I often hesitate to share certain material because what I’m suggesting is the emotional equivalent of free falling off of a bridge. It’s like I’m asking you to close your eyes and jump and simply trust that the bungee cord will hold.
But here’s the thing: all of the best tools I have discovered have required me to trust myself and leap. I’m going to speak to the fearless side of you today because listening to your desires does take fearlessness; hold your breath, here we go!!!
A few years back I started using self inquiry to make decisions. I discovered this because I was sick of forcing myself to be miserable for the sake of “getting things done.” As you can probably guess, forcing myself to do things never worked very effectively anyway.
Living the life we want to live starts with asking what we want to do to feel the way we want to feel (1). Then, crucially, we must listen to the answer.
You may be thinking, right then what do I do after I discover all these desires and don’t know what to do with them??? That’s when life starts taking on meaning and purpose! When we know what we want and start creating it.
We start by listening past the “should” be doing voice, to the deeper response within voice. We can call it intuition, instinct, soul, collective mind or whatever speaks to us. The key is to learn to hear that inner voice and then start to trust in it. Then we can effectively apply it at work, to our personal goals, and in each interaction.ps
To see how practical and important self inquiry is, read How to Reassess Life Goals to use your time and energy more effectively:
Here are steps to create your own list of life goals. This exercise will help you see how practical and important self inquiry is and empower yourself to use time and energy effectively.
- Set aside a few moments. Find an uncluttered, quiet space for writing.
- Ask “What do I desire?” Take a few deep breaths.
- Listen to what comes to the surface and create a list.
- Note: We are listening for a response that comes from deeper down than the chattering mind. It will feel like the information is “just coming to you,” rather than thinking about it and deciding logically.
As an example, here is my last self inquiry on re-assessing my life goals:
I started by asking what I desired? Then I listened to what came out:
- I desire to shed some limiting beliefs and live bigger
- I want to give back and volunteer.
- Travel to Africa.
- Focus less on things and more on acts for others; my heart is fullest when I’m giving.
- Eat what makes me feel good after I’m done eating.
- Get out and just do it.
- Express my love and desires more often.
- Contribute more, don’t be afraid of becoming depleted.
- Move my body more…especially in nature!
- Stop waiting on others to do what you want to do.
- Look for a way through, my perceived helplessness, it is only the lack of ability to see a way through.
After completing an exercise like this we can ask what we want to accomplish this week. Rather than receiving a meaningless “to do” list (such as: diet to lose weight), we are filled with meaning and feel that we are moving down a path toward the life we desire (like eating what makes my body feel good).
If it doesn’t bring meaning to life, we are less likely to stick with it for the long run!
Try it for yourself, cozy up with a pen and notepad or pull out your laptop and ask yourself:
“What do I desire?”
You may be surprised at what you discover 😉
Next time I will take us through:
How to use self inquiry to break the overcommitment cycle