he’s walking around the house talking on the phone constantly and never a word to his loving parents except “when can you take me to….?” as if he were a teenager instead of in mhis mid-thirties.

    I want to know how to handle this.

    I also want him gone – moved into a new place. And I know that will happen when it happens, and I am okay with that wanting. But *this* want is being a problem, because he has boomeranged before and it wasn’t this hard. So what do I dooooo?

    (Going away to the Whine Bar soon to continue this.)

    What I can do:
    • I can whine at the whine bar.
    • It’s pretty clear that I need to reinforce my force fields.
    • Talk to him *again* about the need to communicate with the people in his life. Especially those in the same house!
    • Make the kitchen a communication zone so that if you’re in there and so is someone else you *must* talk with them! That would have to apply to me as well and would mean a behavior change for me because sometimes I sit in the kitchen to work online and don’t talk much. Hmmm.

    Well, that was helpful. I’m already a bit more clear about what I need to do.

    There are other things I want but I am going to silent retreat on them for a while.

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