October 04, 2011

Remembering What We Want

Photo by Belovodchenko Anton   Russia
I stumbled upon this quote recently:

Discipline is remembering what we want.

It's a good one, don't you think?

For some reason I have hardly ever been at a loss for knowing what I want. It shifts, and morphs, and re-balances to be sure, but like most of you probably, at any given moment, I am pretty adept at putting my finger on what it is that is going to ring my bell.

So maybe we know what we want, especially the older and wiser we grow. We could make lists about what we want in every little area of our life. From what we want to make for dinner this week to the big picture in life- like how we want our world to be. We could make lists about how we want to feel, how much stress we want in our life, how much downtime and together time we want. We could make lists about what we want to do with our time, who we want to hang with, and basically how we want to operate.

Every day we make decisions about who we want to be actually.

So where is the disconnect between knowing what we want and then doing something that is totally not in line with what we want?

Ahh yes- we forget what we want. Sometimes just temporarily but frequently for way too long. Or, what we want seems so outlandish and outside the possibility of who we have always know ourselves to be that we give up on what we want before we even try. Usually out of fear.

Or maybe it's that we get too tired or too hungry or too overwhelmed, or sick, or too exhausted from having someone else be sick, and we forget to listen to our internal compass. Life happens. Things get in the way. There are bills to pay, and fires to put out, and mouths to feed.

Sometimes there are just too many flies buzzing around our head.

Well this I know- the only remedy for remembering what we want- is to slow down long enough, and get quiet enough, so that we can hear ourselves. For some people it's meditation but for me I can pinpoint so many things in my life, and zero in my happiness, when I am out running, or hiking, or swimming laps.

Discipline is remembering what we want.

Gosh I wish I knew this back when I was fifteen.

For more related reading there is another post here.

And, if you are in the Boston area, there is an upcoming workshop with my good friend Brenda Stanton about reinventing your life here.  She is fabulous. If you click on her name there is a great post she wrote about trusting ourselves.

Have a good week.

Get quiet.

Listen to your heart.

Oh yes- and one more thing- be sure to click on the magnificence of the photo above. Among other things, like the lighting, I love the peeling paint.

Belovodchenko Anton, you have outdone yourself.


  1. HALT! Great acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If we stop long enough to tune in to what we want we will always find what it is we need. Just as Mick sang to us:) Great post my wondrous friend! xoxo

  2. Great post Louise!

    I love how you find your answers when you run, hike or swim as opposed to meditating in a yoga position....

    I feel being out in nature or feeling your physical body in motion is a form of meditation.

    There are so many ways to find our center and balance ourselves to find those answers we all seek.

    The funny thing to me is that sometimes the answer is so obvious and is right in front of us, but we ignore it and try to seek something different.

    I have found in my life, what I wanted is never what I really needed.

    Great lessons!


  3. HALT- that's terrific. It's clearly not good to make decisions when we are HALTing :-) It's like being in "baby time"- when we suddenly think that the way we feel is a permanent situation.

    I like this one too Maria: I have found in my life, what I wanted is never what I really needed. I have to keep my eye on this one because I bet you are right.


  4. I have missed you Miss-fingers-on-the-pulse-of-life. This is good. I needed it. My problem is I know what I want and it is so simple, but so many in my circle never hasten, never stop to smell the tea...they leave me in the dust, even it is golden to me.
    I'll think of this deep inhale post tomorrow, if the sun shines- or even if it doesn't...the colors are soon to go by and I want to catch all the very last of them. Getting quiet...
    Take care-

  5. Hi Truewonder,

    It's nice to hear from you. I love your blog. I imagine you up there in Maine gathering the fall harvest.

    It's a beautiful time of year up there- especially when the sun comes out and illuminates all those wonderful textures and colors.