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 351st consecutive week of wishing, come play!

the river of grief

there are questions that work with grief
and there are questions that do not work with grief
why am I so sad, for example, is not a particularly useful question
unless of course it leads me to remember
that of course I do not need to know the reason
grief just is
and grief is layered
loss reminds us of loss reminds us of loss
and sometimes one tiny unexpected pain-moment of [missing] or [gone]
conjures up a portal
and oh there it is again, the rushing river
the one I am always so reluctant to approach
for fear it will sweep me away forever

and yet
sitting quietly, a safe distance from the river,
wrapped in a warm blanket
watching water be water
and letting the flow flow
saying to myself
yes my love, it makes sense that we are here again
there are reasons
and sitting by the river even when we don’t want to be here
is another way we say yes to life
this helps

this helps

permission, acknowledgement, legitimacy
these are the doors to taking care of myself
these are the doors to self-treasuring

yes, my love, you are allowed to have a good falling-apart
whether or not you know what loss you are mourning in this moment
(and whether or not the monsters think it’s frivolous —
they whisper: get over yourself already, pull yourself together!)
have there not been enough hard things in this life
in this week
are not tears or this tight constricted absence-of-tears
an understandable reaction to
anything, really

permission, acknowledgment, legitimacy
rinse and repeat

the list of questions/likely suspects

  • oh, have awful things been happening in the world? ohmygod yes
  • and am I a person who unknowingly picks up on pain in the environment and tries to carry the pain of the world? uh huh!
  • have I been reading about these things or seeing links/references? probably
  • or have I been spending time with people who have? sure
  • is now reminding me of then? seems likely
  • have I been online soaking up everyone’s energy? sighhh-yes
  • am I anywhere near moon time? hahahahahaha!
  • is the pain/sorrow/grief/numbness I am currently experiencing something that truly belongs to me or is it possible/likely that I’m carrying other people’s sadness and it’s all being amplified? ah good point
  • can I release any pain that is not mine and is not from right now into the magical elevator/mine shaft? into the river? into the molten core of the earth to be transformed? mmmm that’s a little better
  • are circumstances challenging right now for [reasons]? and no, monsters do not get to answer this question, this question is directed towards the me who can see clearly, or, if a close friend were in this situation, how many reasons would I see for why it totally makes sense that they’d be falling apart? ah, right
  • am I well-rested and generally getting the things I need that help me be the most high-functioning stable calm self I can access? I don’t even know how to answer that question, so okay, that’s good intel!
these can sometimes be useful questions (for me)

what would svevo do

that’s another question that is helping
svevo is my wise and wonderful uncle
who takes three naps a day
and does not know how to hurry or worry, because
“traditionally the ROI on worry is very low”
what would svevo do?

go outdoors
prepare food lovingly
pet a dog
smile at people
do some yoga poses on a rug in front of the fire
work on a writing project
sit by a tree
trust more

Let X = E

I am in transition mode right now and I don’t like
being in transition
I miss having a place to put my clothes
and that rug by the fire feeling

so I am solving for X
solving the mysteries of X
and looking for Es
by which I mean looking for Ease
let X = Ease

what will bring in more ease
there’s a question

what do I already know about X

that is to say: what do I already know about Es
E is for…

Emptying, Entry, Effervescence, Equanimity, Emergence, Embarking, Essence, Ease

and many other good things
E is for echoing
this feels important

what supports good echoing?

white space
sitting with the void /sitting with the river
turning inward
removing external sources of noise
being in the mind-state of resonance, reverberation, bell-ness
exquisite self-care
the right questions
that are like skipping stones across the water

what else do I know about ease

acknowledgment, legitimacy and permission
letting the hard be hard (because it is)
is what opens the door to ease and Es
not fighting
not giving up
just noticing: yes, this thing that is hard
is indeed very hard
and I don’t like it and I don’t have to like it,
and I don’t have to like the fact that
I don’t like that I don’t like it
because I am allowed to feel what I am feeling
(and not like it! so there!)
here I am, river
here I am, feelings

