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Understanding the Energy of Desire: Is it a Craving or a Calling?

July 21st, 2009 by Ryan

So much of the world seems to be run by desire.

We see it on the tv everyday: new cars, new clothes, new gadgets.  In magazines we see the ideal mate, the ideal body, the ideal social life.

It seems as though a wantingness arises within us automatically and we often find ourselves chasing a fantasy.

The letting go of desire - is it a craving or calling?Punctuated between the moments of times when we actually get what we want (or what we thought we wanted), we may ask ourselves…Will this really make me happy?

If we have the courage to look deeper, there may even arise a realization that nothing we “get” can actually bring us happiness. 

So, naturally, the next question that comes up is, “What will bring me happiness?”  Or even, “What is happiness?”

The energy of desire…

It can fuel our deepest dreams or it can create a proverbial carrot on a stick that seems to always be just out of reach.

In my own life, I’ve progressed from being unconsciously driven by my desires to surrendering them to a deeper purpose (though it’s still an ongoing process).

Through this process, my understanding of desire has transformed.  Where earlier in my life I was enslaved by this energy, now I am empowered by it.

I’ve come to learn to differentiate the desire born out of our animal (or human) nature versus desire born out of our spirit (or higher self).

In this article I hope to share with you the differences between the two, as well as methods to release unwanted desires and instead create the space for inspiring desires to come into your life.

I call the desire that arises out of our animal/human side a Craving.

It’s a naturally occuring part of our evolution and maturation to move through this level of desire. 

Basically, a craving is a deep, often unconscious, extreme wantingness.

It is a powerfully emotional experience in which it seems as though the body itself has the wantingness.

It originates in the solar plexus (a couple inches above the belly button) and it feels like one is trying to “pull” that which it desires to itself.

This craving is actually born out of our human evolution in which our survival rested in the ability to “get” from the outside world – “get” food, “get” a mate, “get” territory, etc.

This paradigm of “getting” creates the reality that one is inherently insufficient as one is, that one needs something or someone else to survive.

This process actually creates the illusion that survival depends on our ability to “acquire”.  Because of this, a person in this energy field is very fearful and competitive. 

Questions arise such as, “What happens if I can’t get enough stuff?” or “What happens if someone takes my stuff?”

It is a never ending cycle of neediness and fear – if one doesn’t have, they crave what they “need”, if one does have, then they are afraid they might lose it.

One is never at peace; they can never rest.

Not only that, this desire and this fear is actually arising out of one’s own consciousness or energy field (even though it looks like it is happening “out there”).

So when one “acquires” what they want, they may receive momentary satisfaction but they are not truly fulfilled and will immediately go back to craving something else. 

Happiness is always out of reach.

We see this type of craving all over.

One example is getting caught up in the search for social status.

Most young people, especially men, have never been taught how to actually love themselves on a daily basis (or even that it’s a worthwhile virtue).  I know because this is how I was. 

We often find ourselves falling into the culture’s path for us.

What does this path entail?  What does it say is the way to happiness?

My interpretation of it is this-

For a man, it is his job, no his responsibility, to accumulate a lot of money (now don’t get me wrong money is great in a different context, which I explain in a minute).  Not only that, he’s gotta be cool, a ladies man.  Now to do that, he’s gotta be a rough and tough badass.  This means he’s gotta be able to fight, drink, and sleep with as many hot women as possible.

To do that, being big and buff is a key part, as well as having the right “hook-ups” and a kickass social life.  Also, the guy better not show any of those “girly” emotions or show any weakness or imperfections.

Oh man, that whole scenarios is a total joke!

I was caught up in much of that for years.  I would go to the gym and take protein 5 times a week to “get buff”.  I would spend all my money on booze and partying on the weekends.  I would hook up with 1 or 2 or even 3 girls some nights out so that I could feel like a “cool guy”. 

How about emotions?  Ha!  Forget that pansy stuff.  “I like beer violent videogames and straight up logic”.

Ultimately, I began to realize the more I “acquired”, the worse my quality of life became.  The more social status I got, the less fulfilling my relationships became. 

