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…

What do I want?

I want to trust my wise instincts.

To trust them more and more and more and more.

And then even more than that. Ridiculous levels of hearing what’s going on inside of me and respecting it.

To hear my yes and respect my yes. No, to love my yes.

To hear my no and respect my no. To love my no.

Not only that, I want to to take exquisite care of myself so that I can get clear enough to pay attention to each sweet yes and each beautiful no.

I know what I want and I know what I need. It’s just that more often than not I talk myself out of it due to fear and conditioning.

What else do I know about this?

All of this is okay.

The desire is legitimate because desire is always legitimate. The fear is legitimate because fear is always legitimate. And undoing conditioning is the slow, steady work of life, as far as I’m concerned.

I want to remember that everything I’m going through related to this makes sense. Working on these patterns is a process. It’s not something I need to solve right this minute.

It’s enough that I’m paying attention to the existence of the patterns, noticing, seeding wishes.

Safety first.

What else do I know about this?

Oh man. I went into some very old patterns — people-pleasing patterns — last week and did not do the things I needed for myself.

Then I followed that up with this crazy-intense four day weekend in Seattle, which was amazing, except it also involved way more time being around people than I am used to.

And I am paying for all of this so hard right now.

Lots of hiding in bed. Which is useful, because sometimes bed is where all the answers are, and sometimes the best way to layer on safety is to hide.

What else do I know about this?

Not only is it true that Nothing Is Wrong, this experience is actually a good thing.

This is the best kind of hiding in bed, the best kind of noticing patterns, the best kind of learning from experience.

Incoming me said this and at first I didn’t believe her, but it makes sense. Here’s how she described it:

You made a brilliant wish about saying yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no.

More than that: You wished to see and feel how this whole thing works. The idea being that the more often you really YES your yes, and the less you agree to a half-hearted not-no of a yes, the contrast becomes increasingly delineated.

The hypothesis was that this way we’ll be less tempted by the not-yes, and more direct and quick with the no.

And now you feel rotten because you made some unsovereign choices that were not in support of your true desires. You made a WISH and it came TRUE. There is more of a delineated contrast! That’s why you’re feeling exhausted and resentful, and that’s useful intel: now you know what unsovereign moves do to your body-mind, and you’ll avoid them because you know that you need to trust your instinct.

This is a good thing, my love. It just isn’t a pleasurable thing. It will lead to pleasurable things though, so keep practicing!

What else do I know about this?

So interesting. So very, very interesting. So many things about this are interesting.

In my private life I am working on accessing my clear yes and my clear no, and being true to them, immediately and without apologizing for them.

To practice Radical Sovereignty.

But of course the YES of YES and the NO of NO is a lot like “yes means yes and no means no”, and the past several weeks out in the world have been filled with endless heartbreaking and infuriating updates about all the many ways people do not understand or respect consent.

As Julie put it: “All the usual fuckery turned up to 11.”

So there is some intersection here between internal world and external world, a meeting of my personal history (and the future I’m navigating towards) with these other themes.

This is where I learn to be an ally to me. To small me, to scared me, to incoming me.

Safety first. Safety first. Safety first.

What else do I know about this?

The more I practice, the easier it will get.

Just like with dance. I used to find that leads would sometimes do moves that compromised the safety of my shoulder. And I would watch myself not doing anything about it. I’d watch myself neglecting the safety OF MY ACTUAL BODY, the place where I live, out of a misguided desire to be polite.

And then I realized how screwed up that was, and I started pausing people and indicating that they were hurting me, even if it was more like “this is about to hurt me”.

Guess what happened? No one does this anymore. And not because I’m dancing with the same people. This weekend in Seattle I probably danced with eighty people I’ve never danced with, and not one of them yanked or pulled or tried a dangerous turn. I’ve become someone who advocates for the safety of my body, and everything has changed.

Now I just need to learn to advocate for myself in other ways so this can change too.

What else do I know about this?

