For many years I’ve had mixed feelings about my wants and have been a bit confused about the true power of desire. While I know that desire is an essential piece of the manifestation process, I also know that focusing a lot of my attention and energy on what I want has caused a great deal of fear, pain, and disappointment in my life. Over emphasizing my desire has also gotten in my way of appreciating all that I already have and who I really am at the deepest level. Can you relate?
Last week, I started listening to the audio version of the classic bestselling book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. While I was listening to the chapter on the importance of desire, I had some big insights and realizations.
I noticed that I often actually hold back, squelch, or minimize my deepest desires – waiting until things seem “possible” or even “probable” before I fully express (both to myself and others) what I truly want. I also realized that my rationalization that “it’s more important to focus on what I have than it is to think about what I want,” has more to do with my own fears that I don’t actually know how to manifest my desire or that I will be upset when things don’t turn out the way I want them to.
Most importantly, I saw that my issue with desire has to do with my attachment to the specific outcome I want, not with desire itself. I don’t have much experience with passionately wanting something (a feeling, experience, material possession, accomplishment, or state of being), without being attached to it manifesting in reality.
Being quite competitive, goal-oriented, and achievement focused for much of my life – I’ve often related to my desires as specific challenges to conquer, goals to attain, or games to win.
What if there’s no scoreboard, it’s not a competition, and it doesn’t really matter if something comes to fruition or not? In other words, what if we could want with deep passion and excitement, and without attachment? It’s not that we wouldn’t want certain things to happen or specific dreams to come true, we just wouldn’t relate to our specific desires as if our life depended on them (which in most cases it doesn’t).
As simple of a concept as this is to understand, at least conceptually, it’s revolutionary when we consider its implications on our life, our growth, our relationships, our work, our dreams, and more. I’ve been talking about, reading about, and teaching people about desire without attachment for many years, but for the first time in my life in the past few days, I’ve actually been inquiring into it and speculating on what it would look like, feel like, and be like for me to live my life from this place of passionate desire and non-attachment, authentically. It’s a whole new world of possibility.
What if we gave ourselves the permission to dream and desire in a big and profound way? What if we knew that whether or not we achieved, experienced, or manifested something that we really, really wanted – we would be okay either way (because we actually would and we have always been). The fact that we currently exist in life without many of the things we desire is evidence that we don’t need many of the specific things we want.
However, the more passionate, bold, clear, and free we become with our desires – knowing them, feeling them, seeing them, and expressing them – the more likely we are to not only manifest them specifically into our lives, but to live with an authentic sense of passion, purpose, and power.
Here are a few things you can think about and do to expand your capacity for passionate desire, without attachment:
– Notice your relationship with desire itself. How do you feel about your desires, dreams, goals, and wants (big or small)? Are you comfortable with having desires and with expressing them? Do your desires excite you? Do they scare you? Are you optimistic about being able to manifest the experiences, feelings, and outcomes you want in your life right now? How have your past experiences with your desires impacted your current relationship to wanting? The more you can get in touch with how you feel about and relate to desire in general and your desires specifically, the more ability you’ll have to expand your capacity for passionate, non-attached wanting.
– Allow yourself to want. Take some time today and this week to inquire about what you really want right now. What are some of your deepest desires at this moment in your life? Notice how easy or difficult it is for you to think about and imagine these desires. Without judgment, see if you can challenge yourself to push past any perceived limitations, judgments, or fears you may have about what you want. The goal is to practice wanting with passion and to let go of your need to know how something will come to fruition or what you think it will mean if it does (or doesn’t) manifest.
– Get support and encouragement from others. Getting in touch with our deepest desires and passionately expressing them is something that for many of us takes courage and support – and can also be quite vulnerable and scary. Reach out to the people you trust most in your life and those who truly have your back. Share with them both your fears and your desires – in a way that will support and empower you to focus on what you want with passion and authenticity. This is not about getting practical help and support to make your goals happen (although that may be something that comes out of this process naturally). Reaching out for support and encouragement from others in this regard is about allowing the love, support, and belief the people in our lives have for us to nurture us and give us the courage to dream and want with intensity and in a way that reminds us that we are not alone and that we’re okay, just as we are (with or without manifesting what we want).
Have fun with this and, as always, be kind, appreciative, and compassionate with yourself in this process. For most of us, this is a big step to take and something we can and will continue to practice and deepen throughout our journey of life and growth. And, as we deepen our ability to want with passion and without attachment, our life can take off in magical ways that we didn’t even think was possible.
How do you relate to your desire? Do you allow yourself to desire with passion or do you hold back, waiting until you think things are “possible?” How attached do you get to your desire? How could you alter your relationship to your desire in a way that would empower and support you? Share your thoughts, action ideas, insights, and more on my blog below.