Exploring Our Desires
“I used to think that self love and self care was getting massages and getting pedicures. . . but there’s so much more to it than that. . . I’d never really looked at what was important to me, or how I wanted to feel in a relationship, or what I wanted to experience, I didn’t even know that those things were important to me. And to me that all goes back to self love. I didn’t love myself enough to think that what I wanted was important.” Helene Golombek.
How To Start Your Own Exploration Experience
There are any number of ways that you can explore what is important to you. In all likelihood, this exploration will take many forms. Self exploration is a process, not an event. Treat it as the process it is. Have you ever thought about these questions? What is important to you? How do you want to feel? What do you want to experience? We don’t live in a culture that encourages asking these types of questions. But, as Helene Golombek points out, “How can you love yourself if you don’t even know yourself?”
Different people come to epiphanies differently. Consider the following approaches, and choose the one, or ones, that you think will work best for you.
Consider journaling. Consider journaling as Helene Golombek describes in her interview with Just Stay Curious. Helene journals about her life as she wants to experience it. She also journals as if she is already experiencing her life that way. By journaling like this regularly, you will begin to see patterns which can help you discern what is important to you, how you want to feel in your relationships, and what you want to experience.
Visualize where you want to be five years from now. Take some time when you are alone and your mind is not otherwise preoccupied with something else. Close your eyes and imagine you are five years older, five years wiser. What do you want to be doing? What is important to you? What do you have in your life right now that you don’t see a need for in five years. Identifying what you don’t want is just as important as identifying what you do want. Consider some possible experiences. Do you want more travel in the next five years? Are you interested in living in another city? Do you see yourself in a relationship? Do you see yourself single? Take some time to regularly visualize your perfect life.
Make a List
If you don’t like journaling, consider making lists. Write down ten things that you value. Write down ten things that you don’t value. Now, do the same for what you are passionate about – and what you are not passionate about. Make a list of five things in your life right now that you don’t want in your life next year at this time. Don’t let your “shoulds” get in the way. As in, “I should have a full time job” or “I should stay living in the same city as my family.” The point of this exercise is to identify what is important to you. The “shoulds” in life are almost always self imposed. (But that is a blog post for another day.)
Set Your Intention
Before you fall asleep at night, set your intention. Take some time to instruct your brain on its task for the night. “I want to know what is most important to me. I want to identify how I want to feel in a relationship. I want to identify what I want to experience.” Then relax and go to sleep. Your brain will do the rest. If you use this technique, it is a good idea to keep a pen and paper by your bed to record any middle of the night thoughts that come to you. You may not remember them as completely in the morning.
Knowledge is power. The more you know about yourself, the more quickly you identify that which you want to encourage and welcome into your life – and that which you want to avoid, eliminate, or reduce. Being able to readily identify what is, and is not, part of what you want to experience is a fantastic form of self love. You will not regret this journey.
Get That Massage, Get That Pedicure
This is not to suggest that you should abandon those small acts of self love, like getting a massage, or getting a pedicure. Self love doesn’t come in one form, to the exclusion of all others. Instead, self love comes in many forms. If you love a good pedicure, keep that form of self love in place. Just don’t kid yourself into thinking that’s all there is.
In the words of Helene Golombek, “Be yourself. Figure out who you want to be. And go be it!”