I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
E. B. White
I’ve been working on The Joy Diet by Martha Beck for a few months now. Not a chapter a week and not every day, but with a consistency that’s worked for me. Nothing and Truth were the first menu items that I wrote about in these posts:
The third step is Desire. Martha Beck writes, “Menu Item #3 requires that, each day, you identify, articulate and explore at least one thing you really want.” Easy, right? Not so much. At least for me.
As a mother, wife, friend and coach, I spend a lot of my time anticipating others’ wants and needs. While it’s a great gift to bring to a relationship, I sometimes forget to anticipate my own desires. Within the chapter on Desire, Martha helps her readers explore “desire-defining.”
“Possibly because of our discomfort with desire in general, most people are at least somewhat confused about how to distinguish their true desires from unhealthy impulses.” She offers a t-chart of false desires vs. true desires. For example, false desires may feel like grasping and withholding while true desires feel like releasing and generosity. So eating all of that dark chocolate in the drawer is probably a false desire for me. The after-effects of true desires are increasing inner peace, while false desires will be marked by a sense of hollowness and increasing despair.
“What is it that I want?” are six little words I’ve been asking myself lately. At Trader Joe’s yesterday I realized my answer was micro greens on my tacos. Delicious. Later it was to rest for ten minutes before starting dinner. Heavenly. This morning I realized it was a patterned shirt with bright aquamarine colors and telling the truth when someone asked me how my day was. Then I dug into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Core Ice Cream (thank you, Sean). Do you know about this stuff?
The jury is out on whether this is a false desire or true desire for me. I mean, Karamel Sutra? Come on…
I’m reminded that no one put an anti-desire squad in my head and this work of determining my true desires on a daily basis is my own. My assignment on my spring vacation is to consider “What is it that I want?”
What is it that YOU want?
I look forward to working on new blog posts via pen and paper the next 12 days and taking a break from media. Check back after April 15th for new Coach to Coach posts.