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 355th consecutive week of wishing, come play!


I found myself lurching awake at 3am
with one of those world-shattering, blindingly brilliant epiphanies
the kind you know is the answer
you weren’t even seeking
to [life, the universe and everything]
though you also suspect as you frantically scribble it down
this achingly important message might not make sense later
and even if it does, well, safe to bet
you won’t be sufficiently impressed


it’s the meaning of the words, the full-body reverberation of them
not the words themselves
but 3am-me knew that nothing could ever be more true
or more vital than these two words taken together:


there is no other answer
because that’s the answer
but can you sustain the charge of that moment of knowing

crown on and do less

my theme over the past week has been CROWN ON
a la Wayne and Garth: “Game On!”

the work of CROWN ON is equal parts useful and challenging
and once I started playing with this
I was immediately rewarded (ha) with
every possible opportunity to practice
because that’s how these things go

a small example

last week while doing some congruencing here
I came across an old FAQ page from maybe seven years ago
past-me had written the longest answer
to the people who ask us to remove or edit comments they’ve left here
about why we don’t do that
the explanation was warm and compassionate, written with so much love
and yet I unhesitatingly deleted the whole thing
because I remembered something that past-me didn’t trust yet
that the best answer to everything is pause-and-breathe,
trust people enough to let them resolve their stuff on their own,
and anyway, not everything requires a response


I love these reminders showing up everywhere in my life right now
helping me see something I did not realize before:
crown-on and do-less like to play together!
in fact they’re probably
skipping through the park right now
holding hands and laughing
pausing to admire the rainbow that visits the fountain

What do I know about Do Less?

it doesn’t come naturally (to me)
my mind requires steady practice to choose towards less
or even to remember that doing less is an option
it is amazing how many problems and challenges don’t need solving
if you just wait 48 hours

about 70% of our incoming emails are questions that
don’t need to be answered
I learned this years ago on a teaching trip to Berlin
the time difference solved all challenges each night
giving people time to answer their own questions while I slept
by the time I got around to them, there was nothing left to do

what if there is nothing that needs to be done
what if this is true in more situations than I think

I mean, very rarely is it necessary to take action
and the less I try to solve/fix/respond/smooth-things-over
the more powerful it is when I do take a stand in a moment that demands it

this is in part the answer to last week’s wish
see? I wished my wish, did nothing, and here’s the solution

the superpowers of less

do less is a marvelous way to practice sovereignty (crown on!)
because it combines the superpowers of

Love-More Trust-More (and trust love more!)
What If We Just Let This Situation Gracefully Resolve Itself
I Remember To Pause And Breathe
There Are So Many Ways This Could Work Out Without My Input
Look At Me Caring For The Beautiful Boundaries Of My Internal Kingdom

doing as much less as possible
is a wonderful way to challenge the rigging of the rigged game
but the rigging is also why
the practice of do less is so fraught

(let’s talk about rigging)

a commitment to live by Do Less
or even to explore living by Do Less
— even just whispering about this wish —
is vulnerable, intense,
and slightly-to-very terrifying
not only because it sets off the internal monster brigades
but especially when we remember that the rigged game rewards
a culture of do more
the rigged game is the inculcated mindset of
you are never doing enough

(because you are not enough)
(that’s what you’re supposed to think)


believing you are not enough, that’s what ensures you’ll be
too busy to rebel
too busy working your ass off
trying to achieve the unachievable
without even questioning whether or not it is your whispered heart-yes
to begin with

or you’ll give up on yourself,
thinking you’re failing at life
because the mechanisms of the rigged game
are so well disguised
we can’t even see that “winning” wasn’t an option to begin with

and here’s a fun paradox!
in order to illuminate the illusion we have to shine our own light
to shine with clarity and intention requires spaciousness and quiet
to claim more spaciousness and quiet for ourselves, we need to do less
no wonder culture wants to keep us busy and uncomfortable in our skin


it serves the rigged game
that we are constantly striving and never pausing to examine why
it serves the rigged game when we push and when we
chastise ourselves for
not pushing more or “enough”
and of course often there are real life consequences
to not demonstrating that we too are push-push-pushing like everyone else
still, it’s amazing, really, if you stop long enough to think about it
look at us chasing what we think are goals ahead of us
when it’s only horizon
horizon doing what horizon does best
hinting at a possibility of arriving
a gorgeous illusion

the rigged game depends on us believing that we can get there
if we just push more and harder
and we want to believe that if only we weren’t dealing with
[Situation X] or [Illness/Impairment Y] or [Interpersonal Relationship Z]
then sure we could just make it all happen
inbox zero and
spotless apartment and
a body that is more [this] and less [that]
on and on

trapped in comparison

as if there is some imaginary happier perfect version of us
living in some ludicrous impossible pinterest-instagram scenario
the kind where people with suspiciously great hair
lounge on suspiciously white sofas
mysteriously never spilling wine
on their perfectly tailored white garments
you guys, it’s a trap

what do I know

(1) there is always a Situation X at hand, that’s how life works

(2) all these things we are brainwashed to think are
both desirable and attainable
(if only we just keep pushing)
aren’t even necessarily things we want or need
even if they were achievable which, I mean, who knows,
but the game keeps us too busy to check in and find out

(3) as Orna says, everything that is against me is illusion
in yoga we call this maya, the thing that keeps us from seeing truth

(3.5) illusion is very compelling

(4) to release distortions and the untrue stories I habitually tell myself until they become the filters for all experience, I need to get quiet, turn inward, come home to breath and heartbeat and source-love

(5) so we’re back to less doing, more being
less striving, more allowing
less judgment, more curiosity

let’s eat pie

last night my friend the arborist texted me:
“today was a good day, as always, trusting, waiting,
wanting everything and expecting nothing, I could eat a pie”

this is what I want:

Wanting Everything While Expecting Nothing
Wanting Everything And Doing (Glorious Brave Intentional) Nothing
There Is Nothing To Solve
Nothing More Needs To Be Done
Trust And Wait and Do Nothing And Eat Pie

this is the spirit of crown on and do less
the spirit of love more trust more
yes, this is what I want

may it be so!


wishing wishes about Do Less, and yet/also:
I have three days to finish vacating my house
and deal with approximately seventy million related and unrelated tasks
so I need to find the peacefulness inside that conundrum
or the not-a-conundrum inside the conundrum
ah yes, everything that is against me is an illusion,
so it follows that there is no conundrum
it is up to me to bring the spirit of Do Less and Crown On into a busy day
not to postpone the wish until I’m “less busy”
(because believing that will happen is the rigged game too)
(and believing that I will be happier when that happens is also rigging)

I have this sweet moment now
to breathe in life and appreciate life
to stroke the beautiful wood grain of this table, let my jaw soften,
welcome myself in this moment
and this is how a moment changes
I do less inside of it
and give myself more

the superpower of beautifully supported

ah here we are in April, the month of ROOTS
and oh how I need this superpower of
Beautifully Supported
thank you, past-me, for being such a good namer and calling this into being

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called do-overs forever

and in a way today’s wish solves the question that troubled me last week, I can do less (wait and trust) and take steps (crown on), and there is no contradiction, because the contradiction was part of the illusion

so here’s to doing wonderful less, and to doing less, wonderfully
all the while full of wonder

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share appreciation or 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