Last week I finished reading The Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte. It rocked my world. Her premise is that identifying your core desired feelings, and then using them to guide you will help you find the life that you truly want.
A few pages into the book I knew I had found the next piece that I needed. And yet several days after finishing it I am still a bit stumped by the question, “how do I want to feel?” Equally hard is “what do I want?”
Between years of school being the dutiful student, and then subsequent to that years of being the dutiful mother, I know feel that I have doubly suppressed my feelings, my desire and my identity.
And so I am both intrigued and perplexed.
In talking about desire, she speaks to the inherent balance necessary: “Want it with all your heart. But don’t get attached to getting it.”
Useful and yet confusing at the same time. But I suspect current balance for me will be found by adding a healthy dose of desire and self awareness.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of journaling, asking myself all the questions in her book, and then pondering, “who am I?”, “what do I love?”, and “what is truly unique to me?”
“How do I want to feel?”
My first list included words like respected, connected, challenged and inspired. Then she said to avoid words that imply dependence on external factors. So I switched to words that imply feelings I can choose to generate and that are more innately empowering.
I want to feel constant growth, wise, inspired, beautiful, strong, connected.
Then a few days later after mulling it over, I had a new list.
I want to feel healthy, curious, joyful.
That feels better.
I have not figured this out. I have not revolutionized my goal-setting or my to-do list. But I am thinking a bit differently about my attitude toward decisions and goals.
And I’m going to keep this in mind. While I don’t completely subscribe to everything she says, I think Danielle has a really valuable contribution here, and is right when she says that “our productivity- and results-obsessed society pathologizes feelings.”
She says that when we truly live in awareness of our core desired feelings, that we are able to be creative instead of reactive. And when she speaks of overcoming “the conditioning that has dampened our awareness of our core desired feelings” that takes me back to everything I’ve recently shared with you about my reflections on public school and my realization that life is not a classroom.
So I’m not there yet, but I’m collecting pieces to a special puzzle in order to answer the question of how we should live life, and I know core desired feelings is an important piece. In skimming the book again, I just see tons of great quotes that I highlighted. I’d love to share them all with you. Here are a few. If this has piqued your interest, pick up her book.
“As hardwired achievement-bots, many of us subscribe to systems of success that actually become blockages to our instincts.” – Danielle LaPorte
“Small deliberate actions inspired by your true desires create a life you love.” – Danielle LaPorte
So this is not a new message exactly. I see references all the time to the idea that moms need to do better with self-care.
This is a different approach, and I want to challenge you to try it with me.
Get in touch with why you’ve set the goals you’ve set, and why you’re making the decisions you’re making.
What do you really want out of each of those things? How do you want to feel?
Let me know if this gives you any inspiration, I’d love to hear about it.