4 reasons why you can’t get what you want (and how to cure your aching need using Hakomi method)

4 reasons why you can’t get what you want (and how to cure your aching need using Hakomi method)

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Most of us don’t want to believe it, but we’re the ones standing in the way of what we truly want.

We block ourselves from getting what we long for the most. We literally put up subtle barriers to getting the very nourishment we deeply crave, but on an unconscious level don’t really believe we deserve. These barriers to getting what we want are part of strategies we develop in response to our basic needs not being met by our very first caregivers. So, we quietly, carefully tuck our needs away somewhere deep down believing they (and we) are not valuable enough to really get what we want in our life.

But I’m here to tell you (from both experience and training) there’s a way to un-tuck those gravely buried needs from your own unconscious underground using a simple but incredibly exhuming method of guided self-study called Hakomi.

Hakomi method uses an artful, elegant combination of mindfulness + loving presence + tiny experiments focused on the body to help you break through these barriers you’ve built to keep out what you really want.

Wait a second… what do I want?

The truth is: what we really want right now isn’t usually some big, dreamy, overblown vision of all that we’re capable of.

That’s for movie characters. What we really want — right this very moment — is usually very simple. It’s to get our needs met by the people we love most. It’s to feel heard, to feel seen, to feel understood and known as the very essence of who we are (by the people we spend most of our time with).

And in order to do this we must first get in touch with the core truth of what we want.

Sunrise peeking through redwoods in carmel, CA | Hakomi is the path take quote | Ron Kurtz | Hakomi method | The sensitivity cycle barriers | Conscious Content.png

Let’s try a quick and easy exercise, shall we?

Below I’ve listed a whole slew of universal wants we all have as humans.

These wants (and needs) fall into four categories defined by the Founder of the Hakomi method, Ron Kurtz, as part of The Sensitivity Cycle. And I’d love for you to skim through these wants and pick out those that really resonate with you. Look through the following lists and pick out the “what I want” statements that you feel in your body or know in your heart are speaking to what you truly want.

I’d love for you to comment here or at the bottom of this article and let me know which ones resonated with you and why
0
Share which of these wants resonated most with you and whyx
.

But don’t spend a lot of time on this. Just say these statements in your head quickly and you’ll feel which ones strike a chord with you. If one doesn’t, move on. You don’t have to think too hard. This is more of a feeling exercise.

So here goes:

I want clarity

  • I want to be real with people (without pretending)
  • I want to feel safe to see or know things
  • I want to feel safe to be present with people
  • I want to trust what I see, think and feel

I want to be effective

  • I want to feel like a good person
  • I want to feel valuable
  • I want to feel safe to do what I want (without getting hurt)
  • I want to ask for what I need without fear I’ll be hurt (tricked, used, punished)
  • I want to have my needs met by people without compromising myself or needing to diminish my needs
  • I want to ask for what I want without needing to act impulsively, manipulate others, lie or hide my true intentions

I want to feel satisfied

  • I want to believe I can get what I need
  • I want to know there’s somebody out there for me
  • I want to feel good about asking for help
  • I want to feel confident the people I love will stay
  • I want to know my relationships will last
  • I want to trust there’s enough left over for me too
  • I want to trust that things can be nourishing for me
  • I want to believe I can and you can too

I want to be able to relax

  • I want to feel loved for who I am (not just for what I do or achieve)
  • I want to get the attention I need effortlessly
  • I want to know in my bones I’m enough
  • I want to feel good enough
  • I want to feel seen, heard and understood naturally (without needing to be dramatic or create chaos to get attention)
  • I want to open my heart to people (without feeling the need to protect it)
  • I want to slow down
  • I want to rest and relax easily
  • I want to be able to manage to overwhelm
  • I want to complete things and feel satisfied with them

So, how’d it go? What’d you find out about what you want?

Share your comments
0
Share which of these wants resonated most with you and whyx
. Or, you can email me privately too.

