Deconstructing Desires

March 24, 2018

As a budding health coach, I was taught about deconstructing cravings, which is an awesome idea that I'll save for another post.




It did make me wonder if this works for all kinds of cravings. What I like about the word 'craving' is that it implies there is an underlying necessity or reason for it. 'Desires', however, suggest that it's more a want than a need. This is the crucial idea to my point.


When I say desires, I'm talking about anything that you want: a piece of chocolate, a new phone, a spouse, to loose weight etc. The list goes on. And one of two things happen when you get whatever it is you wanted: you feel happy and satisfied, almost as if your heart got a little fuller, or, you don't feel the satisfaction you expected and wonder what else is missing.


I have a theory. This might get a little out there for those of you who struggle with alternative ideas (aka. Hippy dippy shit), but try to focus on the whole idea and not get hung up on the specific vocab. Basically, I reckon all this is due to a confusion between your ego and your spirit. Let me break it down for you.


My interpretation of ego and spirit:


Ego: The part of me that worries about what other people think, what I think I should be doing, and what will benefit me. These things are usually short term, can change often and usually result in comparison, shame and feeling inadequate.


Spirit: The part of me that underlies every single decision I make. My purpose or 'personal legend' if you will. This never changes. Whether I listen to this however...


I've found that understanding the difference between these two has helped me figure out what will make me truly happy, or what is the 'right thing to do'. It works the other way too; you might learn that something you thought you wanted really didn't make you all that happy. 


To do this, I've started deconstructing my desires and note how I feel afterwards, just like I tell my clients to. So lets use an example to describe what I mean.


We deconstruct cravings because the craving is a sign from your body that something is missing. For example, maybe you crave crisps a lot, could be that your sodium levels are low. Maybe you crave bananas, could be that your body wants more potassium. Or lets push the boat out a little; even a craving for cheese can be because you are craving happiness or affection, and you're not satisfying it externally, so your body imitates it with the opioid compounds in casein. It could be loads of things, but the point is that the craving is your body telling you, uhh.. Gimme what I need, please. It's just the case of making an informed, healthy choice to fulfil your body's needs.


This is the same with desire. Why do you want/think this? Is it because you want praise? Comfort? Does it align with what will make your spirit happy or are you just satisfying your ego?


Take the decision of whether to accept a job offer that you're umm-ing and arr-ing about. Your current job has a good salary, clear progression, it's where you 'should' be according to social norms, but it's not what your passionate about and you drag yourself out of bed to go to work. The new job you get a pay cut, progression possible though not guaranteed, but it's something you truly resonate with and lights a fire in you that gives you a whole new energy and motivation you've never felt.


Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider in a decision like that, but I'm trying to show you two options that have a clear distinction between a choice made by the ego or spirit, and I'm sure you can think of some examples of choices you've had to make.


I suppose this requires steps before you can really understand what I mean:

  • Meet your spirit through meditation (ref: millenditation)

  • Notice that your spirit is separate from your ego

  • Start questioning all your motives


Again, let's start off easy. When you get into bed, think of one decision you made or one thing you desired that day, then be that incessant 4 year old and ask yourself 'why?', keep asking why until there's no more whys to give, try to figure out who is the culprit - your spirit or your ego. Note how you felt, truly happy or materialistically satisfied. Start to learn what it is that makes your heart glow. You might find that decision making becomes a much less stressful ordeal, and you might even cut down that credit card bill you've been avoiding paying...




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