very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (also known as a Vision of Possibility & Anticipation) each week to practice wanting, listening, getting clear on my desires

the point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), it’s learning about my relationship with wanting, accessing the qualities

wanting can be hard, it is easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons for that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

this is the 349th consecutive week of wishing, come play!

I am waiting for yes

waiting for yes and listening for yes
not just for any yes but for my yes
what pulls me and sparks in me
what makes me glow yes
this is the yes I am waiting for
and it is not here
all I have is a swirling mass of no
and a few half-yeses of the sort
one always regrets later

wait for it….

that is my friend Jon’s favorite joke
delivered always with a smile
it means what it says:

wait for it…

wait for the yes
keep doing what you do:
wishing your wishes, inviting clarity,
releasing your desires into the world
and then wait

and it is also wait for it as in
wait for the punchline
are you ready
in 3,2,1…
here it is
wait for it…

I am not enjoying the waiting

which is probably a sign that I need it even more
this waiting is extra stressful thanks to
the various parts of my life currently undecided
and if I don’t stride towards a yes-direction soon
(for example, the answer to the question: where do I want to live)
and then my house is rented out
and I find myself empty-handed
or really, with hands full of no
but also with nowhere to go
do you see

and yet
right now in this moment
what can I do but wait for yes

I don’t know

let’s find out
that’s what wishes are for
that’s what internal exploration is for
and then listening

if that’s not the best form of waiting
I don’t know what is

what do I want

  1. a small, quiet, safe, beautiful, cozy nest
    all mine, where I feel safe and at home
  2. access to quiet dance practice space where I am always welcome
  3. adequate funds to provide for the above
  4. quiet time and space to write
  5. someone who looks forward to seeing me
    as much as I look forward to seeing them
  6. a location where I would like to live,
    or even a general idea about
    where in the world it might be
  7. the just right tenants to rent my home,
    ideally very quiet and whose only pets are turtles,
    and who do not play the drums
    (the tenants, though sure, also the turtles)
  8. a solution to the thing that does not allow me to drive at night
    extreme sensitivity to lights and flashing,
    the other night while walking home from the bus,
    I was so… flummoxed? distressed? paralyzed?
    by an especially bright and frantically blinking light on an approaching bicycle
    that I instantly lost all ability to think or function,
    as if I’d forgotten how to breathe and it was all I could do to
    keep from sinking to the ground
    I don’t know if there is a solution to this or if
    this is one of those situations where, as Barbara Sher would say,
    you can’t change reality so you have to
    adapt your reality to meet your requirements…
  9. a dance practice partner with whom I connect well and we have similar or complementary dance goals
  10. a warm place to winter
  11. a protocol to follow when there is sudden noise
    and I lose my mind (see endless construction at neighbor’s house)
surprise solutions, come in!

what do I notice about these wishes

they’re all about quiet
even safe driving-at-night is about maintaining quiet headspace and
staying connected to myself which
(for me)
is a form of internal quiet
and wishes for connection and creativity can
also be answered through quiet

my wishes are about safety and sanctuary
welcoming and belonging
the usual stuff
the usual balms that soothe my pain about
perceptions/past-experiences of not having those things

what do I know about surprise easy solutions?

they exist
just yesterday I had two:

the dance class I don’t like magically transformed
into a class I do like
the person in new york who wasn’t responding to my request for intel
found the missing piece just when I was ready to
escalate tactics

hmmm okay actually I am coming up with plenty of examples
and yet I still disbelieve that
surprise easy solutions will be available for me

what do I know about being in search of surprise easy solutions?

well that goes back to waiting for yes
(wait for it….)
and it goes back to creating quiet for myself
because quiet generates clarity
and clarity makes space for intel
and intel leads me to desire and yes

this is what the waiting process is for
percolating is invisible work

and yet I also know that I am impatient
I need-want tenants for my empty house
I need-want some sort of plan for where I am going to go and when

what do I know about waiting for yes?

the wilds have disappeared
the wilds are my incoming selves who usually advise me
in all things
they say they won’t weigh in on anything until
I start advocating for my own yeses
instead of settling for half-yes
they are very insistent about this
and I get it
but also I miss them

who is the me who knows how to wait for yes?

there is a me who knows about the waiting that is
not passive
an active engaged waiting
like in dance
when you hang out at the end of the connection
waiting for new intel
always listening, always anchoring
using your feet like hands
caressing the ground while simultaneously pushing against it
expanding, lengthening, testing your tether
drawing energy from the earth
drawing your power from the anticipation
from the moment of sweet almost
right before the exhale and release

the arborist coined the word anticipice
[anticipation + precipice]
that is where I am now

at least that is where I am when I am not
hiding in bed
but hiding is a legitimate response to
big unknowns

how do I trust this waiting for yes?

maybe I practice with small yeses
this seat
that apple
this true-yes walk in the sun right now

part of me wants to retreat
until a yes reveals itself
(but where do you retreat when everything is falling all around you)
and part of me wants to strike out
to make something change
through making it react
to my spark-burst

wait for it….