I am not the river
and I am not the feelings
I am my own wise wild being, bravely engaging in
conscious interaction with the river and the feelings
and this moment
by letting it all exist

and letting things exist
is the secret to letting them exit

this way to Ease/Es

{I am pausing here to walk through the park and look for clues}

this was a good plan
tree magic + fresh air + happy dogs + tiny children
magnolia leaves
feeling feet on the ground
I am here

the walk told me:
shed stories
like a snake shedding skins
what more can you shed
let go of the stories

the walk told me to notice what is beautiful now
I feel much better having moved and breathed
that’s probably what svevo would have done too

what else brings Ease?

the usual things
asking questions, for example:
what enhances my ability to experience my light, and what diminishes it?
taking care of myself
plenty (for example, in the form of flowers or fruit)
fewer projects
more explorations
especially the internal kind
not saying yes to things that are clearly not-joy
following the protocol (apply extreme self-care!)
turning away from the loud goings on of the world
finding out what I want and need in this moment
right now
hand on my heart
eight breaths

what else are Es

elements: stone, earth, air, water, fire
elegance and efficiency of movement
effortlessness (releasing effort)
ending what needs to be ended
energy (releasing what is not mine, protecting what is mine)
enveloping (sanctuary)
ears (listening)
exceptions (secret doors)

how does this relate to my secret yes

last week I found a secret yes
and then I lost it again
and now I am unsure
especially as I spent this past weekend
trying to follow yeses and then compromising on not-yeses

if I listen now
really listen
what do I hear
when I breathe
ask and breathe

what is my yes
to be loved
what is my yes
to love myself
what is my yes
to be free
what is my yes
to free myself
what is my yes
to see beauty everyday
what is my yes
to make it easier on myself to cherish myself
what is my yes
to stop hiding
what is my yes
to shine and glow
what is my yes
to be paid to write and to write what I want to write
what is my yes
to be a great liver (verb, not organ) of life!
liver-and-lover of life

may it be so!

what do I know about my wish this week

still related to the superpowers of the past few wishes:
I Hear My Yes
and also the powers of I Will Spirit You Away To A Villa
(something my B said)
I can look for the Ease or I can look for the Es
either way,
it all comes back to listening
with love


my body is craving music and movement, and yet
I don’t want to go dancing tonight
craving shelter, sanctuary, quiet, alone
maybe stretching using the wall
maybe some Old Turkish Lady yoga
cradling knees to chest
yawning extending expanding
(more Es and forms of ease)
I will form forms of ease
yes that sounds better
Es by candlelight

superpower of knowing that pleasure is healing


february on the 2016 fluent self calendar was the door of SANCTUARY, and march is the door of LUSCIOUSNESS, which comes with the glowingly important superpower of knowing that pleasure is healing

thank you, past me
for naming this month
and reminding me of this superpower
which is exactly what I need most right now


last chance to acquire a pack of stone skipping cards
because I’m moving out and won’t have anywhere to store them
or the shipping materials
so get them this week,
and while you’re at it, sign up for the not-exactly-a-course
where we embark on establishing a loving playful practice of self-inquiry,
to access previously-hidden gems of internal wisdom
and whatever else we might need
dates coming soon!

if you want bulk packs of cards, we can do that too!
one pack is $22
or buy three and get one free
or buy five and get five free
because this is the time to let these go

now is also a very good time to
express appreciation for this magical space,
you can do that by acquiring anything in the soon-to-be-gone shop
or by giving to Barrington’s Discretionary Fund
(here is an explanation of what that is)
and that is a way to give what you like and glow a thank you
knowing that this stream of appreciation
is what makes this place hum

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called welcoming surprise good news

I want to wish that wish every week now
because oh wow so much surprise good news!
it was kind of amazing
and now let’s add Ease to the good surprises…

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

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

or if you have APPRECIATION for this space, I would love that

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

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