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

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…

What do I want?

So I just came back from Part One of Operation Crown Bridge, which I now suspect has many more parts than two.

It was in Corvallis and it was horrible (except for the dancing, which I loved, obviously), and I hated being there, and this turned out to be the treasure, or it brought me to the treasure.

I learned, among other things, that when I choose to do something and that choice does not emerge from the internal home-base starting-point of “what happens when I treasure myself, how can I treasure myself”, then it is probably not going to lead to [what I want/need].

And then I came home, which turned into a SIX AND A HALF HOUR voyage (Corvallis, just so you know, is 45 minutes away from Portland, where I live), yet another example of the thing that I learned, and I was so happy to have learned it that I didn’t care, and just enjoyed all six and a half ridiculous hours of it, because yay going home and I never have to go through this again because now I know it.

Anyway. I know what I want. To treasure myself and to provide for myself.

What do I know so far?

I’m not sure, but I have an example of what this is like…

The day after my return, I was still a mess. There was this moment when suddenly I noticed how badly I wanted a bath, and I gave to myself as treasure, as self-treasuring. And then when I emerged from the bath (with a lovely epiphany), I wanted to sleep and I gave this to myself too, as a gift.

Not in the usual way of, “Well, maybe this bath will get me back into the headspace of wanting to do all the things.” Not saying, “Oh fine, okay, we have a million things to do, but I can tell that if we don’t sleep now, nothing is going to work.”

As a gift.

A bath is the thing that is showing itself to be the most perfect way I could treasure myself right now, and therefore it is the right move. My sweet tired body and my sweet worn-out-self desire rest, and so I delight in being able to usher them into bed.

What do I want?

When I woke up, three hours later, I felt amazing. And also: I knew how to treasure myself. It didn’t last long, maybe for an hour or two, but I felt what it was like, how it was different.

Pausing to drink a glass of water, not because I just figured out I’m dehydrated or because I remember that I should or that I haven’t. Being pulled to water because it is what I want, and honoring the pull instead of saying, “Well, let me just finish this one thing first.”

Putting on clothes to go downstairs and make dinner for myself, suddenly aware that I wanted to wear a particular soft top in a rich, beautiful color. Normally I wouldn’t pick up on that intel or I’d ignore it: why does it matter what I wear when I’m home alone, save it for going out!

It felt extraordinary. I know exactly how to take care of myself. And the more I take care of myself, the more information I get. Also, taking care of myself supports all of my goals in life, it doesn’t keep me from moving towards them, that is a distortion.

I was able to take care of myself, to practice self-treasuring, to provide for my needs.

What I want: more of this.

What else do I know about this?

The word Provisioning means a couple of different things to me.

It is secret agent code for “Packing”, which is something I am doing a lot of, and do not like. The word reminds me that I am lovingly providing for Incoming me.

And in a larger sense, Provisioning is shorthand for all the ways I am setting things up to be kind to slightly-future me, as well as all the things I do for me-right-now so that the transition will be softer and easier.

Mechanisms for ease. That was the theme of last week and it is also the theme of this week.

For example: Planting hidden surprises for later, and presents for future me, and meeting the pain of the moments when I realize I haven’t taken care of myself.

What do I want?

May-2014-Delight I cannot even tell you how outrageously DELIGHTED I was to come back from my exhausting mission in Corvallis and discover that the quality of this month is Delight.

With the glorious superpower of “Or Maybe Something Even Better Will Happen.

I would like to delight in taking care of myself. I would like to delight in Provisioning, all the forms of kindness for me-right-now and me-who-is-coming. I would like to delight in this experiment of what happens if/when I treasure myself?

And: I will not take myself to dance events that involve Endless Logisticking, because it is too much stress and too many unknowns for a Havi Bell who already has a lot to deal with.

What else do I know about my wish?

It is something I wouldn’t have been able to do five years ago, or even two years ago. It is something I have been working up to.

This will lead to other forms of internal treasure that I don’t even know about yet.

Anything else? Starting points?

Keep connecting to Incoming me. Skip stones as often as possible. Writing and Righting. Xs and Ys. Dance. Red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote. Thank you in advance.

My compass for these wishes:

Love. Safety. Spaciousness. Sustenance. Freedom. Trust. Delight. Treasure.

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. What if Hawaii is not in 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: Going In. And: More recovery.


“When you’re a rock climber, you go where the rock is.”

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka exits and strategies…

It’s funny, I didn’t think much this week about all the upcoming big endings, but they don’t bother me as much. I feel peaceful about them, like I don’t even need a strategy, I’m just going to let them happen as they happen. That wasn’t what I expected at all, but it feels good.

Ha, and I just noticed that I wrote last week that what I really wanted was LIGHTNESS, so apparently it’s here.

I also got a lot of writing done for the Book of Xs and Ys, and created some endings of my own.

And I am delighted (yes) about this month’s calendar and the quality of DELIGHT, which I’d completely forgotten about, and is exactly what I need. That’s another form of Provisioning right there. I am cared for, right now, by me of however many months ago, who made the just-right choice for me-now.

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

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I wish to whisper a whisper about the Monster Manual! It comes paired with the world’s best coloring book, which does so much monster-dissolving magic that even if you wait to try the techniques, you’ll still feel better about everything.

Self-fluency is hard enough, we need ways to to interact with the thoughts-fear-worry-criticism that shuts down creative exploring. And when people get the manual, I am able to me spend more time writing here. So if you don’t need help with monsters, get one for a friend. Or plant a wish that someone gets it for you! And bring people you like to hang out here. The more of us working on our stuff, the better for all of us. ♡

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.


The Fluent Self