Desire Map

Once a month, a group of eight wholehearted ones squash into our shoebox of a living room. On the sofa, on the uncomfortable and rickety bought-cos-they-looked-cute wooden dining room chairs, on cushions on the floor. The Herbal Tea Collection – (Seriously, how are there so many? Are they breeding in the cupboard?) – is unearthed and paraded across the kitchen bench. A cup of Hot Cinnamon Sunset tastes like hot cross buns and heaven. We eat fat and refined sugar interspersed with carrot sticks and hummus, and have the kind of conversations that break you open while healing you up.

Raucous gales of laughter. Pin-drop quiet. Our sessions are sacred but swear-ridden. And today someone reveals she woke up still drunk. It’s Tuesday.

This for me is church.

Tonight: The Desire Map, Chapter One. Discussion: What would happen if we made all our decisions based on feeling good?

Anarchy. Filthy bathrooms, hungry children, sacked-from-work. Terrible, self-induced sicknesses from greedy feasting on cake. Cocktails. Chocolate-covered ginger.

Or. Profound self awareness. An ability to be wholly present. An intuitive balancing of short and long term feels-awesome’s. People who are so filled up that they can’t help but give the very best of themselves to others. A radically different world.

Joy as our currency.

Next: Do we push away good feelings?

Yes.

Why?

A flood of reasons. Top of the list: Busy. Horrible, toxic Busy. We believe we are just too damned busy. We believe we need to get to the bottom of the to-do list before we can feel good. We believe we need to earn it. We believe we don’t have time to stop and notice and soak in it. We convince ourselves that we will feel good once we’ve done this and this and this. Or maybe we’ve just become so flustered and harried and over scheduled to even notice the good feelings anymore. We’ve taught ourselves that, right now, feeling good is just not a priority.

We feel unworthy. I haven’t done enough. I’m not enough. We believe feeling good lies with an as yet un-obtained thing, moment, goal. We’re so busy with our pasts, our futures, that present joy doesn’t get a look in. We believe that because everything isn’t perfect, this moment can’t be perfect. We believe that if we truly let ourselves feel how wonderful something is – let it sweep over and through us – that we are just asking for it to be taken away. Leaving ourselves wide open for a bitch slap from Murphy’s Law. For The Unimaginably Bad Thing, waiting, hidden in the wings, to storm in.

We believe – on some level – that feeling good is unimportant, selfish, shallow.

I can’t shake this discussion. We squash our joy. It’s not that we don’t have it, it’s that we’ve stopped noticing it. We’ve delayed it, we’ve reduced it, we’ve ignored it.

We squash our joy. We squash our sanctuaries.

We wondered – profound wisdom of groups – if the more powerful question is not what would happen if we made all our decisions based on feeling good, but what would happen if we just made the decision.

Feel good.