What do you want, anyway?


Hello, all, how is the summer treating you?

I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy two trips with my family – to Lake Tahoe and to Seaside Park.  I’m a nature lover, but my happy place is the beach hands down. (see photo above – not my actual vacation!)

In my coaching I talk a lot about listening to your instincts.  This means listening to your body.  For example: does that person/ place or thing make you feel calm or stressed?  If we get to know ourselves and tune into our physical bodies, they give us a lot of clues about what works for us and what doesn’t.

This, in practice, is kind of magical.  It’s not your brain giving you information, it’s your animal body (muscles and bones) saying “yes” or “no”.  Have you ever had a dog?  It’s really clear when people come over to the house that the dog either likes them or doesn’t.  The dog isn’t analyzing what the person says or how they dress, they just get a feeling about the person and that’s the end of the story.

Humans, can get that “yes” or “no” message, too, but they can’t help using their analytical brains to gain more information and spend extra time making up their minds.  I’m guessing, though, that the first reaction is usually quite valid in the end.

Of course, learning to turn off the brain from time to time and really listen to your heart and back and legs is something that takes practice.  It might seem kind of weird, but I think it can be pretty useful.

On that note, I wanted to share two quotes from my fave coach, Martha Beck.  I signed up for free daily inspirations from Martha’s website, and enjoy reading them each morning.  There were two that came in the past month that stopped me in my tracks, and they both relate to listening to the body and heart, in order to find out what you really want!


Who would you be if you were simply present, like a wild animal, without past or future? What would you do if you didn’t know it was impossible? What would you believe if you trusted that all your longing will be fulfilled? Every time you contemplate a question like these, you become a little bit more bewildered—by which I mean you’re learning to be wilder, to let go of your mind’s judgments and fears and live from your core.


Recently I’ve been pondering a process I call “bewilderment”—or, as I like to pronounce it, be-wilder-ment. It’s like enlightenment, but way less ambitious. I figure if we all become a little wilder, a little more present, a little more connected to whatever it is that makes dogs so damn happy, we’ll feel better and do better things. The first step in the bewilderment process, upon which everything else depends, is simple: CALM DOWN.

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be as happy as some dogs I’ve known!

I tried thinking about #1 – Who would I be without my past and future plans?  What do I want so bad that I’d go do it if I wasn’t scared?

Frankly, I’m not sure how to imagine me, today and present, without also thinking about the past and future with my family, etc.  But I did see that the past is the past, and that I can make my future go in pretty much any direction I want it to.  I also thought about what I really want, and the thing I’m reaching for and scared and worried about is graduate school.  I want it, I want the work, the self growth, the knowledge and a new future career with more education and perspective.  And I’m scared, but I have to do it, because it’s my true heart’s desire.

In the same way that I was able to sit quietly and say, “heart, what do you want?”, you too can give it a try.  Take some quiet time, relax and think about what makes your heart soar, whether it’s a person, a job or just a new idea.  When the body speaks, and you listen, it puts you on the right path.

So, what do you really want?



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