very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal!

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. The point isn’t getting my wish (though cool things have emerged from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and 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…

Love into trust.

Saturday morning was a flurry of getting ready for my day trip to Seattle.

Just when I had everything ready, I was exiting the kitchen, and saw the Fluent Self calendar on the wall, and stopped in my tracks. We’re in August now.

And guess what this month is! The month of TRUST MORE.


Loving my way into trust.

It suddenly occurred to me how thrilled I am with how last month turned out, aka the month of LOVE MORE. With its superpower of This Is A Badass Way To Live.

The beginning of July saw my lover coming back to me and Portland, and I thought this month — for me — might include new understandings about closeness and interpersonal love, being someone who can glow love towards another person, and feel safe and comfortable receiving it.

And yeah, we did have an exceptionally vulnerable, tender, sweet loving month together, and also I had serious Ludicrous Fear Popcorn on the topic of oh no what if actually die of too much pleasure.

So, that was a useful component of the month of Love More: noticing all the moments in which I think I’m not allowed to have love, or the bad things I think will happen if I let love in. But that wasn’t the main thing about the month of Love.

The main thing turned out to be a mind-altering life-altering taste of what it might mean to be in a state of deep, enduring Self-Love, Self-Kindness and Self-Acceptance.


And I learned that I live the quality of love through intentionally creating more loving and supportive environments for me.

And eventually I was able to recognize how badass that is.

And then, through all this love, I actually went and did legitimately badass (for me) things, like hip hop and burlesque, and trying trapeze, and floating in a sensory deprivation tank for an HOUR AND A HALF like a boss.

And I learned about advocating for myself so that these environments and experiences can support my sensitivities, and the unique (and sometimes very slow) way that I learn.

What treasure awaits in learning to trust (more)?

The month of Love More brought about a big shift in how I think, and in how I am approaching Shmita.

I am very excited and a little nervous about getting to know TRUST in a new way too, and also about this month’s very sexy superpower of wildly confident, wonderfully tranquil.

I am like a mad scientist in a basement lab, peering over beakers to see how love and trust will interact, mixing these new TRUST MORE superpowers with everything I’ve been learning about being loving towards myself, and, as an extension of this, being loving towards the people and experiences I encounter.

Looks like lots of discoveries to be made. So let’s start with what we have so far, in the form of clues.

Here are the clues I currently have related to TRUST MORE.

These are my clues, they might or might not be clues for you, because People Vary. I will trust (TRUST MORE!) that you will find the right clues for you, whether here or elsewhere.

Clues that are seeds. Also: clues about seeds.

  • Things that are seeded, sown, strewn.
  • Light can be seeded, sown, strewn.
  • “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for.” — John Augustus Shedd.
  • I have read that quote before but this time it landed differently for me, thanks to Elizabeth Wartluft who said, “I read that every day, and try not to let my vulnerability keep me hiding from growth.” YEAH!
  • In parallel to the above: May I always remember that Adventure and Safety are not mutually exclusive, they are qualities of the divine and so they are playmates. I can choose Safety First and adventure. I can choose to adventure deep into Safety. I can choose vulnerability and growth. So let me be brave in the ways that are brave for me, and let me trust that this is the right process.
  • And: I have so much fear that Trust Will Lead To Getting Hurt, but actually safety comes from trusting my wise instincts.
  • Easing and releasing is how trust returns to my body and my nervous system.

Clues of yes.

  • DRASTIC. This is the name of the color on my toenails right now. This is also how I feel, in general, about everything, but in a good way.
  • I typed “new levels of tryst” instead of new levels of trust. See? Love more, trust more. And tryst more. Yes, please.
  • Mmmmm, all the superpowers of YES PLEASE: activate!
  • I read the phrase “She loves dance, travel and crop tops” in an instructor bio, and this set off a chain reaction of neon-colored sparks in my mind. What would it be like to be someone who loves crop tops? Or to be someone who could comfortably tell people this as a primary thing about themselves? Do they not have my “oh god you’re so shallow, how do you live with yourself, no one can ever know what a terrible person you are” monsters? What is THAT like? It sounds fun! It sounds like Freedom.
  • Luscious Minimalism. That might be my new favorite Unlikely Combination.
  • Marlena Wild aka Incoming Me, and her superpower of IDGAF x1000000.

Clues of connections.

  • Not knowing what I want (or thinking I don’t know what I want) is Early Radar Detection Alert that I’ve gotten disconnected from myself. Even if it’s something very small. Back to the PROTOCOL of Apply Extreme Self-Care Immediately.
  • Mermaid origin story? Rethinking everything about that.
  • Follow the trails of sparks, and do nothing else. If it doesn’t feel like a trail, don’t follow it.
  • Everything pulses. Like in music: One-twooooooo. One-and-twooooooo. But not just music. Everything pulses.
  • Everything coming into my life now is related to (and healing) the old story-seed of Bird vs Tree. TRE is being like a tree. TRAPEZE is being like a bird. Hypnosis and floating are like being tree birds. Dancing west coast swing is like being an anchor and a boat and a magician and a feather, all at the same time.
  • Again, trust is knowing that there is no contradiction: you are allowed to access seemingly mutually-exclusive things at once. Either/or is invariably a lie.

Clues about ingredients.