Pouting baby | You can't always get what you want lyric | The Rolling Stones | Hakomi method | Conscious Content

So why can’t I get what I want?

There are four reasons you believe you can’t get what you want.

In the Hakomi method, these four reasons are really barriers you’ve put up to allow the nourishment of what you want in. Each reason happens at a specific point within a four-part cycle called The Sensitivity Cycle (that I mentioned earlier and explain more below). And each reason happens because at some point in our childhood development, we attempted to get what we wanted from our primary caregiver (a parent or someone playing a parental role in our lives), but that want or need was cut off somehow.

And, after a few times of experiencing the pain of having that want or need cut off by our primary source of survival, feedback and love… we internalize a belief that we just cannot get what we want.

The reasons why you believe you can’t get what you want fall into these four categories:

These four categories make up The Sensitivity Cycle, which is a four-phased rhythm.

Each of the cycle’s four phases describes how we can move through our experiences in life more fully. For example, generally in a new experience or situation, we start by gathering information until we’re ready to take an action. Next, we evaluate how it went. And finally, we’re able to come to some stopping point where we let go and move on. And thus the cycle begins again.

Unless, of course, this natural rhythmic cycle is interrupted (which it unfortunately and quite often is).

So let’s look at why you don’t get what you want (or need) in the context of each of these four barriers.

Hopeful baby looking through padlocked gate | But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need lyric | The Rolling Stones | Hakomi method | The sensitivity cycle barriers | Conscious Content

How does each of the four Sensitivity Cycle barriers play a role in why I can’t get what I want?

REASON 1: I have an insight barrier to clarity

Tell me, does this sound like it could describe you?

“I don’t know how to…” “I just don’t understand…” “I don’t really know what you mean…” “There’s so much happening I feel totally overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do!”

If these statements feel like they could be too generally applicable, check out the themes of this particular barrier that you may see showing up in your life (and getting in the way of your relationships, your wants and needs).

The themes of this barrier to getting the insight and clarity you want include:

  • Consistent lack of clarity in relationships
  • Not really trusting your own experience
  • Unable to understand deeper meanings
  • Staying surface-level in conversations and relationships
  • Keeping things vague and undefined in conversation
  • You may experience physical difficulty seeing
  • It may be hard to feel your body or connect with your sensations
  • You have trouble grokking the impacts of your actions on others
  • Feeling confused more often than not, moving too fast in relationships
  • You often avoid or fabricate what’s real

The insight barrier to clarity puts you in constant conflict.

This bind you feel will be between your want for contact and your need to withdrawal — whether physically, mentally or emotionally. And the only way you’ve found to deal with this feeling of always being in the dark will be to constantly collect more information. Like, obsessively even.

You’ll spend your waking hours gathering more and more data, but never quite getting any clearer.

Disconnected and confusing… right?

REASON 2: I have a response barrier to effectiveness

Tell me honestly, does this sound like it could describe you?

“Not me.” “I don’t know what to do.” “I’m just not motivated enough…” “I’m not really feelin’ it today…” (or any day) “Can we push this deadline back until… never?”

If these statements feel like they could be too generally applicable, check out the themes of this particular barrier that you may see showing up in your life (and getting in the way of your relationships, your wants and needs).

The themes of this barrier to getting the actionable response and effectiveness you want include:

  • A chronic feeling of stuckness
  • Low motivation and low energy
  • You’re challenged with taking actions, starting projects, beginning relationships
  • An annoying habit of procrastinating, pushing back, or delaying things
  • Resistant to change
  • Often feign ignorance (“I don’t know what to do?!”)
  • You have trouble taking responsibility or being held accountable
  • You avoid acknowledging your impact on others

The response barrier to action puts you in constant conflict.

This bind you feel will be between your want for action or expression of who you really are and the need to delay or hold back that action or expression — whether physically, mentally or emotionally — from fear that when others see your true needs (and vulnerabilities), they will use you, manipulate you or punish you in some way. And the only way you’ve found to deal with this feeling of always being used up and tossed out will be to either shut down and dig your heels in completely. Or, to impulsively act out by meeting manipulation and trickery with your own deceits.

