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 want to say what I want.

Many things fascinate me currently. The one at the top of the list right now is how easily I will give up on my desires.

In fact, I will receive clear intel about what I want. It can be a very small thing, like whether or I want soup or salad (I want soup!). This also happens with big complicated life things, but for now let’s keep it on the level of soup.

Let’s pretend everything is about soup.

No, wait, I mean, let’s pretend everything is about soup.

I know I just said I wanted to say what I want, and by saying I want soup I’m not saying what I want, and yet what I want right now is to play by proxy, and pretend everything is about soup.

Back to the soup, and to desire, and to my clear, deep, honest knowing.

I know what I want.

I know without any doubt what my desire is. I desire soup.

And yet in the split-second after the clear recognition of this desire, I will immediately throw myself into the most absurd contortions to cover up this intel.

First I will convince myself that I’m not sure whether or not I even feel like soup:

What, me? Am I even hungry? Who knows? It’s a mystery! I could want anything. Soup? For me? Ehhhhhhh I’m not sure, maaaaaaybee.

Then I will trample over all the evidence of my desire, so that I can neglect it completely in favor of choosing the thing I think someone else wants me to choose.

When, let’s be honest, they probably don’t care, and even if they did have an opinion on what I put into my body, so what? How is that possibly more important than this Clear Indicated Knowing I currently have about soup. Soup! For me!

I do so much work to cover up the intel about what I want that I don’t even get to the part where I stand up for what I want.

This is what I mean when I talk about living by the sea.

Living by the sea is something the lover and I talk about a lot.

The sea is the C.

A is getting the information about what I want. B is letting myself really hear it, admit that I know what I want.

C is acting on it.

I want to live by the C.

What do I know about this?

I am so damn good at A. I kill it at A.

I have spent years practicing self-fluency, removing all the things that get in the way of A.

Despite all my best self-sabotage efforts to try to shut things down at B, I’m still pretty good with B.

It’s C where things fall apart. Somewhere between B and C.

Back to soup.

Soup is a small thing. Why does it even matter? What’s the big deal? Get over it. There will be more soup another day.

Yes, that is true.

Except when I do this with soup, and let’s say we are talking about soup, I am essentially training myself that my desire is not important. I am training myself to ignore vital intel, to refuse the wisdom and support of internal resources.

What do I know about this, about living by the C?

I have moments of this.

When I am at the Vicarage, I live by the C.

When I am not busy with work, when there are few distractions in my life, it is easier for me to choose the sea/C.

Or at least, to notice when I am jamming up the works at B.

So this is about presence, and it is about time.

This might even be why my Shmita mission is so important right now, to use this upcoming time of Intentional Not Producing as a space to clear out, to undo the things that get in the way of seeing the sea that is the C.

I know what I want.

I know what I want. I know what I want. I know what I want.

All the time. I have so much intel about what I want. I just hide it because I’m scared.

I’m scared. And I think we all are.

Scared about the possible repercussions of saying what is true for me. Afraid of encountering the emotions that will or may arise in me and in in others in response to it. Worried about potential conflict, and potential conflict-resolution, afraid of the work of setting clear boundaries that I may need to do.

Petrified of the vulnerability of wanting. Paralyzed at the thought that people I love may feel hurt or envious or upset or [other usual things that I fear in all situations regardless of the actual reality] when they encounter my wants. And really, the only reason people have such strong reactions to wanting is because they are hiding and contorting when it comes to their own wanting.

There we all are, craving our moment with the sea, avoiding going anywhere near it.

What happens next?

I practice.

And, more specifically, I practice with soup.

With the small things.

Using soup as a way to practice being my true animal self: Following instinct. Listening. Resting. Bounding like a gazelle.

What do I really want?

To release the need to people-please. To recognize that I do this because I desire safety, and that true safety comes from advocating for what I need, not pretending that I don’t need it.

And, as always, to trust my instincts more. To trust my yes and trust my no, and act on that trust immediately.

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

She: What do you want to be doing right this second?
Me: RGW (Replenishing Glass of Water), then bathroom, then stretch for a couple minutes.
She: What’s stopping you?
Me: I’m finishing up this post.
She: How dumb is that.
Me: Hahahaha! Right. Living by the sea means I wouldn’t even consider putting work before body.
She: Love you, babe. Go take care of you, and then whenever you come back to this will be right.


I was watching a cop show, and someone said, “Good, you trusted your gut!”

I could hear that a thousand times a day, and it wouldn’t be enough. Good. You trusted. Good.

Speaking of trust…

The superpower of calm steady trust is mine.

January - Anchor More The quality for January on the 2015 Fluent Self calendar is ANCHOR.

And the superpower is Calm Steady Trust Is Mine.

An anchor is good for living by the sea. Funny how I just saw the connection. And so is trusting my desires.


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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!
  • 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, I Am Okay With Being Seen, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me. See also: The superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers. And adds panache.

Things I find helpful when it comes to wishes…

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. My body gets the deciding vote. And, as always, saying thank you in advance.

Give it to the compass: Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

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

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka Removing the versus…

Huge success! Not only did I resolve the immediate problem (cozy vs sexy), I removed the Ridiculous Versus from a bunch of other things too, and I got my secret wish which was to spend way less time on online spaces that do not bring me joy.

Love more. Trust more. Release more. Receive more. Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

You can get the 2015 calendar and access to all kinds of other amazing things, and — this is the critical part — get them for HALF OFF THIS WEEK during Plum Duff! Password: enter-with-roses

Good through January 12, assuming supplies last!

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