Reflecting on the Importance of Knowing What We Want

“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu

“I think women want pirates.” These words came from the mouth of my really hot date, who I’m going to refer to as “the musician.” (Though I choose to have my dating life all over the internet—he doesn’t— I try not to “tell peoples business” or speak out of school after we’ve dated.)

So the musician, he’s like really hot. Not a little . . . I mean, the big kind. Like chicks stare at him when you’re on a date. He’s fit, really fit from a ton of hot yoga, mountain biking, running, playing hard and good genes. Dresses ADORABLY. (Ben Sherman—seriously??-and Prana… whew!) He’s a musician and artist, was in the Navy, has a great career and a sense of style I LOVED from minute one. (One of my girlfriends high-fived me when she saw him in a photo. “Cool, you went younger this time! UM, he’s-….... 57.)

So my point for sharing all this is this super-cool, lovely human wondered aloud if women wanted “pirates,” instead of good, decent, amazing men like him. (He is that in spades.)

Well, I can’t answer that for all women, I can only say it sparked a conversation in me. I feel we should know ourselves and know what we want. Identify what we want… lean into that… feel it… invoke it… and continue to be the woman who “that guy” would want to be with.

I also started to think, Dang, do I like pirates??? Sure, I’ve met a few. I’ve done a ton of fun things on dates and “pirates” can be super fun. Like, seriously, no jive. –Real Fun with a capital “F”… y’know? They take you to great dinners, drive fast cars/motorcycles/boats/planes, and they can be a moment of pure lovely-ness in your life . . . and then they’re off to the next port, leaving you with truly great experiences.

Then I started to realize what I really like is warrior energy. That guy who fully has your back, period. A freaking man. My son-in-law, cooking dinner, holding the baby on his hip (surfer, active, fit). Or the guy who raised 2 boys, as a single dad (SWOOOOON), who’s also a ski instructor, was a river guide and is a world traveler. My father, the ultimate loving, feisty man who helped raise 5 kids and loves his wife of 45 years. My fascinating writing coach and editor who has meditated for so many years and spent time with Maharishi and Krishnamurti, such that his honest, clear, spiritual insights and wisdom are so perfectly timely and astonishing at times, that I count him as one of my favorite men and advisors in my life.

And Then, yes, my date, “the musician”… a guy who gave a 25-year marriage everything he had, loved being a father (he literally saved his kids’ artwork in his LP jazz collection -- OMG, I’m dying!) and is one of the most soulful, interesting , honest dudes I’ve ever met. These are all warriors: social justice warriors, love warriors, spirit warriors… men. They are also: adventurous, open, bold, loving, free-spirited and love that in women.

I started writing down what that means to me: what it looks, feels and smells like. I made a play list, vision boards, started seeking out this archetype in all kinds of places, from yoga (Virabhadraha, the inspiration for the “warrior” series of yoga poses) to books, podcasts and social media . . . all being part of my exploration for the type of man I deeply resonate with.

The fact is, I really got it in my spirit, and I can credit a specific moment in my life that crystalized it. I had dinner with a friend and a guy I was crazy about. Soon enough though, I realized it wasn’t possible for me to have more than a rich friendship with this man. But after he left, I started to deconstruct the experience. What was it about him that was so compelling to me? What did it feel, smell and look like? I did my best to capture it in a journal, so I would know it when I saw it (in some form or fashion) again.

And eventually it hit me: he’s a warrior. I realized this man had warrior energy: protective, masculine, a bad ass. This was one of his many purposes in my life, to get me clear—from a sensory perspective—about what my true mate “feels” like. And undoubtedly, it’s a man who can handle a woman like me, a warrior.

So, Dear Reader, know what you need when you need it. If it’s a pirate (or a dude in his pirate phase, since some warriors go through pirate phases and the good ones do it with truth and grace), “caveat emptor,” sweetie. What else? Tell yourself the truth. Always. And just about as important as that: have fun, don’t get too attached, and stay in motion.

Every woman has to decide what phase of her life she’s in and lean into that. I can tell you being on the spiritual path makes the “pirate” kind of interaction harder. Because when you feel deeply, love hard and are sensitive, it’s difficult to “go deep” and then have him “go deep” with the next chick a few days later. (I’ve tried and I have the t-shirt, by the way.)

My experience has taught me: if it’s a warrior you seek, you don’t’ need to go find him. He will find you. What’s your proper focus, then? Building your life, whether in yoga, in cooking class, at your local health-food market, making a change in our world, being creative, being a good parent, being a good friend, being a volunteer, passionately engaging in your work, walking on a nearby trail, hiking up and down a mountain… You doing your life, evolving and being your best human possible. And trust me, when he finds you, he will come for you. That’s what warriors do.

Take a little time to know what you want, Intrepid One. I promise you won’t regret it.

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