We create from three basic places: need, desire, and appreciation.
Need is certainly a motivator. I remember visiting Austin 12 years ago this month. I had sold my house in San Diego and it was about to close. Boy was I motivated that one weekend when I really needed to find a place.
Creating from desire can be fun. I remember when I explored the idea of buying a home. I didn’t need a place to live. I was happy with the house I was renting. I just wanted a house of my own. And I loved that house!
Now let me ask you: how often do you let yourself buy something just because you want a new one? Do you hesitate because the old one works just fine? How often have you been in a conversation like this:
Person A: “I’m thinking of getting a new <whatever>.”
Person B: “Do you need one? What’s wrong with the one you have?”
Many of us have been taught that creating from desire is excessive, irresponsible, or the reason this planet has the problems it has. Although all Persons B secretly want that new <whatever> too, they’ll question you about getting it when you don’t need it.
Sometimes, Person B will say something like this: “Well, if you want it that bad, then get it.” The underlying inquiry is regarding pain. When your wanting starts to hurt, only then is it okay to splurge. Often in my life, I am Person B to my own Person A.
Seemingly off the subject (but not), I have noticed a general sentiment among those around me. I keep hearing a variant of this: “I don’t know what’s next for me.” Some will say, “I don’t know what I want.” – or – “I don’t want anything specific, but…” – or – “I don’t need things to change, but I think I want something new.”
Underlying their words is this unspoken statement: “I don’t want anything bad enough to do something about it.”
Creating from pain is more or less the same as creating from need. Because of how we’ve been taught, we believe it is only “right” to leave a job or relationship or city when it has become painful. We completely understand creating from need and never fault anyone for it. And we seem to be okay with creating from desire, if you want it bad enough. However, when the pain isn’t great enough and the desire isn’t strong enough we feel stuck.
There is another place to create from…the best place of all! Appreciation.
When we cultivate appreciation, the Universe gives us more to appreciate. It is just the way things works, even if most of us have convinced ourselves otherwise.
Suppose you have everything you need. You have a stable job, with a nice income. You are comfortable with your home (house and city). You have enough friends and some REALLY good ones. Maybe you’re in a stable relationship or content enough being single.
Now suppose that even though everything is good, it all feels a little flat. You’re almost afraid to admit that you’re bored or unsatisfied. You feel guilty for wanting more when you already have so much! You might even secretly wish for some things to break so you have an excuse to buy new ones.
The fact is, you are actually in a really good place to create, just in a whole new way. To excel in this new way, you might need to let go of a few beliefs or at least set them aside for a while.
Forget need. Don’t worry about desire. Don’t even try to make anything happen. And, by all means, don’t feel guilty about wanting something new.
Instead, rekindle appreciation! Find the best in the current version and focus on it. Remind yourself how it felt when it was new. If it’s too hard to feel appreciation (cause it really has gotten quite stale) then use your imagination. Fantasize about new and/or different. Don’t tell anyone, just entertain yourself with the ideas. Remind yourself how good it felt when you were filled with desire and well on your way to something sought.
Too often, there is a feeling of obligation that has been set upon you. Just because you asked for it, and then got it, means you have to be happy with it forever more. That’s not true! You are the creator of your life experience and you can have more or different just because you want it.
Furthermore, you don’t have to have more or different to fall back into an exciting phase. If you travel the journey of appreciation, appreciation will be your gain. That in and of itself feels good! It’ll put that spark back into your life.
And new variations will come! Doesn’t mean it has to be a new home, relationship, job, or city. The Universe can inspire a new thought, which brings a new experience of the old. Your inner being knows best what is just the change you’re wanting!
Creating from appreciation is where all the excitement is..even better (and longer lasting) than creating from desire. It’s just not something we’re used to.
There is a tendency to justify a desire for change by pointing out what’s wrong with the current version. Problem is, that approach promotes feelings of dissatisfaction. Too much of that results in getting something new that is ultimately disappointing. Appreciation feels good in the moment and creates more of the same.
For a little while, don’t try to affect change, just appreciate whatever and whenever and let the change flow to you. You might be surprised!