Going through The Desire Map process was therapeutic, and really tied together a lot of pieces for me. Last Fall I participated in Seth Godin’s altMBA program, where we pushed ourselves and our peers to dive deep and find our “why.” We analyzed our actions and our goals, and dreamed about what we could do if we re imagined our constraints. Since then, I’ve been diligent about finding my why in every major decision and action.
The Desire Map is actually not so different. The concept is that by stepping away from the things we want, and focusing on how we want to feel, we are able to find happiness more quickly. Have you ever set a goal you thought would make you happy to reach, reached it and simply moved on to the next goal? Likely, the goal you set wasn’t actually helping you feel the way you truly desire.
In the few days since I found my Core Desired Feelings, I’ve realized something awesome…they are my whys. I took out my five year plan yesterday, and next to each major goal/milestone I wrote the Core Desired Feeling that I hoped to attain by working on that item. Below, is a break down of my 5 CDFs.
1. I want to feel light.
Light kept coming up when I wrote in my journal this weekend, and when it was time to choose our final words I knew this would be one of them. To me, light is the opposite of two feelings I want to prevent. Light is the opposite of heavy, and the opposite of darkness. When my world feels heavy and dark, I feel lost and bewildered. These are the moments I struggle the most to feel alive, and honestly to stay alive. I want my day-to-day to feel light, airy and easy. That doesn’t mean that I will live without challenges, but that the default, the norm, is this easy and free place where being yourself and feeling happy is most important. This may mean my house isn’t always in perfect condition, or that errands get delayed til tomorrow to allow happiness in today. Those are sacrifices I’m willing to make for a life of light.
2. I want to feel strength.
I like that this seems to balance out my desire for light, one gentle and one fierce. I want to feel strong, both physically and emotionally. I want to improve my yoga practice by building strength and ultimately building balance. I want to find stability in my mental and emotional imbalances, a foundation I can rely on. Professionally, I need to feel strong enough in my writing ability to proceed forward on just my own abilities. To write my book, I’ll need strong deadlines and to be open to criticism. Strong is not hard, it is not dark, it is poised and graceful and ABLE. I am completely capable of everything I want to do, and I am worthy of having all that I dream of.
3. I want to feel balance.
Perhaps you could sense this from my first two Core Desired Feelings, and the way they ying and yang with one another. Balance is crucial to my success. Between my job here at Pitt, creating and keeping a home for my family, practicing yoga, writing, nurturing my relationships, spending time reading, and finding time to work on my art, there’s a lot to balance. Balance is the thread of myself that holds all of these pieces together. There is also, of course, the physical manifestation of balance, which I love. What better way to create a feeling for yourself, than to practice a physical routine that embodies the feeling you desire? There is a lot of emotional work that will go into finding this balance, feeling this balance and maintaining this balance, but if I can resort to 10 minutes of balancing postures at the end of the day to enhance this feeling, you better believe I will.
4. I want to feel authenticity.
When talking about becoming an author, the most accurate word for how that would feel for me is authentic. Turning my passion into my livelihood would feel like the most authentic act I could perform, and that kind of authenticity is the depth I desire. I love blogging, writing for myself and even writing short stories. The emotional release is unmatched by any other activity, but to actually pour my heart and time into a novel and then share it with the world would be like the ultimate picture of success. I thought, for a fleeting moment, that it was the inspiration I wanted to spread that I desired so much. As I journaled, it became clear that being an inspiration to others isn’t central to my happiness, but rather the authenticity that comes with sharing my story and my words. If others are inspired, WOW that would be amazing, but that much I can’t control.
5. I want to feel like a loving spirit.
I’ve written about this before, without knowing that it was a Core Desired Feeling, or even knowing the right words to use to express it. I want to be that warm soul friends and loved ones seek in moments of darkness or discomfort. I want to be a peaceful, calming presence in the lives of the ones I love, not so they admire or desire me, but so I can feel like I am caring and loving my people to the best of my ability. Laying on the couch, running my hands through Aaron’s hair is one of my favorite places to be, one of my favorite ways to feel. With just a few grazes of my hand, I can relax him and help him feel more at ease…lighter.
Did we just come full circle?