The weekend can be a time of reflection. Of getting away. Sometimes, my best insights come on the weekend.
I’ve been reflecting on a question I have all my clients ask themselves.
“What do I want?”
I ask it knowing that it might be the hardest question there is to answer.
But I’m coming to understand that it is hard because it tends to lead us astray. It points away from where we actually should be looking. It points us toward our experience, and away from the source of our experience.
It does this in at least three ways, with three different words.
“What.” Our first impulse here is often to think of things, but when we go deeper, we often find that what we really want is feelings.
Peace. Equanimity. Purpose. Alignment. Connection. Joy.
Yet we tend to answer with things like, “A promotion. A business. A car. A house. A partner.” The things that we hope will generate those feelings, even as we realize they don’t. As we look more closely at this, we realize we are the source of those feelings. We really don’t have to “get” anything to have joy, for example.
“I.” What do “I” want? Who is the “I” in that statement? The “I” that I habitually think of myself as? The stories that I have made up about that person, that identity? The characteristics and qualities that I describe myself as having? That “I” might look solid, but when I look, I’m not very solid, and neither are you. I seem to change from day to day, even from moment to moment. I can be nice, a jerk, hardworking, lazy, kind, and selfish. If there is a solid “I,” it seems to be whatever is looking through this body’s eyes. Not my thoughts, but wherever my thoughts come from. It is formless, mysterious, silent, yet everything in my world emerges from it.
“Want.” Again, does this bigger I want things or feelings? What is this want? This desire? Is it just for stuff? Or even feelings? Is it what I want, or what I think I should want? What I think others expect me to provide for them? The thing that I, the bigger I, most seem to want is to create. I even seem to create “want!” There is great joy in the act of creation. In fact I seem to get more from the creating than from what I have created. And yet, it seems like the creating is happening all the time, whether I want to or not. I seem to be this process of constant creation.
“What do I want?”
The you who is wanting is also creating everything else in your world. It can create anything, including the idea that there is something outside of you, something to want, that if you get it, will somehow complete you.
This you is the creator of your life. You think you are in the world, but, as a matter of biology, of neuroscience, the world (or at least your world) is in you.
Sit with this. Take a walk this weekend. See what arises for you. See what comes from the silence.
It might not be huge. It might just be a hint.
But a door is opening. Will you walk through?