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…

Questions and answers.

I turned the page in my notebook, and discovered a clue that past-me had left on the inside of the back cover, a quote from Zora Neale Hurston:

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”



Hope said that to me when I was distraught after the colossal disintegration and flailure (yes, with that’s how I spell it) of my business expansion.

Not only had I just lost my big dream, I’d gotten stuck with a chocolate shop instead, and I was so completely bewildered and shell-shocked by life.

That was definitely a year that asked. Actually there were three years that were question years, and then around September, the year turned and started answering. I am suddenly in a year that is full with answers.

Answers that I have questions about, hahahaha, because that is how answers work. They invite questions. They ask to be trusted, but they also ask to be investigated.

What do I know about these answers.

In September I knew that what I wanted was Shmita. A year of Easing and Releasing.

But I didn’t act on this intel because I didn’t think it was possible.

In November, my lover and I took off to the desert, and this little adventure turned into six very intense weeks that revealed even more answers.

It became clear that I need to stop working, and I need to let go.

I need to let go of the Playground (my unbelievably magical center that I’ve run in Portland for the last five years. To let go of my beautiful home, at least temporarily. To actively release everything that does not spark joy.

My body told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t stop working, it would stop working for me. And I said, okay okay got it, and then I kept working, and then about a month ago my knee stopped functioning, mysteriously, out of the blue.

It is time to listen. And it is time to receive the next set of answers that will come from that listening.


I woke up the other day with this pairing of words in my head:

Rosh tzalul

It means clear head, clear-headed, but it is more interesting than that.

Hebrew has multiple words for clear, and tzalul is the right word for the job in a way that “clear” just doesn’t begin to come close.

Tzalul is clear like water. I flash on the week I once spent doing glorious nothing on a beach in Turkey, and how the water there is so blue, and you can see all the way to the bottom.

Tzalul is clear like when your mind is clear: lucid.

Tzalul can be related to tzlil, a sound, or a quality of sound, or tziltzul, a ringing, like a bell. Also tzlila, which is diving. Diving, into and beneath those clear waters.


It is not clear like light/bright, that is a different word, and it is not clear like emptied, that is something else, and it is not clear like obvious.

It is this particular water and bells and lucidity kind of clear, and that is what I want, and that is why I need to drop everything and care for myself and my body like I never have before.

That is the next indicated step, and the only question in all these answers is this:

Am I going to live by this intel, am I going to live by the clear sea that is the clear c?

What do I know about this?

It has to do with choosing the void instead of avoiding the void.

It is a mission of following the trail of joy sparks.

More than that, it’s committing to the mission of following the trail of joy sparks.

It makes sense that I feel trepidation about saying yes to my yes. That’s partly because this is a highly unconventional yes, it goes against our entire culture of Do More and Produce and Ass In Chair and Finish What You Started and Your Time Is Not Your Own and Swim With The Stream.

And it’s partly because if that was the answer that emerged from six weeks of getting quiet and turning inward, who knows what scary shit will reveal itself if I really stop keeping myself busy all the time.

So I’m allowed to feel conflicted about Shmita (letting the fields be fallow) and about rosh tzalul (my head is clear, I am a bell in a belltower), and about desiring these things. That is okay.

What else do I know about what I want?

There is big deprogramming to do here.

I need to stop measuring things in any of the old ways.

It is so easy to think about what I am “losing” each day that I don’t have a tenant for the space, each day that I don’t finish project X or fulfill goal Y. That has nothing to do with truth.

Truth is that I am okay, right now, in this moment and in all the moments, and nothing is more important than taking care of myself so I can remember this.

What’s next.

The beautiful boy and I have been trying to reschedule Operation True Yes. We were supposed to run away to Puerto Rico and that fell through, it was an initial yes that transformed into a not-yes, or a not-yet-yes.

And now we are talking about just getting in the truck and going out to the desert and staying there for a while. Like, a while. A WHILE.

