A simple design on my dog’s poop bag led to the discovery of two things I’d been missing — desire and exquisite joy. Weird, right? While heading out the door, I grabbed the bag and noticed a whale design. An instant and random desire to draw whales registered as an electric sensation in my belly and, as quickly as I felt it, I let it go.
On the walk, I thought about desire — an idea I’d been invited to think about in a recent meditation course — because outside of daily cravings for a good piece of chocolate, I’d started to believe I had no real desires. Guess what, that creative impulse that I so quickly dismissed? That was desire. I just needed to listen.
Sadly, I realized that somewhere along the way I’d learned that other things were more important than that which stirred my imagination and ignited sparks in my body. I wondered, how many impulses and sensations I’d ignored? With desire as my guide, I returned home determined to explore the initial thought and feeling. As I drew the whale, the electricity returned and gave way to full-blown, full-body joy as an entire story was born. Where might I be led if I actually paid attention to these sensations on a daily basis?
Desire creates messages that our body shares in a sensation-filled symphony. Our job is to take time throughout the day to quiet the outside world and connect to that wild and wise music within. So, I created a few helpful ways to stay connected should you ever find yourself feeling lost or disconnected with your heart’s desire and joy.
Stop and Tune In
Like trying to tune into a radio station while driving across country (well, in the days before Sirius anyway, am I dating myself here?) your body will send out signals hoping you stop long enough to tune in. Try it for yourself. Take 30 seconds or one minute at various points throughout your day and check in. Close your eyes, breathe deep and notice. What do you feel each time you come back to yourself? As you begin to get more comfortable with your body’s language, you will find more engaging invitations.
Turn On a Favorite Song
You know that song that makes you want to dance around the entire room? Turn that song on, close your eyes and let loose. Where do you feel it? Your arms? In your pelvis like Elvis? Your legs? Are you smiling? Laughing? Allow yourself to get comfortable with how your body experiences happiness and joy so that when they appear, you don’t miss them.
Read Beautiful Words
Words that empower and inspire have the ability to stir creativity and ignite a feeling of joy. Try reading this sentence:
You are an incredible, talented, loving human who lights up every space just by being you.
How do you feel? We read and listen to stories so often that are meant to incite fear or make us believe we are not good enough (often so that we will buy a product that promises to make us feel better). What happens in your body when you read words that uplift? What we consume matters so, try reading things that light you up.
When you allow yourself to be present and led by desire — those desires that bring good things to life and harm to no one — you will always find your way to joy. You might even find that your joy will spill over onto everyone around you. I invite you to lean in, listen to the whispers of desire, the sensations of joy and see what magic awaits you.