Sometimes I write because I have something to say. Other times I write in an effort to work something out. This is the latter. Today was a day just like any other. I woke up around 4:30. I made my bed, got my things together, and headed off to Gold’s Gym. While I was burning off 700 calories on the elliptical machine, I started to think about what my life will look like as I head into the third act.
It feels like my life is at ground zero. I have a fresh start. Anything is possible. I am good things about to happen. The world is my oyster. Yet, if I am not crystal clear about what I want, then I won’t get what I want. Instead, I will get something else, and that is not what I want.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there!” Lewis Carroll
This I know to be true. And still, there is this dance with the universe. I spent a good deal of my life not wanting anything. I felt there was no point in wanting anything, because the universe was going to provide, and point and prod me one way or the other, so I might as well keep my desires out of the equation, and just roll with it.
And then there was this blinding light and I realized something very profound. There are things that I want.
There are certain preferences that I have. There are activities that bring me joy, and activities that do quite the opposite. It is not about things for me. It hasn’t been for a while. It is about feelings. It is about experiences. It is about spiritual expansion. It is about sharing. It is about being with others who are playing the same game. When I was in the sauna this morning, I thought of this example. I would rather work hard and use my self will and discipline to become flexible enough to sit comfortably for hours in the lotus position, than have a fancy expensive car to drive around. The lotus position is for me a door way to other worlds, to inner peace, to what feels like my true nature, while the car is just a thing. For some, driving a fantastic car brings tremendous joy. More power to them. We all have different wants and pleasures. What a great playground we have!
So what brings me joy? What do I want?
When I think of the phrase “What I want!” I am reminded of a powerful scene from The Godfather. Michael Corleone is telling Sollozzo want he wants. They are speaking Italian, and Michael is frustrated because he can’t think of the words in Italian, so he abruptly shifts the energy and speaks in English: “What I want…What’s most important to me…”
Stating what I want is a unique challenge for me. I feel vulnerable when I do it. I feel human. I feel clarity. I feel the inkling of a vision. I feel a heart opening. I feel an invitation to be met.
I have lived a lot of life during my first 50 years. Now married and divorced twice. I have four children that call me Dad. There have been remarkable journeys around the world. 20 years of smoking and I quit 2 years ago. I have loved people, and lost people. Deaths and suicides. I still have my parents alive and kicking, although my Dad is definitely on the decline. All my friends seem to be losing their Dads these days so I feel blessed to be able to spend time with mine. I have tried almost every kind of mind altering experience imaginable: drugs, therapies and rituals. I have been in some very dark places. I understand why people kill themselves. And I have also seen some of the most exquisite light I can imagine. There is a cenote in Playa Del Carmen that will blow your mind. I have an amazing fraternity of male friends and remarkable women to reach out to. I feel blessed to still be here with such opportunity in front of me. I am healthy and getting healthier. I don’t take any prescription drugs, my cholesterol is good, my blood pressure is perfect, and I can bend over and put my palms on the ground. And it looks like I am going to be doing some DXS workouts, so who knows how much healthier and glowing I may become.
So what do I want? I know I want my eggs poached in water for 4 minutes.
There are a few things that I want because they give me joy when I use them. I really miss my hot tubs. In my life, I have had a few amazing hot tubs. My sign is cancer and I do well in water. I have always smoked in my hot tubs, so that will be different. I also want an outdoor fire pit. I have had a powerful relationship with fire especially during the last 10 years. I have enjoyed sitting around at night, a red wine and a warm fire, with the stars and moon overhead. Ever notice how the energy is much more magical at night than during the day? I’d also like the space to have a sweat lodge. There are few things in life that bring me joy like sitting in a sweat lodge, praying with all my heart along with a group of others, purifying my body while also cleansing my soul. I’d also like my home to be private. I don’t mind driving a longer distance to go home if that provides me with privacy. I work all day with people, and when I come home, I’d rather not have neighbors too close.
Regarding my work life, I want a job that utilizes my gifts. When I feel I am using my gifts, I am satisfied. I have taken jobs in the past for the money, and it hasn’t worked for me. I also need to blend what I call “men’s work” into my life. I have attended some 20 or so men’s events over the past 10 years. Each event has enriched me and reminded me that life is so full and mysterious and glorious. It is impossible for me to imagine not continuing with this activity in one form or another. This July I am hosting an event called The Bridge and I can already begin to feel my energy rising, as it always does, leading up to an event.
I want to travel. There is so much of the world to see. I couldn’t be in a relationship with some who was content living in the US without getting out to see the world. There is so much of Europe to explore. Japan. Rio. Marrakesh. New Zealand. Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. Seeing real live African animals in Africa. So much. So much.
