About the Gallery

Or: A Brief History of the Museum That Was, and how it became the New Gallery

The Fluent Self first came into being as a glowing spark in my heart in March of 2005. This website (and the name) followed a few months later.

Nearly twelve years later I’m amazed at what my beautiful spark of a tiny sweet thing has become. As someone whose thoughts and visions often come in the form of metaphor and symbols, I see this space in the form of a very large museum: full of awe, wonder, magic and planetarium-like magnificence.

Over the past years, I’ve shared nearly seventeen hundred works of art in the form of blog posts here, in addition to producing dozens of ebooks, workshops and retreats.

And then into the big wide world….

In 2010 we opened The Playground, a gem of a retreat center in Portland, Oregon, to be a gathering place for thoughtful creative people to spark collaborative magic and practice everything we think about here.

Five years and many hot buttered epiphanies later, the time came to close the doors and set off on Shmita, a form of sabbatical, to discover what my next yes might be, and investigate the mystery of hey is it even possible to run a truly sustainable online business.

My overflowing heart of appreciation

Being a museum director for the past nearly twelve years has been one of the great joys of my life, and the extraordinary community that has gathered here is everything to me.

To be honest, that might be the thing I’m most proud of, that somehow I designed space that allows for the kind of culture where seriously great people come to hang out.

Somehow we have managed to completely sidestep the toxic cesspool culture of [most of the rest of the internet] and make real safe space where the most incredible people show up to play, with so much warmth and with genuine kindness and appreciation for each other.

I have watched (and also experienced) beautiful friendships form here in the comments of posts. Some of my actual best friends I’ve met here. Maybe more like most of my friends. Danielle is in my life because she googled “techniques for procrastinating” in 2008 and discovered that I think that’s bullshit, and now I can’t even remember what a pre-Danielle world was like.

Joy and change.

Writing here, playing here, shared weekly rituals here — some of which have been ongoing for nearly four hundred consecutive weeks, all of these aspects of being a museum director have been treasure for me.

At the same time, the mysteries of sustainability are as yet unsolved. Sustainable in the sense of a) not burning out, b) generating enough income to live on, c) peaceful, good for the world, generating joy, contributing to all of us breathing deeper and taking better care of ourselves.

In all my experiments I have not yet found a good way to make this work, and too many people have donated too much time to this space without adequate compensation, something I’m not particularly proud of.

Thankful, yes, enormously so. But that isn’t what I want to model in the world. I don’t want to contribute to the rigged game by making it seem like I believe a museum is a viable business model.

* It MIGHT be, under some circumstances, I have a lot more to say about this, and will soon, in a piece I’m writing called Love Letter To A Museum Dreamer, which I will share with you when it is ready…

The museum that became a gallery…

A truth of life: everything ends. And at the same time, I am not ready to see this special space disappear.

So I called on all the superpowers of phoenix rising, and asked for a new form, and what I received in place of the museum is this gorgeous Gallery.

Instead of a museum with vast catacombs filled with hundreds and hundreds of posts, the Gallery showcases some of my favorite pieces in highly-curated rotating exhibits.

My plan is to take the next six months or so to see how I like being the director/curator of a gallery and conduct further experiments in sustainability.

You are invited to follow my explorations in the current exhibits and to enjoy everything in the gallery.

And, if you like, you can also join me and other Friends of The Museum in The Last Rally, where I plan to investigate these and other mysteries more thoroughly, and where you can work on and play with your own projects and mysteries.

In the meantime, it is with huge love that I invite you to explore the new gallery and all the treasure here.

Doors to the gallery exhibits are coming very soon – for now, come read the latest blog post.

Blowing all the kisses your way

Thank you for playing with me, for being here, for loving this space as much as I do, for your presence and sweetness and companionship and support. My thank-you heart is seriously overflowing.

The Fluent Self