A lot of people, including you, most times, do not understand the cost of ignoring, judging, denying, or putting off enjoying your desires. If you’re like most people, you don’t even know how to know what you want.

That’s because you don’t know–or perhaps believe–that giving space and expression to your desires fills your entire life with energy, joy, and meaning.

You don’t believe dancing in the morning in the kitchen or telling your partner what you’re yearning for or updating your journal page before bed matters.

You learned to judge what you want because you don’t meet some arbitrary societal standard that makes it worth pursuing.

For example, if you want to write, you must become a best-selling author or win a Booker prize or else, why bother?

Or you learned to deny what you want because it didn’t put food on the table, make someone’s life better, or get you a promotion. This is why you don’t know how to know what you want.

Perhaps you learned it is safer to keep putting your desires off until you are ready and know enough instead of asking, “What more do I need to know to feel the pulse of desire animating me right now?”

The consequences?



Lack of boundaries.

Afraid to stand up for yourself.

Crappy self-care.


Your dreams seem impossible.

Everybody else can have what they want but you.

Relentless pushing, doing, accomplishing but for what?


Can we agree there is a steep cost of denying and ignoring what you want? That you don’t even know how to know what you want?

Are you pissed at me for pointing this out?  Are you stirred up? Do you feel ready for a nap? Or are you saying, “do you realize what my life is like? How impossible it is to make time for what I want?”

While I will never, ever tell you it’s all up to you or that the obstacles you face aren’t real and frustrating and often terribly unjust, I won’t ever tell that societal support doesn’t matter to your well-being, still, I believe that even in the harshest conditions, we can touch our desires. Make space for them. Allow them to enliven us.

With practice, with community, It does become easier. Fear, constriction, and putting off and turning away from what you want, happens less and less.

Please, for just this week, notice where you override, belittle, ignore, turn away from, give up on your desires, put off, what you want. Where you forgo, wait, or judge.

Do not (please!) try to do anything differently. Stay away from plans or trying to change.

Instead, with compassionate curiosity, notice your thoughts about what you want. Notice your habits. Notice what substitute desires you settle for. Notice what you believe about enjoying more of what you really want–what’s okay, what’s not.

If you like, jot down a few notes in your journal or on your phone.

Notice, without overindulging in self-judgment.

You may be amazed at what you discover.

This is how you will eventually discover how to know what you want.

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