very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal! Very.

Each week I write a Very Personal Ad (aka Vision-Possibility-Anticipation) to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. Sometimes wanting feels conflicted or just plain hard, and that’s okay.

At the very least, useful noticings about my relationship with wanting. It all counts.

What do I want?

Hmm. I have been sitting with this week’s wishes for a few days now (apologies to those who have been waiting since Sunday morning).

I’ve been learning about my wish, and then running away because of monsters.

Luckily these wishes come with the built-in superpower of All Timing Is Right Timing, so the running away from the wish is also part of the wish. It is even part of what will take me towards the wish, if I let it.

Something I have noticed over years of a weekly practice of wish-exploration:

When my wishes get sticky, there’s often a hidden layer of resentment about some aspect of the wish, or a situation in the past that my wish is reminding me of. And sometimes there’s also a layer of shame about the resentment. Hurt and sadness.

So my secret-secret wish is about undoing these layers. And I’ve decided to address the monster stalemate by giving them a platform so they can be heard.

I am co-writing the wishes with my monsters. Listening.

What do I want?

Monster representative: Ugh. What you want is dumb. You want to not have a car, as a ‘lifestyle choice’. You are SO SO stupid. This is the most meaningless wish. You don’t even HAVE a car. And you couldn’t afford one if you wanted one. And even if you wanted one and it magically appeared, HSP means you can’t drive. Flashing lights and high beams trigger you. Driving makes you so tense, the damage it does to your body isn’t worth the convenience of a direct route from Point A to Point B.

There, problem solved. You don’t need a wish. You don’t want to drive, you don’t have to. Stupidest thing ever.

Me: Solved?

Monster rep: Ohhhhhhh but you still want to GO PLACES and DO THINGS. Like the two big dance workshop weekends in the suburbs. Well, that is selfish and stupid. You can’t have it both ways. You have to COMMIT TO THE CITY!!!!

The penny drops.

Me: Oh, this is about when I was married. You warned me not to move to the suburbs because I need to be in the city. I knew you were right, and I did it anyway. I did it to try to make my husband happy, which of course was not actually possible and also Not My Job, and did not work.

You were right, and I was wrong. The way you tried to convince me of that maybe wasn’t the most effective, and at the same time your point was a fair one.

There is no but. There is no rebuttal.

Monster rep: GOOD. So Stop worrying about stupid things that you can’t have anyway because they will harm you!

Me: I appreciate how much you want to keep me safe.

Monster rep: “But blah blah blah?”

Me: No but. I appreciate how much you want to keep me safe. Period.

Monster rep: So you’ll drop this wish?

Me: I want the same thing you want: for me to be safe from harm, rejection, disappointment. And I also want us to remember that Now Is Not Then. Now is now. That was an entirely different situation. We have had thirteen years to grow and change since then. I can tell you really want to keep me from getting hurt, and that you think if I make this wish I will get hurt. That’s why you’re trying to head this off at the pass.


Monster rep: Yes, that is what I want, and you will be hurt.

You want a community, and the dance world is not where you’re going to get it. There is not going to be some hippie ride share. People look after themselves, they are not going to offer to pick you up. No one has responded to your rideshare request and no one will. You have to be independent and strong and take care of yourself. Tough times means you find out who your friends really are, remember?

It can be scary to feel need, yes.

Me: We still have so much sadness about Operation Resilience, don’t we. I guess that makes sense.

It was lonely and scary not having a home. It was scary having NEED. It was awful asking for help, and even worse not receiving it. It was awful watching the bridges burn.

And, while some aspects of this current situation might remind us of then, this is in fact its own situation: new and different. Confusing the two is not in service of our wish of Safety, even though I know you are trying to prevent me from re-experiencing pain from Then.

Don’t do it.

Monster rep: Why don’t you understand. You can’t count on people! You can’t depend on them! And you shouldn’t try to. You shouldn’t set yourself up for pain by asking for this. When you find out that people won’t help, it will hurt too much.

Like when Dani gave you a place to say but then he stole from you. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to trust people who are not your closest friends.

Supporting the mission.

Me: I see how much you want to keep me safe, and I want you to know that I am committed to supporting your mission of Keeping Havi Safe. I also want that.

I am not challenging your mission.

I do have some questions about the forms this could take, and I will keep pointing out when we are talking about Then instead of the workshops. However, I support the goal of the mission. I am on board with Keep Havi Safe.

Monster rep: I don’t want you to get in a situation where you feel sad and bitter. I would rather you didn’t go to the workshops than and possibly get stranded, because then you will stop dancing. And you can’t stop dancing, it is part of your mission. Better to miss out. Just skip it.

What if those aren’t the only options?

Me: There have to be other people who want these qualities of [Sharing] and [Companionship].

Maybe there are perfect simple solutions that we aren’t aware of yet.

I mean, that’s the point of these wishes: to seed what we want, and learn more about what that is. What I want is a supportive network of people I can play with, so that I have options and possibilities.

And really what I want is the part about options and possibilities. So that’s useful to know, right?


Monster rep: I want these things for you too. I’m just so afraid you won’t get them.

Me: If I don’t get them in this particular way, I will trust that Nothing Is Wrong. It might just be a case of Not My Bus.

I can still get the qualities I want, even if not in the form I am envisioning.

And I can still invite these qualities into my life, just like we are inviting the quality of Safety into this experience that we are solving for right now.

Monster rep: I guess things are really different than they were then. I think I feel guilty because I wasn’t able to protect you from Operation Resilience.

Me: Oh, sweetie. It is fine. I learned what I needed to learn. We were both doing the best we could with the tools and intel we had at the time. We didn’t even know how to talk to each other then. And the truth is, whether I had stayed in the city or not, I don’t think that would have changed the outcome.

Not stupid, just hopeful.

Monster rep: I’m tired. All this worrying about you has tired me out, and I didn’t even need to be doing it, so I guess I’m the stupid one.

Me: We’re not stupid, just hopeful.

Monster rep: I’m going to take a nap now. You can ask for rides, and maybe you’ll get them and maybe you won’t, and maybe you’ll get a hotel room there or maybe you’ll spend more time doing east coast swing which is easier to get to, or maybe the west coast swing events will start coming to your ballroom so you can walk to them. It will be okay.

Me: Yes, yes it will.

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat dreams. Things I’m working on, or might be, someday…

  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • I go out dancing at the ballroom.
  • This doesn’t require my input!
  • Ha, it’s so perfect that it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS
  • I have what I need, and I appreciate it. There are resources to do this.
  • Trust and steadiness. I can see why this moment is good.
  • Hawaii.
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.


This week’s ops?

I rest my ankle, I ask questions, I am curious about the magic pill that I never use.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka canceled by weather…

My wish had to do with healing and taking care of myself, and letting things be. And letting go.

I got exactly what I needed, through a Rally-esque combination of epiphanies and peacefulness.

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I’m going to need help meeting our budget this year (it’s a Blodgett!) so that I can keep doing this work.

Take a look at Operation Sustenance (password: fredastaire) to see everything offered for 2014. And please spread the word about this site and the work play we do with self-fluency. Let’s have more people playing. More play and more treasure that I can distribute!

Keep me company?

Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads. In any size/form you like, there’s no right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play.

Let’s throw things in the pot! And: Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.


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