You’ll spend your waking hours denying you even have needs, shutting down and shutting people out or plotting ways to beat “them” at their own game.

Tense and tricky… right?

REASON 3: I have a nourishment barrier to satisfaction

Tell me, does this sound like it could describe you?

“I don’t know what I need.” “I can’t tell if I can trust you to do what you say you’ll do.” “I give up.” “I don’t believe you’ll stay.” “I’ll just do it myself, like always!”

If these statements feel like they could be too generally applicable, check out the themes of this particular barrier that you may see showing up in your life (and getting in the way of your relationships, your wants and needs).

The themes of this barrier to getting the nourishment of satisfaction you want include:

  • Self-reliant to a fault
  • You’re consistently out of touch with what you need
  • You’re challenged with healthy discernment between what’s nourishing and what’s depleting
  • You may struggle with addiction issues of any kind (not just substance abuse)
  • You tend to give up easily or even collapse (physically, mentally or emotionally)
  • Your body may by wiry and hold lots of tension or you may feel low energy
  • Struggle between knowing what’s supportive and what’s toxic

The nourishment barrier to satisfaction puts you in constant conflict.

This bind you feel will be between your need for healthy, supportive nourishment and your want to be drawn into what’s actually toxic for you and draining you — whether physically, mentally or emotionally. And the only way you’ve found to deal with this feeling of never being able to trust that support is actually available for you (or will stay when it’s offered) will be to just shut it out before it fails you. You’ll end up doing everything yourself, alone.

You’ll spend your waking hours feeling unsupported, unloved and resentful.

Overwhelming and lonely… right?

Click here to Get the Guide to Satisfaction

REASON 4: I have a completion barrier to rest

Tell me, does this sound like it could describe you?

“I’m too busy to…” “I just don’t have time right now…” “It’s not ready yet. There’s just one more thing to do.” (Except there are neverending things.) “There’s so much to get done today, I’ll have to pass.” (Again.)

If these statements feel like they could be too generally applicable, check out the themes of this particular barrier that you may see showing up in your life (and getting in the way of your relationships, your wants and needs).

The themes of this barrier to getting the sense of completion and rest you want include:

  • Fast-paced, high-energy
  • You chronically wear busyness as a badge of honor
  • Insatiable need to prove yourself and vie for acceptance by performing or doing more
  • Difficulty slowing down and staying present in conversations and relationships
  • Overvalue efficiency and achievement; productive but never gratified
  • You’re challenged with letting go, allowing things to be done or feeling like you’ve done enough
  • Don’t feel loveable or worthy (without needing to do)
  • Unnecessarily dramatic responses or body gestures

The completion barrier to rest puts you in constant conflict.

This bind you feel will be between your need to persevere and your want to let go — whether physically, mentally or emotionally. And the only way you’ve found to deal with this feeling of always being on and never having a chance to slow down and rest is to just push through. Just one. More. Thing. To do.

You’ll spend your waking hours flitting from one thing to the next, striving and burning the candle at both ends, but never quite getting anywhere.

Intense and exhausting… right?

Click here to Get the Guide to Rest

Why can’t I ask for what I want?

No matter the type of barrier you’re up against in the Hakomi method’s Sensitivity Cycle, at its heart you believe you can’t really ask for what you want or need.

And this belief goes waaay back. It’s super embedded in the ways you move in your relationships and in the world. It’s actually so entrenched that in response to it you develop a complex strategy that you believe helps you get that want or need met.

But this strategy continues to fail you time and again. (Hence, why you’re here right now.)

I’ll talk more about these character strategies and how ineffective they are in helping us get what we really want in another article (that I’ll link to here later).

So, how do I get what I want using Hakomi method?

Our strategies become so deeply ingrained in our character that we can’t consciously see them operating.

