very personal adsPersonal ads. They’re … personal! Very.

Each week I write a Very Personal Ad (aka Vision-Possibility-Anticipation) to practice wanting, and get clarity about my desires. Sometimes wanting feels conflicted or just plain hard, and that’s okay.

At the very least, useful noticings about my relationship with wanting. It all counts.

What do I want?

My wish this week has to do with obsessing, except that isn’t quite the right word.

Let me see if I can describe this…

It has to do with the feelings that show up while I am wildly throwing myself into something I am passionate about.

The tingly excitement, the thrill of the challenge, the seeming impossibility of it all, the world to explore, the disorienting but somehow pleasurable brain sensation of everything-is-rearranging.

What does this remind me of?

When I was teaching myself German ten years ago, while living in Tel Aviv. Which does not sound like a great place to learn German, but actually it was. Though I think I could have learned German anywhere, that’s how intense my [obsession-like word] was.

It took over my entire life in this way that was intensely, deeply pleasurable for me.

Actually, all the examples I can think of for this [obsession, but in a good way] have to do with learning something or acquiring a new skill.

What do I want?

Okay, well I think I want a new word for “obsession”.

Checking the thesaurus. I don’t like any of the dangerous, scary words. I like besotted though.

That kind of explains how I get. I fall madly in love with the new thing, and just pour myself into the experience of being involved with it.

I haven’t had this kind of love-affair-with-learning in a long time, and I miss it.

And now it is starting to happen with dance, and a little bit with ASL, and I just want to immerse myself in delicious learning, in this way that is luscious, wild and yes, kind of obsessive.

What do I want?

Haha. This has to do with last week’s wish, about time.

Besotted-hungry-immersion learning, like being in love, is not something you schedule to happen on Mondays and Wednesdays for two hours.

It is not something that cares about the rest of your life.

While I was learning German, I was working two jobs. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have time for German. German didn’t care about that.

I would wake up early and write ten words on a slip of paper and put it in my pocket. And every moment I could I would peek at my sheet.

I’d build sentences in the shower, read my dog-eared copy of Brigitte on the bus, conjugate in my sleep. I didn’t have money for classes, and it didn’t matter. I learned German with a library card and a hell of a lot of determination.

So has to do with time, and also it has nothing to do with time.

What do I want?

Jon, the person who understands this obsession the best, told me that he spent thirty hours a week dancing when he first got the bug.

I have this story that I tell myself about how this is impossible. I run this business. I am the proprietress of a ballroom, which is a ridiculous amount of work right now. I have Rally. I have the Floop, my online community that I run.

Not to mention the related monster stories of Come Now You Are No Spring Chicken, and how practically-thirty-seven-which-is-practically-forty is no time to launch yourself into an intense physical training like this, what are you thinking.

Yes, there are some monsters in here. And they, like all monsters, want to make sure I don’t fall on my face, wear myself out, or subject myself to pain, loss, humiliation and doom.

I want thirty hours.

But really, I want the feeling of thirty hours. The hum-hum-hum of wanting. The secret tap-tap of feet. The rhythm in my head, the music waiting for me.

I want to give myself permission to throw myself into this, and see where it leads me.

Where it leads me. Dancer joke!

If I can swing it. The puns. They do not end.

What would help?

A schedule. I already have a document called Let’s Go Dancing, which sets out what is happening where.

But I think it needs to be expanded.

And then I need to peek in the morning and figure out when I get to have yoga, and when I might be able to dance, and how long it will take me to get there, and how I’m going to practice if I’m doing it on my own.

And I need a name for this mission.

And I need to remember the fractal flowers, so that I can trust that dance is helping me work…

What are the qualities of my wish?

The qualities of:

Permission. Playfulness. Readiness. Joy. Desire. Passion. Receptivity. Immersion.

What do I know about the op?

It requires planning and commitment, and it also does not at all require planning or commitment.

Planning, because otherwise it will get lost. And no planning, because infatuation doesn’t work like that.

