Part I – What is Desire?


This has been a wild year for me, beginning with real lows, then shooting up with lots of energy and activity. One of the things that helped me stay centered during the difficult periods (and manage the exciting times) was keeping my focus on my overall purpose, what makes my life more wonderful. It was also important for me to walk in integrity every step of the way, even if my definition of integrity may not meet the standards of others.

Each year around the solstice I review my path and update my goals with current dreams and inspirations for the coming year. I often teach Finding Your Soul Purpose and Path in Life around this time to support others to find their compass in life. As with anything I teach, I am constantly researching and learning new concepts and tools to share.

Occasionally, I watch Marie Forleo’s video blog, MarieTV. She has valuable tips for entrepreneurs, especially young women setting out into the world with fresh ideas. “Setting Goals” was the topic today with guest, Danielle LaPorte. Of course I wanted to hear what they had to say in light of my research for ever better ways to inspire and ground one’s purpose in life. Danielle shared material from her book  The Desire Map on identifying one’s “Core desire feeling” by repeating her mantra, “How do you want to feel today?”

So what if you first got clear on how you actually wanted to feel in your life, and then created some “Goals with Soul”?

The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.

I was so excited to see an author promoting the wisdom I value and teach, reaching a younger generation in an effective way. It is a classic technique in psychotherapeutic practice to invite my client to identify the real goal of their longings. Many people postpone gratification or feel a need to manipulate themselves, or the world around them, to meet their needs.

For example, a client might say that they are suffering because they do not have a certain object, such as a new car, or a lover (X). They report feeling like a failure, or their esteem is challenged for they believe that an essential ingredient is missing in their life.

The “what if” technique asks first, “How would you feel differently if you had….X?” I will be skipping a few steps to shorten this process, but eventually the client is invited to embody the actual feeling they believe they will have with the object, but experience it now, in the present. This is related to the message of Eckhart Tolle in his Power of Now work. Why wait until the (intangible) future to feel happy, content, alive, excited, etc.? Why not invite that into your life this very moment as a gift to yourself…from the inside?

LaPorte reminds us to direct our lives from the inside, out, rather than let the outside dictate our direction. In the Tarot, I relate this to the Chariot setting out and encountering the Strength archetype, as they invite each of us to align with our unique path by having the authentic vision and inner passion to see it through.

Yes, life is better and more fulfilling when we are clear on our soulful goals, allowing that resonance to set our rudder through the flow of life. I discuss the specifics of Soul Purpose and Goal-setting in my next weblog.

To flow with the happiness and ease of your heart and mind is optimum. As the Kabbalah teaches, desire is our response to Yahweh/God’s perpetual abundance and our wish to be more God-like in return. This refers to a more spiritual and guidance-based relationship with desire, the feeling one has when they know they are in the right place at the right time, in the flow of the Tao. This is not the base level or lower chakra relationship to desire—an emptiness that wishes to be filled—the root of addiction.

Desire is most often expressed as a want, wish or craving. I believe it is important to examine desire from another point of view, our personal needs.

Marshall Rosenberg in his premiere book, Nonviolent Communication, promotes a very easy to understand, yet challenging to live, set of guidelines to a more loving and compassionate way of relating to self and others. His work is highly influenced by compassionate activist role models, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., who taught and modeled the tenets of compassion for all, especially those who expressed no compassion for them. Feel free to view my YouTube class on An Introduction to Compassionate Communication.

Behind every emotion is a met or unmet need.

In other words, we humans are need driven, not emotion driven. Our range of needs encompasses—security and sustenance, intimacy and physical touch, understanding and connecting, solitude and autonomy, as well as other values. Rosenberg’s work revels this simple pattern. When we are happy, our needs are being met. When we are unhappy, sad, angry, our needs are not being met. Most of us lack the emotional vocabulary and strength of vulnerability to express our feelings in a effective way, by identifying our actual needs. Brene’ Brown has contributed a great deal to the research and promotion of vulnerability as a personal strength and disarming presence.

The average human tends to live by automatic emotional responses to triggers in their environment. It takes patience and practice to slow down, then center our focus so we can identify what our deeper motivations may be in a given situation.

Follow the emotion and it will help you identify your core needs. Once you understand your needs, you can more clearly direct successful ways to fulfill your needs, your core desires.

Follow your bliss…

Last, for inspiration to “follow your bliss”, as Joseph Campbell would say, here is an inspirational video with the guiding words of Alan Watts as he asks us this question…”What do you desire?”

Part II of this discussion looks at strategies for aligning with your soul purpose and living your dreams. Just in time for the new year!

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One thought on “Part I – What is Desire?

  1. Pingback: Part II – Fulfilling Your Soul Purpose | My Sacred Journey

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