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 331st consecutive week of wishing, come play!


I love the faith I have in myself
even when wildly unjustified

as evidenced by all the times
words come to me wanting to be written down
but The Game Is Rigged
and does not always allow time for the sitting-and-writing part
so I jot a note for future me,
positive it contains all she could possibly need

and then when it is the time for writing,
I puzzle over the clues in the note
— once a a poem in the form of a grocery list
with no idea what it means
but filled with so much love towards past-me
who believed in my ability to connect the dots


cozy with ginger tea
warm orange sweater
and Patsy Cline
ready to write this week’s wishes
holding a wonderfully cryptic note from last-week me:

Cornbread vs the Iditarod

I am almost giddy in love with past me
what a magnificent title
it reads like a lost Richard Brautigan novel
or the title of an especially surreal episode
of a beloved television show I haven’t discovered yet

do I know what it means though
these are good clues
I can work with these
so let’s explore
maybe I will arrive at the place last-week me had in mind
or somewhere even better

raising my glass to
the superpower of “and maybe even something better…”


I had a cup and a half of buttermilk left over
from making luscious life-altering butter
and a bag of organic cornmeal appeared on the shelf
so I baked cornbread
wondering why I never bake cornbread

but then once there was cornbread
I remembered:
cornbread is not a true yes food for me
even when made with love and quality ingredients

the SCENT is joy sparks
slathering BUTTER ON THINGS is joy sparks
but the cornbread experience itself,
meh, I just don’t care about cornbread

I am wondering what else in my life
is cornbread

the yes and the not-yes

for some reason this is something we never talk about,
the combination of joy and not-joy
and how we make choices towards joy
when things are so mixed
and we are so busy

when I was involved with someone not good for me,
once upon a time,
many aspects of our connection were very, very yes:
adoration, treasuring, love, chemistry, pleasure, practice, the desire to be deeply present

and I let those hold so much value
I gave them permission to eclipse
the parts that were very not-yes
the jealousy, the suspicion and accusations, the flashes of blind anger,
the hurtful words

once that lovely enveloping intoxicating freshly baked cornbread scent cleared
and I stopped slathering butter everywhere
it was pretty clear
that you can’t actually receive nourishment or joy
from something that is not what you need

and that I was scared to say no to the no
and lose the parts that were yes

I keep learning this: I can’t make excuses for cornbread to explain away its cornbread essence, this means finding the strength to say goodbye to things that don’t feed me, and this is not easy, especially because The Game Is Rigged, and we were raised in a culture that places heavy emphasis on “making things work”


compassion for past-me who
really needed that experience of being treasured and loved
and didn’t know she could have that
without all the bullshit

compassion for havi of the big heart
who believed that if she just glowed enough love and trust
this person could work on their stuff and figure it out
that is still a very lovely thought even if it turned out not to be true
in this particular case

compassion for being someone who was raised to believe
that being loved means giving up on big parts of who you are,
how could she have known otherwise

compassion for anyone involved
in the constellations and configurations
of that connection and all connections
and for anyone caught in the crossfire
of unsovereign energy sparks

compassion given
as a given

that part is important

I was talking to a dance friend this week
he was deep in self-blame
about the realization that he’d been dating someone
because he was lonely and liked having someone to hold
and not because this person was his yes

so yeah, that’s a thing
we realize we’ve made a choice that isn’t true
to what we want
because part of it was what we wanted

but instead of being able to just say that:
x was yes
y was no
I let x have more weight than y
nothing is wrong

we make it about blame
when blame is so counterproductive and unnecessary
(which is not to say it’s not understandable)
(our culture thrives on the shame-blame game)

so here is what I want to say about that:

if insights about you aren’t kind towards you
they’re not really insights
there might be a beautiful kernel of truth in there
but it’s been seriously distorted in monster-filters

this is actually a big part of my current yes: I need to be around people who get this

the iditarod

I had the pleasure of hearing Libby Riddles speak once
having no idea how enthralled I would be

my favorite part was not her win
though good lord what an exciting and powerful story
my favorite part was after her first disastrous attempt in 1980,
she took four years to train
like her own personal olympics

think about the faith
with no money, no sponsorship, no training,
in an entirely male-dominated sport
she didn’t have running water or electricity
her village held a bake sale to raise the funds needed for her to enter
the race she won

