Toddlers seem to be very good at knowing what they want. Actually, they probably don’t ‘know’, they just want. It’s all very instinctive, direct and physical.
Gosh, the tantrums when they don’t get what they want, now!
My parents would have none of it, though. They put an end to any tantrums and wanting well and good. I was disciplined into submission. ‘Wanting’ was equivalent to being a nuisance, and so I quickly learnt to be a good girl and just wait and see.
But how are you supposed to know what you want in life when that impulse has been bullied out of you? ‘Wanting’ is a very useful faculty. Our desires are so much more than animal instincts. Our deepest desires connect us to our soul and soul purpose. Moreover, what we want helps us create healthy boundaries. It helps us keep out what is not aligned with our purpose, our truth, our calling.
How can we honour ourselves and live a soul-aligned life, when we don’t know what we want?
And I know that many women were taught to be good girls and have been disciplined to not want – and so now they don’t know!
Usually, they do know what they don’t want. Trouble is, you often find out what you don’t want because it’s already happened. And that means your boundaries have already been overstepped. When things get really unpleasant, we can feel it in our body. This is the moment when we can feel: o.k. this is it, enough! And we snap, or sulk, or throw the tantrum we were not allowed to throw as toddlers.
But at least it’s a start. I know it’s not where you want to be, having people or situations cross your boundaries and then having to affirm them more forcefully than you want (because in that moment you stop being a good girl, and that is dangerous, right?). However, feeling what you don’t want, can lead the way to what you do want. Each time you feel: geez no, I don’t want this! Ask yourself: what would be better than this? See what comes up. Perhaps take a moment to write down what comes up. Journal around the question: what would be better? What would I actually like?
There are all kinds of ways to uncover your desires, but if you’ve learnt to bury them well and deep, it may take a bit of time, attention and dedication to get back in touch with them. Let me give you a few suggestions.
1. Make a dreamboard. Take a stack of magazines and tear out any pictures that catch your eye because you love them. Then arrange them on a piece of paper, take some pencils or sharpies and write down any words that pop up in your head. Is there a common theme? What strikes you when you look at it? What is your soul telling you?
2. Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and connect to your 4-year-old (or 8-year-old, or whatever young age you want) self. What did she love to do? What kind of people did she love to be with? How did she love to be treated, how did she love to feel? Let the film play in your head. Take notes if you want.
3. What do you do when no one’s watching, there’s no pressure, no demands? What kind of activities, books, films, games, people do you always gravitate to? What do the people you admire or feel envious of do?
These and many more tools can help you get back in touch with your desires, with what you want in life. What you want to do, how you want to interact with people.
And of course I can help you with this. This is what I do, (re-)connect people to their inner wisdom and deepest truth, and let that be their guidance with courage and trust.
For example in a wise woman session, where I reconnect you with your inner wisdom and help you understand the messages from your soul. Or, if you feel more deep diving is in order, we can discuss more extended 1-on-1 work. In that case, check out the page and get in touch for a chat. Love to hear from you!