Listening to What My Heart DesiresBY KIRA BEDNAR
I used to pride myself on the fact that I was very logical and quick-minded. I was an ambitious, Russian-born woman living in the UK, and I thought I wanted money and prestige in my work as a real estate developer and wardrobe stylist. So, I went after those things and got them. But I didn’t have a deep feeling of satisfaction.
When I started practicing OM a few years ago, I would get asked, “What is your desire?” I would say, “Who cares? I use my mind to go after what I want.” Feeling desire in my body, and living for that desire, was a completely foreign concept to me. It felt very unnatural.
As I practiced OM more, I realized that my brain is a tool, yet it's not always the best tool to direct me. I learned that when I take my time, am patient, and feel into things, I find a path that might be controversial and unpredictable, but that is fundamentally more interesting than the path I find through logic.
Several years ago, there was a man that I was deeply in love with, and we started living together. But I was convinced that monogamy didn’t work, because I came from a family where my parents cheated on each other and had a very tempestuous relationship. This man wanted to be just with me, but I was attached to the idea of being polyamorous.
Once, I asked him to come to a big, weeklong event with me. He said no. So I told him, “Well, I’m going without you—and whatever happens, happens. I’m a free spirit and I will sleep with whomever I like, because that’s how I roll.” But as it turned out, I didn’t cheat on him at the festival. I realized later that it was just fear that kept me tied to the idea of polyamory—fear that I would repeat my parents’ story. It was totally cerebral.
If I had listened to my desire and felt it in my body, I would have calmed down and just stayed home with him. I would have realized that nobody else existed for me. In the end, my decision to go to the festival ended up crashing the relationship. It was a hard mistake that caused me years of suffering and heartbreak.
These days, I’m not so dogmatic. Instead, I feel into a situation and ask myself, Do you actually want to sleep with anyone else? Before you go wave a polyamory flag, is that really what you want?
After that relationship ended, it felt like my life was going crazy. I was having issues with my business partner, was consumed by a huge project, and struggling with my breakup. I listened to an OM talk online, and I latched onto a message: “When you love somebody, remove all the hooks from them and see if your internal magnet will bring you back together.” So I tried it, but he didn’t come back. It was torturous. But in retrospect, it was good training. I learned so much about how closed-minded I had been. I learned that a relationship takes two people yet creates a third entity—and you have to get together and try to negotiate that space between yourselves.
The control freak in me used to say, “Plan everything and know every outcome.” And what I’ve come to realize is, that’s an illusion. It's not possible for me to figure everything out. The best decisions I’ve made, the ones that really worked out for me, came from just knowing within myself and having a feeling that it was the right thing to do.
Over time, I’ve done a lot of different things with my life. I’ve trusted my intuition to get me where I needed to go. Now, I'm fairly financially independent and don't have to work so much. I can devote more time to personal development. And I am relearning to not pay so much attention to my brain that's trying to keep me safe, but to go for something that my heart desires.
Now, at 39, I am with a man and have an opportunity to go to New Zealand with him. He wants to start a family and I'm really not sure how that will pan out. So, I’m trying to listen to the inner voice within me—and when it's time to make a decision, that voice is going to guide me.
I'm trying not to think about it logically, because I think what I perceive as logic is just fear. It’s me wanting stability and wanting to predict everything that could potentially go wrong.
My boyfriend has a pretty serious health condition and New Zealand is a new country, far from everything I know. All those things are still a concern, but fundamentally, what's important to me is, Do I have the desire in my heart to do this? Do I feel like this is the move I want to make, regardless of what I need to consider?
I once met a woman through OM who had no money but decided to go travel in Peru and South America. She felt like she had nothing to lose, so she would just go see what happened. I felt a lot of judgment toward her because it seemed flippant and irresponsible. I thought, what about the grind and making money? What about living life as a responsible human being and taking care of yourself? But underneath, I was jealous that she could live so freely. I had lived in a bunch of different countries myself, but I had always played it safe.
Now, I don’t judge others for what they do. You have to do your own thing, and if you live from your heart, there’s no resentment. When you listen to your desire, you can create things that you could never have imagined for yourself.
That’s how I want to live my life these days. I'd like to live my life more bravely.