Need- (Noun) 1.a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation: 2. a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary; (Verb) to have need of; require
Want- (Noun) A lack or deficiency of something; (verb) Have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for; (adj) Lacking in a certain required or necessary quality; Not existing or supplied; absent
Desire- (Noun) A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen; a yearning; a longing; a craving; an aspiration (verb) to strongly wish for something
“Discipline is remembering what you want.” - David Campbell
This used to be one of my favorite lessons and I would actually say it daily to stay on track with my ambitions. Remembering my career goals, my health & wellness goals, the healthy relationships I was calling in, my financial goals…it became the template for how I lived my life. I’d ask myself, “What do you want?”
- I want to love and be loved.
- I want to cook for a new client.
- I want to go to Greece, Jerusalem, Turkey, India, etc.
- I want to be a size __.
- I want to weigh __.
- I want to book a voice over job that’s creative and challenging.
And then as opportunities presented themselves, I would ask myself, “Lisa, is this getting you closer to what you want or is it taking you in a different direction?” Opportunities are choices, so…Invariably, I would choose the thing that got me closer and reject the choice carrying me away from what I wanted. My actions were in alignment with my goals. Goals were set and met in record time. I was a First Class accomplisher. Why? Because I remembered what I wanted at all times. I had discipline. I had a strong desire.
Somewhere along the lines of living my life and watching my 30s ooze into my 40s, I stopped remembering my wants. My discipline had deserted me. I got comfortable with what I had, or got complacent (or something) with the results yielding from my uninspired choices and half baked efforts. Or maybe I began to manipulate and justify my wants and convince myself that my wants were actual needs. Bad. News. Bears.
Wanting things is tricky. It’s like a negotiation. Are they always for our highest good? Will my wants benefit others or just me? Am I being selfish? Am I cheating some other area of my life to give energy and attention towards this want? Needing things is seemingly less complicated. Developing countries have a measurement of basic needs - a list of bare minimum resources necessary for long-term well being. The poverty line is then defined by the amount of income required to satisfy those needs. Traditionally, our basic needs list is food, clothing, clean water, shelter. The list has been modernized for some countries to include sanitation, education, and healthcare. So basically a need is anything we as Americans take for granted…
I was given a little book by the wife of Charles Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, called Gift From The Sea. It was written in 1955, but you’d think it was written this year, the wisdom is so timely. Anne breaks down needs and wants in a really sweet way and talks about how we can shed pride when we stop carrying what other people think about our ‘things,” and keep life simple by just meeting our needs. I like that. So much of what we do, so much of what we accumulate, is to impress another, to appear a certain way, or to prove something to someone, right? What a relief to not care about the opinion of others! Anne also makes a really valuable point about our wants too though. She says we collect material possessions not only for security, comfort, or vanity, but for their beauty as well.
In my spiritual community there is a big emphasis on not attaching ourselves to material desires. Material desires being land, money, anything outside our marriage, acclaim, anything bringing us sense gratification. We work for our desires to please God. For our desires to bring us spiritual advancement. This is something my friends and I struggle with a great deal. We have good practices, we are good people, and then we find ourselves wanting the THINGS.
So I haven’t cleaned up all areas of my life, I’m still human. My desires often get the best of me. Daily, I have repetitive periods of 'I need to be doing that, but I want to be doing this.' Or 'I need to be here, but I want to be there.' I still make choices that might make someone on the outside look in and say, “How can wanting that possibly be good for you?” To them I say, ‘This adds so much beauty to my life, I couldn’t bear to do without it.’ Sometimes beauty has more value than anything else, even discipline.
"Desire has not to be destroyed. It has to be purified. Desire has not to be dropped, it has to be transformed. Your very being is desire; to be against it is to be against yourself and to be against all. To be against it is to be against the flowers, and the birds, and the sun, and the moon. To be against it is against all creativity. Desire is creativity." -OSHO
Recently, I was given a bit of a wake up call regarding my health and it has me reassessing my wants and needs. I won’t go into the details in this post but suffice it to say I am cleaning up my choices in so many areas for the ultimate goal of optimum health. It turns out there are many, many things I have been consuming that my body definitely does not need. I think my body doesn’t even want these things, it’s my mind and my eyes and my tastebuds that have been running the show. It feels really good to be on my own side again. And when we clean up one area of our life it naturally impacts the other parts positively as well. There is truth to that old saying, “100% effort yields 100% results.”
Not that health and wellness means that we should only eat salads, but it’s nearly summer, I hope you’re all taking advantage of the seasonal produce and the bounty available in gardens and farmer’s markets! I love a salad because that means I’m not turning on my oven. This is one of my favorites to make in the summer months.
Pickling fruits and vegetables is not a new idea. It is actually a very old one dating back 4000 years, when travelers needed to preserve their food for long journeys. It’s an exciting way to bring texture and elevate the flavors to certain dishes. The recipe below would be great with pickled cherries as well.
Pickled Blueberries and Onions, Pistachios, Ginger Dressing Salad
- 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- salad greens
- Ginger dressing
Method: Warm vinegar, sugar, salt, and water in a medium pan until sugar and salt dissolve. Place blueberries and onion in a jar and pour pickling liquid over them, cover and secure with jar lid. Refrigerate overnight before using. Fish out a handful and toss over greens with pistachios and Ginger dressing.
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper
Shake all ingredients in a jar secured with a lid until fully combined.
Photographs of food by Cheryl Stockton of Stockshot Studio.