Am I where I need to be right now? Who will confirm this to me?
My body and not my mind. I go with my awareness to each part of my body and ask if they need anything right now.
The feet say, “I’m feeling numb and cramped; I need some stretching and flexing.” I flex and stretch my feet as well as the rest of my body.
Then I find that I need to pee; I go to the loo. My mouth is parched, and I go fetch some warm water to slowly sip and enjoy the feel, the texture, and taste of plain water.
My eyes feel weary; I cup my eyes in my palm for a few minutes and then go splash some cold water on my eyes and face. My shoulders and neck need a nice rub, press, and massage. I give my whole body a nice rub, some scratching, pressing, and massage. My body automatically gives out a loud sigh and takes a deep breath, lets out a yawn, a few burps, and some farts.
I do some gentle body movements which are not physical exercises. These movements help in balancing, clearing, and healing my subtle energy body so I call them energy movements. I sneeze twice and my head starts feeling lighter now, although it did not seem to be feeling heavy before. Now my body says, “Yes.” Now I know that I am where I need to be right now.
Feeling at ease, feeling comfortable, and feeling alive all over.
Our basic “needs” primarily arise in our body, and we stop being needy when we attend to our bodily needs in real time. Whereas our wants arise in our thinking-mind and emotional mind. It is healthy to want various things or achievements in life and be engaged in pursuit of these.
“I want to be elsewhere.”
My wants arise from my emotional mind and thinking mind. Thinking mind is the logical, analytical, critical, judgmental part of my mind. My thinking-mind always is already on the next thing that needs to be done or on several things that need to be done or scattered everywhere other than on what I am doing right now. This is when I lose grounding and start becoming restless.
“I don’t want to be here right now.”
“I want to be elsewhere” becomes “I don’t want to be here.” This usually happens when my mind is too preoccupied in pursuit of my wants to notice and provide what my body needs right now. All my wants disappear from my sight, and I can only see all my “don’t wants.” When this happens, I find it impossible to get what I want or reach where I want to be because whatever I do, wherever I go, my mind remains stuck in “I don’t want to be here right now” state. This is a restless state of mind, complete loss of presence and grounding.
Rather than complaining about it or indulging in intensive outward focused activity to try and go to that place other than where I am right now, I have cultivated a habit of first checking with my entire body and providing all that it needs right now. When my urgent physical needs are met, the pent-up emotional energies get released and the restlessness in my mind quietens. I can now begin to work effectively toward where I want to go.
For many decades in my life, I would never ask this question to my body throughout the day. I used to be so completely engrossed in my mind, its wants and don’t wants. The small daily unmet needs of my body gradually piled up and became long-term chronic disease. This would give rise to even more intense restlessness in the mind. It would intensify the don’t wants and my days would be filled with misses rather than hits. Whatever I did would end up causing more problems, more suffering, more pain—in my career, in my relationships, everywhere. I would be busy all the time because I had to undo all that I would do and then redo. My life would keep going in circles of doing, undoing, and redoing.
Six years ago, I decided to put a stop to it and start learning a new skill. Grounding. Asking this question to my body and giving priority to the body’s needs over my mind’s wants. Repeatedly coming back to grounding before attending to my mind’s wants.
I also stopped asking my thinking mind to decide my long-term goals. Thinking mind and its wants are confined only for my day-to-day short-term planning, organizing, and doing. I have no long-term wants although I do have a long wish list of long-term goals.
Wishing is different from Wanting.
Wanting arises from the thinking mind. It is intense and heavy. It is usually accompanied by at least some degree of not wanting what is here because the mind wants something that is not here.
Wishing arises from the higher mind. The intuitive mind. It is light, playful, and joyful. It arises from a place of, “I am perfectly okay with where I am right now.” I feel grateful because I am okay with where I am right now.
Playful, joyful activity emerges as an expression of my gratitude and this activity results in taking me toward where I wish to go. There is a sense of effortlessness in this.
It all happens simultaneously. On a day-to-day level, the wanting and the thinking mind keep operating. I keep coming back to my body whenever this becomes too intense. In the background, the wishing and effortless activity also keeps happening, taking me toward the gradual fulfilment of my long-term wish list.
Knowing the difference between needing, wanting, and wishing has made all the difference.