what is my driving desire? #MeditationThoughtMondays

deep driving desire

“You are what your deep, driving desire is.  As is your desire, so is your will.  As is your will, so is your deed.  As is your deed, so is your destiny.”  -the Upandishads

I was digging through my bookshelf, searching my archives for an inspiring quote to use in class this week, and was distracted by an old journal of mine.  I poured my heart into this journal a few years ago while I was living in San Francisco immersed in the bedlam of being a young adult between steady jobs.  During this (very transformative and completely financially irresponsible) time of my life, I was searching for the answer to the question: “What do I want?”  I was exploring a new city, preparing to move to a new continent, and pursuing a new (intimidating) Yoga Teacher Training Program.  All of this ‘newness’ was very exciting, but left me wondering: “What is my deep, driving desire?… What do I really want?”

In last week’s Meditation Challenge, we began exploring a set of questions that dive into the heart of the human experience.  We asked the question: “Who am I?”  (If you didn’t catch it, please read this article.)  This week, we explore the second question from Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Program.  This question is: “What do I really want?”

In my journal from several years ago, I found a list of wishes: wishes that described what I really wanted in life.  I remember making this list one chilly November night (11.11.11 at 11:11 pm; four years later I wouldn’t be caught awake at 11:11 pm even if someone paid me) and I was hesitant to re-read the old list.  Would I find my former wishes self-indulgent and embarrassing?  Would I be surprised at how drastically my current desires had changed from my former desires?  Would I feel disappointed by the divergence in my present life from my previous dreams?  But, of course, I was curious and I read everything I can get my hands on… so I prepared for awkwardness and dove in.

You know what? Every wish on that list has come true.  Sure, maybe not in the way I would have expected.  A few of the details are a bit off— I never would have guessed when I wished “to teach in a school I love, making positive change in a community I believe in” that my “school” wouldn’t be an elementary school and would instead be a yoga studio– but the general idea has manifested into reality.

Is it ‘destiny?’  I don’t know.  Does the universe tend to support me when I make a declaration of my intentions and trust that they will be fulfilled, despite my own worry/meddling along the way?  Yes it does.

Here’s the short list of my wishes that answered the question: “What is my deep, driving desire? What do I really want?”

  • A gorgeous family filled with love
  • Confidence to go out and try new things
  • To be fully present in a loving relationship
  • Consistent compassion and courageous vision
  • A home with a porch, a garden, a dog, and a huge kitchen
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Life-long yoga and hiking everywhere I go
  • To be content and at home within myself

Even looking back, not a bad list.

Will I always get everything I desire?  Probably not.  But maybe: if my intentions are clear and my desires are pure, the potential for their fulfillment will be evident.  And maybe: if I fully expect that my desires will be fulfilled, then I’ll gain perspective on what is really important.  I mean…I don’t have a huge kitchen.  But I have a kitchen with running water and electricity, inside my own house; that’s pretty huge compared to many people I know.

I plan on re-writing my list at the end of this year, after a few months of practicing this Meditation Challenge.  After all:

“You are what your deep, driving desire is.  As is your desire, so is your will.  As is your will, so is your deed.  As is your deed, so is your destiny.”  -the Upandishads

What do you really want?  What is your desire?

This Meditation Challenge will help lead you to the heart of your experience. 

“What do I really want?” Meditation

  1. Sit in Meditation.  Set a timer for 5 minutes.  (Have a pen and paper handy.)
  2. Take 10 steady inhales and exhales to calm your mind.
  3. Breathe easily and normally.
  4. Silently ask yourself: “What do I want? What do I really want?”  Ask yourself these questions every 15 seconds.
  5. Notice the answers.
  6. When the 5 minute timer goes off, take 10 steady inhales and exhales.
  7. Open your eyes and write down your answers.
  8. Repeat for 7 days in a row. Notice how your answers change and expand.
  9. Re-visit the list next week to re-orient yourself with your true desires.

Again, please consult The Chopra Center for more details about The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.  This meditation has been adapted from Chapter 2 of Dr. Chopra’s Book.  I can’t wait to hear your answers.

deep driving desire

Happy Dreaming,




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