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 341st consecutive week of wishing, come play!


lately I’ve had the sensation that I’m
playing three games of tetris at once:
with the objects in my house,
with dates and times on the calendar,
with changes in the business

seemingly endless congruencing and
reconfiguring, everything moving,
until it’s too much and my head starts to ache
and it’s back to bed

right now overwhelmed-me wants
two things: [safety/sanctuary/protection/shelter]
and access to my glow
and I want these things in combination
glowing protection
protected glowing

like Friday’s sweet salve

protected glow

not only do I want to protect
the quiet glow of my headspace
and the glowing orb in my heart
I have been flashing on an image
a delineated circle around me
not just my force field that I invoke/conjure/imagine
but a thick stripe of color (red!)
that rotates around my space like a
multi-directional hula hoop
made of concentrated points of light

wait, actually this is perfect
hold on

the true secret project

when I said earlier that I wanted protected glow
I had this sudden exciting thought that it would be so good
to hold a rally this week for myself
to figure that out!

(a rally is a powerful spark-filled form of retreating I invented
where you commune with your projects
and play with them instead of working on them)

and the most important part of rally is that
we use proxies
we pretend that something else is our project
and investigate that instead
which then leads us down marvelous rabbit holes
until suddenly we know everything we needed to know
about the original project
and also about other forgotten or unknown projects, past and future,
because they’re all interconnected and really because
all projects are one project because anything you work on in life
is part of the bigger project, aka the True Secret Project:

how do we come more fully into ourselves?

what is a hoop that is not a hoop

anyway I just realized that
saying I want to learn how to hoop
and investigating that
instead of trying to figure out this big complicated protected glow stuff
would make an excellent proxy project
because I both want and do not want it,
but don’t especially care about it

and these moderately conflicted feelings about something I’m
not actually planning on doing anytime soon
are much easier to examine than
the real project aka
[how do I learn to be someone who protects their glow?]
[how do I take steps towards yes without getting massive migraines?]
[how do I get comfortable inhabiting space, taking up space unapologetically, owning my circle of me-ness, and being the most clear and resonant bell]

what is a hoop that is not a hoop
what do I know about this
let’s find out

is it like whistling, bubble gum, country two-step?

or: things I know/think/feel/wonder about hooping…

  1. I cannot for the life of me keep a hoop moving around me for more than one rotation at most before it clatters to the floor, it is a complete mystery how people do this for fun
  2. not sure if this falls into the category of a) whistling — can’t do it, everyone who has tried to teach me has given up, b) blowing bubbles with bubble gum — couldn’t do it for for the longest time but with consistent practice eventually figured it out ten years after all the other kids, or c) country two step — lost and frustrated until I found the kind of teacher who was able to break it down slowly enough for me, and could explain it in a way I could understand
  3. this is a familiar theme, getting comfortable with my particular Havi pace of learning, and being okay with it
  4. oh an ache in my heart, I feel such intense [longing? envy? passion? wistfulness?] when it comes to people who can just pick this stuff up, the kind of people who given a hoop would have just invented things to do with it, you could leave me in a room with a hoop for fifty years and I’d never figure it out
  5. thinking about its history, I feel definite discomfort, first with the cultural appropriation of the word hula, which is really not okay and just one more way that hawaiian culture has been exoticized, taken, erased, and then of course discomfort with more plastic-plastic-plastic, not to mention — something I didn’t realize as a kid — knowing there already was a native american practice of hoop dancing, and this just feels uncomfortable to me, I would be okay with experimenting with a hoop in the privacy of my home for the purposes of movement, play, force field training, but I think this wouldn’t be something I would want to do in public, hmmm interesting…what else do I know about this
  6. yeah, I guess I also associate it with show-offy forms of play, and now I’m noticing lots of judgment and monsters about this (both You Shouldn’t Be Seen and You Only Care About Being Seen), lots of cultural stuff in here too about to be safe you have to be invisible, this is interesting and uncomfortable, okay, let’s invoke the power of Safety First, and just make a safe room for this to sit in for now — fear, you are legitimate and understandable, and also you are not mine and not from now, you can show me your truth and let the rest dissolve
  7. once at a rally at the Playground, one of the participants told me (very enthusiastically, and enthusiasm is pretty much my favorite thing in the world!) about a hooping convention she’d attended, how unexpectedly meditative, powerful and transformative it was, a story about everyone with their hoops, in the dark, and the sound of them falling to the floor, how you learn that dropping and starting over is okay…there is power in this
  8. I like that the hoop I see in my mind is red, like a flash or an outline, this seems related to power and presence, a practice of rootedness
  9. roundness is important for me, wheels and compasses and circles and labyrinths and bowls, the unexpectedly sacred feel of that: wholeness, the round vibrating om sensation, yes, that