A commitment to turning it up to eleven. And no commitment, because sometimes it’s pretty hard to forget that you are obsessively passionate about this thing that keeps sneaking into your thoughts and dreams.

What else?

It takes over my life because I let it. Because I welcome this.

And then everything in my life is better because of it.

I am calling this Operation PINK PANT for now. Partly because it reminds me of the pink panther, partly because I will wear pink pants, partly because pink and pant are very fun words.

Does this stand for anything?

{Pleasure Intuition Newness Keys Plenty Access Nuance Treasure}

How am I going to play with this?

I am going to wear pink, for one thing.

And I am going to dance. With abandon!

And I will interview Dancer Me about what needs to happen next. I have a feeling she’s been waiting for this. Waiting for me to admit that I’m in love, that I’m kind of obsessed, that I can’t not do this anymore.

Anything else?

This, like all my recent wishes, is perfect for a spy.

Bond Girl is obviously a highly accomplished dancer.

And since dance is not just dance but also a metaphor, I can learn about things I need to learn about in my non-dance life.

I am going to apply dance. Core. Grace. Receptivity. Presence. Mirroring. Musicality. Timing. Trust. Things like that.

And I’m going to let myself approach things with wild, unbridled readiness. I’m going to remember that there is a me who knows how to do this. There is even a me who knows why I need this so much, and maybe she will tell me.

What else do I want?

Seeds planted without explanation, a mix of secret agent code and silent retreat dreams. Things I’m working on, or might be, someday…

  • The Salve of Salves.
  • Announcements.
  • Everything is getting easier.
  • Miracles everywhere.
  • Regular dancing gigs at the ballroom, which is also the Spiegelsaal.
  • 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 is money for this.
  • I can see why this moment is good.
  • Trust and steadiness.
  • Hawaii.
  • I am fearless and confident, and I do the brave things and give myself sparklepoints, and it is not even a big deal that I did the brave things but I still get sparklepoints, yay.

This week’s ops?

Operation G Presto and the Book of Salves. Or really, I will see what comes up at Rally (Rally!)

I’m playing with…


And permission. And love.

Attenzione! AGENTS.

I am deep in an undercover mission to get better at Gracefully Accepting Thanks. Or: Glowing Receptivity and Being Receptive to Glow.

This mission also resolves a question we get from people a lot, which is “I really, really want to thank you, except I’m not going to buy products and I can’t come to a Rally.” And it is also related to Operation Coming Out Of All The Closets, so I can share some experiences from Then where past-me thought her best survival strategy was not-sharing-how-hard-things-are.

If you would like to support my mission by sharing sweetness and appreciation for any aspect of my work, I would love that. You can do it with the magic of words, through the comments, or add something to Barrington’s Discretionary fund. (Explanation!)

And if the way you are glowing appreciation is quietly in your heart, I like that too. It all counts. ♡

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka Secret Window Time…

I wanted to turn the two hours where nothing gets done into the two hours where I do things that are pleasurable and appealing to me.

I am so in love with this wish, it might be my favorite wish ever. Secret Window Time!

Because last week was Rally (Rally!), I didn’t get to test it thoroughly. However, I was very aware of this wish all week, and I could feel it while I was making choices.

I also noticed that I spent less time doing things on my phone, and that felt good.

And! I got to do lots of the things I suspected I might do if Secret Window Time existed. So that’s a win right there.

Also I took care of the Bork Updates, which really needed to happen.

The smartest thing I seeded last week was “I am fearless and confident, and I do the brave things and give myself sparklepoints, and it is not even a big deal that I did the brave things but I still get sparklepoints, yay.”

This absolutely happened, and I am so over-the-top happy about this that I am keeping it in the rotation.

Thank you, writing. Thank you, me who asked.

Keep me company?

You are welcome to drop in with wishes, gwishes, visions, personal ads. Small or large, and in any form you like. There is no right way to do this. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.

Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We ask for what we need. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play.

Let’s throw some things in the pot! And, as always, amnesty applies. Leave a wish here any time you want.


The Fluent Self