It’s a simple question: what do you want?
But in my experience, for women especially, it’s not simple at all.
Even SAYING what we want – to ourselves, in our minds – is difficult.
Try it right now. Ask yourself what you want. I just did it and my brain’s first reaction was to freeze up and go blank.
Then it did a little dance and said, Aghhhhh I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know!
And once I took a few deep breaths and encouraged my little brain to calm down – this isn’t a test, no one will judge you for saying to yourself what you want, you can always change your mind – it admitted that what it wants right now is to lie down in bed and watch Atlanta.
See? There. I admitted what I want.
So once you say what you want, ask yourself this: what stands in the way of what I want?
And then write down the reasons. It’s important to write them down – if you try to do this in your head, you’ll go down all sorts of rabbit holes and tangents and get lost and forget the question.
So write a list.
Here’s mine – why can’t I lie down in bed and watch Atlanta right now?
I’ve got too much work to do
I’m not at home
If I stopped working and went home, that would make me lazy
Too many other things going on
Watching TV isn’t good for me
OK. So you’ve got your reasons. Now turn the list over and ask yourself a third question: what elements of what I want are already happening?
In my case – I am not lying down in bed watching Atlanta. But I’m thinking about doing it, which makes me smile. I’m setting the intention to watch it later tonight when I get home – it’s settling deep into my bones. I’m savoring the moment when I can drop everything and chill out. I’m making the decision to allow myself space and time for that.
Try it yourself and see what comes up for you.
To recap, here are the three questions to ask yourself:
- What do I want?
- What stands in the way of what I want? (Write the reasons down)
- What about what I want is already happening?
There are all sorts of variations on this. You could give yourself two minutes of silence to sit with each question. Instead of writing, you could draw the reasons. Or you could go on a walk while asking yourself each question.
And if you would like to do this in the company of others – it’s so much more powerful that way! – you have one week to join this fall’s incarnation of the Creative Workout Group.
Registration is open now. It starts Monday October 24. We meet for six weeks. This is a live in-person class (those of you not in Portland: I want to do an online version of this someday!)
It’s an experiment in asking ourselves what we want, then diving into that question, creatively. Think of it like going to yoga every week (or zumba, or pilates, or water babies). It’s a workout for your brain, body and imagination. It keeps your mind and body aligned and it’s also fun. And it costs about the same as a yoga class.
You don’t have to train or prepare or get ready ahead of time. If it calls out to you, you’re ready. Show up, and we’ll take it from there.