Tag Archives: desire

reverse engineering desire

Durga

It’s been a month+ since we’ve started our The Desire Map journey and I have yet to really engage in any meaningful journaling on it.

Desire is such a touchy word. I suppose that’s where the “core” part comes in, in this context.

Desire.

The task we had set for this week was to take two things overall that we resonated with and two that we felt were foreign and to discuss them at our next Spreecast book group meeting.

In any case….

Not much of what is shared in The Desire Map fails to resonate with me. In fact I can’t think of a single thing. The heaviness of goals versus inspired inklings led by deep inner-belly intuitive knowing especially speaks.

Life is juicy – Danielle says so – but it doesn’t take her telling me for it to be so, or for me to know the truth of that statement. It simply is a good and sometimes much needed reminder of it being so.

With that said, though, it is at once both simple and complicated to live in this world post The Desire Map reading.

I overheard someone once say that after one reads The Four Agreements, one is forever changed – almost curse-like, if you will – and can never go back to seeing the world in the way it was perceived prior to having read it. In many ways that was true and it empowered me in a way that will forever remain with me, but its’ lessons were gently pervasive rather than slam in your gut *pow*.

The Desire Map is different.

As much as Danielle’s full admission to “Shakti” being one of her core motivators is obvious from the get go, there is an element of danger in all of this desiring business. As with all god-like archetypal energies, there is as much destroy as there is create in Shakti (in fact it is really rather a continual cycle of each). The trick is to embrace each aspect of it throughout the process – that’s the hard part.

That is the part that begs me to pay attention – to be aware – because without awareness and balance, footing is lost.

Several years ago I had reached a stalemate with desire. Through the process of elimination I knew what I didn’t want, an ever-growing itemization of things that didn’t work. I went looking for Shakti too.

No, really – in a literal sense. I had even posted a photo of adi-shakti to my Facebook page with the following:

Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo! Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo! Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Namo Namo! Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo!

Translation:

Primal Shakti, I bow to Thee! All-Encompassing Shakti, I bow to Thee! That through which Divine Creates, I bow to Thee! Creative Power of the Kundalini, Mother of all Mother Power, To Thee I Bow!

“Merge in the Maha Shakti. This is enough to take away your misfortune. This will carve out of you a woman. Woman needs her own Shakti, not anybody else will do it… When a woman chants the Kundalini Bhakti mantra, God clears the way. This is not a religion, it is a reality. Woman is not born to suffer, and woman needs her own power.”

“When India and Indian women knew this mantra, it dwelt in the land of milk and honey.” ~Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh)

I scoured the shelves of the Little India shops up The Main for a figure of Devi that I could take home. You can take the girl out of the ashram, but some things just stick, and though I know that no goddess is *actually* embodied in the moulded metal I funnel energy into, I know that concentrated energy and intent makes shit happen. I ended up with the one above who I believe is Durga.

I also felt compelled to reach for balance, so I found this lovely yab-yum, representing both aspects of deity united and balanced.

Yab-Yum

Sitting here at my current vantage point, I realize that it would probably be far more productive to get to where I want to by reverse engineering rather than by using the process of elimination. Start with a clear idea of what I want and work backwards rather than search for the absence of the things that didn’t work previously.

Our lives are a metaphor. I’ve come to realize as I go along. As with all metaphors, they can be interpreted in myriad ways, depending upon how they are viewed.

The Song Remains The Same
(Led Zepplin)

I had a dream. Crazy dream.
Anything I wanted to know, any place I needed to go.

Hear my song. People won’t you listen now? Sing along.
You don’t know what you’re missing now.
Any little song that you know
Everything that’s small has to grow.
And it has to grow!

California sunlight, sweet Calcutta rain
Honolulu Starbright – the song remains the same.
Sing out Hare Hare, dance the Hoochie Koo
City lights are oh so bright, as we go sliding… sliding… sliding through.

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the anatomy of desire

I love

So tell me… how do you want to feel?