The more beer I could “pound”, the worse my health became.  The more time I dedicated to kickass videogames, the more my life lacked purpose. 

It seemed like I wanted more and more, yet no matter what I got, my life didn’t change for the better.  (Keep in mind though, that none of these activites are “bad” or “wrong”, it’s simply how I was using them that was draining me – I was using them to fill a void within).

Slowly a new form of energy started to rise up within me – A new form of desire, one that I describe as a Calling.

This new energy seemed to work in exactly the opposite way as the craving energy that had consumed my life earlier.

Instead of trying to pull my desires to me, this energy was pulling me to it!

Instead of a driven, frantic wantingness, this new energy was relaxing, peaceful, and fulfilling.

Instead of overwhelming emotions coming from my torso, it was a subtle and all encompassing shift in awareness, as if I was being enveloped in a borderless ball of silent energy.

It didn’t seem to originate from the body so much as from the heart, or the soul.

The more that I tuned into this energy and listened to it, the more it began to take over my life…for the better. 

When I would drink beer with my buddies, I would feel this pull to let go of alcohol all together.  Thoughts such as “What would it be like if I did?” seemed to lovingly challenge me.

Questions began to arise such as “What could I do with my life if I wasn’t always playing videogames?” or, “What would a truly loving relationship look like?”

I soon found out that the way to use this energy to transform myself was to surrender to it and let it go to work.

I had to, (and still have to), continuously let go of trying to control everything.

I had to let go of old habits, old relationships, and old beliefs that limited me.

I had to open myself to doing things I never imagined myself doing, like doing healing work one on one with family members in need. (As a computer technician and web designer, I would have never imagined myself doing this type of work).

As this process unfolded (and continues to unfold), my quality of life has jumped so tremendously I am still amazed.

Throughout my studies, I have come to discover that this process literally changes one’s brain chemistry.

That by making the choice to actively love myself, mend my relationships, and hold my life to a higher standard of living, that my brain actually creates a very high amount of of biochemicals like endorphin and serotonin, resulting in feelings of peace and joy nearly all the time.

With that kind of stuff pumping through you (without the guilt or hangover of drugs), it’s pretty hard to stay mad at others or get in fights.

What I’ve discovered is that a calling is basically like having your soul suddenly evolve to a new level of consciousness, then having those changes transfer down to the personality. 

In this way, your higher self has already evolved, it’s simply a matter a bringing that new state into being.

I like to imagine this process like a parent helping a child to walk for the first time.  As the child stands up, the parent walks backward, while facing the child, urging it to take one more step towards them yet they are still within reach in case the child falls. 

Many of the times these callings will ask you to do something that makes absolutely no sense…to the mind.  In fact, I think a big part of it is to help you develop your spiritual backbone because you will have to listen to the voice within rather than the voices of your friends, family, and society. 

A perfect example of this is in the movie “A Field of Dreams” in which Kevin Costner’s character hears the inner voice, (his soul), calling on him with “if you build it, they will come”.  Of course, it makes no sense, but he follows it and the miraculous unfolds magically.

That is what starts to happen when you surrender to your calling. 

One question that may arise is, “How can we differentiate between the voice of our soul and the voice of the mind?”

This is a crucial one, since you don’t want to be listening to those voices that judge you, belittle you, or lead you off to activities that waste your energy.

The thing with spirit is that it doesn’t compete for your attention.  It is the softest, yet strongest, voice within you. 

The voice of the mind, and that of instinctual emotions, rise up with a force that demands you listen to it and all its power is in the short term.  The voice can say one thing today and the complete opposite tomorrow. 

It is chaotic and frantic, going in all directions and is influenced by others and by its environment whereas the voice of spirit is consistent, ever present, and infinitely compassionate.

The best way to hear spirit is to become clear.  

How do we do this? 

I’ve done this in many different ways.  The easiest way was to start to let go of all unnecessary media sources:  tv, music, news papers, blogs.  I only consume the media that I know is good energy. 

