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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.


Visions #226: when wanting is hard

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

Each week I write these Visions of Possibility and Anticipation 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!

Wanting is such a funny thing, isn’t it.

Such a funny, complex, highly-charged thing.

I have been doing this ritual every week for four and a half years now, and I keep re-discovering just how loaded it is to want something.

Sometimes the wishes that seem incredibly simple can be the most fraught.

Desire is about identity and change. All kinds of Stuff hiding out in there.

Anyway, this week I thought my wish was a straightforward one — it has to do with a gym bag that has particular characteristics.

A gym bag. What’s the big deal, right? An obtainable and relatively inexpensive item that could make a number aspects of my daily life both easier and more congruent.

I made some notes about the bag, and then ran smack into an ambush of what seemed like hundreds of different monsters, including some familiar faces like You Are A Spoiled Brat and Why Can’t You Just Make Do.

And a very quiet one, more like a wall, who believes that Wanting Is Dangerous, and that this one in particular should be kept under wraps.

So I was sitting patiently with the wall, getting to know it, because the wall is not the impediment to the destination, and stuff got a little weird, as it sometimes does.

I kept with it, because I believe hard in the transformative power of rabbit holes. Especially when the monsters start jumping up and down and yelling, “Distraction! Procrastination!”.

Yup. That’s definitely a sign I’m onto something important.

I discovered some deep identity stuff that had to do with PLACE. Or: with being at home in my life, in the context of living in a particular place.

It started with one of my time gremlins saying if I had a car, I wouldn’t need this bag to fill so many functions. And if I had a car, I wouldn’t need to live in Portal Land, because one of the reasons for Portal Land is that it is a great place to be someone who doesn’t want a car.

Not that I’m leaving Portal Land any time in the near future that I know of. I have a ten year lease on the imaginary chocolate shop, and I own a house, and my friends are here, and I love the bridges and the rivers and Rally. Mostly I love Rally. But I was seriously asking myself if living here is what I want, and I got there from the gym bag.

Do you see? Wanting is a big, complex thing. No wonder I avoid peeking at my wishes. They hold so much.

So let’s play. What do I want.

Starting with the qualities.

The reason this wish about the bag is so complicated is that the bag has become an accidental proxy for Big Questions About Identity And Purpose And Belonging.

Which is apparently what I need to be processing right now, and if it weren’t the bag, something else would be bringing this up for me.

So if it’s not about the bag (but it also is very much about the bag), what are the qualities I want in the bag?

Because I think it’s a safe bet that the qualities I want the bag to have will show me what I want in my life in general.

I want:

Ease. Spaciousness. Freedom. Options. Play. Pleasure. Delight. Glowing.

And…since desire is legitimate, what if it is okay for me to want these things, in a variety of different forms?

And then maybe a name for it.

Gym bag is kind of funny, since I don’t actually go to a gym.

I take a lot of dance classes. And I like to get down on the floor to have/be yoga, and I also like to dress like Bond Girl, so I require a couple of different clothing options at all times.

Plus I don’t have any positive associations with gym bags.

If I metaphor mouse this, my associations with [gym bag] include things like +sweaty, +gross, +heavy, +weighed down, +bulky, +inelegant.

The thing I want is not like that. The thing I want is sleek, sexy, easy to use, saves me time and doesn’t hurt my shoulder. It is its own kind of costume. And it is a home for things that need homes.

What does this make me think of? Well, spies need to be prepared. Mission-ready. This bag is about being mission-ready. And feeling comfortable and confident while embarking on whatever adventures are in store.

This bag is an ally for me. It is packed by Barrington. It exists to help me, and I want to meet it.

It might not have a name yet, but it will.

Details about the Bag That Does Not Yet Have A Name.

It does a variety of things.

It has to have a separate compartment to hold my dance shoes. Ideally two separate compartments, one for dance shoes and one for socks and sports bras. Yes, plural.

It needs outside pockets, so I have easy access to pen and paper if I need.

It needs to close, and it needs to be waterproof, because I live in Portal Land.

It needs to be able to hold a water bottle, notebook, change of clothes, and possibly a few other things.