But they’ll show up unconsciously in our bodies. And they can appear in a whole slew of different ways that will be unique to each of us including in our thoughts, memories, sensations, impulses, voices or messages, images, colors, feelings and the stories we tell ourselves. These touchpoints, or bridges, to your unconscious strategies can be accessed in mindfulness with a safe, trusted guide well-practiced in lovingkindness.

And using a signature of the Hakomi method — tiny experiments in mindfulness — we can gently touch those tucked-away places, those long-hidden needs and those cried-out, aching wants so we can bring them into consciousness to be transformed.

New branch emerges from tree trunk | Hakomi quote | Hakomi method | 4 reasons why you can't get what you want | Conscious Content

How do you get what you want in life using Hakomi method principles and practices?

If you want to start today — right now — getting closer to getting what you want (and desperately need), try this:

Today… no, right this moment commit to trying at least one of these approaches. Inspired by The Hakomi method’s ancient east-meets-west principles (which are the heart of this method of self-discovery and self-understanding), try approaching yourself in a new way. A more loving, kinder way.

I’ll show you how:

How to practice getting what you want today

Commit to at least one of these approaches right now to start getting closer to knowing, being able to ask for and being able to receive what you want.

  • Hakomi principle 1: Practice a few minutes of mindfulness EACH DAY

    Try this super simple, yet powerful daily presence practice each day for a week and observe what changes in you and in your perspective of the world around you.

  • Hakomi principle 2: Practice non-violence IN YOUR COMMUNICATION

    How we speak with others is a reflection of how we speak to ourselves.

    Starting today you can practice approaching your own fear and discomfort more kindly using the Hakomi principle of non-violence. Try on these new responses. Then watch your relationships soften and open to allow more ease and safety into your communications.

  • Hakomi principle 3: Explore YOUR OWN mind-body CONNECTION

    At the core of humanity’s profound feeling of disconnection is our disconnection with our own bodies.

    Pick one of these three simple ways to reconnect with your own body (and the larger earth body) and try it on each day for a week. Observe what happens in your body. And notice how interconnected that is with your mind.

  • Hakomi principle 5: Trust your own organicity

    You are a self-directing, intelligent organism.

    And you live and interact daily with a larger self-directing, intelligent organism (the earth). And you and the earth exist within an even larger self-directing, intelligent ecosystem (the cosmos). And so it goes on and on to infinity.

    Practice building a little trust in these truths today.

The result?

Well, that’s up to you. But I’d love to hear where your exploration takes you in the comments below.

Writer, Sr. Technical Program Manager, Sadhana Consultant and Inner Realm Guide at Conscious Content
Carolyn (Koa) Elder is a published writer and Senior technical program manager who’s been writing and consulting for more than a decade with startups, nonprofits and conscious businesses, digital agencies, and fortune 50s to 500s in the Top 50 list.

Beginning in 2011, she invested more deeply in her own mindfulness exploration and education as a Sahaja yoga/meditation guide and two-time apprentice of spiritual teacher and humanitarian, Vanessa Stone. Carolyn is an Ayurvedic Sadhana Consultant, having completed training in 2018 under her teacher, Maya Tiwari. Maya served for two decades as a Vedic monk belonging to India’s prestigious Veda Vyasa lineage and is the founder of Wise Earth School of Ayurveda.

Carolyn is currently immersed in her practicum after graduating from a two-year comprehensive Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy practitioner training through Hakomi Institute Southwest.

Founder of Conscious Content, a mindfulness movement for business that serves the greater collective good, her intention is to bring ancient mindfulness technology first to individuals, and then their teams and organizations to connect them more authentically with themselves, one another, and their tribe.

Conscious Content’s guiding inquiry is: what would business look like if work became our sadhana—our personal growth practice?

Her chosen name, Koa, is of Hawaiian origin and means fearless and courageous.

Her given surname, Elder, is of Scottish origin and signifies one who is wiser, older and quite possibly born near the Elderberry tree.
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