  • Ingredients Are Everything.
  • Panther walks.
  • I was wishing out loud at the Secret Sword Society that DIVORCE PARTIES were a thing, and then I followed a trail of sparks to a class that I really want to take, and the woman who teaches it also runs Divorce Parties. So there you have it.
  • As I have been saying for the past ten years: If we approach the process of habit change from guilt, then the habit we are reinforcing is guilt. So let’s change that.
  • Eight slow breaths change everything.
  • Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until it lives inside of you.
  • Trust returns. Everything that is needed returns.

What else do I know about this wish?

Actually, I don’t think I need to explore this more, at least not at the moment.

I think part of trust is just planting the seeds of intention: it is enough right now to know that TRUST MORE is what I want. This is my direction, now I follow it.

And I can trust that all of these clues are seeds of light, and they will do what they need to do, or I can investigate any of them whenever I feel pulled that way.

What if this is enough? What if TRUST MORE is enough?

And again, thinking about everything I received from the month of Love More, what if I am enough?

Mmmmmmmm. Heart-sigh for that.

Anything else I want to plant?

Curiosity, Play, Wonder, Delight, Expectancy, Undoing, Passion and Sanctuary.

And I am ready to let everything I know or think I know about Trust dissolve and reconfigure in marvelous new ways. I am ready to immerse myself in the kaleidoscope while still very aware of where I am and where the kaleidoscope is.


You are invited to share many !!!!!! about my wishes and realizations here, to share anything sparked for you while reading, to say “oh wow, what beautiful wishes” to me and to each other, to wish your own wishes.


I am testing out being someone who likes crop tops by wearing one IN THE PRIVACY OF MY OWN HOME where no one can see me.

I had this weird moment while trying it on in the dance shop. My mother was there. My mother is no longer alive, but that doesn’t stop her from sharing her opinions, and she does not like crop tops.

She was saying things like, “You want to walk around showing everyone your pupik?! What will people think? They’ll think you look like a whore is what they’ll think. Wouldn’t it be better to dress your age? You don’t want to invite unwanted attention.”

And then, over her, in the next dressing room, I hear this other mother saying to her daughter, who was maybe in ninth grade, “How’re you doing on booty shorts, babe? You need some more?”

And there was snick-snick sound/sensation in my mind, a quick series of electric discharges, during which I tried — and failed — to simultaneously hold these two different forms of mothering in my mind. The kind that loves so much that it wants to protect at any cost, and the kind that loves so much that it wants to play.

Of course we’ve already established there are no contradictions: Safety and Play can co-exist. I know this in my heart and I know it in my head, but the wiring between the two is still not all connected up. So here I am. Practicing. With love and trust.

What does Slightly Future Me have to say?

Ze: I’m always here for you.
Me: This whole Self-Kindness thing is really intense, and I didn’t even know it existed. I feel so fiercely about taking care of myself right now. I’ve never felt that way before. The closest I’ve gotten is recognizing that I need to. This is different.
Ze: Yup. You got there through Love, and now it’s time to Trust that taking care of yourself and advocating for yourself is actually a revolutionary approach to being alive.
Me: Lots of fear that people won’t like it.
Ze: Sounds normal. Well, let’s invoke the superpower of Shit Is Not About Me, and the deeper version of that which is I Remember That Other People Are Free Beings So I Don’t Project Onto Them Things They Might Be Thinking About Me, They Can Think Whatever They Want And I Don’t Need To Make Guesses To Ensure My Safety Because Now Is Not Then And These People Have No Authority Over Me, Ta Da!


On Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, they interviewed Chance The Rapper (content warning for horrible ads underneath this post, don’t scroll down!), and one of the panelists asked if forty six years old is too late to start a career as a hip hop artist.

Chance thought about the question and then said, “No, I don’t think so. It might even be too soon…”

The superpower of Wildly Confident, Wonderfully Tranquil.

August - Trust MoreJune was RELEASE MORE, with the superpower of I am stronger than I think, and July was LOVE MORE, because this is a badass way to live.

Now we are in TRUST MORE, with the superpower of Wildly Confident, Wonderfully Tranquil.

I love these two aspects of trust, I love how they are yet another unlikely combination.

Maybe the combination of wild confidence and wonderfully tranquil are what allow me to believe that Trust is here, and that Trust returns.

Things I find helpful for intentions and wishes…

Nap, dance, write, play, labyrinths. Get quiet. Sweet pauses, yes to red lights and purple pills, thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Skip stones. Body first. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths in eight directions:

Adventure. Rest. Horizons. Security. Passion. Sweetness. Clarity. Presence.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week aka Unlikely Combinations…

Last week was a marvelous wish, and I have been learning so much about Languid Adventuring and other unlikely combinations of both grounded and soaring, and giving myself permission to want and have both.

Thank you, process of writing about wishes. Thank you, me who asked.

Ongoing Wishes. Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. I think like a dancer. It’s so perfect it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS. I have what I need, and appreciate it. I am fearless and confident. I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, no big deal. I claim my superpowers. Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more.

Keep me company! Or just say hi!

You can deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads, superpowers, qualities, seeds, secret agent code, whatever you’d like, there’s no right way! Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is sharing anything sparked for you.

Comment culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.

Here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.


The Fluent Self