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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 #97: mmmm toast

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!

Sunday! Let’s start gwishing for things.

Thing 1: excitement for the Toy Shop!

Here’s what I want:

I have been working my ass off trying to make the Toy Shop at the Playground beautiful and sparkly. Giant project.

And while there’s still plenty of work to do, we are done with round one. And I’m ready for some celebration!

Ways this could work:

At the Rally (Rally!) this week, there will be a number of people who have been at other Rallies or at the Shiva Nata teacher trainings.

They might ooh and aaah over the changes. That would be awesome.

Or I could take some time to really notice the parts of me who need acknowledgment and appreciation, and do some oo/aah-ing myself.

I can have a mini-house-warming party for the Toy Shop. Even if I don’t invite anyone.

It could just be me and the Schmoppet and a glass of wine. We could make toasts. Toasts!

My commitment.

To bring fun and light-heartedness to the process.

To play. To squeeze all the buttmonsters and pounce with the pouncers and flirt with the yowls. Yes, it’s that kind of store.

Plus we have jewelry made from spirographs!

To be full of love and support for my tiny, sweet thing.

Thing 2: epiphany-tracking.

Here’s what I want:

This week the insights are going to be flying at me like mad because this Rally is especially shivanautically-themed.

And I’d like to have some way of consolidating them, sorting them, helping them land.

Ways this could work:

Well, that could be my intention for one of the things I get epiphanies about.

Or it could even be part of my Rally project that I end up projectizing: what do I do with sparks of genius when I’m not ready to act on them yet?

My commitment.

To be present with the hard.

To let the moments of understanding do what they need to do.

To ask lots of questions, skip the stones and take notes.

Thing 3: we still need a new tech pirate and haven’t found him/her yet.

Here’s what I want:

This is an ask that has been asked a lot of times, in a variety of forms.

And for whatever reason, we haven’t found what we wanted.

So instead of just asking the ask again or posting the ad, I am going to work on this in the soft.

I am going to pay attention to what would happen in my business if we had the tech support we needed, and what my internal resistance is to bringing this person onboard.

Ways this could work:

A lot of internal work.

Asking loving, curious questions. Being the interviewer. Having faith.

Talking to the fear and the doubt.

My commitment.

My commitment is to the pirate ship.

And it is also to my own process.

So I am going to figure out what I need to feel safe before I rewrite the ask.

Thing 4: announce the stowawayship!

Here’s what I want:

There’s a stowawayship scholarship ship (which is the best kind of scholarship ever) for the June Rally (Rally!).

And while people have already started applying, I haven’t actually announced it. So I should do that.

Ways this could work:

This counts as telling you guys, right?

And I can mention it to the Kitchen Table mice.

My commitment.

To be excited about this.

So far every single time we’ve had a stowawayship, the people who have been able to come have been amazing, and it’s been a completely delightful experience.

It’s a perfect, simple solution. And I am a fan of perfect, simple solutions.

So yay stowawayship. Ship. Ship.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

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

I wanted to do work in the soft to help me press the Pooblish button on my Shiva Nata video posts.

And I haven’t. Well, that’s not completely accurate. Stuff in the soft has shifted. Just not to the pressing-the-button point yet. Still working on it.

Then I wanted ease at the dentist, and it was a completely smooth experience, for which I am very grateful.

Trying to remember lip balm was really important. And that has not happened. Not even slightly. I’ll have to think about that one some more.

And I wanted to do some Rally prep and wow, I cannot believe how much Rally prep happened, especially since I don’t really remember asking for it.

Huge, huge, huge progress there, thanks to Cairene and the First Mate. We have a bunch of new systems in place that I’m very excited about. Verra nice!

Comment zen. Here’s what I’d love today.

Your own personal ads, small or large. Things you’ve asked for. Or are asking for. Or would like to ask for. Or updates on last time!

Stuff I’d rather not have:

The word “manifest”. To be told how I should be asking for things. To be judged, psychoanalyzed or given unsolicited advice.

Much love for your gwishes! So happy to have you doing this with me.

20 Responses to Very Personal Ads #97: mmmm toast

  1. Caroline
    Twitter: Cazzylina

    Ha! Reading this (or anything here) with Pirates of the Carribean on tv is singularly appropriate.

    A thing that worked for me, with the chapped lips of painful doom any time it was hot, cold, windy, dry… enough moaning, suffice to say it was a complete necessity, but I a Thing I didn’t do. I bought half a dozen chapsticks, had them in jeans pockets, coat pockets, nightstand, book bag, handbag and anywhere else. It seemed to work and I dropped the number down to two ongoing at any one time. Of course, means a person has to wear things with pockets, which a lot of lady-clothes don’t have. Maybe there’s a business opportunity in making chapstick cozies to wear as necklaces or bracelets!

