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…

A word.

Yesterday I woke up with a word. I blinked. It was still there.

I hadn’t gone to bed with it.

It isn’t a word I have a previous connection with.

It was just there, tucked into the palm of my hand, glowing in the center of my head.

I tasted it. I wrote it down and tried to hear it, and it was funny, like when you repeat something until it loses all meaning, just improbable sounds.

And then I understood and laughed.

A week ago.

Exactly a week ago, I made a wish called Releasing Wishes, and it was about releasing and also about double meanings. And now?

Now I have this word: SHED.

To shed is to release. A shed is also a structure, a container, or a tiny home.

It was perfect and hilarious. I’d asked for releasing and double meanings, and was hand-delivered a clue about releasing, in the form of a double meaning.

A verb and a noun.

It is a very small and very funny word.

Let’s investigate…

Tell me about the shed. What do I know about shedding?

Shedding is what snakes do.

It is [release] + [metamorphosis].

It is uncovering and letting go and allowing a transformation.

I roasted red peppers this morning in the hot camper. Everything was steamy: me, the peppers, the truck baking in the Utah sun.

When I pulled them out of the oven, the charred, blackened skins of the peppers seemed like they were glued on. But then a little tug at an edge, the pepper gives a little sigh, gives way, the casing slides off into my olive-oil coated hands.

That is shedding.

What do I know about sheds?

Yesterday I experienced the most powerful, cathartic, overpowering experience of [RELEASE] of my entire life, beyond anything I knew was possible.

Also the first that wasn’t centered in sex or death or loss.

In the afternoon, a very intense body treatment, in a very intense space, on a very intense table. It was ninety minutes of remarkable visions, received in sparkling clarity, and maybe I will share those with you some time.

In the evening, my lover and I were watching a movie. It was a movie about baseball (I love movies about baseball), and it didn’t seem like it would have anything triggering in it, but I read a couple synopses online just in case, and they neglected to mention some very pertinent intel.

It had an abuse scene, and the scene took place IN A SHED, I am realizing now, and I can’t tell you what happened in the scene because the second it began, I was launching myself into the air, landing in child’s pose, howling and wailing, shrieking, whimpering, hyperventilating.

It lasted for hours.

I made sounds I have never made before, never heard anyone make before, did not know were possible to make. I raged sound until my throat was raw and ragged, and well beyond that.

There weren’t thoughts involved in the process, other than this:

“I want to run away. I don’t want to feel this. I cannot handle this much feeling. No one should have to feel this.”

And the steady voice of slightly wiser me: “I’m here, love. Presence.”


I wanted so badly to run away.

And if I hadn’t been in my underwear in a camper in a parking lot across from a mexican restaurant at night, I probably would have. I wanted to run forever.

I knew the answer was BE PRESENT AND BREATHE, and my god I wanted to run. I didn’t want to feel these overpowering feelings, this potency of sensation, this vomiting of emotion.

How do you process the bursting of a dam you hadn’t even known existed. There was no way I could have prepared for this. Upheaval. Sorrow and grief and raging pain.


I sobbed my heart out in child’s pose for an hour, at least, when I finally moved (to flop onto my belly and continue sobbing into the sheets), both my legs were completely asleep. For the longest time I couldn’t feel them at all, then pins and needles forever.

There was gratitude in that too: the prickling felt like life: remembering that this too shall pass, and sooner rather than later.

An author I know likes to say that the only way out is through, and while I don’t at all believe this is necessarily always the case, this was the right time for believing that.

Through. Through. Through.

I was coming through it, somehow, in a spectacular shedding of what felt like everything. There was a through. There was a way to come out on the other side.


My lover positioned himself beside me, at a slight distance, warm hand on the small of my back, not saying a word, while these agonized sounds released from my body.

He is good at radiating safety, and at not needing explanations, and both of those things are treasure.

A couple hours passed before the storms quieted, and I was able to open my eyes again. The camper was pitch black. My lover pulled a blanket over me and kissed my cheek.

I have never fallen apart like this before, nothing even remotely close, and I wonder if in part it’s because I have never been able to trust that someone could witness it without needing anything from me: words, reassurance that I’m okay, some sort of sign of life….

This doesn’t mean the support wasn’t there, just that I didn’t have the ability to let go like this.


