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The Way to BE

Forget the Guilt: Follow Your Desires!

By Donna Gates, as seen on:

I don’t know about you, but with the New Year just around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about desire.

Why do so many desires go unanswered?

The New Year is remarkable for many reasons. For many of us, it heralds a fresh start. One of the most common desires I hear about during the New Year is the decision to lose weight, exercise more and get healthy.

In life I have learned that when it comes to desire, most of us are taught two things.

The first lesson that we are taught about desire is that we can always be better, have more and do more. We are taught that more always leads to greater happiness and greater fulfillment.

The second thing that many of us are taught about desire is that we shouldn’t desire. Religions and some spiritual practices around the globe teach us that desire must be controlled.

We are taught that desire is the root of all suffering.

We are taught to hide and minimize our desires, rather than indulge them.

In other words, we learn to desire. At the same time, we learn to feel guilty about our desires.

So what ends up happening to promises that we make to ourselves? Do we reach for our dreams? Or do we feel guilt and shame about what we desire?

Often, it is both.

We live a life that falls below our standards, while resenting the unhappy relationship that never seems to work. Or the food addiction. Or our co-workers.

We both dream big and question if our desire is worth dreaming about.

What happens when we instead honor our desires?

Our desires are a navigation system. They can lead us to personal fulfillment. And there is no right or wrong direction.

One of the most important steps in fulfilling any desire is to first clearly identify the feeling that you want to feel. Identify the feeling of the desire first, before you do anything else.

If you want to have a have a meaningful relationship, ask yourself, “What does a meaningful relationship feel like?”

If you want to maintain a specific weight or certain level of health, first ask yourself, “How does it feel to slip into my clothes?

“How do I feel when I eat?”

“How do I feel when I engage my muscles in physical activity?”

For example, you may decide that your desires allow you to feel joyful. Satisfied. Strong. Energized. Grateful. And radiant.

Once you identify these feelings, carry them with you throughout your day. Write these feeling words down where you can see them. Affirm these feeling words often.

You may find the feelings of your desire effortlessly guide each and every choice. Instead of resolving to do anything this New Year, simply get in tune with the language of your inner-being.

Greet 2013 with the feelings that you desire, rather than with a to-do list.

I am joyful.

I am satisfied. I am strong. I am energized. I am grateful. I am radiant.


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  • http://www.sherunstheshow.com Kassandra

    Wonderful post! I forgot how important it was to identify what you want to feel, especially when it comes to the health and well being of your body. I'm dealing with a lot of stress right now and food has been my comfort. I want to get back to Body Ecology and have been trying but the stress seems to keep weighing more strongly than the desire to go back to what I know creates vibrancy in my body. Maybe writing down my desires for radiance, joy, strength, energy, and sensuality are exactly what I need to get back to Body Ecology and back into my body. Great post Donna!

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