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 334th consecutive week of wishing, come play!


I have been at Rally (Rally!) all week, and Rally
is very much a crucible
an experience of contained spaciousness
in which things melt and re-form
it is intense

as usual, I am being shown what in my life is
incongruent, disharmonious
namely pretty much everything

and of course immediately after having
named this thought
I walked by the fruit bowl and saw
three tiny clementines had mysteriously gone completely moldy
— white and collapsed in on themselves —
and somehow I hadn’t noticed

new configurations

it is time to release [tiny oranges] to become compost
and it is time to let
everything that is no longer congruent with how I want to live
come into new configurations to meet
where I am now

(wishes from once upon a time)

I told the arborist that I do not wish to bring my computer along
on Operation Ruby Jewel

he spends his days in the trees
like I used to once upon a time
so he understands some things

but it is easier for someone whose livelihood is trees
to forgo computer time
than for someone (me) who has spent the past nearly eleven years
with this odd creature that is an online business

when I opened my second urban retreat center, I had a secret hope
that this would be my door into work that happens
in real space
palpable space
(of course I would still come here for chickens and wishes)
but I saw for myself a life where the computer was something
to visit once or twice a week


everything about this plan bombed spectacularly, as we know,
and while all is — and was and will be — well,
I am noticing some big grief around
the loss of that particular dream
not the center, I have mourned that as much as anything can be mourned,
but oh that wish for a life that is more trees and more picnics,
more climbing and less clicking


all my wishes lately have been circling around this
I always thought all my wishes were about sanctuary
but this week it became clear that the thing sanctuary exists to protect
(for me)
is always freedom

so not only is there ZERO CONTRADICTION between
my wishes to be both wonderfully sheltered and cozy,
and to be a grand adventuress following her wild heart
but safety and freedom nourish each other
so any wish about being free is automatically a wish for safe passage

something funny

long before this realization,
freedom was the word I chose for January 2016
in the (upcoming) Year of Doors
on the self-fluency calendar we make each year
where we literally schedule what we want by putting it on the calendar!

password: sweetdoors

and you can feel how the desire for freedom has
infiltrated my wishes this year
being a panther is about freedom
as is my wish about less
and roots and undoing the rigging

and freedom is also a double-meaning wish: Independence + Sovereignty
let’s investigate…

when [freedom], what kind of freedom is this freedom?

  1. obviously I am already free, so part of freedom is remembering the truth of this
  2. falling in love with breath, treasure-breath
  3. did you know that 27 million people in our world are actually enslaved? I think about this a lot, I think about the small Uzbek children forced to labor in cotton fields so that comfortable people in North America can buy five dollar shirts at Target or whatever, our entire world functions as it does because of enslavement, and we are all at least tangentially complicit, and this is a very sobering thought, so I try to appreciate this great miracle of being born into my life, where I am free to think my thoughts and more or less make my own choices, remembering that the constraints I perceive are for the most part not real, and that constrained is a way of life for many….
  4. freedom to change my mind, to notice that my mind has changed: there is no need to adhere to a yes from then if it is no longer my yes
  5. freedom to let go of [oranges] that no longer reverberate with yes, whether they are visibly moldy or not, if it is done — for me, even if it is “unfinished” by any external measurement — then it is time to let it go with love
  6. a free flow of wisdom/intel/information: one of my commitments with this website is to have so much good learning available that anyone who is self-motivated can study self-fluency through reading my process, rituals, experiments and internal explorations, and never pay me for anything, unless they genuinely want to express appreciation and gratitude, which is always welcome
  7. a joyful yes to Less, and also freedom to wildly indulge in the sensual intentional pleasures of Luscious Minimalism, with no contradiction, because there is none
  8. freedom to feel what I feel, explore what I wish to explore, express myself as I wish to self-express, nap until I am done napping, write until I am done writing, and follow the thread of any internal adventure that beckons…


several years ago I was at a retreat where they made us (yes)
do collage, I’m sure they called it Soul Purpose Collage or
Heart Mind Knowledge Map or something that
bonks you on the head with how meaningful it’s supposed to be

I am somewhat allergic to things like this
and I thought collage was stupid and didn’t want to participate

but of course the words and images I casually selected
while grumbling to myself
were absolutely luminous in their ability to reveal-and-illuminate
the inner workings of my desires
they reflected back to me all the things I couldn’t admit
or didn’t know how to see yet

I told myself I would keep up the practice
but of course I didn’t
because collage never sounded appealing, and also:
what are you now, said rebellious-me, some suburban scrapbooking housewife?

a new name

one day ensconced in cushions at my own retreat center
with B, my partner in crime,
we were wondering why we never use
the beautiful tool that is collage
and decided to rename it

