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 345th consecutive week of wishing, come play!


in october of 2001, my marriage fell apart
no, that is not true
in october of 2001, my husband and I walked along the beach at sunset
and somehow drew forth the courage to say in words what we had both known inside
the falling apart had already happened, it wasn’t in process,
it was in fact long since complete,
what if we just stopped pretending-imagining we could figure it out
and let go

I spent the next almost-two-years in a small sweet wonder of
a studio apartment
in an old repurposed clothing factory in south tel aviv
it had asbestos and bars on the window and a weird metal door
and you had to squeeze through the bathroom to get to the balcony
but it had wild magic and it was sanctuary and
I loved it with a passion that is
difficult to describe


I remember how I felt
exiting that apartment in late summer of 2003
almost unbearable sadness about this goodbye
about the loss of this specific place that felt like my heart-home
as well as the more general/existential ache
of not having a home that was just for me
or a place where I felt I belonged

I comforted myself (or tried to)
with the thought that my new home would find me soon enough
but that didn’t actually happen

I didn’t have a safe place to actually land until November of 2006
when R and I rented a cozy half of a duplex in Sacramento
and still didn’t have a place where I really felt at home
until november of 2008, when I moved into the house I now own
and am now exiting


during some of those long years of in-between I had
an address here or there
not necessarily a place where I was welcome,
though still a place to go
but for substantial chunks of that time I was just wandering
not here and not there,
somewhere between lost and not-lost,
between maybe and almost,
friend’s couches, sometimes
sometimes I had a safe temporary space to stay and sometimes I didn’t

now is not then

I repeat this to myself, mantra-like, a thousand times a day at least

now is not then / now is not then / now is not then

and I list all the ways I can think of that prove this
especially in those moments that now is in fact reminding me a lot of then
because that is how the brain works
for example when I say to myself,
“oh my love, there is nothing to worry about
our safe nest will find us very soon”,
there is no actual way I can believe this
because all I remember is how I wanted so much to believe this then
except then the next few years were absolutely hellish

and yet all the
sweet beautiful vulnerable scary deep
internal work I have done here and inside myself
in the years since then
tells me that nothing is more true and more powerful
than Now Is Not Then
and nothing is more vitally important than remembering this
because remembering is the key to being here, now

this is the work of life

everything we do that might help us either claw our way back
to this moment of Ah Yes Now Is Now
or soften into remembering the now-ness of now
everything we do to see and feel the difference between now and then
everything we do to layer on experiences of safety
counting the ways
counting our way back
coming back to truth and [here, now]
grace-filled moments of presence
this is the work of life

emptying and M-T-ing

  1. this is the year of Easing & Releasing so of course we are emptying, let’s breathe acknowledgment and legitimacy for how hard it is, and recognizing that this is part of a voyage/trajectory that we intentionally set into motion, and all is well…
  2. emptying out the house means emptying the things that are done
  3. beautiful red balloons of releasing, both in the sense of letting go and also freeing our wishes into the world
  4. tabula rasa – blank slate – white space is very calming for me
  5. there is a time for everything, and here is the time for learning about emptying
  6. now is not then
  7. emptying sounds like M-T-ing, and I like thinking about what M-T might mean, More Treasure, Melodic Trance, Melting (with) Touch, Morphing-Transforming, Mind Temple, Mission of Trust, what else…?
  8. this is good life practice for me, to experience what it is like to leave my home and be okay, and that now is in fact entirely different from then
  9. as the arborist says, “one less thing to worry about — zero minus one is negative one!”

just a few of the ways that now is not then, let us name them and remember!

