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…

I was sitting on my bed.

More specifically, I was sitting on my bed wearing more or less the same thing I’d been wearing for three days.

Fuzzy hot pink leggings, black camisole, fuzzy turquoise sweatshirt, thick socks.

I was reading Mari.

Actually, I was leafing through.

I am undecided about Mari. Her book, the life-changing magic of tidying-up came highly recommended by someone who knows how I think.

Mari says some things that are utterly brilliant. She says some things that make me sit up very straight and rethink my life. She also says some things that lead me to wonder whether perhaps she is not kind. Or, who knows, maybe kind isn’t relevant, and she is just one of those people who are born devoid of empathy.

Anyway, I am wary of taking advice from people who like to put things in order, who do not appreciate the wild beautiful aliveness of embracing chaos.

My tombstone will probably say: “She took great pleasure in making a mess.”

And I’m even more wary of taking advice from someone who seems to be baffled at how her family objected to her throwing their things away without permission and then lying about it.

However, I am paying attention, because I think she has some things I need to hear.

Spark joy.

Mari says to get rid of whatever does not spark joy, and I love this.

I love this phrase.

It makes me think of the ASL sign for joy, which so completely captures that bubbling up, the rising-up-from-heart welling-up up of it, the way that joy fills you and overflows. I am really into joy right now, and I am really into sparks.

And I think this is such a more vital clarifying question than most of the things people ask (“Have I used this in the last year?”) to determine what to let go of.

Yes, let us only have what sparks joy.

Let us remove those things (and people and traditions and habit-patterns of the mind) that do not spark joy.

This feels dangerous and true, and it excites me. This is relevant to my mission!

Belonging in…

And then Mari twists the knife:

“If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive.”

Okay, so I HAVE FEELINGS, and also thank god this isn’t a quiz where the choices are Strongly Agree and Strongly Disagree, because… kind of both.

I mean, come on.

It’s winter. It’s cold. I like to feel cozy and snuggly, and wear the coziest snuggliest things. Sure, maybe they aren’t the most attractive things in the world, but look how comfy I am. There is a LOT to be said for the superpowers of that.

On the other hand, something I have learned from playing with costumes and identity during the last four years of doing Rally (Rally!) is that clothing choices can be wildly transformative. They change how I act, how I feel, how I perceive and am perceived (and perceive that I am perceived), how I interact with everything around me.

On the other other hand, I actually do want to belong in everything: options! When I’m at a fancy hotel, I want feel like I belong there. When I’m in a post office in a small town, I like to feel like I belong there too.

So I’m not opposed to the superpower of looking like I belong in sweats. At the same time…yes. That is not actually how I want to self-identify.

What do I want to belong in?

I don’t know.

What I really want, I think, right now, is to remove the versus in Gorgeous vs Comfortable, Sexy vs Snuggly, Beautiful vs Cozy.

I want to believe that I can have both, be both, belong in both at the same time.

So part of this is an attitude change, part of this is cultivating trust in my own knowing, part of this is finding clothing that has elements of all the things I want, instead of some of them.

What will help?

  • Thinking about how I have solved this before, for example, while traveling and teaching. Dresses (soft stretchy fabrics) over leggings, with cozy but well-cut sweaters.
  • Find a warm sexy winter robe or caftan
  • Move somewhere warm…

I am also receptive to readers sharing ways they have solved this for themselves, or items of clothing they are especially fond of that fall into the category of comfy and attractive.

What do I know about my wish?

It is about much more than snuggly attractive things to wear while writing.

It is about removing the versus in more places in my life, undoing rules that say I can only have one aspect of [thing I want].

There are so many places in my life where I give up on X to have Y, when in fact there is no reason that I couldn’t find a solution that combines X and Y, and maybe even Z.

This scares me, and that’s okay.

What’s next.

Well, I have all kinds of monsters about this, with names like Don’t Be Greedy, and How Dare You Ask For More, and Try Being Grateful For What You Have.

I think it’s time to talk to them and make some safe rooms.

I also suspect that my closet already holds some good answers, and I’m going to look with new eyes.

What do I really want?

To belong in my life. To remember that I always belong in my life.

To feel outrageously glamorous, because that is fun, and also — for reasons that are yet unclear to me — it helps me get more creative in my work.

To lovingly challenge and dissolve internal rules about How Things Have To Be and That’s Just The Way It Is.

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’m sitting cross-legged in bed, enjoying the colors of my bedroom. The rich orange of the comforter, the deep blue of a favorite blanket. The sunlight hitting the translucent curtains that are my version of a door.

My room has already solved the problem of sexy vs cozy, beautiful vs comforting. It is full of rich, vibrant colors and rich, vibrant textures, and it is my favorite place to be when I’m at home.

And, it took me a long time to get to this, so that is a good reminder too.

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

She: This is a very good wish, it will help your dancing.
Me: It will?
She: Yes. Remember how writer you and dancer you are connected?
Me: Yes, but…
She: Start looking for the connections.


From the film The Ideal Husband:

“It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory and still to love it.”

I’m not sure what this is a clue for, but I recognized it as a clue.

The superpower of bringing light to the corners.


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. They are related.

The thing I have been illuminating this week is just how much I compare myself to [everything], and how dearly I would like to be done with that. Thank you, clarity. Show me what’s next.

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 the surprisingly easy metamorphosis of iguanas into unicorns…

I cannot believe how well this wish turned out, I’m actually kind of in shock.

The iguanas were all transformed. Took some work, but totally worth it. The day at the dentist was significantly less horrible than I’d been imagining, the much-dreaded Lacy Hips op (anagram for physical) went great, and I completely solved the Christmas Is The Worst Day For Me dilemma by absconding to a secret undisclosed location for writing time aka Writing Chrysalis.

Monsters were a little worried about the money, but actually it cost less than most people spend on presents. And I don’t have to spend anything on recovering from trauma. And I finished THREE DIFFERENT WRITING PROJECTS, which is nothing less than spectacular.

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.


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