Many of us who are Wholebody Focusers have learned concepts and practices from many other modalities. In a workshop many years ago, I learned about the concept of “heart’s desire.” The practice I was taught in this workshop was to silently wish yourself your heart’s desire and then silently wish those around you their heart’s desire. We also learned that a true heart’s desire can only be for our highest and greatest good.
I live in New York City and take public transportation so I have ample opportunities to live this practice. It has helped me learn so many things. First, I struggled to remember to wish myself my heart’s desire. It would be ten minutes of concentrating on others before I remembered myself. Then mentioning me felt quite “selfish.” Eventually, it took less and less time to remember me and wishing myself my heart’s desire gave me a surge of energy.
Then I noticed how judgmental I was. I vowed to wish everyone in my subway car or bus their heart’s desire but I felt negative feelings coming about some people. I had to recognize that harsh part of myself that is so critical. Often the criticism would be about someone’s hairstyle or clothing but it also showed up when people seemed different from me too. My practice became noticing what came for me when I thought about wishing a particular person their heart’s desire. I would acknowledge what was there and let it go. When I added the wish for that person, my heart and the criticism would soften. It also helped me be with how all that criticism that emerged was really about me. This practice helped me be with both the wish to generate love for others along with a fierce need to separate myself through criticism of others. I needed hold those parts with equal regard. This eventually has led to much less criticism for myself and for unsuspected random citizens of NYC.
I loved doing this practice especially at the beginning of the day because unexpected joy would sometimes surprise me later on. One day on a long subway ride to work, I was particularly upset because I felt a senior co-worker was making my life difficult. I spent most of the 30 minute ride wishing myself and everyone else their heart’s desire. When I walked into the building where I worked, my co-worker met me at the door with a big smile on his face and told me how happy he was to see me. He asked me to come to his office later so we could work out or differences.
If you type “heart’s desire” into a search engine, you’ll get a variety of things. Wikipedia will list places and things that relate to the words “heart’s desire.” A dictionary might say that its is “something someone wants very much.” If you type in “how to find my heart’s desire?” you will get lot’s of “how to’’ sites that talk about losing weight and going on fantasy vacations. Then there are “how to” steps to achieve it. There are also sites that talk about the energy of a heart’s desire and how it is linked to your highest and greatest good.
What I learned from Wholebody Focusing was a body sense between wanting something and it being a heart’s desire. I grew up in a home in which my mother and grandmother spoke Italian to each other. They didn’t speak to the children in Italian because there was a harsh penalty to pay for children who spoke a language other than English in American schools. As a child, I would pretend I spoke some other language when I played by myself. I studied French and Spanish in high school and college and eventually became a high school Spanish teacher. There always was a thought in the back of my head that I “should” learn Italian. I would occasionally sign up for courses and study on my own. I would even watch TV in Italian. In my work with supporting Focusing around the world I am now using some of my language skills. A “should” learn more Italian would come sometimes.
What I found in a Wholebody focusing session was that learning Italian was not a wish. It was a profound heart’s desire rooted in my loss of my mother language. When I first sensed this in my body, I began speaking in Italian to myself. Then I went into some “shoulds.” I should sign up for online courses. I should get more grammar books, etc. I felt the energy of the heart’s desire get drained by these thoughts. I took a step back and let myself return to the energy of the heart’s desire. I acknowledged the belief that I had to do something to fulfill this desire but let myself observe it rather feed it. I stayed with the joy of knowing that this was a true heart’s desire not just a wish and that I didn’t have to take any action to make it happen.
In the next few days, everything Italian started showing up in my life. There were focusing resources in Italian, there were new TV shows to watch and finally, I began working with two Italian focusers via the internet to create a short video in Italian about Wholebody Focusing. I found that I actually could understand them without much translation. I wasn’t able to answer them in Italian but I could utter a few phrases. Our time together was very exciting because we were in heartfelt conversation in Italian. My love of learning Italian supported their task of explaining Wholebody Focusing to others. As they were talking, I was off camera, and my body was moving with excitement and joy. What came for me during that session was that I was living my heart’s desire. I was focusing with people in Italian and it was bringing me great joy. I didn’t have to plan and agonize about how much effort was enough, Italian has been inside me from my earliest years. All I needed was to be present to it and more would come.
Wholebody Focusing helps us clarify how essential our wants and needs are. Some would be nice to have. Some will change our lives. The best part is when you connect and recognize a heart’s desire, the forward movement happens effortlessly. You begin living it instead of planning for it.