    What I want:
    Energy of round and round in my head to gain velocity, displacement in space rather than the current version which has speed, but always ends up in the same place. Even spirals would be ok.
    A good funeral to happen with no snarking.

    Ways these could work:
    More yoga – joining the midweek class as well. Sense-Monster says that it’s irrelevant, but it is more relevant than anything.
    I could notice that it was a spiral all along.
    Remember Silent Retreat is always an appropriate response. Though maybe tone down the jazz hands considering the other guests’ sensibilities. Though the main player would probably have joined in.

    My commitments:
    To set my alarm Wednesday morning.
    To dance round and round, to invoke and model and invite spirals.
    To be well supplied with tissues and hugs for everyone, and not try to be quiet when I laugh. That would be disrespectful.

  2. Riv
    Twitter: PurpleshinyRiv

    What I want:
    To be able to make my photos and descriptions for my etsy shop SHINE with awesomeness. Less elementary school yearbook photo. Less sleazy dating profile. More… I don’t even know. I don’t even have a model with positive connotations.

    Ways it could work:
    I could stumble on a non-sleazy metaphor. I could ask my peers and idols for advice and constructive criticism. I could find examples that make me happy and think about what they did right.

    My commitment:
    To work on the blocks I have around asking for help. To give myself permission to write imperfect things and refine them later. To think about the positives and the problem-solving instead of beating myself up for my missteps.
    Riv recently posted… Indoor photography

  3. Whitney
    Twitter: whitneygrayrose

    Hmm, gwishes. OK!

    1. This week is crazy.
    This week I have finals, two final papers, a lot of volunteer hours commitments that I can’t get out of, a Shiva Nata lesson to my dance class, commencement early on Saturday morning, subsequent family time later that day, and my cycle coming any day now. Oh, and I just remembered, a committee conference call that I’m chair of, which I haven’t prepared for yet.

    So I need to survive this week. But I want to thrive. I want to enjoy what there is to enjoy. I want to have a decent interaction with my parents. I want to not get embarrassed on stage at graduation. I want to party it up on Saturday night with no regrets.

    Ways This Could Work:
    -Fairy Dust to make me motivated to do my schoolwork.
    -Having no need to worry about money stuff this week.
    -Not running into people I’m afraid of, or at least not having to bring up my Stuff with them.
    -Daily yoga & daily Shiva Nata.
    -Everyone just loves me unconditionally.

    My Commitment:
    -To keep plodding along the Yellow Brick Road with the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion, and Toto.
    -To drink more water.
    -To have a creative outlet every day, even just a little one.

  4. seagirl says:

    Last weeks VPAs were answered by Friday, which is lovely and I’m very grateful.

    What I would like this week:
    1. To get everything I need to the Attache for the Bikini Roto Process. Ways this could happen: I could mail everything overnight to her.

    2. For the funky car stuff to be a manageable expense. Best to probably bring it in sooner rather than later. And really I love driving a safe car. It makes me very happy.

    3. For my shoulders and back to continue to open. Ways this could happen: I could request that my teacher work on backbends on Tuesday. I could do some lying on bolsters and blocks and things in the evenings.

    4. For a boy who wants to kiss me. Ways this could happen: One of those boys that I talk to could want to kiss me and let me know. My commitment: to remain open to being kissed.

  5. Leocadia says:

    @Seagirl: To remain open to being kissed – I love that.

    My VPA:
    The return of ENERGY and FLEXIBILITY, the total disappearance of cough and snot, and likewise the disappearance of my back trouble.
    I am also asking that someone I care for will still be around for the entire month of June.

    How this can work:
    Do all the exercises that the physio showed me.
    Continuing my so far 2 days abstinence from dairy products.
    Do things that not only relax my muscles but also my mind. Breathing.
    Boss can decide that person still has to be around until the end of June.

    My committment:
    Take things easy.
    Appreciate small improvals.

    Sending sunshine and flowers to all of you for this week.

  6. Sara V says:


    I want a comfortable chair at work. I am perching and I am tired of perching.

    How this could happen

    I could do a very quick internet search and find the chair. I have done this already and the chairs I want are scarily expensive. The one I was going to order wouldn’t deliver across the sheugh. I can’t seem to find them second hand.

    I could put the word out and someone will tell me where they got the BEST chair for a reasonable price

    My commitment. I will be open to the possibility of sources of a new chair. I will invest a little bit more time in it.