(one of my favorite freedoms is the freedom to
invent new words
to rename and rewrite)

we played metaphor mouse, and named all the
glowingly magical qualities of [yes, okay, collage],
as well as all the negative associations we wanted to detach
from this new name

the name that offered itself was Reflecting
a beautiful double-meaning word:
[Contemplation] + [Mirroring]

and we reflected — with great enthusiasm — every day for a month

pages of wisdom from past-me

I am sitting here with a giant stack of reflecting books
in awe over what 2011 and 2012 me reflected

so many beautiful wishes that are still beautiful wishes
so many beautiful wishes that have come true and now just are

and endless wonderful clues
some of them about the process of wishing itself
and some of them containing very clear directions
would you like to hear (read) some?
I will share some with you now if you like…

want things every week for you too

like a breath
serene brain cracking
fueled by light

there is no wrong
celebrate every glint, it knows
when to shape

find your balance with your balance
build more balanced balance
happy feet make your feet better
at what they were built to do

more of what you love
jump in / say yes
the possibilities are wide open
yes this is actually RADIANCE

time to start the chemistry of
moving and moved by
the place you thought you knew

hear the remarkable request
start a new language
play with harmony / pulse truth
plant a quality to warm the soul
give your secret spy self
just the right fuzzy holiday and be magical
in love with books and ideas

wish! we do it all while you sleep…

isn’t that so beautifully reflected?

What do I wish to reflect

Not in the collage sense, but inwardly and outwardly in my life
as a living glowing being, a beacon in the world?

  • qualities
  • the glow compass (trust-relax-shine-expand-anchor-treasure-glow-wild)
  • self-treasuring and self-sweetening
  • presence and awe and permission
  • reverberating in my thank-you heart
  • wild playful joyful aliveness
  • acknowledgment and legitimacy: the hard things are actually hard, and I’m allowed to not like them, to hide in bed, to cry and rage, to find things painful
  • curiosity: what is here for me in this moment
  • sensory pleasure, passion about butter
  • my own quiet, and the treasures of these past three years of living in quiet
  • breath

more about breath

last week my panther wish was also about breath:

take oxygen like it is your playmate, your lover, your new and only drug,
feel your pulsing life force glowing you alive
breathe like you have nothing better or more enjoyable to do than pulse with life

and this week I found myself been obsessively rereading
the poet Fred LaMotte on breath:

“Don’t imagine that breathing is something you do just to stay alive. Breath has a secret purpose. Each inhalation whispers the most beautiful name to every cell in your body.”

Mmmmm, a full breath of yes for that.
And then he also says, elsewhere:

the breath.
It is not a metaphor,

yet still
it transcends.

Close your eyes.
It is darker than this.
Don’t be afraid.

It is only the weight of the sun
un-creating itself
with the color of silence.

this breath,
the only work that remains”

tell me, wild self, about the connection between breath and freedom

it is not only that one reminds of the other
I want to feel how they are linked

if my life is dedicated to being conscious and free
then breath is the dedication
the moment of saying I AM HERE

breathe can be used to turn up the glow
or to dissolve what needs dissolving
to clear out, to calm, to steady, to release

everyone knows this
and yet very few people know it
it is hard to remember something that just is, like stars,
and yet each one says

you can name a breath anything you like
give it a color
breathe in and into all directions

I am free to breathe freedom
even when I perceive that I have none
I am free to breathe love
even when I forget that I am love

breath is the remembering
and the door

what do I know about my wish this week

it is a wish about attentiveness
I want another word for that, a warmer, sweeter word
like loving-kindness but for awareness

an awareness that is presence and noticing without guilt or shame;
radiant self-acceptance

ah here the oranges and orange-like things that have gone off
and here are all the places in my life
that need to be breathed into now

what I want to reflect is this presence
this sweet noticing
of what is here that needs to be gone
and what is forgotten that needs to be welcomed in

this is a seed wish

an anchor made of glowing seeds of light

to quote psalms, something I’ve probably never done here before,
and with a very Havi-translation of the hebrew:

light is being strewn/seeded for the just;
joyfulness for the true of heart

I do not know if this is true
but I want to reflect it through my life
I want to be someone who seeds light
who is true of heart
and who says yes to joy

may it be so!


I am in the middle of packing for Operation Ruby Jewel,
trying to hew to “travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light”
as the little tag on the teabag says

this is a mission related to freedom, desire, lightness
all the good things
and like so many good things, it asks for big wild trust

so let’s glow some of that

superpower of I do not dim my spark for anyone.

November - Glow More november (on the fluent self calendar) is GLOW MORE, with the superpower of I do not dim my spark for anyone

I am feeling very excited about the
meeting point of GLOW MORE
and TREASURE MORE (December),
and the way that Operation Ruby Jewel
combines both glowing and treasure/treasuring

this week I practiced not-dimming
by stopping a dance with someone in the middle of a song
and by knowing exactly what I want
without apologizing for wanting it

thank you, past-me, for putting my much-needed glow
on the calendar

last week’s wishes

I wished a wish about being a panther, or possibly remembering that I am a panther…

I had moments of fully embodying my panther self, and it was delicious

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