I used to want so many specific things – a new career, a cottage, a big house, specific possessions, to be a certain weight, to achieve certain goals. All of that has changed. I had a valuable realization about want. When I was wanting all those things I was really wanting what was underneath those specific superficial desires. What I really wanted was abundance, health, peace, beauty, happiness, stability, recognition, respect and love.
My spiritual practice lead me to the realization that all those superficial and material wants were at best dangling carrots and at the worst a recipe for a lifetime of dissatisfaction. Now, I see more clearly the underlying desires that created those wants. The wonderful news is that I have full control over manifesting those underlying core desires. Being in the state of abundance, health, peace, happiness, stability and love is all available to me right here, right now.
Focusing on creating an inner reality that is made of these desired qualities is the secret to being liberated from want. Once we understand that the state(s) that we were searching for in the form of external wants can be achieved at any time. We have total control over whether or not we have what we really want. The external wants then melt away once we start focusing on cultivating an inner world that means our real needs and higher desires.
The beautiful thing is that this is where the law of attraction enters the picture. Once our inner state matches those higher desires we begin to see this inner state reflected in our external reality. We reap externally what we sow internally. It is really that simple. Many people think that the work needs to be done on the external level in order to get the external results. But that is not so. We don’t need to strive externally to get the external results we wish for. The work we need to do is all internal. This is what spiritual teachings are trying to tell us when they tell us we should not “want”. We actually don’t need to want at all. We just need to create an inner world that delivers all we truly need no matter what our external circumstances seem to present.
The minimalist movement that is so popular right now is actually a very powerful part of humanity’s collective spiritual evolution. Many people on the minimalist path are realizing that external wants will never fulfill them on a deep spiritual level. Many minimalist recognize that their practice goes beyond downsizing their closets and buying less. It is actually about the evolution towards internal creation and away from external desire.
Early on my spiritual journey I had a strong desire to purge a lot of my personal belongings, so I did just that. Today, I own a lot less than I did then and I live is a much smaller home. This is how I learned about the minimalist movement. I wanted to see if anyone else out there had a similar desire to release personal possessions on their spiritual journey. I didn’t need to look past examples like Buddha and Jesus. But I’m glad I did because I saw that is current Minimalist movement is actually one of many examples of the collective spiritual advancement of humanity.
I continued to struggle with external desires for a long time because I had not yet come to the realization that fulfilling my desires was totally an inside job. Whenever an external want appears I need to ask myself what I’m missing in my internal state that would cause this want.
It’s not to say that I will give up all the trappings of my external middle class, Western lifestyle…but I could. I now know I could and that is a very powerful realization. I could give it all up tomorrow and sit on a park bench like Eckhart Tolle.
The practice of examining external wants and taking them as an opportunity to meet your internal desires is a powerful spiritual practice that increasing your sense of self love and personal empowerment. It offers a level of freedom that few people in this world experience.