Many years ago, a good friend introduced me to an exercise, called “My Heart’s Desire”. It is simple, really. On a clean sheet of paper, list numbers from 1 to 15 down the right side of the page. Next, write your heart’s desires, one-by-one, next to each number. It is important to breathe and smile and to not listen to the rationale brain who comments on the desires (just an insider’s tip from my personal experience). Just list them. Once you are complete (whether you stop at 5 or expand the list to 21), look over the list. Marvel at you – the expansive you. And try looking over the list as if someone next to you, a virtual stranger, gave you the list. What would you think then? Likely, you would marvel, again — perhaps more — at the depth and breadth of the interests, passions and desires you saw on the simple piece of paper.
These are our drummers. There isn’t one – there are many of them. It is no wonder then, when life gets crazy and full – and information comes at us from every direction – that the clear voice within gets overpowered. It is easy to recognize the chatter that comes from the outside. It is often hard to discern the chatter coming from the inside.
This week, there was plenty of chatter and seeming craziness all around me. Unexpected things were happening. Dissident voices were peeling (through all of the channels). My mind was making plans. My emotions were osicllating faster than a conversion of sine waves. In short, at every turn, I was jumping down the rabbit holes, running as fast as I could, and wondering where I was going.
“Stop. Just Stop.” I heard myself saying. “Can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t”, my mind replied. “Listen, listen to the drummers”, said a quiet voice. “What drummers? I’m too busy to listen!”, was my reply. Then, for a brief moment, there was silence.
In that one breath of silence, I remembered that within me there is a knowing that connects all of the drummers. It is the essence of me – that brings all the aspects of my life, joy, curiosity, experience, and dreams together. I found that the cacophony of the drummers heralds the inner voice of my essence.
If you like, look again at the list. Take the first 2 you listed and choose one. Take the next 2 and choose one. Continue going through the list. Take a breath. And starting at the top of the list again, take the first 2 you chose and choose one. Take the next 2 and choose one. Continue going through the list. I imagine you see the pattern. Continue going through the list – in each iteration – pairing and choosing – until you come to one desire.
This is your essence and its wisdom in the moment. It is the place that sees the connection between the drummers. It is the place where the dissidence resolves itself into the perfect note – clear – known – heard.
Since I have been listening this way, my list has changed. And, my inner voice has gotten deeper, more clear. I have come to rely on the wisdom that is with me here. Even in the moments or the days when I don’t stop, I now know this wisdom is there, whether I listen or not. And, in that knowing, I discover peace.