  1. 2016 is really and truly nothing like 2003. Truth.
  2. I am leaving my home now because this is indicated and this is right, and staying here, as much as I love it, is no longer my yes, and following my yes is my primary life goal right now — then I left because I lost my job and couldn’t find a new one and ran out of options
  3. owning a home and renting it out as an income stream is totally different from having to leave because I couldn’t pay rent, this is just a strategically smart thing I’m doing to cover my mortgage while I am doing cool shit in other places.
  4. then I had no viable options — my best friend was in london, my lover was gearing up to move to amsterdam, everyone I knew in tel aviv was in some sort of crisis and couldn’t help me out, my family was not an option, their view was more or less “you brought this on yourself and it’s selfish and inconsiderate that you would turn to us for help, you’re on your own, sink or swim”, and when they did offer ‘help’, the terms were so punitive that I was better off fending for myself anyway…but now I have so many amazing options, at least six people I love have said “of course you will stay with me for as long as you need”, I might be able to build a small studio space, I might hit the road again for a while with the beautiful boy and his motorhome, I can stay with my uncle while things work themselves out, many wonderful things are being seeded and in process…
  5. this is the right time, I can feel the truth of this, it is part of a long process of exits and rest stops, emptying and replenishing, emerging and receiving, easing and releasing, echoing and reverberating…there is so much trust now that I didn’t have then
  6. then I waited until I was beyond depleted to act, too tired to see all the miracles, now I am following the advice of my wise selves, now I know what to look for and how to come back to my thank-you heart
  7. I work for myself, I own my own company, and can more or less set my own hours, especially now with having let go of my other business (the ballroom/chocolate shop) ….back then I was a bartender studying to be a yoga instructor, in a city with both record unemployment and an excess of both of these, and it was all hustle all the time
  8. then I didn’t have an address, which was the worst, and I didn’t own keys, which was the worst (until later when I had a thousand keys because I was sometimes-staying with so many different people, which was also the worst), and sometimes I didn’t sleep at night at all because there was nowhere to go and then had to casually nap in the park during the day which was THE ACTUAL WORST, and some other stuff happened which was even worse than that, but now I still have my home address and I have my mailing address for the business, and anyway, it’s the future and there are services that will scan your mail for you, and anyway, most importantly, I am never going to need to sleep outdoors again for as long as I live unless I actively choose to do so for fun, there will always be a bed for me, forever, because now is not then, amen
  9. among the many things I didn’t have then which I have now: ways of earning money, a credit card, any future savings, trust, balance, self-care or self-treasuring, the ability to turn inward, skills, self-fluency, internal work, calming techniques, processing techniques, access to the wisdom of Incoming Me, the ability to hear my yes/trust my yes/follow my yes, this blog and its amazing community of thoughtful compassionate interesting people that I get to gather with and play with, the ability to make safe rooms for past-me, which I am doing right now, and I know she can feel it, because I actively remember many moments during the worst times when I suddenly felt mysteriously calm and peaceful and full-of-trust, this is all the times that older-wiser-me has gone back to glow healing for me-then, all the superpowers of retroactive healing forever!

so we have chosen this emptying and M-T-ing, for what purpose?


  • the superpower of I HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO WORRY: engage!
  • the month of sanctuary is about safety first, I am learning how I can live this even when I don’t know where my safe space is yet, I am learning to choose calming, sheltering, permission-filled experiences for body-mind….
  • like shiva who destroys (or: deconstructs) in order to create, who calls in the moment of breaking things down into their components so something new and better can be built, yes, I know how this works, I have lived this, I know about the superpowers of [create-and-destroy], about letting things go and trusting that All Is Well and This Is Good
  • love more trust more release more receive more
  • I am a writer who writes, I am a dancer who dances, all this emptying and exiting is only going to support what is important to me
  • clear space to get quiet and listen for my next yes, emptying out to fill up again, emptying to create space for protected glowing.
may it be so!

what do I know about my wish this week

it’s about meeting the raw, vulnerable pain of life
with presence, playfulness, hope, compassion,
and a commitment to clear seeing
big self-love, endless permission,
wrapping up past-me in sheltering love
tucking her into a giant bed in the safest of safe rooms
letting this wish to care for myself and treasure myself
be my beacon

being my own beacon

this exquisite self-care is my steady reminder that now-is-now,
because now-me has the skills and abilities to do this,
to call on support for all past-selves,
and to draw on support from all future-selves and all parallel-selves
I am not alone in this, because every wise, capable version of me is here
extending a hand
glowing love my way
and in any moment of forgetting
I can pause, get down on the floor, and breathe until I remember


sitting on the small couch in the kitchen
the only piece of furniture left
listening to the rain
daffodils from my garden in the last unpacked vase
flowers really do make everything better
so many things to appreciate
my favorite blanket wrapped around me
a mug of tea
the thing Orna said once upon a time about how nothing is more valuable
than the ability to feel at home in yourself…
knowing that everything I do to cultivate that,
to glow where I have not before,
is brave, beautiful, and vitally important

superpower of safety first


january on the 2016 fluent self calendar was the door of FREDOM, and february is the door of SANCTUARY, which comes with the glowingly important superpower of safety first

thank you, past me
for naming this month
and reminding me of this superpower
what a perfect choice


this is the last chance to acquire a pack of stone skipping cards
PASSWORD: sweetdoors
because I’m moving out and won’t have anywhere to store them
or the shipping materials
so get them this week, they’re amazing!
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!

last week’s wishes

I wished a wish called the brave and hopeful yes

this was a big week of yes to my yes
and no to everything else
gathering intel, asking hard questions, brewing up plans
and throwing an afterparty
a beautiful wish and I am so glad I asked

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

(and if you like, make up other good things M-T could stand for!)

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