okay, good intel, what else?

if a hoop is a visible reminder of my force field
and if trying to keep it up
is learning about energy and protecting my personal space
through filling my space…
this is about filling my space with me
like an embroidery hoop, in a way,
the frame in which creative play takes place

this then brings me back to the same question
which probably also holds the answer to the headache conundrum:

what enhances my ability to experience my own light? and what diminishes that ability?

how can I be the clearest bell? how can I boldly glow? what needs to be eliminated versus what needs to be illuminated?

in other words…

who is the version of havi bell who knows
how to protect the bell glow

and how can I let a hoop
(or the idea of a hoop)
be my teacher here
how can I make peace with being REALLY TERRIBLE
at the thing I think I want most
which of course is being comfortable taking up space
as opposed to being able to keep a hoop rotating around my
ridiculously narrow practically-non-existent hips
though yes I would like that too

it is interesting that I believe
this can’t be taught
that I am a Hopeless Lost Cause Again (monster-assessment)
when in fact there are so very many things that fall into the category of
“something I perceive that everyone else is able to pick up
way faster than I can but eventually, with patience and good instruction
I can do it too”

what do I think will help?

believing that this is possible
[let “this” = many, many things]
not reinventing the wheel but asking someone to
break things down for me in a way I can understand
tiny steps, nuances, subtleties, wax-on-wax-off, slow motion-montage:
this is how I learn

what else?

do more entry
ask for what I want
no more clicking, on anything
no more distractions other than the ones I joyfully choose for myself
remembering that this is brave
even though I think it isn’t
there is nothing more challenging to the rigging of the rigged game
than agreeing to take up space
yes there it is, there’s my wish

agreeing to take up space

in my life
in the world
to occupy the cockpit of my mind
the sanctuary of my heart
the beautiful bowl of my pelvis
my thoughts and feelings and perceptions
my internal and immediately external space
this radiant circle around me that says
this is mine, this is my domain
I am here
beautifully here

what do I know about my wish this week

like all the wishes lately it’s about
presence and embodiment
and passage

I am going to trust my flash of a vision
my love of roundness and
my narrow hips
and the fact that what I lack in natural inclination for [some things? many things?],
I make up in obsessive determination
and in my strong faith in All Timing Is Right Timing

let us trust in all of that
and then some

may it be so!


(1) my housemate is moving out
we’ve lived together for ten years and a month
it is the right time and it also feels so surreal and impossible,
he knows me better than just about anyone and
he can tell when I am freaking out even when I appear steady

(2) today on the bus a woman
was yelling angrily at the top of her lungs
at everyone and yet no one in particular
about how kale can stop cancer
it was on the one hand a very urban moment
and on the other hand a specifically portland moment

I am done with this city,
and this knowledge and the theme of glow-protection are related:
follow your yes and when you don’t know your yes
at least listen to the clear ringing no

(3) the trick to
these never-ending games of tetris
is knowing that
however the pieces land
it’s going to be okay
this is hard to remember
but that does not make it any less true

superpower of I am here and ready.


january on the 2016 fluent self calendar is the door FREEDOM, and the superpower is I am here and ready

here and ready is about presence
and glow protection is about being here
and glowing my bell-ness, my such-ness, in my space
what is freedom if not that
thank you, past-me, for putting this
on the calendar
thank you, year of doors

last week’s wishes

I wished a wish about en route to bravery

and then did an astonishing number of Very Brave Things
all of which surprised me
and all of which were easier than anticipated

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

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!