What do you desire right now?
A really good piece of toast?
The scene you are writing in your novel to hold together beautifully?
The world to remember civility?
Everyone to rally together to avert the worsening climate crisis?
What do you notice about this experience of wanting?
What quality does it have?
How does it feel to want what you want?
I notice that sometimes wanting is very invigorating. It helps me open to this mysterious moment of life.
Other times (okay most of the time), I notice the quality of wanting is twitchy and clenched. I want to get there, get it done, move on to the next thing.
I’ve been playing with allowing more opening experiences of wanting and less of the twitchy and clenched.
It helps to remember that desire is not a problem.
It’s part of our human biology. It will always be part of our experience.
Trying to get rid of it is draining. It puts you at war with life.
But also it cuts you off from opening to life even more.
That’s desire’s superpower: to guide you to open to this moment of life!
Wanting something is tricky when we fall into over-focusing on fulfilling a desire.
Then we become numb to the mystery and miracle of being alive because we start believing we can start living fully when we get the toast or finish the scene.
From there it’s easy to subtly start believing there is something missing or wrong with you because you have this desire and it’s not yet fulfilled, or you aren’t making what you deem is sufficient, speedy, or impressive enough progress.
This is where we descend into self-doubt or become paralyzed by perfectionism or fear of making a wrong choice.
But no worries. You can reverse this!
Try this instead: stop trying, just for a few breaths, to fulfill your desire (even the desire for really good toast) and deepen into the longing itself.
Here’s where the door opens and you realize you are already home.
When you stop trying, just for a moment, to get anywhere else and simply open to wanting as an experience, when you deepen the longing itself.
Let yourself feel the pulsing, living nature of wanting itself.
Desire waking you up to this moment.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this is not necessarily a blissful experience.
Deepening into longing as an experience wipes away the veil between you and everything else, but it also makes you infinitely more aware of the poignancy and finitude of life.
Of the truth that desire is not something that ever goes away or gets fulfilled, but something that continues to call you to open even more of yourself.
It takes great courage to live this way.
Courage, of course, that you possess.
Deepen into your longing.
Be in the vibrancy and ever-changing mystery of this moment.
After a bit, an action will naturally arise for you to take next; free of sticky perfectionism and fear of choosing.
Enjoy taking action without believing the action you take means you will arrive somewhere better, or finally be enough, or anything other than enjoy this mysterious moment.