The Joy Diet, Ingredient #3: Desire

The Third Ingredient for Joy: Desire

The Third Ingredient for Joy: Desire

To start, doesn’t the woman in that picture look like she really does want something and is determined to get it?

Anyway, it’s the end of my third week working through Martha Beck’s The Joy Diet with the lovely members of The Next Chapter, and the third ingredient for joy is Desire.

Beck introduces Desire this way:

“I don’t know what part of us stores the code for our right lives–maybe some corner of the brain, maybe the figurative heart, maybe that indefinable phantasm called the soul–but I do know how the code is relayed to our conscious minds, enabling us to make choices in keeping with our purpose.  It happens through the medium of the sensation we call desire.  The knowledge of your destiny is available to you, well before it actually happens, as a message streaming continuously from your heart to your brain, written in the language of longing.  This part of the Joy Diet is meant to help you access and interpret the yearning that is always leading you toward your right life.” — Martha Beck, The Joy Diet, p. 47

This week, I started examining my Desires, and I’m going to focus, here, mainly on those that are within the realm of more immediate achievement.

One desire that remained consistent for me was the longing to get outside in nature during the day.  The thing is, though, my current job keeps me locked away in an office during the majority of daylight hours this time of year, as the sun sets ever earlier.  I really resented that about my job.  I can look out certain windows in the office and see the mountains rising above town, wild and majestic, and wanted to be in them, me and my camera, rather than just looking at them.  I walked around my neighborhood several evenings, but not in the mountains.  Tomorrow we’re supposed to have beautiful weather, so I am planning an excursion to address this desire.  Nature is healing, and I don’t get nearly enough of Her.

I’ve also seen my desires to make art–drawings of various kinds and paintings, and even a little project for a special friend who reads this blog–increase.  A lot of times in the past, I’ve squashed these desires straightaway for fear of incompetence, but I’m letting them appear and gather around me, and I’m slowly working on them.  Last night, in fact, I had a lot of fun making a Prayer Pie illustration as a part of working through the SARK e-course I’m taking, the first visual art I’ve actually gotten out of my head and into form in over a year apart from dreamboards and the little vision cards I’m making for this.  (Perhaps I will share that later.)

I’m also finding a burning desire to whip my part of the house into shape.  I need to do some major decluttering and cleaning.  I’m almost getting to the point where I feel like I’m being choked by stuff, and that’s not good.  I’m going to try to do a little of that every day.  I desire more space for things that inspire me and/or that I will use: art supplies, good books, DVDs of my favorite films, CDs of my favorite music, clothes that I’ll actually wear, etc.  I’ve been so scared of letting go of things, even things I never use or that have less-than-wonderful memories associated with them.  One thing I’ve been afraid of letting go are my lecture notes from university.  I’ve been out of university since May 2006, and I haven’t used my lecture notes since then.  It’s almost like I’m afraid that if I get rid of those notebooks, I’ll lose the knowledge in them, which is absurd, as it’s in my mind.  That’s why my degree was awarded; I learned and retained the things in those notes!  I actually don’t need them anymore, even less so since I don’t plan on going to graduate school, at least not anytime soon.

I’ve really been desirous of quality time in bed, either watching a movie on my laptop or curling up with a good book, which I will do shortly.  I need rest, and less stress.  Part of it is being worn out from the work week as they’ve been more hectic than usual lately, and part of it is the general slowing-down prompted by the season.

Of course, I desire to write.  I’m working on that.  One day I hope to publish at least one book successfully, but I have to write the book first.  So…I’m writing.  I’m taking the aforementioned journaling course which is working wonders in the department of learning to circumvent my Inner Editor, which has been, to this point, my biggest obstacle to making this desire reality.

Of course, all these smaller desires are integral pieces of the bigger, life-trajectory desires, pieces of my ideal life.  They’re very telling, and following them is, I need not say, full of joy. 🙂

I do intend to follow these desires: spending more time in nature, making more art, taking more time for relaxation, decluttering, and writing.  I envision them, in answer the Beck’s “Then what?” as ongoing components of a rich, full life.

I hope you, my fellow Joy Dieters, have had a good experience with Desire this week, and that your heart’s truest desires become your joyful reality.

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Categories: The Next Chapter | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Joy Diet, Ingredient #3: Desire

  1. How wonderful that you are gathering your “pebbles” and collecting them here and there. All these small desires being fulfilled opens the door to the bigger life and heart desires. I’ll be waiting to read that book of yours! 🙂

  2. Really great list and ideas. May all your desires come to pass.

  3. I have been in a similar situation on many occassions. I have to force myself to step outside for lunch to take in the sun, blue sky, fresh air, and nature. It would be easier to simply eat at my desk or in the kitchenette but I always feel 110% better when I have taken an outdoor break.

  4. wow – it’s funny. My desires are also related to making art and writing.

    I spend time in nature and find it restorative and calming. I hope you get the same rewards when you fulfill your desire to spend more time in nature.

    May all your wishes come true.

  5. What beautiful desires, and I would hardly call them small! They are each powerful and wonderful and life-changing. I share many of them too. Many blessings as your desires transform into joy-filled moments…

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