I WANT WHAT SHE HAS!
This LWA August Newsletter is brought to you by Dr. Waxman. I’m enjoying traveling this wellness journey with so many of you, seeing you on the LWA Zoom webinars and at conferences and reading your emails about your goals, successes, and yes, often challenges. And, ladies, I loved seeing so many of you at the LWA women’s wellness immersion at Cedarbrake Retreat Center. I was honored to be the male speaker and share this journey with you. The question often comes up: Why do we do what we do? As Dr. Sulak often states: Life is all about R&D. No, not Research & Development.
RIP off & Duplicate! That’s what we all do! I love watching my two granddaughters, Maria and Isabel. Maria is four years old, and her little sister is two. They are cute and beautiful, and that is an absolutely unbiased opinion! It is so special to see how their little personalities are developing. If one sister gets something, I notice that the other one immediately wants it, too. If I grab Isabel and spin her around and around, Maria steps up and demands her turn! If Maria gets to try some almond milk during breakfast, Isabel starts banging her cup for some as well. It makes no difference what the activity or item is; what one has, the other wants! One sister is mimicking the other. And as I watch their behavior, I realize that the examples they provide are no different than how we act.
The writer René Girard has coined a term for this phenomenon: mimetic desire. His proposition: we humans have a natural capacity and tendency to imitate others. And get this: any decision where we think we want something is usually mediated by some hidden “model” that we are factoring into our decision-making process. We may believe that there is a good “reason” that we want something, but we may be wrong because we are not looking at the hidden factors at play.
Why do you think I wanted a sleek, black convertible sports car back in 2003? I convinced myself that it would be nice to feel a breeze as I drove about town. And of course, the vehicle got pretty good gas mileage. In retrospect, were those the “real” reasons why I bought the car? Doubtful! Hidden beneath the surface was my desire to mimic the identity which went along with the purchase.
Think about mimetic desire in your own life. What do you think you have to have, and what are the reasons that you give for that? Could it be that there is an underlying reason lurking underneath the surface? And if you saw that reason, and shone a light on it, maybe you would realize that your desire isn’t so rational after all! It could involve food selections, alcohol, clothes, cars, jewelry, entertainment options, etc.
Dr. Sulak is intrigued by all the women she sees who wear jeans that have gaping holes in them. Decades ago, anyone wearing jeans with holes in them would have had no choice because they couldn’t afford new ones. But fast forward to women today… Do you think those women came up with all kinds of “logical” reasons to purchase them? Doubtful! More likely, they bought them for the same reason I bought my car. It’s what the fashion designers have declared is “in style / hip.” They wanted the experience, the identity, that went along with wearing those clothes. It’s the same reason some people get tattoos, or have their hair styled a certain way, or drink specialty coffees, or eat certain foods, or __________ (fill in the blank). They are mimicking the behavior of “influencers” who could be celebrities, family, friends, or co-workers. FYI: Kim Kardashian has over 300,000,000 followers. Amazing! Her followers have made her mega-rich and famous! Are you getting a cut on that wealth?
So, the next time you see something and desire wells up in you because “I really need to have this!” STOP, Think, ASK! Is it true? Can I afford this? And by afford, I’m not just talking about money. I’m talking about time, health, well-being. Ask yourself: Am I trying to imitate someone? Am I in the FOMO mode? Yes, Fear Of Missing Out! What is my real why? Could it be my decisions are aiding in covering up the TRUE me, keeping me from dealing with reality? What is the true underlying reason for my action?
These questions are important, because if we all wish to be Living WELL Aware, we need to be mindful of ALL our decisions: the activities we pursue, beverages we drink, food we eat, purchases we make, the people we hang out with. If we understand that we are modeling our behavior through our decisions, then let us model behaviors that we know will serve us well!
I’m so looking forward to seeing Maria and Isabel in a couple of weeks. They are two of my best teachers. I learn so much from them. By the way, I still have that car. Next week, the vehicle turns 19! And I’m going to drive it till it dies (or I do)! I won’t be buying another sports car. As I pursue the best version I am capable of BEing, my identity (how I see myself) is changing and so are my wants and desires. We’re all different. We are a work in progress. What do you truly want and thus need? Choose wisely. It’s all about Living WELL Aware.
THANKS to Education Service Center 18 in Midland, Lampasas ISD, Connally ISD, Central Texas 4C, HighCare Health / Healthcare Highways, EOAC of Waco, and BSWH for having Drs. Sulak and Waxman speak this summer. We look forward to future collaborations!
THANKS to the participants of the LWA Women’s Wellness Immersion at Cedarbrake Retreat Center July 29-31. What a weekend! Ladies, the journey continues. Looking forward to meeting up with you again. ONWARD!
GAME ON, AGAIN! The next LWA 2022 webinar series will begin October 4, 2022. New information, new topics! LINK to REGISTRATION
The next Living Well in Bell lecture series will be Tuesday, August 16 at 6pm at the Temple Cultural Activities Center. Topic: Weight and Health Management: One Size Does NOT Fit All. LINK to FLYER