  7. Kirsty
    Twitter: abitnotgood

    Hello lovely people,

    What I want this week:

    I’ve overscheduled again and I’m looking at 4 nights out in a row which is far, far too much, especially with working all weekend too. So I need to be very kind to myself and get as much sleep & rest as possible. My commitment- to listen to myself and put on the brakes if it all gets too much. To trust that the universe will hold me.

    The Play
    I need to complete the second draft by this time next week. I have the whole weekend alone to do this, but I also don’t have the Love for it anymore, so it’s going to be more hard work and less fun. My commitment is to reframe that hard work/fun dynamic to make it work for me. I could work in coffee shops, at home, in bed… experiment with where/why/how to make something great happen.

    And as always, I gwish for more money. A way to have a dog and a small house by the sea. I gwish, I gwish, I gwish!

    Love to all x

  8. Rose
    Twitter: celestialrose

    Yay for the toy shop!

    Since Last Time
    (in looking at the last weeks VPA; I remembered to put my lip goo on! maybe i should remind myself in each VPa; because I always look back the next week.)

    So.. I asked for..
    Thing 1: Pattern-resolving.
    Thing 2: Final Assignment/Assessments.

    The assignments all got done; even gave one in early ^_^
    Unfortunately, in order to do this, I forgot about thing 1.

    So.. this week:
    Thing 1: Flow for Wednesday
    Here’s what I want:

    On Wednesday, I will be speaking about youth participation at a conference to 150 social care professionals! I’m terrified of public speaking and only said yes because I’d like to be more involved in the charity itself.. I’m representing the whole youth panel and ten minutes is a lot of time overall…

    I’d like ease, flow, cohesive words and to feel in control. Courage.

    Ways this could work:

    Erm.. it’s not even a speech; it’s replying to some questions so I can’t fully prepare.. think of questions?

    They might all smile and look friendly in jeans; not suits and ties.

    I can remember I’m an enchantress and a wolf.. I can act.

    My commitment.
    To really show my passion.

    To see this as an opportunity to change the world [or change how professionals see involving young people in mental health].

    To play? It’s a game and there’s a fox and I just need to give this speech thing to pass the level. More points for the least stutter/more eye-contact.

    Thing 2: Flow for Travel
    Here’s what I want:

    I hate trains. petrified of public transport. I need to get the train to London and back then back to brighton. The journey up was full of struggles so could these journeys be full of ease.

    Ways this could work:
    Memorise the train times?
    Cast a “spell”?

    My commitment.
    To trust.

    Have a glorrious week all :)
    Rose recently posted… Month V- half-way point of 3-2-1

  9. judy says:

    Gimme a V, Gimme a P, Gimme an A!

    I was going to suggest jewelry for lip balm too!

    Another idea offer: when I’m trying to build in something new, I usually pair it with an already existing habit, like putting lip balm attached to my water bottle, so every time I take a sip – I am reminded to moisturize my lips.

    What I want:

    To stay peaceful and calm in conferences with parents. To not let my inner noise or their throwing of shoes derail me for long.

    Lots of Yoga, self talk, sleep (these conferences go late), and shiva nata.

    To my process of leaving my job having stayed present and loving. To give myself lots of permission slips as this will be a challenge.

  10. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Last week, I asked for continued feelings of calm and confidence to help me get through a week that I anticipated would be challenging. And sure enough, the week was challenging, and yes, I did feel that I had access to inner calm most of the time. Confidence was a bit more elusive and complex, but not entirely lacking.

    One of my big challenges last week was facing the fact that I have one more year in which to finish this PhD, and can I really do this? And am I really going to? And how much do I really want to?

    There has definitely been ambivalence and Conflicted Wanting here. This week, though, I was called upon to make a decision and stand by it. Aaaaugh! After several days of contemplation, I have decided that yes, I do still want to finish this degree more than I don’t want to finish it. So.

    What I want: To successfully complete my dissertation and graduate with my PhD next year.

    How this can happen: Well, that is the question, isn’t it? Here’s what I’ve got right now:
    –By staying open to possibilities.
    –By making friends with my dissertation, offering it love, spending quality time with it, listening to it and bonding with it.
    –By doing lots and lots of Shiva Nata, for energy and epiphanies.

    My commitment: I will practice believing that I can really do this — without feeling miserable. I want to believe that this can be accomplished with joy, with playfulness, and maybe even with a sense of ease. Gwish! Into the pot!
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Minimum daily requirements

  11. svntytwo says:

    Here’s what I want!
    Flowers, everywhere, always, sprouting from my wooden floors. growing from the cracks between the fireplace and the fireplace frame thing. I want them to grow from every little circle of each little curl in my poodle’s fur.

