It’s been a week of a nasty viral bug that has knocked my energy for six and sent me crawling back to bed and sleeping the sleep of the dead. It’s only to be expected; the change of seasons, children back at school bringing home all manner of snot and phlegm encrusted germs.
Today is a teacher training day and so the children have a day off and I have promised them all a ‘jammy day’ at home. That includes me. We will get out to walk the dog early, then bring duvets down to the sitting room and stick movies on for the rest of the day. I’ll make soup, popcorn, maybe bake some wheaten bread. We’ll light the fire. We won’t budge for the day. Bliss.
So when it comes to desire I’m not that aflame with it this week. Desire speaks to me of fire, passion, something active. I’m low energy, sore with headaches and stuffed sinuses. This week I thought I’d focus on ‘Longing’.
Longing speaks to me of an ache, a wound that has not fully healed. Longing speaks to me of missed opportunities, regrettable choices, lost chances that all build to leave us with a sense of a life not lived or half-lived. Longing speaks to me of time stretched thin, troubling dreams that hang on through the daylight hours, reaching back for what might have been and unable to see beyond a fog of melancholia.
Living in a state of longing is living in a state of unmet need and it can make us collapse in on ourselves. Like I said last week, when we don’t acknowledge our feelings, our sense of longing or desire, then we cut off a vast store of energy for change in our lives. Very often we don’t even know what we’re longing for. Just something, different to what we’re experiencing, somewhere, other than where we are. But if aren’t clear on what we’re aching for, then how can we take steps to move in the direction of our soul’s longing.
Here’s how I long to feel; strong, abundant, wild and free.
It has taken me a long time and good deal of patience to figure this out. I came across The Desire Map a couple of years ago when I was in the aftermath of a breakdown. I had attempted to anaesthetise myself with activity, with lists of ‘to-do’ and even longer lists of ‘to-be’ and the heavy feeling in my chest was all I wanted rid of. I didn’t know how I wanted to feel, but I longed to stop feeling shit. It was utterly exhausting to be in a constant state of ‘not enough’, lack, scarcity, on a hamster wheel running from the truth of my own emptiness. I ached. I ached to the soul. The body can only take so much. My body broke down.
I was reading back over a journal from a year and half ago when I was six months into rebuilding following my breakdown. I was gifted with the opportunity to spend some time with friends in California to write and rest for a week amongst the redwoods. The journal entries from that time are full of longing; I was a mess of achey need. I couldn’t however identify the path through the fog.
On my return home, I bought the digital version of The Desire Map. I had read Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth and found her no-nonsense, grounded approach to wellness and personal development refreshing. I loved that she poked fun at her own search for meaning and the various permutations of spirituality she had tried on for size. I loved that she called Jesus her ‘homeboy’.
I’m not going to lie and say I did the Desire Map process and it changed my life overnight, no. But it started a path that helped me understand why, when I seemed to have everything I still felt empty. It helped me begin to see that I was often chasing goals that were not the ones that truest to me and why my ambition felt so in conflict with my spiritual life.
I was going for external results, things that ‘looked’ like success but that felt like lack. I needed to turn it inside out.
Over the past year, I’ve changed my focus with the help of The Desire Map. I’m far more in alignment with my True Self, my Spirit. I’ve been able to let go of things I was clinging to and in the space has entered so much more than I could have hoped or dreamed.
I’m still very much at the start of the journey, but I’m excited about where it’s taking me. And I’m excited that I get to share the process with others now. The ache of longing has been replaced with a spark of joy, it’s been a healing process. I am profoundly grateful.