Wanting this is enough. There is nothing more I have to do right now.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Let this be the mantra, the sankalpa, the knowing, the invisible tattoo.

What else do I know about this?

I am safe. It is safe to want this.

It is desirable and meaningful and valuable to want this, and to want it out loud, and to practice it and to devote my life to it.

This is part of being a beacon.

What else?

This will bring me more fun, more pleasure, more delight, more joy, more vibrant vital aliveness.

This will bring me deeper into gazelle state.

This is good. It’s important that it’s happening now, and it’s important that I’m avoiding it because it scares me. Avoidance is a sign that I care. Sometimes wheel-grinding is too.

Anything else about this?

Here is the compass with the qualities I want from this. Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

Crown. Trust. Presence. Bask. Source. Truth. Glow. Boldly.

Like I said last week:

To be true to myself in a way that is more visible, more palpable, more colorful and more alive. With intensity and panache!

Yup. Still what I want.

What will help with this? And where do I want to start?

Set the intention. Nap on it. Dance it, write it, play with it, walk the labyrinth. Take lots of notes.

I can take deeper breaths, getting quieter and quieter until I hear what is true.

More sweet pauses, yes to the red lights, remember the purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots.

Bright colors. Passion. Costume changes. Skip stones with incoming me. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Red lipstick. Eight breaths. My body gets the deciding vote.

And, as always, by saying thank you in advance.

Thank you in advance!

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

She: I think you’re vastly underestimating how scary this all is to you, so you’re like, what why am I shutting off, when actually it’s obvious. You’re feeling big feelings right now. You went through some big hard this year. There are a lot of exciting thrilling things happening in your life and a lot of unknown variables.

Also, thinking about and writing about TRUE YES and TRUE NO, which is a self-fluency thing but it is hard to separate from rape culture and all the horrible invasive disrespectful-to-women shit that has been going on in the world, that is always going on in the world, but has come to such a high-volume intensity in the last couple of weeks.

It is okay that this is a fraught wish. It is okay that you are feeling so much about this. It is okay that you know how important this want is and that sometimes this makes you want to run away from it.

You are amazing and beautiful and you have a good heart. However you do this is going to be okay. I’m with you. And when you can do this, you will be me and we will get to work on the next thing together. I love you.

The superpower of gracefully receiving gifts.

Gracefully receiving my gifts.

I need this so badly. My yes: a gift. My no: also a gift. Hearing them is a gift. Acting on them is a gift. And of course there are so many other gifts. It’s funny that I didn’t know this was coming in the calendar and last week I said:

I am ready to come into my superpowers, including the superpowers of knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, I Am Okay With Being Seen, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me. Let’s do it.

Oh wow, what beautiful wishes.

Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.

What else do I want?

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.
  • I have the best time dancing in my ballroom.
  • 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 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 and it is not even a big deal, and I still get sparklepoints, yay.
  • The superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers.
  • Ops: A Beautiful Stew. Real Seeing. The Protocols. Sip Hint Learn. The Panache Brigade!


A shade of pink called Notice Me.

And the fact that I waited five years for this.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka to boldly glow where I have not before…

Ohmygod, you guys. THIS WISH. What a spectacular wish. It has been developing for me in a variety of ways, so I’m just going to share a tiny example:

On Wednesday I was getting ready to go to the dance and we had these guests from France and they were in the bathroom for what seemed like hours and I couldn’t get to my makeup.

Then I found some in my bedroom that I never use. It turned out to be way more intense than my usual thing, and I said to Richard, I CANNOT LEAVE THE HOUSE I LOOK LIKE A PAINTED TROLLOP WHO IS ALSO A CLOWN WHO IS ALSO A RACCOON. Richard said that no, actually, I just looked like me but wearing cool makeup. So I accidentally tripped my way into boldly glowing, and then that sparked a chain reaction of steamy, fun, beautiful, sweet, play-filled, life-filled moments, none of which I’d been expecting and all of which are kind of blowing my mind.

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.

Let’s throw things in the pot! And: Amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.


The Fluent Self