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…

So here’s something interesting.

A couple weeks ago, Incoming Me got a bee in her bonnet about replacing my wallet.

It was weird because I love my wallet and see no need to replace it. My current process of slowly and gradually releasing everything that Does Not Spark Joy has resulted in a highly calibrated sense of joy sparks, and my wallet easily passes the joy spark test.

But Incoming Me wanted me to get a new one, specifically a protected one, and she kept poking me about it until I started researching wallets. At first I thought she meant something that could be hidden, but what she actually wanted was RFID shield.

We argued about this, which was both stupid and not stupid.

Stupid and not stupid.

Stupid, because Incoming me is always right, so why argue.

And also not stupid, because Nothing Is Wrong. I keep learning (and re-learning) that no, I can’t screw things up, no matter how much I argue with or ignore my wise internal counsel. This is good to remember.

Yes, things will be good if I follow her advice. And no, nothing is doomed if I don’t. Everything is already recalibrating to meet my new decision, just like when Siri says to go right and I go left.

Anyway, my argument was that there was no reason to replace the wallet that I love (an absolutely gorgeous Hobo wallet which I acquired brand new for a preposterously low sum of money when no one else bid on it on ebay), and anyway, why spend more money when there are already so many things that need replacing.

The Don’t Spent Money monsters won out for a while, but then Incoming Me said, “Listen to me. You don’t need a visible reason. The fact that a reason isn’t apparent doesn’t mean this isn’t the right move. I’m telling you that this is indicated and this is what needs to be done.”

So I took care of it.

I ordered both a wallet and passport holder. They arrived. The passport protector is great but the wallet is ugly. It did not spark joy and I didn’t want to use it. It went back into the box, and then the box got put on the floor and then, I don’t know.

The plan was to return it or exchange it, but then life has been even more busy than usual, and it just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list.

Then this week I had to spend two entire days dealing with Fraud Detection Services and my bank, because over the course of two days all my cards were used by someone else.

It seems very likely the numbers were stolen via a card reader, because one of the cards I only use online and never in real life, and the other I use only in real life and never online, and both were compromised in the same two day period. I don’t use ATMs and thanks to the knee injury, I haven’t been anywhere someone could have gone through my wallet.

Anyway, someone made a charge of two thousand dollars to a clothing company in the UK, various other charges were made and I have been busy cleaning up this mess. In the meantime, all my cards have been canceled so I had to order new ones and then physically go to the bank and pick them up.

In short, it’s been annoying, exhausting, time-consuming.

But I didn’t make the connection

I was grumbling about this to myself, and then I asked Incoming Me for help, and she said, “Oh honey, I am so sorry. Nothing is wrong, babe. And no one is blaming you here. This is going to be fine.”

And I had no idea what she was talking about, why would anyone blame me for anything here. It’s just stupid bad luck.

PAUSE.

Ohhhhhhh.

Got it. This is why you told me to get the wallet. The one I didn’t use.

What else do I know about this?

Last week Incoming Me also told me to get new water bottles, and we didn’t agree on the number needed.

I was counting the green one in my bag (well, it belongs to the boy), and she said, no replace that one too, and I said we were already spending too much money on provisions for the trip to the desert.

Then this morning the green bottle slipped out of my hand while crossing a bridge, and it broke.

Speaking of bridges….

I asked Incoming Me what was good about spending the day at the bank.

She: What do you think?
Me: Well, I ran into Chris there. That was unexpected and kind of interesting. And also someone I know from Waltz Brunch. I don’t usually run into anyone outside of my neighborhood.
She: What does that make you think of?
Me: Berlin. The day after I decided to move to San Francisco. I was walking across the Oberbaumbrücke, and I saw three different people I knew. As if deciding to leave suddenly showed me I had built a life there. But it was also a sign that it was time to leave.
She: What else do you think of when you think of this?
Me: After I crossed the bridge, I met up with Sten and we walked in the park, and — oh! He said WHERE IS THE BRIDGE. He meant metaphorically, in relation to our conversation, but it ended up being a big clue, and then I went to San Francisco and a thing happened with the Golden Gate bridge, and then I moved to Portland aka Bridgetown, and now I am leaving because all the signs right now are exit signs.

All signs point this way.

Since September I have been trying to figure out how let go of everything so that I can go into Shmita: a sabbatical-like year of Easing and Releasing.

Last week something — a total shitstorm of a something — happened, something related to both my center (the Playground) and the chocolate shop that I am reluctantly in charge of.

