What is the difference between a desire that will feed your soul (a soul-based desire) and a desire that, to paraphrase Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, will crush you like a cockroach and cause endless suffering (an ego-based desire)?
I was thinking about this difference the other day because I’m at a point in my life where I desire more discipline.
Discipline is a funny word that can bring to mind a harsh, dictator-ship like vibe, masculine, and maybe without compassion.
But the heart of discipline is devotion.
We are all devoted to something, whether that’s nurturing a relationship with your higher self and the universe or realizing your bigger dreams. Some people are sadly devoted to fear, excuses, or giving their power away.
People like us, the ones who are devoted to realizing our full potential — we need discipline.
Discipline may seem to be the antithesis of freedom, but it’s actually the core of it. It’s also a big part of manifesting your desires.
It’s not luck that allows us to create dream lives, but discipline and devotion.
They also fuel daily practices for building your dream.
For me, writing, sharing my message on social media, and doing the inner mindset, personal development and manifestation work are daily practices that have accumulated, manifesting in a soulful business that allows me to earn a living while giving my gifts to the word — and sleeping until 9 a.m.
The opposite can also be true — if you practice fear, doubt or excuses daily, that also grows and accumulates over time. The choice is always yours — what are you devoted to?
Without discipline, we lack the structure to make meaningful progress on the things that matter.
Discipline makes it possible to flow within the constraints of a loving structure. Discipline is the masculine principle that balances the feminine, the sturdy glass that holds the flowing water.
Too much discipline, and you lose fluidity. Too much flow, and you miss the chance for accumulation. We spread ourselves too thin and lack the substance to shift our lives.
There’s a similar balance between heart, soul and ego.
To me, the heart represents the emotional body. The love aspect. To me, it feels dark and juicy, soft and fluid. It’s the part of our personality that loves to love and deeply wants to feel nourished and cared for.
The ego is our smaller self. Our personality. The part of us that desires safety and structure and constraints. It’s often ruled by fear, although I’m not one of those people who advocates killing your ego or even believing the ego is ALL fear.
The ego is our collection of likes and dislikes. Our quirks, the more surface-level manifestation of who we are in this lifetime.
The soul is the deepest part of us. The part of us that’s connected to the infinite intelligence. It’s like outer space and deeply objective — objective to the point of coldness.
It’s like — the galaxy doesn’t care if you happen to be ejected from the spaceship and float uncontrollably toward Mars while your compadres in spacesuits helplessly watch you fly away.
The soul is impersonal. It’s the part of us that’s beyond good or bad, beyond feminine or masculine. The soul is part of the universe’s higher order that humans can’t possibly understand.
Another example — if a loved one dies and a spiritual person tells you, “Life is temporary. Don’t be sad for what’s gone. Be happy for what you experienced.”
Is that objectively true? Yes. Absolutely. But we are still human and loss hurts. Life can hurt.
I intellectually know that my dog is getting older and will one day die, but that doesn’t stop me from also knowing that my heart will break in impossible ways when he does cross over.
To me, I feel like the soul is discipline.
We can listen to our souls, know that we must meditate each day, eat healthy, take our vitamins, do all the things that we should do, that are in our best interest, without question.
The soul is like a stern taskmaster who desires the best for us, but doesn’t necessarily hold space for our humanness. I mean, the soul is the one who signed us up for the shitstorm that is life and all its heartbreaking trials. The soul says, go, go, go, you can do it — bring it on!
But the heart is like the divine mother. The compassion. And yes, the divine feminine can be fierce, but for the sake of this conversation, let’s focus on the softness. The beating heart. The one who is maybe so soft and open and forgiving that it’s easy to let yourself slip.
Have the cookie. Eat the ice cream. Skip your workout. And before you know it you’ve gained five pounds of flab and feel fatigued and have to invoke your inner disciplinarian again.
The heart — it loves no matter what. The soul, it spins on, timeless and indifferent.
The third layer, on top of all of this, is the ego.
The ego doesn’t take things as they are, but as it sees them through the lens of past pains, wounded self-perception, and limitation.
This brings us to desire.
How do you know the difference between an ego-based desire (recipe for misery) and a soul-based desire (recipe for expansion and bliss)?
First, I’ll lump soul desires and heart desires in the same category because this isn’t a scientific inquiry. It’s just a blog post.
