Why does it seem easier to determine what you DON’T want, rather than what you DO want?
Think of the last time someone asked you what you want. I’m not talking about a waiter at a restaurant, although this may help to inform you. I’m talking about the last time someone asked you what you wanted out of life. Perhaps this was a casual conversation, or a long time ago, or perhaps no one has ever asked you what you wanted out of life.
In either case, I am asking you today and right now, seriously, What do you desire today? (Pause…) What is the first thing that comes to your mind? If you have an answer, I’d like to probe you a bit. Is your answer something that you hear many people around you saying they want? Maybe you have an answer based on a situation that you are living through currently and you know that you want the situation or condition to be done and over with. Or is your answer something like, “Well, I know what I don’t want!”
But what if there is more to the question than that? What if this question, which is probably not asked of you often (if at all) is a question that should be asked over and over to yourself?
Now I’d like to ask you the question once again. This time, let us take temporary variables or even physical things out of the equation if possible. I would also suggest getting in a place that feels calm and quiet, like your back yard or inside of your car. Let’s pretend that a special person of importance to you has asked you this very question and that you will have the request granted immediately after speaking the words. Again, WHAT DO YOU DESIRE TODAY?
If this question has caused a great pause or even negative feelings, you are in the right place. Many of us feel pressure about answering this question, especially if we knew that the answer really mattered and that we could actually do something about it. You may find that the answer is contingent upon other situations or it is very fuzzy and not in detailed focus. That is alright if it is. We are going to make a change today!
Are you aware that many of the answers we can give to this question may be things we have been programmed to give? Let’s take this apart for a moment. What if your answer to this question is that you truly desired five million dollars. Sure, you can do many things with this money. You could probably get out of some pretty stressful situations. You could also probably assist a few people around you who are dealing with some stressful situations as well. But is the money the actual thing, in and of itself, that you truly desire? Perhaps the stressful situation that creates this feeling that you want the money is so strong that all you do is think about the situation night and day. What if one of the first things you could desire is RELIEF from this stressful situation? You see, the stressful situation is not your true nature. It is a condition that has been created by the world and society we live in. If you are only focused on the stress of your life, you can never create anything more than a duplicate (and triplicate) of the situation. If you watch the news, it is very easy to see more and more people suffering from the same stress that you are likely dealing with. This in turn, creates more of what we do not want. You may have heard the saying, “Where focus goes, energy grows.” The mere exposure of the stress can lead us to desire a temporary fix, thereby the programming of our desires comes into play, and we can be almost held hostage by this seemingly never-ending stress cycle.
However, if you can come to a place where your body is still, your mind is at a somewhat peaceful place, perhaps you can now see what is on the other side of that stressful situation. What is the exact OPPOSITE of that stressful situation you experience? Is it more than just relief from that pain and stress? Would you consider the possibility of an expansive awareness and peace that exists in that opposite end of the spectrum?
Okay, so maybe you see that answering this question is not something that is a quick and dirty response. It is something that requires true thoughtfulness and care. In fact, it requires that you get in touch with an aspect of yourself that you may or may not have been in good contact with for a long time. It does require contact with more than just your mind. The mind is a beautiful thing. It has the capacity to create and help us solve problems. However, the mind is very susceptible to outside programming from the world. When was the last time you had a crazy song pop into your head that you couldn’t get out? Or perhaps a re-enactment of a difficult conversation with someone from the past that you could not stop ruminating over in your mind? The mind is not the best leader when it comes to getting clear on your true desires. Instead, the best way to come to this decision is to get in touch with your deeper knowing, or your heart.
Yes, our heart is an organ that pumps blood through the body. But there is so much more. Just like the brain has it’s functions that have not been completely figured out, the heart does as well. An immense intelligence is what the heart has in store for you that is nothing like the intelligence of the brain or mind. It stores much more of the real you in it’s functions and decision making. Unfortunately, we do not receive much instruction on how to listen to the heart. But when we do take a clear moment to listen by eliminating the distractions and sources of programming that are crammed in our faces, the heart can inform us in ways that are truly surprising.
So how do we put all of this together? First, let yourself be in a relaxed state. Go outside to nature if this seems to be a difficult task. Make sure that your breath is calm and deep and then ask yourself the question that I present to you for the third time: What do you desire today? If the answer of what you do not want continues to come to mind, allow it. But more importantly task your mind to see what is the exact opposite of the distress that may be upon you. This is one way to have your heart take the lead and let your mind serve you in a way that is truly helpful. Giving the mind something to do rather than allowing it to run around rampant will greatly assist you in this journey. If you keep coming back to the distress, determine to bring your focus back to its opposite. No matter how many times you have to bring your focus back, you are doing the great work of getting clear on your desires. I call this, “getting back on your mat.” It is actually like a bicep curl for your brain as you train it into understanding that the real you is now in charge. The more this happens, the deeper your relationship with your heart grows.
Once you catch your first glimpse of what your heart truly desires…BREATHE into it!!! Do not allow it to escape you like vapors off a body of water. If you lose it again, continue the process again and get back on your mat! This is the answer you have been working for. It may not be anything you were expecting. You will see that the answer is not what your mind has been telling you. You will also see that the stress and distress you were experiencing from what you do not want actually informed you of what you do want.
This is something that does take some care, but once you have it, no one can take it from you ever again and it will grow! If this article has been helpful please share it with others. I will be offering my insights once a month in this format and would love to serve and share with you what has been given to me.