Tag Archives: Austria

My Life In Freedom…A Core Desired Feelings Collection

A key part of The Desire Map process is about uncovering your Core Desired Feelings – the feelings that make you feel good and that you want to live in as much as possible.  When you get clear on how you want to feel and align your routines and goals to generate those feelings every day, week, month, year – well, that’s a wonderful life of feeling good!

This is all fine, but for desire to work, it needs action – real integration into daily life as well as the big goals.  Deliberately doing things in ways that will make you feel good both whilst you’re doing those things, and when you achieve what you set out to achieve.

Feel good now…and when you reach your goals.

Over the next several blog posts, I’d like to share with you my life with each of my Core Desired Feelings to show you what they mean to me and how I integrate them into my life.

Today’s Core Desired Feeling is…Freedom.


What does it mean to me?


It is my reason for living, literally.


…to seek out choices and make them

…to affect things or not to

…to be who I am

…preferably without fears or obligations, but with Freedom comes some responsibilities, the chief one being ensuring that my own Freedom doesn’t come at the cost of someone elses’ where possible.

It makes me feel open and expanding.  It makes me feel present, here, ready.

It’s a strong and euphoric feeling: at its strongest, it’s that feeling you get during a really awesome rock concert and you’re becoming hysterical; at its gentlest, it’s those quiet moments in the morning when you are having tea and toast with strawberry jam and the sun filters through the window, and you suddenly realise: joy – you’re feeling joy surging underneath.

Freedom is my reason for living.


Why the word “Freedom” over other words?

Because it was the first word that bubbled up when I was Desire Mapping for the first time.  It just fit.

Sure, there were other synonyms I played around with for a couple of hours – Liberty, Liberation, Free, Euphoric, Joy, Nature…

But none of them immediately evoked the feeling I wanted to describe better than Freedom.

Sometimes the very first word that comes up is The One, simply because it’s your soul cry.



How do I use “Freedom” to guide my goals?

It’s really simple: if the goal doesn’t make me feel Freedom in some form when I think about it, it’s not a goal for me to chase.

Particularly the big life goals – being with my man, bringing my own business to life, and into the future…

If it doesn’t make me feel Freedom in some form or other when I think about it, it’s not a goal to aim for.

I have 5 Core Desired Feelings that guide me, but this is the one that is at the core of the Cores – it has to be there underneath everything else.


What do I do each day to feel that CDF?

I ride motorbikes.


My non-biological bestie; passing my motorbike exams; and adventuring into the depths of Austria to visit the KTM factory in Mattighofen…and a little village about 15-20 km away called Fucking (pronounced “Fooking”…what else?!)

It’s not for everybody.  It is dangerous, intense, and it requires instinct, alert intelligence – much more than for driving a metal safety cage car – and the willingness to be extremely present with yourself.  You also need to readily accept that you might not come back in one piece every time you head out (although the same can be said for every time you drive your car, or get out the front door, or wake up each morning…).

I fully accept.

Because the reward for accepting these things?

Unbridled adventures with yourself in Freedom…without needing to backpack half way around the world to be bitten by mosquitoes in sticky nights (unless that’s really your thing).

Backpacking and motorbike touring do have one crucial thing in common though: the fact you can’t take much luggage with you.  For backpacking, you’re restricted to your backpack; for motorbiking, you are restricted to whatever the safe weight limits are on your backpack, top box, tankbag and panniers, provided  your bike can actually accomodate these types of luggage – a number of bikes cannot support one of other of these luggage options (my Aveline doesn’t have panniers, only a top box and tank space), meaning that the only guarenteed luggage is your rucksack; however, being pinned onto the bike with the deadweight on your back for hours and hours as you motorway-pound your way to Freedom?  Deliciously painful.  (Only masochists and endurance-fanatics need apply).

The biggest lesson you learn from backpacking or motorbike touring is this:

You don’t need much stuff in life to be truly happy.

When you cut out the stuff and junk, you realise that you don’t need much in life to

a) survive

b) happily

In fact, the liberation you get from not having your Stuff around is immediate – you’re not carrying the weight around, holding you back, and you feel like you can breathe more freely.


