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 had this beautiful moment of understanding last week at Rally (Rally!) that my projects, ops, missions and next steps are all potential dance partners.

This is useful because I often panic about how many [monsternumber of] things are on my list.

I don’t like having so many things. I get exhausted and overwhelmed just knowing they exist as possibilities. And I have a tendency to overestimate my capacity for doing, and overload my tray.

However, I never get overwhelmed by the possibility of more people to dance with. I adore having plenty of people to dance with.

So what if these are just a wild abundance of dance partners? What if imagining this is how I play this week?

Similarly, what if project time is like dance time!

When I’m at a dance, I take lots of breaks to drink water or watch other people dance. I pause and reconnect to myself. I take notes. I check in with dancer me to make sure I’m taking exquisite care of myself.

Both dancing itself and being at a dance are full of delicious red lights. When you are dancing these are called hesitation steps or holds. In a project, this could be resting on the floor, the magic purple pills.

Also, with projects I often get frustrated when things move slowly. In a dance though, especially in tango or west coast swing or blues, slowness can be thrilling, sexy, impossibly beautiful. In dance, I like to drink at the well of slowness.

During dance time, I feel alive. During dance time, every new song is an adventure. This is how I would like to feel during project time!

What do I know about this?

I have a parade of monsters saying this is stupid and it will never work, and the Time Gremlins think (as usual) that there is NO TIME to experiment with this because I should sit down and work, like a grown up. Except you know what? I am feeling excited about this.

A wild abundance of dance partners! This is what I want in real life too!

I actually got to experience this over the weekend at Waltz Brunch. There was a shortage of follows, and lots of people I have good dances with. People were lining up to dance with me, and it was the most fun thing in the entire world.

Imagining that my projects and Next Steps are dance partners turns project time into a sort of safe house: a place of refuge and shelter, quiet and play.

What else do I know about this?

This is bigger than I think. It has to do with shifting perspective, in a variety of ways.

It gives me a different way to understand my current situation of I Perceive That I Have Lots of Options.

I am hoping this will help transform it from something scary (gah! terror! too many things!) to something delightful: hey, check out this wild abundance of dance partners!

This way of playing/thinking should help me find new perspective on other things as well.

What else do I know about what I want?

This is related to another wish I have that scares me. It is a wish I made two hundred and ten weeks ago and even with the best code name ever, it still scared me so much that I haven’t been able to process it.

When I was at the Vicarage recently, I realized that what I want is an extended period of vicarage time. Months of Vicarage! This past week the theme of sabbatical came up over and over again. I got to have lunch with Agent Tessa who is currently taking a year off from everything, and I asked her if that was as thrilling and terrifying as it sounds, and she confirmed that yes, it is both these things.

I had a lot of questions, and her answers confirmed things that I have been thinking.

Then Agent A told me about his three year experiment of Not Working Just Practicing, which I had not known about before, and I was like, lalalalalala I can’t hear you and had to go hide because OHMYGOD WHAT HOW I WANT I CAN’T I LOVE THAT YOU DID THIS.

Yesterday I went out for a celebratory lunch with the Vicar (the Vicar and the Vicarage are actually not related at all, I know, it’s weird), and he was telling me that he is coming into some time off and can’t wait to figure out how to fill it up.

This sentence made ZERO SENSE TO ME, as my monsters are pretty much convinced that no matter how much time I could take to not-work, it would just get filled up with stupid life stuff like making dentist appointments and getting that pair of shoes fixed.

Same thing. Perspective shift. What if I could get excited about [the open time I crave] instead of dreading it?

Where do I want to start?

Trusting the wish.

Remembering that dance partners aren’t waiting around, arms crossed, toes tapping, hoping I will hurry up. Dance partners are happily dancing with other dance partners. It’s almost like the fractal flowers. My dance partners are becoming better dancers while I’m dancing with whatever I’m dancing with for this song.

Using the compass. Eight breaths: one in each direction.

Simplicity. Delight. Ease. Beauty. Anchor. Release. Glow. Wild.

How is this related to Tranquility?

July-2014Tranquility July is the month of Tranquility in the Fluent Self calendar.

Superpower: Remembering that Now Is Not Then.

Tranquility is the perfect quality to meet my stuff about No Time and Everything Up In The Air. Tranquility, trust and taking a stand in favor of giving myself what I need.

That’s what anchors me.

Talking to Incoming Me…

Me: Whaddya got?
Slightly wiser me: I am loving this phrase A Wild Abundance. Isn’t it amazing how the word abundance sometimes pricks but not when it is a wild abundance of dance partners. I love how you play. And I love how the play changes things.
Me: I’m noticing a fear that I will take time for me and it will be crazy expensive and annoying.
Slightly wiser me: (laughs) As expensive and annoying as paying for the consequences of not taking care of yourself?
Me: Oh yeah, good point, that is way worse.
Slightly wiser me: One day a Wild Abundance of Time will no longer be a scary concept, and that’s because of the work you’re doing right now with your current ops. So keep playing, and trust.

Anything else? Starting points?

Keep talking with Incoming Me. Skip stones as often as possible. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Operation Sip Hint Learn. 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.
  • 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: Joining the Resistance. From the inside!


Hot hot hot hot hot hot pink.

And something Incoming Me said:

Let’s see what happens when we ready the [Sanctuary/Shelter/Refuge/Safe Place] in advance instead of running for one when we need it.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka the mystery of the purple pills…

This was the exact right thing to have wished for. I am taking them more regularly than I ever have before. Long pauses. Short pauses. AIR mode on the phone so I can Access Internal Resonance. Avoiding things that make it difficult to pause. It’s good.

Also Rally solved a bunch of things for me related to previous wishes. For example, I had this wish in April about taking down the castles through bubbling, and then last week I had an epiphany about how to take down two of the most problematic/complicated castles. I asked Richard to help, and then while I was at Rally (and Angela was blowing bubbles!), one of the castles turned into a compass, and the other one has turned into a new wish. So that’s kind of amazing.

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