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How to find out what you really want and how to afford it. An Ayurvedic approach.
When you are trying to figure out what you want, watch out for what I call “false friends” – these are the wishes that pretend to be your biggest dreams but will eventually make you unhappy! So if you have compiled your list described in part one, adapt it after having read this to make sure you wrote down the right things. Let me give you two examples: I remember how I wished that I would have plenty of free time during my corporate days, and a year later, I would actually have so much free time that I became lethargic and uninspired and felt very bad about myself not doing anything even though I had so much free time. Another good example of a wrong wish is “I want to be financially rich”. I saw people rise to fame and money and become more unhappy, isolated, and insecure than ever. So just be careful what you wish for. To me, I always found it a safe option to wish for feelings and states of being more than for exact things like “a good marketing job”, but really, you are very free to do this exercise anyway you want to – because, as I said: there are NO limitations (apart from the ones you create yourself) to figuring out your new life.
Observe your thoughts while trying to come up with the things you really want in your life: there will be lots of “…yes but…” that you will have to move out of the way to really allow yourself a completely free imagination – free of all the unconscious beliefs that we carry around! There may be the occasional “but I do not have enough money for this!” or “I would love to do this, but I would never be able to” or even something along the lines of “did I REALLY just think that?” This is when our ego gets all disgusted about ourselves! These are the best moments because this is when you can observe your belief patterns that keep you from realizing your dreams. So be aware and do not feel guilty about this exercise, look at it as a fun practice – it cannot harm anyone so you are even allowed to not include your children in the picture for just this one time (and you anyway do not have to tell anyone about it, right?).
I really love this exercise because it at once shows you where your own obstacles are that keep you from dreaming big and also gives you the opportunity to want more than you could have ever imagined. You may think to yourself: why even bother if this is anyway never going to be possible, right? Here, I have to tell you: do not underestimate the mind. The Vedic scriptures say that your thoughts create your reality. We do not even have to figure out how we get there. The solution will be born with every baby step we take towards the goal we want to reach.
Are you ready to pay the price?
Now, we are getting to the nitty gritty: pick one to three things from your ideal life list from part 1 or just write down three things (you can add more later once you have figured out how to do this) that you really want in your life and do not have at the moment: freedom? Self-employment? Love? A career? Friends? Travels? Now, right behind each area, you write down what the price may be that you have to pay to get this into your life. Mind you, everything comes at a price! Say for instance you want to move in with your partner, the price you most probably will have to pay is less privacy and alone time, more routine in your love life and thus maybe less excitement. For “doing a trip around the world by myself” the price may be that you will have to save some money up front (and as we all know, saving money can be a pain because it means renouncing to all these things that are so much fun), you will live out of your suitcase and may occasionally feel lonely and scared. If you want real love: are you ready to be vulnerable? To be critical towards your own weaknesses, open your heart completely and make compromises? Take some time to do this because this is the most important part. You have to mentally really go there and figure out what the potential downfalls may be. You have to be honest to yourself here. Try to really imagine the situation as realistically as possible (now you are allowed to be realistic again – what a relief, right?). Maybe you have to reconsider your wish but this is not a drama, it just gets you closer to what you REALLY want, so be patient and start over. Then ask yourself: do I REALLY want to pay this price? If you can answer this question with a full-hearted “yes” then you can be pretty sure that this is what you really wish for (at least for right now – since time obviously adds a whole other component to this as you may imagine).
I am sorry to have to tell you but there is no such thing as perfect
You may also realize that what you really want doesn’t exist. That is a whole other process of coming to terms with how the world works. It took me a VERY long time to really and truly accept this part, and I am still not entirely sure that I am over the disappointment ;). I, for instance, have always been looking for the perfect relationship and was VERY upset that I could not find it. Funny, right? I may be the only fool but I have to admit that it kept me busy for a long time. I can now assure you though – and this may come as a relief to you as much as it did to me – that you can make a love relationship pretty perfect if you just accept that there are ups and downs in literally EVERYTHING we do on this planet since it happens to be a dualistic plane. In less sophisticated terms, this means that there are happy days and there are days when shit hits the fan (sorry but it is my favorite English expression of all times). I do not want to dwell on this but just make one more point: this does not mean that you can settle with anyone; unless you are an enlightened being, I guess. I know that there are a whole lot of books out there proclaiming things like “love yourself and it doesn’t matter whom you marry” or whatever, and I, at least for myself, have to strongly disagree. There is only so much you can take, depending on where you are at in your development and some relationships really do not help progressing in the long run.
In brief: often, we have an idealized idea of things. We look at someone and assume that their life is perfect. “Wow, look at her, she is so successful in her career and also happily married and has a picture-perfect family! How did she do this?” or “Wow, this guy has it figured out, he is so free and can travel the world.” We tend to forget that the law of duality that reigns on our planet applies to everyone. Unless you find peace inside, there is no perfect life. “If I was a millionaire, I would be happy every day.” Trust me, shortly after you get the object of your desire, you will realize that the emptiness comes back. So what we want to be looking for is a life that truly fulfills our souls. It does not have to be exotic, it does not have to be ordinary but it has to be exactly how it is right for you and only you. The more honest we are to ourselves, the more likely we will find the path that really satisfies us. On this path, you are more likely to be able to deal with the very specific unhappy moments that you have to deal with when you are living your soul’s purpose.
So what is it that you REALLY want?
So which are the things that you really want in your life and that you are currently missing? Write each of them on a nice postcard or paper and put them up somewhere where you see them every day. Since I am very much a visual person, I love choosing beautiful postcard images that represent my dream visually (see pic above). Alternatively, you can paint an image for each of your dreams. Now put them up: on your mirror, your entry door, fridge etc. and just observe all the signs that are coming into your life throughout the next couple of weeks, months, years (I am not going to lie here, but this is how much it can take, too – in my case, it was a little over a year!)! Enjoy them and let go!
This reflects the Ayurvedic principle of nurturing with all your emotions, thoughts, and actions the things you want to attract into your life while NOT nurturing (note: not fighting :)) those you do not want in your life anymore. You may also know this idea as the LAW OF ATTRACTION.
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SHORT STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
- Take a piece of paper and write down your 1-3 (or more) dreams that you would like to realize
- Think about the price (downsides) you may have to pay for each dream
- Are you ready to pay it? YES: continue NO: start over
- Find a beautiful image or postcard for each dream or paint your own picture and put it up in your home (ideally somewhere where you see it several times a day)
- Do not try to figure out HOW to get there, you will now subconsciously be fed with this dream on a daily basis and the universe’s magic will unfold
- Look out for signs that invite you to take baby steps towards realizing your dreams and take a conscious decision to go for it