Back to the task of writing out my 9 wants. I closed my eyes and asked myself, “What does your heart desire? What do you really want?”
Having spent most of the year in Nairobi, Kenya, I was finding it difficult to readjust to life in Chicago. I knew I had to accept the present moment and through that, I could create a rejuvenation nest in Chicago.
My mind sifted through the most recent memories and searched for moments of bliss…
What was it that I missed about being in East Africa? I missed that every day felt like a new adventure into the past. When my work took me to small towns like Morogoro and Kisii, I felt like I had been there before and had been sent back to excavate bits of Ismaili Muslim history – to collect the missing pieces of my spiritual identity.
Want #1: I want to continue to travel and learn about new places.
And that thought linked to my memories of a previous visit to Vancouver, when I participated in an enriching birthday celebration with 30 others in honor of Zamir Dhanji and Ra’Am Ayan.
Zamir and Ra’Am’s invitation read: Our intention is to have a gathering that celebrates the talents and hearts of our friends and family. We would be delighted if you would bring a song, poem, story, dance or a piece of art to share with us tonight. The celebration starts at 7pm, please come on time because we will start with a powerful group meditation using holographic healing…
This quote encapsulates the group of people I met that evening: “In the old world was the principle of not killing, but here you replace it by a principle of acceptance. It is not sufficient to abstain from harming, it is necessary to discover a positive attitude. Simply keeping rules of not harming and killing and judging and so on is not enough. Your community will not hold together on the basis of rules, it has got to be on the basis of an attitude.” – JG Bennett, Enneagram Studies
Want #2: I want to belong to a conscious community.
When I realized that I didn’t have anything to share that night, I knew that I’ve been missing out on something crucial for a fulfilling life.
Want #3: I want more art and music in my life.
Nairobi (or Kabul for that matter) certainly didn’t have enough of the art and music I had been craving. But I took every chance that came my way such as attending a boring 4-hour classical flute concert and taking 7 others with me.
However, working in Central Asia and Africa provided opportunities for me to work with and deeply understand integrated health systems in the developing world. These experiences led to a greater appreciation of meaningful work, which is now a prerequisite for projects in the future. This is what drives me to overcome the obstacles and also allows me to sleep well at night.
Want #4: I want to pursue a career that enables others to better the quality of their lives.
While my work abroad has only involved contemporary medicine, my own health caused me to seek alternative and complementary medicine, here and abroad. My back pain was only alleviated through Integrated Manual Therapy, reflexology, and reiki. It became evident that allopathic medicine is not comprehensive. In fact, it proves to be ineffective treatment on its own.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about choosing conventional or alternative medicine; it’s about treating the whole individual with a closer look at the interdependence of different aspects of one’s health and wellness.
Want #5: I want to create holistic health systems.
But first, I must create the capacity within me to engage in such work. Thus, I wrote myself a prescription for optimal health.
Want #6: I want to meditate everyday.
And then my mind wandered off to the world of fairy tales, where I imagined sitting under a tree and meditating with my enlightened life partner.
Want #7: I want to marry an Ismaili man who is spiritual, likes to travel, and provides emotional stability.
I wondered if I would I recognize him the moment I met him. After unsuccessfully dating my best friend, I wondered how I would start over with someone new. What if my past relationships kept me from wanting to try again? Immediately, I enlisted the Universe’s help before fear attacked my personal life…
Want #8: I want to overcome my fear of commitment.
Asking the Universe for anything and everything became easier as I continued the process of writing out my wants. So I thought it would be wise to write out an overarching, all-encompassing, lifelong goal.
Want #9: I want to reach my highest potential intellectually and spiritually.
I thought this would somehow balance out the specific wants, so as to not put too much pressure on the Universe. I figured that if the other 8 wants are granted, I should assume responsibility for fulfilling the last one.
“Ok Elijah, I’m done with my wish list.” I was wondering what he would have me do next. Would he tell me to say abracadabra and wish upon a star…?