Book Review : The Desire Map

My first month of sobriety seems like as good a time as any to do a little personal development work.

I’m the kind of person who likes to read self-help books for fun. Self improvement relaxes me. It makes me feel like I’m moving forward even if everything else is going to shit.

This month I’ve been seeing / hearing about Danielle LaPorte a LOT. Finally, my friend lent me a copy of The Desire Map and I promptly fell in love with Danielle. By page 11, I was nodding like a bobble-head. This quote in particular:

You’re not chasing the goal itself – you’re chasing the feelings that you hope attaining those goals will give you.

Ah, how true.

I was noticing a distinct anxious feeling as I was setting goals for this blog and my brand storytelling business. The goals felt exciting, yet somehow hollow and untouchable. They didn’t feel like something I could participate in, they felt too overwhelming.

So, when Danielle started talking about Core Desired Feelings as a way to guage what we should and shouldn’t commit to in our lives, my ears perked up. I realized that many of my goals were based on what people around me were doing or what I thought I had to do to be successful and they didn’t feel exciting to me.

A great example is my commitment to living alcohol-free. If I simply made it my goal to go 365 days without drinking, there wouldn’t be any charge there. It would feel like a cruel punishment. However, when I started to think about why I made this commitment, things got good. Here’s what I wrote out in a stream-of-conciousness writing session:

Why I’m committing to 365 days without alcohol…

  • I love myself
  • I want to trust myself completely
  • I want to see what I’m capable of with a clear mind
  • I want to have more fun
  • I want to be able to enjoy my life
  • I want to treat my body with kindness
  • I want to live a life free of regrets

I feel so invigorated when I see this list!

Over the weekend, I worked through the exercises and narrowed it down to my Core Desired Feelings and they surprised me…

– Spacious – Sensual – Wild –

When I read over these Core Desired Feelings, my soul does a little happy dance and I feel anticipation. The I can’t wait for it to be morning so that I can live out loud kind of anticipation. I haven’t felt this sensation in YEARS. I had chaulked it up to being a grownup (how sad).

My Core Desired Feelings surprise me because they are so energetic. I was expecting to be drawn to feelings like presence, creative, curious. 

When I read my Core Desired Feelings aloud, I can immediately see why I’ve been neglecting them for so long and also why I always felt like something was missing. It’s no surprise that a lot of it had to do with alcohol. Alcohol took my spaciousness and sensuality away by numbing me to my experiences. It made me act wild sometimes but not in a way that supports me.

The essence of these desired feelings is simple: To be wholly present to my life. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the fucking excruciating.

With these feelings in mind, I decided to revamp my Bucket List to be more true to the way I want to feel this year. You can take a look here. 

I’m not sure if this has been a particularily good book review, but here’s the bottom line:

Read the damn book and post your core desire feelings in the comments.

I would love to hear them!

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