I’m lumping them together because the heart is fueled by love, and the soul is fueled by a higher vision and truth, and I see them working together, with the ego as more of whiny child who makes life interesting.
I think that all desires are BOTH ego-based and soul-based.
To see anything as either / or is limited.
Nothing is all good or all bad. Each desire has a shadow side (fueled by the ego) and an expansive side (fueled by the heart and soul).
For example, I have a significant desire for success.
Part of this desire is for ego reasons: I desire the world to see, honor, recognize and respect my gifts. I desire to earn abundantly for my great work in the world. I desire to savor materially luxurious things. I’m a Capricorn and spiritual poverty isn’t really my thing. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Another part comes from the heart and soul: There’s truly nothing more gratifying than helping my smart, passionate, and creative clients release past pain, find inner freedom, understand themselves more deeply, and ultimately create their lives based on their hopes and dreams, not their default programming.
I’m so beyond grateful to have arrived at a place where I’ve been able to take the wisdom from my life’s most painful lessons and use it to help others find freedom, joy and purpose.
That has been more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.
The feeling of knowing that I am doing my purpose work is indescribable.
I’ve always been a person that’s felt out of place, like I don’t belong, but when I’m clicked into the flow of doing my purpose work, it’s like nothing else exists. I am home. I am confident in my skin. I have such a deep knowing of my worth and place in this world, and even though I’m only a slice of infinity sandwiched in skin, I feel deeply that I matter.
And this all came from desire.
How could desire be bad?
NO desire is bad.
That’s something we’ve been fed by a patriarchal system that doesn’t value the feminine, emotions, or the body. Old systems seek to control or transcend this life and transcend the body.
The feminine is about being in the body, and having a healthy relationship with desire is part of that.
Your desires are holy. They’re sacred. They’re a fire that drives you to use your beautiful ambition and God-given gifts to influence the world and make the impact that you are here to make.
You’re not here to stuff your desires down, please other people, and float like driftwood on a river, with no needs and nothing interesting to say.
You’re here to MAKE waves, not just surf them.
Especially people in this community of high-achieving creatives, free spirits, leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries. You’re here because you have a deep desire in your heart, a calling you’re obsessed with giving to the world. It’s downright toxic for you to shove that down. Part of your journey is doing the inner work to allow yourself the freedom and confidence to give those gifts to the world.
So if you’re working through something, trying to figure out if a desire is okay, or if there’s a part of it causing you suffering, rather than thinking — is this an ego desire or a soul desire, take it apart into pieces.
Think about why you want something. What part is coming from fear, or getting something from outside of you? And what pieces come from the sincere desire to share yourself with the world?
Use your desires like anything else, to understand yourself more deeply, rather than considering them wrong or shoving them down, feeling like they’re inconvenient and hoping they go away.
Also keep in mind things change. You might chase a dream and realize later on that some aspect of what you were chasing came from the ego, or from fear, and not from the heart or love.
That’s okay. That’s a beautiful realization, and not something to beat yourself up about, or wish you could go back and change.
We’re all doing the best we can in each present moment, and each moment’s awareness takes you deeper into self-understanding. So you wouldn’t have had that realization without that beautiful ego desire or mis-directed action.
Therefore everything is perfect because it helped your soul’s evolution, which is the whole point anyway.
The ego will never be diminished, and nothing will ever be totally pure. That’s not the point of life.
The point of life is to embrace contrast — the pure and the dirty. The heart and the soul. Discipline and flow.
Each support each other and together they form a beautiful whole much larger than either of its parts.
So honor your desires. Don’t ignore a single one. Just ask where it’s coming from, and then ask yourself — mind, body and soul — what’s the next step?
Please show me the way. I am ready to receive this beautiful thing my heart longs for. I know I deserve it. I know the journey will make me more of who I am.
I’m here. I’m ready. I was born for this.
What do you think? Share your thoughts or deepest soul desires in the comments below.
All the love,
p.s. I was going to launch the Society of Spiritual Starlets this week, and am almost ready, but still waiting for that soul message — ok, go. This will be my major focus going forward so I want to be wholly prepared for this next chapter of my life, business, and container for helping you heal your heart and manifest your dreams.
It will be coming soon. I anticipate later this month, with the first official training released the first week of August.
I will be offering an early signing bonus and also doing a Starlet invocation journaling workshop that you can join live if you sign up in time!
I have BIG plans for this group. It’s going to be epic.
Enrollment opens soon! So much love.