desire · pause · spirituality

Changing the Question

12-5-18.jpgWith the new move and J trying to make the house a livable space, we bandy about the question:  What do you want?

What color do you want on the walls?  What kind of couch do you want?  Do you want to keep my plates or yours?

As J’s spent a few months in a new job, and I continue to work in my field while thinking about its long-term potential, we lob one another the question:  What do you want?

What kind of work do you want to do?  What kind of conversations do you want to have?  What do you want to feel?

But, last night, as we again circled around what we want in and out of our lives, I asked J something that gave him pause — and when that happens, I know it’s something that I should pay attention to, too:

“What does your soul want?”

What does your soul want for this lifetime?

When retracting the question from outward manifestation to inner truth, it’s no longer answered by paychecks or paint chips.  It takes more than a peripheral answer.

What does my soul want this lifetime?

It’s so easy to crowd this question out with particulars; those feel so much more manageable and actionable.  But what’s the point in taking action if you don’t know where you’re going… and certainly if you don’t know why you’re going?

I don’t yet know my answer to this question.  While the heart of it will likely stay the same over the decades, I’m sure it will evolve slightly, so it will be important to ask this question regularly to check the fidelity with which I’m answering it through my actions.

What does my soul want?

Erg.  I’m going to have to get quiet and still enough to listen for an answer.  But at least I feel I’ve found the right question.


community · desire · fear · lack · learning · science

Moving the water-cooler.




I was at dinner with a friend on Tuesday
night, election night. And she was dispirited by how little she’d gotten to
talk with anyone about the election, the issues, what’s going on in our area.
That it’s just not the water-cooler chatter that’s around her. That there’s a part of her
intelligence that doesn’t feel fueled and fed in the current iteration of her
I replied that I knew precisely how she felt. That there are
conversations I don’t have any more on an intellectual level, not just by being
out of school, but by being out of the groups who talk about topics that make
me think (beyond the emotionally intelligent conversations I can have until the
sun burns out).
I told her there was an informal dinner a friend from grad
school hosts every Wednesday, and how for 2 years now, I continue to get his
weekly invitations. I haven’t gone once.
Well, that’s not true. I went once, with an ex, and he felt
awkward, so it was awkward, and we left. But I have a feeling that dinner’s one
source of the higher conversations I want to have.
Meanwhile, this morning I get a text from a friend saying
it’s her annual birthday party this Saturday. She’s the founder of a non-profit
that provides medical birthing supplies to women in Africa, and has visited
more times than I can count. I can see from my text history that she invited me
last year, and the year before, and I still haven’t gone.
My friend at dinner on Tuesday night challenged me to accept
an invitation to events like these. To go, to meet, to talk, to learn, to be sparked. To
see if there’s a level of conversation I can have beyond my normal scope.
I haven’t wanted to go alone. But that’s usually the best
way to meet people. And so, today, this morning, I replied that I
would be at my friend’s birthday party this weekend.
I can’t attend the Wednesday dinners at the moment because
of rehearsal, but I promised my Tuesday friend I would go after they finish.
It’s not that these opportunities aren’t available. It’s
that I’m scared to go. Scared I can’t keep up. That I don’t know enough. My Tuesday friend told me we both know enough to have *some* kind of a conversation about anything, and she’s right. 
There are science lectures I want to attend at Cal. I have wanted to
sit in on classes there for a long time. Maybe it’s different from a party
that’s social, and I’ll want to bring a wingman, someone to discuss it with
afterward or — and here’s my real desire — I’ll meet people there who will want to grab tea afterward and discuss it, our own little study group of lecture-junkies.
I’ve written before about wanting to seek out conversations
and friends and classes that will again spark the kind of thinking I miss
so terribly; that in the absence of such conversation, I begin to feel stagnant
and short of my potential. I know I’ve hemmed and lamented about it
before, but maybe, with this one Yes for this weekend, I’m changing the
direction of my action. 

abundance · desire · finances · fulfillment · growth · vision · work

a short note, just to let you know I’m not dead.




the end.
just kidding.
I have to leave to go meet up with some folks at 9am I
haven’t seen in a very long time. I had my dailey method shift yesterday at 530am, so I
didn’t write, and sunday mornings are my check-in with my mentor, and usually
lead to more emotion than can settle enough to show up here – which is good.
so, tuesday, it is!
i just wanted to reflect on something that occurred to me as
I sat in meditation this morning, back into another one of those deepak/oprah
21-day meditation challenges: I am living the schedule I wanted.
sure, it’s not perfect! but I’d wanted my days divided into
thirds: mornings in private work, working on art, or music, or writing;
afternoons working in the community somehow – how I didn’t know; and the
evenings spent in performance.
and here I sit today, my morning spent in meditation, a
little writing. this afternoon, I’ll head over to the synagogue to teach 4th
grade. and this evening, I’ll have rehearsal (well, we’re off tonight, but you
get the point!).
without intending to, I’ve come to the structure of the day
I’ve always wanted or thought i wanted. the one I didn’t think I could achieve until I was 50, and
had more going for me.
but, today, even though it doesn’t look perfect, even though
I am only earning about a third of my needed income through teaching two days a
week… this is what it will feel like. this is what it does feel like:
awesome. fulfilling. purposeful. open. creative. engaged.
thanks, universe, for this taste of what it will and what it
is like. i was right when i discovered that’s the day i want for myself. now,
help me achieve it sustainably. thanks.