When did we start dimming down the light in our lives, for no good reason at all? When did we learn to do this?

Last Sunday, around 4pm my husband and I started discussing our evening plans.

“What do you want to do tonight?” he asked. I thought about the usual suspects โ€” movies, out to dinner at this place or that. Not feeling excited about any of the options but not knowing why, I threw out a few suggestions for restaurants we might go to.

“But what would be your shoot-the-moon evening?” he asked, hearing the blah-ness in my tone.

Incredible as my husband is, he did not spontaneously blurt this question. This is something we’ve been practicing. Instead of getting stuck in what would be “okay” or even “good” in any situation, we ask each other, “what’s your shoot the moon?”

At this particular time, as at so many others, I had forgotten all about shoot the moon. For no good reason at all, I had gone into auto-compromise, life-is-kinda-sucky mode. The vast and powerful magnet that is mediocrity had simply pulled me in.

Now there was a new question: “What’s my shoot the moon evening?” Whoa. Very different paradigm.

I had no idea what my answer was. This is another thing we’ve learned by asking each other “shoot the moon” questions: often, at first, we don’t know what we want. We have no clue.

And so we sat there. Husband took out his book (he already knew his shoot the moon evening proposal) and for several minutes, I just wondered about the question.

Slowly, one by one, some ideas came to mind. It would involve staying at home, I realized. It would involve red wine, definitely. It would involve sitting in the living room and not in the den. It would involve a particular selection of music, one I’m rarely in the mood to listen to. It would involve steak, and, naturally, it would involve foot massage.

Now I must tell you, that in writing this now, this evening sounds so indulgent to me that I’m slightly embarrassed to write about it. Steak, and red wine and foot massage? Not quinoa and sparkling water and taking a walk?

Are the indulgence police coming to arrest me now?

I shared my thoughts, with husband. Once I knew what I wanted to do and dear husband did too, we crafted a plan that worked for both of us.

The evening was magical. That sense I had, that tonight, tonight in particular, I would enjoy sitting on the couch with a glass of red wine listening to jazz and reading the Times…all of that was so right. The inner compass was accurate. Everything felt in flow, delicious, and I felt very, very alive.

I easily could have had the other night, the one made up of the default plans that first occurred to me, that seemed like nice things to do, and I would have had a ho-hum, kind of disappointing experience.

If I hadn’t asked, “what’s the shoot the moon evening?” that’s the night I would have had. If I hadn’t spent the fifteen minutes it took for figure out the answer, that’s the night I would have had.

We do this constantly. We dim down the light in our lives. We sacrifice pleasure. We keep ourselves from having more joy. We live stuck in open-top boxes.

Turns out, I’m learning, our desires are surprising, changing, and idiosyncratic, because that’s who we are, when we are allowed to be. Our desires take time to unfold because usually they’ve been buried under decades “shoulds” and “have-to’s” we heard from others and tell ourselves.

If we want magic and deliciousness and satisfaction and a knock the ball out of the park life, we’ve got to ask ourselves, with patience and attention, and again and again, What’s my shoot the moon? And then we’ve got to trust the wisdom of the answers.




photo by: Adi Ulici

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Hey Tara,

    This is simply inspirational. It we would all shoot for the moon every day, we would probably have dinner on Saturn somewhere in the next century ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jay Schryer says:

    This is a great thing to practice, I think. Too often we get caught up in “ok”, when what our souls cry for is “amazing!” I think we should all feed our souls more often.

  • Uzma says:

    Beautiful! The very idea of shoot the moon, brings in that delicious joy. Thanks u for a great idea. Will practice this ,’finding and following my shoot the moon’. God bless

  • Kylie says:

    This is really lovely – lately I have been working on reminding myself that life is rich and wonderful as it is right now, rather than always feeling slightly striving and anxious, and this question is a great way to tap into that cherishing spirit. Thank you Tara, I love your work, it’s always a cut above.

  • Tara Mohr says:

    Eduard – thank you! Glad this inspired you.

    Jay – totally agree. It becomes ingrained in us to just go for “okay” when so often amazing is actually very much within reach – if we just take the time to consider what amazing looks like.

    Uzma – Thank you! I’m so glad this spoke to you. Enjoy the gift of putting this into practice.

    Kylie – Oh good – it sounds like this can be a practical tool that anchors you in the perspective you want to cultivate.
    Thanks for your kind words about my work – that means a lot to me.


  • Jenn says:

    I adore this post so much,.. it is deliciously inspiring, Tara! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank-you straight from my heart! I would say definitely more pampering added into my life, and music, and dancing ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is so easy to say ‘i cannot dance’, or ‘i cannot afford’ but really? With conscious intention and creativity, and sometimes patience, one can unravel new gifts every day, and each weekend.. hugs, Jenn

  • Kristin says:

    This is my first read on your blog and I already feel incredibly inspired. It is so easy to get caught up in the systematic lives we tend to lead over time, each day tending to blur together since there is nothing to differentiate from the one before it. I can definitely use a dose of “shoot the moon” on a consistent basis in order to feel unstuck in this cruel, repetitious, unsatisfying life I feel I tend to lead. And at such a young age! Thanks so much for sharing your stories and ideas. Very refreshing and helpful!

  • Tara says:

    Thanks Kristin. I’m so glad you found this inspiring. I really believe we each have the power to turn repetitious into thrilling, unsatisfying into satisfying, no matter what our external circumstances. Hope you find some ideas here that can help on that path.
    Thanks for reading.

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