I’ve been reading Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map with great interest the last couple of weeks. I’ve been pondering on what desires are – the difference between the transient yearnings and those at the root of my core operating system. The latest chapter up for discussion speaks to the difference between feelings and emotions, or whether there is a difference in the nuance, and whether it matters in any other way but for our own point of reference.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done some deeper inquiry, well THIS deep anyway (and long is a relative term in my world) but I’ve found this tack particularly useful – I wish I would have come across this earlier – much, much earlier.

Isn’t it simply brilliant to think to come at a result through how we want to feel while in the process, throughout its pursuit? Not just at the assumed end of the journey, when you’ve gotten what you have been wanting but all along it too, because how you feel throughout every moment of it is equally important?

Yeah, yeah… we’ve seen the whole “the joy is in the journey” spiel, but funnelling it down to how you want to feel throughout the journey is different from deriving joy from the journey in some indefinite, abstract, way, despite the journey oftentimes bucking you in the head many times over for good measure. It’s almost antithetical, that way of looking – like testing to see how many times can you be smacked over the head and still get up with a smile.

I’ve mentioned before how much of a self-help queen I’ve been throughout my life. I mean we might as well make the best of it while we are here, and there is always room for new learning (even Einstein said so : “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know”).

I find that through this adjusted perspective I come to know myself a little better. I pay more attention – to myself, to others. Awareness seeps outward like an ink stain on a white shirt, and with it a sense of joy, too. We all desire joy, happiness. It is what drives us onward to seek it out, and yet the ways in which we come to feel it are vastly different. The more insight we can have into that unfolding, the better.

I think about the conversations I could have had with former lovers about desires, which might have led to different choices by virtue of the clarity that this process enables. Well, assuming people engage with the line of inquiry… that engagement or lack of it speaks volumes anyway.

I ponder why it is so difficult for people to communicate on a deeper level. Are we just afraid of risking vulnerability or is it something else? Are we afraid to really delve that deeply into ourselves? Or are we just afraid of what we might find there, much less admitting it to another? Or is it fact that once we see something, whatever it is, we can no longer deny it, and something must be done about it. We must deal with our desires. Maybe we are not equipped to deal with them all. The thing about desires, though, is that when you dig down deep enough, they become simple. It is how we pursue fulfilling them that complicates things, sometimes.

I’m pretty sure my core desires haven’t changed much over the years, only the ways in which I go about filling them. Or perhaps rather in how I’ve come to define them. I’ve come a long way there too, I think. It makes me happy to know that – to really feel it. I suppose it would be easy considering I have only myself to contend with, and that it’s impossible to be externally influenced if one is not sharing one’s life with another. And yet I’d like to think that I’ve become self-aware enough that even if another person were to come into my periphery that I would remain consistent – true to the desires I wish to attend to at my core. I hope so, anyway.

I fully resonate with the sayings that acknowledge that knowing oneself is the greatest freedom, or wisdom. It empowers you to make choices. Any other way would mean that the choices you make end up ruling you, cutting off your freedom to make any due to their very involuntary nature.

Desire has been given such a bad rap. It’s become a dirty word, not because of the more visceral aspects it suggests, the sexual connotations. Rather, because of the complexity of dealing with the underlying urges that push us to act out of our place of desire, it has become something to subjugate or annihilate – it’s supposedly the beast that must be slain, a thing that while alive will always risk injury to self or others. I think perhaps unexamined desire is that way, but when investigated and not left to fester and morph into something horribly formidable, it serves our higher purpose. It becomes our ally. It moves us to create.

on love

Every Tuesday I share Rob Brezsny’s weekly horoscopes with a friend – a “yours and mine” bird’s-eye-view of what the stars according to Rob have in store for us – more out of habit anymore than out of ritual or belief, but they always touch on something (how could anything from Rob NOT do so?) poignant and deeply neural.

