very personal ads

I write a Very Personal Ad (or 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 360th consecutive week of wishing, come play!


I pulled a card — a stone skipping card:
what does my project wish I knew

my project whispered to me that it exists to be a sanctuary for me
it intends to both become a sanctuary and to be the process
by which I learn how sanctuary works
though mainly right now it wants me to just
stop caring about the “tasks” I think are related to the project
and instead focus on getting the feeling in my body
the feeling of sanctuary inside me
“go and learn”, it said, “come back to me once I am fully formed”

such an intriguing conundrum

do you see? in order for me to
[make/create/build/invoke] this sanctuary, to call into being
this safe space that exists for me and only for me,
I need to not be there until it is ready for me

my project said I need to
run this mission from my cockpit and not be onsite,
which makes sense on the one hand in both logical and intuitive ways, and yet
oh sudden panic at the thought of being away from
the one place that is safe space for me
and how can this be asked of me
to exit the safe house in order to learn about safety
scary stuff especially in this moment when
now feels so eerily reminiscent of Then
and yet I can also feel the rightness of it
my project is so very wise and I feel how it glows
steady love for me

what do I know about sanctuary

sanctuary is about glow and wonder and intention and deep breath
transformative space
the beautiful mystery of how it is that certain
structures and forms become a container for
transcendence and magnificence
sanctuary is about what happens in those remarkable spaces,
the spaces that allow for these moments of

places like the Playground
(the retreat center I tended for five beautiful years
a place of great magic and wonder)
or Astoria at the very northern tip of the Oregon coast, where I invariably receive
brilliantly clear messages about what is indicated and what is next
it is always right for me to go there and always a little frightening
which makes sense because sanctuary is about SHELTER and AWE

shelter, meet awe

shelter is the safety
awe is the wonder: tingling and trembling
and each supports the other
we come into sanctuary to feel safe
inside of big moments of Presence
it can feel so vulnerable and risky to be that present with life
sanctuary says: enter here and breathe this moment
you are held in love

more more more, tell me more

writing is Sanctuary (for me), and writing requires sanctuary
dance is Sanctuary (for me), and dance requires sanctuary
and, funnily enough,
the place I am building that is taking its sweet time coming into being
just told me it exists to be a sanctuary
for me to write and dance

peaceful place

I shared with agent spalding
how frustrating it is for me, in moments,
this current state of
[everything in my life has been in boxes since february
and I am on the move and I just want space for me]
he said: well there’s no real solution to the chaos
that’s just the nature of the adventure you set yourself on, (you know this)
what if you stop trying to solve everything and
do only what pushes you towards your place of peace

ahhhhh my place of peace

proxy mission

I need a proxy mission for what I am doing while I sojourn
during operation G.O.O.D. aka Get Out Of Dodge and find the good
because this is what is indicated
my project is inviting me to
go be in the places I need to be while my sanctuary comes into being
my own personal writing-and-righting retreat
what’s my cover story?

here it is

my fake secret mission is that I build sanctuaries
of course I do
I’m an interior designer (the most interior!)
how does this work
I sprinkle a dust that is not a dust and it
changes the light and allows people to see the holy holiness
that was already there

but also I really do this in real life
like with the playground which was a medical records facility
filled with cubicles
I saw its magic in potential
and cleared space for it to be what it wanted to be

what are the superpowers

the first step in agreeing to a mission or embarking on a voyage is
calling in the superpowers
naming them

come in, come in
superpower of writing is my sanctuary
superpower of I make sanctuaries for creative self-expression
superpower of resonance
shoulders down / trust life / breathe deep
I stay in my cockpit

all the superpowers I need for this mission: activate!

what needs to change in my kingdom?

this was the next stone-skipping card I drew from the deck
prioritizing sanctuary
this is what needs to change

treating myself differently
taking myself on retreat for writing and righting
ha and Writing Retreat anagrams to Treating Writer and Rewriting Treat
it also hides the words GRANT, WANT and RAW
raw wanting is what I want
granting myself [whatever needs to be granted] is what I want

the foundation: where it changes

claire-of-the-mysteries said I need a foundation
so many delicious meanings of that word
and she is right

a foundation that is a home
a foundation that is a body of work
a Foundation to hold the work I do here and to provide my salary
so when I wish to build sanctuary, I am also wishing for a new foundation

as in dance so in life

I always have an idea of what I want to work on in my dancing
and then have to laugh at how I have fooled myself
yet again into thinking this is about technical ability,
when invariably dance is just reflecting back to me
what I most need and desire in life

