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

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity on my desires. The point isn’t achieving the wish (though cool things emerge from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and accessing the qualities. Wanting can be hard, it’s easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons behind that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

What do I want?

I have a very dear friend who once went through a pretty gruesome betrayal, and he told me about how he decided, in that moment, to choose open heart over closed heart. “Love more, trust more”, as he put it.

When I went through my own awful and unexpected breakup with my beloved mentor, the whole world went off axis, wobbly. I was walking through my life but not in it. I couldn’t feel the ground anymore.

But I remembered “love more, trust more”, and I inhaled the truth of that, over and over again, dissolving and radiating, breathing my way through until I could walk again.

Without negating or denying my very real pain, I looked for every single spark of good that might come from this.

Each day, many time a day, I reminded myself that one day I would look back on this and say thank you, and mean it. A true glowing thank you from my thank you heart.

And I did. I do.

What do I want?

That was a good training for me. An important one.

When my business expansion flailed (yes, flailed) spectacularly and we lost everything, I already had this seeded knowledge inside of me that this too would become a thank you, it was only a matter of getting there.

What do I want?

Do you remember, a couple months ago, I applied for a grant and the whole thing was very fraught and I had to work through my wish here until I was ready to ask, ready to admit I needed and desired support?

I was aware, while going through this process, that there were two desires at play. The desire for the thing I thought I wanted, and the bigger desire which was to feel safe with asking, to feel safe being vulnerable enough to want out loud.

And then this cool thing happened. I didn’t get the grant!

I got the bigger wish. I was able to be deeply, intensely, beautifully, terrifyingly vulnerable with someone, and to receive sweetness and witnessing in a way I have never been able to before.

There was this moment when my heart just softened. I could feel the movement, the newness, hear tiny bits of ice crackling and breaking. It was extraordinary.

Later that day, I realized I didn’t need the grant, which worked out really well because I didn’t get it, and soon after that it became very clear to me that I didn’t actually want it.

I still want the qualities of Support, Receiving, Trust, Enthusiasm, all that good stuff.

I just suddenly don’t want or need that particular form, and it’s clear to me that if I had actually received the grant, I’d be feeling pretty conflicted right now because the thing it offers is no longer aligned with what I really want.

Isn’t it interesting and beautiful how things change, how we change, how desire reconfigures to meet our changing sense of our own truth.

What do I want?

I didn’t get what I thought I wanted.

I got what I actually wanted. And needed.

It’s like a new spin on that bitter-funny-sweet line:

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is getting what one wants, and the other is not getting it.” -Oscar Wilde

Except there is no tragedy here. Only treasure.

Not getting what I thought I wanted is treasure. Getting closer to what I really want is also treasure. Experiencing the qualities of what I want, this is even more treasure. Gathering intel about how my desires are changing: this is treasure.

What do I want?

To remember this. All the time.

To release attachment when I seed my wishes, trusting that all I need to do is focus on the qualities of my desires. Trusting that whatever I will receive will be a lot closer to what I actually want and need than the thing I think I want.

I’m convinced that the more I remember this, the more I will smile. The speedier I will become at the process of finding the good that is all around me.

I want to get what I want instead of what I think I want. And to know that this is what’s happening right now for me anyway.

What else do I know about this?

This is like an extreme version of Nothing Is Wrong In This Moment.

It also has to do with presence, quiet, being a clear conduit, accessing internal guidance. That way I can know when a desire has changed, when a yes is a yes and when it has moved into a no.

And it is actually a wish about taking exquisite care of myself because without that I can’t really do the other things I just listed.

What else do I know about this?

It requires patience, and a lot of trust, to go through life with this deep clarity that my wishes will change, and that’s okay. The qualities of the thing I originally wished for might need a new form now.

What if the new beautiful just-right-for-me form is on its way to me, and I don’t see it even though it’s right in front of me and I’m tripping over it, all because I’m still attached to the form I thought I wanted when I first made the wish?

I need my wide open heart of curiosity, presence and wonder.

I need to remember that the act of wanting, of being present with heart-desire, is enough. It’s another way I learn about myself and take care of myself.

What else do I know about this?

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more.

Practice practice practice practice.

And the more I speak truth with others, state my preferences, share intel about my needs, the easier my own relationship with my own desires will be.

What else do I know about this?

All I need to do is say thank you.

What else do I know about this?

It would make an interesting experiment to pretend/assume that each moment is giving me some aspect of what I want, finding it, saying thank you, looking for more, make changes based on that.

What else?

Time for a new compass. Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

Trust. Release. Love. Receive. Anchor. Crown. Glow. Boldly.

What will help with this?

Set the intention. Nap on it. Dance it, write it, play with it, walk the labyrinth. Take lots of notes.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.

Permission. Bright colors. Passion. Costume changes. Stone skipping with incoming me. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote.

And, as always, thank you in advance.

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

She: What have you learned about receiving this month, in this month of receiving?
Me: It feels amazing, like I am both softer and stronger, like being filled with softly pulsating light.
She: It really does feel good. The thing that scared you feels wonderful now that it’s here. It was okay to want it after all. What if next time we make a wish, we trust that this wish is so completely wise that it will land in the exact right ways, and that our heart is ready to receive all the good that is coming. Let’s do that.

The superpower of gracefully receiving gifts.

Gracefully receiving my gifts.

Yes. This is the right time for this.

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.

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.
  • I am able to state my preferences and desires, clearly, calmly and easily.
  • 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: A Beautiful Stew. The Protocols. Sip Hint Learn. The Panache Brigade!


“Somehow everything worked out fine, and it still is…”

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka not only is it on the calendar but it’s on the calendar…

Balance worked well for me. Putting intentions on the calendar worked too. And tashlich was nothing short of incredible. Also I am putting some real work into undoing a couple of problematic cycles I’m in, and that’s part of putting things on the calendar too.

Right now my whole calendar is trust. Every day trust.

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more. 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