I have bags that do these things, and the one I was using this morning fits this description. But walking with it for twenty minutes to the bus stop hurts my back.

It can’t be a purse or even a cross-body bag, because sometimes I’m carrying a lot of things, and I can feel my shoulders reacting to the weight. It really needs to be a backpack or something super comfortable to wear.

But also be attractive and sexy. Oh hi there, You Are Never Satisfied With Anything monsters.

Anything else I know about this?

I often think that what I want (whatever it happens to be) is impossible, and that I am the only person who has a need for it.

I want to remind myself that someone has already invented this. It exists. It is obtainable. And it probably isn’t a big deal, it only feels like it is because so much is tied up in the wanting.

So there it is. What I am really wanting (the want behind the want) is permission to want seemingly disparate things. I want to believe, always, that many things are possible. I want to remember that there are options and perfect simple solutions. And that it is okay for me to wish for them.

What might help?

Throwing it all into the pot. Wearing a costume. Interviewing the me who has solved this.

Treating it like another element of going on missions.

Asking you guys for recommendations and links to look at.

What I want.

Some of these are secret agent code or silent retreat. Some are qualities and some are dreams. Some are re-asks and some are pre-wishes: tiny seeds for future processing.

  • Progress on the ops!
  • 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.
  • I can see why this moment is good.
  • Trust and steadiness.
  • Hawaii.

This week’s ops?

This week might be about finishing up the dossier of The life of a Chocolatier, and it might be about the Book of Salves. It is definitely still about borders/boundaries, and about dancing.

I’m playing with…

Dance. Nap. Bath. Tea. Compass. Spirals. Taking care of myself.

Requests and announcements!

This year’s 26 Rallies are mostly full, but there are eight Rallies that have openings. Take a look at the new page…

I would also like support for our magical Red Rose Ballroom — likes on Facebook is great, as is spreading the word to anyone you know who might want to have an event, program, party, anything at all in Portland…

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka I want to write…

I wrote at Rally. Not any of the writing I thought I’d do, but other writing. Different writing. I skipped a lot of stones, and that was amazing.

And I learned some incredibly useful things about Eve Wild, who is Rocker Me, who is the me that Honey the Bounty Hunter was searching for.

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

Playing. Shelter for the comments.

What’s welcome: Your own wishes, gwishes, visions and personal ads, small or large. Updates on past ones if you like. Things sparked for your own process.

I’m receptive to warm wishes for the things I’m working on and playing with.

We ask for what we need, and we give each other space and spaciousness for the process.

This is a place of safety for creative play and exploration, with a very non-dogmatic approach. We don’t tell each other how to ask for things and we don’t give unsolicited advice. We play.

That’s it. Let’s throw a bunch of things in the pot!

As always, amnesty applies. Leave a wish here any time you want.


14 Responses to Visions #226: when wanting is hard

  1. seagirl says:

    Good wishes for finding the perfect bag!

    I got out the Spreadsheets and looked at them. (Not a metaphor.) They are the starting point on the map. We do not say “Oh, how horrible it is that we are in Biloxi, let us lament about how we got here and we will probably have to live in the bus station forever.” No. We just plug in the coordinates of where we want to go, and then use the map to figure out how to get there.

    What I Want:
    For the right people along the way.

    For me to be the best me I can be on the blind date tomorrow night. And to not flee.

    For all the little numbers to get big and fat.

    For people and places to keep saying “we are interested.”

    To remember that not everything requires an answer and that when people say things that inflame my emotions in that situation I should just excuse myself to the bathroom instead of being rude and trying to make a point in a bar.

    And I want to hit my projected revenue goal this month. And next.

  2. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    Wow, synchronicity!

    I also need a perfect bag, but for my camera as well as paper & pens, and snacks, water bottle, and sunglasses. But sometimes I want to bring a big notebook, like for a conference, and my smaller bags are not the right shape & volume to allow that. A backpack would be excellent because I also have a shoulder issue.

    Fun colors & patterns are not optional.

    Beyond that, though, I’m dealing with my own wants, and the distractions that keep me from figuring out how to accommodate them. Which I wrote about, literally, right before I came over here!

    Havi, if you find the right gym bag, please let us know. (Maybe they have camera-ish bags too.)

