“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman
When I was in my 20s, I wanted to be a tango dancer who traveled the world.
It was a true desire.
So what did I do?
I’d love to tell you that I threw caution to the wind, traveled the world as a professional dancer perfecting my ocho-gancho with dance partners that looked like Antonio Banderas and moved like melted chocolate—but I can’t tell you that.
Instead I stomped on my desire—I squashed it down. It got shoved into the desire vortex, a place where dreams that are the victims of inaction go to die.
I remember so many desires that surfaced in my life disguised as opportunities that I dismissed. I could have been a tango dancer, but I convinced myself the timing was wrong, and part of me justified not following this desire because the idea seemed ludicrous.
Making a living from dancing? Pfft! Who does that?
You know who does that? People who listen to their true desires and act on them.
I am pleased to say that life and experience has opened me up to opportunities that mindfulness and awareness of synchronicity can bring. And now, I do indeed access and action my true desires. Bring on Buenos Aires!
Here is what I have learned in the process:
1. It’s okay to desire something.
The nature of our lives is to strive for more—that’s what humans do. The trick is to strive for less material objects and more life. We are given the privilege of making choices, but most of us are living our lives as if we have no choice.
We are programmed to live according to someone else’s or societies standards. The key is to understand what we really want our lives to be, as well as being brave enough to accept that desire and act on it for a life of true joy and abundance.
2. Desires can shape our happiness.
If we don’t allow our desires to flourish, they become a distant wish or what I like to call a “would have, could have, should have” wish. Understanding that living our truth and acting on our desires will bring happiness and a better version of ourselves forward is so important.
Joy that will put a stop to the suffering voice sitting inside your conscience creating every excuse under the sun for why you shouldn’t be following your dreams. Quiet that voice down with the joy that acting on your desires will bring.
3. Listen to your inner voice.
When I realized my tango dancer desire had been snuffed out after years of neglect, justifications and listening to my ego—I sat quietly with my remorse and regret for that lost opportunity. It was then I decided to learn how to listen to my inner voice and act on it.
The best and quickest way to hear my desire—and give it a voice—was to practice meditation where I would focus only on my breath.
I realized my desire was my inner voice, and my heart and my higher being making contact with me. I had never listened to this inner voice before. I had always talked over the top of it.
When I finally sat and listened, I heard this inner voice—she was gentle, kind and humble. She felt like a dear friend. She gave me the courage to live life more fully by listening to my desires. To this day, my inner voice and I are best friends.
4. Accepting the consequences and moving on.
It was not always smooth sailing in my meditation. Sometimes my feelings of regret, anger and frustration flooded in, and I would feel lost and clouded. It’s not always easy to see and accept the things you don’t like about yourself and it took many years of practice to have a deep compassion for myself and others.
Regret is such a strong word and an overwhelming feeling. So instead, I focused on compassion.
The more compassion I had for my own inner turmoil, the closer I got to feeling the essence of my true heart which felt warm, clear and innocent. I had accessed a warm, safe and sacred place where I was accepted wholeheartedly.
Today, I can confidently say I speak my truth and action my desires. I now see each desire within me as a key that unlocks a new part of me, leading me towards the incredible and colourful life I now live.
And the tango dancer is still there. I can feel her dancing her pasito and stepping out a smooth milonga as the desires bubble to the top. She will always be there—prompting me and counting me in.
Ready and willing, like a sacred knowledge, to choose joy, happiness and a life of no regrets.
Author: Sari Cecilia Raccuglia
Apprentice Editor: Brook Bentley/Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Zabara Alexander