You are cleaning up your emails inbox and see an email from West Elm. The subject line reads: "Bright ideas for your home school and office!" You are curious, so you open the email, and beautiful photos of your dream home office start flashing on your computer.
All you have to do is click on one of the images. There you are: on their website. The accessories section promises that you'll stay organized working from home and will transform your office into a beautiful and polished space.
You browse for a few minutes, and before you know it, you find a lamp that is just the right size and style for your desk. At this point, you have the option to click "buy now" or exercise willpower and leave the site or keep browsing while resisting the desire to purchase what you like.
It's possible to think that you succeeded in not spending money and answering the urge to buy the lamp. And, indeed, at that moment, you did not purchase the lamp. But for how long can you resist that desire? Today was the lamp, and tomorrow it will be the lulu lemon pants. Is willpower going to support you on your decision to save money for what you truly want?
In my previous post, I explained that willpower is limited. It will not support you through your decision to make unplanned purchases. Willpower feels like an internal battle, and in the end, you are not going to win. You will surrender because it takes too much effort to resist the urge.
Desire is an emotion, and as such, it manifests in your body as physical and chemical vibrations. One of my favorite definitions of emotion is that it is energy in motion. Desire or urges leave a specific blueprint in your body. The more you pay attention to this vibration, the better you get at identifying it. It becomes familiar.
What I propose is that instead of resisting, pushing away desire through willpower, that you allow it to vibrate in your body. You can do this in a few "simple" steps. It is simple to name and explain each step, but they take commitment, intention, and practice. The steps are simple but not effortless. It's a skill that you can learn, and it will pay off in all areas of your life.
To practice allowing your desire to be there, you must understand that this urge is natural, and nothing has gone wrong. It is merely a chemical reaction that originated in your brain when you thought, "I want this," "I like it," "I must have it," etc. Your body is simply manifesting this desire. This step is essential because when you accept that this is part of your human experience. You are more willing to allow the desire to be there without rejecting it and wishing that it wasn't.
You become the watcher of your emotion. You observe where in your body, you are feeling the vibrations, and you describe them. Does it move? Does it have a color, temperature? What about its texture? Close your eyes, and pay attention to this energy in your body.
Ask yourself, can I be with these vibrations? If the answer is yes, you can hold them in a place of peace and continue to be curious. If the answer is no, take a few deep breaths and start the process from the first step. Ask yourself the question again, "can I be with this?" and continue until the answer is yes.
Move towards the emotion. Fully embrace it. Be present with the vibrations. By doing this, you are fully processing the feeling, and you will notice that it will start to be less intense, and it will eventually flow through you.
You may be able to process your emotions in a matter of minutes. You can repeat this exercise every time the urge returns. Think of it as an opportunity to practice and become the master of your emotions. It is like a muscle, and the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
Why is it important to process and allow desire? Because when you are present with the vibrations until they pass through, you will not act from this emotion and reward your urge by purchasing the lamp or the lulu leggings. The emotion is also flushed out of your body and is not waiting to burst out in full strength when you can no longer resist it because you run out of willpower.
I promise you that this skill is powerful. I encourage you to practice it and learn for yourself. It will pay out lots of dividends!
If you need help processing your urges/desire, I'd love to be there for you. I have helped many clients process their emotions, and I walk them through this process during a session. If you want to learn more, click here to schedule a free mini-session.
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