    I’m not quite where you are, with giving myself permission to want things like Ease. Spaciousness. Freedom. But I am addressing Play. Pleasure. Delight. And Joy.

    I’m really enjoying this journey.
    Pqw-orange recently posted… taking myself seriously, part 2

  3. Sarah
    Twitter: sarahneedles

    Havi, I am a big fan of everything MEC makes. They have a line of comfortable, streamlined and non-bulky daypacks that are waterproof and practically indestructible. Perhaps your bag is here? http://www.mec.ca/shop/hiking-daypacks-and-slings/50131+50587/

    – For the ship to keep sailing straight and true.
    – For a gentle, quick recovery from this icky cold.
    – Space to recover from finishing [y] and welcome it as part of the process

    Into the pot for this week:
    – Interview incoming-me who already knows everything about [x] and has a map
    – Talk to the monsters about our treasure cave, and why it might not need to look like they think it should
    – Writing, writing writing
    – Shedding everything. This skin is too tight and heavy.
    – Be curious about being sick this week. Find out what is behind the STORY of gloom.

    Warm wishes for everyone’s week!
    Sarah recently posted… November First

  4. Mary Tracy
    Twitter: MaryTracy

    I have no useful gym bag suggestions, though I do wanna share this. In my experience, buying a bag is a huge, huge deal. It’s so tied in with how you live your life and how you look and who you are vs who you wish you were.

    So. I offer my understanding of the huge adventure buying a bag can turn into.
    Mary Tracy recently posted… I wish I wasn’t a zombie

  5. VickiB says:

    Now that we have these long dark evenings, I want to get cozy with myself, my house, and my projects. The qualities I want are in the dictionary definition below!

    Cozy: giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation; (of a transaction or arrangement) working to the mutual advantage of those involved.

    And I want to continue to do All The Fun Things. With ease and delight.

  6. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    There are two tasks that I want to accomplish this week. They are both scary. I understand why one is scary, but not the other. Why doesn’t matter, though; they’re both allowed to be scary.

    What I want is simply to accomplish these two tasks.

    No, hang on a minute. While I’m at it, I wish to accomplish these tasks playfully, with ease and grace, because why not? I will use the tools I have, and be curious, and see what happens.
    Kathleen Avins recently posted… Reflection on re-invention (and raiment).

    • Clare says:

      What I want:

      The feeling of yes, this is perfect timing to last
      yes’s all round but I’ll take maybes and even ‘no but how about that but different’
      serenity in the face of oncoming horde of monsters
      bemused surprise when the monsters don’t turn out in the projected numbers
      Ballsy business woman me and her no nonsense attitude
      discipline and trust

      thank you havi for showing me how to befriend my monsters

  7. Heidi Fischbach
    Twitter: curiousHeidiHi

    Havi! xoxo! And everybody! xoxo

    I am forever losing my keys. Well, usually they don’t end up being lost-lost, but, pretty much always I have a moment (at best) or several minutes (at worst) of panic wherein I need them and can’t, for the life of me, find them. What follows is a somewhat frantic (even if just secretly inside myself) groping of pockets and digging in the bag… At this point in my life this story of me and my keys is pretty ingrained in a very unpleasant way, and can I just tell you that I once almost broke up with my boyfriend because I gave him a hotel key to be the keeper of given my bad relationship with keys, and he –wait for it– lost it. Not just for-a-moment-lost-it, but an actual honest to goodness never-found-lost-it. That was, shall we say, not a good day. Amazingly, we recovered. But still, STILL! Your want of a perfect-for-you bag made me think of this thing I have with my keys and that, after all these years of curiosity and awareness practice with the perplexing and hard things, I have never gotten curious about my almost-not-on-speaking-terms relationship with my keys. Wow. So anyway, thank you, Havi! I hereby carve out a little nook of curiosity in my Heidi-self for this thing that is my keys and all that might be related to that. And also some curious wondering about whether I might not also want a perfect-for-me bag.

