Maybe it’s because of the frigid temps and the long dark nights. Or it could be due to the expectations that the fresh start of the New Year stirs up. Maybe it’s the aftermath of the frenetic energy of the holidays. I’m certainly noticing my conflicting inner drives of “slow down and breathe” clashing with “get on with it, there’s no time to waste.”
However we identify it or sense it or attempt to deny it, we can’t seem to escape the deep winter season of wanting.
We want something. We yearn. We’re restless and longing. Whether we dream of withdrawing into our caves or bursting forth into new life, we feel the urge, the desperate need, for something to be different.
Some of us know the object of this longing – healthy bodies, return to normalcy, bills paid off, that book finally written, a new job, a new home, relationship angst resolved, our businesses thriving, a trip to the tropics, the ability to live our truth, healing for ourselves or loved ones, our kids doing well, commitment to a daily spiritual practice, to finally kick this debilitating whatever that has been holding us back.
Some of us just feel that things are not the way we want them.
Wanting, yearning, desire, longing – these feelings and the thoughts they summon are the fuel of our lives. They feed our inner fires, our passions, and our reason for being here. They point us in the direction of our own life-guiding north stars. They are the foundation for our choices and the measure of our satisfaction with our lives.
And many of us have dysfunctional relationships with these feelings, this fuel of our inner and outer lives.
As women we often get foggy or dysfunctional relationships with our desire, not because there’s anything wrong with us, but because we are so very, very good at wanting the needs of our loved ones to be met; at making do with what is; at handling the current crisis; at not being selfish or arrogant or too demanding; at being of service; at being proper by not even speaking of our desires; at going with the flow.
But in the dark and cold, in the aftermath of the holidays and before the wild freedom of spring, we just can’t as easily squash those inner stirrings of desire. Because what we long for is what keeps us warm and alive in the most dangerous of times.
I know a lot about desire. (Yes, you can run with that thought!) Personal and relationship coaches like me know about desire because people come to us because they want something, want help with manifesting or transforming or creating something. Wild dreamer that I am, I have plenty of personal experience with longing, imagining, and desire.
I know about desires manifested and those still light years out of reach. What I know to be true is that the deep desires of women are the jewels that will enrich us all. Our deep dreams and desires, those that keep us warm and feed our inner fires, those that point us to our own north stars, those that keep us vibrant and daring, are valuable beyond measure. We can’t abandon them or avoid them or deny them. We can’t let them be stolen or lost or given away. We can’t afford to settle with less than vibrant relationships with what fuels our inner fires.
One way I’ve learned to improve our relationships with our desire is to give ourselves permission to want, to bring our feelings of longing to the surface of our minds, to let ourselves remember our long forgotten dreams, to invite desire into our conscious awareness.
Here’s a way to do that: write down 25 things you want every day. Things can mean objects and also experiences you want to have, stuff you want to learn, creations you want to birth, explorations and talents you want to pursue, people you want to know, ways you want to change the world, or whatever your heart desires.
This is a brainstorming like activity, so no censoring due to plausibility or resources or any other reason.
Just allowing yourself to think and write your desires does not mean you will ever pursue them or even that all of you really wants them. Sorting and owning or letting go comes later. For now the practice is to surface desires. Let yourself remember just some of what you want. Bring these desires up and past that inner censor (and whatever her fantasy-denying message is) just long enough for you to begin to get better at knowing what you really want.
Hint: A desire list is not the same as a to-do list. Almost every time I, or any other women I know, start our desire lists, they almost instantly morph into to-do lists. Ah… force of habit! Watch out for the inner critic voice, too (more on that later). Sometimes our desire lists can look like our inner critic’s dream for us: perfect home, perfect body, perfect work, or whatever.
You’ll know it by feel, this list of your desires. It could feel really scary or nearly impossible or something you’d never want your mother to read or like something the teenage you would have written. If it catches your breath just a bit, you’re onto something. And if it warms your heart or makes you cry, it’s yours. No one else will ever see this – it’s just for you in this moment. So go for it!
Later you can sort and hold onto the desires that have most meaning for you. Later, if you want, you can make collages or lists or plans for manifesting. For now, dream, want, remember, and let yourself have your longings.
Hint 2: It’s OK if it feels really silly to do this, or futile, or ungrateful, or selfish, or not at all spiritual, or way too expensive, or the like. You will meet resistance in this exercise. It’s part of the process. Proceed anyway! These are your desires. You get to have them. You, wise woman, will be the one who will make choices about them.
So at night when everyone else has gone to bed, before surrendering to sleeping dreams, let yourself be in the winter of wanting, and warm yourself with your dreams and desires. Quit denying or excusing or pretending or avoiding. Let yourself feel and yearn and desire. Go deep and wide and warm yourself with your longings and dreams. Tis the season to keep your fire burning brightly from within.
More to come here and in my tele-class Reclaiming Your Desire, Feed your inner flame so you can know, own, and go for what you want starting January 13th. Want to join other daring women in this exploration? Contact me. I’d love to hear from you.