I want to continue to tone and strengthen my body through exercise, stretching and diet. In January of this year, I felt fat. To quote author A.J. Jacobs who has a book entitled Drop Dead Healthy, I felt “ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” I weighed myself and was 240! Yikes. Since then I have altered my diet, started a workout regimen, and stuck to it. Just today, I weighed in at 215. 3 months, 25 pounds of weight loss. And I could stand to lose another 15. I feel lighter, more energetic, and best of all, my memory has dramatically improved. Most of my male friends are older than me, and they all report experiencing memory loss. I was walking into rooms, and not remembering why I was there. That has all stopped since I began my workout routine and high protein, low carb diet. RIP Jay the Smoker!
I want a companion to share my life. There, I said it!
That is a hard one for me to put right out there. For years, I and my self-proclaimed evolved ego stated that I was A-OK being alone, and that if I never had another relationship, that would be fine. Well, it would be fine, but my strong preference is to be in a loving and supportive relationship. Look, I was most recently married for 20 years, and even though it had its hard spots, it was mostly great. It is over now, and let’s see what the future holds.
I was talking with a friend about marriage, and she said the thing she missed the most is the ease. It is such a peaceful feeling to sit on a sofa with someone you know well, have some history with, and just be, just hang, just share space. Whether we watch tv, or read books, or play Words with Friends, it is a wonderful port to return to every day. It’s great to know someone has your back, and you have their back. I’d like someone to grow old with.
And then there is the partner I want. What do I want in a partner? Until recently, I hadn’t really thought about it. For years, I have stated that the woman in a relationship really doesn’t matter. They are all essentially the same. They all have some great qualities, and some other qualities that will drive me crazy. David Deida states:
“The next time you notice yourself trying to fix your woman so that she will no longer _____________ (fill in the blank), relax and give her love by touching her and telling her that you love her when she is this way (whatever you filled in the blank with). Embrace her, or wrestle with her, or scream and yell for the heck of it, but make no effort to bring an end to that which pisses you off. Practice love instead of trying to bring an end to the quality that bothers you. You can’t escape the tussle with the feminine. Learn to find humor in the unending emotional drama the feminine seems to enjoy so much. The love that you magnify may realign her behavior, but your effort to fix her and your frustration never will.” David Deida
Ok, I get that. I have often forgotten it. But right now I get it.
What are qualities I adore, and want in my partner?
First, I must be attracted to her. It is important that I wake up and look at her and marvel at my unbelievable good fortune that someone so beautiful (physically and spiritually) would have ended up with a guy like me. I also must feel that she gets me and loves me for who I am. This is hard to find, and my experience is that you can’t go looking for it, but rather it just shows up. Third is that I love her. This may seem obvious, but it is easy to get swept up in something, passion and fantasy, and not really have those deep, powerful, “you have my heart in your hands” feelings. If I think of her being hurt in any way, does my rage fire up? Do I feel protective? Would I do anything to keep her safe? When I think of her, do I smile inside?
There are a few other things that are important when I think of a partner. Do we have similar feelings about how we want to live our lives? Are we going in the same direction? Are we both fairly well adjusted? Have we both worked out our major issues and are we in a place where we can live and enjoy each other. We all have our pasts, but can I live in accordance with it, rather than at the effect of it? Is our vision for and commitment to being partners the same?
What else do I want?
I want certain things in the place that I live. It is very important to me that I have a space that I can call my own. I need a spot that I can sit in, and be quiet. It is not a man cave, but more of a zen dojo. While I do want the companionship, I also need the freedom to be me alone and separate from my partner. I have seen so many relationships suffer by suffocation. The spark dies. The individuality is extinguished. People forget who they are, or who they were. I don’t want to be that couple. It is a fine balance in which sensitivity and awareness lead the way, moment by moment.
I want my children to be happy.
So there you have it, at least for now. Thanks for reading as I jotted down my want list. It has helped me to get clearer about my future. Michael Corleone knew what he wanted. I know better now what I want. I invite you to take some time and write down what you want. You may be surprised at what you find. And if you believe in the law of attraction, this is the first step. I just got a clear picture of what I want.
I hope you got some clarity from writing this piece. I must observe, though, that nothing in your list of what you want was surprising or unusual. Not sure what that says – maybe the commonality of contemporary male condition?
Also, in the Godfather clip, Michael tells these two guys what he wants just before he shoots them both in the head – several times each. I’m just sayin’ …
Yes Frank, that may be true. I have worked to live my life in many different ways over the years, and in the end, it seems the normal traditional male route suits me the best. But having experimented as I have, I can say that this path, rather than being simply what normal guys do, it is a choice that I know serves me the best. I can still bring my uniqueness and individuality to the journey. It won’t be dull. About the Godfather, what he wanted was his father to be safe, and he did do what he had to do to make that happen. And it is a movie…