I ask my daughters this. I ask my clients. I ask my neighbor.
Tonight, in the kitchen, returning from a date in Northampton (a ton of fun!), I leaned on the counter, hung my head and heard myself ask out loud, What… do… I… want?
I had been pouring myself a glass of water when a weight seemed to drop onto me, out of nowhere, and then…this question barreled through my chest and out my mouth.
What… do… I… want?
I waited. Listened. Felt an uneasy urgency.
Waited some more.
A much louder silence.
Then, out of my mouth flew, I have no blinkin’ idea!
And that was profoundly disturbing.
Is it really possible to “not know” what you want?
If I don’t know what I want, who would?
And then I found myself running up the stairs, on a Saturday night, heading straight to write this blog post.
Because, in that moment, what I really, really, really wanted was to write. And the clarity of that realization—which seemed to come from a domain beyond thought—propelled me up the stairs, here, writing.
I guarantee that, before asking that question, not an ounce of me was thinking about writing. After all I’d just returned from a fun date
Now here I am thinking about the experience of wanting – anything.
Are there different kinds of “wants?” For instance, wants based upon the levels of experience that the conscious “I” creates.
Here’s what occurs to me:
– Our physical, sensory, 3D experience
– Our emotional experience
– Our sensual experience (not identical with “sensory”)
– Our experience of bodily aliveness
– Our experience of an interior self, or landscape
– Our experience of relationship with the “other,” or external dimensions of reality
– Our experience of an Ever-Expanding Creative Source that transcends all dimensions of conscious and unconscious experience
– …and I’m sure a whole host of others that my limited perception can’t grab onto
This means, the first want on my table is which want do I want first?
Let’s see, how to tackle this…
1. The industrial solution: I’ll start at the bottom and go straight up to the top of the list.
2. The organic solution: whichever one strikes me in the moment (OMG – letting go of all control. Really?)
3. The random solution: put the list under my pillow and sleep on it. Wake up, pull out the list from under my pillow, close my eyes, poke the list with my finger, open my eyes and start with that one.
Okay, I’ll combine all 3 and skip the pillow.
Here’s my “want” list – in this moment:
– In my experience with the Ever-Expanding Creative Source, I want conscious awareness, of that, throughout each day.
– In my experience of the Interior Self, I want a sense of spaciousness, open sky
– In my experience of bodily aliveness, I want conscious connection with a sense of Presence in my daily life
– In my experience of emotions, I want to listen without filters
– In my experience of physicality, I want delicious food (a mouthwatering peach would do nicely)
– In my relationship with the other, I want a hug
– In my sensual experience, I want to relish each pleasure as it comes to me.
Having all of these bold “I wants” jump off the screen makes me feel so two-ish, self-centered, me, me, me-ish.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons asking myself what I want does not come easily. It goes against an ingrained social code that we first take care of others, and when we don’t we get a black mark against our womanhood.
This will not stop me.
It will, however, make me go to bed… and I’ll finish this in the morning.
I just love when I’m in the zone of anything, and that thing starts popping up in unexpected ways.
As I raced on my stationary bike this morning (we’re now into Sunday night), I happened to click on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” with her guest Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat. Pray. Love.” (Personally, I like her second book “Committed.”)
Usually, I snap off the tube as soon as I’m done cycling (I mean, TV before breakfast??), but today Elizabeth’s clarity and charm just kept me right through the commercials.
At the very end, Oprah asked Elizabeth what she recommended for women who wanted to experience their own journey of re-birth (re-identity?), which was the premise of “Eat. Pray. Love.”
Ms. Gilbert had a 3-point plan—all involving writing:
- A “What Do I Really, Really, Really Want?” journal
- A “What Will Make Me Happy Today?” journal
- A “What Was My Happiest Moment Today?” journal
Her points were crisp and wise (a lot like her writing):
- Declaring what will make you happy sets the stage for happiness to show up.
- Writing down a “happiest moment” keeps you focused on what feels good and not wallowing in whatever might not have felt good.
- Knowing what you want is the first step to getting it, and adding “really, really, really,” three times, means you mean business.
Now it’s your turn:
What do you really, really, really want?