I have spent a lot of time in life wanting something. Wanting what is next to come faster. Wanting something different than what is there. Wanting something I don’t have. A good part of my mental process was constructed to evaluate what is happening in order to determine whether it should in fact be happening and then creating a desire around what I would like to be happening instead. You can laugh—and it is funny. And I know it is a common problem. So you are likely laughing because you can relate.
I am learning to be patient, to be present, and to welcome what is. I am learning to refine myself rather than desiring that something be different outside myself. This shift in perspective has been really threatening to my ego, which has been fighting back by intensifying its antics. Mostly it throws me into my evaluating mind so that I feel in some way that I am doing something—when in reality, I am simply getting in the way. It also complicates matters by telling intricate stories about straightforward events.
It feels like parenting a toddler—somewhat tedious attentiveness, making sure that my ego does not pull things off the shelf, drink Drano, or run into the street. It requires the deep patience of the wise mother to lovingly stay on the task at hand and not descend into her own inner child, making a mess out of what is really a natural and beautiful developmental process. It requires the ability to return to center—to alignment—as quickly as possible after each event. It requires not taking myself too seriously or getting hooked on the idea that things should different, thereby getting lost within the cycle of wanting yet again, if at a loftier level.
Creating space for the deeper Self to come more fully into life is skill that develops over time through devotion and the healthiest types of discipline. How are you doing this in your life? How are you learning to love what is?
It is all too easy to go through large or small chunks of life not really knowing exactly what you want in life. From early on in our lives, many of us learn to prioritize the wants and needs of others. Years go by and we can wake up to discover that we have yet to truly step into our own lives. Facing this reality and finding our way to what is truly meaningful can feel like a daunting task.
Where do we look to find what we truly want? How do we learn this skill of connection to our core when we have only been taught to measure our happiness in terms of material success or the happiness of those around us?
If you have been asking yourself these types of questions , you are not alone and you can learn how to listen to your deeper nature and live it more fully and in a more fulfilling way each day.
There are three practices that, when included in your daily life, will help you open up to what you truly want in your life: Permission, Space, Desire.
Let’s dig a little deeper into what is meant by each of these terms and how you can bring them into your everyday to achieve exactly what you want in life.
Permission is found in each and every moment that we say yes to ourselves and our process. Permission is the deep honoring of who we are and what we need.
Permission is not a one time affair. Permission is something that we need to give to ourselves each and every day, hour, and moment. Too often, we limit ourselves to living by the rules of what we perceive as possible –what we think we can and cannot do. These often arbitrary rules are major obstacles to our happiness.
When we do not give ourselves permission to feel what we feel, act as we see right, and pursue the things that truly make us happy we remain stuck in either large or small ways. The message that we send to our deeper self when we do this is that we do not value ourselves. It is like trying to have a conversation with someone who is distracted. Our deeper self will give up trying to communicate with us because we are not helping the dialogue along.
Conversely, when we step in fully, such as when we join a personal development program, start a hobby that makes us truly happy, or just give voice to our inner experience, we begin to hear the voice of our deeper nature. Permission makes it possible to create the space that we need in our life to do this most essential work.
Space means creating the time to do our work. Both the time to focus on it and the time it takes for it to unfold. We need the space to put ourselves in new situations, the space to not know, and the space to feel more deeply “into” ourselves.
Chances are you have been living without this space in your life. The pressures of work, family, and friends can leave us with too many obligations, too much input or too many rules. We become full with outside agendas and forget the quiet voice of our deeper longing, which requires space, quiet, and time to truly be heard.
Many people finally create space in their life after a crisis. They join a program, take a trip, or just spend some quiet time at home questing after what will make them deeply happy. It is in this space that we can truly hear the rumblings of our deep desires and where we have a chance to follow them in the direction of our bliss.
The truth is that who we are at our very core never leaves us. We cannot lose it or break it. However, the degree to which we respect and honor all that we are is the degree to which we derive a deep sense of fulfillment. And, we can show this respect and honor by acknowledging and following our desire. Knowing exactly what you want in life is just about listening to yourself.
Our desire shows us the way to our own heart. We naturally quest after and have an affinity for what supports our deeper nature, even if what we are seeking seems counter-intuitive or counterproductive. If what we are drawn to seems odd in this way, it is likely that our desire is showing us something that needs to be realized or released in order to be truly happy.
Our desire leads us in the direction that we need to go. It helps us connect with and unfold who we truly are. Feeling our desire and acting on it puts us in the flow of life. It brings energy, connectedness, and a dynamic feeling to each and every moment.
Permission, space, and desire work together to help us create happy, healthy, and more fulfilling lives. When we pay attention to how we are acting and interacting with each of these practices, we automatically begin to open up a deeper connection with who we truly are. We are able to feel the joy of connecting with our true self and we step into the beauty that is a part of each of our existences. The truth is, you always know exactly what you want in life, it is just a question of whether or not you go and get it.