    Here’s what I’d also love!
    Flowers, on my balcony, in containers.

    Ways this could happen:
    I can give my gwish legitimacy and birth here on this page.
    I can recognize that this gwish is super sparkly and important to me, and recognize that that the funds required to make this happen are really not so much.
    I can realize that I am allowed to make beautiful things happen in my space, even if they don’t seem to serve a purpose other than being beautiful.
    I can gently allow myself to consider that beauty is a wonderful purpose! And that even though these flowers will die in the fall… Realization, I’m worried about them dying in the fall.

    My commitment:
    I am going to further address this fear of my flowers to be dying in the fall. Endings are always very hard for me. This is an important thing.

    Ways my commitment could work:
    I can dance of shiva while thinking about it. I can yoga while thinking about it. I can journal about it. I can consider talking to my monsters, although that is still really new and awkward for me, I can give it a shot should the rightness for that effort arrive. I can remember how much I wanted flowers on my balcony every day of last spring. I can think about how awesome it is when I am able to move forward/past/around/learn about/ break free/whatever!!! a pattern!!! Also, I can come back here and look what I wrote. MEEOOOOOW! / RRRRRRRAWWWR!!!!!!!

  12. svntytwo says:

    I also gwish to pass all of my classes, preferably with A’s and B’s. It’s exam week and I’m not loving being forced to study stuff that I’m going to forget. Why do I always procrastinate? I’m just throwing this out there before I close this window and get back to studying. Brain, powerpoint slides, lets negotiate, let’s try to be friends. Can we do that? It’s only four more days. Let’s try to learn from each other, yes? Okay… that’s nice…

  13. Deanna
    Twitter: DeannaLohnes

    VPA! VPA! VPA!

    BIg love to everyone on your (g)wishes and VPA’s this week.

    I got the apartment on the beach I was coveting. Now I want ease, flow and joy around the move process. and the letting go of my current home. i wish i could hug 600 square feet all at once.

    ways this could happen-
    I could arrange the boxes and packing supplies in away that looks less draining and overwhelming.
    I could ask for more help packing
    the moving fairy could come in the night and make all the calls and set up the utilities and all that
    I could give myself permission to let go of A LOT more stuff
    I could rent a car and haul stuff away

    My commitment
    to work a little bit on the move project every day
    to ask for help
    to dance on the letting go part

    ASK 2
    My biz has a thing(s?) brewing. I want to get past a block I’m having on my thing(s?)

    ways this could happen
    I could get super motivated and just blast thru the creation
    I could find a way to find out what my audience wants and tailor it
    I could just call it “shitty first draft” and get it out there

    my commitment
    to keep working on it
    keep brainstorming ideas
    keep talking to people

    have an awesome week everyone~
    Deanna recently posted… 7 Tips for Offline Networking

  14. Dawn says:

    I don’t normally gwish. I usually chicken.

    I love that everyone here understands that!

    My VPA:

    I’ve been having a bit of time physically. And I have been doing everything I’ve been told to do, diligently. I stretch, I ice, I massage, I wear weird braces. I avoid jumping around and dancing. (Very sad!) I send loving thoughts to this injured part of myself. I express gratitude for the good days, and cradle myself during the hard days.

    I’ve just learned of a noninvasive surgical procedure that may be my only hope right now (it’s really not as dramatic as it sounds, but the whole pain and serious limitation thing has kind of taken over my life).

    What I want: to be open to the procedure, to be calm and relaxed, and invite in the healing energy (almost quite literally). To allow this to heal me, and to not cast doubt and doom over the whole affair. Or scoff at what sounds like a miracle cure. I will also avoid the internets, as they are full of DOOOOOM.

    So, I will work on nixing negative thoughts, and stay open and hopeful. I will trust in the doctors, and know I will be taken care of. And trust that I will know how to take care of myself. To believe I can handle the scariness of it and the pain. And to ride the wave of whatever the “result” turns out to be.
    Dawn recently posted… Giving Myself the Silent Treatment

  15. VickiB says:

    Yay VPA!

    Last week I wanted energy and ease and movement and learning and health. I wanted to get done what needed to get done and to not worry about the rest. Part of my commitment was self care.

    I got what I asked for; I also learned that I have a pattern of stuckness that looks like movement but isn’t. Now what to do?

    I broke a finger on Saturday. I have to type one-handed. I have to keep it elevated — if I don’t, it hurts! I’m surprised how limited I feel.

