In a recent conversation with a new acquaintance, she revealed to me that she didn’t really think life is about manifesting what we desire. I don’t recall her specific words, but what she said reminded me of a perspective I’ve encountered again and again as I do my work supporting people in…manifesting what they desire.

There are beliefs, entrenched in mass consciousness, that life is serious business. Manifesting desires is seen as downright selfish. Many people, depending on whether they consider themselves “realistic” or “spiritual,” think that our purpose in life is to work hard or learn lessons.

I used to think that way…until I realized that in doing so, I was living a life of hard work and learning lessons.

I wasn’t all that fun to be around. And when I became completely honest with myself, I finally acknowledged that I wanted a wholly different experience. I wanted to experience joy, fulfillment, happiness, satisfaction – and, yes, recurring good hair days.

So I gave myself permission to want what I really wanted.

And what I’ve come to understand is that our wants and desires are neither frivolous nor selfish. They’re actually evolutionary impulses, calling us forward into new avenues of growth, creativity and self-expression.

I know, it’s not always easy to see them that way. There seem to be so many examples of selfish desires – who really needs that huge McMansion, anyway?! – that desire itself has gotten a bad rap.

But the thing is, our desires mature and evolve as we do. And we can’t experience the ongoing expansion of our creativity if we squelch desire from the get-go. Instead, we benefit greatly from learning to nurture our desires, to acknowledge them and appreciate them and let them lead us into new experiences.

As we mature, we learn to distinguish between desires that arise from wanting to prove ourselves vs. those that arise from wanting to express ourselves, and we recognize that the latter are more fulfilling. But if we label all desires as frivolous or selfish, we never reach that point of evolution. We cut ourselves off from realizing our greatest self-expression – and it is through our genuine, joy-filled self-expression that we are of most service to others.

In other words, honoring your desires is not selfish, it is self-respecting and inherently generous.

I see our genuine desires as the inner compass leading us to our deepest fulfillment. And so from that standpoint, I might even say that manifesting our desires is why we’re here.

I’m not saying that life is about accumulating lots of stuff, although I’m not judging that, either. I mean that, in the quiet heart of our hearts, most of us desire experiences such as being respected, feeling appreciated, making a difference, expressing our creativity, having fun, creating beauty, helping others…you get the idea. Our desires form the core of our intentions, which give purpose and direction to our lives.

So I say it’s high time we stop judging our desires and begin celebrating them instead.

We may not manifest every desire we have, but the process of honoring them opens us to our inherent joy and creativity.

And isn’t that what life is all about?

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