When I was a teenager, if you had asked me about what I wanted to do in my life, what I really loved, or what I truly desired….
….I would have looked at you oddly and kept my mouth shut.
Those were rather frightening questions.
So much can go wrong with how one answers.
First of all….the person asking might take what you say and use it against you later.
“She SAID she’s got a crush on Evan Matthews. I HEARD her say it!!”
(Group of kids are standing around laughing, pointing and cackling about the news).
Or….the person to whom you have revealed what you want is offended or disappointed.
“I worked so hard cooking this meal, I can’t believe you ate dinner somewhere else, that’s so rude.”
Or….the response to your desire is luke warm or uncomfortable.
“Going to that play sounds totally boring.”
What about great far-reaching desires that take a long time, or are challenging to accomplish? Sometimes the response to these are very dismissive or critical.
“Are you sure you’re smart enough for medical school? Do you know what it takes to succeed in business? Don’t you get too nervous on stage?”
And finally, some of the most painful inputs about what we desire can come from groups, institutions, whole societies, religions, schools.
“Don’t bother trying out for varsity. If you feel attraction for that person, something’s wrong with you. Be careful what you want, you can make a mistake. Your desire is greedy, bad, selfish.”
I noticed so much conflict in my own movements towards what I thought I wanted, I got more and more and more careful, timid and tentative about going for anything.
Or I wanted to secretly sneak things behind the backs of whomever was watching me (like eating).
It’s very painful to have great desire and be sparked by a fire, and then think of it as messed up, too hard, sick or impossible.
I love doing The Work on my desires, when they’ve felt uncomfortable, unfulfilled, or misdirected.
One of my favorite things is to identify what it is that worries me about something I find attractive. Or what it is that would be much better if I had it than things are right now.
“What would I have, if I had this item, this experience, this dream come true? What would be possible for me?”
I remember doing this work on MONEY.
I really did want money so desperately. I always felt off with money. Loving it, feeling embarrassed about loving it. Wanting to hide it if I had it (from all the other jealous or competitive people). So miserable without it.
What would I really have, if I had lots and lots of money?
I would have ease. I could relax. I’d have time to read, meditate, write and visit gurus. I would feel thrilled and expansive. I would feel blissful. I would feel care-free, unafraid, untamed, free.
I’d feel safe.
So now the next great question….what is preventing you from feeling these wonderful feelings right now, even as you desire money?
Are you sure you need money, in order to feel safe? Comfortable? Cared for? Abundant? Able to learn?
Who would you be without the thought that you can’t feel safe, thrilled, excited, blissful, generous, loved and accepted right now, right here in your life, without anything added (or subtracted for that matter).
I’d feel curious.
I’d feel much safer suddenly. I’d feel trusting. Grounded. I’d feel kind of excited.
I’d notice that right now, even without the thing I want (person, item, experience) I’m breathing, looking about, and things are happening.
I want to clap!
I feel joy!
How do you think you’ll be more open to moving closer to money….with stressful thoughts about it, or an open mind and curiosity and a feeling of safety?
How do you think you’ll find that fabulous mate, or go through cancer treatment, or stop overeating or smoking cigarettes….
….filled with anxiety about how awful or weak or boring you are….
….or open to feeling this whole present experience and not missing a drop of love, awareness, safety or peace in the moment NOW?
It’s such a fun life to find the exquisite beauty in what I’m pursuing, to be drawn towards it, to discover the joy of noticing how lovely it is.
Now is when I’m doing the noticing.
And yes, it really doesn’t matter if I get the thing at all.
“When you have no destination in view, you can go anywhere. You realize that whatever life brings you is good, so you look forward to it all. There’s no such thing as adversity. Adversity is just an unquestioned thought….
….We think that because Jesus and the Buddha wore robes and owned nothing, that’s how freedom is supposed to look. But can you live a normal life and be free? Can you do it from here, right now? That’s what I want for you. We have the same desire: your freedom….
….Abundance has nothing to do with money. Wealth and poverty and internal. Whenever you think that you know something and it feels stressful, you’re experiencing poverty. Whenever you realize that what you have is enough and more than enough, you’re rich…. I love having money, and I love not having it.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy
This great discovery is the feelings in the present, at the core.
We’ll be having a wonderful time putting words to these present moment feelings in the upcoming Desire & The Work course that starts next Thursday.
Every week, we’ll explore an area people consider in their lives to be fulfilling, interesting, and fun.
We’ll identify stressful thoughts….our adversity towards these areas….
….and we’ll question our thoughts using The Work.
We’ll combine some of the lovely work of Danielle LaPorte author of The Desire Map to celebrate the unique flavor we have in our particular expression of whatever this is we’re being.
We’ll come back to reality, now.
Which I always discover is very friendly, when my thinking doesn’t get in the way.
A Smile and A Gentleness
There is a smile and a gentleness inside. When I learned the name and address of that, I went to where you sell perfume. I begged you not to trouble me so with longing. Come out and play! Flirt more naturally! Teach me how to kiss. On the ground a spread blanket, flame that’s caught and burning well, cumin seeds browning, I am inside all of this with my soul. ~ Rumi
If you’d like to join the 6 week journey of exploring desire, questioning the stressful thoughts that appear, tasting the flavors that seem just right for you….now….then click HERE.
P.S. If you missed the webinar on the introduction to Desire and The Work of Byron Katie….Click HERE to watch and listen.