    And now, my gwish-want for my business, Heidi’s Table, this month: I made a wee video to attract more just-right-for-me people. Specifically I’d like to attract 8 just-right new clients who will become long-term clients. Just right? People who appreciate the comfort, the sweetness, the care, the overall feel-goodness that is massage therapy for their whole dear selves. People for whom my touch and my presence are just-right, not just for the first time they come (in response to my special offer in November) but on a regular basis thereafter. (The video is in my last blog post http://heidistable.com/comfortable-skin/)

    Lots of love all around! Oh, and, Seagirl? I’m thinking of you on your blind date tonight. Oh the adventure that is dating!
    Heidi Fischbach recently posted… Comfortable in your own skin. (Or, what I want even more than getting rid of your pain in the neck!)

  8. Luisa says:

    It’s been about two years since I commented or visited the fluent self. It’s a coincidence that I wrote about ‘wanting’ in my journal today and that I felt compelled to visit your blog.
    I think I will try your exercise, start with the qualities of what I want, the details, the name, etc.
    I stuggle with the “You Are A Spoiled Brat and Why Can’t You Just Make Do.” monster oh so very much.
    Luisa recently posted… Where I am with WordPress and web development.

  9. Max Daniels
    Twitter: maxdaniels

    Oh, golly, I wish you luck with the bag. I hope I’ll see it at my next Rally!
    Max Daniels recently posted… Wayfinder’s Quest Post #91: A good cry is like a good declutter. And vice versa.

  10. Marialena says:

    I hope you find the perfect bag, Havi, and please let us know what it is if you do. As you described what you needed, my head nodded, yup and yup and yup! And also space for cameras, and for notebooks, and maybe laptops.

    Best wishes to all for the week!
    Marialena recently posted… A new galaxy and an old painting tell us about the creation of the universe

  11. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt

    This week it is mostly about travel and movement and other people.

    I want an easy way to get a bike that can’t be ridden from one side of the city to the other.

    I am meeting new people tomorrow and I want to be the best self I can be for that.

    I want to cast on and cast off. I want to tie up and to release.

    I want rest. I want time to write. I want to give myself space just to be.
    Kathleen Jowitt recently posted… Renaissance Woman

  12. Questing Lee says:

    First VPA, because I now have the Superpower of All Experiments Are Useful And Valid. And because I realized that “Oh, VPA’s are just Want Ads!” (said like the cute lemur says, only happily, not scared, “Eets a Cook book!) Visioning of possibilities and anticipation looked way more advanced than I could handle. Just a second, I have to settle some Voices from deep in the Monster Closet heckling me about not twigging on sooner…and one saying I’m doing myself an injustice when I think I’m not ready to use a certain tool…and another saying I am not ready to VPA yet.
    Okay. I’ve told them I understand it now and my timing is Perfect! I hug Perfectomundo, the former monster who now reminds me that I am perfect and perfectly human as I am now.
    But they are just Voices, not Monsters Of Doom, and they are not showing themselves when I turn on the house lights (to mix the Metaphor of the Theater with the Metaphor of the Monster Closet). Oops, so when I have the serious conversation with them, they will be in the dark.

    Continuing Gwish #2 – That The Dude get a job that suits him

    Weekly VPA’s:
    A – Qualities I want: energy and smoothness for the next 4 days to see me through the meetings and appointments that also include New People, Other People’s Stuff, my body and Spending Money. And I also want comfy, cozy rest.

    B – That one about Things Turning Out Better Than My Wildest Dreams

    The 3 Rally Gwishes
    1 – Learn to do shiva nata
    2 – Honor everyone’s sovereignty
    3 – Learn about the compass
    Questing Lee recently posted… Visions #226: when wanting is hard

  13. The right ‘bag’ is crucial for all of us spies, crime-fighters, do-gooders, superheroes, sidekicks, and (gasp) villians. What you put in your ‘bag’ is almost as important as the existance of the ‘bag’ itself. Hopes, dreams, gwishes, aspirations, affirmations, regrets, desires, questions, answers, disguises, doubts, certanties, advice (good and bad), and, most of all, the energy to carry that bag at all times. Even when it’s heavy, when we’re alone or afraid or unfocused. Make your own bag or make a bag your own, and don’t forget to laugh. Frequently and a lot. Veritas et lux, Chuck

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