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 328th consecutive week of wishing, come play!


I have quit all the disharmonious places
all of them

no more going to the grocery store I don’t like
who cares if it’s closer
I deleted my facebook account
it was time

and even when a specific activity or experience is yes
if it takes place inside a not-yes building
or I have to walk past a not-yes parking lot to get there
then it’s a no

I am done with the disharmonious places because of
what happens to me while I’m in them
and how long it takes me to return to clear bell state

the energy price is too high

so now I treat certain places as I would
a dangerous allergy
choosing [keeping a safe distance now] over [arduous-recovery-later]

if I know the ingredients of an environment are not supportive of me
and my internal resonant bell state,
if I know the recovery time will be long and painful
or that the experience will likely
disconnect me from my superpowers

then it’s an easy NO
it didn’t used to be easy


I mean, I recently made a wish about
delicious space
and not long before that
a wish about less

and — haha — yep you guessed it
now I can’t go most places
because they aren’t delicious:
they don’t facilitate deliciousness
they inhibit my ability to be delicious in space

interesting that it doesn’t actually feel limiting though
I have so much more peacefulness
so much more space
inside of me


next to my bed is Nigella Lawson’s marvelously-titled cookbook
How To Eat

I doubt her dishes will make it to my kitchen
the book might as well be called
Meat, Gluten and Sugar: A Compendium of Dishes Not For A Havi

it’s in the bedroom though, nowhere near the kitchen, and I’m
not reading it for the recipes
but for the lusciousness:
tantalizing words, intermingling

so delicious

“in cooking, as in writing, you must
please yourself to please others”
she says

you can almost hear the scratch of the pen
where someone (a cautious editor, one imagines)
replaced “sex” with “writing”

I would also substitute dance into this perfect sentence
both as a word and as a quality ingredient

you must, you must, you must…

Nigella says you must use
“the most malevolently dark chocolate you can find”

is that not the most deliciously evocative turn of phrase
I am having a moment right now,
because there is so much to savor in that

words are the ultimate ingredient

tasting room

if I were not on the verge of letting go of my
(metaphorical) chocolate shop,
I would devote the entire space to only
malevolently dark chocolates

and I would invite each visitor to taste
the word — malevolent — on the tongue
alongside the rich-sweet-bitter-sweet flavors of
our offering

we would need a designated couch: crimson, with silk cushions,
to accommodate all the swooning

but I digress, deliciously, again

Nigella has plenty to say about ingredients

but I am almost more fascinated when she turns to
metaphysical ingredients, for example:
“strangely, it can take enormous confidence
to trust your own palate, follow your own instincts”

or when she lightly references the ways in which The Game Is Rigged:

“cooking can be relaxing (although it’s interesting that it is men rather than women who tend more often to cite its therapeutic properties) but not if you’re already exhausted”

a list of ingredients for writing about ingredients

I recalled this morning that I’d jotted some rather extensive notes
a while back on the subject of today’s wish,
so I looked for them, and found a document titled
{Writing About Ingredients}

here’s the entirety of its contents:

peanut butter

thanks, past-me, for the intriguing poem

I’m not sure I remember what these clues mean
but I will do my best
and I love you, and love that you thought
this would be all the instruction I could possibly need


I lived in tel aviv for nearly
a third of my life
and this means many things
but right now it means this is why I can’t drink pomegranate juice here

there you zig-zag your way briskly through the shuk
not on a friday and not late afternoon though
because bombs and terror while not predictable
(that’s what makes them terrifying)
do tend to follow patterns
so you choose outside the patterns
when you can

in the fall you’ll find a taciturn old syrian man
sitting with an overflowing basket of pomegranates
a giant knife, a board, a small metal juicer
and another basket, overturned, to serve as a low table


you dig in your pocket for the right combination of coins
and get a surly grunt in response
slice slice slice slice
and then you have a cup of
rich pure liquid
made of jewels and sweetness

it is invigorating and intoxicating
and you savor every magical drop
as it meets tongue and then bloodstream
feeling vibrant autumnal powers course through you

in the states, pomegranate juice
comes in bottles and tastes stagnant and
vaguely plastic, even when it comes in glass
not the same


the word ingredient comes from latin – ingredi
to enter

so ingredients are about intention
conscious entry
enter as you wish to be in it
exit as you wish to continue

what you put into it alters what you get out of it

and even meaning has a double-meaning:
meaning as in definition, but also substance, significance, intention

herbs are magic

I wander the spice shop, in awe of scent and flavor

the spice shop is a sanctuary for a wild sensualist
speaking of words that have two meanings:
{sanctuary = shelter + reverence}

a sprinkle of something
transforms the entire experience

this alchemy (whether we are speaking of spices or intentions)
is true in all things, food is just the beginning

peanut butter

all in all I spent nearly six months this year on the road, in a truck and tiny camper,
where I realized I don’t want to throw things away anymore

and recycling is problematic, unappealing, distressing
(I recommend the book Plastic Free by Beth Terry for more on that)
(and for hopefulness and compassion)
(speaking of excellent ingredients)