I find this very appealing
naming an intentional container of spaciousness
in which to move towards something that matters to you

a form

the jealous ex had a dream/plan to go on
a three year retreat
more specifically:
three years three months three weeks three days
without any contact with anyone in the outside world
just meditation in seclusion

and while that would not be my yes for me
I love the shape of that container
what a beautiful amount of time for

a way to be the fields
and the seeds
and the water
and the sun
all together

that is really beautiful to me

what else do I know about this

I like things like this that have a shape,
space for a process
in which to sort out
what is my yes and what is less yes
and to actively choose towards things that support
my true yes joy spark life

my peacefulness
my well-being and bell-being
my ability to glow good things into the world
and inside of my own kingdom

the ingredients (for me)

  • designated time
  • designated (safe) space
  • spaciousness
  • ritual
  • pleasure
  • compassion, of course
  • turning inwards
  • luscious minimalism

relating differently
to myself
and my wishes
deep listening

joyfully self-granted permission
to never make cornbread
to have my internal iditarod training take place
somewhere sunny and quiet
it might involve lounging in a pool
there are pretty rocks there
basically it’s a lot of resting
and learning/relearning how to be someone who
chooses towards rest, yes and less
pleasure, treasure, and even more quiet

what do I know about my wish this week

It’s a wish about creating sanctuary
for myself / my wishes / my desires
the things I need both in my connection with myself
and in connections and love stories with others

doing this with intention
and playful presence
crown on,
breathing down to the root
true to the glowing jewel in my heart

it is related to a long-ago wish about flowers everywhere
and being someone who studies lights and lightness

what is my wish?

and: what is the relationship between cornbread and the iditarod

I think cornbread is an example of a thing I think
should be yes because aspects of it are yes
but the parts that are no make all of it a no

and the iditarod is an example of a thing I think
would be a huge obvious no for me
but actually holds some appealing elements
in the form of intentionality, training and desire
and so even though the thing itself is not yes
it holds enough yes for me
to invent my own shape

and then I can take elements from each

butter = pleasure, intentionality, joy, making, sustainability, doing things my way
slathering = pleasure, lusciousness, plenty, alchemy, transformation
training = presence, play, repetition, ritual, containers, form, desire, planting, growth

let them combine
into something entirely new
entirely mine
something that is a marvelous surprise

I can drop cornbread and the iditarod
into a compass of qualities
and let their yes-elements ripple out and interact
waiting for the new beautiful something to show itself to me

may it be so!


sitting in a dark booth across from agent emdee
she and I are both working on scary projects

I want to be dancing
this is both true right now
and also maybe this is my iditarod
without anything to win
just the training

in a way dancing is an escape
it gives me something to do that is not
sitting on the couch crying because the beautiful boy is not coming back
no matter how much I want to believe he could
he can’t

but if we add compassion
because insight without compassion is not useful and not actually insight
then the truth is this:
dance connects me to my body, to my joy body
it is how I remember joy
and find my way back to being a beacon and a bell
which is how healing works
so nothing is wrong

superpower of I do not dim my spark for anyone.

November - Glow More november (on the fluent self calendar) is GLOW MORE, with the superpower of I do not dim my spark for anyone

how perfect that my question which
answered itself above
just answered itself again with the calendar

the answer is to glow more
nothing that dims my spark (cornbread),
and a big joyful yes to things that support glow
in whatever form that currently takes
and the form is allowed to change because all things change
and glow more is the opposite of stagnation

thank you, past-me, for choosing this for me

last week’s wishes

I wished a wish about the release papers

this was a wonderful wish
it healed the november glums
and got me dancing again
and helped me understand some things about the
sweet bittersweet of chocolate and being a
(metaphorical) chocolate shop owner

and it reminded me about the importance of clearing things out
for clarity

and you are invited to come by our a FLASH SALE (password: sweetdoors) and you should peek while it’s still happening!

thank you, process of writing about wishes, and thank you, me who asked

invitation: come play with me…

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

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

The Fluent Self