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’ve been thinking out loud (okay, by text) with a few fellow secret agents recently about receiving, and how hard this is or can be.

About how much tangled up guilt/shame/stuff we have about it, and about the lessons inside of all this, related to accepting and receiving in various forms.

Lessons all over the place. Except bleah, life lessons is such a depressing phrase so I threw it in the anagram generator:

Selfless Ion. Lioness Self! Feels In Loss. Senses of I’ll. So Fill Sense. Foes Sell Sin. Isles of Lens!

The lesson isn’t really a lesson.

It’s a present, and a practice.

Or, to riff on something wonderful Max said, it’s like a meeting-up between one aspect of you and another aspect of you where you go, oh, right. And then you high five.

Or maybe you cry first and then hug it out.

What do I know about what I want?

I’m currently in many moments and experiences that fall into this category.

And I think it would in fact be helpful to be my Lioness Self:

Courageous, steady, beautiful, fully alive and present, equally committed to napping and to going after what I want, powerful, dynamic, bounding, moving forward with slinky cat steps.

This is, hilariously, all the same things I happen to be working on right now in my relationship with dance.

What I would like is to stop fighting the lessons, to stop grinding wheels, and start playing with all this intel my patterns are showing me.

To look up and recognize that this is a chance to meet Incoming me, not another reason to think I’m terrible at life, which is the au courant monster-theory.

What do I know about this so far?

Here’s what always helps:

Taking sweet pauses, saying yes to the red lights, remembering the purple pills, saying thank you to the broken pots.

And, really, saying thank you to — and for — everything I can think of.

Not because I “should” feel thankful. Not adding to guilt with more guilt.

This is not at all about diminishing the experience of the things that are hard, painful and challenging. Acknowledgment and legitimacy for the hard, always. Safety first!

Finding the good as a way of remembering my Lioness Self.

What else do I know about my Lioness Self in the Isle of Lens?

This has to do with presence and paying attention.

Noticing patterns, without judging myself for having the pattern (still, the monster chorus wants to add), or for being in it.

Noticing, especially, all the ways in which I care — a lot — about what other people think, when caring what they think falls into the category of Not My Job.

Remembering what Incoming Me said:

It. Doesn’t. Matter. What. They. Think.

Let go of this, my love. It is time to let this go.

What is an Isle of Lens?

It is the place where perspective is new.

It is the place of remembering truth.

It is quiet, a sanctuary. Just like not speaking. Being someone who lives in quiet has created my own Isle of Lens. It has gotten me to this point where I can access my Lioness Self.

I mean, I wouldn’t even know about my Lioness Self if I hadn’t first gotten quiet and steady enough to listen.

What do I want to try?

Noticing all the ways and moments in daily life which demonstrate that I am comfortable with receiving. Saying thank you for that.

Noticing all the ways and moments which demonstrate that I am deeply tangled up in these [Selfless Ions / Life Lessons], and resisting receiving things, experiences or intel that are being given to me.

Practicing radical forgiveness, internally directed. This freaks out the monsters, so we will call it something else.

Basically though, it’s this:

Remembering that past-me was in a rough place, she was working with minimal intel, she didn’t have the skills and tools we have now, she was functioning on very little sleep with very few resources, she didn’t know how to take care of herself.

Everything she did and every choice she made came from good intentions, she was doing what she could with the tools and information she had at the time. Maybe me-now would choose differently, and that’s fine. The point is, she was doing her best to get us here, and we made it! I’m here now.

And the best thing I can do is to glow love and appreciation for her, create safety for her, build safe rooms for her, and safe rooms for my fears.

Where do I want to start?

Interview incoming me to find out what she knows.

Skip stones as often as possible.

Dance. Intensity. Writing. Red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote.

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

Pleasure. Presence. Ease. Comfort. Emerge. Receive. Glow. Wild.

Saying thank you in advance.

Thank you in advance!

Me: Hey, slightly-wiser me, what do you have for me?

She: Do you think your Lioness Self cares about whether or not people like her? Do you think she gives up on things that are important to her to accommodate other people’s fears, perceptions and distortions about who she is?

Her not-caring is not selfish. Her not-caring is part of her embodied grace.

The superpower of coming into your superpowers.

August-2014-Emerging August is Emerging in the Fluent Self calendar.

The superpower of coming into your superpowers.

Look what’s emerging. A new relationship with “lessons” and a new relationship with receiving. I’ve spent the past couple of years and especially the past couple months letting go and letting go and letting go some more, emptying out. It makes sense that emerging and receiving is what is next.

And since this is the Year of Emerging & Receiving, of course that’s what is happening.

I named it in advance, and naming things in advance is a weird witchy magic. Or it’s not and it just provides a lens — an isle of lens — to give a new understanding of what is happening anyway.

Oh wow, what beautiful wishes.

Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.

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.
  • The superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers.
  • Ops: Real Seeing. The Protocols. Sip Hint Learn. The Panache Brigade!


Trying things on for size. The phrase “Rock On”. How do you catch flies?

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka lovingly curated…

This was super helpful for me. I was able to practice [treasuring my space] in a variety of ways.

I went through my phone and deleted every number whose name elicited a wince.

There were some I couldn’t bring myself to delete because (monsters here) What If This Person Tries To Contact You And You Don’t Know Who It Is And You Can’t Protect Yourself. So I just changed their names to things like You Don’t Trust This Person, You Don’t Like This Person, You Don’t Have To Respond.

Now they live in the Y section of my phonebook where I never look. So that was pretty great.

I also worked with this theme in taking more breaks and pauses, and in treasuring my dance space. Feeling good about this, and can’t wait to do more of it.

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