This time of year there is a lot of talk about how we should all be wanting less.
Especially in the “alternative” world of new-agers, where want may be the only really “bad” 4-letter word left since bush has once again become a reference to unshaven treasures.
We all see–and are paying for–the mindless consumption of crap. And it does seem a true shame that so much is consumed with so little appreciation.
I don’t think you can make want the villain. Want is integral to who we are. To want is what life is.
Coming out of my recent toxic slumber, where I didn’t want ANYTHING, I personally am thrilled to have an ever growing “I want” list!
On that list are lots of things:
A real camera (not a point & shoot), some cooked culinary wonders, some raw culinary wonders, many books, a Vita Mix, tickets to concerts/film festivals/and stand-up comedy shows, a camper van for road trips, ceramic cooking knives, drunken weekends with my brothers and friends in TJ or Vegas, more art & music in my life, a back issue of Vice magazine that has insightful collectible pics of my favorite porn star, and yeah–I WANT an i-phone!
Also on the list are places I want to experience, and stuff I want to try. I want to keep changing and not live the same life every day. I want to be proven wrong and shocked. I want more education. I want the rug pulled out from under me sometimes. I want to have friends that I disagree with but still find irresistible. I want to like what I do for money. I want acknowledgment for what I contribute creatively.
In other words, I want.
And why are we so afraid of that? Can you imagine a human society full of ascetics and “saints?” I just can’t comprehend the popular image of heaven being a place where people are freed of want and just float around in an asexual mist minus all hungering.
We even live in a culture where we are taught to hide what we want from others like we are all playing poker instead of living.
Want is perceived as being indelicate. Control your impulses, control your thoughts, control your self...
But is it want that is the issue, or is it being disconnected from any awareness of what we really want and knowing how to feel good about it? Are we punishing ourselves for past mistakes by denying ourselves the essence of life–desire? Instead of always trying to figure out ways to have less, maybe we can direct our energies to making sure that everyone has more. Of what they want…
What about the raw thing?
A lot of people have been asking me how my 2 month raw challenge ended.
I lost over 33 pounds, I feel and look A LOT better, and I am ready to tackle some other issues in my life. I am a very analytical guy and tend to live in my head. When I force myself to be more physical (daily intense exercise, more time outdoors, more attention to my body) I feel so alive!
Eating only raw foods has expedited that process and I’ve spent the last 3 days back in Bikram yoga classes. So that’s going to be my main focus in 2010. Using my body as much as my mind.
I was a little fearful that once I started eating any cooked food, or had one cocktail, it would open some kind of floodgate and I would start eating & drinking uncontrollably. The opposite has been true. One small cooked meal and all I could think about was getting fresh raw food in my body the next meal.
I spent all night out with friends last night, bar hopping. I had two top shelf Makers Manhattans and that’s all I wanted. This morning it was back to yoga and coconut water.
Since I am visiting friends for the holidays I’ve been having one healthy cooked vegetarian meal a day. But if I weren’t in vacation mode, I don’t think I’d even be eating that much cooked food…
I am avoiding beer, fried foods, commercial dairy, gluten, and refined sugars. And when I eat it takes very little before I’m stuffed. A feeling I haven’t had for 2 months, and one which doesn’t feel as good as I remember…