It’s what gets us to buy books, to join challenges, to hire coaches, and see healers. In that yearning, we reach and stretch and search. We grow, we transform, we evolve.
And, all too often, we crash against the rocks of our own disappointment, berating ourselves for failing to reach the perfect shore. We set sail again, making new promises, gathering new resources, and hoping that the next journey will take us to that ultimate destination, to the place on the other side of the yearning.
When do you get to slow down and tune into what’s beneath the yearning?
There’s a little patch of Cape Cod filled with tall pines that grow right up to the edge of the dunes. It’s a place outside of time, where the biggest question generally is “what’s going on with the tide this morning?”
Every summer, in the midst of all the sweet family chaos, I find myself with more time to think than my year-round life usually offers.
When there’s nothing that needs to be done besides watch the girls gather crabs on the tidal flats, I become most aware of the yearning and all of the probing questions that come with it: Where was I last summer? What do I wish to change about my life when I get home? What's still missing?
A map to the heart of the yearning
I often carry a battered copy of Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map to the beach.
Now that this book has become my summer bible, Danielle’s question “How do you want to feel?” seems like an obvious one, but I remember how it was a revelation a few years ago. She gave me a new way to reckon with my yearning. I understood it was less about crossing stuff off the to do lists and more about the quest to inhabit an emotional world that feels plain old good.
Armed with all that inspirational prose and all those gorgeous words, I assumed it would be relatively easy to find the feelings and plan accordingly.
Words like “vibrant” and “connected” and “enough” seemed like powerful guides. They certainly seemed like the right words for an entrepreneurial mama dedicated to earthly love and divine wisdom, but, it turns out, they only fueled me for a little while.
I kept finding myself carting the book on family vacations, desperate to find the perfect words and the tailor made feelings that would help me fill the empty spaces so I could get out of yearning and into being, but I was forgetting something really important...
Find your own tools to find your own perfect words
Early this July, I sat on the swing set tucked in the pines. My daughters ran up and down the same slide over and over, finding the magic in the simplicity of “playful.”
As I stared at 150+ words that describe positive feelings and considered all the usual suspects - accomplished, nourished, alive - I realized I wasn’t going to think my way into the feelings I yearned to cultivate.
I wasn’t going to should my way or will my way into them either. Pushing wasn’t ever going to land me in a graceful, positive state of mind.
Then it dawned on me... This was just past the halfway point of the year. That meant I had found nearly 200 magic words to describe each day thanks to my #365MagicWords Project. As I struggled with Danielle’s great list of possibilities, I lost track of my own experience, my own mastery, my own magic.
And so, I quit trying to force it and I tuned into what I had learned over six months of magic word seeking - a different way of knowing, of hoping and reflecting and inhabiting each day. Instead of leaning on the usual shoulds, I pulled on the spiritual, intuitive, and, yes, mystical resources at my disposal.
The words I got were most surprising and, as it turned out, more powerful than any others I had played with before:
Relaxed and receptive.
These soft words were impossible… and perfect.
They were the antithesis of the “Do. Push. Prove. Get noticed. Make an impact.” energy that I thought would lead me to a full and remarkable life.
These words won't carry me through the rest of forever - my old friend yearning will undoubtedly come to call again. But next time, I'll remember that I have the resources I need to find them.
The Spirit of #7MagicWords: Relaxed. Receptive. And Ready.
The next #7MagicWords Challenge, the weeklong project that helps us set intentions for the season ahead begins on the Autumn Equinox on September 22 (or the Spring Equinox for my south of the equator friends!)
This time around, we are focusing on freeing ourselves from magical thinking so we can be free to do some real magic making. This means we’re looking for the words we want, but also opening ourselves to the words we need.
I promise that opening yourself and letting a magic word find you each day invites some real integrative magic into your life. I can't tell you exactly how to do it, but I can promise you that deciding to try to invite that magic in is your first powerful, magical act.
And how do you want to feel when you prepare to make real integrative magic?
Relaxed. Receptive. Ready.
(That last word came through to me at CampGLP because I realized the more I settle into myself, the more I am prepared to take the right action and welcome the most brave and delicious kind of transformation.)
It took me years to find the words I yearned for. What if it only took you a week?
This project offers a series of prompts that are designed to help you find the sparkly words that make you smile, and then, go deeper... We call it a challenge for a reason, after all! ;)
Will you join us for the challenge? There’s no fee to join this community event. All it takes is a willingness to pause and invite yourself to see the magic that lingers in your everyday language.
Sign up here and get set for the first prompt that will arrive in your inbox and on your favorite social media platform on 9/22!