The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet – Chapter 3 – Desire

by Valerie on October 9, 2009 · 13 comments

Today, we are discussing desire as part of Jamie Ridler’s online bookclub, The Next Chapter on The Joy Diet: Ten Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck.  Desire is the third chapter of the book.

Full disclosure: I had an insane week at work, on the heels of last week’s insane week at work, so I incorporated the exercises in Nothing/Truth/Desire as best as I could in my daily routine, but definitely customized and abbreviated the approach.  

That said, I think acknowledging one’s desires is incredibly important.  This could range from how you spend your free time to what you do for a living. On the free time end of the spectrum of desires, it is so easy to fall into a pattern of “I really want to do x, but i have abc obligations” with your personal time.  One thing I do, especially in weeks like the last couple, is acknowledge desires and at least take micro-steps towards them. For example, I have a long list of things I want to do for myself, most of which are time-consuming. Rather than put the whole list aside for when I have time, I picked the least time-intensive thing on the list (making this collage) and made sure to fit it in last weekend. Yes, it meant my blogging got behind, along with lots of other things, but it was worth it. And by acknowledging that one desire, I also did not feel like I was stifling my other desires in general.

I also really liked how Martha talks about desire as a positive thing – that is so important – and that she encourages the pebbles approach. I know that when I want one thing I find myself wanting other things. It is refreshing to read Martha because she acknowledges that it is ok to have several desires.

The last thing I wanted to mention was Martha’s approach to encouraging articulating desires, without immediately going out and acting on these desires.  Sitting with emotions is something I have learned to be enormously valuable in recent years.  Desire is kind of like truth (and the pain truth can bring) in that sense – immediately acting on them, whether to make them go away, or get gratification, may not be as effective as sitting with them, side-by-side, and understanding how they interrelate.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sherry ♥ lee October 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Great collage!! And you mention something really important about this chapter…articulating a desire but not immediately acting upon it…to sit with it for awhile, to decide if it's really something worth pursuing. We can get so caught up in the "need to do" that we often rush in blind and then have to cope with the disappointment we might have avoided.


2 Lawendula October 9, 2009 at 6:14 pm

It's right, the pain that truth and desire can bring. It's good to find out, what really goes on inside.
Cu next week!


3 kaileenelise October 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Picking one thing you want to do that you have time for (the collage) is kind of like the pebbles approach. I am excited to see where this Joy Diet takes us next week! xo, kaileenelise


4 Grammy October 9, 2009 at 10:08 pm

That is wonderful that you were able to fit all this in. You did a beautiful job.


5 Lavanya October 10, 2009 at 1:05 am

I thinking taking micro-steps is a great idea. It makes the bigger steps easier to take.
Hope you are feeling better.*hugs*


6 Melita October 10, 2009 at 1:19 am

i am glad that you followed your desire even thought it meant that other things had to be put on the back burner.


7 Ellecubed October 10, 2009 at 1:20 am

I also really liked that Martha encouraged us to sit with desire. Doing this was oh so powerful for me.


8 KathrynAntyr October 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Desires are really good indicators and messages as we search for what we truly want in life. Thanks for sharing this journey!


9 Helen October 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I like how you did choose your microsteps and did that collage. I too found that I really, really, really wanted to do the dreamboard. It was completely worth it to spend my time doing it. Another thing I've noticed recently is I'm getting much better at saying no and setting boundaries. I wonder if the joy diet has anything to do with it…


10 Art Visions October 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

I like your comments and how you use your collage as an example. Thanks for sharing!


11 Lisa @sacred circle October 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Yes, indeedy…. tiny steps….. I agree whole-heartedly that sometimes, if that's all we can manage, it's better than disregarding our desires altogether. It's also so important to create "me time" that is sacred, that is set in stone, jotted down on the calendar with a permanent marker, set in stone (or perhaps pebbles?… tee hee…)


12 Melinda October 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I like the collage too! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


13 Karen D October 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Thanks for sharing your journey with desire this week.


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