How your reconciliation with Desire will create everlasting Empowerment

Think of desire as a kitten and empowerment as frolicking.

Photo by Polly Alexandra on Unsplash

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice follows the rabbit down a hole because she knew she wanted to. Through a series of ridiculous events that lead to incredibly confusing places, she found herself. Letting herself be led by her curiosity was possibly the Alice-est way of having lived that experience. It brought her nothing but more awareness. And a shit ton of stories.

So, why aren’t you?

📣 If you’ve ever felt a need to stifle yourself, in ANY way, I’m writing this for you.

Defining Desire.

First things first. ‘Desire’ derives from the Latin desiderare, ‘to long or wish for’, which itself derives from de sidere, ‘from the stars’, suggesting that the original sense is ‘to await what the stars will bring’. (source)

You can think of desire as an inner compass, guiding you towards what you want most. You are most connected to this inner compass without the distraction of other inputs i.e society, parents, relationships, comparison, self doubt, fear etc.

Defining Empowerment.

Empowerment feels like sustainable lightning. Ideas flow, creativity happens, there’s joy in small things, you laugh about how incredible this reality is. At your highest level of empowerment, you will not be afraid of play. Or frolicking, if you will. In fact, you will find that the act of play itself holds the key to your empowerment.

Scientifically, Empowerment is the presence of autonomy and self-determination in an individual. In a state of empowerment, you find it easy to represent your interests in a responsible and self-determined way, and act on your own authority. It enhances the belief that you are controlling your own life and claiming your rights, leaving you without a sense of powerlessness and lack of influence. (source)

The Connection 🤝

When you recognize the desire in you, you become aware of a possibility in your reality: having that desire met. Stifling this desire for fear, guilt, shame, and other negative viewing-lenses creates a gap between you and you desire’s fulfilment. If your desire is unrelenting, and you intentionally stifle it, this gap may manifest itself as a tug of war. On one hand, you are inspired by your desire, on the other, you are cornered by the consequence of following your desire.

Living in this indecision zaps you of your power to create your own reality. I see this as disempowerment. When you exist in a state of disempowerment, your creative energy is drained, and your power to make things happen in your life dwindles in frailty. To cross over to empowerment, you must lean into yourself with trust that you know what is best for yourself. That knowing is desire.

If this is true then following desire must create empowerment. But first, we find ✨desire✨.

Reconciling with Desire.

Finding your Kitten

Desire is like a whisper. Especially for those of us who have stayed disconnected for decades. The best way to listen to a whisper is to get quiet. Externally and internally. *cue meditation music*

If your whisper scurries, don’t chase it. You might scare it away. Like a terrified little kitten unsure of where it belongs, allow your whispering desire to explore the space on its own and enter your vicinity. All you have to focus on is creating a safe space inside yourself, where it lives. Then watch your desire kitten scurry closer. I know this sounds like patience at work. It is. It might take you days, it might take you weeks. Depending on how long you’ve spent

Once your kitten decides to come over and play, practice being in a state of observation like you would when getting to know someone new. There’s no need to manipulate the environment yet. Simply notice.

What brings it closer? What pulls it away? Is it curious? Is it skittish? Is it tired? Is it playful?

Getting to know your desire kitten is how you will learn to trust it. The more you trust it, the easier it will be when it asks you to follow into adventures together. The adventure that is the human experience, except exactly as you desire it to be.

Training your Kitten

Your kitten is your lifelong friend. Making it feel safe is one of the most important things you can do if you want it to come around again.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt lonely and lost without your kitten. You’ve felt the pain of speaking your truth and being denied the opportunity to stand in your power because it makes others uncomfortable. Such an environment is unsafe for your kitten to come out and play until it learns that it is always safe wherever it goes. This takes training. A few questions to ask when train your desire kitten:

What conditions does my desire kitten need to thrive?

An invitation.

A clear space, free of mental clutter (journal beforehand), where you can invite your little friend to come join you. It’s important to be present for your kitten for it can sense when you are distracted. It shies away from distracted hosts and only appears before those who are patient.

A space to play.

Maybe you have a ritual that helps you lure your kitten out. It could be any practice that connects you to yourself: a bath, interpretive dance, cooking a meal, tidying your space, playing an instrument.

This is a space where judgement is unwelcome. There is no pressure to perform. No audience whose opinion matters. No disappointment because there is no comparison or expectation. It is a place of expression and exploration in it’s truest form. Especially set up to make your desire kitten feel safe to just be.

A space to rest.

Exploration can be tiring. Expecting to force the kitten into learning a new trick each time it visits is asking for being ghosted. Honour the need for it to rest, it’s capacity to play, and refrain from asking it to overexert itself. When it is time, it will awaken from it’s slumber and continue playing. Until then, practice what you’ve both learned together.

Photo by nine koepfer on Unsplash

Keeping the Desire to Empowerment tunnel open.

Like everything, practice keeps the neural pathways active. The more you ski on the same slope, the deeper the lines stay even when there is a fresh layer of snow.

If you’ve finally found the joy in connecting with yourself, don’t forget that it is a regular practice to keep the connection thriving. Following at least one desire a day, if not all of them, can create a better relationship with your desire kitten. A better relationship can guarantee a faster decision-making time, consequently, a better reaction time.

And maybe if you practiced hard enough, 5 years from now, when someone asks you “what do you want to eat?” your desire kitten will come running, jump on your shoulder and meow out loud all in under 3 minutes.

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Natasha Anwar

Natasha Anwar

I write personal observations about psychedelics for mental health, emotional efficiency, and design thinking.