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

Each week I write a Very Personal Ad (aka Vision-Possibility-Anticipation) to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. Sometimes wanting feels conflicted or just plain hard, and that’s okay.

At the very least, useful noticings about my relationship with wanting. It all counts.

I have an image in my head.

I see a machine filled with dozens of colored bouncing balls.

It feels like a game. Is this how lottery tickets get picked? Or a game show? I’m not sure.

That is what my wishes feel like this week. There are so many of them, and they are all moving and colliding. I try to follow one and immediately bump into all the others and lose track.

I’ve been trying to track the bouncing balls for three days, and it isn’t happening, so I’m going to let all bounces of color be this week’s wishes: letting them move around in whatever ways they want.

I don’t have to know how they are interconnected, I don’t have to know what they mean. Just letting them move.

Either something will reveal itself or I will get better at allowing them to do their thing. Or both.

And maybe that is my wish, the wish behind the wishes.

What do I want?

I ran into some outrage this week.

Actually, I ran into some really intense sexism, and then a sense of frustration and helplessness, and then outrage.

I didn’t like it, any of those experiences.

One of the interesting things about being someone who doesn’t speak is that I can’t just react in the moment. I have to choose which situations deserve my time and energy. Is this worthy of a post-it note? If it isn’t, I don’t say it.

Silence requires a much more intense understanding of Not Everything Requires A Response, which is both a wonderful superpower and a guiding principle.

What I want is a way to speak up about things I care about, in a way that is clear, swift, compassionate, calm and filled with love.

What do I want?

It has to do with activism, and some things that are related to activism.

What do I want?

I want to be the Calmest Activist.

I want the superpower of Glowing Love In Response to Not-Love:

No matter how stupid, thoughtless or bigoted someone’s words are, I see that this is someone who is temporarily disconnected from themeselves and from truth/love. From truth-love.

And I respond (whether to them or inside myself) with truth-love. I fill up on love and compassion, and I glow love and compassion through my space and into the world, strengthening my own connection to life and aliveness.

I think this is called Grace. Another word that begins with G, and another form of glowing.

What do I want?

To rest into these superpowers as I move into activism. To combine activism with Living Quietly, which is also a form of activism.

My activism is internal: self-fluency, taking up space in my life, being the loving queen of my internal kingdom, bringing light to the corners. Occupying and decolonizing. Eliminating and illuminating.

And my activism is external: speaking out when it comes things I care about tremendously. Also: Creating deeply safe space/culture for play and practice. Like what we have here. The Playground (my center in Portland) and the Floop (my online community for practicing self-fluency) are spaces like this.

What do I want?

I want the superpower of working towards social justice while staying calm: Activism Without Anger. It is its own revolution.

Not that anger is a bad thing: anger can be very useful, and it is certainly full of information if we look there. This particular Revolution however has to do with making change from a starting point of deep, steady, trust-filled calm.

What do I want?

It has to do with clean, clear, healthy boundaries.

And it might also have to do with finding a way to exclude certain elements in order to be more welcoming of other ones.

Or: to exclude behaviors in order to be more welcoming of qualities. I’m not sure. Still figuring that out.

So it also has to do with insights about healthy boundaries.

What do I want?

I want to institute (my new favorite verb) some changes in my fishing village, which is also an institute (noun).

It is the weirdest thing, teaching people to fish.

You know what they say: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Sure, fine, that’s a starting point. It isn’t necessarily the answer though.

Teaching individuals how to fish is a very time-consuming way to make sure the world gets fed. It also reinforces the construct that there is something special about me, the person who already knows how to fish, and it doesn’t support an experience of us being equals who are sharing in something.

So instead of being a teacher — a “let me show you the five best ways to fish” teacher, I’m more interested in creating a community where fishing happens. Everyone in the village goes fishing together and delights in each other’s company.

People watch how I fish and they invent their own techniques that suit them. We play together. We make sure the world is fed. That’s how my fishing village works, and it’s been working great, and now it is time to institute some changes.

What do I want?

Let me pause here because I don’t actually want fishing as metaphor: it doesn’t feel sustainable, and also I don’t want to harm any fish.

So F.I.S.H. is going to stand for Forschungs Institut for Sustainable Healing.

Forschung is German for research. It’s a research institute, and the fishing lines are threads where we investigate self-fluency and sustainable healing. We work on our stuff. We play with our stuff.

We institute change. At our institute.

The secret name of my institute is Graceland. It is a place to experience Grace.

It is a place to respond through not responding, to interact with love, to fill up on my thank-you heart

“I said hey senorita, that’s astute I said why don’t we get together and call ourselves an institute…” — Paul Simon

What do I want?

