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The trouble with desires…

Desire - Pino D'angelico

Desire – Pino D’angelico

“A desire is anything but frivolous. It is the interface between you and that which is greater than you. No desire is meaningless or inconsequential. If it pulls you, even a little bit, it will take everyone higher. Desire is where the Divine lives, inside the inspiration of your desire. Every desire is of profound importance with huge consequences, and deserves your attention.” | Mama Gena

Back in 2010, I remember a Sister Goddess asking me what my desires were and crashing head-first into a blank, hard wall.

I could think of nothing.

Couldn’t even get a whiff….

I was at Mastery, surrounded by women who seemed so clear on theirs, whose dreams seemed so well thought out, so beautiful, so big, so unbelievable, so unreal….

Sitting, panic-stricken, silent, tears welling and spilling onto my cheeks, thinking there was something drastically wrong with me, I felt permanently broken by my life.

I was envious at women’s ability to weave the details of their desires like an exquisite and colorful tapestry.  And I remember staring dazed at the emptiness of my own wall.

How could I not know what I wanted?  How could my mind just go blank?

Sure, it was easy to come up with a to-do list of items: to get through the loss I was feeling from yet another failed relationship, to be able to earn enough money to take care of my son (I had just been excessed from a job I really liked and was good at,) to find an apartment that would take my dog, to find an inexpensive mover, to find a sense of peace somehow….

But all of those items were things I had to work hard for and if I couldn’t achieve them, it would just confirm how fucked up I truly was and how hopeless my future looked.

I needed navigational certainty.  (I had none.)

But the truth was, I was not the only one in the room that day whose mind came up with nothing.  Others, like me, sat in the same anxiety soup finding themselves wrong for coming up empty handed.

And so it goes when we’ve moved so far off course in our lives that we no longer recognize ourselves, no longer feel our life fits, no longer know what we want and are stranded at sea with no recognizable landmarks. I was brilliant at stuffing, stuffing and moving on aimlessly, compass-less.

If I wanted to know what I desired,

I had to know what was behind the wall.

I spent the next three years setting a place on my own life banquet table for those parts of myself that had gone underground, that were dark and brooding, that felt no one understood, that were fucking pissed off, that were paralyzed with grief, that felt small and insignificant.   I recognized I had to embrace all the sides of me that swam in the murky waters of devastation – that they were behind the wall to inform me, somehow.  They had as much value as the feelings of joy and expansion I so fiercely sought.  And I needed to give myself permission to celebrate the totality of who I was, because it was only then that I would be able to come close to knowing what I wanted.

I also needed clarity.  I didn’t have a clue what the difference was between a goal (which I had no problem with) and a desire.  I spent the first part of  those years stuffing my desires into a goal suits – thinking that desires such as paying off my debt were on target, except that they felt heavy, loaded, like work.  Through trial and error, I discovered that desires had a different flavor altogether – the sweet flavor of pleasure in the yearning for it.

Fast forward to this Spring… Regena recounts the story of her engagement ring, her desire for a Legendary Love Affair and a desire in me was born.  (I just didn’t realize he’d be sitting next to me at a casual evening with friends and ask me, at the end of the evening, for my card.)

I took on the idea of dating with a vengeance and decided I had no interest in traditional dates: meet for coffee, meet for drinks, meet for dinner, get to know one another.  It all felt contrived.  It all felt laborious.  It all felt meh.

I also decided I would date defensively: several men at a time. (I figured since I had never “dated” in my youth, I’d make up for lost time.)

I now understood that I was in charge of my pleasure and that if I was to date, I had to be clear on my dating desires first and foremost for this to turn out differently.  This way, I could ask for what I wanted concisely, allow a man to be my hero by obliging, and allow me to surrender to his care knowing we both would be served by it.

But what kinds of dates did I want?

I started a list of dating desires and shared them with my Sister Goddesses.  I challenged them to come up with their own.  On mine were things like:

  • rollerskating
  • kayaking
  • hiking in the Adirondack mountains
  • renting bikes and having a picnic
  • going on a motorbike ride to my favorite English Pub by the Vermont border
  • meeting me at the Metropolitan museum in NYC by the Reclining Nude by Modigliani
  • receiving a bouquet of 12 Black Picara Roses
  • a flight to Martha’s Vineyard for a lobster lunch
  • parasailing in Miami
  • carriage ride around Central Park in NYC
  • flying trapeze lessons in NYC
  • A bateau mouche ride down the Seine followed by…
  • oysters and Sancerre at Le Baron Rouge

They started simple, seemingly insignificant, then grew as my appetite for more did.  My Sisters had lists of their own.  We stole ideas from one another.  Took ourselves higher with our crazy, fun cravings.  Bathed in our yearning for the manifestation of each and every one of them, while cheering one another on.

Three days later, I received an email asking for a hike from my card-asking man.

I didn’t make the connection.  He was just a friend of a friend: cute, charming and, though I had never had an extensive conversation besides the one we had at the micro-brewery, easy to talk to.

I agreed to go.

The hike was not in the Adirondack Mountains – as written on my list – yet  it was sweet, deep and effortless all at the same time.  It allowed me to learn the first two lessons in considering the creation of desires:

First, recognize the importance of desire clarity, and flexibility when it comes to the form in which it shows up.  What you have in mind exactly may or may not what presents itself to you, but something much better, more interesting most likely will (as has been in my case – [I know… you want the details… but I’m unwrapping each delicious morsel for you the way I tasted it.])

Second, let go of “how” your desire is meant to show up.  Don’t meddle.  Stay out of the “how” and stay in the yearning for it.

Then say, “yes.”

Whatever it is, say “yes.”

Prior to this, I was an expert “no-er,” justifying, judging, and denying certain people and experiences the pleasure of playing with me.

When I started to tune in, tap into and turn on to my desires, life became much more interesting.  When I said”yes” everything began to change,

to be transformed before my eyes…

It dawned on me that I held the key all along….

I look forward to sharing how….

In love, service and pleasure,

Joelle Lydon


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