A Roadmap to Desire
How many people do you know that can’t figure out what they want?
The struggle to understand your deepest desires is age-old. Without taking the steps to understand where desire comes from, and how to cultivate more of it, dissatisfaction is inevitable. That is exactly why being in touch with desire is the foundational skill of a life well-lived.
Lucifer, Out Now on Netflix
Funny place to start, right?
In the series Lucifer, Lucifer’s superpower on Earth is the ability to get almost anyone to confess their deepest desires. If you have a hard time figuring out what you want for breakfast, let alone who you want to spend your sexual life with, Lucifer’s superpower seems like a blessing.
If thinking about Lucifer has you questioning if you know what you really want, don’t worry too much. Desire isn’t simply a synonym for lust.
Desire is about wanting, about yearning. Desire is your creative potential. It’s that within you that brings into being. It can bring words into being, it can bring action into being, it can bring things. Desire is that generative force.
Getting in Touch with Desire
Most humans deeply want to bring pleasure, creations, relationships, and more into being. Indeed, you do this every day as you move through the world, through action and inaction. The power in getting in touch with your desire is the ability to guide this process toward more of what you want, and less of what you don’t.
The truth is, when you don’t know what you want, you’re going to struggle to move towards it, even as you will actually in fact move towards it. When you don’t understand what you desire, it will still find a way to creep into your decision-making process unconsciously.
Living your life being consciously led by desire results in less dysfunction over time.
You can use your body almost like a compass to keep you oriented toward your desires and to help you become aware of them in the first place. Desire will normally create a sensation in your body. For some people, desire is like a warm sensation in the chest or through the whole body. For others, desire is an excitement that tingles at the top of the head.
Some describe it as a pulling sensation – a strong impulse to forth and move. Many people aren’t aware of their somatic experience of desire. If that’s you, this is an opportunity to tune in to your body and find out.
You can also pick up clues about your true desires by noticing your somatic direction. Pay attention to what your body points toward. When you notice yourself leaning towards something, or holding your gaze on something for a long time, there is a good chance your body is moving toward what you desire.
Even when you’re not aware of it, your body is sending you messages about what you want.
The Reduction Technique
The Reduction Technique is another way to approach discovering your desires, by working inwards from simple pleasures toward deeper wants. For the reduction technique, you complete the blanks in this sentence:
A person who enjoys ____________ probably wants______________.
For example, a person who enjoys taking a walk probably wants time in nature. Or, a person who enjoys taking a walk, probably wants time to think.
Your simple pleasures tell you a lot about your deeper desires. The power in the reduction technique is that it helps train your ability to bring attention to your desire. The more you practice, the more natural and automatic it becomes to know what you want.
Remember, you’re receiving signals all the time that point to what you deeply desire. Two ways you can tune into your desire are through the feelings in your body and through exploring your simple pleasures to see what they reveal about what you want. Both techniques are more effective at moving you toward what you want than any list of what you don’t want could ever be.