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

I write a Very Personal Ad each week to practice wanting, and get clarity on my desires. The point isn’t achieving the wish (though cool things emerge from wishing), the point is learning about my relationship with what I want, and accessing the qualities. Wanting can be hard, it’s easy to feel conflicted about it, and the reasons behind that make this a surprisingly subversive practice…

What do I want?

Each evening at Rally (Rally!), we pick a superpower (or many superpowers) we want.

It’s a little bit like these weekly wishes: part asking, part invoking, part being curious about what it might feel like to live this….

At Rally X, I played with all kinds of wished-for powers, but the one that most surprised me had to do with not being a contortionist…

What do I want?

Here it is, my desired Rally superpower:

I do not accommodate people.

Instead I accommodate myself, and trust they will accommodate themselves, and it all works out perfectly for everyone involved.

It was clearly the most brilliant wish in the entire world, and it also immediately unleashed an entire Greek chorus of monsters telling me how incredibly selfish and obnoxious this desire is.

Which is hilarious because: Behold! Another contortion!

Either I’m contorting myself (and stifling both my desires and the intel available to me about what I want and need) in order to accommodate others, or I’m contorting myself into the distortion that not doing so is selfish.

Sometimes seeing what is actually going on is very surprising, even when you already suspected this was the pattern.

What else do I know about this?

It is useful to notice all this contorting.

It is useful to notice how often I’m not only misguided but completely wrong when I try to accommodate.

I contort myself to fit what I perceive someone else wants or needs, and more often than not my guesses are way off base.

More than that. My guesses actively screw things up, just like in dance. My job as a follow is to be present and not-anticipate. If I try to guess what’s going to happen, we lose connection and we lose the magic.

What else do I know about this?

Contorting is wildly unsovereign. It is basically the opposite of sovereignty.

Last week I watched myself contorting all over the place.

I noticed as I actively gave up on things I wanted, out of fear that it might put a colleague in a bad mood, all because I assumed people wanted my company, and for some unclear reason their perceived want took precedence over my actual want.

Last week I observed myself contorting to try to fit someone’s schedule, instead of just speaking truth, clearly and without attachment to any particular result: “I’d like to leave at X time. If that works for you, great. If not, I’ll make alternate plans.”

That’s what I would rather be doing instead of contorting. Sharing intel. Allowing people to respond how they respond. Not trying to figure it all out.

What else do I know about this?

This is related to my ongoing wish about Radical Sovereignty: accessing my clear yes and my clear no, and being true to them, immediately and without apologizing for them.

And to my wish about Boldly Glowing.

And this one: “To be true to myself in a way that is more visible, more palpable, more colorful and more alive. With intensity and panache!”

This wish is just intensifying the previous wishes. This is the next step.

The less I contort, the more boldly I glow.

Behold the Grand Contortionist!

I have started narrating my contortions as if I am in a circus act.

It is a way of drawing attention to the fact that oh hey, I am in my pattern again, without piling on guilt, shame and judgment. It’s just me being silly.

In my head, the announcer voice is very deep and resonant:

“Behold! The most impressive contortionist in the world! Watch how she yet again bends herself into an uncomfortable shape in a misguided attempt to please others! Behold the Grand Contortionist! Observe how small she can make herself! Applause for the great skill she displays in accommodating others instead of herself!”

And then I giggle.

Sometimes I also change this to “Behold, The Great Distortionist”, when I catch myself in an untruth, for example that other people’s requests for my time should for some reason take precedence over my own need to take space for myself to preserve my sanity.

What else do I know about this?

As always, noticing is enough. Wanting is enough. Being present with it is enough. Play is enough. There is nothing more I have to do right now.

I am enough. My heart is enough. I contort because I love, and I will stop contorting because I am ready to love more, trust more, receive more, feel more.

What else?

Releasing the need to be the Great Contortionist will bring me so much pleasure, so much delight, so much joy.

I’m sticking with the current compass of qualities for this. Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.

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

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: This is huge. Do you know what you become when you are no longer The Great Contortionist? You come into your grace. You are a better dancer, a better beacon. You are a beautiful resonant bell, and an all-around happier person. And everyone in your life, everyone who encounters you, feels better just from being around you.

Quitting this job is the best thing that will ever happen for your circus career, as it were. When you aren’t the Contortionist, you are the queen and the signmaker and the one who crosses bridges. When you aren’t the Contortionist, you are the dancer and the dreamer and the one who follows her wishes. You become a star, in the sense of constellation.

Do this. There is nothing more important than this. And don’t worry about all the times you do end up contorting. It’s just a few last gigs. The main thing is that it’s conscious now. You can see the contorting, and the conditioning that has led you to this temporary career move.

Your next big challenge is to RECEIVE. To learn how to excel at that. And you can’t do it as the Grand Contortionist. So this is right.

The superpower of gracefully receiving gifts.

Gracefully receiving my gifts.

Yes. This is the right time for this. Everything has been building up to this. Like I said two weeks ago:

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.

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!


Destroyed by sweetness. Infinite depths of stardust. That crazy beautiful moon. How right this all feels.

Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.

So. Last week, aka the yes of yes and the no of no…

This wish helped reveal some contortions, and it also led me to an exquisitely beautiful yes. I think it might be one of the most important wishes I’ve ever made.

Lots of yeses this week. Lots of experimentation with the kind, loving no.

I also found that it is much easier to trust in All Timing Is Right Timing when I’m actively following my yes.

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