Why Do You Want What You Want? Posted in: Happiness Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. ~ Rumi I am fascinated by the creation of things – books, paintings, bowls, family, health. I’m not super attached to the what, but rather, the how. I also have a dream of writing a book and I have been peeking behind the scenes at what it takes to get from dream to bound pages in my hand. Let’s just say…. It takes a lot! When someone is writing a fictional story, some instructors will ask the author to pause and consider what the main character is longing to find. Picture the protagonist on his knees praying. What is he asking for? Let’s say he is asking for a scholarship to college. That’s not the longing though. Consider what the deeper desire might be. What’s the meaning behind the prayer? One likely answer would be that the scholarship would provide opportunity. The scholarship would provide independence and freedom. Now, the author’s task is to meet those deeper desires in ways the character would never be able to articulate. This may or may not answer his prayer, but will definitely exceed any expectations he might have. This means the scholarship may not come through, but he finds freedom despite the lack of funding for school. Clearly not an easy task and probably why not everyone writes books…. That deeper meaning behind the prayer is what I call a heart’s desire. In order to have a life that is soulful and well, we have to be connected to our heart’s desires. We want to honor them, nurture them, and follow their call. How else does life feel good, if we aren’t paying attention to our deepest longings? It is easy to get wrapped up in the language of our need, the obvious solution we can see, and to pour all our focus and energy into solving the immediate problem. If we do that, if we double down only on the piece we can see, we rob life of the ability to show us more than we can conceive of being possible. It’s like asking to borrow $10 when $100 is available, with no strings attached, if we consider going to a different bank. Surface solutions, where you go to school, the structure of your family, the job you hold, and how much money you have in the bank aren’t your heart’s desires. Heart’s desires are way down deep truths and values. I have a heart’s desire to be of help to others and that desire is the reason I write, share and participate in this online space. When I’m not honoring the desire to be of service, my life feels a step out of sync. It’s important that I stay tuned in to this heart’s desire and not the outcome and measurements of my effort. My desire has absolutely nothing to do with where my writing may go. It is all about the practice of writing. I could start praying and longing for tens of thousands of people to attend my next workshop or for Oprah to call and acknowledge what I do. Believe it or not, I limit the possibilities for a beautiful life, if Oprah’s call determines the success of my time here. It’s true. Letting someone else’s approval and recognition determine value makes life heavy and impossible. Reject what makes life heavy. Success is complete in the making space for the heart’s desire. That is enough. Here enters the wisdom of Rumi. Rumi says we can trust the longings of our heart. We don’t have to understand where we will end up. We simply need to move toward a life full of honored truths. We can trust that it takes us where we want to be. I’m showing up for my heart’s desire and I’m adding a worksheet to this post to help you identify the longings of your heart, and ways you might limit your possibilities. It’s my gift to you.