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…

The surprisingly easy metamorphosis of iguanas into unicorns.

What do I know about this wish?

It has to do with change. Specifically change that I think will prove to be difficult but actually doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

What is an iguana?

An iguana is any task I don’t want to deal with, anything I’m dreading or avoiding or dread-avoiding.

Iguanas don’t feel like missions or ops or adventures. They’re more like chores. They hide in piles but I still know they’re there, so that’s why I don’t look at the pile or open the box.

Just thinking about them makes me want to crawl into bed and hide.

What is a unicorn?

Light, agile, responsive, playful, magic, alive, full of presence and trust, sparkly.

I want to spend time with a unicorn. Unicorns bring out the sweetness in everything. They expand my capacity for wonder.

When I’m waiting at the bus stop in the pouring rain, hating everything, and suddenly I remember to breathe a thank you for the green trees, a thank you for the yield sign that reminds me to let go, a thank you for the church across the street whose sign holds a clue for me…

That pause of exhaling, remembering that I get to be differently in this moment, if I want to…

That, for me, is the feeling of being in unicorn energy.

Since when do iguanas turn into unicorns?

It’s a recent discovery. Very recent. Maybe five minutes ago.

Sparkly Uniguanicorns! They’re in that awkward transition phase right now, but it’s happening. Metamorphosis. Transformation. Transition.

So when we say, “Goodnight, iguanas!”, we’re really saying, “See you when you’re a unicorn!”

I am choosing to believe that this is a thing.

Current iguanas in my life.

  1. x-mess blues aka what if christmas is as awful as it was last year?
  2. scary dental thing
  3. dental thing #2 and how do I get home
  4. ugh going in for a physical, and scared about [things], this is also related to what my father calls jewish ptsd: the P stands for pre.
  5. Stu and friends, and I have put off this project for so long that I can’t even remember why I liked it but I made a promise and it’s time to commit.

Okay and now I stop naming iguanas because I am getting overwhelmed and can’t think about any more for now or I will cry.

But wait, what unicorns are they are going to turn into?

Ah, of course. Their unicorn names won’t scare me at all!

Let’s see. We have…

  1. Gemütlichkeit Extreme To The Power of Ten, aka The Coziest Cozy Retreat Of Coziness, with Bell West, Adventuress at Large!
  2. Look At My Radiant Smile: I Glow So Hard
  3. My Radiant Smile: EVEN MORE RADIANT, good lord I have a great smile
  4. Operation Lacy Hips for the Lacy Ship: wearing the glowing crown
  5. My Love For Language Goes Down To The Letter

Great. So now let’s look at the metamorphosis.

What are the elements of metamorphosis?


Being conscious about preparing for the voyage. Bringing all of me to the experience. Letting it be playfuland creative. So much legitimacy for the fact that these things are challenging and scary. What will help me be grounded? How can I approach this standing in my strength, wearing my crown? How can I be there in full radiance, making sure I’m engaged and not checking out. And can I be a bold fearless adventurer?!

This is what I want to try.

What will help me with the iguana-to-unicorn transition process?

Remembering that these iguanas want to transition. They want to be free. They don’t want to scare me. They want us to have fun.

Renaming things helps. A lot.

Same with conscious entry, setting clear intentions, getting intel about what I desire.

Doing the alignment caper.

Oh, and maybe an OOD!

What else do I know about this?

It is okay that these things are scary, that they’re stressing me out.

And it is also true that they can transform.

There are so many things that used to be super charged with doom for me, and now they’re fine. There is no reason we can’t find a way to make these work. And the worst case scenario is, they won’t be enjoyable but at least I will be really conscious about what is and isn’t working, which is already changing the pattern of I’m Stuck In This Horrible Situation That I Hate And Resent.

What do I know about my wish?

It has to do with trust and play.

Trusting the play, playing with trust.

And it has to do with sovereignty: this is the kingdom of my life and I can glow more grace by approaching things with curiosity and presence.

And it has to do with clarity and illumination.

What’s next.

I’m going to come up with a list of things I can play with for each op.