    This week I want self care to be a priority — not just pain avoidance but doing things that are good for me, establishing habits that will support my physical and mental well-being.

    Also this week I want to make a collage of The Hangout, which is where my ideas can go until I’m ready for them. I got this idea when Havi wrote about Bicycle Racks. My ideas wanted a hangout; and if I have a collage Hangout, I can write my ideas on post-it notes and stick them to the picture and they really will be hanging around at the Hangout.

    My commitment: to be thoughtful and open to what wants to happen.

    Blessings to all of you!
    VickiB recently posted… Day 3- Out of Edinburgh

  16. Jane
    Twitter: JaneOfArdis

    Last weeks VPA for stop to hormonal weirdness was probably about 95% answered – with an incredibly unfortunate 5% – still much better prepared; I did get some ideas for stuff and ended up way to frazzled to do much about them.

    VPA #1: I’m feeling exhausted and a bit fragile. What I want is gentleness and space for recovery.

    How this could happen:
    – acknowledge that there are multiple good reasons why I feel like this right now
    – remember that I’ve felt like this before and it does get better
    – also it’s just part of life and not a sign of something wrong with me
    – and remember I don’t have to be doing my every waking hour
    – super gentle yoga (well, it’ll have to be after 5 hours of tattooing today)
    – snuggling in bed with a book
    – talking to the people I love

    My commitment:
    – to listen to myself
    – to look and find support when I need it
    – to allow this to be hard

    VPA #2: To do one thing for my idea.

    How this could happen:
    – I just could
    – look at the list I made an pick one

    My commitment:
    – not to do this is #1 means that it inovles pushing myself
    – remember the old cliche about journeys and footsteps, etc

  17. Shannon Wilkinson
    Twitter: shannonmw

    I would totally bring toast if there were a mini-house-warming for the Toy Shoppe.

  18. Shannon Wilkinson
    Twitter: shannonmw

    Oops. It looks like I accidentally gave the Toy Shop and extra “pe” for a housewarming present. Totally feel free to take it back if it doesn’t fit.
    Shannon Wilkinson recently posted… Playing for Productivity

  19. Leni says:

    My first one ever. It’s taken a while to feel committed to asking for this:

    VPA #1: Easy, smooth weekday mornings

    How this could happen:
    -setting up things the night ebfore better
    -just letting go of my perfectionism

    My cmmitment:
    -Earlier bedtime for me
    -making sure the girls go to bed at bedtime instead of leaving them to goof around for an hour. this is an effect of just being out of spoons completely by their bedtime, and wanting it done so bad that I cut corners
    -remembering that the kids don’t love Morning Hell anymore than i do
    -and that really i’m not going to get fired over being 15 minutes. they understand i have kids. i am one of the few in the office with young kids, but they make accomodations for the other parents, and always have.
    -supporting the 10year old in getting heself ready–directing her but lettign her pull together her books, snack, etc.
    -and of course Shiva Nata, shivasana, and my morning Sit before I leave the bedroom, which may require me adjusting my bedtime even earlier.

    So mote it be, y’all.

  20. Jane
    Twitter: JaneOfArdis

    Last week I wanted recovery space and time and to do at least one thing for Jane of Ardis. I did way more than one thing, along with taking it easy, this was the best recovery method. Yay.

    VPA #1. This is the last week at my job. I’m taking the first steps to build my photography business. I need to find a new part-time job. I’m about to start writing my Master’s dissertation. So much transition. What I want is for it to be gentle, for there to be time for reflection, for engaging with monsters and sadness, for there to be safety and ease and flow. I want to see the new possibilities, the new ways to do things, the way I can bend with what I have and realise how much I have within me.

    How this could happen:

    – put aside some time for journalling
    – listen to myself
    – I could listen to the qualities I want present in my life and what they are telling me
    – Shiva nata

    My commitment:

    – to open to the idea that yes, this is a big ask, and yes, it can happen.
    – to try things
    – to believe it’s possible

    VPA #2. To make a list of things to do for Jane of Ardis.

    How this could happen:

    – use a big piece of paper and coloured pens
    – reverse engineer
    – be realistic with how much I can do

    My commitment:

    – this totally counts as a big thing to do
    – to give myself a dedicated chunk of time to do it
    – to allow myself to have ten minutes to freak out and to talk to the part of me that’s freaking out

    VPA #3. To make a decision about the type of website to have.

    How this could happen:

    – talk to the monsters
    – talk to the part of me that’s already done this
    – talk to the part of me that knows

    My commitment:
    – respect the fears
    – do some research and keep checking in with myself

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