Need Want Desire Prefer

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Want (v) “have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for.”

Desire (v) “strongly wish for or want (something).”

Need (v) “require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable.” or “expressing necessity or obligation.”

Prefer (v) “like (one thing or person) better than another or others; tend to choose.”

I remember sometime last year, my sister passed on a technique that she had heard from someone that encouraged the use of the word “desire” instead of “want” to encourage a more positive spin on wishing. We’ve both been trying to turn around our beliefs about money. And language is really powerful, the words you use can be connected to and reveal how you think. The definition for the word “want” includes the concepts of lack, deficiency and possession. Using the word “want” can unknowingly reinforce lack. “Need” is often used in the same way. Need should probably be reserved for those particular moments when you are talking about the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid, your physiological and safety needs, not necessarily that ticket to that amazing concert or holiday abroad. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring those lovely things, but what are the words you are using, where are you putting the emphasis in your life? The emptiness or the abundance?

I’m an attacher so it is particularly wise for me to be aware of the words I use, because often there is deeper attachment or meaning that goes with what may appear to be a very innocent phrase. A book my husband was reading talked about using the word “prefer” instead of “want”. Prefer lets you share your opinion, your desire, but detaches you from the outcome. If it is just a preference it means that you know what will float your boat, but you are able to live with whatever happens. The word sounds a bit clinical because it simply isn’t as loaded as the other three and that is what makes it a more interesting bet. I love the passion of need, want, desire, yet, there is such a freedom, simplicity and peace in prefer. Again, there is nothing wrong with passion, but if there is passion in every decision, every little preference you have, then living can be truly exhausting and also disappointing. There is so much that I do have that gets pushed to the side when I focus on the lack. What we focus on gets bigger. So why not focus on respecting your preferences, your choices, your inclinations and growing the confidence in your ability to thrive no matter what.

Last Tango Brings Tears

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If you’ve seen “Last Tango in Halifax” then you will know what I’m talking about. The writing (Sally Wainwright) and the superb acting (Sarah Lancashire, Nicola Walker, Anne Reid & Derek Jacobi) combine for a powerhouse show. There is a reality to this show that you don’t often see on TV. There were seriously times that I was in awe of the writing and performances. More often than not I ended up in tears – tears of recognition of heartbreak and inability to communicate, tears of knowing. What a beautiful gift to share with the world, stories that truly speak to your soul and connect you to humanity. We may not be perfect, but we are united in that imperfection. I definitely need those reminders myself. I am not alone in my grief or hurt and I am not alone in my joy. Sometimes it costs us very little to offer an olive branch to a friend or family member, sometimes it feels like it costs a great deal. But either way the true reward is the connectedness you feel. Give an olive branch, accept an olive branch whenever you can. You are not alone.

The Families We Choose

Photograph of AboutFACE Company Members
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Photograph of AboutFACE Company Members

My AboutFACE Family

Does anyone else crave family? I’m blessed to have been born into a pretty alright one, dysfunctional yes, but I have good relationships with my siblings and step-siblings and I love my parents. I feel loved and accepted (or at the very least tolerated) for who I am. I also married into another great family that I adore. And still I look to create family experiences wherever I go. I think for me there is an energy, a creative release, an amplification of strengths, an opening for you to be your best self when buoyed up by the grace and love of family. I mean that is the freedom, right? Being loved even when you don’t “deserve” it. When I feel that grace, when I’m in that atmosphere of love and peace, I can be closer to that person that I want to be, I can do my best and be generous to those around me. I can handle the messiness that comes with relationships as long as grace is in the air we breathe and the words we speak. This is especially true in my artistic family. Producing theatre is not an easy task. Inevitably things will go wrong, egos will flare, budgets will be constrained and artistic visions will conflict, but if you surround yourself with the right people, the ones who share your passion and have a sense of humor and know how to give each other the room to be themselves and to make mistakes and still be there on the other side, then you’ve found gold.

I definitely feel very lucky to be part of the AboutFACE Ireland family. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, of marriages and break-ups, of deaths and births, of fights and barbecues, but they are the people that I want by my side going into creative adventures. And these are some of the most exposing adventures of all because here you lay out who you are, you bare your soul. You share what really matters to you and sometimes you have to compromise and that can be hard because who wants to appear weak? The times when you disagree, when you are far from your best self, that is when the true test of grace, of real love, is shown. Can you be honest and exposed and accepted? Can you accept the failings of others without making them feel small? In this family you can! I’m thankful for each member of the AboutFACE family, they each bring something unique and different to the mix and as crazy as I can be, they still love me. I choo-choose you AboutFACE.