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?

I have to tell you a funny story.

Last year, when I was going through the usual Fourth of July PTSD trauma from [explosions, everywhere], I made a wish that this year I would be somewhere safe:

“Part of what needs to change in July is REFUGE. I need to be somewhere else so that I can give myself shelter and refuge.”

The Spy Who Loved Me promised we would go to France, except then things changed and there is no Spy.

Guess what though? Even though I didn’t make any plans at all, I miraculously ended up at the Vicarage for the fourth of July. I ended up at the safest place I know.

How wonderful and amazing is that? Thank you, last year me. And me of Rally R, who set this into motion two weeks ago. R is for Refuge. Do you see?

What do I know about this wish so far?

Seeding. I seeded things.

Seeding things is important.

Seeding qualities is the most important.

Making wishes is important. Allowing myself to wish: this is important.

What else do I know about what I want?

I have written about my thank-you heart.

I have said thank you to the winding path that brought me here.

There is so much more thank-you than that.

Thank you, every me who wished every wish.

Thank you?

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.

Thank you, me of 2005 who started this website. Thank you, me of 2010 who opened the Playground in Portland. Thank you, me of the very first wish, who made the wish that brought me together with my home. Thank you, me who realized there was something in this practice.

Thank you.

Thank you for being brave enough to wish, thank you for peeking at desire and asking loving questions and being curious. Thank you.

Thank you inside and out, forward and backward.

Internal thank-yous to all the Havi Bells.

External thank-yous to everyone who reads.

Forward thank-yous to slightly future me.

Backward thank-yous to me from then.

Thank you in all the directions.

What else do I know about this?

The more time I spend in thank you, the happier I am.

What else do I know about this?

Past-me sets things up for me now, and I glow love to all the Havi Bells, past and future. We are all connected.

What else do I know about this?

Thank-you is the grace state.

Everything is easier when I enter from appreciation.

What else do I know about this?

It doesn’t cost anything. It doesn’t require anything other than getting quiet and remembering.

And yet at the same time, it is the hardest practice. The simplest, and the hardest.

It asks that I get quiet, peaceful, that I practice legitimacy, that I forgive myself.

What else do I know about this?

The quickest way — for me — into thank you is rest.

Closing my eyes, resting into the floor, listening to my breath, feeling my body-mind slowly release rules and rigidity, fear and tension.

Anything else?

This desire to spend more time in THANK YOU is the the direct result of last week’s wish about Wonderfully Peaceful.

So this is perfect.

And also this is one of the things I came to the Vicarage to learn.

To say thank you, and to forgive.

Where do I want to start?

To be a bell of thank you, I need to do less.

Thank you requires noticing: my toes lift up in a little dance and my left hand is clenching again.

Thank you is how I want to enter writing. I am a writer who questions things, including writing. So I can start writing with thank you.

Thank you to each of the qualities in the eight points of my compass:

Peacefulness. Safety. Ease. Shelter. Freedom. Release. Glow. Wild.

Of course: Tranquility.

July-2014Tranquility Hello, July. Hello, new salve and superpower in the Fluent Self calendar, July is the month of Tranquility.

Superpower of remembering that Now Is Not Then.

Tranquility is just right. Also I love how the salve has an anchor on it, and I am by the water, being an anchor and a bell.

Now is not then is a wonderful concept, especially for thank-yous that are directed towards the past, because I have a lot of Hard in my past.

Sometimes it is challenging to find the thank you in those memories. When I can’t find the thank you, I can say thank you to me-then for hanging in there, for having the tiniest spark of faith, for letting me in. I can say thank you for having gotten through.

Last month we asked that past experience be transformed into jewels. Now it is time to be tranquil and present: thank you, me who set up the calendar in this way. Thank you for this transition which is exactly what I need.

Talking to Incoming Me about…

Me: Shifting my focus to thank-you and tranquility, this feels like new territory. Haha, those were all T words, and when I come back to Portland it will be time for Rally T.
Slightly wiser me: Remember last week when I asked you if you remembered the trees?
Me: Another T-word! Yes, so this is the same. The me from the trees knows about thank-yous and tranquility. These are not new to me. It is just a new angle, a new vocabulary, a new spiral.
Slightly wiser me: This is why you have spent the past couple of years in a deep commitment to quiet, so you could get to this. And Thank You and Tranquility are bridges to new and wonderful adventures. You’re more ready than you think you are, and it doesn’t require anything of you. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Trust your instincts. Do things that feel good.

Anything else? Starting points?

Find things that elicit thank-yous. Skip stones as often as possible. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Operation Sip Hint Learn. It’s all about red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote. Thank you in advance.

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat. Things to play with someday.
  • Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
  • I have the best time dancing in my 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. Hawaii is not in Hawaii. It’s the Vicarage!
  • I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.
  • Ops: Thank you in eight directions.


The color copper. The texture of lace.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka wonderfully peaceful…

That was the just-right wish, and how funny that I didn’t know we’d be entering the month of Tranquility. It’s like I was preparing for it ahead of time.

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