I have passionate feelings about peanut butter
but couldn’t bear to take part in this cycle of endless jars,
this world where disposing is just the way of things

it turns out a surprising number of grocery stores
have a machine that grinds peanuts into peanut butter

things about this:

  • freshly ground peanut butter is life-changing: it tastes nothing like factory peanut butter, it doesn’t even seem like the same category of food
  • it’s always the exact right mix of crunchy and smooth, as if peanuts already know how to achieve the desired consistency
  • I consume less but my entire body enjoys each moment, it’s a full body peanut butter experience of presence and delight!
  • if you use it as an ingredient, whatever you make is exponentially more delicious
  • it’s not actually that much more expensive (and often on sale at my supermarket), and it’s not that hard to remember to bring the jar

mainly though

I feel appreciative and praise-filled about this gorgeous miracle

what a remarkable thing it is, a jar, and how astonishing
that we take them for granted when,
even a hundred years ago, this object would have been a treasure
no one would have dreamed of discarding


I may have a slight lingerie addiction
and also I care — a lot —
about garments which are ethically and sustainably produced
and about the ingredients
that go into anything that gets to touch my beautiful downstairs bodyparts

my vestibule, to use another beloved V-word

after all

the ingredients, as it were, of my beautiful downstairs bodyparts themselves
are highly sensitive mucous membranes

so I don’t want to dress them in fabrics treated
with toxic chemicals
which is most underthings
and most clothing in general

this is (or can be) hard and complicated
because organic cotton is expensive
and generally not sexy

cotton and the production of cotton is an ingredient

how workers are treated is an ingredient
how a garment is manufactured is an ingredient
knowing about these components is an ingredient
as is the magic beans of time and energy for researching how things are made

also, if the company chooses to show only stick-shaped girls, white, tall, the usual,
that is an ingredient too
I fail to see how something is “ethically and sustainably” made
when the system still supports the unethical unsustainable bullshit of
“this is the way bodies should look”
instead of diverse, body-positive depictions of how bodies are

so many ingredients to this

how I vote with the money/resources available to me
loving and caring for my body
sexiness is a very, very important ingredient, for me

I have no answers here yet
just a wish for something better

two companies for now: between the sheets is transparent about their how and why; only hearts has organic cotton pieces, occasionally on sale, though these are generally only options for “conventional” sizes


the ingredients of grieving:

process / time / permission / presence
acknowledgment / legitimacy / love
loss / sweetness / remembering / everything ends

and still, even as it ends, we are here
and all is well even when we can’t remember this

another ingredient is being a marble

sliding around between the
points of grief
(contrary to popular belief, they are not stages and there is no order)
for example right now I am
back and forth between bargaining and denial
a swaying grief-pendulum


I read an article about the art of pies,
the in-flight magazine pie-making expert
was somewhat reluctant to give tips though because, as she said,

technique is all well and good,
but if it’s not made with love, it’s not good pie
it’s the love that makes the pie

related to this (love, not pie)

Nigella says:

“there seems to me to be something
robustly affirmative about taking trouble to feed YOURSELF —
enjoying life on purpose
rather than by default”

emphasis mine!

presence is my favorite ingredient

that’s what I want in life
to just be inside of each moment, each interaction
bringing more of myself
a clear bell

presence is delicious
so simple and yet so full
so very alive

what do I know about my wish this week

it’s another double-meaning wish
it’s about ingredients that are high-quality
and also about using ingredients as qualities, and qualities as ingredients

my wish is to glow qualities and use them
as ingredients for life

just like with peanut-butter
I want the most pure fresh alive unadulterated unprocessed flavor-rich version:


may it be so!


dark blue robe, laura’s scarf as a bedspread, the phrase “sliver of moon”,
two compasses hanging on the wall in my bedroom
(gifts from megan and from anna),
hand on my heart, breathing, taking up space with love, through love,
these are the ingredients

superpower of yes to my yes, no to my no.

October - Be Bold More october (on the fluent self calendar) is BE BOLD MORE, with the superpower of yes to my yes, no to my no

and this superpower is what activated the wish-seeds of delicious space and supportive environments so that I could say goodbye to the disharmonious places and choose better ingredients for my life

so it’s kind of a big deal
maybe even more than I realized when I wished

last week’s wishes

I wished a wish called shiva

about sitting and also about destroying
grieving what needs to be grieved
with comfort and companionship
and I received what I needed

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