I am not very good at goals.

Mostly because I do not like them.

Navigating and mapping and adventuring are more my style, not surprisingly, because those are things that pirates like.

And I’m mostly okay with wishes as long as I pretend that they’re Very Personal Ads.

Anyway, I needed a word.

For the thing that is not a goal and not a wish.

And not a dream and not a mission. And not a project.

It’s a gwish.

Because it’s fun to say. Gwish gwish gwish gwish.

And because it isn’t as scary to talk about a gwish as it is to share a tiny, sweet thing that is vulnerable and in need of protection.

Gwishes make it through the cracks.

When you tell someone your goal, they might come up with all the reasons it could be a disastrous disaster to end all disasters.

Because they worry about you, just like your fuzzball monsters.

But they don’t worry about your gwishes because no one worries about gwishes.

Gwishes are buoyant and sparkly. They sneak past fear because fear forgets to take them too seriously.

It feels good to have a gwish.

It feels even better to get excited about someone else’s gwish.

At our day of pattern-mapping and destuckifying in Sacramento, we shared all kinds of gwishes.

But we made them up. Silly, beautiful, unlikely, made-up gwishes.

We experienced what it feels like to share a gwish and have that gwish be met with unconditional love and acceptance.

We practiced radiating joy for other people’s gwishes, and saying whee! and right on!

We created a tiny, awesome culture of welcoming and belonging for the gwishes to hang out in.

Some of the gwishes we admired:

  • To hear the trees and know what they want.
  • To build a giant tree fort where you can sing songs — with a bathroom in the tree!

  • To create a cat circus.
  • To find a home for all who need one.
  • To be a ballerina.
  • To cure epidemics of belly button lint.
  • To be a fairy in a red crystal ball.
  • To live in a haunted house at Disneyland (with a singing graveyard, of course).

Some noticings about giving people room to have their geishas.*

* Edit! That was supposed to be “gwishes”, not geishas. But a typo that fabulous must stay.

It changes the room. The quality of the air is different. More spaciousness.

It’s easy to get excited about someone else’s gwish, even when it’s something ridiculous or impossible. That kind of creative, expansive joy is contagious.

Listening to someone talk about their gwish… my whole body is engaged. I am animated. I want to celebrate it and be a part of it and make it happen.

It is so much easier to be filled with loving-kindness over someone else’s gwish.

I can’t always do that with my own.

With someone else’s gwish, that hesitance and reticence is gone.

I see all the reasons for yes. Why it could work instead of why it couldn’t.

As if all your spine fluid essence was pure creativity. The life force as undiluted creative play. Yes.

It’s good for you.

Not just cultivating gwishes of your own, but actively letting other people have theirs.

Without trying to change the gwishes. Not needing to fix them or do anything with them.

Just giving them legitimacy. Room to exist.

What do my gwishes need to feel safe and supported?

Play and playfulness!

Time and space to emerge in whatever form they want.

Friends (like Hiro and Cairene and Michelle) to clap delightedly with me.

They want to be welcomed and rejoiced over.

They want their birth to be the most happy thing that ever was.

They want flowers and flowers and flowers, and a secret garden just for them.

They want more room than it seems like they’re going to need. And to know that they are loved.

What can I do to help my gwishes feel welcome?

I can listen to them.

And ask them what they want.

I can make destinations and landing spots. I can write signs and give them names.

And safe rooms! Places to live so that even when I’m not with them or giving them attention, they feel comfortable and at home.

Dance. Movement. Trust. Walk the patterns. Map the patterns. Interact with the patterns. Untangle the patterns.

But mainly to say it:


Play with me! It is fun to make gwishes and to have them.

If you would like to play, you are welcome to.

  • To invent silly gwishes and get to know what it’s like to have them be welcomed and respected.
  • To share a real gwish, if you like and if it feels safe.
  • To ask any of the questions that I did, and see what comes up.
  • To welcome other people’s gwishes.

As always, we all have our stuff, and we’re all working on our stuff. We let other people have their stuff and their experience, because that’s part of this too.

The Fluent Self