What do you really really want right now? It might sound like a simple question, but to me it has turned out to be a very tricky one. As I dug inside myself to figure out why, I stumbled across a phenomenon I call ‘desentivizing’. It’s very easy to understand when you compare a kid to a grown-up. A kid knows what he/she wants and exactly how he/she wants it – this particular toy, this exact way to go through the door, this game, this favorite kind of sweets. The grown-up looks at the kid and find it funny and cute and tries to please the kid. Until one day the grown-up decides that this is too much and doesn’t make sense and there are other things that are more important. And so the kid sees this and learns: “I should not want things so much, because it hurts. Because it’s a requirement for me to be loved and accepted in the world of grown-ups that I just be chill about it.”
And then one day you are 30 years old and you find that you have no clue what you want. How can you know if you’ve forbidden yourself to want things as a way of fitting in? What felt so easy and natural for the child is hard work for the grown-up. So the grown-up just drifts with whatever others seem to be enjoying. I believe, however, that knowing what we want is important. It brings beauty and meaning to our lives. It allows us to create quality stuff and build nourishing relationships by simply CARING instead of being all zen about it and letting go.
Since we sense this intuitively, we try. We ask ourselves: “What is it that I want more than anything in this world?”. And we get confused. Because we’ve lost the habit of wanting. I learned that resensitivizing ourselves to what we want is a process. It doesn’t need to start with ‘the most important thing’. It can start with something small and simple. For me it started with realising that I care which seaside I go to: there is only one sea in the world I’ve build a relationship to, it’s the sea I’ve been visiting in my childhood that I associate with so many memories of joy, friendship, adventure and beauty. I felt so much gratitude and relief when I realised this, it made me cry for 20 minutes straight… So you can ask simply ‘What is a thing that I’ve decentivized myself about that actually matters to me?’ and honour whatever comes, regardless of how much sense it makes.
The next step for me has been building a daily ritual that allows me to practice reconnecting back to my desires. It consists simply of lying on the grass in the park for 10 minutes, closing my eyes and asking myself “What do I really really want right now?”. It takes some time to go through the layers of superficial socially-conditioned answers and find what my heart is actually saying. But it gets easier and easier in time. Give it a try – you won’t regret it, promise!
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About Lessons in Paradise
I believe we already are in paradise, regardless of where we are and what’s going on in our lives. I believe life is a journey towards becoming aware of this and enjoying as much of it as we can in the limited amount of time we have here. The ‘Lessons in Paradise’ vlog is the space where I share my process of shedding patterns and beliefs that obstruct our view in order to replace them with presence, awe and wonder. It’s also my invitation to you – an invitation to connect and journey together by sharing what we are going through and helping each other see through to the greatest expression of ourselves. Drop me a line or comment below or on youtube – I’d love to hear how what I’m sharing relates to your experience.