three wishes with my genie of a dance teacher

jen: what three things do you want to focus on
me: feeling the floor
jen: okay let’s call that your relationship with gravity,
your ability to draw power from the ground and trust this

me: and relaxing
jen: being peaceful and at home in your body because you know
nothing can go so wrong on the dance floor as to be irreparable

me: and connecting with my partner
jen: or so connected to yourself through
awareness of your body, power and presence,
beautifully in control of what you contribute,
you can let someone experience you, because you choose to,
choosing when and how, according to what suits you


me: ohmygod wow yes this is what I want how did you know
she: because we just danced together and I listened

wild into wonder

I want to access my wild fearless panther self
and wild my way into awe and wonder
I want to use wonder to channel wildness
and wild my way into wonder
and wander back into wildness

don’t acquiesce

do you know what dance is?
it is elusive magic, vulnerable intimacy, and I cannot define it but
here is a beautifully concise explanation from Brandi Tobias:

dance is filling time and space with movement

the music dictates the time
the lead suggests/reveals/envisions/sketches the space
and the follow decorates that space through choosing how to move
I am currently working on following which means
if my partner is the architect, I am the interior designer
Jen said yesterday that all my dance challenges come from
not trusting my design skills

she said: don’t second-guess your instincts
don’t acquiesce
don’t let someone else tell you how to dance your dance
or how to fill and decorate space
this is your domain and you need to know
that no one else in the world can do it like you can

back to the playground

most people don’t know this
(I feel as though I am whispering a secret here!)
but my business is actually about space
the sweet inhale-exhale relationship between internal and external space
and how anything you shift in one
creates a rippling effect through the other

I teach this (through intentionally-not-teaching)
in a variety of ways, for example, through
modeling my own process here
reflecting on my week, exposing-and-exploring wishes and wish-seeds
I write these posts so anyone can come here and get a sense
for how I approach the space of my life,
how I interact with the space around me and the spaces inside of me,
not because my way is the right way, but as one possible example of how to do this

I teach through intentionally-not-teaching because I don’t believe in teaching,
I don’t want anyone mistaking me for source when they are source

not like anything else

I live the mission of my business through designing
peaceful other-worldly spaces that are not like anything else
both online and in real life
places imbued with safety and sovereignty and spaciousness to just be
I create spaces that are quiet, contained, magical enough and different enough
for us to turn inward and hear-and-feel ourselves
what we need, what we desire, with beautiful clarity,
so that we can take care of ourselves
in this moment now

there it is

so apparently I already am someone who builds sanctuaries
and I just didn’t know it
Jen was right: I don’t need to become a decorator
or learn to be a better one,
I need to give myself permission to be completely at ease in my job,
sure of my ability to play

what do I know about my wishes this week

if it is true that I already have what I want
and do not know it
(like how I already know how to make sanctuary because it’s my job, I just forgot!)
then my wishes are not to have or receive anything
but to reveal how what I want is already here
in seed or in essence, in quality or in spirit
and maybe also just here
what if what I need most is available to me

so this is a wish to
see what I am tripping over
and remember truth:
wonder is here if and when I want it
wonder and awe and magnificence
and my most wild peaceful at-ease-in-this-moment self

may it be so!


I am in astoria and it feels so good to be back here
and my whole body was saying no no no please no don’t go back to portland
stay here four more days
and all the signs were lining up to agree with my yes
— a prediction of 102 degrees in portland sunday (39 celsius!)
but 75 (24) here where the columbia river meets the pacific ocean

but still I wanted to logic my way into a decision
and weigh all the pros and cons
instead of listening to the decision
that had already been received

this is the superpower of hearing-and-receiving the next indicated step
so you can imagine how hard I laughed when I looked up
this month’s superpower
because guess what it is….

the superpower of the next indicated step is revealed to me

May was WILD with its wild door, and sexy fearless powerful presence

June is WONDER which is so very perfect for a mission about Sanctuary, and hahaha the next indicated step is revealed to me, yes yes yes, this is all I need and this is right

thank you, past-me, for being such a good namer and calling this into being

last week’s wishes

last-week-me wished a wish called boundaries and bells

this wish is helping me listen to my yes and trust life more

thank you, me who wished

invitation: come play with me…

you are invited to share many !!!!!! about what is here,
or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading, including any stories you wish to let go of, any adventures you wish to welcome

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