For example, with Operation Lacy Hips (anagram for physical), I could bring a note saying I’m a Conscientious Objector, since that sounds better than saying that I’m part of the Resistance.

I can have a friend come with me.

I can write a list of ten things the doctor and I have in common, to help me remember that we are equals who ultimately have similar goals, even if we see the world through very different lenses.

I can make a list of things that are important for me to let her know. And a list of things I can feel free to ignore, should she say them, since she does not live in my body and does not know it as well as I do.

I can write a description of my ideal visit, as if it already happened, and feel how that might feel, instead of imagining and feeling all the ways this could be scary, stressful or infuriating.

I can ask Wisest Me to come to the front of the V, so that all the versions of me who have had negative experiences with doctors can go take a nap in a safe room.

What do I really want?

To release the pattern of agonizing, dreading, hating and resisting.

To allow for things to be different than how I think they have to be.

To bring all of myself and my playful heart to this, so that I can treat it as a grand adventure, a wild experiment in what-if.

To remember that much more complicated things have transformed themselves and become magical and sparkly, there is no reason these can’t too.

To give so much legitimacy to the dread and the avoidance. I don’t have to know why these things feel uncomfortable to give myself comfort.

And, as I seem to wish every week: To trust my instincts more. To trust my yes and trust my no, and act on that trust immediately.


I am sitting in the Playground, my center in Portland, which is also currently in a state of metamorphosis, transitioning into something new.

It feels disorienting being back in Portland.

Downstairs at the chocolate shop, there’s a giant holiday craft fair and they’re playing christmas music, which reminds me that for next year I would like to be as far away from this country as possible.

It is good to know what I want.

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

She: The key to letting things be surprisingly easy is believing that they can be.
Me: Can you say more about that.
She: Imagine you have the superpower of “this is surprisingly easy”, how does it feel?
Me: Hilarious.
She: Perfect. Keep laughing. Do things that make you laugh, that bring you back to the bubbly goofiness of all of it. Imagine that you are drinking tea called This Is Hilarious.


Driving through Idaho, I was feeling frustrated about my lack of clarity related to something and just then we passed a Beacon Light road.

The superpower of bringing light to the corners.

December-2014-Illumination Can I tell you something funny?

We’re in the month of Illumination, with the superpower of bringing light to the corners. And last month was Sovereignty, with the superpower of I do not wait in line for my own swing.

Since coming back from my 43 days of Operation Tranquility Recovery, I have been having the most wild epiphanies and crystal clear clarity about everything that is unsovereign in my life. For example, all the problems we have with the chocolate shop are not business problems but sovereignty challenges.

They aren’t things that need to be addressed with system changes, they need to be addressed by standing in sovereignty, asking for what we want and need, not trying to people-please. Anyway, I am right at the intersection of illumination and sovereignty, just like in the calendar, and everything not sovereign is being illuminated, which is incredibly frustrating and also very useful.

The 2015 calendars — the Year of More — have been ordered and will be for sale very very soon!

Ongoing wishes.

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!
  • My body gets the deciding vote.
  • 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, I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, and it is not even a big deal, yay.
  • I am ready to come into my superpowers, including the superpowers of knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me, I Am Okay With Being Seen, Everything Enhances My Superpowers.

Taking care of these seeds.

The intentions have been planted, the sails are set. Whatever intel, fruits or flowers emerge will be just right, whatever they are. Thank you in advance.

Now to nap on it, dance it, write it, play with it, take notes, skip stones, walk the labyrinth. Deep breaths, purple pills, getting quieter and quieter until I hear what is true. And a good costume change never hurts. Also eight breaths in eight directions:

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

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka like a red sweater for example…

This was the best wish ever. While I didn’t get [red sweaters] to replace the things that weren’t working, just being aware that they exist was so helpful.

For example, my laptop stopped working this week and instead of thinking this was the end of the world, I thought, I wonder what wonderful thing is going to come from this breaking.

So that’s new. And kind of amazing.

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 and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.

Here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.


The Fluent Self