January 21, 2020

Freedom and desire

Before I even start, I want to thank you.

Thank you for choosing to read this.

Contemplating the following ideas with an open mind is a practice in self-discovery, and an investment in your personal growth.

Living into these ideas can have a profound impact on your life—your career, your relationships, your health, your self-concept.

Desire is an inside job

One of my greatest passions is helping people to search inside themselves in order to better understand their most important challenges, questions and curiosities. So last night I brought together 12 people for an Open Dialogue on the topic of “Intentions”.

You can connect to that dialogue right now, in a way, by simply asking yourself, "What is an intention that I would like to more live by more fully?"

Or, in other words: What is it that I want more than anything else right now? What is my deepest longing?

Go in, right now

Before we go any further, just pause for a moment.

Seriously. Slow down.

You may even want to write down one of the questions from above so that you can contemplate it for some time. When you’re ready, let’s keep going.

Now, are you willing to suspend your beliefs and opinions about this topic for just a few moments? If you’re having any trouble these days fulfilling your desires, then you may benefit from at least examining your beliefs and your current approach—openly and with curiosity.

It’s likely that you’re not seeing things from all possible angles. In fact, you’re probably seeing them through one relatively narrow lens that has been formed by your past experiences, memories and conditioning. The brain’s ability to create memories, become entrained and develop shortcuts to process massive amounts of information offers us many benefits, but it also tricks us into believing that what we see is “reality”.

We all have self-limiting beliefs.

So what do you believe is blocking you from getting what you want? What is holding you back?

Are you aware of any beliefs that, however convincing they might be, you’d be willing to examine (or better yet, let go of)?

When asked what’s holding them back, some people are quick to point at someone or something else—it’s him, it’s her, it’s the the industry, it’s the economy, it’s Trump.

But we’ve all done enough finger-pointing to realize that this doesn’t really get us what we want. And so many people are waking up to the realization that the answers we are looking for must be inside us.

Desire without attachment

One of the "dark" sides of desire is the stress, frustration and other forms of suffering that can arise as a result of not having what we want. You've probably noticed how as soon as you want something or for things to be different than they currently are, you instantly experience some level of dis-ease.

That discomfortable can vary in its intensity, and it can make our pursuit of our desires a lot more painful than it needs to be.

But what if the greatest obstacle between me and what I want was simply my attachment to attaining it?

Write that down. Contemplate that for a few minutes (or the rest of this week!).

What would your life be like if you could keep your head and heart focused on your greatest desires, while continually letting go of any attachment that arose?

All in or all out

I recently coached someone who was a world-class athlete a decade ago. She had a dream of winning the World Championships. So she gave everything she had to the sport (and loved the process, it’s important to note). She trained with top-10 athletes and poured her heart into every moment.

When she reached the world stage, however, her performance didn’t win her the spot she had dreamt about for so long.

She was disappointed beyond words. Devastated is probably a better descriptor.

And that moment was transformational for her—she developed the belief that if she went after her greatest desires wholeheartedly, her heart would be broken.

This belief led her to live the next decade of her life half-heartedly. She pursued an education, a career, friendships, etc. that were just “OK”.

When we first spoke, she discovered that she had been living life avoiding the disappointment of failure. She had a breakthrough when she realized that this approach had left her feeling even more dissatisfied. The energy, beauty and grace that characterized her past life as an athlete had become a vague memory.

What she needed in order to reconnect with her passion, we discovered, was to see the possibility of having desires without being attached to them.

The moment she got this, her whole energy shifted—she lit up and was radiant. Looking into her eyes I knew that this was the beginning of an exciting new chapter of her life story.

What do you really want?

I commend you for taking the time to read all of this. I hope it resonates, and helps to free up energy for you to live your own life more wholeheartedly and in the pursuit of your own vision.

If you’d like help clarifying your desires and cultivating non-attachment, feel free to reach out.

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