It was this trip that started everything – Provence in south France, just me, my dad, his motorbike, 3kg luggage, a small cabin with no electricity…open skies, fragrant forests, fresh food to cook, sunshine, quiet. When reduced to the absolute basics, you learn individually what makes you happy. Then you need to bring that you into your life as much as possible.

Sure, we all need creature comforts – just don’t let the creature comforts lock you in place.


Again, music!

For when I can’t get on my motorbike and I just need that feeling:

Alter Bridge

Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspiritors



Def Leppard…for the vintage motorbike festivals I go to!



Wild Idling

Freedom is also a state of mind.  If you find that your head gets full of noise regularly (like mine!) and you don’t think you have much time or inclination to meditate, this short exercise, taught to me by Lianne Raymond, has been a real mind-saver:

1 – set a timer for 10 minutes

2 – sit or lie down somewhere


Do not read.  Do not listen to music.  Do not meditate.  Just do absolutely nothing for 10 minutes.

What does this do?

When you force yourself to just STOP – you stop Doing and give yourself space to Be.

And if you’re purpose-driven, goal-setting, goal-achieving, over-achieving, duty-driven, and fear the nothingness of stopping: yes, you will feel uncomfortable, for at least half of the time you’re doing it, and it might feel like it’s lasting forever.

But it’s only 10 minutes.  And the feeling afterwards?

Aaaahhhhhh.  Freedom – the gentler side of it, the effortless side of it.

The realisation that you are already free and don’t need to do anything to prove it or earn it.


We.  Are.  Freedom.



Next week, I’ll show you the feeling that has been with me all my life and which continues to pull me into the future: Hope




On Keeping My Word

In the previous post On Family Recipes and Giving Thanks I explained (in my own words) why certain foods became embedded within a country’s tradition, and said that I would give you a real example of this being the case.  Well I like to try and keep my word when I can, so let’s get started!

Grab coffee/tea/wine/something stronger if it’s one of those days(!), take a seat at my dinner table and get comfy. Continue reading

What do you do when you *really* don’t want to cook…

Does anyone remember that BBC daytime TV show in the 1990s called “Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook” with the ever-irrepressable Ainsley Harriott?   He used to get one person who can’t cook in one corner and another who won’t cook in another corner, and teach them step by step how to make something in front of a live audience.  I grew up with this show so it’s a bit of a blast from the past to have found an episode on YouTube:

(there is another part also available to watch linked through that episode if you’re really keen!)

Sometimes the reason why the Won’t Cook chef didn’t cook was because he/she couldn’t cook, which meant that occasionally it was actually a show of  “Can’t Cook, Really Can’t Cook”.

Sometimes the Can’t Cook chefs were a bit like Bender from Futurama – desperately want to cook and enjoy it, but end up doing something a bit odd.  We all know someone who’s done something a bit odd – like put hamburgers in the toaster to cook them, or decided that they couldn’t be bothered to chop up the onions and tried to blitz them instead in a smoothie machine…

Continue reading

Family Recipes Are Awesome – Let’s Bring Them Back

I love family recipes.  They are different from national/regional and traditional recipes because they are unique to each family.

Normally this might make you think of a stereotypical Italian family where everyone says, “Ah, but I miss the way my Mama used to make this dish”, and it is passed down from generation to generation; but I have brushed with this myself when I tried to make Kartofelgulasch (Austrian potato goulash) for my partner.  He’s Austrian (surprise!) and Austrians have a very strong (and tasty) culinary identity and history.

It’s become something of an obsession of mine to try and recreate my partner’s family dishes – not just to surprise him, but also out of curiosity, and we get to eat the whole lot regardless (yum!).  I tried to make it as per the traditional recipe – lots of onions, equal amounts of potatoes, the whole pot of paprika, dry-cured sausages, beef stock and goulash spices – but when I presented it eagerly and expectantly to my partner, he said:

“This is tasty, but this isn’t Kartofelgulasch from my childhood”.

And I was utterly stumped.  I checked the recipe again and used a different sausage, convinced that maybe this would be the cause.

But no.

Continue reading

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