To find a loving response (whether out loud or not) for someone who is upset that he doesn’t have any fish, and sees no connection between his lack of fish and his refusal to go near the water or be involved in any aspect of the work of fishing.

That person can choose to blame the institute for their fishlessness. I can make space for that.

And, at the same time, in order for the fishing village to be a safe place to practice fishing, we can’t have people there who aren’t respectful of the culture.

The culture of fishing and of our village says:

You can learn by observing, by listening, by playing or by fishing itself. You can learn by asking, by trying, by swimming, by whispering to the fish. You can fish how I fish, and: you don’t have to. You can invent your own ways, or be inspired by someone else’s. The only thing that matters: take responsibility for your fishing.

What do I want?

I love having a fishing village. I take great pleasure in my own Forschung into Sustainable Healing. I take even more pleasure in observing other people fish. I delight in their creative solutions. I rejoice over their metaphorical fish.

Here’s another thing though: I don’t get paid to run the fishing village.

Which is my responsibility.

It is partly because the fishing village is very expensive to run, and mostly because of my habit of letting all proceeds go to the part of the river that seems to need them the most.

That is something I need to do some more fishing on, so I can do some Sustainable Healing with it. It is My Stuff, and I take responsibility for having made choices over the past few years that weren’t in support my own well-being.

Anyway, on days when it is pleasurable to have a fishing village, which is most of the days, I don’t really mind that I don’t get paid. If someone shows up and dumps on me because think they haven’t learned how to fish even though they haven’t participated in or even observed any of the thousands of fishing expeditions, I suddenly lose interest.

So I want to decide what to do about this.

Where/how do I want to start?

Putting it here. Processing at the Floop. Skipping lots of stones at Rally. Trusting that this is good. It is good that this is happening now. Whatever I choose will be useful.

Trusting as well that it is good that this week’s wishes took an extra four days to come to the surface. Trusting that All Timing Is Right Timing.

Anything else coming up?

I am asking for a Perfect Simple Solution, to all of this.

What are the qualities of my wish?

Same as last time.

Calm. Steadiness. Peacefulness. Trust. Composure. Delight. Play. Readiness.

And the superpowers of Safety First, and I Can’t Do This Wrong Because All Results Of An Experiment Are Useful.

What would help me move forward on this? How am I going to play?

Interviewing slightly-future-me who has already made progress on this.

Asking her for advice.

Drawing a crown and a heart on my palm. Thinking: Crown. Heart.

What is my clue?

Honey. It’s on my necklace.

Anything else?

H is for HAT!

Dancing mice, wearing hats.

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat dreams. Things I’m working on, or might be, someday…

  • May Peacefulness Prevail!
  • Announcements.
  • Everything is getting easier.
  • Miracles everywhere.
  • Regular gigs at the ballroom, which is also the Spiegelsaal.
  • This doesn’t require my input!
  • Ha, it’s so perfect that it turned out like this.
  • Past me is a GENIUS.
  • I have what I need, and I appreciate it.
  • There is money for this.
  • Trust and steadiness. I can see why this moment is good.
  • Hawaii.
  • I am fearless and confident, and I do the brave things and give myself sparklepoints, and it is not even a big deal that I did the brave things but I still get sparklepoints, yay.

This week’s ops?

I completed last week’s op: finishing the almost-done Last Hat. I haven’t done anything with it, and I suspect it is because I am not completely sure I want a fishing village. Having a fishing village brings me great joy, so of course I want it, and at the same time I don’t unless the boundaries change, so I need to figure that out.

I’m playing with…

“What is the wockawock? Whose wockawock is it? What opportunities/treasure does this wockawock provide?”

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka a different kind of letting go…

My wish had to do quitting W and not W-ing anymore. Of course the first thing I noticed is that I do pretty much nothing but W, and that I have been in training for W for my entire life.

I had some huge moments of success with this over the past week, and some huge moments of realization about how pervasive W is in my life.

I had a big understanding, thanks to Monsieur LeBlanc of the Other Agency, that Shame is basically backwards-W, it is W-ing towards the past. And that the antidote to W is presence and glowing.

It is getting easier for me to not-W. For example, I am not-W-ing right now about my fishing village that is an institute, even though I don’t know what my decision will be yet. Feeling hopeful and inspired. I can’t imagine how the release of W will continue to change my life, but I suspect it will be huge.

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Keep me company?

Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, visions, personal ads. Small or large. In any form you like, there’s no one right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play.

Let’s throw some things in the pot! And, as always, Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.