I was sitting there, on the floor of the Playground, in shock. Trying to figure out if this grand falling apart of everything was as bad as it looked or a secret exit. Because if the past few years have taught me anything, it’s this: When I say “oh wow what a nightmare”, it invariably turns out that it’s actually “oh wow what a blessing”.

I know now to look at bad news and see it as Perceived Bad News That Is Probably Good. And at the very least it’s fine, it’s neutral, nothing is wrong.

But probably good. Because if Shiva the god of destruction and deconstruction and re-creation has just sent a tornado through my life, it’s a favor. The tornado is for me, and the igniting of everything is for me, so that I can finally see the glow-in-the-dark exit signs for me which say, “This way, my love, this way, the exit is this way, come follow me through the rubble, just follow the signs….”

And right now all signs point to Getting Out Of Here.

So I’m going to say thank you and follow them.

This requires all the superpowers of incoming me.

What are the superpowers?

  • The Superpower of Marvelously Unfazed aka Full-Hearted Faith In Safety.
  • Superpower of Transforming Spaces. Anything can be a space and therefore this moment is a space, and I can charge it up with magic, wonder and delight.
  • Superpower of Joyful Courage
  • Superpower of Rising Easily and Gloriously From The Ashes Like A Boss. Well, and Like A Phoenix.
  • Superpower of This Moment Is New.
  • Superpower of I Only Get Blessings So This Is A Blessing.
  • Superpower of I Am A Bell of Easing & Releasing.
  • Superpower of I can be in this moment by blessing it, and I don’t have to do anything for this to happen other than remember this. Abraham Joshua Heschel said just to be is a blessing, so there you are. I am here in this moment, here and aware that this moment is a blessing (noun and verb).

What do I know about what I want?

To exit gracefully, with a full heart of thank you.

To trust Incoming Me implicitly, to trust that what my wise self indicates is good for me.

To follow the signs.

Now.

My dining room table is covered with things I rescued from the Playground.

It is good that they are out of the Playground. It is good that we have these things. It is not good that they now live on my dining room table.

All week Incoming Me has been saying, “Hey babe, it’s time to move on this”, and I’ve been saying “yeah I’ll get to it after this other thing”, and now it is time to just do something about this. I’m not sure what that is.

So I’m just going to put this here:

If you want one of the amazing hand-made playful meditation cushions that were made especially for the Playground, send us a note. $12 + $10 shipping = $22. Yes, that is less than we paid for them. (these are sold out!)

If you want the original and only remaining copy of the Playground User Manual aka the PLUM, it’s $20 + $12.65 shipping = $32.65 (sold!)

If you want a handmade buttmonster: $22 + $5.95 shipping = $27.95

If you want a Playground mug and a pack of stone skipping cards: $30 + $12.65 shipping = $42.65

Anyway, send a note. Not sure about international shipping but Richard might know.

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

She: Everything about this situation is right. Even the things that seem like they are taking way too long, or taking you the wrong way around.
Me: That is really hard for me to accept.
She: You don’t have to accept it, my love. It’s true either way. You are okay. This is okay. In fact, this is a great place to be. There is so much love for you. Just keep following. And even if you don’t, I’m here.

Clues?

All the bridges are clues. And also this moment is a bridge.

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 is perfect because right now the beauty is in the falling apart, which means I get to appreciate something I wasn’t expecting to appreciate. And the beauty I see right now is the love and acceptance that future me has for me, the way she wants to take care of me.

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! Not just something that works. Something that makes you smile.

  • Cuticle cream
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 is 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.

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 a very clear kind of clear…

Yes, that was hilarious. Things are very, very, very clear right now. Not yet the peaceful lucid blue water clarity but headed in that direction.

And I ordered water bottles! Thanks for the help! Who knew it’s such a complicated mission, water bottles are an agonizingly pretentious world unto itself, as it turns out.

The Kor bottle is gorgeous except ohmygod the way they go on about how it’s actually a Hydration Vessel. Guys, guys. It’s a water bottle.

The S’Well bottles are so beautiful I can hardly stand it, and the electric eel color is serious joy sparks for me, but even once I got over the price (because really, I spend that much anyway when the cheaper ones keep falling apart) the reviews make it seem like not a good risk.

The BKR bottles are stunning until you read the copy on the site which made me want to never go to LA again. I could just sit around and hate-read the website all day. I may have gotten one anyway. They’re pretty appealing, even if I’m not the right audience for the descriptions.

And I ultimately went with Retap because they are beautiful and simple and apparently will not ever leak in my bag. Still working on the other ops. Thank you everyone for the suggestions!

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.

xox