I used to always be reading sites like digg, and staying up to date with the latest happenings in the paper and on tv but I realized that I actually didn’t need any of it.

I forgot that news is a business and their top priority is not necessarily my well-being.  As I stepped back, I could begin to see how often each headline was crafted to engage my emotional survival system.

Now, I hardly read any blogs, almost never check the news, and mostly only watch a few tv shows or baseball games.  I’ve found that all those voices within, the ones that were driving me all over the place, have begun to quiet down. 

Now I am driven to a much higher degree by my callings rather than my cravings.

When done in this way, it doesn’t matter so much about the activities, because now the attitude toward them is healthier. 

This means I can work out and develop a healthy body, build wealth, or do any of those other actions that I had given up, and it will be in a way that supports me rather than drains me. 

The reason is because it will be within a context in which the source of fulfillment is in the process rather than the end.

I can find joy in working out because the working out itself is the end (the healthy body and other benefits are just a bonus).

When I would be doing something I didn’t like for what I would supposedly “gain” at the end, I was selling out my spirit for an illusion.

The more we can reclaim our spirit from these journeys down the path of illusion, the more integrated we become. 

All our power becomes aligned within us; it’s a great feeling.

So how does one let go of cravings and allow one’s calling to arise?

Of course, I first recommend things like Emotional Freedom Technique, Tapas Acupressure Technique, A Course in Miracles, Holosync, Yoga or Gi Gong, and The Work of Byron Katie.

Another very simple technique that I am now starting to use is as follows –

When a craving comes up such as seeing a “hot chick” and feeling that caveman-like urge of “I want her”.  Feel into it, let go of any and all resistance of this cravingness.  Let the sensations come up, even welcome it and ask for it all to be brought up.

It will often feel like a pulling sensation in one’s gut or solar plexus – a neediness.  Let it flow through you without judgement and just observe it.  Notice where it is happening and what it feels like.

This energy is coming out of our animal/human nature and as such it is limited, so eventually it will run out.

As you continually do this process of allowing and observing with awareness, you will begin to transcend the desire itself.  It will literally unlatch itself from your energy field and you will fee freer, lighter, and more alive.

As you keep releasing, you create space within you for your true calling to surface and began to pull you in the direction of your highest potential – which I guarantee, you will be in for the ride of your life.

You will find life a continuous and joyous ride of exciting and unexpected twists and turns.  Sort of like your own amusement park. 

How have you tapped into your deeper calling? 

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.

Also, here are some programs that I recommend to help you release cravings and tap into your inner calling:

Entrain the Brain – Remove Fear & Anxiety by Listening to a CD 
Abundance "Tapping" – Remove Subconscious Money Blocks
Total Well Cleanse – Detoxify your Body for more Energy

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13 Responses to “Understanding the Energy of Desire: Is it a Craving or a Calling?”

  1. Jax Says:

    Interesting post Ryan.

    I read somewhere “A man who looks outside dreams, a man who looks within awakens”. I think the world around us largely makes us dream or “crave” as you call it. You look at a car and you want to possess it. You look at a hot chick and you want to possess her. You look at what is traditionally referred to as “success” and want to be successful in the traditional sense of the term. But the needs of the soul can be only figured by looking within.

    But looking within is not easy. You have to peel through layers of your own self. It is not an overnight process. The peeling seems to happen only when you chase whatever you “crave” for, get it, and feel somewhat disillusioned 🙂 I could be wrong here, but I think it is important to yield to the craving because the disillusionment that results draws you closer to your calling. If there is an easier way, I’d love to try it!

    Not what you have, but what you use;
    Not what you see, but what you choose;
    Not what seems fair, but what is true;
    Not what you dream, but what you do;
    Not what you take, but what you give;
    Not as you pray, but as you live.
    These are the things that mar or bless
    The sum of human happiness.
    – Anon

  2. Ariel Says:

    Beautiful post Ryan. Loved the wisdom you shared from your own life especially! <3

  3. Simon Wilby Says:

    Great insights Sir Ryan, the in depth explanation of those two (calling and craving) really hit me hard.

