Yes, I’m into desires these days. If you didn’t read my post called “Audacious, scary, body buzzing, delicious desire”, you can read it here.
What are desires? For me, they are simply things, feelings and experiences that I want. And, for me, they have a deepness to them that simply “wanting” doesn’t seem to have. A simple want comes from my mouth and a desire comes from my soul.
If you have never made a desire list, do it. It’s really really fun. On your first one, you might end up sitting there, trying to figure out if you actually have any desires. (You do!). You might start rusty as a robot and end up having desire diarrhea.
You start off with a chirp chirp chirp silence.
Then, “new winter boots”.
Then, “a new dress”.
Then, “to take yoga teacher training”.
Then, “to have mind-blowing sex.”
Shazam. Done. Pencil down. Mic drop.
Here’s what I’ve learned about desires.
When you think about a desire, it makes you feel good. You smile. Your body feels relaxed (and maybe a bit scared and excited). It feels good in your heart and your body. Even without making a move towards it, it feel good to think about.
Desires don’t need to come true to make you feel good. (See above.)
If you had to describe yourself on a post-it note in 5 seconds, writing down a big desire would be a pretty concise way of telling the world who you are.
Desires change. They come and go. Or you have a desire for a while and then, it no longer makes you feel good. You might look at a desire list from 6 months ago and find things on there that don’t tingle the way they used to.
Desires are fun. Desires tell us who we are.
So, say you wanted to kill a desire. How would you do it?
You kill a desire by not allowing yourself to enjoy just the thought of it. By bypassing that very important first stage of desire where you get to just imagine what it would be like. What those new winter boots might look like. What they would feel like on your feet. All the cool things you’d be able to do in your new winter boots because you’d be comfortable and happy and you’d start snowboarding and ice fishing. Imagine what it would be like to be in a room full of people who also want to be a yoga teacher. Being so immersed in those movements and absorbing all of the wisdom from your teachers and also figuring out how you want to teach yoga. You feel it all – the excitement of teaching your first class, the nerves of teaching your first class, the amazingness, the tears, the sweat, the joy.
If you bypass this stage and go straight to “how do I do this?” stage, you will kill your desire. As soon as you tell a desire that you can’t enjoy it until it comes true but you don’t think it could ever come true and you don’t even know where to start because it’s totally impossible and now that you think of it, it’s totally pointless even thinking about it because it’s never going to happen and it’s too much and greedy to even wish for and WHO AM I TO WANT ALL OF THIS?, well… something very sad happens.
You know those cute little angel cupids in old-timey religious pictures? The ones with the chubby cheeks and dimpled butt cheeks and cute little wings and the bow and arrows? You just shot one down. That was your desire.
We are so good at thinking that we always have to do something. Especially as women, we have our flicks continually set to “DO”, so it’s hard for us to not need to take action and do something about everything.
A desire might pop into our brains and we think, what is my first action step? How would I make that happen? What should I do right now to work towards that goal? And then, holy sh*t, my brain is exhausted just thinking about how much work that is so I’m going to shut this sh*t down right now and carry on with carrying on.
And instead of letting that delicious desire (whisper a juicy one to yourself right now) make our blood heat, give us tingles on your skin, let our shoulders drop, make us smile, we kill it.
Let’s just enjoy the desire, damnit.
Here’s one of my desires.
I want to spend a month in Tuscany with my family. I want to wear beautiful dresses that sweep around my legs and leather sandals and look effortlessly beautiful (is it shallow that I also have perfect hair days while I’m there?), calling out “Ciao” to the olive farmers as I walk into town for an espresso. I want my kids to run around in bare feet, picking basil and tomatoes and running in and out of the kitchen as I make day-long meals. I want my husband to learn some romantic/dirty lines in Italian that he whispers to me as we drink red wine under the Tuscan star-filled sky.
When I think of this desire, I melt. I can taste it. I can feel it. I can feel the yearning like this very happy puppy tugging on a leash. I smile.
Okay, so let’s kill it now.
How would I find a place in Tuscany? I don’t know anyone who lives in Tuscany.
How do I find a place that I can rent for a month with the right feel when I don’t even live in the country?
I don’t speak Italian. Do we need Visas?
What would we do for money? How would we afford it?
What if my family doesn’t want to go? Can I trick them into packing for the cottage and blindfold them on the way to the airport?
Is Italy dangerous? Will my children run around barefoot, speaking Italian or will they be fighting in the kitchen as I cry over a ruined risotto?
Will my children come back to class where everyone now can speak Mandarin and meditate and they only know how to make handmade pasta and get dirt out of their toenails? It’s impossible, it’s a dream, it doesn’t make sense, it’s a luxury, I should be concentrating on more important things and STOP DAYDREAMING.
See what I mean? Thud. Another cupid hits the dust.
There is a time for action on a desire, should you want to take it. But I believe that the most important thing to do with any desire is to enjoy thinking about it, feeling it and imagining it. Let it make you feel good.
And should you decide to take action on it, all of that enjoying will help you take steps towards that desire without killing it along the way.
Desires are delicious little morsels of throbbing aliveness. They bring joy just by being. No action necessary.
If I’m lying, I’m buying. Try it out. Find a really juicy desire and just sit and think about it without needing to do anything about it. You like?
What is your relationship with your desires? Do you kill them? Love them? Both?!