Tracking My Desire
From birth many of us receive heavy religious training, societal conditioning and cultural indoctrination to dissociate from our inner guidance, including our inner most desires in the name of being a “good” boy/girl, son/daughter, student, employee, citizen, etc.
There have been several pivotal moments that have awakened me to the power of paying great attention to (or tracking) my desire. One day in the late spring of 2007 was one such moment.
I was sitting in my office with white boards spanning the length of each wall, working on my business plans for the future.
A brother of mine walked in and asked if he could erase one of my whiteboards, because he had something he wanted to share with me. Scrawled on every inch of these boards were my precious visions, projects and plans for the future. I resisted.
But he was immovable. This was an intervention. And I trusted this man.
I let him erase one full whiteboard, and then he turned to me and asked, “Michael, what do you want for your life? What do you desire?” Instantly I started talking about my business visions for changing the world, and he interrupted. “No,” he said, placing his hand on my heart. And in a softer voice he asked, “What does Michael want?”
I inhaled and my eyes teared up. It’s a question I hadn’t asked myself in a long time. He was making a stand for me and my happiness.
Having been raised in a success-oriented culture and a religious-oriented family that so seriously emphasized focusing on the future and being “responsible,” it almost felt sacrilegious to speak the truth of what I most deeply wanted just for myself. For a moment I wondered what the other people in the room would think, people who respected me for my serious mission-based business focused on bringing forth a more beautiful world.
“What does Michael want for himself?”
The lump in my throat gave way as I began to speak the truth of my desires. As I did, my friend wrote them on the white board, in front of me and two other allies of mine. There was something powerful about speaking my desires, seeing them writ large on the wall, and having them be witnessed by others. There was a common theme among the thing that I found myself saying: world travel.
I’d spent a month in Africa the year before–my first deep travel experience abroad. It wasn’t just a dream anymore. I’d tasted it. That place and the people I’d met lived in my heart.
As my friend wrote, there was something else I needed to give voice to. A secret desire.
Since I was young I’d dreamed of traveling to far-off lands and romancing beautiful women from other cultures.
I voiced it. My friend wrote it down. I looked at it. I felt it.
I was 36, and I wasn’t getting any younger. I’d been putting off my dreams of world travel year after year, telling myself that I just need to “make it” first. More success. More money. More free time.
I started spending more time with this brother of mine, who made a stand for me that day. I kept tracking my desire and hunting full aliveness. 2 years later I left for Europe for 2 months. Then Australia for 2 months. Then back to Africa for 2 months. And finally, I sold my things and left the US on a one-way ticket.
That was more than 7 years ago. I’ve been slow traveling the world, tracking and hunting my desire, and finding greater freedom, joy and aliveness ever since. And now I’m a transformational travel guide and companion for others who are hunting their desire, their freedom, their authentic power, their inner wisdom and peace.