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Exercise: My Desire Traps

In this intentional exercise you'll reflect upon what you desire, and how you relate to them and pursue them. Reflect upon when they become traps. Even a healthy desire can become a trap. The problem is not the pursuit of a desire. That is natural. What causes us suffering is when our pursuit of our desires gets in the way of being our authentic self.

Where do your desire traps lie? For example, when does an experience of not being enough or having enough manifest in your fantasies and pursuits of your desires? Do you fantasize about more money, recognition, power? To be more desired or respected by others?

A telling way to understand when desire becomes a trap is when you invest a lot of thought or energy into it. Do you spend time in fantasy thinking about what you would do with more money that you do not have? Do you play out scenarios of people rejecting or criticizing you? or of people showering you with admiration and praise?

In the coming week,notice how you think about and relate to money. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about what you would do with more money? Do you frequently think about not having enough money? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about how to make more money?

Notice how you think about and relate to relationships that you have, real or imagined. Do you spend time thinking about relationships that you would like to be different? or have fantasies about relationships that you desire but may not currently have? Do difficult relationships make it difficult to enjoy and nurture the relationships that are healthy and right here for you?

Notice when you drift into imagining yourself in the future – being more of who you want to be, or doing more of what you want to do. Notice if you have thoughts of being somewhere else. Reflect upon whether these thoughts are helpful aspirations that help you shape your life in purposeful ways. Notice if they are desire traps, keeping you from being present to your life right now.

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