Want to get your bother on starting now?
Read the first chapter from my new book for a jolt of fresh perspective and possibility, and a radical reframe on what to do when you are feeling lost, blah, unmotivated, or burned out, in any area of your life or for any reason — even success!
Margaret Talbot, writing for The New Yorker this week about boredom, quoted Tolstoy, “boredom is a desire for desires.”
When I read that, my entire body came alive. I had to get up and pace around my office. Because what I know with all my being is we fall into boredom, ennui, existential “why bother?” when we lack a relationship with desire.
As a culture, we mostly have no idea how to want, because desire has become so perverted. It’s something we have to own or perfect or excel at or dominate, or it’s only for certain people.
Most of all, desire is dangerous. Or humiliating. Certainly disappointing.
And while certainly, desire and its dear friends, purpose and meaning, can be lifetime existential quests that don’t have pat answers or clear destinations, when we lack the basic tools to engage with desire at its root, we’re sunk before we even begin.
We feel like we don’t matter and thus what we want doesn’t either.We get waylaid by hustle and what we should want.We fall into believing we don’t know what we want.We put the world’s needs before our own.
We may tell ourselves:
“The world is in too much pain and there is too much to do for me to think about what I want. Who cares what I want?”
“I can’t seem to settle down and let myself concentrate and get into a flow. As soon as I do, my phone pings or I think of something I need to do, and off I go. There never seems to be enough time to know my desires.”
“I know what I want but I’m too afraid to name it, even to myself. I go all foggy.”
“I know what I want, but I can’t be sure I can get it which means I will be disappointed again and so I never fully commit.”
“I’m unwilling to grieve what I can no longer have, so I don’t let myself want anything else.”
“I’m afraid to choose, even a form of self-care because it might not be the best choice or the right choice, and even if it is, what about all my other ideas and possibilities?”
“I won’t surrender to this weird time and the current situation. I spend my days being pissed and frustrated that I can’t have what I had and, thus, I won’t let myself find alternatives to give my life meaning now.”
“I’ve settled for substitute desires for so long, I’m not sure I believe more is even possible.”
“Desire is wrong. I should be content with what I have. So many people are suffering.”
“Who do I think I am to want ______? That’s for people who are _______ and _______.”
If any of these sound familiar or make your heart hurt, you are not alone! There is nothing wrong with you! You, like everyone else alive, are deeply influenced and shaped by the culture we live in and these particularly challenging times.
Like everyone else, you must rebel against what doesn’t serve you to claim the life of meaning, beauty, and dignity you were meant to live.
Then you gain and sustain the energy to make a better world.
If you wish to explore how to change your relationship to desire, how to rekindle desire in the face of so much exhaustion and overwhelm, join me on Saturday, October 3rd, for a virtual Get Your Bother On retreat. One full delicious day to explore the concepts in my new book, circle up with the like-minded folks, and explore desire in startling refreshing powerful ways!