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 wrote in the Chicken about the Salve of the Slow Motion Montage.

Right now, in my life in general and in dance in particular, it feels like I’m in the beginning of an intense training sequence.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my progress (or perceived lack of process), because I forget that I’m in the montage part.

I want to remember that what seems like waiting is actually part of the training. This is the new frame.

I think I don’t know how to wait, but actually it’s an entirely new kind of waiting. This waiting is about trying things. Testing hypotheses. Being wrong. Taking notes. Trying the next thing. Wiping out. Starting over.

This new kind of waiting means a new relationship with the qualities: patience, perspective, perseverance and play.

What else do I know about this?

Okay, so my dance training montage also has four words that start with P: pitch, poise, position and practice.

These are good for my relationship with dance and my relationship with waiting.

What else do I know about this?

I took an amazing class with Robert Royston in June, and this is the line that stuck in my head:

The difference between an amateur and a pro is that an amateur practices a move until he gets it right, a pro practices until he can’t get it wrong.

This also makes me think about Brandi Tobias and how she talks about dedicating your practice to meticulousness. She says this is what allows you to really play.

Dedication, devotion, meticulousness, repetition.

These are the things I’m learning about while I appear to be waiting.

It’s not like I’m waiting around doing nothing, hoping things will move. This is a waiting of actively practicing.

What else do I know about this?

Sometimes the training sequence involves icing my ankle, sometimes it involves making the same mistake a thousand times, sometimes it involves crying in the bath, and all of these things are okay, because they are part of getting ready, becoming stronger, getting closer.

Just like how the labyrinth repeatedly appears to take me farther away from the thing I am heading towards, and that is part of arriving.

Another interesting thing about the labyrinth: I always think the most important moment will be at the center, only to be surprised (every single time) at all the moments of treasure waiting for me at various points along the way there and back.

This process is important. This waiting — this new sense of what it means to be in a transition state — has treasure for me.

What else do I know about this?

How I wait is more important than anything else about the waiting, just like how in west coast swing it doesn’t matter so much where my feet go as how they get there.

How is about process.

In this new kind of waiting, I am involved. I am playing. I am receptive to elegant solutions and unexpected doors. I remember to look up.

Mainly, I commit to enjoying the process of getting there. This means finding the pleasurable parts, saying hello to the flowers at the edge of the path, pausing for picnics, releasing the ridiculous idea that the only important thing about the mountain is being at the top of it.

I want to remember: everything happening now is useful. I am finding clues, I am learning and exploring, I am in process.

What do I want from this new kind of waiting

The thrill of almost.

The pleasure of anticipation.

Quiet steady focus.

In any moment I can leave a secret message for incoming me, uncover a secret message from past me.

I want to say no more often, with less apologizing. To wait for the whole-hearted yes.

To do things differently than I might usually, just to see what happens.

What will help with this?

More intention-setting during other moments of waiting.

I can trace the labyrinth at the bus stop. I can write qualities on the palms of my hands. I can take deeper breaths, getting quieter and quieter until I hear what is true.

More sweet pauses, yes to the red lights, remember the purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots.

Where do I want to start?

Bright colors. Passion. Costume changes. Skip stones with incoming me.

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

Use the compass: eight breaths, one in each direction.

Pleasure. Desire. Ease. Bask. Emerge. Receive. Glow. Wild.

Say thank you in advance.

Thank you in advance!

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

She: This really is an entirely new kind of waiting. It’s almost like we didn’t understand waiting before. This will change things. Let it change things. And you are so right about bright colors. Let the color into your life. Let things get saturated. See what happens. It’s a symbolic thing but it goes deep. This might also come with some scary moments, and it won’t make sense because come on, it’s just color. No, it’s big. This is about identity and about committing to desire, and a willingness to be seen! There’s a reason this requires a waiting period or montage time. Big growth. Let it take as long as it needs to take. Learning to wait like this is worth it.

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.

This new kind of waiting is emerging. It’s changing how I want to emerge. I am ready to come into my superpowers, including the superpowers of knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, I Am Okay With Being Seen, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me. Let’s do it.

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!


The word UNREPENTANT to describe a flower. Wow.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka Operation Grants Pass…

Best wish ever! I learned a lot about my fear, and I tried out for the Splash Choir. More importantly, I realized that even if the people who run the splash choir don’t like anything about how I splash, it doesn’t matter at all.

The only thing that mattered is that I allowed my desire to turn into action. I shared things that were vulnerable and scary to admit, I let myself splash.

And, like with so many intimidating experiences, thinking about doing it and almost-doing it were way harder than the thing itself.

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