And we need to just make this happen because otherwise we will get sucked into work and life, into preparing instead of going, which is a big theme for me.

I was raised by people who preferred thinking about going or talking about going, not actually going. Which is fine, if that’s what you prefer and you know that. Nothing wrong with being someone whose pleasure is dreaming and imagining.

It’s just that I grew up thinking [big huge life changes] were about to happen, because they were constantly being talked about like this was real, when it wasn’t ever going to happen, and it took me many, many years to understand that.

It’s time to go. Not out of urgency or scarcity or what if I miss it. Going because it is indicated. Going because this is my yes. Not waiting while I think about my yes. Saying yes to my yes.

An affair with yes.

This is what the beautiful boy called it. We are having an affair with yes.

I had been panicking about this knowing, these answers, and this is so funny because during the Years of Questions, I would have done a lot to have some answers, and now that I have them, they scare me.

It’s okay to feel all these feelings when you are having a wild passionate affair with yes.

What do I really want?

To be still, breathe, notice my feet on the floor, feel the floor, trust, release, love, trust some more.


I am in bed, a bolster under my knees, which right now is the only way I can sit comfortably, and even that not for very long.

Sun is streaming in through the windows we put in at the end of summer. A lot has changed since the end of summer. The window came just in time for answers.

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

She: It is safe to chase joy.
Me: To chase? That’s an interesting word choice, especially when right now I am hobbling, not chasing.
She: It is safe. To chase joy, walk with joy, catch up to joy, picnic with joy, dance with joy, sleep with joy. Everything you do that is a yes to joy is a good move.


Everything with breath. Breath accompanies the action. Like shooting an arrow. Let’s choose towards that.

And the guy in front of me on the bus this morning who said, suddenly, very loudly, “I AM UPSET ALL THE TIME.” Let’s choose away from that.

The superpower of seeing beauty everywhere.

February - Appreciate More The quality for February on the 2015 Fluent Self calendar is APPRECIATE.

And the February superpower is I See Beauty Everywhere.

This has to do with rosh tzalul and my clear mind. That’s the lens. That is how I see beauty. Or, alternately, I can stop and see beauty, and this will clear my mind.

Special wishes! Recommendations please!

Some things I need/want for the upcoming trip that I don’t have, or don’t spark joy. So I am receptive to recommendations from you, dear reader, as long as they elicit real JOY SPARKS for you!

  • Slip-on shoes that are comfortable and attractive. I like just socks in the truck and being able to slip something on fast to pop into the camper or a supermarket. I have very sexy clogs with gorgeous wooden three inch heels, these are not the right tool for the job, as much as I love the admiring look of the boy every time I don’t fall while balanced precariously on the metal trailer beam. And I have a pair of Danskos that are like wearing square blocks on my feet and I just do not feel even remotely attractive, and attractive is going to be extra-important since I’m not going to be showering that much. What do you like?
  • Water bottle. Sturdy, attractive, glass would be nice, not Lifefactory.
  • Flip flops: sturdy, attractive, comfortable.
  • A really great sundress, something that travels well and not too cleavage-ey.
Thank you!

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. My business and ballroom are thriving happily. This doesn’t require my input! I think like a dancer. Ha, it’s so perfect that things 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. I am ready to come into my superpowers and receive the gifts that are winging their way to me. Superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers!

Things I find helpful when it comes to wishes…

Set the intention. Nap on it. Dance, write, play, walk the labyrinth. Get quiet to hear what is true. Sweet pauses, yes to the red lights and purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Stone skipping. My body decides. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths for the eight directions of the compass:

Adventure. Rest. Horizons. Security. Passion. Sweetness. Clarity. Presence.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka take care of yourself and you shall receive…

I got some very unexpected results from this wish, one of which is that I stopped crying about letting go of the Playground. Another unexpected result is that the boy and I decided to leave town.

And yet another result is that I am dealing with a situation I neglected for a very long time.

So this wasn’t what I had in mind at all when I made the wish, and I couldn’t be happier about this.

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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