  4. Kai Says:

    Absolutely amazing Ryan.

    I’ve been avoiding your blog for a few months (lol, wow, “avoiding” is an honest word there that brought my tears), and now i’m working backward. It’s funny how it works out, cuz i’ve actually been observing “craving” lately… what i found is that i judge myself for trying to let it go, cuz the voices of craving says i need to crave.

    Maybe this is the reason you gave up most of media. For me, I got these two conflicting voices in me all the time. Your description is briliant: calling is so much fainter, but all pervasive; craving is strong and violent, but extremely localized. As I’m writing this, I’m beginning to realize that maybe another way out of craving is to be feeling your whole body.

    For example, I’ve been dealing with a neediness for hot women for a year (by that, I mean I’ve noticed it to be a neediness a year ago). It prevents me from committing to my current relationship fully, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, it prevents me from experiencing my current relationship fully.

    I’ve gone through a period of releasing past couple of months. My relationship magically got better – by that, i mean both me AND my girlfriend evolved. It was intense, nightmares after nightmares kind of intense, but it was fulfilling when I pulled through (I think I did).

    Anyways, just wanted to share after reading the post =-)

  5. Kai Says:

    PS. I have a “craving” for you to reply to my comment. So… don’t reply to my comment or find a way to reply without satisfying that craving. I’m serious. lol.

  6. indirme Says:

    very good. thanks !

  7. Jared @ Nutritional Supplements Says:

    Excellent personal insights into these two words. I love the fact that you’ve taken the initiative and done some things that you wouldn’t have normally considered doing. You mentioned the example of healing work with one of your relatives. You never know, you might just discover a gift you didn’t know you had!
    .-= Jared @ Nutritional Supplements´s last blog ..No Title No Description =-.

  8. Ryan Says:

    -Jax, wow man, that is an excellent point. That’s definitely how it’s happened for me for many things. Eventually, I start to recognize the pattern and can become aware of when it is happening but yeah sometimes you just gotta go through it to really reach the truth. Thanks for that.
    -Ariel, right on man, thanks for the good words.
    -Simon, my pleasure, glad to hear that is helped awaken something in you.
    -Hey Kai, woa, sounds like some intense dreaming you had going on. I can definitely relate, sometimes the experiences I have while dreaming feel longer than my normal day, and that is not the greatest thing when the dreams are nightmares, lol. Glad to hear that you could relate to this and that you are growing through those experiences. Thanks, oh and by now it’s been a few months since you wrote this comment, hopefully that helped you release that craving of wanting me to respond fast, lol.
    -Jared, you are right on that point, I did discover quite a gift with regards to the healing.

  9. Ocie Robichaud Says:

    When I taught health cooking classes, I used to talk about cravings. When one’s diet is full of junk, one constantly craves from one extreme to another trying to achieve balanced. Your body shouts – salt and sugar, sugar and salt. When one eats healthy you can hear your body telling you what it needs. And that is a whisper you must be still enough to hear.

  10. Corey Says:

    This brings to mind a sign one of my former bosses had on the wall. It said desire creates the power and I believe that. Without the desire (not a craving, great explanation), you cannot have the full power to bring your dreams to reality. Excellent, insightful post.

  11. Peni Gardner Says:

    “When I taught health cooking classes, I used to talk about cravings. When one’s diet is full of junk, one constantly craves from one extreme to another trying to achieve balanced. Your body shouts – salt and sugar, sugar and salt. When one eats healthy you can hear your body telling you what it needs. And that is a whisper you must be still enough to hear.”

    I notice the same thing as well when I used to eat a lot of junk food. I only realized it later when I started to see a pattern.

  12. Shantelle Broze Says:

    Interesting post Ryan. I learned a lot from your post. You give me wisdom and strength on your post.

  13. Mike Elias Says:

    This is a gorgeous article. I really like the Craving/Calling dichotomy. I love to find what the pair is, what the important distinction is, as there is so often a fallacy mistaken for a truth, and pairs of counterbalancing principles abound. I hope you don’t mind if I use the Craving/Calling terminology in the future and link to this article!


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