what does it mean to be in search of surprise easy solutions

like a personal ad
eccentric 39 year old ISO surprise easy solutions
please direct your responses to the hollow in the big tree

searching through waiting
searching through listening
searching through allowing
searching through asking
searching through easing and releasing
searching through echoing and reverberating
searching through skipping stones across the water
searching through reaching out
searching through turning in

talk to me, me who knows how to wait for yes

she: invite yes in
me: how
she: the usual way
me: by taking care of myself?
she: yes and…
me: by asking
she: yes and
me: I have asked and yes isn’t here
she: then say thank you for each no, for each redirection
me: what next?
she: there is no next
me: great
she: no, it’s good, there isn’t any more you have to do
me: but the waiting is so uncomfortable
she: I know, babe, I’m sorry
me: this is just like…
she: now is not then, my love, I promise
me: I don’t know what to do
she: maybe buy your yes some flowers


me: ??
she: well, flowers make everything better
me: and then what
she: and then you’re interacting with your yes, even if you don’t know what it is yet
me: I think I do know it, I know parts of it, I just don’t see how any of it is possible
she: write it a love letter
me: I feel discouraged and disheartened
she: yes, that happens sometimes with love, and with life, it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, it just means that home and sanctuary are big life themes, and maybe not easy right now
me: tell me something reassuring
she: you, my dear, have had and are continuing to have a very interesting life, not boring for a second, and this will work out beautifully

use what you know

she: use what you know
me: I don’t understand
she: you know that quiet is the most important thing for you, so go with that
me: ….
she: you know so many things, you know how to turn inward, you know how to think like a dancer, you know how to be brave, you never settled and that gives you power, and now you are wishing for something settled in a new way, and this is all new for you and so of course it is hard, but that doesn’t undo your power, so use what you know
me: I don’t know how to wait though, waiting reminds me of [Then] when I waited too long and things got really bad
she: this is a very different, new kind of waiting, you get to choose the quality of your waiting, you can choose the waiting that feels hopeless but you can also choose the kind where it is full of anticipice….
me: so, basically, bring some sparkle into it?
she: the feelings (pain, fear) behind the Hopeless Sensation are very legitimate, and they’re also not a particularly useful filter for what’s actually happen, you are wise in these things, you know how to acknowledge them and make space for them to exist while still not letting them be the ones who get to tell this unfolding story


me: who gets to tell the story
she: what makes a good story?
me: not knowing what is going to happen
she: exactly, see? we’re already killing it at this story
me: okay, so really all we need now is snacks, and to look forward to the next episode
she: our protagonist has spoken and is correct, expectancy is a very sparkly thing
me: I can work with this

what do I want to try while I wait for my yeses

costume changes
intentional naps
second breakfast
flowers, of course
visiting quiet places
mapping it out
imagining what could be
laughing more
wanting more
wait for it…

may it be so!

what do I know about my wish this week

it is helping me develop the superpowers of I Hear My Yes
and the superpowers of I Will Spirit You Away To A Villa
and this is good


I asked the people I like most to sell me on a new place to live
and they are making entertaining arguments in favor of
wherever they are
or wish they were
arizona, central florida, massachusetts, south dakota

a sign in the cafe where I am
escaping the construction noise
is recommending Castle Rock
there’s one in washington (the state directly to my north)
and one in colorado
I can’t imagine I’d like to live in either
but I like how castle = [home + sovereignty]
and rock = [power + steadiness]
so I will take these qualities as my clues
and glow thank you in my heart

superpower of knowing that pleasure is healing


february on the 2016 fluent self calendar was the door of SANCTUARY, and march is the door of LUSCIOUSNESS, which comes with the glowingly important superpower of knowing that pleasure is healing

thank you, past me
for naming this month
and reminding me of this superpower
which is exactly what I need most right now


this is the last chance to acquire a pack of stone skipping cards
because I’m moving out and won’t have anywhere to store them
or the shipping materials
so get them this week,
and while you’re at it, sign up for the not-exactly-a-course
where we embark on establishing a loving playful practice of self-inquiry,
to access previously-hidden gems of internal wisdom
and whatever else we might need
dates coming soon!

if you want bulk packs of cards, we can do that too!
one pack is $22
or buy three and get one free
or buy five and get five free
because this is the time to let these go

now is also a very good time to
express appreciation for this magical space,
you can do that by acquiring anything in the soon-to-be-gone shop
or by giving to Barrington’s Discretionary Fund
(here is an explanation of what that is)
and that is a way to give what you like and glow a thank you
knowing that this stream of appreciation
is what makes this place hum

last week’s wishes

two weeks ago I wished a wish called the guild of the colorful silk parachute (the quite revolution)

I wished for a REVOLUTION, you guys, and I stand by that wish
it feels right
it feels important and right
and I am glad that I wished it
there is much more to do
to set up forms and figure out how this could look
thank you everyone for your warmth, enthusiasm, appreciation and fierce shared joy
it means so much to me

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share anything sparked for you while reading

or if you have APPRECIATION for this space, I would love that

deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, intel, possibly in code

safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving

wishes are never late because whenever you wish is the right time for wishing

here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: oh, wow what beautiful wishes