How do  you want to feel?

This seemingly simple question is the basis for Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map, a soulwork practice for mindful goal setting and personal clarity. I first experienced the magic of the Desire Map on a yoga retreat over three years ago, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.

I bring myself through the process after each Christmas, and typically those words stick with me through the year. This year, though, that was not the case. The beginning of 2019 brought a lot of changes to my work life, and it threw me off balance. By the end of May, I knew I needed to recalibrate. 

These words carry me into each day, setting a tone and reminding me how I want to feel. They allow me to approach situations with intention and ease, but they may not mean to you what they mean to me.


Elemental. In tune with the earth around me. Thoughtful about even the simplest of things. This word reminds me not to get too wrapped up in the depth of perception, but to accept things as they are, as they appear. It’s also my reminder to thank Mother Nature, Mother Earth, each day.

Maternal. No I am not pregnant. I’ve always been told I’m the maternal friend, the mom of the group. I’m also a proud and loving dog mom. But maternal is more about how I approach others, my home, my space, and my surroundings. I’m here to care for things, for others, and to help make spaces feel more like home. Home is, after all, where your mom is.

Balance. This is the only word that has never left my #CoreDesiredFeelings. For me, life is all about balance; about finding that sweet middle between work and play, love and hate, soft and fierce. It’s also a reminder of my yoga practice, and how it both physically and emotionally brings me balance. 

Luminous. Light. Radiant. I’ve played with variations here, but right now luminous feels the most magical, whimsical and easy for me. By definition, luminous means “full of or shedding light. Bright or shining, especially in the dark.” That last piece is the difference. As I battle depression and aim to inspire others to find light in the darkness, I must be luminous. 

Connection. I’m social, but I’m introverted, and connection serves as my reminder to check in with my people, to be thoughtful of how I spend my time. Connection doesn’t mean scrolling through Instagram. It means FaceTiming my best friends, it means reading an excellent book that helps me feel attuned to something larger than myself. 

Danielle Laporte is the closest thing I have to a spiritual guru. She’s honest, real, imperfect and lovely. She’s a mother, a writer, a believer, and a human. She has a lot of offerings, the Desire Map being her first I think, and to me it’s still the core of everything she does. 

I’m not selling anything here. I am an affiliate for The Desire Map, but I don’t care if you use my link or not. In fact, here is the link to her site without my affiliate code, and here’s the link to her site with itDo whatever you want. But if you’re reading this and you’re curious, I really encourage you to explore this practice. There’s a book, and a workbook. There are daily and weekly planners that I use to keep me in tune and on track with how I want to feel. You can take the process further, and set goals that align with how you want to feel, too. 

Explore. Learn. Invest in yourself and be willing to do the Soulwork. 

Love, Em

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