What is it that keeps us from doing what we want to do and keeps us doing instead what we don’t want to do? There seems to be an unseen force that is very powerful working in all of our lives. One of my favorite self-help gurus is "Abraham" spoken through Esther Hicks (Abraham-Hicks.com). Abraham says that "anything we really, really, really want. . . .will come to us very quickly, and anything we really, really, really don’t want. . . .will come to us very quickly!" The key is in the emotion we place on our wanting. If want with joyful anticipation, gratitude for it’s inevitable occurrence, it comes much more quickly. If instead, we focus on the lack, on the agony of not having, then we create more of the same – lack of what we want. Emotion is the magnetic factor that either attracts (through love and gratitude) or repels (through fear, anger, sadness, etc.) that which we desire. It seems to me that the trouble is that we all know precisely what we don’t want, but we’re not so clear about what we do want. Going through life focusing on what we don’t want is like walking down the street backwards. Where thoughts go, things grow! By focusing our attention on all the things we don’t want, we continue to create them in abundant chaos around us. It makes perfect sense that we don’t know what we want. Many, maybe even most of us have never had a model of the ideal ways we would like to live our lives. . . having enough money to do whatever and whenever we want. . . .having control over our appetites and passions. . . .walking in our divinity. . . feeling as loved and cherished as we need to feel. . .loving ourselves unconditionally. Who do you really know who models that for you?
I am reminded of a story I love in Oliver Sachs' book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. The story told of a patient named "Witty, Ticcy Ray" who had a severe case of Tourette’s syndrome, which had ruled his life from the age of four. Ray was quite a comedian and a phenomenal drummer. Whenever he had an attack of Tourette’s while drumming, he would go off in some fantastic spasm, which always sounded wonderful to his audience. His favorite trick to entertain people was to throw a revolving door, and dart through it like lightning. Ray, while beloved in his clown role, was having a hard time holding a job or keeping his marriage together because of his problem. . Dr. Sachs discovered that Haldol could slow a patients responses enough that Tourettes could be controlled, and he administered his prescription to Ray. When Ray returned the following week, he had a black eye and a broken nose, and was really angry at Dr. Sacks for giving him the medicine. It seemed that the medicine slowed Ray down so much that he missed on his way through a revolving door, and slammed his face into the door. Dr. Sacks discovered that it took six months of therapy for Ray to decide what life could be like without his malady, and who he would be if he weren’t cussing and twitching all the time. He had built his identity around his unique problem, and had no idea how to behave as a "normally functioning adult." The solution finally came in Ray’s decision to take the medication during the work week, and not during the weekend, so he could continue his entertaining antics with his friends. This story beautifully illustrates the point that until we have a clear idea of what we want to do differently in our lives, we will continue to do what we always have done. If a person is crossing the monkey bars, and comes to the end, they’re not going to reach out into thin air. . .they will turn around and go back the way they came. The goal becomes one of building a new framework. . .a new set of bars to take us to our desired result. "Abraham" suggests that we spend twenty minutes a day in a "workshop" wherein we passionately visualize ourselves living the lives we prefer. It is further suggested that we spend the rest of our day noticing things around us, gathering data for what we want, and bringing that data in as models in our workshop. Knowing what you don’t want is actually a good start to figuring out what you do want. That’s the easy part. Take what you don’t want, and to give it a new angle – what does the flip side look like? Get specific, employing all the senses, and positive emotions. Once you have a clear model, change your perspective to focus with joyful anticipation on what you do want, rather than giving negative emotional attention and creative energy to more of what you don’t. Simple -- not easy, but simple.
What do You
Really, Really, Really Want?