This morning the mysterious pain I’ve been carrying for the past month was gone.

That is not to say that it is gone for good, who can know that. But generally the mornings are hardest, and today there has not even been a sign of it.

I don’t know what happened in the rest of the movie, and I don’t need to know. I am assuming a happy ending for all. I am assuming a happy ending for me.

What is my wish?

Last week, I wished for releasing.

Yesterday, I received the word SHED, and I received a releasing (floodgates!) that was beyond anything I could have imagined possible.

So now I wish for a gentle, sweet, smooth shed. Like the skin of the red pepper sliding gracefully into my palm.

And I wish to play with this concept of shed, in both senses. Letting go of pieces of identity. Letting go of the outer casing. Tiny houses and earth-ships. Safe rooms.

A shed doesn’t have to be a creepy place like in the film. A shed can be cozy, safe, sweet, welcoming.

What else do I know about this?

Wishing is amazing. Wishing is enough.

I seeded releasing, and I received shed. I am seeding shed (and gentleness!), and who knows what beautiful and surprising things will reveal themselves when I pay attention.

Anything else?

Something emerged from this big releasing and it has to do with writing.

Writing is my biggest form of releasing and it is how I process being alive, and you have probably already noticed this.

Not-working is doing big healing magic for me right now, except I have to figure out how to cover some costs for me and the business, and realized yesterday I could write something I really want to write anyway, and make it available for sale to help support this Shmita/releasing time.

You are welcome and invited to cast a vote in favor of one of the possibilities which are sparking for me at the moment. I’m not taking new topic suggestions but if you like any of these, let me know!

  • The Fluent Self Sleep book. A playful manual of self-investigation for healing and working with various challenges and mysteries related to sleep: falling asleep, peaceful dreams, waking feeling rested and peaceful.
  • The Book of Yes. My journal from Operation True Yes, where I ask the question “What do I want?” as many times as it needs to be asked. On living by yes.
  • Fluency & Self-Fluency. I originally started this business to help people learn languages quickly by using self-fluency techniques. This has been re-surfacing.
  • Eight Stories. From my life. On a theme. Like VERY long, extremely personal blog posts, except with the stuff I don’t share on the blog, and more in-depth process.


I am in a supermarket, watching a guy buy a giant basil plant, and wishing I had a garden.

Presumably it would also come with a garden shed.

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

She: You have so many allies in releasing. The mountains. Words. Clues. People who love you and support you.
Me: That is very interesting, I think of this as such a solitary endeavor.
She: It isn’t. You are held in love.


I just looked up and saw the words THANK YOU in large letters above the door. This is my fourth time in here this week, and I only just noticed.

The superpower of I am stronger than I think.

June - Release MoreThe quality for May was REVERBERATE, and it comes with I take care of myself first. Now we are in June: RELEASE MORE, with the quality of I am stronger than I think.

Apparently being stronger than I think is what allowed me to break down completely.

Strength is a wonderful companion to releasing and to vulnerability.

Things I find helpful for intentions and wishes…

Nap, dance, write, play, labyrinths. Get quiet. Sweet pauses, yes to red lights and purple pills, thank you to the broken pots. Costume changes. Skip stones. Body first. Thank you in advance. Eight breaths in eight directions:

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

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. Ha, this doesn’t require my input! My business is thriving happily without me. I think like a dancer. It’s so perfect it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS. I have what I need, and appreciate it. I am fearless and confident. I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, no big deal. I am ready to come into my superpowers and receive.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week aka releasing wishes…

I try to never say the phrase “be careful what you wish for”, because it gets on my nerves: we already have enough reasons to keep ourselves from wishing.

So I will just say that I received an ABUNDANCE of releasing, and I am glad for it, and now I am planting some gentleness for the next round.

Also wanted to mention that our Fi has been raising funds for surgery for her sweet dog Molly, help if you can or spread the word!

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

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I believe the Playground mugs are all sold but you can still acquire a pack of stone skipping cards just send a note and we’ll set it up. Ask Richard for cost/shipping.

Keep me company! Or just say hi!

This is an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads, superpowers, qualities, whatever you’d like, there’s no right way! Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is sharing anything sparked for you.

Comment culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on 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