"You should write a blog post about THAT!” My friend Dina typed this to me. I was writing about my most detested word: desperate. It is the extreme of ‘want’. I recently read that ‘wanting’ goes against the rhythm of the universe. Desire does not, but ‘wanting’ does. If you are desperate you are in a keen state of want. If you desire you are open. The experience that gets you out of desperation is one of feeling safe, hopeful,self confident. Trusting.
When I think of desperation I imagine myself stuck in a corner with a vise around my chest. Ugh.
Today is my daughter Lily’s birthday. Yesterday she was traveling in the Northeast’s ‘bomb cyclone’, returning from Philadelphia to Portland OR. Either climate change is bringing all new terms into our weather vernacular, or having lived my life in the Northwest I know only boring weather terms like ‘ice storm’ and ‘endless rain’. I woke up to a flurry of alerts from Delta about Lily’s flights…delays, cancellations, weather updates. As she traveled, she was expectedly out of touch for long hours and of course, I thought about her. A piece of my heart was ever so slightly out of place as I knew she was navigating across the country. Worry flirted with me. I saw it on the edge of my consciousness. Long years of parenting have taught me that ‘worry’ brings me only more of the same. If you’ve worked with me you know my term ‘worry barnacling’. Worry is a tough habit to eradicate.
The parenting landscape gives us a perfect opportunity to look at the difference between desperation, want, and desire. Love for a child is all encompassing, it is brutal and intense. It is wondrous and effervescent. Your life’s energy is inextricably intertwined with the entire world of a another being, whose experiences you can only influence to a certain degree. It’s one long letting go from the moment of birth. When they launch—apt term—your arms are suddenly stunningly empty. It’s like you’re guiding a big jet out onto the runway and you’re there while it races to take off, but then it takes off and you’re still on the runway. What you want—what you want to want—is that it reaches its destination safely. This calls for vision and desire. Worry gets in your way. Desperation does nothing but stick you in a cave of fear and anxiety.
There are few emotions more toxic than desperation. We all feel it. I desperately want him to call (or care). I desperately want to have that relationship back. I desperately want that settlement, that client, that money, that validation. I tested myself yesterday as Lily traveled. All day I wanted to feel her safe at home. I challenged myself to not worry. It’s not a huge thing, traveling like that…it’s not an illness or an injury. It’s just travel. But the example of leaning into seeing her safe at home, visioning her at the end of her journey happily celebrating her birthday today, that idea is one to roll around against the feeling of desperation. If you feel desperate about a part of your life, know that the cultivating the opposite is the way out of that jam. How to do that? Desperation is so overwhelming and awful. You lean into relief. You look at the situation you’re stuck in and you imagine a resolution that is several steps ahead of the immediate problem and you envision it. So if it’s a relationship that is super stuck, see the person in their own highest light, fulfilling their desires and dreams and you supporting them. A work situation that HAS to resolve a certain way? No it doesn’t. Know that the Universe has a far greater intelligence than us and is always orchestrating solutions for our highest good provided we are leaning into the peace that surpasses all understanding. In my own life I’ve been taken to my knees in desperation many times, and I know now that the way out of it is to consciously curate hope, vision and calm. Emotions are heavy and dense. Meditation and journaling help dissolve the really tough ones. Often the of feeling desperation is tied to deep habits we’ve carried for a lifetime or longer. Do not feel you need to go it alone. Do your own work, and get support for your deepest stucknesses.
Did you follow my 12 Days of Codependence series on Instagram? I've yet to talk to a single person who saw the series who didn't say, oh yeah...I needed THAT. Search on #12Days on my Instagram if you missed any.
If you are thinking I am going to turn into Seth Godin and email you every day, no. I am going to honor work when it comes up. That means I’ll be in your inbox once or twice a week. Once with a longer piece, and once with a digest or shorter one. Or on busy weeks just once! I know your time is sacred and I will only bring you the good stuff. Just like 'Only the good notes' that Jack Black used to create the “Iris” tune in The Holiday, my all-time favorite Christmas movie.
RADIANT. Do you have a word for 2018? I love that idea, having a word for the year. Mine is radiant. January brings us the opportunity to set new goals for the projects that will take flight in Spring and be refreshed in September. January is about discipline. Gym and Yoga studio owners know this-we always see a flurry of new activity.
If you’re wrestling with how to create a plan for the year and want support, I invite you to consider a VIP intensive with me. 2-3 hrs together either via Zoom (or in person if you are in Bend). We’ll untangle your blocks, craft your vision and send you off with a fully formed plan including feng shui tips and a word for 2018. Nourishing, clearing, empowering and fun! Message me to schedule.