This week’s goes as follows:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Do you feel oppressed by Valentine’s Day? Maybe you’re single and reject the cultural bias that says being in an intimate relationship is the healthy norm. Or maybe you’re part of a couple but are allergic to the cartoonish caricatures of romance that bombard you during the Valentine marketing assault. If you’d rather consecrate love and intimacy in your own unique way, untainted by the stereotypes flying around, I invite you to rebel. Make this the year you overthrow the old ways and start a new tradition: Valentine’s Day 2.0. Mock sappy, sentimental expressions of romance even as you carry out futuristic experiments in radically slaphappy love.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I have come to be fascinated with the messiness of desire,” writes novelist Ashley Warlick, “with the ways people fit themselves together, take themselves apart for each other, for want of each other, for want of some parts of each other.” Your assignment, Pisces, is to celebrate the messiness of desire; to not just grudgingly accept it as an inconvenience you’ve got to tolerate, but rather to marvel at it, be amused by it, and appreciate it for all the lessons it provides. Your motto this Valentine season could be, “I bless the messy largesse of my longing.”

I don’t reject cultural bias, or sappy romance, or caricatures of it – not at all. I’m a romantic if there ever was one – I would like nothing more than to crawl into the mystery of romance and love; remaining intact through its messiness but revelling in it deeply nonetheless. I think it truly is the lifeblood of the species – what keeps us coming back for more and multiplying. I think of Persephone’s walk through and with Hades – both the God and the place – how she must return, cyclically, before she can walk out into the light again.

But somehow Rob’s shout out to Pisces fascinates me more at the moment, because desire has been on the forefront of my mind (you already know this, if you’ve been keeping up with any of my more recent posts) and I marvel at its messiness at once deriving from and being the product of its expression.

There was a call put out for love poems from the city of Cobourg, and as I sifted through the stuff I’d written in the past none really resonated with how I felt about love on that day. I can’t claim to understand love, or its’ mechanics, why it exists or how it works. I just know what it feels like, in its myriad forms, and that like air, it is crucial, at least in some measure, to my well-being and survival.

So, here is the poem, because it’s Valentine’s day, soon, and I’m all out of chocolate bars and certainly there is no romantic love to speak of on the horizon, though love flows through everything in deep undercurrents when I sit still enough to feel it move.

What love is
I remember Forrest insisting he knew what love was; it seemed simple to me then,
as I considered his words, his conviction. What of love, then? I’m not so sure now.
The older I get, the slipperier it becomes, this definition of a word filled with connotation,
an expectation, a meaning just as loaded for each of us as our opinion of beauty.
If love is all we need then I would like to be able to breathe it in like air, and hold
it inside my lungs until I am so filled with it that it can do nothing more than escape,
and again breathe it in because nature abhors a vacuum and breathing is involuntary.
Perhaps love is too – involuntary – a reflex that circumvents our attempts at logic
and calculation, simply spreading like a wet spot, hot and sticky, our passions spent.
There is that kind of love. There are others, too – the kind reserved for our children,
stoic and joyful and filled with the resolve to love them despite their differences, their
flaws smoothed over like sheets pulled taut, covered with the warmth of patience
and gentle like a well worn quilt; if only all love could be like that, where the edges of
things are smoothed over by a soft focus lens, and grudging respect grows as we
really listen, present to each other because we want to care – to know more than
merely ourselves – we want to be greater than the sum of our parts, co-creators.
Sometimes I think I’d like to know what that is, really, but mostly I think I’m just madly
in love with the world, mad with its beauty and its flaws and all of our collective
humanness; my heart grows so full that I’m certain it might burst, but it doesn’t.
It’s gentle like that, this love I now know, and it requires no reciprocation since it
feeds upon itself and is exponential. I’m sure that would change if I had a lover.
Then perhaps I would want chocolates and kisses and the garbage taken out without
having to ask, or to sit in silence holding hands, wanting nothing more than the witnessing.

So a Valentine wish for you: may you find love, always. May it be the kind that you want it to be.

Soft or fierce, or the kind that pierces your heart and makes you come alive, or reduces your centre into a flowing molten eruption of desire and simultaneously blinds you with its brightness and sears you with enlightenment.

I can’t say that I am ever the same after being touched by it, in whichever form that it manifests. I’ve learned to be grateful for it when it does come, and to say “yes, I see you, I recognize you, I know how fleeting you are, but I rejoice in you now”.

Peace,
Adriane xo