What Do You Want? A tropical vacation? A night out on the town? A new house? To lose weight? Flowers from your sweetheart? $$$?
What do your kids want? A new toy? To play with their friend? A day at the beach? A puppy? To play video games all day? A cell phone?
There is a part inside us all that knows what is best for us. I call this our inner wisdom. Learning to understand how this inner wisdom communicates will save us a lot anguish. Sometimes it’s through the body (My excema flares up when I even think about an old boss). Sometimes it’s through our memory (My inability to remember numbers is my inner wisdom’s way of saying, ‘don’t be an accountant’). And sometimes it’s through our desires.
Ask yourself, “What do I want?” Then ask yourself, “What is the feeling I imagine this would give me?” When you figure out what the feeling is you long for, you can find many ways to satisfy this yearning? My daughter kept saying she wanted to go back to Hawaii. She was four years old when she went so I was curious, “What do you remember about Hawaii?” She said she remembered eating donuts every morning. When I asked her how do imagine you would feel to be in Hawaii again, she sighed a big sigh and said, “relaxed”. This is her inner wisdom saying first grade is too stressful and she needs a break. So I gave her a mental health day from school and had her play in the hot tub instead of doing homework.
Everyone is different and I have no idea what your desires are trying to tell you. Here are some possible ones for adults that might spark your own insights:
- Tropical vacation = I need psychological and phyiscal rest.
- To lose weight = I need to feel like me (athletic, attractive, in control).
- A night on the town = I need to feel carefree, important, socially connected, a break from responsibility.
- A gift from sweetheart = I need to feel cared for, appreciated, valued.
- A new house, kitchen, etc.= I want my outer world to reflect my inner world whether it is new, clean, different, modern, good for entertaining, etc.
- To win the lottery = Freedom from money worries.
Once you realize the feeling you are after, you can think of many ways to get it. Take a day off, reconnect with a hobby you used to enjoy, clean out a closet, invite friends over, buy yourself flowers, put music on and dance while you clean, go to yoga class, get a massage, or hire a life coach.
Kids are a little easier to read, here are some common ones for them that may or may not ring true for your kiddo:
- Wanting to play video games for hours can be wanting an escape. Introverts, especially, will escape to this world to feel rested and renergized.
- Yearning for a new toy can mean I’m ready for new stimulation and excitement.
- Wanting playdates can be a yearning for more social connections, fun, and, for extroverts, an important part of learning.
- Babies, puppies, and other cute cuddlies are a yearning for that loving, peaceful feeling. Pull out baby photos and home movies of your child and cuddle them on the couch, unless you have an endless supply of puppies and babies.
- Wanting a cell phone can be a kids way of saying ‘I want to fit in with my peer group and feel connected to them’.
- Repeating “I’m hungry” or “I’m bored” all day long, could be true, but it can also be a yearning for attention, excitement, social stimulation, or a change of pace.
Recognizing what kids are REALLY yearning for will save you money, time and frustration when you give them ‘the thing’ and they still aren’t happy. By asking your kids what feeling they imagine this item will give them, you are helping them connect with their own inner wisdom. When you can help your kids feel heard and felt, then you are giving them what they REALLY need to be happy. Learn to listen to your own desires and follow the feelings you are after. This will lead you towards true happiness for yourself. And if you decide it’s time to plan a tropical vacation, my daughter and I would be happy to tag along.
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