Remember in our first act of life, before the Pause, when you really wanted something? Perhaps it was a lover, a job, a new car, or moving to another state.
Finally, through perseverance, circumstance, or luck, you got it. And then? The letdown. Because the desired object it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as you thought it would be. What’s that about?
Maybe, just maybe, what we thought we wanted isn’t what we really wanted. We thought this sought after “thing” might fill us up and when it didn’t, we were left confused and bereft. Soon, we replaced it with another desire. Ah, this would be the one. Or ones.
In our second Act, we hope to be clearer about what we want, about how we wish to live, about who we will become. Because not to put to fine a point on it, but time is running out.
In one of our meetings, the Venuses did the following exercise to discover what it is we really want. This exercise is not a “secret” for manifesting – nor will you be writing affirmations or calling on a Higher Power.
No, this involves a deeper inquiry into what we really desire; what we really want to claim a fulfilled life. and it changes moment to moment.
So here’ s the exercise, (excerpted from our book The Big M.) It’s simple, but not to be taken lightly.
“The Want List exercise
Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns vertically down the page. In the first column, quickly write down at least 10 things that you “want”. Don’t censor yourself or overthink this process. Avoid beauty contestant answers like “world peace”, unless that truly popped into your head unbidden. Don’t worry if any of your ‘wants’ seem silly or bizarre. No one else needs to see this list. It can be as mundane as a new toothbrush or as exotic as a cruise around the world.
When you have finished making your list, in the second column next to each ‘thing’ that you want, write the one or two words that describe how you will feel if you get it. Examples: successful, clean, adventurous, smart, loved, happy, peaceful, etc.
Now read over the list in the second column. This is the more important list. These feelings are what you really want. The feeling may or may not be met by the ‘thing’ or item that corresponds to it on your list. How many times have we wanted something desperately, thinking it would make us feel a certain way, only to find that it didn’t deliver what we’d hoped? If I get this new haircut, I’ll feel beautiful. Well, maybe or possibly I’ll just feel different. If I get this degree, I’ll feel smart. Maybe yes, maybe for awhile, or maybe I’ll just feel in debt with a piece of paper to put on my wall.
Most important is that we really want the feelings in our lives, and the ‘want’ we attach to the feeling may or may not provide it for us. There’s a clarity in realizing that we actually want the feeling, as we discover that there may be multiple ways to achieve that feeling. Sometimes to our great surprise, we discover that we already have this feeling in our lives, and have simply failed to recognize it.
To complete the exercise, we call for the feelings to manifest or reveal themselves in our lives. And we stay open to the many ways these feelings can show up, rather than remaining attached to the ‘thing’ we wanted. Hey, it may even be the ‘thing’ that brings the feeling, but at least we’re not blinded to the possibilities that the feeling we want may come from other venues.
If you should happen to do this exercise in your own Venus group, you may wish to share the list of feelings you want to bring into your life. Voicing them aloud, in the supporting presence of the group, serves to give your desires importance and legitimacy in your own eyes. The whole group can witness, not only for the feelings you want to attract in your life, but the commitment you have toward manifesting them.
As we’ve said before, there is a synergy and a magic to visioning, planning, and creating the second half of our lives in a community of supportive, like-minded women. Together we are SO much more than the sum of our singular parts. Connected to each another, we become more amazing and powerful than any single goddess, mythical or real.”
If you don’t have a sisterhood or Menopause Goddess Community, you can do this exercise by yourself. It will likely be immensely enlightening. And you can do it over and over again as you feel yourself changing.
Still, I can’t overemphasize that any clarity you gain is so much more profound when illuminated in the community of other women. Because they witness, really hear your desire, they can also keep you on track when you forget. As we inevitably do.
Try it for yourself. Let us know how it goes. (For more exercises in creating our Second Act, as well as surviving and thriving on the Menopause journey, get your own copy of The Big M. And get a copy for a girlfriend at half price when you order yours.)
list making is one of the most powerful tools there is … thanks for reminding me
Since first exploring this exercise in our Venus group, I have made this my New Year’s exercise as well and focus on what I “want” in the upcoming year.